PHOTO & INTERVIEW: USA TODAY - Songwriters talk about SXSW
3/16/2013 (updated 3/16/2013)

New West Songwriters - SXSW now and then

Thompson, who performed several songs from his recent release Electric, participated in one of the first SXSW festivals. "I was here year one or two when it was less like a zoo. I think I was an independent artist at that point, back in the eighties or 1992."

He came this year because the label asked, said Thompson in an interview on the Gibson guitars bus parked in the restaurant's parking lot. "I get reports, usually scary reports, that it is scary and you should stay out of Austin for that particular week," he said with a smirk.

For an artist such as himself, SXSW participation is not necessarily "integral," he said. "The idea was this was for unsigned bands and you strived to be seen by the right people. The industry has changed a lot."

Mike Snider, USA Today