Thursday, May 13, 2010

My first day in Austin and the Lonestar State Jam.

On April 22nd i woke up early and hit the road for Texas, i needed to be in Austin by noon on April 24th to shoot the Lonestar State Jam for Dave Lytle and his 415 Productions company. I made to Austin's State capitol in the afternoon on the 23rd. I drove almost the whole way straight but i finally had to get about five hours sleep somewhere in Arkansas. I didn't have any idea where i could park for a few days, didn't know what to do or where to go but then i heard that Sean McConnell was having a CD release party at Stubbs so i figured that was a good way to start. I have always heard about Stubbs and new of it through bands like Reckless Kelly who recorded a live CD there. I was waiting in line to get in when i saw my friends Loretta and Arielle (Arielle is a very good singer and songwriter and guitar player who is releasing her debut CD soon) walk up to the line and they invited me to stay with them for a few days.
I have never seen Sean with his band before, only got to catch a few acoustic songs in Steamboat so it was great to hear how powerful these songs are in a small place like Stubbs. The next day i had to be at Waterloo park around noon and i was running a little late so i grabbed all my gear out of my car and hopped on my mountain bike to get from the capitol to the park. Its a short ride but it figured it would help to ride my bike if i had to run back to the car. After getting my pass to get in i went to the stage where Kristen Kelly & The Modern Day Drifters were already playing. I started shooting some photos and then soon realized that my new iPod touch fell out of my pocket somewhere, so knowing that, i didn't get many photos of them or Micky & The Motorcars and left to retrace my steps. I walked the same steps back and forth and never found it so i went back and tried to get it off my mind. One stage's performers would be done with their set and less than five minutes later the other stage would start up so i didn't have time to think about it anymore. I heard from a bad ass T-shirt guy that the festival drew about 5500 threw the gates and by the time bands like Aaron Watson and Jack Ingram hit the stages the crowd was really going. I have only seen Aaron once so it was good to hear his style of music again and Jack is always entertaining and gives a hundred percent and he even had Mike Eli come out to sing "Barbie Doll" with him even though the rumor was Dierks Bentley was going to do it. Since having my photos used on the new Jason Boland & The Stragglers "High in the Rockies" CD.I was really looking forward to seeing them later that night. The Casey Donahew band was on next, i really haven't listened to much of their music and what i have heard i just couldn't get into but they have a lot of fans who obviously really like them. Stoney LaRue & The Arsenals were on next, i never get tired of hearing his music or seeing his live show plus he had Rodney Pyeatt filling in on guitar. This was my first time seeing Rodney play and he's one of the best having also been on the road with Cory Morrow recently. Jason Boland was up next and by then the sun was beating down on the stage and Jason looked like he was having a hard time seeing without sunglasses. I don't understand how a pedal steel guitar is played and i have wanted to ask Roger but i keep forgetting even though i have had plenty of chances. The Eli Young band was the Jam's headliner and while i have to say most of their fans seem to be teenage girls i still like the guys and their crew and its been a while since i have seen them. They have been working on a new album which i think is pretty much done and they have been touring almost everywhere over the past year. I got to talk with Mike before the show and its always good to see Phil and Chief who are two of the best guys in the business. I was hoping that Chief was able to make it to the Turn the Paige benefit in Waco the next day but i understand they have a busy schedule.
After the show i hung out a bit backstage and then made my way over to Jason Boland's bus to catch a ride up to Waco in the morning.

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