Written by Jim Bille
Jul 13, 2007 at 08:00 PM
ImageMato Nanji and Indigenous paid a visit to the Studio at Warehouse Live and blew the doors down with some really powerful and fresh sounding blues edged tunes.

Originally, Indigenous was a family act consisting of Nanji accompanied by his cousin, brother and a sister. That line up was in place for a number of years but Friday night’s ensemble had a totally new face. After the original band decided to call it a day last year, Nanji regrouped and came back with an A+ troupe of musicians that include Aaron Wright on bass, John Fairchild on drums, Jeremiah Wier on keyboards and Kris Lager on guitar.

The new line-up didn’t miss a step as they covered material from all of the band’s releases. Nanji’s strong vocals and piercing guitarmanship was showcased throughout the set as he punished his Stratocaster with sharp precision. Kris Lager’s guitar work and vocals on the song ‘Forty-four’, were especially note worthy. Songs included ‘Things We Do’, from the album of the same name, ‘Fool Me Again’, ‘Leaving’ and ‘I‘ll Be Waiting’, from the latest release ‘Chasing the Sun’ and ‘Come on Suzie’ from the self titled CD, Indigenous.

With the show that Indigenous was cranking out Friday it’s hard to believe that the crowd’s energy level could intensify but it actually rose to a higher plain when Nanji introduced Doyle Bramhall to the stage. Bramhall, who can be considered a Texas music legend by now, took over the drums and proceeded to thrill the crowd with his too cool brand of Texas soul singing and dominating drum back-beat. The Houston show was the first of three he’s to play with Indigenous in Texas that will include Dallas and Austin dates as well.

A few of Bramhall’s musical gifts Friday night included ‘Early One Mornin’, ‘Bad Boy’ and ‘Shape I’m In’.

The crowd would have no part of Doyle’s leaving the stage when his set was supposed to be over. The encore crazy audience coaxed Bramhall back on to accompany the band on a white hot version of the Jimi Hendrix classic ‘Red House’ featuring Mato Nanji on unworldly lead guitar and vocals.

Bramhall’s resume reads like a recent history book of Texas blues music. During his thirty plus year career he’s played with The Chessmen and Storm along with Jimmie Vaughan, Mark Benno and the Nightcrawlers featuring Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Anson Funderburgh, Rocky Hill and The Juke Jumpers. He even played a stint with one of my favorite Houston based blues gang The Coldcuts as well as fronting his own band. He wrote or co-wrote many of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s best music.

Doyle Bramhall has a new CD due out this fall following up on his first two solo album releases, Birds Nest on the Ground and Fitchburg Street. More great music on it’s way from a true Texas musical son.

After seeing this show I would recommend seeing three bands. First, ‘Indigenous’, second Doyle Bramhall and third Indigenous featuring Doyle Bramhall, and not necessarily in that order.