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Slash with Blackberry Smoke @ Hi Lo Club, 3/15

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When I die I want to go to Austin.

I had no business being at the Hi Lo Club Thursday evening when Slash walked on stage to join the southern rock Georgia quartet Blackberry Smoke, but sometimes you're precisely in the right place at the right time.

Last year I was working with Buzznet who co-sponsored a few parties with Red Bull as part of their legendary Red Bull House. This year the Red Bull House's website hadn't been updated but a friend said that it was a few blocks off the main drag. My friend Sara K. Smith works here in Austin near the Hi Lo Club so we met nearby and when she said she had no plans after work, we decided to roam around 6th Street, but before we did that we figured we'd try to see if, indeed the Red Bull House was at the Hi Lo.

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When we saw a familiar face at the door we hugged, reminisced, and I asked who was sponsoring the house this year. The young lady said Activision was promoting Guitar Hero 2. Who doesn't love Guitar Hero, I asked. And we all laughed and she said that it would be ok if I looked around the place with Sara.

After an hour of eating their food and drinking complimentary Red Bulls and vodka someone accused us of being their to see Slash. We asked, "Slash is going to be here?" And they said, "yes, in 15 minutes".

And sure enough the little tiny stage at the front of the club was set up for the Georgia rockers and their BFF, the top hatted one with the curly hair.

This is what SXSW is all about.

After a half hour the music started and it was like Lynrd Skynyrd minus the super long guitar solos, but just as soulful, just as honest, and just as rockin. Even before the former Guns guitarist joined them, Blackberry Smoke had become my new favorite band.