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Island Moon

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Three Chords and the Truth By Ronnie Narmour ronnienarmour@gmail.com It’s been a busy two weeks in more ways than one. I caught a couple of great shows (Mingo Fishtrap and Augie Meyers) at the Back Porch then squeezed in a trip to Atlanta and a show there at Blind Willie’s. More on that coming up. W. C. Clark (Austin, TX) blew into The Porch last weekend and gave us a great show. I’m a sucker for Al Green and W.C. plays him like nobody else. Also in the Back Porch’s most excellent arena some noteworthy shows are coming up. Tommy Alverson will play on August 5th and Larry Joe Taylor on the 6th. Then the following weekend, The Sisters Morales (August 12th) and Miss Neesie and Earfood (August 13th) are the big news. I preview both those shows here. And, this just in…The Bo Porter Band will be at The Porch on Thursday, August 11th to kick-off that great weekend. Hook’s B-B-Q also has a couple of good shows coming up: Cody Angel plays on August 5th and Dave Bottlehead Miller plays this Saturday (July 30th) and again on August 13th. Also, The House of Rock in Corpus has caught my attention with two cool shows to look for: Michael O’Connor is playing his new solo CD release there on August 19th (I’ll preview that next time), and none other than Hank Williams III will be there on September 12th. One more thing, The Tarpon Ice House will have the three sailing bands, Shark Attack, Mama Tried and Footpie tomorrow night (July 30rd) and that will be a cool reggae/ hillbilly/ rock show. And, Carol Elliott will be back in town to play her regular Friday gig at the Ice House on August 5th. And finally, The Gaff will be celebrating 30 years as The Gaff on August 13th and the Rafiki Project will be playing. But right now, time’s a wastin’. Let’s roll!

Mingo Fishtrap Mingo Fishtrap (Austin, TX) played the Back Porch on July 15th. This was one exciting show from start to finish. The funky, funky boys from Austin showed up in all their eight piece glory and laid down a groove we haven’t seen since the Westside Horns were in town. Led on guitar and vocals by the exceptionally talented Roger Blevins, this band was tighter than a two dollar pocket watch. Blevins’ vocal prowess is show stopping.

Mingo Fishtrap played the Back Porch on July 15th.

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Shark Attack, Mama Tried, & Footpie Carol Elliott The Ones Mike Milligan Larry Sweeney

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says a lot being that eight piece bands aren’t cheap. I’ve never regretted it and can’t think of an ensemble I’d recommend more. This was by far the hottest show I’ve seen all year.

Augie Meyers Texas music legend Augie Meyers (San Antonio, TX) played the Back Porch on July 16th. Augie brought his S.A. batos with him, including Jack Barber (who has played bass with him since 1965 in the Sir Douglas Quintet) and monster guitarist, Mike Ellis. Augie was

Augie Meyers played the Back Porch on July 16th. Photo by Miles Merwin

in rare form, working the crowd not only with his musical array of Tex-Mex, country, 50’s rock and roll and Doug Sahm/Texas Tornado favorites but with his trademark stories and jokes. He had something funny to say at every junction. And, by the time Augie broke into Hey Baby Que Paso and Is Anybody Going to San Antone, he had everyone in the place singing along. Augie took request after request, even accommodating songs he’d never done before. It was a very fun and personal evening with the Texas music icon that has rubbed elbows and played with some of the biggest names in popular music (Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, John Hammond, etc). Augie Meyers is a survivor. At the age of 71, he’s endured the physical trials of polio, a kidney transplant and a knee replacement. You couldn’t tell it by the energy he displays on stage. Augie lives to perform and watching him beat on that accordion and belt out song after song was a joy to behold. Kudos goes to Back Porch owner, Susan Powell, for her efforts in bringing such historically significant artists as Augie Meyer, the Westside Horns and Billy Joe Shaver to our little island.

