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CONTENTS Publisher: Karyn Lyn Editor: Greg Forest Design & Layout: Lonesome Dove Design Studio Contributing Writers & Columnists: Karyn Lyn, Greg Forest, Kathleen Hudson, Joe Herring, Phil Houseal, Guich Koock, Jil Utterback, Tony Griffith, Steve Stainkamp, Richard Berry, Ben Taylor, Dave Kemp, Gary Lockte, Mary Schenk, Charles Torello, Genie Strickland, Jerry Phillips, & Jack Armstrong. Proof Reader: Claire Deboise Web Design: The Music Office Sales: Tony Griffith, Mary Bradley

New Folk At Kerrville Folk Festival

The Kerrville Folk Festival is one of the Hill Country’s preeminent events. For three weeks Quiet Valley Ranch outside of Kerrville plays host to some of the most beloved and emerging songwriters and performers. Heart Beat has you covered with our web site being updated daily for the Festival.

Heart Beat Welcomes Joe Herring

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Joe Herring has been writing about the history of the Hill Country for and just finished a 999 article run in the Kerrville Daily Times. We can only hope he will grace our pages for as long. Joe starts his story at the beginning - as in 14,000 years ago when the Hill Country looked and was populated differently from today. Page 6

Phil Houseal - Full House

Also new to our pages, and we feel lucky to have him, is Frederiskcburg long-time columnnist and author Phil Houseal. Phil is a fiixture in the Hill Country Music scene and this issue sat down with concert and event promoter Bob Willis.


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The Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country is published quarterly by Heart Beat Publishing PO Box 1204, Bandera, Texas 78003. Opinions expressed in articles may not be those of the publisher and editor of the The Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country, its advertisers, writers or contributors. All content is copyrighted by The Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country and may not be reprinted without the express written consent of the publisher. The Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country is not liable for editorial content, typographical errors and any statements or claims by advertisers or columnists. Subscriptions are $20 per year payable to The Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country at the above address. Editorial and advertising submissions must be received by the 10th of the month before publication. All ad dimensions, prices and specifications may be found at our website,

SPRING 2014 Women in Texas Music - The Yin & Yang

This month Kathleen hits us with a double-header of two women at the wheel of Texas Music - Patricia Vonne and Susan Gibson. From Robert Rodriguez films to CDs and concert appearances, these ladies are busy dishing out a large chunk of Hill Country Music. Dr. Hudson shares it all.

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One Million Dollars!

Guiche Koock is on a treasure hunt this month and there’s gold in them thar hills! So checkout the basement and your Lotto tickets. What would you do with a million bucks?

Page 16 Just Say No . . . No . . . No.

Attorney and musician Jerry Phillips shares sage advice about what do if you find yourself in a roadside dialog with law enforcement. Having a right to free speech is not the same thing as running off at the mouth on a traffic stop. Your Miranda reading doesn’t include, “anything you say can and will be used for you.”

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Our Contributing Writers Over half of the Heart Beat is great content from a wide variety of Hill Country and Texas writers. Whether its the latest in Texas music news, outdoor tips and tricks or authentic Texas recipes, we try to run the gamut of everything Texas! Ya’ll take a gander!


Sometimes, a number has no meaning, especially a big number. There is evidence people have lived in the Texas Hill Country for at least 10,000 years. I have a hard time comprehending that many years.

time, say five years. The suddenly warmer temperatures would have fostered many opportunities for those early visitors to the Hill Country. New varieties of game, previously unknown here because of the cold weather, would have been found here. Those early people were here, because the game was here. They were here to capitalize on the opportunities that climate change had afforded them. These early folks didn’t have bows and arrows, relying instead on a throwing stick called an atlatl.

Aside from that Clovis point found by Priour, and others possibly resting in collections throughout the Hill Country, these early people left no record. The only pictographs in Kerr County (that I know of) are probably the record Tell me something happened 500 years ago, of a much later group, since one of the images and I can imagine seeing Christopher Colum- seems to be a horse. bus and his three little boats — the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. I have a frame of A few years ago, the Hill Country Archaeologreference for imagining that amount of time. ical Association offered a one-day event at the But 10,000 years? I really cannot imagine a number Riverside Nature Center, which I attended. One that large when it refers to time. Here’s a trick that of the booths was manned by my friend, Bryhelps: Divide 10,000 by 20 to yield a guess as to the ant Saner, and offered visitors a chance to use number of generations of families who have lived a replica of the ancient atlatl (throwing stick). here. Five hundred generations is still too many The version on display was rather high-tech. It for me to comprehend, but about 500 generations was a modified modern arrow — an arrow with of people have spent time in our part of Texas. an extension on its back, to make it longer. The The Kerr County Album reports Dr. Don Priour separate throwing stick (atlatl) had a finger that found a Clovis point on the south fork of Guada- fit into a hollow on the end of the elongated arrow. lupe. These points were in use more than 10,000 Once the area was clear of innocent bystandyears ago. According to Wikipedia, “The Clovis ers, I threw the spear-like thing at a target that culture (sometimes referred to as the Llano cul- was in front of a wall made of hay bales. Let’s ture) is a prehistoric Paleoindian culture that first just say the target was safe, but the bales of hay appears in the archaeological record of North were in peril. Though I threw poorly, at that moAmerica around 11,500 radiocarbon years ago, ment, I felt a connection to someone who’d lived at the end of the last glacial period. Archaeolo- here a very, very long time ago. I don’t know his gists’ best guess at present suggests this is equal name, what he looked like, what he dreamed to roughly 13,000 calendar years ago.” That puts about, what he hoped for, what he worshiped, people here in our county at about the time the or even what he animal he was hunting here. last Ice Age ended. If scientists are correct, the end of the Ice Age was quite dramatic, with tem- But at least I know he was here, and I rememperatures rising 10 to 15 degrees in a very short bered him. 6


When I was about nine years old, a certain picture made a huge impression on me. As I grew older, this picture came into my life over and over. When I married in 1978, my wife bought the print for me, and I have prominently displayed and enjoyed it ever since.

The original oil on canvas was painted by Jean-Francis Millet, a Frenchman who lived from 1814-1874. From1858 to 1859, Millet painted his masterpiece and titled it “The Angelus.” This inspiring painting is rather simple: Imagine a furrowed field with a humble husband and wife standing together, heads bowed in prayer, next to a simple barrow-plow carrying a sack of seed, and faintly in the distance, a small country church. I often considered how they understood the miracle of life within the seed — just part of the recipe for an abundant crop. Without the warmth of the sun and the refreshing of the rain, the seasons, the nutrient richness of the soil — and the hand of God requested by a faithful man and woman — a seed is just a seed. But, coupled with the reverence of faithful men and women invoking the bountiful blessings of a loving heavenly Father, that seed once planted and watered begins to bring forth beneficial life, and is nurtured until the time of harvest when the resulting crop is used for the service of man and animal. The best seed was first given to the church as a tithe, some saved for the next planting, and the rest (plus the remaining plant parts) used for food and other ben8

eficial purposes. This cycle of giving and receiving makes for great abundance. As we look closer, we realize plants do not self-produce much needed minerals. Instead they extract and transfer them from the soil to the plant to benefit man and animal, it is not long before soil becomes deficient. As stewards of the land, man learned to replenish the soil nutrients using a myriad of methods. For thousands of years, man added nutrient rich wood ash to the soils, brought in minerals from other areas, and amended soils with decayed plant and/or animal matter. This continued for centuries. However, within recent decades and the rise of commercial farms, these methods of replenishing vital minerals have curtailed. In pursuit of profits, modern farm practices replenish only what is required for plant growth (N-P-K) at the exclusion of mineral nutrients required by people and animals. As formerly mineral-rich foods have become deficient, so has our health. We hear unending reports of cancer, strange diseases, diminished quality of life, mental imbalances, decreasing longevity, and other maladies that did not prevail just a few generations ago. As the minerals have been systematically removed from the food supply, these maladies have become commonplace. Dr. Joel D. Wallach of The Center for the Biology of Natural Systems wrote in 1968, “Every animal and every human being that dies of natural causes dies of a nutritional deficiency disease.” To the degree your body is mineralized and nutrified, you enjoy strength, vitality, and health. Becoming nutritionally depleted invites sickness and weakness. You must be proactive in reversing your mineral and nutritional deficiencies. Because soil supplementation and growing your own food takes time, it is imperative that you change and implement the following lifestyle practices.

