It's Monday morning after SXSW and as the old saying goes about the 60s, if you can remember SXSW 2014, you probably weren't there. Epiphone artists were all over the place as you would expect with over 2,000 acts on hand to rock 24/7 for a week straight. The brisket and bbq trucks were out of beef by 2pm each day, beer was drunk for breakfast, plus one more for dessert. For every taco stand there was a small stage behind it and just about every era of rock and roll--past, present, and future, made an appearance. The bravest attendees stayed moving, going far and wide to see their heroes. Quite a few went downtown and didn't move for days at a time.
Cheetah Chrome--punk rocker, and now record exec, made a big splash for his label Plowboy Records and at the Lou Reed tribute which also featured Wayne Kramer of the MC5 (left), our own Rosie Flores, Garland Jeffries, the Baseball Project, and Lucinda Williams. Mike Mills of R.E.M. made use of an Ebony Jack Casady Signature Bass
during the show and Bongo frontman Richard Barone sounded killer on a Swingster. Check out Mr. B. as he hoists the signed Epiphone Casino,
Other highlights included fantastic shows by X, the Waco Brothers, Epiphone's The Hold Steady, Willie Nelson, and Soundgarden. As to who really "broke out" at this year's SXSW, it's hard to say. Commercialism was heavy. Branding was over the top. But somewhere in some dank, dreary bar, the heart of rock and roll was pumping away. Stay tuned for more updates this week as the weary and ragged return to their desks and start trolling through the 1,000s of photos and videos they didn't remember they took. Thanks to the Austin Gibson/Epiphone showroom for the great picks.
Here's Richard on his Swingster covering his old friend Lou's "I'll Be Your Mirror" under much saner conditions in concert in NYC last year.