Songs for Tsunami Relief: Austin to South Asia
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Just fourteen days after the December 26 tsunami struck South Asia, a gargantuan benefit concert was staged in Austin. Its headliner, Willie Nelson, was among those instrumental in pulling the event together so quickly, so it’s no surprise that Willie’s label has also moved at light speed to release a live benefit CD. Songs for Tsunami Relief: Austin to South Asia (Lost Highway), whose liner notes were written by TEXAS MONTHLY senior editor Michael Hall, thrives on the nervous adrenaline of a rushed-to-the-stage event. Alejandro Escovedo leads a blistering set, and Joe Ely, joined by his reunited eighties band, rocks harder than he has in years. Natalie Maines turns up twice, with Patty Griffin and again with Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis. And though Willie’s set list could be carbon-dated, even he pulls off surprises, including a sublime duet with Griffin.