Following are tips on how to do that: • Supplement your body with high quality vitamins, minerals, and enzymes • Invest in a quality water filter • Start your own or a cooperative neighborhood garden • Replenish soil nutrients which produce nutrient rich foods •Thank your Heavenly Father for blessing the “good seed” About the author: Gary Lochte and his wife Judy live on the land of Medina County, Texas. Gary has developed a unique and sensible approach to natural health, nutrition, animal husbandry, and natural gardening.


When the Spring sunlight is calling you to get out and do something different, listen! Or, if the gloomy skies whisper, get out of the house amongst the mist, and listen! Typically, when a day-trip is planned, it eventually involves and revolves around eating; I don’t know about everyone, but it’s usually the first thing I like to plan: where can we go that has yummy grub worth traveling for! The destination definitely has to have something to eat, and must encompass charm and character. Let’s Spring into Alamo Springs! Not being the only to praise this neat hidden jewel, but Alamo Springs is an every now and again windy-country-road jaunt. I can’t speak of all that’s on the menu, because I crave and order the same feast: Green chili burger on a jalapeno bun with swiss cheese, avocado, sautéed mushrooms and grilled onions…yes, you can discretely wipe the droop off now. The picture will reveal enough about the juicy flavor that is sure to wake your senses. (Note to all: all the burgers are more than plenty to split with someone or use as two meals). They also have a varied selection of imported beers and Live Music every Friday and Saturday Night from 7pm - 10pm. Alamo Springs is named one of the “Top 3 Burgers in Texas” by Texas Monthly Magazine and this yummy burger I speak about was on the cover in 2009. They are located next to the Old Tunnel State Park. Call for the Band Line-Up (830) 990-8004 107 Alamo Road Fredericksburg,TX. Another Hill Country favorite is Backyard Bistro, located in Pipe Creek. There’s nothing I haven’t had that was far from phenomenal, but I highly recommend the eggs Benedict, either regular or crab cake Benedict. Not only are they about prefect presentation, everything on the menu is farm-to-table fresh mixed with an adorable atmosphere bounded with cozy country decor! When you’re done you can stroll the courtyard and visit the pigs and chickens! So this quaint travel destination is a package deal: fine farm dining, cute farm animals, and antiques! A heavenly delight for me! (830) 535-4094 167 Panther Ridge, Pipe Creek TX. 10

For a small town of less than 900 folks, the one thing you can say about Bandera is we are never bored! Being a fifth generation resident, I can tell you that Bandera has always had a way of entertaining and folks that visit seem to like it! Starting March 15th and every Saturday after that until January, experience some cowboy reenactment action at Cowboys on Main. Featured on 11th Street will be the wild and wooly gunfights of The Bandera Cattle Company. Strolling Main might be a Cowboy singer or two and an occasional World Champion Trick Roper. Interact with some gentle ponies or sit down at a chuck wagon for a visit with a real cowboy. Leave the big cities and visit Bandera on the first Saturday of each month to shop a wonderful Farmer’s Market held in front of Sid’s BBQ. If you want the freshest grown organic veggies, homemade jams, fresh breads, well you get the picture. Be there between 8am and 11pm. You won’t regret it. Music has always been a big part of Bandera and the first Tuesday of each month is the Cowboy Capital Opry. The music is awesome. Time: 7:00 PM Grand Old Opry Style Entertainment at the Silver Sage Community Center. Only $5 to get in and the event has some real surprise entertainers! Funds raised at this event benefit the Meals on Wheels program at Silver Sage. If you enjoyed the Opry, you will surly enjoy the Cowboy Camp held the second Saturday of each month at the Frontier Times Museum. Enjoy free traditional cowboy music between 1pm and 5pm and don’t be afraid to bring your guitar and get involved! Bring your own refreshments and a chair! Now your guitar just can’t stay idol so schedule the 4th Friday of each month to join the monthly Jam Session at the Silver Sage Community Center. It’s free and starts at 6:30pm. Check out the horsemanship at the 4F Barrel Racing Saddle Series scheduled for March 1st & April 26th at Mansfield Park. First event in the series featured over 80 competitors!

Admission is free and gates open at 10am. Beginning April 1st and every first Saturday through November, stroll through the vendors at the Bandera Business Association’s Market Days. Located around the Court House on Main, take a stroll for some good buys! You can be sure you will talk about this event for years to come after you attend the Bandera County Library’s 12th Annual Wild Hog Explosion! Scheduled for March 15th at Mansfield Park the event includes a wild hog catch (as in real Wild Hogs!), bacon bingo, a Wild Hog Feed BBQ lunch, a Lone Star BBQ Society BBQ Cook-off, an All Bike Rally, arts and crafts and a bicycle rodeo! Wow! Don’t miss this one! In Bandera we welcome the Iron Horses so if you have one and enjoyed the poker run at the Wild Hog Explosion, come on back March 27th through the 30th for the Thunder in the Hills Bike Rally. Scheduled at Mansfield Park the event includes a Poker Run, vendors, food, field events and live music. Bring the kids for a special day at St. Stanislaus Parish’s Spring Festival at Mansfield Park scheduled for Sunday May 4th. This annual event includes a BBQ, music, auction and lots of games for kids! Spend the day 11pm to 5pm. By now, you have had a pretty good taste of Bandera but hold on to your hat because you aint seen nothing yet! Bandera being the Cowboy Capital of the World, well it is only natural that the National Reenactment Guild of America has chosen Bandera as the location for a National Reenactment Competition. MAYHEM ON THE MEDINA is scheduled for April 11th, 12th and 13th on the banks of the Medina River in City Park. Admission is free for a step back into the late 1800’s. Events start at 9am. On the same weekend, if you are an avid rider, bring your horse to the Texas Equestrian Trail Riders Association and the Hill

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County State Natural Area Partner’s Spring Benefit at the Hill Country State Natural Area Park. Beautiful ride with breath taking views! On Sunday April the 27th its Music time again as the Bandera Music History Hall of Fame Showcase inducts this year’s selected musicians. Event will feature some of Bandera’s best from 4pm to 7pm. Check the web site below for location. One of our premier events in Bandera is the RAM PRCA 31st Annual Pro Rodeo event. The show dates are May 23rd thru the 25th at 8PM at Mansfield Park. Includes vendors and a LSBBS Sanctioned Cook-off. Great Fun sponsored by the Cowboy Capital Rodeo Association. Memorial Day is filled with Cowboy Capital Fun! The Bandera Chamber of Commerce kicks of the Funtier Days with the Funtier Day Arts and Crafts show on the Court House Lawn and the Funtier Day Parade begins at 11:00 am featuring tons of horses, floats and music! You will never be bored in Bandera! For more information about locations, times and schedules for the events mentioned, visit www. and click on Events. Yee Haw, Ya’ll!

Live music on friday nights! 13439 S. Ranch Rd. 783, Kerrville, TX · 12

I know this is Texas. I know folks around

here hold the game of football in the highest regard. But I’m going to bring to light some things that I think not just a few people should consider, because Texas people are supposed to be some of the most independent-minded people on the planet.

been a whole lot more profitable to be exposed to 15,000 hours of real-life work experiences during his younger days to open his eyes for the rest of his life? I know I learned a lot, but that does not mean I could have learned a whole lot more. Back in the day, when life was simpler, harder and maybe better, it would have been unconscionable to hard-working fathers to allow their sons to spend none of their non-schooling hours learning to fix, repair, make and create all the necessities of life.

