Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Waco to Austin and on to Baton Rouge.

After the Turn the Paige Benefit i returned to Austin and stayed with a friend, went to Robert Earl Keen's tour manager's birthday party. It was a star studded event and watching the birthday boy try to smash open the pinata was a darn good time. I got to see my friend Arielle Nicole play some songs and got to hear some music by Ben Danaher and Mike Kelly for the first time.
I originally planned on going down to New Braunfels for a few days and then up to Fort Worth to shoot Wade Bowen's CD/DVD release party for "Best in Texas" magazine but after having dinner with my friend Merel and his wife Sarah Pierce i had to think about taking him up on his offer to take me along to Baton Rouge for a festival he was stage managing all weekend. I did end up going to New Braunfels for a couple days where my friend Jim took me around to all the cool places i had only heard of through the music or through my favorite radio station KNBT like Riley's Tavern (mentioned in the Jason Boland & The Stragglers song Comal County Blue) which is the oldest continuously operating bar in Texas with liquor license 001. We also checked out Lonestar Music in the Gruene historic district, Dirty's Bar & Q, Whitewater Amphitheater and Cheatham Street Warehouse and more. Cheatham Street looks like an old tool shed that's about to fall apart but its a cool place, hell, George Strait got his start there!
Later that night i went to Gruene hall to look around, Tom Gillam and Lincoln Durham were playing an acoustic set upfront and i just walked around taking the history of the place all in. Its a run down place with license plates patching the holes in the floor but that's what gives it so much character. The next day i got on my mountain bike and just rode around town, you see things a little more when you slow down and i loved New Braunfels. I went to Lonestar Music again and really looked around, went to Gruene hall again in daylight, and went down to the Guadalupe river which has got to be one of the most beautiful rivers I've seen that is not in a rocky mountain state. Later that day i got in touch with Kristen Kelly of the Modern Day Drifters because she was playing a show at the beautiful Whitewater Amphitheater with The Trishas and i really wanted to shoot photos there even though they were not on the main stage it was still a great time and i loved the show. Jamie Wilson has a solo EP out right now and used to be in the band The Gougers. Savannah Welch is Kevin Welch's daughter.
Kelly Mickawee, Liz Foster and together they are The Trishas. They have been going into the studio and are working on their first album together as the Trishas

I also knew that Wade Bowen was playing a CD release party at Cheatham Street so the timing was perfect, after the Trishas i headed to San Marcos to see Wade. The place was packed and i couldn't get close until i was told to come around back and go through the side entrance which is right by the stage. Its really cool to see these bands and musicians on their home turf, its a little different than in Chicago or somewhere else.
Seems you have your fans that are a little jaded and just go for the party and then you have the diehards that are into the music and its a weird mix. In Texas, these guys are rock stars. In Chicago it seems like the majority of the people show up for the music because we don't get this music up here often enough.The next day i decided to go back to Austin to take Merel up on his offer to go to Baton Rouge.

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