Friday, November 18, 2005

The Cactus Cafe and Graham Wilkinson

We went to see some live music last night and were fortunate enough to go to the Cactus Cafe. If you live near Austin, it's one of the finest, most tradition-rich venues in the country.

Best of all, it's small.

How small is it? It can seat about 150 people comfortably. It's impossible to be more than fifty feet from than the stage. The venue is so intimate that everyone who sings there winds up being incredibly personal with the audience, very informal and unguarded, and it's always a memorable experience.

We originally went to see Alejandro Escovedo, who is one of the country's great, unappreciated musical legends, but the opening act was a fellow named Graham Wilkinson. I'd never heard of him before, but he has an amazing, personal quality on stage, with an utterly distinct, raspy kind of singing voice that is instantly magnetic. The reason I mention him is that he has a huge amount of talent and writes sensational songs, and it won't be long before everyone is talking about him.

He has a CD out titled "16 Songs: A Compilation," but it's only available locally (Waterloo, I think) right now. If at some point it's available online, I'll post the link.

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