Now, so many of us have the unquestioned opinion that playing the game of football is a supremely edifying experience. Many say it teaches the virtues of mental toughness, discipline, dedication, commitment, perseverance and forbearance. I’m not denying this, but is football the only way to learn It would have been unconscionable to think it these things? You can’t learn them elsewhere? good that a man spend 15,000 hours learning to play a game and then, at age 22, start learning to work. The simple fact of the matter Of course you can. You can learn them at work. is that all the hours a young man today spends You can learn them by digging ditches, pouring learning sport skills — from middle school to concrete, building fences, setting studs plumb, high school to college — are undeniably lost milking cows and performing a multitude opportunities to learn those other more valuable of tasks that build upon themselves so that, skills that make a life and a nation prosper. when a young man has been doing them for 10,000 hours, he may come to possess a set of highly valued skills that could sustain him Am I crazy for wondering about this? I don’t for the rest of his life. That is no exaggeration. think I am. I know I’ve had this conversation I think of the 10,000 hours of my life playing with lots of good folk of the Texas Hill Country, college football at Rice University in Houston. who know something about making life work Since those years of playing (1994-98), never with their hands, and they seem to all agree. have I had to power clean, squat, bench press. I’ve never had to block a linebacker or reach a defensive tackle. I’ve never had to I’ll end this by being perfectly blunt: sports do so many of the things that I had to drill have become a mania. Mommies and daddies incessantly for in order to become an All- thrust little Johnny onto the field on the hopes American, and I wonder what was it all for? that he’ll become the next Johnny Football (Tivy High School’s own Johnny Manziel). But do you realize about 2 in 1,000 high schoolers who play Then I think of high school football. I may college football make it to the NFL? Don’t get have spent upwards of 5,000 hours drilling your hopes up. and practicing for that experience. Do you see where I’m headed? Do you see how a man could consider it a waste of time to spend 15,000 hours Visit Charles Torello online at learning skills he will never again use the rest of his life? Do you see why he thinks it may have


Patricia Vonne came to the Texas Heritage Music son is still traveling in her goodtime van, now Foundation coffeehouse on the campus of Sch- with four dogs. She makes regular trips to the reiner University years ago, visited my English mailbox for that “Wide Open Spaces” check, class, and left promising me castanets from her but she is humble and compelling in her pernext trip to Spain. The castanets came in the mail formances on the road. The Bandera Empori— and she will be back up in my classroom at um showcased her at the Art and Lisa show on Schreiner March 5 and playing that night at the Sunday in February at the Blue Coyote Theatre. These Sunday shows can be heard live on Bandercoffeehouse. After a great set of songs, we talked A journey through her videos on YouTube re- with Susan by the coffeepot. “I am about ready veals a sensuous woman singing in both English to cut this hair and donate it to a good cause,” and Spanish, dancing and weaving around the she explained as several of us women envied the stage, the seductress of Texas rock ‘n’ roll, as she waist-length golden mane. Susan has also visited flirts with danger, while pointing to everything my creative writing class and performed at the that will “Rattle my Cage.” We walk slowly across Texas Heritage Music Foundation coffeehouse. desolate land with her, and we are invited to think Two women on the road, each carrying a unique about the rebel bride in all of us. story to the world. When Susan sings, “You Came Along,” we also get sunshine and snake “Traeme Paz,” used in her brother Robert Ro- oil as she describes the allure of someone who driquez’s film, “One Upon a Time in Mexico,” is comes along at the right time. She makes me a sultry invitation to try danger and peace. She wish I were sitting right by that guy. And when always is alluring in her presentation. Robert La- she sings “Happiest When I’m Moving,” I watch Roche accompanies her on guitar, often being the lots of heads nodding along with mine. Patricia male energy to match her sultry female presence. takes us on a winding road through nowhere to Together, they can bring down the house. I saw find out who might come along, bringing danger it happen at her CD release in San Antonio last for sure. I love listening to both of these women, fall at Casbeers. She visited with the audience be- both living in separate realities and both part of fore the start of the show, and when she took the the huge universe of that distinction called “Texstage, she owned it. We were on our feet, and we as Music.” could not sit down. She rocked the house. After the concert, she took time to talk to all her fans She makes me want to go home, put on more eye makeup, and get some tight jeans. Yes, she brings out the female in all her female friends. I can’t speak for the impact on male fans, but I can see the impact as she strolls and struts through a crowd. Her website is complete and up to date, with samples of all her work. Her YouTube presence reveals the variety of her songs and the one strong dark thread of her presence in every performance. In case you can’t tell, this woman is muy fuerte in many ways.


Susan Gibson is another strong woman in the Texas music scene. A tall blonde with long blonde hair, a seeming opposite of Patricia Vonne, Gib-

Susan Gibson


What would you do for a million dollars? I imagine most of us have thought how very nice it would be to find a hidden treasure or a sack of money with no strings attached. When I was a kid on vacation, I used to search the beach at Padre Island for gold and Spanish coins that might have washed up from some ancient shipwreck. I looked for buried treasures and lost mines in the hills and caves around Fredericksburg and Mason. I memorized the maps of lost treasures in J. Frank Dobie’s books, “Apache Gold and Yaqui Silver” and in “Coronado’s Children,” and I wondered how many of those long secreted bullion stashes and lost mines were yet to be found. Robert Lewis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” sent my mind wandering into caves filled with gold and piles of pirate booty. One person I know who had actually found a buried treasure was Elfino Menchaca, who lived about seven miles south of San Antonio. He said he was returning home from the cotton field one afternoon, when he noticed a broken Mason jar lid, partially buried in the fencerow right at the gate to his house. Something about the jar caught his interest and he hit at it with his hoe. When he pulled the hoe back he saw there were several silver coins in its wake. He picked them up and saw that they were old American silver dollars. With his pocketknife and his hoe, Elfino dug the broken jar from the fencerow along with a total of 870 silver dollars. He filled his pockets with the coins and used his knotted shirtsleeve for a bolsa for the rest. He hurried in the house to 16

tell his wife the exciting news. Of course, his wife, Gabby, wanted to see where he had found them. They returned to the gate and Elfino pointed to the hole. Together they scratched the ground to see if they had missed any loose coins. They found six more jars filled with silver dollars. It was obvious the jars had been buried a long time, as the lids were all corroded and rusted out. I don’t remember the total amount they found, but Elfino and his wife were able to purchase the 74 acres where they live with the proceeds of their discovery. Still, when I an traveling through that country, I find my eyes scanning the fence rows near gates for a trace of a Mason jar lid hiding more treasure. My friend, Ron Hall, who I’d worked with in Tucson, told me on his 16th birthday he and his older brother, Jack, had gone camping near the Kurtchner caverns, east of Tucson before they had been taken over by the state of Arizona. He said they were camped in a rock shelter that had a crack in the back wall about 8-inches wide. When they shined their flashlights in the crack they could see it connected to a small room about 10-feet across and 7-feet high. They could feel cool air coming out of the crack that indicated another opening to the room. They could see what appeared to be a ’73 Winchester rifle leaning against the wall right below them. The rifle had a broken stock that had been repaired with wire. Next to the rifle was a metal box about 8-inch by 12-inch and a jacket that looked pretty worn out. He said, “We were

pretty sure it was a money box of some sort but we could never find the other entrance. I still know where it is and when I get a chance I plan to go back to see what was in that box.” Another successful treasure hunter is my friend, James Stotts, who lives near Llano. He found nine lost Spanish silver mines on his ranch. (I’ll save that story for another time). Another friend who discovered — not one but two — sunken treasures is Jack Dyer, a treasure hunter and privateer, as it says on his business card. Several years ago, Jack found a Spanish treasure ship, loaded with silver coins and bars off of Guam that was recovered. Later, he located a Spanish cargo of gold coins and bullion a short piece from shore in South America. Jack is looking for a partner to fund this recovery, if any readers are interested. Another friend, Darrell, just returned from the Philippines where he located three caches of gold buried by the Japanese during WWII. In the last several months, there have been reports in the news of various individuals finding sacks filled with large amounts of cash. One was a homeless man who found $5,000 or so. He returned it, and he was rewarded. Another was a manager at a Goodwill store who found $47,000 in some clothing that had been donated. He returned the money to the grateful donor, and he was rewarded. Still another was a young Rabbi who found a paper bag with $96,000 in a used desk he had purchased on eBay. He also returned the money, and he received a reward. While discussing ethics with my six-year-old granddaughter, I asked her what she would do if she found a million dollars. She considered carefully for a long time then said, “Well, Grandfather, if it belonged to a poor person, I would give it back.” 17

We tend to complain a lot in Texas about many things. It’s just our way of blowing off steam. We treat it as our right of heritage. After all, Texas wouldn’t have become independent of Mexico if folks had been satisfied with the status quo. We are an opinionated people and most don’t mind telling you which side of the fence they’re on. The old joke goes “you can always tell a Texan, but you can’t tell ‘em much”. So as long as I’m up here on the soapbox, I’d like to toss a few kudos to the folks here in Bandera and all through the hill country who are active in bringing about change instead of just complaining. I like to think of these tireless volunteers as my “fellow cowboys” who embody the ideals of the cowboy attitude. You don’t have to tell a cowboy what needs doing’, he (or she) sees the need and takes care of it. You see them at every event and gathering, or river cleanup, our Celebrate Bandera, charity ball or what have you. They are the volunteers quietly pitching in to make our hill country experience exceptional.


