Written by Eddie Ferranti
Rose and I had a mixture of new and old when we recently stopped in at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck. The new came in the form of Amy Lavere, a Memphis based singer songwriter for the last 15 years, and the old (as in buddy) was Austinite Will Sexton. Lavere’s sound has been described as all over the board including rockabilly, alt-country, gypsy, jazz, and folk-rock.
These two recently married lovebirds put on a nice show of love songs. Some serious, some light hearted and funny. Amy is touring on the heels of her recent release, “Runaway’s Diary”, which in her words is an all-encompassing escape for the listener; a chance to runaway for 45 minutes and get lost in a good story. She had the most to say this night, especially once the beer and wine kicked in, chattering cutely on about their travels and funny anecdotes on her life. You had to be there to appreciate the one about doing acid!
Will was looking sharp decked out in a gray pinstriped coat and vest with psychedelic orange trousers. Amy had a tight body conforming outfit complimented with a cool hat and stout high heels which added inches to her demure stature. Will being large, tall and broad shouldered contrasted with Amy’s petite form while being almost swallowed up by the humongous string bass that she so deftly plucks giving the gig it’s solid underpinnings.
Coupled with the spot on acoustic – and especially electric- elongated jamming of Sexton brought about a very cool hippy and spooky Americana vibe to the joint. New one , “Last Rock N Roll Boy to Dance”, came across as a Spanish type serenade with WS drifting away with his killer “bottom finger twiddle” style that he does so well on guitar. Lavere’s bluesey “coo” and “rat a tat tat” bass thumping really meshed well with veteran Sexton’s lean back and let it rip axe playing showing that this duo has a definite connection going on.
Sexton seemed more energized and together than we’ve seen in awhile and I’m guessing being in love has something to do with that. Highlight numbers included “At Night I Can Fly” inspired by watching a cricket fly, “I’m a Dreamer”, Will steppin’ out on two numbers “Let This Heartbreak Begin”, “Learned His Lesson This Time”, electric stunner on “Killing Him Didn’t Make the Love Go Away” and smokin’ cover of Tom Waits’ “Take ‘Em or Leave ‘Em” !
The chemistry grew as this performance moved along and ending of “Big Sister” and the sultry and sexy Blondie-like rappin’ psychedelic style by Amy on “Pointless Drinking” blew the crowd away at the finish. This talented woman played a bit part in the movie “Walk the Line” as Wanda Jackson and has six albums to her credit. One can only imagine how bad ass they would be with a full band in tow. Definitely thee addition of Wilbur can only make her future brighter in this reviewer’s eyes…Go catch a gig will ya please?!