Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Holey Moley

What a weekend! Heck, what a week period. Went from Exhausted to in shock to exhausted again, and managed to keep going despite it all. I did find out that Red Jax tastes much better than either Monster or Rockstar, but I don't think it has quite the jolt the other two do. Or maybe I was beyond any help but sleep. Not certain.
Obviously, if you have read this blog, you know of the death in the Austin musical community. If not, check out the Austin chronicle on line, and learn a bit more about one of the most influential people in the last 25-30 years up there. I could ramble on about it, but really,...well, I don't know that Cliff himself would understand all the fuss....he was that kind of guy. Just know that Austin has changed forever, because of this man, and because he won't be there anymore, to help the new ones along.

My week otherwise was spent flyering my own city for the Red Room and Buttercup's CD release gig on Sunday. My partner Delphine was up at the Kerrville Folklife Festival for a couple of days, and sprained her ankle, so I ended up running things by myself. Many kudos to my best friend Casey for giving up his Friday evening to help me not panic. Los Mescaleros, a local blues group, played to an intimate but devoted crowd. These guys are one of a kind really, pulling in all kinds of influences, from the likes of John Lee Hooker to the Velvet Underground. Their music fit the mood of the RR better than lots of folks have. Almost everyone who has played the room has commented on the feel of the place; Los Mescaleros just seemed to slip into the inborn groove of the room, like they were a missing piece. It was very cool.
It could be that they are part of the room really, as guitarist Roland De La Cruz built the stage.....left more than just some nails and a hammer behind,hmm, Roland?

Saturday, Ms. Patricia Vonne and husband Bobby LaRoche graced our stage. Patricia is a San Antonio native, and thus has lots of friends and family that always come out in support. There were some lovely moments there, especially when Bobby improv-ed a tune about coming to SA to play the Red Room...got a sprained ankle up to dance, though she paid for it later! It was a great evening, and I was really glad to see the two of them again; they've been in Europe for like six weeks, on their fourth European tour in a year. I am so tickled for them that they are doing so well, but I bet it was nice to sleep in their own bed for a change.

Sunday Sunday Sunday...I was hired by Buttercup to flyer this city for this gig, though I did it as much for love of the band than any other reason. These guys have just brightened my world, and I knew this was going to be a special gig. I was pleased beyond words to see about 150-200 people turn up at the Beethoven Maennechor (an authentic German biergarten in San Antonio' art district, Southtown.) I think the guys were startled. This has got to be the largest audience I have ever heard of them playing for since I have known the band. Well, hell, I know why too. Great new CD, wonderful bunch of people playing in the band, and a holiday eve spent drinking good beer and listening to terrific music.

and it was amazing.
I caught a picture of Joe Reyes I can't wait to see: he went out on the back porch of this place (it's huge) with his ukelele...just stood there playing. Little by little, people started to pay attention, and then followed his back in, like rats with the pied piper! It was quite cute! And he knew it too! ;p

I snitched one of the set lists (a die-hard habit form Del Castillo gigs!), but what they played isn't quite as important as how. They had producer Mark Rubenstein on piano and others keys with them, and he played some delightful additions to the tunes. I am used to the Grackle session, where it's just BC. This was a treat. They also had local wiz-kid Marcus Rubio sit in on several tunes, first on violin, then guitar and finally saw. That was another picture I can't wait to see! At one point in the saw it, Erik held his mic out so we could better hear the saw. Then Joe did. Then Jamie did it! I was laughing so much, I hope that picture comes out. It was just a giant Grackle Sunday for these guys. I couldn't tell who pushed who higher, but by the end of a LONG set (about 2-2.5 hours) they were all just on such as energy high. Had it not been for the sensible management of the Maennechor, it might have been another hour. What a night. When I get the pictures back tomorrow, I am sure it will spark more stories. I am pretty sure last night is why i have been so tired today. I must say it was the cherry on top of the sundae of a weekend.

More later. Have to get up to the real world in the AM, which means rest now.


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