Luther “House Rocker” Johnson & The Shadows

On Sunday morning after the Augie Meyers’ show, I flew out to Atlanta for a week. I was only able to catch one show while I was there but it was a good one. Luther “House Rocker” Johnson and the Shadows (Atlanta, GA) played Blind Willie’s on Friday, July 22nd. I brought this band to Texas about 18 years ago to play the Billy Blues’ clubs in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. The Shadows are the house band and often back many blues acts that play Blind Willie’s (Tommy Brown, Sandra Hall, Francine During the course of the evening, Mingo hammered out Reed, Big Bill soulful tunes by the likes of James Brown, Wilson PickMorganfield, ett, Maceo Parker, Stevie Wonder, the Funky Meters Sweet Betty, and more (plus their huge repertoire of originals) withetc). out so much as a stutter. Their big band instrumentation (three horns, fat organ/keys, congas/percussion, bass, I’d never been to drums and guitar) screamed, “Get off your butts people! Blind Willie’s but It’s time to dance...and while you’re at it, pass the peas.” it’s the real deal You can’t help but shake it when Mingo is in the house. blues bar in one of Atlanta’s enMingo Fishtrap started out in Denton, TX, in the storied tertainment disjazz program at North Texas State University and has tricts called Virbeen around for about 20 years now. I first became aware ginia-Highlands. of them when I was booking Billy Blues in San AntoIt’s been around nio. I had called up Clifford and Susan Antone in Austin, looking for some fresh talent. Mingo had just started Luther House Rocker Johnson since 1986. They playing Antones, and Clifford and Susan were so fired picks the guitar with his teeth won the W. C. Handy award for up about them that I booked the act sight unseen...which at Blind Willies in Atlanta.

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Photo by Miles Merwin When he went into the Otis Redding tune, I Been Loving You Too Long, my first thought was, “This is ambitious.” But, he nailed it. In fact he didn’t just nail it, he righteously gave it the justice it deserved. I’ve got to think this skinny white boy has not only been eating his collard greens and fat back, but he’s been cleaning his plate. The pure dose of soul this band exudes is spellbinding.

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Best Blues Bar in the nation in 1997 and they put on live music shows 7 nights a week. I saw photos of many familiar Texas faces on their wall of acts that have played the club over the years like Sue Foley, Butch Hancock, Robert Earl Keen, Townes Van Zandt, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Texas Johnny Brown and Guy Clark. Blind Willie’s motto is, “It ain’t easy being sleazy” and their logo is a big animated gator playing a guitar. House Rocker Johnson and the Shadows put on a text book example of a blues show, playing standards by the likes of Jimmy Reed, T-Bone Walker, Big Joe Turner and Slim Harpo. Johnson laid down some smooth 12 bar grooves and even showed off a little when he played his guitar with his teeth. After their first set, I re-introduced myself to the band and we talked about their trip to Texas as though it was yesterday. The bass player, Roger Gregory, told me he had just seen my old friend, Lazy Lester, who I worked closely with for years and who has now moved from Detroit to northern California. (The Fabulous Thunderbirds got famous doing Lazy Lester songs: Sugar Coated Love, I’m a Lover Not a Fighter, etc). I am always amazed at how small the world becomes in the music business. This was a great show and a wonderful last night for me in Atlanta. If you ever find yourself there, eat your grits with red-eye gravy and go to Blind Willie’s for a taste of a real Southern blues club…and tell The Shadows I hope it won’t be another 18 years until I see them again. I really do need to get off the island more.

DO NOT MISS LIST Sisters Morales The sisters, Lisa and Roberta Morales (San Antonio, TX), will play their last ever Costal Bend gig as the Sisters Morales at the Back Porch on August 12th. They are breaking up and going solo after all these years. These girls, with the always present guitar master, David Spencer, play a blend of styles; sometimes singing in Spanish with a Latin rhythm, sometimes rocking out hard but always delivering a sound that is distinctly theirs. Simply

put, their harmonies are beautiful. I have been a real fan for many years and will truly miss hearing them perform together as sisters. They are nothing less than worldclass. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, if you miss this DO NOT MISS LIST show, you really will be missing it… forever. Adios querida hermanas, te echaremos!

