Savin’ the Soul Of Texas Rock n’ Roll:
by Aaron Barker
Saturday morning (10is a.m.) found out from a Facebook notice that ex-Golden Boys member and writer John Wesley Coleman III (JWC) was opening for Dax Riggs at the Sons of Hermann Hall. I spent the day shaking off my hang over and arrived at the Sons Of Hermann Hall with just enough time to procure a beer and get my spot at the front of the stage when JWC took the stage. Dressed in black framed eye-glasses, black jeans, a white v-neck tee with stains on the tail end, he took the stage alone and proceeded to run through a couple songs before the drummer (Charlie) from Dax Riggs’ band jumped in and provided the support JWC needed …
First, let me explain that JWC’s new album Steal My Mind is one of the most brilliant Texas albums in a long time. It’s already a classic Texas album and it’s only been out a few months. Released On Certified Pr Records as a vinyl only limited to 500 copies, Steal My Mind is a fucking Texas masterpiece. It easily compares with Lester Bangs & The Delinquents Jook Savages On The Brazos, Doug Sahm and His Band 1973 Self-titled album, Old 97’s Hitchhike to Rhome and Mayo Thompson’s Corky’s Debt To His Father. JWC does covers of Warren Zevon’s Lawyers, Guns & Money and Lester Bang’s Life Ain’t Worth Livin But Suicide Is A Waste of Time. Nobody does Lester Bangs covers. Nobody. I can’t say enough good things about this album. It’s fucking brilliant and if you weren’t smart enough to buy a copy tough shit cause it’s sold out.
I digress … I saw JWC a couple weeks ago at the City Tavern with a complete band (he killed it btw), but as I found out later, the gig at Sons was a last minute thing. JWC didn’t have time to get a backing band. So, Saturday night at the Sons, being the super-trooper that he is, he pulled it all together and showed all in attendance: That JWC had come to stoke the fiery furnace of the Texas Rock n’ Roll scene. Drinking his Schlitz & shots of whiskey he was unpretentious, funny, not afraid to whoop it up or speak little gibberish as if he was channeling the long lost native language of the spirit of Rock n’ Roll. And to not forget … he can pen a mean fucking song and punished his guitar as only a possessed Texas Troubadour can. His Elvis like gymnastics kept all eyes glued on JWC, I don’t think anyone even went to get a beer or had a bathroom break. Fucking amazingly brilliant. This guy is saving Texas from the hyped hipster bullshit that comprising of 76% of the Texas music scene. Mark my words JWC is saving the Soul of Texas Rock n’ Roll.
Then, Dax Riggs. Originally from Louisiana and now hailing from Austin, Dax, though not terribly good looking, fucking oozes sex appeal. With band in tow, he sweated, howled and crooned his way through a mind-blowing set. I had never seen his show and didn’t really know what to expect but his dirty, grungy, troubled, brand of Southern Rock was amazing. He killed his hollow body Epiphone guitar: exuding a sexually over-driven sounding rock until every fan in the room was captivated and singing along with him. His version of Heart Break Hotel was a highlight for me. He made it his own in his sexy and soulful way. And then to totally knock my socks off he did the most kick ass cover of Townes Van Zandt’s Lungs I have ever heard. His show is amazing and highly entertaining. I left with an elated feeling of awe at the marvels I had just witnessed.