I was able to get away for a few days and make my way to Austin last week for this year’s edition of the South by Southwest Music Conference. My camera wasnt overly cooperative with me – even if it had bee, my photography skills arent exactly Danny Clinch-like, as you’ll see – so I was only able to snap pictures of Thursday’s events. Thankfully, Thursday proved to be rather eventful. See for yourself below: 

Lilly Hiatt and her band, The Dropped Ponies, kicked things off at The Belmont for the New West party and did her papa, John Hiatt, proud as he stood near the stage and sang along approvingly with her honky tonk stylings.

A recent addition to the New West roster, southern rockers Ponderosa, added a little Allman Brothers-style scorch to an already simmering afternoon.

After learning that Kris Kristofferson would NOT be performing at the New West party, my dejection led me many blocks down 6th Street to the Red Eyed Fly. Thankfully, Denton's own Sarah Jaffe and Those Darlins from Nashville helped ease my sorrow and sent me back to The Belmont in a better mood. Thanks to Jaffe's stellar showing, I didnt even care that I missed John Hiatt's entire set, weird, right?

A bad photo of the very good Those Darlins.

Hello high-point of the afternoon, my name is Kelly, nice to meet you. Buddy Miller's blend of expert guitar slingin', soulful vocals and sincere lyrics proved to be a fitting and wholly satisfying end to the New West party.

Oh yeah, Patty Griffin joined Miller on stage for a couple of songs, including "Gasoline & Matches"...that's only insanely awesome, right?

Heading down a few blocks on 6th Street from The Belmont, I arrived at the Pigeon Publicity party at Opal Devine's, ready for some Texas-bred talent. Somebody's Darling from Dallas, was so freaking incendiary that I literally forgot to even attempt any picture snapping. Really. In the picture that I did manage to take while at Opal Devine's, the excellent John Arthur Martinez helps everyone mellow a bit with some tunes from his suberp, recently released, Purgatory Road album.

Later in the week, I’ll have more to share with all of you. I had a great time at Stubb’s, among other places to close out the evening, and I have the photos to prove it!

Kelly Dearmore is a freelance writer, mean pot of chili maker and opinionated music lover. To read more about what Kelly is listening to, visit him here on The Squawker weekly or daily on his personal music blog, The Gobblers Knob