A couple of things to report:
SUNDAY, SEPT. 23, Threadgill’s South.
I’ll be the MC for PICKIN’ FOR PETIT, a benefit for Jimmy Petit, veteran Austin bass player. More on that later. See the poster, attend, send money, beam yourself in. I will also play a couple of songs. One of my paintings (see above) will be in the silent auction, along with lots of other great stuff.
No other gigs booked right now. Been busy writing. Stay tuned, I’ll be around.
Who is Jimmy Petit?
Back in 1978, when the Skunks started rocking Raul’s Club on the Drag, you know, when the whole punk/new wave scene started, Jimmy was there, too, in a great band called The Bodysnatchers. As long as I’ve known Jimmy, he’s been in a happening band. Lately he plays with Joe Ely, Flatlanders & the Booze Weasels. See what I mean? He’s always been a stand up guy and he’s one of those solid, quiet, modest bass players who holds up the spine of the song, gives it the groove, etc., and epitomizes that whole “modest, unsung musical hero” archetype. Then there’s bass players like myself, the hams, the spotlight addicts, poets, etc.
The Skunks & Bodysnatchers used to double bill at Raul’s on cheap beer night. Dollar cover. I’ll post some of those flyers here later.
Here’s the official press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2011
“PICKIN’ FOR PETTIT”: JOE ELY BAND BASSIST JIMMY PETTIT TO BE CELEBRATED AT A SPECIAL FUNDRAISER OCT. 23 AT THREADGILL’S WORLD HEADQUARTERS; FLATLANDERS, VAN WILKS, MORE TO PERFORM
AUSTIN—Jimmy Pettit, a mainstay of what many fans argue is the greatest Joe Ely Band ever, will be honored at a show at Threadgill’s World Headquarters (301 W. Riverside Dr.,) on Sunday, Oct. 23.
The event is a fundraiser for Pettit, who has been receiving treatment for prostate cancer. The show is also an opportunity to promote awareness of the disease.
The show will be emceed by Skunks co-founder Jesse Sublett, who is also a cancer survivor.
Doors open at 3 p.m. and music commences at 4 p.m. with performances by (in order of appearance): Van Wilks, the Booze Weasels, The Flatlanders and Two Hoots & A Holler.
A silent auction is also part of the festivities, with items offered for sale including Pettit’s own rare Yamaha Motion bass guitar, which Pettit played on the Ely albums Live At Liberty Lunch and Chicago Live 1987, as well as countless other live performances worldwide.
Tickets for “Pickin’ For Pettit” are $20 in advance, available at Threadgill’s or Front Gate Tickets; Tickets will also be available at the door for $25 on the day of the show.
Ely, an accomplished artist among his other talents, will be designing a special poster for the event. Signed copies of the poster will be on sale at the show.
Ely cited Pettit’s longstanding importance to his sound onstage and on record. “The first time we rehearsed, he had that thing I was always looking for, which was the mixture of country stuff with a rock edge to it,” he said. “The things that he played were lean and tough, but melodic, too. And since it was just a four-piece band, he played an important part of defining the song.
“When we all locked together and played, there was magic that happened. And that’s still true today with my band and the Flatlanders—Jimmy still plays with both groups.”
Pettit, a Del Rio native, gigged around with several punk groups, including the Bodysnatchers and the Rockin’ Devils, in Austin before hooking up with country-rocker Joe Ely in 1986.
Ely’s fans divide their affections between the many iterations of musicians Ely has assembled over his decades-long career. But all agree that the ensemble that Ely assembled in the late-1980s that included Pettit on bass, David Grissom on guitar and Davis McLarty on drums (and, occasionally, the Rolling Stones’ Bobby Keys on saxophone) was one of the hardest-rocking groups in Texas music history. Their legacy lives on in classic Ely recordings such as Live At Liberty Lunch, Love and Danger, and Live Chicago 1987.
Pettit went on to play with the Booze Weasels (which also includes McLarty and Grissom). He is currently touring with the Flatlanders, the West Texas songwriting triumvirate of Ely, Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, as well as the current edition of the Joe Ely Band, which just released the critically-acclaimed album, Satisfied At Last.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Davis McLarty/The Davis McLarty Agency—512-444-8750,