The list goes on and on, but for the sake of my limited space, I will narrow my focus on one particular program: the Cowboy Capital Opry. If you haven’t seen this show, you are missing out on a real entertainment value. Benefiting the hill country Meals on Wheels program, which provides 25,000 meals annually to needy Bandera residents, this two hour country music show features wholesome entertainment by some of the area’s best musicians. Boerne’s Gerry and Harriet Payne have been organizing and hosting the show since its inception in March of 2009. The brainstorm of Payne and then Silver Sage director Ann Bishop, the show is complete with great music, pretty good jokes, and fabulous door prizes. The show is held at the Silver Sage Community Center in Bandera the first Tuesday of each month at 7pm. Admission is only

$5 and an evening meal is available before the show. “We had 65 people in attendance for the first show, so that was very encouraging. We’ve grown to a capacity crowd of over 200 now so expansion of our facility may be in the future” said Payne. Some of the hill country’s finest musicians make up the house band for the Opry show. The Cowboy Capital Opry players include Gerry Payne (fiddle, saxophone and mandolin), Harriet Payne (piano), Walter “Tooter” Ripps (bass), Mark Wright (drums), Dave Kemp (electric guitar) and Randy Gilliam (steel guitar). “All of (these) guys are professionals and that is why our show is so successful. Thanks guys, we couldn’t do this without you.” Guests for the show are usually from the local and San Antonio area, but some have come from as far away as Branson, Missouri. You never know who’s on the show but it always guarantees to entertain.


This is a series about the competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival and its rich history of songwriters that has become a part of the festival during the past four decades. The list includes names like Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, LucinLyle Lovett da Williams, Lynn Langham — whose song ‘Old Yellow Moon’ just won a Grammy for Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Hal Ketchum, Robert Earl Keen, James McMurtry and Shawn Colvin. I am beginning with the birth of it written by the Kerrville Folk Festival’s founder, Rod Kennedy, to give everyone a way to understand how and why this event came to be so important to songwriters and fans from all over the world.


(Part 1 in a series by Rod Kennedy on the History of New Folk)


By December of 1971, the Kerrville Folk Festival’s first line up for June 1-3 of 1972 was complete. I received a phone call from Newport producer George Wein asking me to tour with Peter Yarrow as his tour manager to three or four Texas cities. The tour was to promote his first solo album for Warner Bros. following the breakup of Peter Paul and Mary in 1970. My meeting Peter Yarrow would change my life and the life of many others. The many hours of traveling by car together were filled with long conversations about our respective careers, and we quickly became friends. One of the things that happened on that tour was that after every one of Peter’s concerts a handful of young writers would show up at the stage door to ask Peter to listen to their

songs. He always took the time to listen and to encourage them. Later on the road, Peter learned that I would be producing the first festival at Kerrville in 7 months and he asked to be added to the roster. Our conversations turned repeatedly to the plight of the unknown songwriters, none of whom had any music industry connections. Peter asked me if my new festival had any opportunity for songwriters like those we had met on our tour. I told him we had no planned mechanism for this, and Peter described his New Folks Concerts that he had started at the Newport Festival. Then he asked if I could provide that kind of opportunity at Kerrville. He said, “Simply put a story in the newspapers on your publicity list and the writers will come”. At that point Peter offered to help host the concerts. It was too late to add Peter to the posters that were already printed, but immediately following the release of our New Folk story, the responses started coming in and I had two dozen writers who were totally new to us. Included in that first year’s crop were Bobby Bridger (who we later learned already had two LPs on RCA), The Flatlanders (Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, and Joe Ely, who were picked to play on a main stage spot at the Municipal Auditorium), Bill Oliver and Kurt Van Sickle. Peter and I were joined in hosting by Carolyn Hester and Allen Damron while the spectators sat on hay bales surrounding the small stage at the first Texas State Arts and Crafts Fair on the Schreiner College campus. Peter’s loving spirit began to pervade the festival and really planted the seeds for the ambience that became the festival’s trademark. The three days of main stage performances, the New Folk competition and the Folk Mass celebration filled the hearts of 2800 ticket buyers and the pages of three major metropolitan dailies with the pure joy of the first Kerrville Folk Festival. As the years passed, the “New Folk” rules were refined and carefully spelled out targeting excellence and fairness so that the song-

writers’ competition would not become another talent show. By now, the New Folk winners had become widely celebrated and the number of annual entries to be screened ran from 500-800 writers. The number of finalists was trimmed to 32 to allow a less hurried competition with 16 writers per day of the 2- day event. To this day, the New Folk competition at Kerrville remains among the most honored and respected events of its type in the world having assisted hundreds of writers with recognition, self-assurance and networking at a time in their young careers when they are most vulnerable. Among the perks for qualifying entries are scholarships for the Foundation’s Songwriting School, a rich networking experience with their peers, complimentary admission to many days of the festival, the chance to win the title and financial assistance for being a Kerrville New Folk Award Winner. - Rod Kennedy January 20, 2007 A huge contingency of past New Folk Finalists that have honed their craft and continued to be full time touring artists still play the Festival on a regular basis. Jimmy LaFave, Tish Hinojosa, John Gorka, David Wilcox, Bobby Bridger, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Butch Morgan, Ray Bonneville, Chuck Pyle, Tom Russell, Jon Ims, Johnsmith, Slaid Cleaves and dozens more. The relationships that are forged and the community found are many times the most important thing that the artists gain from participating in New Folk. Following is a letter from one of the six 2012 award winners who describes the importance of the award to him. “My name is Korby Lenker, and being part of the New Folk Winners in 2012 was a game changer for me. I have won songwriting contests in the past, but this one was different. In terms of tradition (what other festival besides Newport can trace it’s beginning to the folk singing tradition of

the 50s and 60s?) Kerrville’s contest stands alone. And apart from festival founders like Peter Yarrow, some of my heroes — Lyle Lovett, Nancy Griffith, Lucinda Williams — participated in New Folk in years past and went on to have important careers. I’m very excited to be part of that story. “Practically speaking, New Folk opened doors to me that were previously closed, and allowed me to become a fulltime touring musician. Elements of my career have been brewing for a long time, but it seems like New Folk helped turn a corner for me. I got a booking agent dedicated to developing my audience both inside and out of the folk music community (I’m looking to play some 200+ shows this year). And even in Nashville where I live, more industry people know (and care) about what I do. I’ve even received a lot of radio airplay on the commercial triple A station in town! “Apart from the practical aid, being a New Folk winner made me feel like there is a community of people who ‘get me.’ I have been an aspiring singer-songwriter for almost 15 years — not quite country, not quit pop, not quite folk even — but in Kerrville, I found listeners and artists who didn’t think I was crazy to write songs out of my personal life experience and to tell stories with those songs that weren’t necessarily groomed for the mainstream. In short, I found a musical home. “I look forward to developing my relationship with the Kerrville story, and I hope the festival continues grow and foster talent for years to come. Thank you, New Folk! - Korby Lenker The New Folk Chronicles will continue in the next issue with interviews from some of the past finalists about what it meant to them, how it affected their careers and where they are today. I am so delighted to have the opportunity to tell the New Folk story in Texas Heart Beat. 21


Dale Watson Judy Collins John Flynn Terri Hendrix Ian Moore Moors & McCumber Mary Gauthier Steve Seskin Allen Shamblin Vance Gilbert Michael Smith


SONGWRITER’S SCHOOL FACULTY Steve Suskin Allen Shamblin Ray Chesna Mary Gauthier Vance Gilbert Terri Hendrix Lloyd Maines


Del Rey Trout Fishing in America Jim D’Ville Mr. Pancake (Frank Meyer) James Hill Brennan Leigh & Noel McKay Shake Russell & Michael Hearne Ray Chesna HARMONICA Dana Cooper WORKSHOP James Hill Rob Roy Parnell 2 be announced

