Mother Nature has been kind all week and blessed us with some incredible weather for Wurstfest.
For 10 days we get to enjoy great food, drinks and dozens of bands performing at multiple locations on the vast Wurstfest grounds.
If you’ve attended the festival in the past few days I’m sure you’ve checked out Alex Meixner in the Big Tent.
Meixner is a major draw for the festival and plays to standing room only crowds for seven nights in a row.
His new CD is called Make Some Noise and it fits his stage show perfectly. The new album includes his hit song, “There’s Only One S in New Braunfels” as well as many other crowd favorites like “Lot’s O Shots Polka” and “Hoe Down.”
It even contains the jingle he taped for Hormel pepperoni. If you want to see more of Alex on stage, tonight is his final night with two sets, one at 7 p.m. and another at 9:15 p.m.
Tonight is also Jimmy Sturr and his orchestra’s first night of the festival. You can catch him inside the massive Wursthalle at 8 p.m. and he will be there every day through Sunday. To see the full schedule for all the events at Wurstfest, check out their website at Wurstfest.com or pick up one of the handy programs they pass out as you enter the gates.
Hops Und Schnapps at Faust Brewery
While we are talking about Alex Meixner, two of his band members are hanging around after Wurstfest to perform at Faust Brewery.
Tom Haller and Joe Tierney, better known as Hops Und Schnapps, will play Friday night at 7 p.m. and Saturday night at 8 p.m.
This isn’t your normal polka band, it’s much like a Saturday Night Live skit based on two wayward musicians stuck in America and trying to earn enough money for a plane ticket back to Germany.
Humor and music will be mixed together during their entire set which makes for an entertaining night.
Weather permitting they will perform in the biergarten or inside the brewery if it’s raining.
Admission is free and all the Faust beer will be on tap, including the Alex Meixner Polka Pilsner. The Faust Brewery is located at 499 South Castell Street.
Bob Seger Performs Final Concert
I have fond memories of discovering the music of Bob Seger back in the mid-’70s in high school.
Beautiful Loser was the first album I purchased for $3.99 at Gibson’s Department Store in Victoria.
You have to be pretty old to remember shopping at Gibson’s. They were similar to Walmart only a lot smaller, but we didn’t have Walmarts back then so we thought they were awesome.
Not long after I graduated, Seger released his classic Live Bullet album and in 1976 followed it up with his masterpiece, Night Moves. After nearly two decades of being just a regional name around his hometown of Detroit, Seger became a worldwide superstar.
Gone were the days of traveling in a cramped tour bus with twelve guys and all their gear. When he released his multiplatinum Stranger in Town album in 1978, private jets became their mode of travel. For the past two years Seger and the Silver Bullet Band have been on their final tour, aptly titled the Roll Me Away Tour. He played his final show at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia last Friday night and choose Rock and Roll Never Forgets as his final song to perform on-stage. With a career that started in 1966, Seger has been the voice of the Midwest, the voice of the working man and the voice of rock and roll. Like the song says, it’s rock and roll, and we will never forget it.
Janis Joplin’s Life Story Told
The state of Texas has produced thousands of musicians, including one of the first female blues singer superstars, Janis Joplin. A native of Port Arthur, she migrated to Austin at an early age and was mentored by folk artist Kenneth Threadgill. He got Joplin her start in music and introduced her to other Austin musicians. She shifted gears and started performing the blues just before she relocated to San Francisco. She joined up with Big Brother & the Holding Company in 1967 and became a huge hit with fans and critics. In 1969 she formed her own group, the Kozmic Blues Band and performed at Woodstock. By 1970, she had put together another batch of musicians called the Full Tilt Boogie Band and started recording her classic album Pearl. A heroin overdose took her life on October 4, 1970 at the age of 27. Pearl was released in January 1971 and the hit single Me & Bobby McGee became her biggest hit. A few years ago I read a fascinating book about Janis, written by her former road manager John Cooke. His book detailed her final American tour and recounts the day in October when found her unconscious in her hotel room. Now, acclaimed music writer Holly George Warren has written what may be the definitive story of Janis Joplin. The book, Janis – Her Life & Music, was a labor of love for Warren and goes to great lengths to tell her story. Early next year she will embark on a book signing tour with stops in Houston at the Brazos Book Store on January 10 and in Joplin’s hometown of Port Arthur on January 11. More information about the book and Joplin’s life can be found at JanisJoplin.com.