Willie Nelson's Ranch - photo Shane Woodward

SXSW was drenched in good music, but none sparked me sweeter than those I never knew. Many of the fresh faces were lovely live but became lost in translation with over produced recorded sessions turning something soulful to something soulless.

My partner and I slept on the sidewalk each morning to make it in to hear free fine finds at KGSR's live shows, rode the coat tales of my friend Elle into Willie Nelson's Ranch, walked up and down south congress sniffing out tunes with our ear-strils, and snuck, by way of someone else's vomit, into Communion's show at Saint David's church.

We saw some spectacular old favourites, but these three thunderbirds got us good and made us grateful both live and online:


Ryley Walker – Photo by Dusdin Condren
Slinging strum skills from yesteryears dressed in the sly eyes and a mischievous smile of a cheeky child, this heartbreakingly hungover crooner charmed the room of early risers at KGSR’s morning show despite keeping speaking and singing to a minimum.
hear Ryley here

The Band Joseph - Photo by http://thebandjoseph.com/

Amongst the big wigs of Willie’s Ranch these sweet sisters stood out. Serenading with soulful stories. Satiating the senses in song.
hear Joseph here

Foreign Fields - photo http://www.foreignfields.net/

Wrapped in the wondrous acoustics of Saint David’s Church these fine fellows found new fans with their fantastical flow and healthy harmony.  
hear Foreign Fields here