Latin superstar Juanes was supposed to have a simple SXSW debut: a Q&A session with legendary music critic Dave Marsh on Friday at noon, and a show at ACL Live that same night. However, he was a last-minute addition to the Woody Guthrie tribute that took place at the Convention Center right before Bruce Springsteen gave his keynote speech.
The Colombian singer-songwriter played two of his own hits ("Fíjate Bien" and "La Camisa Negra") and then joined Austinites Jimmy LaFave and Eliza Gilkyson for a rendition of Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land." It was the first time he sang in English after recording "The Shadow of Your Smile" for 2006's Tony Bennett Duets album.
After the performance, both Nora Guthrie (Woody's daughter) and the Boss himself stopped by to say hi to Juanes.
"I had seen him live for the first time in New York a week ago, and I almost shit on my pants," Juanes told the Current in Spanish. "When he showed up in the dressing room I froze, and when his people asked me whether I wanted to take a photo with him, I almost died!" Juanes immediately posted the photo in his Twitter account.
Guthrie's daughter thanked him "for singing my dad's song," and the Boss told Juanes "I was reading about you this morning in the [SXSW] magazine [where Juanes had been featured]."
"I've been a Springsteen fan forever, and meeting him was a blessing."
Juanes first live album, MTV Unplugged (produced by merengue superstar Juan Luis Guerra), comes out May 29. "La Señal" is its first single. — Enrique Lopetegui