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Jerry Jeff Walker

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Jerry Jeff Walker wandered into Ann Arbor Sunday night, Feb. 3, for a two show appearance at King Pleasure. I expec ted a quiet night of acoustic guitar and good singing, but what I got instead was a night of "Texas rock and roll", because Jerry fooled everyone and brought along a nine-piece band, including a three-man brass section. Jerry Jeff is only one of many famous (infamous) Texan musicians including Doug Sahm and Townes van Zandt (both of whose songs he playedj who make the rounds today, bringing the distinctive Texas sound to the rest of the world. Jerry Jeff is more well-known than the others because he wrote the oft-recorded "Mr. Bojangles", but when he sang it Sunday it was "Texas as can be." Texas rock and roll can't really be compared to Michigan's variety, except to say that both use electric instruments, both are good and loud, and both are proud of their origins. Texas rock and roll has a lot of country in it, a little swing, and a lot of good singing. Jerry's band ("just a bunch of my friends") was a good Texas bandeven when they did a few of their own numbers-and with Jerry they spent the night extolling the virtues of all things Texan, whether women, wine, or weather. Unfortunately, Jerry chose to sing all of his more famous songs (the ones from his MCA album, L.A. Freeway) in his first set, while relying on lesser-known, or other people's songs during the second. It was not a very good balance. But Jerry is spontaneous and does the first tune that comes to mind, and once he got started on the hits the first set there was just no stopping. Nonetheless, it was a good night of music. Jerry is quite a personable fellow, almost as famous for his life off -stage as for his on-stage performances. In the middle of the second set Sunday, after a Willis Alan Ramsey song about Texas women being Texas gold, Jerry Jeff asked for a Bud. Somebody offered him a Heineken. Needless to say, Texan Jerry Jeff Walker turned it down and waited for the Bud.