ROOTS/BLUES GUTAR WORKSHOP Rich DelGrosso Steve James Del Rey

IT CAN ALWAYS BE LIKE THIS! Check & for daily updates to the schedule 22

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My passion for land management, and lived on the same property for 70+ years, built conservation probably began in the l950’s due to a business that involved balancing ecology and economics, most of the articles will be the influence of my mother and father. supplemented with opinions gained the hard However, starting in August of 2013 I enrolled way “Trial and Error” as well as the world of in The Texas Master Naturalist program that is government and academia. jointly sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Agrilife Extension Service. Admission to the program required tuition, attending classes every Wednesday for 12 weeks, attending four field trips, and dedicating 40 hours per year to volunteer service. The subjects covered are Natural History, Ecological Concepts and Ecosystem Management, Hydrology, Geology, Range Management, Ethnobotany, Classification and Naming of Plants and Animals, Soils and Erosion Control, Entomology, Ichthyology, Herpetology, Riparian Area Management, A tidbit from the Naturalist program. Due to Ornithology, Mammalogy, and diverse an increase in the number of elk in Yellowstone specialized inroads into all of these disciplines National Park, wolves were reintroduced! There was a small decrease in the number of elk due Having a B S degree from Texas A & M in to predation by the wolves but a large increase Animal Husbandry, an M. S in Biochemistry in the number of ducks. The elk adapted quickly from Incarnate Word, having taught high school leaving their preferred habitat to live in open Biology and Chemistry for approximately 24 areas where they could see the wolves and flee or years, as well as having worked for and with the fight. As a result of this, willows formally eaten Natural Resource Conservation Service and the by the elk proliferated. An increasing number of Agri Life Extension Service, I already had some willows provided more material for beavers to background in some of the disciplines covered build dams and make their homes. More dams in the class sessions. The bottom line result from meant more ponds, and more ponds attracted having attended the Naturalist program is that I more ducks. am truly humbled by how much I had forgotten and how many changes there have been since I Being an old sheep herder, I might argue the was active in the afore mentioned institutions idea of introducing wolves to solve problems in any ecosystem, but it is interesting to point and organizations. out the surprising interrelationships that the Personally I highly recommend the Naturalist forces of nature may take. Try looking for such program, especially for relatively new land interrelationships in our own Hill Country owners in The Texas Hill Country. Much of the environment. information and many of the opinions that will be expressed in subsequent issues will come Consider how overgrazing by one landowner from experiences in the Naturalist Program as might have resulted in a huge cocklebur patch on well as text information resulting from formal a neighbor’s property. Actually I may make it a education. In addition, being from a family point to mention in every article how important that came to this area in the mid l850’s, having grass cover is to all aspects of conservation. 24

“Back Porch Blues” Paul Orta & Little Ray Ybarra Blues International Records Produced by Paul Orta

Review by Jack Armstrong

When it comes to blues that is the “real deal,” Paul Orta walks the walk. This Port Arthur bluesman has been on the Texas blues scene for decades — with over a dozen albums to his credit. This latest release carries a master’s legacy into the 21st Century. Orta is best known for tours with his band The Kingpins, but this new recording is a return to where the blues starts — with a jug around a kitchen table or a back porch cooking up blues using just the basic ingredients. His new release, “Back Porch Blues” aptly is named. The CD features 12 songs recorded with Little Ray Ybarra in a production with no smoke, no mirrors or net. In these days of over-produced recordings, many forget the sound and origins of true roots blues. This recording is totally raw, down and dirty foot-stompin’ blues. Orta and Ybarra deliver bare bones blues as performed in small roadhouses, speakeasies, gin mills and street corners where the blues is born, lives and thrives. Every song on the CD, especially the ones penned by Orta, are a tribute to the great blues legends like Willie Dixon, Jimmy Reed, Big Walter, B.B. King and others. Wailing on the blues harp that has gained Orta world renown — combined with Ybarra’s rock-solid guitar work, the duo has painted a sonic canvas that, if you close your eyes, puts you in a smoke-filled bar or roadhouse. These are men that live and love the blues and this CD is a straight shot dead center into the heart of the genre. If authentic blues is what you seek, look no further — pull up a chair and sit yourself down on the back porch. Paul is on the web at, or friend him on Facebook. “Continent Lost” Nautical Nation Produced by Nautical Nation

Review by Greg Forest

This 4-song EP release from Austin band Nautical Nation (formerly Cougar Bait) that showcases both the performance and writing ability of this young gang of Turks. Each song on the CD displays a different aspect of the band’s direction. “Jenny,” the first cut is mainstream guitar rock reminiscent of some of back beat rock of the ’80s. The CD has an alternative ring to it and lead singer Jake Asbury delivers a journeyman performance on all the tunes. “Outlaw” kicks off with a very cool guitar solo from Max Watson, lead guitarist and charges uphill from there. “Dreamboat” kicks off as an acoustic ballad then kicks it up a couple notches into a mainstream rock ballad. “Continent Lost,” the title track, is a strong rock ballad with a sinister butt-kicking bottom delivered by Danny Thomas on bass and Jordan Widener on drums. Nautical Nation created this EP from winning the Austin Battle of the Bands, which considering the amount in talent in Austin is no easy feat. Keep your ears and eyes out for this breakout band. 25





As you drive west on Hwy 27 into Ingram taking a left at the ‘Y onto Hwy 39, life takes a relaxing turn. You have just passed the last traffic signal that you will see for miles. You are entering historic Old Ingram. Just outside the historic Loop, you are welcomed by some soon-to-be favorites. At 100 Hwy 39, GEMS OF THE HILL COUNTRY, opening March 2014, specializes in Texas topaz from Mason County, TX. The topaz is found literally in the dirt of this county. Many hours are spent sifting through the rock and low rivers of the area. The majority found are clear stones but on occasion, a pale blue color stone is discovered. A rare in blue is the result of exposure to radiation for millions of years in it’s formation. Graduate gemologist and lapidary, B. Diane Eames and husband Brad Hodges welcome you to see these amazing stones possibly get a chance to watch Diane do some gem cutting of these popular “star” cut designs...their version of the round brilliant. Another new face and a something-foreveryone shopping experience is the VINTAGE GYPSY. Owners Debbie and John Cantwell, along with Desmond Montgomery are on hand 7days a week and will be happy to guide you through the seemingly acres “refurbished and re-purposed” collections of furniture and accessories. Prepare to be surprised and delighted by the artfully arranged one-of-a-kind pieces and all in between. Discover for yourself, some of these forgotten relics and see how Debbie, John and Des have skillfully re purposed these treasures, bringing them back to life. Prepare to spend some time. There is so much to see and you’ll have a lot of fun doing it. As you “get into the Loop”, you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. Traces of the past are echoed in the quaint shops, galleries and art studios. If you are a frequent visitor, you will see familiar favorites like Clint Orms, notable silversmith and Kathleen Cook, nationally recognized pastel artist, to name just a few.

Meandering through the historic loop, note that some things have changed. THE COPPER CACTUS has moved from a former loop location into a sprawling 20,000 sq. ft. adorned by larger than life works of iron, copper and Louisiana driftwood. Darrin Potter, owner and artist-in-residence, is referred to by many as “the Imagineer”. A reference proven by his unique ability to turn just about anything into a work of art. A stop at the Copper Cactus would not be complete without a look at Tate’s Treasures. Darrin’s son, Tate (all of 11yrs.old) manages his own area in the store. And a treasure it is, complete with arrowheads, fishing and hunting knives, to names just a few. Open every day of the week, this is truly a shopping adventure.

