Southpaw Jones
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Southpaw Jones

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2000 | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2000
Solo Folk Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Susan Werner"

The future of folk music is in good hands. - performing songwriter

"Susan Gibson"

Southpaw Jones' songs are statements, short stories inside jokes with poignant punchlines that appeal to your sense of humanity. - performing songwriter

"Spike Gillespie"

I first saw Southpaw Jones back in ’04 when he was playing in the tin roofed barn behind the original Moxie and the Compound. The very first song I ever heard him sing was The Cruelty of Teenage Girls, and in that moment my life radically and permanently changed for the much, much better. And I’m not even saying that because I read a recent article in Wired telling me that hyperbole is the path to more page views. I’m saying it because, thanks to Southpaw Jones, I got my picture in the New York Times, I was afforded the privilege of home ownership, I collect royalty checks for decent sums of money, and—I am not shitting you—I regained the ability to walk again.

All that and I haven’t even told you about Paw’s astounding singing gift, his thirteen octave range, and how he can weave an utterly compelling (and often delightfully twisted) narrative into a deceivingly small number of words per song. As a testament to his dedication as both a friend and performer, let me say he played at my second wedding and has promised to play at my third. And how many other songwriters do you know who have a repertoire that includes tunes that answer the following questions:

1) How does the Man in the Moon get laid? (Answer: Moon Whore)
2) Is it possible to seamlessly work references to a vibrator, Mexican pudding, and Dan Ackroyd into one catchy number? (Answer: Oh yes. Listen to Everyman.)
3) Can a straight man convincingly conjure getting it on with Magic Johnson and explain with clarity how he cleared the hurdle sometimes presented by man-on-man love? (Answer: Absolutely and via explaining the benefits of failing to remember fear.)

Before I go one sentence further, let me tell you that only a fool or someone who is going to be in Portland that night (that would be me) would miss SOUTHPAW JONES’s NEW CD RELEASE PARTY for the CD CRUELTY at the Cactus Café on July 29th, at 8:30. I have no idea why it’s a free show—it’s worth at least fifty bucks a head to hear the guy sing— but there you go, it’s free.

For many years, Southpaw played a weekly gig with Matt the Electrician over at Café Mudi, an event I rarely missed, their chemistry being irresistibly evocative of a folk-punk variation of those two old cranky guys up in the balcony in the Muppet Movies. Both perform astounding solo acts, but together, well that show’s a whole beast unto itself. This year, they moved the whole kit and kaboodle over to Flipnotics in the Triangle on Thursday nights from 8 p.m. til 10 p.m. and very often it’s a SRO crowd.

Last year, when I decided to put on the Dick Monologues Paw—reluctant courtesy of his schedule and not the fact that he owns the equipment in question—finally allowed me to coax him into it. As our token straight guy, he is always served up to the audience at the front end—I call him the human hit of ecstasy because he always makes the audience laugh and drool—and then as our closing dessert.

I asked Paw if I might interview for this column. Being the most selfless lefty on the planet (really the most selfless regardless of hand favored), he thought it would be nicer if he went ahead and interviewed me. And so, herewith, his questions for and my answers.

Paw: Why do you think I was so aloof when you first introduced yourself to me?

Spike: You know, I sort of hated that about you because I was so blown away by your performance and I wanted you to love me and me to love you immediately, like an episode of Barney. And, not knowing you were sort of shy, I thought you were being standoffish and that just didn’t work in the narrative I invented for our newfound, in the moment, BFF status. But maybe it helped in the long run since when I feel rejected, I take that as a challenge to make the other guy like me, so I didn’t give up, and I came and harassed you at Mundi.

Paw: Do any of the ladies or man in the Dick Monologues have a crush on me?

Spike: Please. Like you have to ask. If I told you some of the ways you’re objectified by the others…

Paw: Did anything surprise you about CRUELTY?

Spike: You know, “surprise” isn’t the right word for it. But I think it’s interesting and cool that you have such a broad mix of songs on there. I mean, some of them are pretty damn heavy and some are delightfully light (but still very clever). And then there are the other ones, too. If I were interviewing you, I might ask you about this eclectic mix choice. But I’m not interviewing you.

Paw: Why is it that you so strongly relate to my song The Cruelty of Teenage Girls?

Spike: First of all, because it’s the first song I ever heard you play. I was totally sold from the get go, and so to me, that’s this unforgettable memory of a formative moment. I also want to go all faux-new-age and say that I now see the song as a sort of Retrospective Prognostication, if I might be so oxymoronic. Because when I met you, I hadn’t yet met a particular teenage girl who would eventually drive me to such depths that I wound up a huge, medicated mess fantasizing suicide on a regular basis. And I look back at that thankfully brief period now, but it seemed interminable then. And I’m so happy now that I think—no way, could that really have happened? But it did happen. One teenage girl set out to destroy me and she came really, really close to succeeding. Teenage girls are so cruel it’s breathtaking. I remember when I was a teenage girl and Sue Fetterman pinching my arm in algebra and acting all nice to me one minute and spreading rumors about me the next. I’m going to spit in the face of my own hardcore feminism here and say that, really, I am so glad I didn’t have to raise a daughter through teenagerhood. Raising a son through those years has had enough challenges. I don’t think I could’ve survived living with a teenage girl. That said, let’s remind the readers that the song is actually REALLY FUNNY and SUPER SMART.

