Carrie Rodriguez & Erin McKeown – Cactus Cafe, TX

Wrapping up their “Acoustic Cafe” tour, Austinite Carrie Rodriguez and Erin McKeown along with special guest, Phoebe Hunt (formerly of The Belleville Outfit) shared a “gumbo” of musical styles and diverse songwriting Tuesday night at the Cactus Cafe. “New things happen every night,” Carrie explained. “Sometimes things we’re not ready for, but they’re all good.”

Splitting the show into three parts – two solo sets in the first half and a longer collaborative set the second half – the audience was treated to a taste of both artists before the hootenanny began. (“That’s a hootenanny,” Carrie said in a heavy drawl, translating Erin’s speech into “Texan.”)

Carrie’s country-tinged selections (including the dual fiddles with Phoebe) contained both a new song, (“I’ve spend a lot of time in Austin recently… and I wrote this while at my mom’s house in the country.) as well as “When I Heard Gypsy Davy Sing,” a tune of her father’s from her record Love and Circumstance and “Seven Angels on a Bicycle,” dedicated to a close friend, Andy Morgan, who was killed in a bicycle accident.

Contrastingly, Erin’s style fits more in the “rock” genre and she focused largely on new tunes and music from her most recent release, Hundreds of Lions – performing the first few songs in order, “This is track one…” “This is track two…” she quipped before “To A Hammer” and “Santa Cruz” respectively.

Together, the two played their Minneapolis songs (Carrie’s about Lake Harriet, Erin’s about keeping a relationship together on the road), “Vera” about Igor Stravinsky and his mistress living in Los Angeles, and the traditional “Say Darlin’.” “I love that song, but only when it’s sung by a woman,” Carrie noted.

For their encore they did a tongue-in-cheek version of what they described as “a traditional Texas song by a famous Texas songwriter,” Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” and Carrie’s “Never Gonna Be Your Bride.” Finishing out the night, “in the spirit of collaboration” was Erin’s “We Are More,” a fitting closing note.

Set List
Carrie Rodriguez
I’ve Got Some Thinking To Do (?)
When I Heard Gypsy Davy Sing
Good Blood With You (?) (With Phoebe Hunt)
Seven Angels on A Bicycle (With Erin)

Erin McKeown
To A Hammer
Santa Cruz
Delight Me (?)
Late Night Government Policy (With Carrie)

Carrie Rodriguez and Erin McKeown
You, Sailor
Lake Harriet
Say Darlin’
Taste Of You

Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
Never Gonna Be Your Bride
El Salvador
We Are More

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Photos by Nichole Wagner

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