the Buzz for August 7th, 2008


For a minute there, didn’t it feel like Austin was gonna become the next Seattle?

In much the same way that Seattle gave birth to the grunge scene in the early ’90s, with homegrown bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam leading the zeitgeist-capturing charge, a new singer-songwriter boom — one, no doubt, which got kicked off by Jagged Little Pill, got stoked by the staggering success of Jewel’s debut and Sheryl Crow’s sophomore efforts, and got sent into orbit by the phenomenal, out-of-the-box success of Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair — exploded across the landscape in the latter part of the decade, and, thanks to the emergence on the national stage of supremely gifted local talents like Patty Griffin, Kelly Willis, Shawn Colvin, Sister 7, Fastball, and the peerless Abra Moore, its epicenter was Austin. Having long labeled itself the “live music capital of the world,” the city had all of a sudden become ground zero in the most significant cultivation of introspective music since the early days of Dylan, Mitchell, Collins, and Taylor. (Clive Davis was so certain it was gonna stick that he launched the Arista/Austin imprint to discover and develop new artists.)