“Bob Livingston tugged his cowboy hat, stuffed his jeans into his boots,
hooked on his guitar strap and came onstage in Madras, India. “I’m here
to play country music,” he said to the audience.
What country? That’s the question.”
Mike Zwerin – International Herald Tribune
Singer-songwriter BOB LIVINGSTON is a folk-rock raconteur who doesn't mind being called an "entertainer."
"The hand of fate plays a big part in all of this," Livingston says. Through serendipity and leaping with the net appearing more often than not, Livingston landed in Austin in 1971. A folk singer with a Capitol Records deal gone south in California, Livingston came to Austin with Michael Murphey after playing bass on Murphey's Geronimo's Cadillac album. Livingston, reinvented himself as the Lost Gonzo Band bass-player/singer who toured and recorded with visionary misfits, Jerry Jeff Walker, Murphey & Ray Wylie Hubbard, among many others. "They called it the 'progressive country scare!'"
Livingston has seen a lot of the world since growing up in musically fertile West Texas. Hailing originally from San Antonio, he moved to Lubbock as a boy where his interests turned more 'Cosmic' than 'Cowboy' and prompted him to delve into the music and mysteries of many cultures. Traveling since the 80’s as a Music Ambassador for the US State Department, Livingston has taken Texas music as far afield as India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Africa, Vietnam and the Middle East demonstrating again and again the unique power that music has to build bridges between peoples of the world. As Livingston says, 'When all else fails, music prevails'. These tours earned him the honor of being appointed, “Ambassador of Goodwill,” by the State of Texas and “Austin’s International Music Ambassador,” by the City of Austin.
This world-traveled view was reflected in Livingston's 2004 release, Mahatma Gandhi & Sitting Bull (AKA Original Spirit), a romp through the music and lore of both east and west. Next up was Gypsy Alibi which was named Album of the Year by the Texas Music Awards in 2011. 2018's Up The Flatland Stairs drew a great review from COWBOYS & INDIANS MAGAZINE. "Each facet of Up the Flatland Stairs glimmers as an authentic dimension of Livingston’s singular aesthetic. He’s cerebral and a little bit feral, evoking the kind of characters you’d spot shuffling through the Louvre in snakeskin boots or reciting lines from Kafka to a redbone coonhound.”
Livingston still plays around 150 shows a year, house concerts, listening rooms and festivals. Livingston is the Artistic Director for a multi-cultural group from Texas and India called Cowboys & Indians. Cosmic Bob is also playing a lot with new rockin' Lost Austin Band and is touring non-stop in support of, Up The Flatland Stairs.
In a live performance with Bob Livingston, one finds a veteran singer-songwriter and a master raconteur who captures his audience from the first notes played and stories told. It's an irresistible invitation to travel down the cosmic musical roads where his rambles have taken him over the years. “What country? That is the question.”
Lost Gonzo Band: John Inmon, Gary P Nunn, Donny Dolan, Bob Livingston & Jerry Jeff Walker
Chandan Dutta & Bob Livingston in Pakistan!