As I write this column, the news of the El Paso and Dayton shootings are on every channel.
I must admit it’s tough concentrating on live music in our city while watching cell phone videos of the chaos playing on TV.
I know something must be done but I honestly don’t have the answer. Hopefully those far wiser than me will come up with a solution.
A few days ago I ran into my retired buddy Doug Toney. He’s thoroughly enjoying his retirement and asked if I’d made it out to Devil’s Backbone Tavern since the new owners took over. Though I haven’t made it out there yet, I did read the great story by Richard Skanse in Lone Star Music Magazine.
He documented the steps that singer Robyn Ludwick and her husband John went through to purchase the historic venue.
Robyn personally convinced owner Jerry Kubena, the grandson of Evelyn Kubena, to sell her the property even though he had several offers on the table. Evelyn owned the tavern in the 1940s, buying it from the original owners that built it in 1937.
A small stone structure is still standing and dates back to the 1890s when it was a blacksmith shop.
With help from her friend Abbey Road and a fourth silent partner, the new owners took over in late 2018. Fast forward to now and they have added more parking, opened up the old dancehall and gotten a full liquor license in case patrons want more than just beer and wine. These days, you never know who may drop by to play in addition to the acts they have booked.
I’ve added their schedule to the concert calendar so make plans soon for the short road trip out on Ranch Road 32 or check them out at DevilsBackboneTavern.com.
Once you log in to their website, be sure to listen to “The Ballad of Devil’s Backbone Tavern” by Todd Snider and check out their cool T-shirts.
Whiskey Myers and Flatland Cavalry Play Whitewater
Two of my favorite bands will by the river and under the stars at Whitewater Amphitheater this Saturday night. Flatland Cavalry will be opening for the mighty Whiskey Myers for what will surely be a high energy night of music.
Growing up in the 70s made me a big fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Whiskey Myers are the heirs to their southern rock throne.
Flatland Cavalry formed in Midland, Texas in 2012 when college roommates Cleto Cordero and Jason Albers started playing together before moving to Lubbock in 2014. At first they thought of calling their band Cleto & the Texas Cavalry but people are always mispronouncing Cleto’s name so he instantly thought of Flatland since the band formed on the flatlands of Lubbock. With Cleto handling guitar and vocals and Jason taking over the drums, they added Laura Jane on fiddle, Reid Dillion lead guitar and Jonathan Saenz on bass. When Laura decided to leave the band, she was replaced with fiddle player Wesley Hall. Their latest album, Homeland Insecurity, was released in January and they’ve been touring hard ever since. Just one glance at their tour schedule makes me want to go sit in my recliner and rest. Like the old saying goes, make hay while you are young because once you get older you don’t want to leave the barn. This show will sell out so get your tickets now at Whitewaterrocks.com.
The Presley Project Comes to Town
Tomorrow I am finally able to collect my Social Security so hopefully it hasn’t gone broke just yet. Making it to 62 years old is a big surprise because I honestly didn’t think I’d live this long. Since I was born in the 50’s, Elvis was just starting out and was popular with all the young music lovers. I was born with dark black hair so the nurses at the hospital told my mom I looked like Elvis. Obviously I didn’t, they were just saying that to be nice to a young mother, but when I got older I did become a big fan of Elvis. That’s why I plan on checking out the Presley Project tomorrow night at the Phoenix Saloon. This isn’t an Elvis impersonation, it’s a big 10 piece band of musicians performing Elvis songs that he recorded in the 70’s, mainly during the jumpsuit era. According to their website, this Austin band concentrates on his music from the Vegas years. They promise no cheesy costumes, just a full night of his biggest hits. It’s a free show and the music starts at 9pm.
Lineup for the Gruene Music & Wine Fest Announced
The lineup for the 33rd Annual Gruene Music & Wine Fest has been announced and tickets are on-sale now at GrueneMusicandWineFest.org. The festival kicks off on Thursday October 10 and runs until Sunday October 13. The Bacon Brothers start things off on Thursday night with music beginning at 8pm. Tanya Tucker will perform a special acoustic set on Friday afternoon and the a full band set later that night. On Saturday night you can enjoy the music of the Casey Donahew Band beginning at 9pm. The festival will close out the fun on Sunday with all day events including live music inside Gruene Hall, select food trucks and a craft beer tasting.