Celebrating one year in their newest loop location, PERFECT SURROUNDINGS is the Hill Country’s “chic boutique”. Stephanie Miller,owner, always has something new. New spring arrivals come in daily, causing this shopper to be a frequent visitor. Just around back is The Loop’s newest addition, THE WISHING WELL., a bed and breakfast consisting of two charming, cozy cabins Just a few steps from the Guadalupe River and overlooking Old Ingram Loop with all it’s timeless charm, The Wishing Well is the perfect punctuation point to the end of a great day of colorful shopping and Texas hospitality in and around Old Ingram Loop. 31

That Dog Will Hunt

“I believe that a man’s life is never complete without me on our west Texas ranch forays, and he quickthe companionship of a dog, purebred or cur, large or ly developed the knack for locating and retrievsmall…”


— Ed Fletcher, Flower Mound, Texas (friend and long-time hunter/hunting dog owner)

Certain canine breeds, such as setters, Labrador retrievers and pointers, have been bred for centuries to flush and retrieve hunters’ game birds. But I have had scant experience with, nor ever owned, such a breed — until Bubba. I have visited exclusive wing shooting concessions where I have “hunted over” expensive bird dogs — the kind guests are warned, “If you shoot a dog, you own it.” Sally and I rescued Bubba, an Australian cattle Dog (a.k.a., blue heeler), from an east Texas puppy mill more than years ago, and I have never been disappointed with his pedigree. Blue heelers are considered working dogs, associated with ranch operations and the herding of livestock — cattle, horses and sheep. But few would classify the breed as a “bird” dog. Mine is — and much, much more. I tell people Bubba is the smartest dog I have ever had. Certainly, he is a lot smarter than his owner. Bubba has taught me more than I could ever hope to teach him. And over time, I have learned that he is a better, more enthusiastic hunter than me. He is, to borrow the title of a hunting magazine, a huntin’ fool. On the farm, Bubba eagerly retrieved squirrels and rabbits for me. Sure, it took a little coaxing, but he inexorably relinquished the critters to me, a little slimy, but no less worse, for the wear. And I always rewarded him for his efforts and obedience. I soon learned he not only was a retriever of fur-bearing critters, he also loved to ‘chase’ circling birds (crows, hawks and vultures), as if he could actually catch them. When it was dove season, Bubba accompanied

ing downed doves in thick cover. I usually put his special boots on his paws, for the grass burs and mesquite thorns, and he couldn’t have been a happier camper, hunting with dad. Bubba also was thrilled to swim out and retrieve ducks I downed over the ranch stock tank. But he was no less eager a retriever of the towering, 3-foot-tall sandhill cranes I knocked down, too. However, with the 15-pound or heavier cranes, I was careful not to allow Bubba to approach wounded birds that might have injured him with their sharp, pointed beaks, wings and inch-anda-half-long spurs.

On one occasion, toting my Remington 870 over my shoulder to open the gate, I spied a formation of sandhills lining up on approach to an adjacent wheat field, and quickly took a knee on the caleche road. When I stood for a shot, I selected a single bird and let fly with a load of No. 2s. The bird crumpled and plummeted to earth, but as I watched it descend, I noticed a second bird fold and succumb to gravity. Two cranes with one shot — my personal best, yet to be beaten. As ever, Bubba was at my side, and when the ‘double’ fell to earth, he was quickly upon them. One bird, the first I had hit, was dead and was no concern to me insofar as Bubba’s life and limb. The second, however, was alive and kicking and posed a potential threat to my blue heeler, “retriever’s” health. And if his hunting skills were not

enough, Bubba has saved me from numerous rattlesnake encounters. Bubba may only be a heeler, a working dog of farm and ranch animals, yet he is every bit the pedigree champion retriever, in my book, as an expensive German short hair. On a particular deer hunt in Pecos County, I shot a buck at dark and watched helplessly as it bolted for the cover of west Texas thick brush. Fearing that it might be lost to the night, I got Bubba out of the truck and let him sniff around the shot scene. Without hesitation or training, he picked up the buck’s blood trail and with me in tow, flashlight flickering, led me effortlessly to the downed 10-pointer. Yes, sir, that dog will hunt! Bubba fancies himself a hog-dog, too — but I don’t let him mess with feral hogs, those tusked devils.

Each day, I learn how incredibly smart and resourceful my dog is, and with time I have learned how useful dogs can be, if we properly care for them, and don’t stunt their development with preconceived notions. I think like people, dogs can be put in boxes they should not be assigned to, and suffer for it. Bubba has his eye on a female heeler owned by church friends, and I hope to extend his lineage soon. Drop me a line if you have a hunting or fishing story you’d like to share: Welcome new Banderian Steve Stainkamp and his faithful sidekick, Bubba, a 5-yearold Blue Heeler. Steve has published more than 1,000 outdoor hunting & fishing articles; books (“Glory Days: Life with the Dallas Cowboys, 1973-1998”); and hunting journals. 33

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I love language. It’s a good trait to have if you want to be a writer. Words are fun. Words are magical. Words can be excruciatingly beautiful and unholy ugly. Words can sting like a whiplash. Words manipulate, persuade and inform. Some words just feel good in your mouth and look even better written on a page. It’s the variety of the sounds humans form into words that’s endlessly fascinating to me. Regional speech is the most interesting and the most fun. When I was growing up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, we were all familiar with “Milwaukee-ese.” People said things like “I’m going down by the bubbler where the streetcar turns the corner ‘round.” Approximate translation: “I’m going to the water fountain at the bus stop.” Before bedtime we were told to, “Make out the lights” instead of “Turn out the lights.” “T’row me in the toaster two pieces, hey?” That one’s pretty clear,  aina? “Aina” was itself an ungrammatical contraction of, “Ain’t that so?” as in, “Dat was one cold winter, aina?” As a linguistics student at Purdue University, I wrote a paper on the subject of Milwaukee-ese. My main source was Gerald Kloss, longtime writer for the Milwaukee Journal newspaper, His column, “Slightly Kloss-Eyed,” included examples of regionalisms heard in the metropolitan area, collected mainly from the German community and mostly from the older generations. The consensus of the research calls Milwaukee-ese English vocabulary wrapped around German syntax. There’s  a “Dictionary of American Regional English at the University of Wisconsin,” which is available online. I used it as a reference when a French documentary filmmaker came to Bandera and Castroville looking for examples of Alsatian German — a dying dialect as is its cousin, Milwaukee-ese. I found a Texas cowboy who said, “Oh ja. Like we used to say, ‘Turn der at the white house dat’s painted red.’” The documentar-

ian was delighted and for that moment I was transported back to my childhood in Wisconsin. The cowboy was from Fredericksburg, as German as my home state, ja sure, don’t you know. It was also at Purdue in Indiana where I heard “catty-corner” instead of the Wisconsin version “kitty-corner.” However you say it, the expression refers to an opposite diagonal corner. I wonder what the term is in England where J. K. Rowling came up with the deliciously named “Diagon Alley,” among many playfully unique turns on names for things and people in her Harry Potter series. While living in New York City, I learned the hard way that “regular coffee” is coffee with cream. “Egg creams” in the Big Apple are a kind of a creamy soda concoction with no eggs involved and New Yorkers pronounce  “Manhattan” and “bottle” with a distinctly Cokney-esque edge that become “bot’le” and “M’nhat’n.” A woman’s purse was always a “pocketbook,” which I found charmingly old-fashioned sounding. Chutzpah, mensch and other colorful Yiddish terms are all part of universal New York-speak. When I got to Texas, aside from the fascinating term “might could” which was unfamiliar to me, I rediscovered language and phrases I had not heard since childhood. It wasn’t so much specific words as it was the way people phrased things. It was so pronounced, there was almost a time-out-of-place quality to it.  What a shame if we lose more regionalisms, as America becomes more and more homogenized. It’s hard to find folks who ask where the “bubbler” is, who understand the meaning of “aina” or invite friends to “come up by us once, hey.” That one was actually proposed as a Wisconsin state tourism slogan. I wish they’d gone continued on page 47 35

When Mel Tillis took the stage at the Cailloux Theater in January, it was not only the first time the country music superstar performed in the Hill Country, it also was the debut concert of the 2014 TEXMO Star Concert Series. And Bob Nichols believes it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Promoter Bob Nichols (pictured) is bringing “Branson style” entertainment to the Texas Hill Country. Photo by Phil Houseal


TEXMO is a promotions partnership between Boerne resident Mike Kinchen, one of the founders of Rockbox Theater in Fredericksburg, and Nichols, a Branson entertainment veteran. “Mike introduced me to the Hill Country, then together we discovered the Cailloux Theater in Kerrville,” Nichols said. The partners spent three months checking out the area, studying the demographics, and even presenting a test concert in October. They decided Kerrville would be a great place to do concerts. “The geography is positioned to be the kind of place to hold concerts and events. There is a lot of great infrastructure, it has great access from the interstate, it’s on the river, and it has a beautiful downtown area,” Nichols said. “Mike and I found a strong business community too, eager to bring Branson-style entertainment to the heart of the Hill Country.” What exactly is Branson style entertainment and how is it different from the typical concert performance? “It is an up close and personal experience,” said Nichols, who was 3-time Emcee/ Comedian of the Year in Branson, and winner of the Pioneer Award for significantly affecting the Branson entertainment marketplace. “One thing entertainers know at Branson is they have to come down to the floor to meet people. People don’t want to just go to a concert; they want to talk to the entertainers. Our shows feature a lot of interaction.”

