Three Chords and the Truth By Ronnie Narmour firstname.lastname@example.org
Road trip to Austin… On Friday, I got a wild hair and decided to blow this pop stand for the weekend and struck out for Austin. I hadn’t seen my family in a while and was more than ready to hear some fresh music. To be honest, Island Fever had claimed me. I feel like I’ve been chasing my tail lately. My first stop was to head out to Volente on Lake Travis and see my old pal, Preacher Keen. Preacher, a fine blues musician in his own right, has been a close bud for many years. He admitted that he hadn’t been into Austin in a while and was anxious to see some music himself. So, after consulting the Austin Chronicle to get a game plan, we hit the road running.
First stop: Steve James at the Whip In… Our first stop was at the Whip In off of Oltorf and I-35. It’s an old neighborhood grocery that morphed into a bar and live music venue since 1986. An old friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in ages, Steve James, was scheduled to play and I don’t often get a chance to see that. James is one of those genius kind of guys who can sit and recite volume upon volume of historical Blues master, Steve data on any number of James, played the topics: blues, Texas, Whip In in Austin world history, music last Friday night. in general, politics, the list goes on and on. He’s also one of the finest finger pickers alive in the world of country blues. I’ve actually traveled much of Europe and Brazil with him, and personally observed him in action, giving history lessons on the guitar as he demonstrated the techniques of Leadbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Mississippi John Hurt (etc.). James is kind of a strange bird that most people might find confusing, but he’s perhaps the most dedicated blues artist in this field who is still out there keeping the genre alive. I once had the honor of attending the King Biscuit Blues Festival deep in the Delta in Helena, AR with him and got to see him perform on the same land that Robert Lockwood, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters got their start. It was really humbling.
The Revelers, a Cajun band from Lafayette, LA, played the White Horse in Austin last Friday night. Mike Stinson at Ginny’s Little Longhorn… Our next move was to head out north to Burnet Road and check out the Mike Stinson Band at Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon. Ginny’s is an Austin honky-tonk icon, and a little (and I do mean little) windowless, barn shaped dancehall which is home to Chicken (droppings) Bingo and Austin’s country music hero, Dale Watson, who has played the joint since 1993. I’d been hearing a buzz about Mike Stinson for a while and was anxious to hear him. We walked in to a
Mike Stinson played Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin last Friday night. PACKED house and the band was a blazing like a two headed snake. The front door opens up to the dance floor and there wasn’t any chance of squeezing through to the bar, so we found the back door and eased in from the rear. To say the scene was rowdy is like calling a hurricane a little windy. It had been a long evening so we opted out on the early side and called it a night.
Lunch with Miss Lavelle White… On Saturday, we hooked up for lunch with another old friend, Miss Lavelle White, one of the finest soul singers ever to grace a stage. I used to manage Lavelle’s career back in the 90’s when I had my talent agency, RNA Booking. I was the in-house agency for the Preacher Antone’s Records label for Keen and Miss a number of years. Lavelle Lavelle White started out in Houston in in Austin last the 50’s and 60’s with Don weekend. Roby and Duke Records (Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, Johnny Ace, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Roy Head, Otis Rush, Big Mama
Three Way Street
Raeanne & the Ride
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Tonight, Thursday, November 14th, Ray T and the City Crew and the John Cortez Band will play a tribute to the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan at the House of Rock. Also tonight, the Turnpike Troubadours and the Sons of Fathers will play Brewster Street. On Friday, November 15th, Three Way Street will be at Giggity’s, Ruben Limas will be at Shorty’s, John Eric will play the Back Porch and there’s a big reggae show at the House of Rock with High-Bred Roots, Flatbroke, the Bad Chords and Green Party. On Saturday, November 16th, The Gaff will have a big rockabilly show with Matt Hole and the Hot Rod Gang, Grizzly and Greg “Smiles” Layne (or the band Transistordale). Also on Saturday, Lyrical Bynge will play Giggity’s, the Independent Thieves will play Shorty’s, Out of Bounds will play the Back Porch, and Valllejo will be at the House of Rock.
Richard Leigh to Play Island Presbyterian
Sixth Street is still jumping and Austin is still weird…
Austin Heat played Maggie Mae’s in Austin last Saturday night.
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Nashville star Richard Leigh will play the Island Presbyterian Church this Saturday.
Then a Cajun band at the White Horse… After the Whip In we headed over the White Horse on the east side of I-35 at 11th Street. This area of town was pretty seedy when I used to live in Austin, but has since been cleaned up some and is now a vibrant area full of live music venues and restaurants. It reminded me of the early days of Sixth Street. I really like the White Horse, they seem to have their heart in the right place. There was a young Cajun band from Lafayette, The Revelers, playing that night. They were singing in French and had all the traditional instruments on stage… fiddles, accordions and saxophone etc. I absolutely adore Cajun and zydeco music and this band was on fire. It was perfect for the venue and the dance floor stayed packed the whole time we were there. This was a special treat for me.
