One of the completely unexpected highlights of this year’s South By Southwest conference was the appearance of legendary power-pop pioneers Shoes—the much-respected combo from Zion, Illinois who since the late ‘70s have blazed the trail with a non-stop series of divinely inspired rock and roll albums largely regarded as classics.
Celebrating the release of Ignition—their first new album in 18 years—the band drew curious crowds who came to witness gems from the band’s impressive catalog performed live for perhaps the very first time: Live Shoes performances, by this very studio-friendly band, are comparatively rare events. That same catalog, incidentally, was recently tastefully sampled via the recent Shoes compilation 35 Years - The Definitive Shoes Collection 1977 – 2012.
We at Y! Music were delighted to welcome Shoes to our Austin Headquarters this year, and very curious to see how the live quartet—band founders Gary Klebe, Jeff Murphy and John Murphy and drummer John Richardson—would recreate their dynamic, artfully multi-tracked recorded sound into our admittedly stripped-down setting. In a word: fabulous. Between their live performances and their candid interview, Shoes were absolutely one of this year’s SXSW highlights—and we think you’ll agree.