Mel Tillis was the first big act TEXMO brought to the Cailloux Theater. Nichols, who has known and worked with Tillis in Branson for 20 years, knew he was the perfect choice to kick off the series. “I call Mel an entertainer’s entertainer,” Nichols said. “Although he is an award-winning singer and songwriter, he is also an awardwinning comedian. In my eyes that makes him an entertainer. He loves to sing, talk, and tell stories. People just like him, and they always want to come back to see his show again and again.” The next act up is Michael Martin Murphey, the Texas native who has been a force in the music business since his breakout hit “Wildfire” in 1975. In addition to other hits, including “Carolina in the Pines,” “What’s Forever For,” “Cosmic Cowboy,” “Geronimo’s Cadillac” and “Cherokee Fiddle,” Murphey is a cowboy poet and ardent supporter of keeping authentic Western heritage fresh and alive. TEXMO plans to bring at least five more national acts to Kerrville during the year. TEXMO has already made changes to evoke that Branson theater-going experience. They are now selling concessions that can be consumed inside the theater during the show. Uniformed waitresses proffer popcorn, soda, water and candy GooGoo Clusters, that old-time southern treat. It’s all part of the fun, and fun is something Nichols takes very seriously. “We are a theater company, and we want to provide a theater experience,” Nichols said. “That is the point of entertainment; you’ve got to enjoy yourself.” Nichols said he believes that selling tickets is a lot like selling a much more mundane product. “My dad sold tires for living. He said, no matter how bad the economy gets people still need tires,” Nichols said. “I feel the same way about entertainment. Look at the depression. People still found a nickel to go to a movie; people needed to be entertained. That is the joy that I get, to bring entertainment to people.” Nichols said his goal is for people to “come out and have a good time for their own enjoyment. At same time, they can help us continue to bring great acts to the area.”

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The Heart-Beat of Life (Cardiovascular Healing) The cardiovascular system and our “heartbeat” is the center of the interwoven fabric of our physiological, emotional and spiritual existence. It is the pump and complex conduits through which the blood of our life flows carrying sustenance via the blood to our cells. Our heartbeat is so central to our perception of “being alive” it is even used to characterize the essence of the emotional relationship between a man and a woman. The terms “mi Corazon,” or “my heart,” is synonymous with “my love.” Probably the most used phrase between lovers is, “I love you with all my heart.” Those words and the emotions expressed actually affect our heartbeat and it’s rhythm. Some of the most poignant love songs speak of the heart and the blood. Johnny Cash’s “Rose of My Heart” and “Flesh & Blood,” Johnny Rodriguez’s “Love Me With All Your Heart” or Don Moen’s “Mi Corazon” express the essence of love, leaving no doubt as to the depth of emotion being experienced. Regardless of how we view the phenomenon of “love” as it relates to our heartbeat, if we want to live a long and healthy life our cardiovascular system must be healthy. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of deaths worldwide, making up about 30 percent of the total. Although brain activity has become the ‘measurement of life’ to mainstream medicine, death is only definitive when the heartbeat ceases. Cardiovascular disease is the one, which can result in an unexpected and immediate death. Ironically, it’s also the easiest life threatening disease to prevent.


Keep your body hydrated with water and consume alcohol only in moderation, even red wine. Smoking may do more heart damage than any single thing. Eliminate processed food from your diet and eat fruits and vegetables, fish, range fed meat, and wild game. Symptoms of this disease can range from a shortness of breath to angina pectoris (chest pain) and heart arrhythmias. Angina is generally caused by a lack of blood flow to the heart and breathlessness due to a lack of blood-flow in general. Arrhythmias often indicate mineral imbalances or deficiencies.

Usually ignored by mainstream medicine in favor of drugs is the fact that there are vitamins and minerals essential in preventing and healing cardiovascular diseases. Angina and arrhythmia are often caused by a deficiency of magnesium, calcium and iodine since they are essential to heart muscle relaxation and contractions. Antioxidants like selenium, alpha-lipoic acid, and CoQ10 are essential for protecting and healing the heart. Grape seed extract can reduce unnatural blood clotting. Vitamin C is important for regulation of blood pressure. Digestive enzymes in high doses on an empty stomach can enhance circulation and dissolve plaque and reduce inflammation in the arteries. Silver, a natural anti-bacterial mineral can be helpful in stopping H. pylori arterial infections.

Our heartbeats are equivalent to our time in this life. Every beat is the ticking of our body clock marking that passage of time as our lives move from conception to physical death. Author Henry van Dyke wrote, “Time is too slow for those who To maintain good cardiovascular health, put wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those aside stressful situations in your life and don’t who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” Take care of your take on more of life than you can handle. heart so you can take care of those you love.



“Just say no” is a phrase and a slo- I am sure that many people reading this will say gan popularized by the government’s anti-drug to themselves, “I am a law-abiding citizen. I don’t programs. It is catchy, short, and to the point. use drugs, I really don’t have anything to hide, It is aimed primarily at young people, but it is a and I don’t want a police officer even thinking phrase that should apply equally to other situa- that I am trying to hide anything.” But, here is tions, as well. something you may not have considered: If any “No,” is a very good and very protec- body else has ever been in your vehicle, you do tive word. The only thing that protects innocent not really know what is in your vehicle. citizens from government oppression is the For Example: If two months ago, you Constitution. The first 10 amendments to the gave the neighbor’s son a ride into town, and United States Constitution, usually referred to he accidentally, and completely unknowingly, as the Bill of Rights, puts limits on the govern- dropped a piece of a marijuana cigarette out of ment’s treatment of people. But, a person can his pocket onto your floorboard, guess who gets waive those rights at any time and allow the gov- charged when the police find it? It is your vehicle ernment to do anything they want. That waiver and you are the only one in the vehicle. You are should be given in only the rarest circumstanc- going to jail. es, and never without first consulting a lawyer. Regardless of the commonly used, ideWhen dealing with the government, at almost alistic but not realistic phrase, “innocent until any level, you should stand up, not be intimidat- proven guilty,” innocent people charged with a ed and just say, “No.” By doing so, your rights are crime have to go through the same bail process, preserved and you are protected. attorney fees, and court appearances guilty peo As a prosecutor before, and now as a ple do. defense attorney, I have watched thousands of Despite the faith that we generally have mostly boring, routine and traffic stop videos. in our legal system, innocent people sometimes Of course, the reason I was watching them is be- do get convicted. As my mother used to say, an cause the traffic stop led to an arrest on another ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Recharge. (Believe it or not, most drug arrests are member this, and remind your children, “Be safe. the result of traffic stops and searches.) As I am Be sure. Just say no” watching these videos, it always amazes me how often people waive their rights against unreasonable searches. When a police officer makes a traffic stop he will often ask (especially when they stop young people), “are there any illegal drugs or weapons in the vehicle?” The standard answer from drivers is “no.” Which leads to the next police question, “Do you mind if I look in your vehicle to be sure?” And the amazing thing is people usually respond with, “Okay, go ahead. I don’t have anything to hide.” The right answer is, “No. You can’t.” Here is a simple fact that seems to elude many people: If you give the police authority to search, they will search. They will never say “Well, since you seem cooperative, you Author/Attorney/Musician Jerry Lynn Phillips must not have anything to hide so I won’t bother.” 43

