Shelley King – Saxon Pub, TX

When it comes to Texas music, Shelley King is something of an authority. In fact, she was named the Official Texas State Musician 2008, a title she passed to Willie Nelson. And her live show is a testament to the powerful combination of country, swing, gospel and a certain brand of Southern sass.

The Saxon Pub was packed for a Saturday night show with her band (the first band show she’s played since returning from a tour of Japan with Carolyn Wonderland in January).

Taking the stage she declared, “Let’s get this party started!” before launching into Soul Searchin’ and then Running of Out Blue and Texas Blue Moon from her 2002 release The Highway.

Her songwriting and soulful delivery (she has an awesome voice – think Bonnie Raitt with a history of some Sunday morning church singing and a healthy dose of whiskey) are highlighted by her band with Sarah Brown (bass), Perry Drake (drums), Marvin Dykhuis (guitar) and Chris Brown (slide guitar, dobro).

Seasoning her set with some songs from her latest record, Welcome Home, recorded with members of The Subdudes like Everything’s Alright, I Remember and Falling Fast she creates an atmosphere that’s more like a comfortable house party than a concert, casually talking to the audience between songs in a smooth drawl. Of course, this means that when she sends the audience off with the spine-tingling spiritual Welcome Home one realizes that between the foot-stomping and dancing, the show has flown by much too quickly.

Luckily, Shelley keeps a full touring schedule with dates listed at ShelleyKing.com. She’ll be in Kerrville on March 3 and streaming live from the VideoRanch3D on March 18 after which she’ll be with SisDeville (Carolyn Wonderland, Sarah Brown, Floramay Holliday and Lisa Pankratz) at the Saxon.

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Photos by Nichole Wagner

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