Written by Eddie Ferranti
Nov 12, 2010 at 08:00 PM
Anderson Fair Retail Restaurant in Houston, Texas has been hosting live intimate singer/songwriter type music since the 1960’s.  Recently a film was made,”For the Sake of the Song: The Story of Anderson Fair”, honoring this under the radar venue. It has a niche type following and really does little in the way of advertising compared to many other venues showcasing live music these days. The “hippy” joint known as “AFair” to the regulars has an intimate setting with a not too high type stage for the performers to hone their skills before a church like crowd.

This night showcased the talents of  Rochester, New York native Jess Klein and John Fullbright out of Okemah, Oklahoma.  It turned out to be an odd, but appealing song swap with JK being a strong balladeer type contrasting with Fullbright’s dry Hayes Carll type sense of humor quirky presentation.

Klein has been at it since 2000 and calls her home Austin, Texas these days.  She has hooked up with “Scrappy” Jud Newcomb, a bad ass A-Town vet, and definitely seems headed in the right direction. Tunes like “Travelin'” and “Soda Water” were mainstays that stuck with me long after the gig was over. She has the perky, sexy look thing going that works in her favor for sure and a great stage presence, too.

As far as JF, he’s a one man band if you will. Dude plays a mean piano, plus guitar and harmonica quite well.  He looks like he is 12 years old, but plays like a seasoned musican for sure. He hails from the same hometown as Woody Guthrie and maybe thats why he’s sort of a ball buster on stage. He’s only four years removed from graduating high school and already making major waves as one of thee up and coming singer/songwriters in thee Americana music front.

The twosome played together well and played long into the night.  Got in my truck and it was 12:26 am after a 9:30ish start which included a break of 30 minutes or so.  Not bad at all.

HMR has not done much with Anderson Fair and we will continue to cast an eye their way, but this reviewer has a bit of a problem with said “church-like” setting of the venue itself.  Being “scolded” by a fellow patron inbetween songs while the band was TUNING up was disturbing to say the least.  I’ve been covering shows for over a decade now and pride myself with giving utmost respect to the performers. Discussing reviewer notes-to promote the said musicians-with my partner Rose was not out of bounds at all.  The location and set up of the place has always come across a bit eerie to me like you are in the catacombs or something, too.  I know a lot of devoted music lovers donate their time to make this joint happen, but HMR is doing the same thing folks.

Why don’t you give it a try sometime and see what you think?!   That’s what we do and I’ll see ya around…………..God Bless Anderson Fair and all music lovers out there.