Defining Your Goals, Product and Image


Every year thousands of new independent artists release new music to the world and the major label releases number in the hundreds. Needless to say there is a lot of competition out there for fans, listeners and media outlets. You are going to have to mix it up with your competitors not necessarily in a ruthless manner, but you will have to keep moving fast and be creative at the very least. Musicians are a lot like people in the film industry; they always have a “deal” in the works. “We opened a dialog with a major label this week” could easily mean they called and got the mailing address to send the demo. “We’re working on the new CD” could mean they bought the first microphone for the project studio. As a consultant and producer, when it comes to what I think about many new acts, I keep my opinion to myself. It is generally not complimentary in nature. Shortly into our first meeting I can see that this band is clueless. In the band’s mind though, they see the future clear as the azure skies of a summer afternoon. They are in a stadium before swarms of screaming fans thanking Sting for opening for them. What I see is a band breakup within months as the lead singer’s girlfriend is winking at the bass player when the band’s attention is elsewhere. You don’t have to be very savvy to discern the bullet from the bull. Speaking of bull, you will have to learn to wade in it if you want be a player in this business and become a master of shameless self-promotion. You never tell anyone outside the band that things are going nowhere fast and the band is withering on the vine. It is a fact of life that you have to keep your business associates and the public in promotional hip waders throughout your career. How will you define yourself as an artist or a representative or contractor for an artist? The following few paragraphs may sound like old adages, but regardless of what role you will

be playing in this drama of the music industry, there are a few things that will be required for success at any level. Your Tools? Talent, Capability and Competence. Talent is what drives this business. Musical talent, engineering, promotional and management talent all come to play. The performers aren’t the only stars in this business. After Minnie Vanilli’s lip-sync Grammy a few decades back, we all have to admit that talent isn’t always a necessary part of a popular entertainment package. In Vanilli’s case, talent wasn’t necessary but he still had to look good on camera and lip-sync convincingly. A sound or recording engineer’s personal appearance or musical capabilities are unimportant but they need to know how to tweak a knob and bring out the best in an artist’s performance. Whatever claim you stake on the music industry terrain, try to be the best in your genre or field - at least at a local or regional level. Learn from others and stay on top of what’s happening. Never forget you are competing and the other players are serious and are playing for keeps. Reliability: Concert venues like bands that show up on time and ready to rock. Record labels like master recordings delivered when the contract specifies. Band members appreciate not waiting for a member late to rehearsal. Bands like club owners that pay what was agreed upon and agents like their commissions in a timely manner. I could go on and on but you get my drift. Many times, I have seen the career of an incredibly talented individual torpedoed by the same talent’s unreliability. If a performer is late to a recording session, the clock is rolling, money and time are wasting and people who could be creating are twiddling their thumbs waiting for someone who deems their own convenience more important than other’s time. I view time as not only money but as a non-renewable resource that each of us is allotted a certain amount of. Wasting my time is

stealing part of my future. Honesty and Integrity. Many would fault me for including these two words in the same paragraph with the music industry or politics but the fact of the matter is that your long-term success is built on everyone winning to some degree and building business and legal relationships that last. The industry is full of dishonest people trying to exploit you and some are wildly successful. Over time, however, you will be drawn to repeat business with those who have treated you fair and equitably. People will be inclined to conduct repeat business with you or forge artistic relationships if you are trustworthy. Even though there are thousands of players in the business, the business is like a small town and your bad reputation can travel much farther than you might think. When two other people are talking about you, how do you want to come off to them? Some parts of this industry are time-sensitive and deadline-oriented. Film and television scores have to be delivered on time. Any delay can cost an incredible amount of money. If you are collaborating on a deadline project, you want to make sure your partner is reliable and will deliver the goods on time. Flexibility. The road to music success is littered with potholes and speed bumps. Welllaid plans sometimes have to be modified or even discarded on the run. Sometimes you have no room to be flexible, but if you can make an accommodation for a business associate, do it. It can only generate good will. Defining Goals Having a game plan is essential to building any career. You don’t have to start with the whole career-spanning game plan in place; just a plan that will get you to the finish line of your next goal in the big picture. Break the long term into components. The first thing that a musician or writer should work on is their chops. If you are going to be a performing professional you will need to be competitive with other artists and bands at the same level you are on. Hone your skills. Let’s start with the assumption that you are a performer ready to leave the garage. There is more than one path to success, depend-

ing on which fork in the road you will be traveling. A pop performer or songwriter would have a different career strategy than a classical performer or composer. There are legalities for both careers and many similarities but the audience, marketing and goals may be vastly different. The First Ensemble aka The Garage Band The vast majority of musicians will be performing and building their careers playing in bands. There are exceptions. Some singer-songwriters, most notably on the folk circuit, start their careers as solo artists and essentially remain that way for their entire careers with a few collaborations along the way, but the lion’s share of new talent comes out of garages in the form of bands. It is also very uncommon for a performer to remain with the first band they start out with. The breakup of your first band is almost inevitable as the music progresses and it is revealed that some players have more talent, dedication or energy than other members. It is not uncommon for a band to fire its most talented member for being a “prima donna.” Early on, you will be experimenting with other players to gain knowledge and start building your network. Keep any business arrangements simple, flexible and revocable. The first step out of the garage or rehearsal hall is the first gig. As things progress and the band increases its following and performance acumen, legalities should start appearing. Most casual weekend bands are, whether formally declared such or not, a general partnership. The band member all share equally in the fees received for gigs. There may be small adjustments[em]gas money, the PA owner getting a bit more but in essence the band, its name and its revenue are all shared equally. Where does it become a good idea for a band to start to formalize itself in a legal sense? Next installment we will look over the shoulders of a budding new band to see how they deal with even moderate success with their business model. Its a small quartet with four members with four agendas. You can read this and other music business essays at my web site: See you next issue.


It is the second issue of the Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country magazine and time to look toward springtime recipes. I am curious to know if anyone tried any of the recipes in the Winter 2013 magazine: the chicken barley chili, quick and easy fruit salad or Julie’s polish sausage. You can let me know at We are so lucky to live in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. We can pack up a picnic basket and head for the hills or we live close enough to San Antonio to enjoy all the festivities there. From Thursday, April 17, through Sunday, April 27, is Fiesta in San Antonio. That being said, I thought I would include a fiesta potato salad recipe I like to make, because it not only tastes good but it is a very pretty salad and another potato salad recipe that I have used for years and always get rave reviews on it. Fiesta potato salad 6 cups peeled, cooked and cubed potatoes 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese 2/3 cup black beans, rinsed and drained 2/3 cup chopped sweet red pepper ½ cup thinly sliced celery 1/3 cup sliced green onion 1-2 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped Toss with dressing: ¾ cup ranch dressing, ½ cup salsa, ½ teaspoon salt Marinated potato salad 8 potatoes peeled, cooked and sliced 1 large chopped red onion 1-24 ounce carton small curd cottage cheese 32-ounce jar mayonnaise Salt, pepper and paprika Use a large bowl with a sealed lid. Layer: potatoes, onion, cottage cheese then seal with mayonnaise. Sprinkle salt and pepper then add a second layer of the same. Continue with layers ending with mayonnaise. Salt, pepper and sprinkle paprika on top. Refrigerate overnight. The red onion makes this dish. You can make this several days in advance and it only gets better. Here is a recipe my grandmother gave me years ago. I have used this recipe many times over the years, especially for group dinners (I double the recipe and put this in large aluminum disposable pan). It is a great recipe to make to take for a potluck or when you want to take a dish to someone who has had a death in the family or of course just for your own family. Add a green salad and hot rolls and your meal is complete. Hot chicken salad 2 cups diced celery 3 cups diced cooked chicken 6 chopped hard-boiled eggs 1 can sliced water chestnuts 2 cups cooked rice (I use white rice but it is up to you) 46

2 cans cream of chicken soup 1 small chopped onion 2 tablespoon lemon juice 1 cup mayonnaise Mix all and put in a buttered 9-inch by 13-inch pan — cover with crushed potato chips if desired. Bake 350 F for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Finally, here is a recipe I found years ago. We look forward to eating these sandwiches every spring and summer. It would be perfect to pack these sandwiches in that picnic basket (more like a cooler in Texas) along with some fresh fruit and cubed cheese when you head for the hills.

Honey chicken salad 4 cups chopped cooked chicken 3 celery ribs diced 1 cup craisins (dried cranberries) ½ cup chopped pecans 1 ½ cup mayonnaise 1/3 cup honey ¼ teaspoon sat and ¼ teaspoon pepper Really great served on croissants. Allyce’s Attic Continued from page 35

for it. You “might could” try it with the folks you “hang by”. In fact, “whistle me out.” You bring the beer and I’ll bring the “schnecks.” Maybe some cheese curds and mettwurst, hey? See you on down the road. 47


17th Annual


june 28th, 2014 Bandera City Park

Sponsored by Bandera Business Association

Bring your swimsuits & river shoes & join in the fun

H River Rodeo H Kayak Races H H Paddle Boats H Water Games H


anything that fLoats regatta Bandera Idol Competition H Food H Music H Arts & Crafts H

Open Car Show H LSBBQ Cookoff

(Lone Star BBQ Society Sanctioned Event)


Sam & Lou Miller, Proprietors

Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country - Vol 1 No 2 - Spring 2014  

Spring 2014 issue

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