At any town meeting, you have your concerned citizens who speak from the podium and your rowdy folk hollerin' from their seats. The same was true at Denton's "One at a Time: A Singer/Songwriter Night," considered by the latter to be an acoustic-only round-robin of local musicians. But then Cody Robinson of Medicine Window set up a PA in the foyer at Rubber Gloves, and Joshua (No-Last-Name-Please) of post-punk outfit Fra Pandolf even brought keyboards and pedals that betrayed with technical glitches, leaving him on the mike too long for such a packed bill. In the end, it took Sheriff George Neal (formerly of Little Grizzly) to lay down the law. Heads whipped back to the bar area as Neal stomped his foot, starting his set early, warning all who followed to keep their sets short. His silencing version of New Order's "Love Vigilantes" marked the beginning of the night's ascension. Audrey Atkins was disarming as the lone femme troubadour and best lyricist, drawing the hushed crowd away from the bar. Tom Waits' "Had Me a Girl" may never be honored with a more endearing rendition than the one Texas Winters hopped on a booth and delivered next.
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And who better to adjourn from atop the bar than the Baptist Generals' Chris Flemmons? He presided as mayor, christening the night's confusion as the ol' "space rock vs. roots rock" dilemma. "There's beauty in one hundred pieces," he sang with weathered fragility. 'Tis true--but in this town, raw still rules.