WHAT: Amanda Jo Williams, Simon Stokes, John Carpenter, and Feeding People
WHERE: The Echo
Amanda Jo Williams' first Monday night residency show at the Echo set the bar high for this month's exploration of contemporary outlaw culture and family bands. John Carpenter started the night in true form, channeling the 70s through wailing guitar licks and enjoying the addition of a badass keyboard player on a few songs.
The second band, however, might very well have stolen the show. Simon Stokes is what would come out if Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and George Thorogood had an orgy with a she-demon. He growls! He howls! He shouts a chorus to the Grim Reaper: “Come here motherfucker/Cause I'm down for death!”
Simon Stokes' biography is quite impressive – according to his IMDB page, he was a sleepwalker as a child, signed to Elektra the same day as MC5 and later collaborated with Timothy Leary. His music could rile a vampire revolution and his performance is absolutely whistle worthy. Watch him if you can.
Of course, Stokes was at the Echo to celebrate Amanda Jo Williams' residency. She filled the stage and brought down the house in typical fashion. Like John Carpenter's band, Amanda Jo's tribe has grown to include a keyboardist – she and percussionist Feather sport short tight 'fits and joyous dance moves you just can't hate. Amanda Jo sings heart and grit while 5-track delivers an encyclopedic guitar performance. This is a family band on mushrooms served on Texas Toast. Psychedelic, nostalgic, and down to earth.
The show closed with Feeding People, hot new thangs of Burger Records who enjoyed a successful adventure to Austin for South by Southwest this year. Feeding People is fun! Apparently, next Monday's show features the “Jackson 5 of bluegrass,” four siblings aged between 12 and 17 who call themselves the Wimberley Bluegrass Band. Looks like Amanda Jo is revvin' up for a month of sweet freaky music and magical combinations like bikers and children.