Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Texas Part II

After the Lone Star State Jam Heather and i walked around on 6th street in downtown Austin for a while and then i went back to Merel's place and the next day i worked on the photos i took. Monday night i went out to the Flying Saucer Drought Emporium because i wanted to try 512 brewing company's Pecan Porter, very cool place with a great beer list and Monday seems to be the best night to get good specials on beer. Tuesday morning i went outside to find that my Jeep was broken into right in front of the house, they smashed the passenger side window out and must have been in a hurry because they only grabbed my GPS which was in a plain unmarked black bag that isn't made for a GPS. It was laying between the seat and console because i used it to find the Flying Saucer and they left the cord and mount but later i found out they stole my travel humidor i was storing some pretty good cigars in too. I was just glad that my camera gear and my new laptop were still in the house from the night before and that they didn't take anything else i had in there like my camping gear or my mountain bike.
I filed a police report, had the window replaced and drove to all the pawn shops in the area, mostly to find another GPS but also to see if anyone tried to sell mine, bought some beer and wen't back to Merel's. Wednesday i went out toward Dripping Springs because i wanted to see Hamilton Pool which was an amazing place.
It was late in the day and there weren't many people there and the water was pretty warm but i'm used to the cold of Lake Michigan so most water is warm to me. Perch nibble at your feet and the water is clear enough to see them, you can swim across and under the waterfalls and explore the trails that lead to the Pedernales river. Only 75 vehicles are allowed in per day until 5:30 pm, check the website for more info and call ahead to make sure you are not number 76. Later that night i went down the street and checked out a little honky tonk called Ginny's Little Longhorn (website seems to be down so here is a Google search that came up) which is a mom & pop beer stop that hosts a lot of great local honky tonk bands, Robert Banta was there and i talked to his bass player Josh outside during a set break. A few weeks later i ran into him in east Texas and found out that he is also Brandon Rhyder's Merchandise manager and plays bass for a few other musicians as well.
Thursday i packed up and left Merel's place for New Braunfels to spend the weekend on the Guadalupe river and do some camping. I stayed at Mountain Breeze campground where every campground seems to be, on River Road. After picking out a spot that wasn't reserved i set up camp and jumped in the river and waded in with my camera to shoot some sunset photos. New Braunfels Texas is one of my favorite beautiful places in the state with its high rock cliffs on the river banks, clean flowing water, tubing, friends and great music venue's like the world famous Gruene Hall in the Gruene historic district. Friday night i could either go see Micky & the Motorcars at Gruene Hall or skip the big crowd and go down the street to Tavern on the Gruene where Stoney LaRue's brother Bo Phillips was playing and that turned out to be a pretty good time, Bo is a very funny guy with some good tunes and he even did a few of his brothers songs and i think he does a better Willie Nelson impersonation. I made the long winding five mile long 20mph drive back down River Road in the dark and the camp ground was pretty quiet and dark so i had a few more beers and called it a night.
Saturday i woke up sometime and made some French Press coffee with organic beans from some rain forest somewhere roasted by some place in Norfolk Virginia i bought before the trip and went swimming again. Heather drove from San
Antonio again to meet me and we had a few beers before going back to Gruene and Gruene Hall to see
Cody Canada & The Departed. I left the camera at the campsite because i wanted to pay attention to the Departed since it was my first time seeing them and because taking a professional camera into Gruene Hall sometimes isn't welcome and i didn't want to take the chance. It was a sold out show and after the opening band, the Statesboro Review ended their set Cody Canada & the Departed took the stage. The Departed in case you have been living off the grid is Cody Canada, former lead guitarist and vocalist of Cross Canadian Ragweed, bass player and former Ragweed member Jeremy Plato with longtime friend Seth James also sharing duties on guitar and vocals with Cody and Jeremy and Steve Littleton formerly of Stoney LaRue's band playing keyboards with David Bowen on drums. David is an amazing drummer who has played with Bleu Edmondson and even Wynton Marsalis, he is a true artist on the drums and all together the Departed is a super group of a band that is getting tighter every show. The Departed have their debut album coming out soon and are taking pre orders now on Lone Star Music, get your autographed copy now. The album consists of songs from Oklahoma singers and songwriters they were influenced by like Tom Skinner, Bob Childers and Jimmy LaFave and iTunes will have an exclusive track called "Stand Up" which is originally a song by the late fellow Okie Mel McDaniels up soon that they rocked up and made their own. I ended up camping one more night before heading up to Stephenville to meet up with my friend Jeff Mack to work the Larry Joe Taylor festival for the first time.

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