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For one night, it felt like San Antonio packed its collective belongings in a van and relocated about 70 miles up I-35. By any measurement, the all-San Anto SXSW showcase at Jovita’s was a rousing success. While no lineup of six bands could capture the diversity of SA music, the bands handpicked by Saustex Media’s Jeff Smith covered an admirable range.

Sexto Sol’s percussive funk benefited mightily from guest sax player Spot Barnett. The Krayolas, playing their first Austin show in 21 years, looked as giddy as they sounded. They went bilingual on Augie Meyers’ “Little Fox,” with Meyers helping out on organ, and honored new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees the Dave Clark Five with a spirited cover of “Any Way You Want It.”

Shawn Sahm and the Tex-Mex Experience dropped Freddy Fender’s “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” into a set of country and Tejano grooves pulverized by Sahm’s metallic guitar runs. Snowbyrd drummer Manny Castillo rampaged across his kit like the Chicano Keith Moon that he is, and Los #3 Dinners served up garage-rocking odes to drive-thru girls and the joys of extreme volume. Their Lenny Friedland also provided the night’s best line about aging in rock ’n’ roll: “We used to take acid. Now we take antacid.”

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November 18, 2020

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