Paw: Would you call me a sushi-eating progressive or a Marfa-visiting hipster?

Spike: I would. Would you mind if I took (some) credit for that?

Paw: Is my new CD slightly misogynist or just heterosexually honest?

Spike: I guess some of the female characters do have their fair share of hard times, and some are based in archetypes that aren’t terribly progressive. But you? The only straight guy in the Dick Monologues? Misogynist? I don’t see/hear that. And hell, a lot of the songs could be gender switched, sung by a woman about male characters you know? It’s storytelling to me, not sexism.

Paw: Why is your son Henry a better guitarist that I'll ever be? What do you feed him?

Spike: He took up the guitar to punish me for disallowing him a sex change operation. He desperately wanted to be a teenage girl. When I said no, he said, Fucking Fine, you want me to be a boy? Watch THIS. Then he started playing Hendrix riffs around the clock. Oh, and he feeds himself—that was my goal when I was raising him: raise a man who can feed himself and wipe his own ass because there are enough in this world who can’t. (Now who sounds sexist?)

Paw: You look great. Have you lost weight?

Spike: Thanks for noticing. It was the one sort of positive thing about the abovementioned ordeal. My anxiety was so high that I stopped eating and smoked about thirty packs a day. I lost forty pounds overnight practically. Now I’m eating again, and I quit smoking, but I swim like a mofo, which is why I’m not only so popular, but astonishingly tan.

Paw: Do you still think I am a "left-handed Elvis Costello"?

Spike: You’ve made me forget about EC entirely.

Paw: What kinds of people will enjoy CRUELTY the most?

Spike: Any people who have ears and hearts will most enjoy CRUELTY.

Paw: How's your foot?

Spike: Spectacular. Thanks for that. Are you ready to play a benefit to pay for me to get my womb wemoved?

Paw: Do you have any good song title suggestions for me? I'm always looking.

Spike: How about a special song for my third wedding? Something with a little Hebrew in it maybe? No rush, though. Really. NO RUSH.

Paw: How can I be more like The Boss?

Spike: I think he needs to ask himself how he can be more like you, you know? That guy, I love him, but enough with the preaching already. Let’s get down to the music, you know, like Paw. - author/provocatuer

"The Nashville Scene"

...a busker's ragged spirit and an upstart wit that at best evokes Todd Snider or Loudon Wainwright'll likely laugh out loud. - Jim Ridley

"The Austin Chronicle"

...if you hear his songs and don’t immediately declare him a genius or at least a songwriting savant, cut your heart out and feed it to a stray dog. It wasn’t working anyway. - Dan Hardick

"Tony Arata"

He's original...Southpaw Jones sings Southpaw Jones songs and does them with heart and humor. - performing songwriter

"The Nashville Scene"

In the grand tradition of Jonathan Richman and They Might Be Giants...he has that most amazing ability to be hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time...soon-to-be legend... - William Tyler

"Bluebird Cafe"

Southpaw Jones really stood out in a crowd of one hundred songwriters at the Bluebird auditions. His song was the only one that I wanted to hear all of. He's young, he's funny, he's very original. - Amy Kurland

"Performing Songwriter Magazine"

Southpaw Jones' songs are at once political, personal, serious, hilarious, lucid, and muddled...goes straight for the story, for the message, for the emotion. - Clay Steakley

"Los Angeles Times"

Jones' songs are told from an often funny but no less insightful perspective...his songs are filled with the wisdom and biting humor of a man years older. - Katherine Tolford


Still working on that hot first release.



Southpaw Jones treads lightly on the thin ice of irreverent honesty. Being left-handed, he naturally turns his guitar upside-down to make playing more comfortable. Being a creative little brother, he naturally turns the world upside-down to make his audience squirm with delight. Southpaw has plied his trade in Houston, Nashville, and Los Angeles, but he now calls Austin home. He performs solo or with Matt the Electrician, working tirelessly to reach those open-minded folks who thirst for singable melodies with one-of-a-kind lyrics.

Southpaw has had the honor of opening shows for Eliza Gilkyson, Dan Bern, Slaid Cleaves, James McMurtry, Terri Hendrix, and Lisa Loeb, performing in legendary listening rooms from coast to coast. He has performed with 5 instruments in 17 states during the past 10 years, but who's counting? While most comfortable in front of an intimate crowd of committed listeners, Southpaw is at home on stages big and small. In a world of men with guitars he stands out as an artist with a truly unique perspective. He makes listeners laugh, cry, and think, often within a single song.

Band Members