Minneapolis' Music Business Alive in Austin

SXSW is all about the music business, and so is IPR’s Woody Stulberg. In his own words, here’s Woody’s second SXSW update. Click here to read Woody’s first installment.

By Woody Stulberg, IPR Admissions

I spent yesterday bumming around Austin in the early afternoon, grabbing wrist-wraps and badges to specific parties (that have free booze and food) so naturally the lines were quite the wait.  Like I said in my last update, I wanted to venture out a bit music-wise, so I met up with a friend of mine that I know who is living and going to school here in Austin for his Doctorate in music composition and we hit the town.  I couldn’t tell you the names of half the groups that I saw, but I can tell you that Austin is an incredible city for music, especially during this shin-dig. I saw everything from psychedelic blues to a guitarist from Holland in a bar that couldn’t have held more than 20 people in it.

On to today – I ventured with a few folks to the Austin City Limits headquarters for a Bloody Mary Brunch party they were having. I was excited because on the bill were Duluth, MN natives Trampled by Turtles and following them, Ben Kweller, who is a personal favorite of mine.  Two songs into Trampled by Turtles set a transformer blew and none of the PA, amps or anything on stage requiring electricity were working.  Everyone was pretty upset that that show wouldn’t go on, but If you don’t know Trampled by Turtles, after that incident they found themselves more in their environment.  They proceeded to finish their set acoustically with wailing harmonies and flyin’ fiddles, it was great.  Next up, Ben Kweller, but again, no power on stage.  So he proceeded to bring up Trampled by Turtles and their acoustic instruments and perform his entire set with them as their backing band.  Definitely one of those “once in a lifetime” kind of moments.  I remember seeing Trampled by Turtles almost 8 years ago playing a small venue in Duluth.  Very cool to see them in Austin, TX performing with someone like Ben Kweller.


Lft to Rt: Arlo Guthrie, with IPR's Woody Stulberg

After brunch I headed to the Convention Center to catch some panels that I had on my list of things to see.  #1 on my list was “Woody Guthrie at 100”.  Woody Guthrie is my namesake and also a legend in American folk music and this year would mark his 100th birthday.  Included on the panel were journalists and writers who have delved into Woody’s life and also two of his children, Arlo Guthrie and Nora Guthrie.  I have seen Arlo perform four times in my life so far, so it was awesome to hear him talk directly about his Father.  Also Nora Guthrie is charge of the Woody Guthrie archives to keep track of his endless songs, drawings, poems, novels, letters, scripts and more.  I had the honor of speaking briefly with Nora and Arlo after the conference and that was definitely one of the most surreal moments I’ve ever had.  Attached is a picture I got with Arlo.

So now I’m chilling and recharging in the convention center waiting for my next panel discussion, “The Evolution of Music Discovery in the Cloud”.  Later tonight I’ll be headed to a venue called Lambert’s for “Rock the Cause-MN remembers Vic Chestnut” which is a showcase of MN groups including The Honeydogs, The Melismatics, Tommy Stinson and more.

Sending my love to IPR and I will see you soon!


Are you also at SXSW? What else is going on? Are you there with IPR? Please email me pictures and updates: cgroves@ipr.edu .

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