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Mild in the streets 

A very brief, addled report on SXSW 2007

Page 3 of 3

After Earl Greyhound, my personal festival highlights were the revelations of those cherished Austin icons Charlie Sexton and Davíd Garza. Lacking downtime in the city, I'd only heard of Garza's greatness and managed to see Sexton play behind Dylan once in N.J. So, in spite of massive technical issues, Sexton's late Saturday set at Antone's contained much beauty, centered on songs from the fine Cruel and Gentle Things. Hearing Sexton fluidly switch between piano and guitar on aching closer "Just Like Love" made enduring Kenny Wayne Shepherd's prior interminable performance worthwhile (as well as Shepherd's guests Hubert Sumlin and Pinetop Perkins).

Then I raced all the way back to Red River on begging feet to see the end of the Spiro's "Homegrown Latino" showcase, where Garza was holding court. Even with the competition of such as The Stooges, Antibalas' Mesmer horns a half-block away and the Screw Shop's 10th anniversary -- plus hordes of local St. Patrick's Day partiers queued up for the venue's other spaces -- folk kept streaming in to join the young Latino fans shaking their asses. It was so hot, one had to strip down (within legalities) and sublimate pain into the grooves for Garza never once faked the funk. Wild style, indeed.

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