Monday, August 21, 2006

Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township

I saw Graham Wilkinson last November, opening up for Alejandro Escovedo at the Cactus Cafe.

He killed.

Absolutely killed. Tore it up. Here's an excerpt from what I wrote last year:
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.
It was hard to describe what kind of music he played--sometimes it sounded like reggae, sometimes it sounded like blues, sometimes it sounded like all kinds of other genres--but it was always terrific.

I saw that his new band, Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township, was playing in Austin on Saturday at a restaurant/brew pub called North by Northwest. I thought they'd be good.

I had no idea.

I'm the audience about five minutes before the set is supposed to start. Hell, I am the audience. There are a few other people on the corner of the deck, but they're not paying any attention.

A couple sits down right before they start, tripling the number of people who came to listen to music.

At this point, I wouldn't blame these guys at all if they just slept through the set. It's at least ninety-five degrees on the deck, it's a miserable crowd--I mean, how many people can get motivated in that kind of situation?

So they start playing, and the first song or two are a little flat, which only stands out because Graham seems to really have energy crackling through his music. Even a little flat, they're better than ninety percent of what I listen to, and they're playing in front of essentially three people, so I'm still really enjoying myself.

Then they start gathering energy with each song. Shitty crowd, hot as hell, doesn't matter--they're like a steam train, stoking the boiler, and within about fifteen minutes they are absolutely tearing it up. The energy is just pouring off them. It's electric. It's overwhelming.

And so, for the second time in less than a year, I'm sitting less than twenty feet away from Graham Wilkinson and he is absolutely killing.

The band? They're killing, too. There's an organ (keyboards, actually--Mateo Ellis), bass (Wayne Dalchau), and drums (Patrick Herzfeld). And they're all tearing it up. Every single song. In front of what turned out to be thirty people.

These guys deserve some damned attention.

So here's where I ask for a small favor: please go listen to this band online. I know that you guys could singlehandedly, in one day, exceed the total number of plays the three songs on their Myspace music page have received up to now combined.

Oh Yeah or 1108, which are the top songs on the page, are excellent introductions.

Here's a link to their music page:
Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township.

If you like those songs and want to hear more, there's an excellent 30-minute streaming audio segment where they recently appeared on a local radio station (KUT, which is a legendary public radio station down here). Just go to this page and they're near the top of the archives.

Oh, and I bought six copies of their live CD while I was at the show. One copy's for me, but the other five are for you. Here's the contest question (and it's easily answered by going to the Myspace page I just linked to): name three of the band's musical influences.

Be one of the first five to answer correctly, and I'll send you a CD.

Site Meter