Miss Neesie & The Earfood Orchestra Lord have mercy, get ready to party cuz’ Miss Neesie and The Earfood Orchestra (San Antonio, TX) are coming back to the island for their yearly sabbatical and they’ll be bringing half the town with them. Always a perennial favorite with island locals, Earfood has been coming here for nearly 20 years for this once a year hiatus with their friends and fans from S.A. I remember (sort of) many a wild trip to Port A with Earfood back in

Miss Neesie and The Earfood Orchestra will play the Back Porch on August 13th. the old days. It started at Tortuga Flats in the early 90’s (that’s when ex-mayor Claude Brown was the doorman there) and now resides at the Back Porch. This is an eight piece party band playing rockin’ rhythm and blues with a large helping of zydeco, roots and gospel. When classifying music, this would the good stuff. DO NOT… I repeat, “DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!” It only comes around once a year and trust me, you’ll be sorry if you do. And that’s the truth!

Live Music Tonight Saturday, July 30th

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Gary P. Nunn @ Back Porch Shark Attack/ Mama Tried/ Foot Pie @ Tarpon Ice House Kissit/Cathouse @ Executive Surf Club Dave Bottlehead Miller @ Hooks B-B-Q Lyrical Bynge @ Flats Lounge Rosehill/ Chad Johnson @ Brewster Street Mr. Mo & the Famous Unknowns @ Shorty’s Place

Sunday, July 31st The Movement/ Pacific Dud/ Full Service @ House of Rock

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GARY P. NUNN TOMMY ALVERSON LARRY JOE TAYLOR SISTERS MORALES EARFOOD

132 W. Cotter, Port A

Acoustic Night @ House of Rock

Tuesday, Aug. 2nd Corey Smith/ Rob Baird @ Brewster Street

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Captain Legendary Band @ Back Porch Free Beer @ Tarpon Ice House Bart Crow Band/ Brian Burke Band @ Brewster Street 4 Minute Ride @ Tarpon Ice House Dinner Men @ House of Rock Dirty River Boys @ Executive Surf Club

Tommy Alverson @ Back Porch

Spazmatics @ Brewster Street Cody Angel Band @ Hooks B-B-Q Bar Botz @ House of Rock

Sales Rentals Repairs Kip with his new Santa Cruz and Coconut Koozie

Brandon Jenkins @ Executive Surf Club C-Roots @ Coffee Waves

Sunday, Aug. 7th Greg Ginn & The Royal We/ Cinema, Cinema @ House of Rock Rev. Horton Heat/ Nashville Pussy @ Executive Surf Club

Tuesday, Aug. 9th Open Mic w/ Rev. Fred @ House of Rock

Wednesday, Aug. 10th Kyle Park/ Ryan Beaver @ Brewster Street

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Flat Broke @ House of Rock

Thursday, Aug. 11th Bo Porter Band @ Back Porch\ Free Beer @ Tarpon Ice House This Year’s Fashion/Archimedes, Watch Out/Empty Oceans/ Periwinkle Massacre @ House of Rock William Clark Green @ Executive Surf Club Kyle Park/ Ryan Beaver @ Brewster Street

Friday, Aug. 12th

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Lyrical Bynge @ Executive Surf Club Acoustic Breeze @ Coffee Waves

Helstar/Virgin Force/Angst/ Warshow/Labeling Theory @ House of Rock

Acoustic Night @ House of Rock

Friday, Aug. 5th Carol Elliott @ Tarpon Ice House (6-8)

Two Rivers Trio @ Hooks B-B-Q

Monday, Aug. 8th

Open Mic w/ Rev. Fred @ House of Rock

Thursday, Aug. 4th

Larry Joe Taylor @ Back Porch

Two Rivers Trio @ Hooks B-B-Q

Acoustic Jam w/ Van Blize @ Tarpon Ice House

Monday, Aug. 1st

Saturday, Aug. 6th The Ones @ Tarpon Ice House

Enily @ Hooks B-B-Q (noon)

Ray T & the City Crew @ Flats Lounge

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Carol Elliott @ Tarpon Ice House (6-8) Mike Milligan @ Tarpon Ice House Sisters Morales @ Back Porch Ray T & the City Crew @ Flats Lounge Pictures @ Brewster Street Emily @ Hooks B-B-Q Nethermedia Presents 6 Bands @ House of Rock Another Level @ Executive Surf Club C-Roots @ Coffee Waves

3C&T 7-29-11