Thornton, etc.) She wrote the Bobby Bland hit, Lead Me On. Lavelle spent a large part of the 70’s as the house singer at the storied Kinston Mines in Chicago and frequently played with such blues greats at Luther Allison, James Cotton and Buddy Guy. I had a fair amount of success with Miss Sixth Street in Lavelle and recorded Austin is still the several CD’s with her, three ring circus toured the world and got it’s always been. her booked on Austin City Limits and into the Lincoln Center. She was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 1995. It was great to see the old gal, who is looking healthy and fit. She tells me she has been playing a few bit parts in some movies being made around Austin and still plays a few gigs around town. Her annual Christmas show at the Saxon Pub is historical.
November 14, 2013
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The agenda for Saturday night consisted of first watching the Longhorn game and then going to Sixth Street. I wanted to hit Maggie Maes and see my friends, Austin Heat play. I worked as a bartender on Sixth Street for about 8 years and watched the scene grow from its infancy. I started at Antone’s in 1976 and worked on the street until 1983 when I moved to San Antonio. I’ve been back to party on Sixth many times since then and can attest, it’s still wild and crazy. There are street singers, clowns and patriots, UT students, eastside hard cores, super heroes, freaks and people of every description on every inch of the street from Congress Avenue to I-35. It is definitely a huge component in keeping Austin weird.
Nashville hit songwriter and recording artist, Richard Leigh will be playing a show at the Island Presbyterian Church on Padre Island. I’ve seen Leigh perform several times and can attest that he’s the real deal. He’s written a suitcase full of number one hit songs including the Crystal Gale hit, Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue. The first time I met him, we sat down at Shorty’s for a beer and he went over to the juke box and picked out six of his songs. It was pretty impressive. His live performances are close and personal and it’s amazing how deep a well he draws his stories from… the man has been around and knows virtually everyone in Nashville. When I told him the name of my column, Three Chords and the Truth, the first thing out of Richard’s mouth was, Harland Howard… he’s the music writer I stole it from and he and Leigh were great friends.
And that’s the truth!
Tonight November 14 Turnpike Troubadours, Sons of Fathers @ Brewster Street SRV Tribute Show w/ John Cortez & Ray T & the City Crew @ House of Rock Fabian Rivera @ Scuttlebutt’s Free Beer Band @ Tarpon Ice House
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Friday, November 15 Three Way Street @ Giggity’s Ruben Limas (solo) @ Shorty’s John Eric @ Back Porch High-Bred Roots, Flatbroke, Bad Chords, Green Party @ House of Rock Flashback @ Executive Surf Club Fabian Rivera @ Mikel May’s Scarecrow People @ Brewster Street Ray T & the City Crew @ Flats Robert Brown @ Scuttlebutt’s Palacios Brothers @ Dr. Rockits Saturday, November 16 Richard Leigh @ Island Presbyterian Church Gaff Rockabilly Fest w/ Matt Hole & the Hot Rod Gang, Grizzly & Smiles Layne @ The Gaff Lyrical Bynge @ Giggity’s Independent Thieves @ Shorty’s Out of Bounds @ Back Porch Buster Jiggs @ Executive Surf Club Ruben Limas (2-6), Cerves Libre @ Mikel May’s Vallejo, Ugly Beats, Blind Owls @ House of Rock Metal Shop @ Brewster Street Kevin Hill @ Scuttlebutt’s Catherine Denise @ Dr. Rockits Sunday, November 17 Antone & the All Stars @ Giggity’s Rob Zombie, Korn @ Concrete Street Black Taxi, West Without, Wild Adriatic @ House of Rock John Eric @ Scuttlebutt’s Red Giant @ Dr. Rockits Monday, November 18 Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School @ House of Rock Open Mic @ Scuttlebutt’s
Tuesday, November 19 Open Mic @ House of Rock John Eric @ Scuttlebutt’s Rundown Legend @ Dr. Rockits
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Wednesday, November 20 Flatbroke @ House of Rock Wolfjaw @ Flats Lounge Chris Saenz @ Scuttlebutt’s Ty Dietz @ Dr. Rockits Thursday, November 21 The Business, Stand Alones, N.Q.A., The Booked @ House of Rock Bob Schneider, Micky & the Motorcars @ Brewster Street Fabian Rivera @ Scuttlebutt’s Free Beer Band @ Tarpon Ice House Friday, November 22 Raeanne & the Ride @ Giggity’s Billy Snipes @ Shorty’s Uel Jackson @ Back Porch Public Disturbance @ Executive Surf Club Fabian Rivera @ Mikel May’s Will Hoge, Red Wanting Blue, Hellbound Glory @ House of Rock Ray T & the City Crew @ Flats Robert Brown @ Scuttlebutt’s Barney Sledge @ Dr. Rockits Saturday, November 23 Riptide @ Giggity’s Stevie Start @ Shorty’s Trisum @ Back Porch Shake Down @ Executive Surf Club Ruben Limas (2-6), Lyrical Bynge @ Mikel May’s Eli Young, Josh Abbott @ Concrete Street Friends and Lovers Art Show @ House of Rock Kevin Hill @ Scuttlebutt’s Barney Sledge @ Dr. Rockits
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Sunday, November 24 Antone & the All Stars @ Giggity’s John Eric @ Scuttlebutt’s D&S @ Dr. Rockits Tuesday, November 26 Open Mic @ House of Rock Kevin Hill @ Scuttlebutt’s Rundown Legends @ Dr. Rockits