The Soapbox Spellbinders Live at The Wittbloom Apartment

26 Oct

The Soapbox Spellbinders are the best kept secret in Austin. Caitlin and I first heard them back in May when we went over to Monte’s apartment to watch a Bulls playoff game. His roommate, Tristan, “The best guitar player in Texas,” had his band over for their very first audition. We were watching Carlos Boozer struggle and D. Rose put the team on his back, but we kept getting distracted from the game, looking at each other like … these guys are really something, huh? Half a dozen performances later, we’re completely spellbound*.

*Not to mention, the guys played my inaugural Austin Writes Music showcase at Frank, and pulled in the most love of the night.

We were lucky enough to have The Soapbox Spellbinders serenade us with an acoustic show at our housewarming a couple weeks ago, their first ever acoustic show. They’re usually a three-piece scorching electric band, but they were just as impressive as a two-piece acoustic duo. Like many blues greats in their early days, all footage was feared lost in the great iOS5 update of recent weeks, (just like all the old blues great, right?) but it has been restored and uploaded to YouTube for your viewing pleasure by the good Doctor Collins.

This song is called “Bellhop” and it’s a truly spellbinding performance of it. With Mark crooning early on, the crowd shouts out “Tell ’em!” and boy do they. Tristan strums along confidently, laughing as Mark stumbles over a line at 1:22. He knows his time to shine is coming. His fingers fly up and down the neck at 1:47-2:11 and then, possessed, he looks up to say “keep going” so he can blast through a solo to 2:38 as the crowd erupts and grunts. Mark throws the one-handed point “sprinkler” up at him and then comes in, roaring with the lyrics, as he rocks back and forth on his heels.

If that sample whet your appetite, expect a cover of anything from “I Put a Spell on You,” a staple of theirs, mixed in with a possible Hendrix, Pink Floyd or even Paul Simon cover, along with scorching hot originals like “Bell Hop.”

Tonight (10/26/11) Skinny’s Ballroom at 8 pm. Be there. Event page

Check out their Bandcamp and buy the EP while you’re at it. 

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One Response to “The Soapbox Spellbinders Live at The Wittbloom Apartment”

  1. @markswords October 27, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    apologies for the index finger creeping in on camera left. amateur hour, sheesh.

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