If you want to keep your feet in a blues circuit as crowded as Houston's -- especially if you're a 25-year-old white guy from Austin -- you can't afford to skimp. You need a bad-ass guitarist, a harp player with gale-force lungs, a rhythm section built like a nuclear bunker and a vocalist with enough soul to shake the starch out of a roomful of suits. If you want to keep your white-boy feet in a blues circuit as crowded as Houston's, you'd probably better be playing in the Guy Forsyth Band.
Forsyth and band haven't been idle since last I raved over their show at the now-defunct Velvet Elvis. The quartet spent the end of May and all of June playing a series of gigs in Germany, Holland and Belgium, including an appearance at the Bremenale Festival in Bremen, Germany, where Forsyth appeared alongside blues notables like Lowell Fulson and Eddie Clearwater. Some of those European shows were recorded, and the results are due for European release on Germany's Crosscut Records, with distribution by the prestigious Munich label. Another live project is in the works from a Dutch label.
Four months ago Forsyth brought on board new bassist Gil T, a veteran of Dave Alvin's recording and touring bands and of Los Angeles wonderband Top Jimmy. The outfit, including drummer Rich Chilleri, guitarist Keith Bradley and frontman Forsyth, continued touring major Texas cities and holding down the Austin fort with a regular Sunday-night showcase at Antone's.
And just recently, Forsyth managed to impress my unimpressible mother at a Billy Blues date. The band's been busy.
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With South by Southwest quickly approaching and more than a few blues-based labels already sniffing, Forsyth's got a new tape ready for shopping. It's called Roses from the Graveyard -- ten songs recorded more or less live in the studio and engineered by Stuart Sullivan, the man responsible for twirling the knobs on Bonnie Raitt's multi-Grammy-winning Nick of Time. The Satellite show Saturday night serves as the Houston release party for Roses.
I haven't had a chance to hear the tape yet, but I'll vouch for the live show. Forsyth's got a stage presence that just won't quit (down, Mom...) and a three-headed monster of a band. And while they're busy keeping their feet in Houston's blues circuit, you can do anything you want with yours.
Where: The Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington, 869-2665.
When: Saturday, January 15.
How Much: $6.