akw in east bay express

east-bay

Check out East Bay Express journalist Rachel Swan's article about Freight & Salvage:

East Bay Express

A Nest Egg for Freight & Salvage The venue needs to raise $50,000 to help preserve — and expand — a long-held local tradition.

"... Singer-songwriter Austin Willacy, who was the night's headliner, would concur — he's oft described Freight & Salvage as one of the highest-caliber venues in the country. Willacy is a hippie folk singer who sounds like a soul singer, mostly because he tackles somewhat dry subject matter in a big-voiced vibrato. His opener that night was a rock ballad about consumer waste. If you read the lyrics on paper, you might have thought it was a shrill-voiced homily. But heard live, it had the cadence of a love song.

"Willacy is the exact type of performer the Freight wants to spotlight: youngish, fashionable (he sported a mohawk and tiny hoop earrings, much to the dismay of an older audience member who groused that "he's way too good-looking for that haircut"), and representative of a new folk music diaspora. His a cappella quintet, The House Jacks, has played at the Freight since 1993 and will return in early July. Willacy is a member of the Freight board and an advocate for the venue's mission. He views his role with a certain degree of self irony: 'I just wanted to warn you guys,' he admonished at the beginning of his set that night, 'if you've never heard a black person yodel, you might want to know that I will be yodeling briefly.'

"Willacy's yodel is actually more of a wail, albeit pitched in the same bobbling, high-low syllables as a traditional Alpine village holler. Yo-del-ay-eeeeee-ooooooh, he sang, stretching the vowels with a luxuriant tremolo lacking in most. If only all folk singers were that skilled with their eees and ooooos."

[ read the full article here ]