SXSW Review: Spain, March 13, Brass House

I don’t know when I started liking the band Spain, I think it was in the late 90′s when the internet started really taking off. As with the case of most obsessive music nerds, I took to the web searching for a community that shared similar tastes and interests in music, in hopes of learning about new bands and expanding my horizons. I think one of the people I was friend’s with gave me the album She Haunts My Dreams and I was immediately hooked. Something about Josh Haden’s smooth voice and the laid back middle of the night drinking cognac vibe really clicked with me.

Judging by the small crowd assembled at the Brass House on Wednesday, I guess their fan base has dwindled throughout the years (I don’t know if it was that big in the first place). Playing the graveyard shift (1:00 am) on the first night of South By, the band was able to overcome some technical difficulties/poor sound guy to deliver a set that satisfied the fans that were there.

Working as a four piece band, the group played selected tracks off their entire discography, from their most popular – Every time I Try to some of their newest – I’m Still Free. While their sound has not swayed much from their original albums, the band exhibited solid musicianship and Haden’s voice remains as strong as ever. Their jazzy-lounge type of music might not be the type of music you expect in Austin, but sometimes the best things at SXSW are the things that come unexpected.

Ricky