|BEST OF: Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Public Faces and Places
Staff choice: James Michael
The local folk scene’s
most inventive songwriter — a strong statement but it’s
true — is a liberated cuss who’s played the clubs
since the 1970s, sometimes solo, sometimes with Texas Water,
a trio that consists of himself, his wife, and his ex-wife
(told you he’s a free spirit). He’s a handyman
who can put up Sheetrock, yank a water heater, or frame a
window. He drives an old van to the Kerrville Folk Festival
and stays the entire three weeks, immersing himself in late-night
campfire singalongs, yet doesn’t drink, smoke, or use
drugs. As an actor, he most recently landed a bit part on
Fox’s Prison Break — but he also works behind
the scenes as a union stage rigger at places like Bass Hall.
Skills listed on his online resumé include yoyo champ, iron
sculptor, backhoe operator, and juggler. He spends hours in
his home studio writing and recording some of the most biting
but thoughtful lyrics you’ll ever hear. The Weekly stopped
by his house unannounced on a recent afternoon and the gaunt
62-year-old jack-of-all-trades answered his doorbell wearing
a robe and looking like a prison camp inmate — he had
shaved off his long silver hair for a tv audition.
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