Coinciding with SXSW is the annual Couch By Couchwest Festival. What’s not to like about a festival with the tagline “where the beer is cheaper and the only hipster is you.”? (Far be it for me to quible, but some of the beer at SXSW is free. Just sayin’.)
Here’s how it works. Artists — any artist — can submit a performance video to the online-only festival. Hundreds rose to the challenge, performing songs on their couches, doorsteps and countless other locations.
We’ve culled through the entire 2015 collection and compiled a short list of favorites. We highly recommend, however, that you check them all out! You’ll undoubtedly find a few favorites from artists that you know and those that you should get to know.
See below for our 2015 Couch By Couchwest video playlist and accompanying commentary. Check out the full 2015 Couch By Couchwest collection here.
- Glen Hansard, Gráinne Hunt, Tony Fitz & Lorcán – sitting on a couch covering a song by the late singer-songwriter Mic Christopher
- Eric Ambel — sitting on his couch playing a solo acoustic version of the Left Banke’s classic “Walk Away Renee” in tribute to Left Banke member Michael Brown, who passed away last month
- Gretchen Peters — acoustic band performance of “Blackbirds” from a balcony box of an ornate theater in the UK
- Shinyribs — captured in the shadows covering Elvis Costello’s “Indoor Fireworks”
- Matt Woods — sittin’ on some steps singin’, accompanied by some traffic driving by just out of camera range.
- Austin Lucas and Charlie Bath — The two singers harmonize beautifully on an older Lucas original
- Jay Gonzalez (of the Drive-By Truckers) — a cool song performed on a small synthesizer with a record player providing percussion
- Cale Tyson — a band performance from the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama
- Mic Harrison & the Score — sittin’ on couches (the bassist looking extremely comfortable) playing a song from Harrison’s first solo album
- Michael Rank & Ron Bartholomew — the two singers serenade a family eating dinner with a cover of the Felice Brothers “Her Eyes Dart Round”
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.