Written by Samuel Barker
Jul 12, 2008 at 08:00 PM
Music is one of those bittersweet passions, just like most things you enjoy about life.

How many times have you found an old CD you loved, that you played over and over in your head. It sounded perfect and huge. All other albums paled in comparison with this CD you lost when you were younger and couldn’t find. Then, one day you find it in some obscure clearance bin, you bring it home, pop it in and it is absolutely horrible. It is nothing like you remember, all the songs sound weak and disappointing.

Most times, the memories are better than the reality.

When I arrived at the Almost Austin show Eddie got me to attend, I was expecting one of these moments. I’d grown up playing in punk bands, watching punk bands and attending more house shows than you can imagine. People setting up in living rooms, garages and converted attics to blast through sets of high energy music that had the audience feeling like they’d been as much a part of the music and the band. Certainly, after all these years, you couldn’t capture that feeling again, right?

Well, I will say it, Kenny Pipes brings back all those feelings of old. This is a man who took out a bedroom, threw in a small stage, inserted a PA and started inviting people over to experience the music he loved so much in a setting where music was meant to be heard. There was no black box room with a bar and security trying to keep everything under control, no light show, no smoke, no props, no bullshit; there was just music, musicians and people who loved music.

Of course, I walked in on a special night. It was special because it was the 25th show for Pipes and he brought back his first performer, Wayne Sutton, and a former bandmate of his that some people may know, Patrice Pike.

The two were in Sister 7 together and started the follow-up band Black Box Rebellion together. Pike and Sutton have been connected musically for 15 years and it showed on this night as they seamlessly came together after not playing together for quite a while.

When Pike broke out a new song for the first time, by the end of the first verse, Sutton was improvising a lead for it. While I was totally ignorant to any of Sutton’s solo work, I must say he stole the night for me. Pike has been a mainstay of the music scene for me since college when we’d watch her tear up the stage at the Satellite Lounge, but Sutton played his acoustic like most wish they could play an electric and then without a thought would drop back into solid singer-songwriter mode on his songs.

The night was broken into two sets where they combined for over 3 hours of music. Pike and Sutton mingled with the audience, Pipes held the fort down, his family kept the order and everyone had a blast. This is how music should be, a group of people who love to listen and experience music gathering to celebrate the art-form.

For a night, I walked to my car feeling 17 again and like I’d just witnessed one of the most moving nights of music I’d ever see. It may sound hokey, but it is true. This is where music belongs and with people like Kenny Pipes out there, there will always be a home for it.