Decades ago, I was dragged to a concert in Austin for a funky roots outfit called Stick People. For the most part, it was a mess, but despite a claustrophobic hole-in-the-wall as the setting and even with pedestrian backing, lead singer Malford Milligan was a revelation, a lanky Prince-like figure with a religious intensity and taut physicality that was light years beyond the region's standard college town fare. Milligan was quickly co-opted by better-knowns (Double Trouble and David Grissom) when he fronted Storyville, an award-winning blues-rock hybrid that produced a couple of solid efforts which sold next to nothing outside the Hill Country. With a sparse but effecting 2004 solo release under his belt, Milligan still has the flair and passion to enthrall those hungry for an unpretentious, soul-filled musical stew.
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