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SXSW '09: Rosalie Sorrels

Posted by James Reed  March 20, 2009 06:06 AM

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Yes, there were dozens of younger and hipper bands playing on 6th Street at midnight last night. But I doubt any of them could have exuded the wit and charm of Rosalie Sorrels. At 75, the singer-songwriter is a good example of how some old-timers -- Cajun master Doug Kershaw, swamp king Tony Joe White -- made quiet but poignant appearances at this year's festival.

After her show, I asked Sorrels if it was her first time at SXSW, and she it was, though she's played in Austin many times over the years. "The last time was a house party for Molly Ivins," she said. Talk about a perfect pairing.

Sorrels played to a small but attentive seated audience at the Victorian Room of the plush Driskill Hotel, closing with this reflective tune she wrote some years ago:

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Sarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.

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