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Metal vetertan Duane Warr tours for first time

Submitted by Jeck on May 14, 2012 – 11:18 amNo Comment
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By Jack Daniel Betz

Black Bananas were outrageous, Magic Markers noisy and brash, but the whole of last night I was anticipating the arrival of the very last act, the elusive Duane Warr. Writing under the name Dwarr, Duane has played solo since the 80s but never toured until his first gig in Austin, Saturday night. After Bananas finished, Duane could be seen pacing around, sporting a big smile, clad in a pair of intensely elevated black leather boots. He had no roadies to help him so I assisted him in hoisting his giant Marshall cab onto the Walter’s stage.

Duane’s vocals borrowed from bluesy the baritone of Ozzy Osbourne but left out the shrill highs. His voice never cracked once which is pretty remarkable given the intense concentration he also paid to his white hot lead guitar playing while singing. He melted every face in the room with energy to spare.

Although this is a solo project and most of the songs were written on a four track with nothing more than a session drummer, Duane did have help from two other younger musicians. Between each song, the muscular metal-head revealed himself to be a warm, avuncular, Southern gentleman, never missing an opportunity to tell us all background on a song’s history or a personal story. I’ve read certain critics referring to Duane’s style and content as antisocial but nothing could be further from the truth. He is probably one of the nicest performers I’ve ever had the pleasure to observe.

At this point, Dwarr’s set list consists mostly of older material Duane wrote in the 80s and some stuff a little more recently but this tour isn’t to promote anything brand new. Drag City did however, recently re-release his dramatic debut “Starting Over”. The show’s highlight was clearly a soulful and foreboding rendition of fan favorite “Gates of Hell” in which Warr reminds us all to keep on the straight and narrow. Who knows when or if he will tour again, given his history. I don’t see why he wouldn’t though, he’s in better shape than I ever will be and has the pipes of someone half his age.

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