Cindy Lee Berryhill
The Copper Tank, Austin • March 20, 1999
Well, it was the end of a fairly lackluster South By Southwest that produced the best show of the festival in the rather small form of Cindy Lee Berryhill. In general terms, Cindy Lee is a folk singer, but throw away any ideas on insipid AAA style ballads or pessimistic tree hugging. Cindy Lee is a folkie from the land of the Beach Boys, and she doesn’t take herself half as serious as she takes her music. Cindy Lee sang a full set of new songs with themes ranging from her dead mother to UFOs. She peppers her songs and her stage banter with very funny stories and self deprecating humor that never seems forced and his quite fun and endearing. Her live show featured her rotating between electric guitar and Wurlitzer Organ while accompanied by cello, harmonica, violin, and a recording of a stuck Beach Boys record. This showcase should have been bursting at the seams, but Cindy Lee Berryhill played to a near empty house. With no crowd and being under the weather, it would have been easy to just sleepwalk through a set, but her love of her art shown brightly as she won over new fans and delighted old fans with her set.