Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Last Friday night out on the town, and a great weekend.

Friday night started as so many other have before. Denise and I headed over to Salado so I could let my Cousin Pat cut my hair. She does such a good job, and it's always a treat to see her. By the time we headed out of there it was rainin' cats and dogs. It was almost too bad to drive in, but I wasn't gonna let that deter me.

We drove from Salado up to Temple and took Mom over to Dynasty and had some wonderful Chinese food. It's always fresh and delectable. You've heard me rant about it before. I wish I could take you all by there to let you sample their wares.

General Tso's Chicken, shrimp fried rice, an egg roll and a few tender fried chicken wings. Mmmmm, good? You're lookin' at the first of two plates. Yep, I was a baaaad boy. After takin' mom home, and gettin' soaked in the process, Denise and I headed south towards Austin.

I'd learned Thursday morning that Jimmie Vaughan was going to be playing a concert Friday night at Antone's, a famous Austin Blues venue. I've heard of the place for years, but never ventured down. This time I was determined, so much so that the worst rain storm in as long as we could remember wasn't going to get in the way.
In the end we were happy to witness some great music being made.

I arranged for two tickets to be ready for my lady and I at the door (this shot was taken Sunday afternoon, after the rain had long since passed). The web site said the show began at 8pm, but it turned out they really didn't really start playing till 9PM, and there were two lead up bands scheduled in stead of one. It would be 11PM before Vaughan would take the stage.

So, my girlfriend and I had a lot of standin' around, and some expensive drinkin' to do, waitin' for the show to begin. Good thing about that, we got there early enough that we didn't have to elbow our way up to the front when the show finally got rollin'.

The first band of the night was a local blues/jazz trio (who's name escapes me now... sorry guys), but this time they were joined by a familiar face. The young man you see there with the red guitar is Gary Clark Jr. You may remember him from the report I did on the Derek Trucks Concert I attended in Dallas a while back.

He was fronting his own band that night, playing his own music. This time though, he and the others took us though a short list of classic Blues and Jazz instrumentals, and then he gave voice to a few other old Blues numbers. It was a great gig, and the crowd rewarded their efforts with a loud applause.

The second band on the list is a local group of ladies, calling themselves The Bluebonnets. They were billed as a Blues/Rock band, but to be honest, I kept thinking they were a perfect mix of bands like The Bangles (knock down gorgeous chicks),
L7 (balls to the wall attitude), and maybe the Pretenders (knock your socks off skills with the instruments). I loved their music, and I wasn't alone.

It was loud, almost Punk, and yet the Blues was there too.
Towards the end of their set, the lady in the middle said "We've got one more song to play and then Jimmie'll be comin' out." Someone in the crowd responded with "Jimmie who?", and the audience cheered. I predict, if they ever get anyone in the industry to pay attention to them, they'll go far. If you get a chance to see them, don't pass it up.

Just as scheduled, at about 11PM, Jimmie Vaughan came out and the crowd went wild. He took us through several classic tunes, and then, with Fridays crazy thunderstorms in everyone's mind, he busted into a tune his younger brother made famous. You should have heard the crowd cheer when we all heard the opening riffs of "Texas Flood". We all sang along with it. It was awesome! Here's a taste, from an earlier show at the same Austin venue.

One understands, listening to Jimmie sing, why his singing has never won him wide acclaim. But there's no faulting his guitar work. He's not his brother, but Lord knows, no one ever was or will be again. God only lays his hand on a few in that way. And hell, the singing wasn't all that bad anyway. After all, it's a Blues concert, not Top-40!

After about 45 minutes, Vaughan welcomed another local Blues personality onto the stage. Vaughan made a CD with
Omar Dykes (of Omar and the Howlers fame) last year, and they announced here that they'd cut another one that'd be on sale soon.

Jimmie was in rare form, at one point tossing the guitar over his head and playing on, unobstructed. I'd seen Omar lurking in the background, his distinctive silhouette in the back of the crowd, so I'd hoped he'd come up. Sure enough, Omar's got the singin' down, fer sure. His voice is a classic. So the show just got better as we rolled into the second hour.

The guys went through several great tunes from their CD, "The Jimmy Reed Highway", and then welcomed Lou Ann Barton up on stage to complete the family (it turns out Barton and Gary Clark also appear on the CD, along with Delbert McClinton). It was wonderful. A local treasure, Lou Anne has never hit it big, but she's played with many local artists who have, like Jimmie, and Omar, and Jimmie's little brother Stevie and his band Double Trouble.

After two hours of playing, the concert ended with a rep from Fender helping Jimmie give a guitar away. They'd sold raffle tickets at the door, the money going to charity. It was a great end to the night. Before leaving though, I stepped over to the desk by the front door and picked up a few souvenirs.

They sell t-shirts and old concert posters right by the door. You can see some of that in one of the shots above. I looked through the stack of old posters and chose two that I thought would look cool on my wall.

They'll both be framed, and hung in a fitting spot. Come over some time and I'll show 'em to ya.

After getting home late, about 3AM, we crashed and didn't do anything Saturday. There's weeds and crap beggin' to be pulled, but they're just gonna have to wait.

Sunday, Denise and I headed back down to Austin. We took in a Gun Show there, where I made a few special purchases.

I'm a sucker for a cool t-shirt, and there were a few on sale there.

I particularly loved this one. I always wondered about the exact mixture of that little cocktail. Cool. You never know when you might need to toss a few back.

I've wanted to pick up a 30 round clip for my M-1 carbine ever since I got the gun.

My 20 round clip works just fine, but there's nothing like the look of that banana clip to set off your inner demons. OK, so they don't really go with the M-1, but with the M-2. Dude, don't be harshin' my mellow!

I wanted one, but I wanted to get a real one, rather than a reproduction. I found a guy with a stack of them at the show. $20 and presto...

, now that's a cool look, eh? Come on, wouldn't you love to play with it?
After the Gun Show, Denise and I headed over to Pappasito's, to pay ourselves back for the good Tex Mex dinner we didn't get to enjoy the last Sunday due to our late return from Kentucky. I won't tease you with pictures... OK, I forgot to take the friggin' camera into the restaurant. OK, sue me. Anyway, you've seen it all before.

Here's a link, just in case you've forgotten what it all looks like.
It was wonderful! We enjoyed a big bowl of spicy beef queso and chips, and then shared a plate of beef and chicken fajitas and rock lobster. I had a cold glass of Shiner Bock, and Denise had a strawberry margarita. She doesn't go for sea food, so I was forced... FORCED, to consume all of the rock lobster myself, and then four butter dipped Brochette shrimp on the side. It was torture! But they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Here's to that.

This coming weekend looks like it's gonna be a busy one too. Those weeds are gonna be tall before I get to them. Anyone wanna come by and do some yard work? I'll let you play with my toys!

Aaaahahahahahaha (demonic laughter). Cheers!


Hammer said...

Sounds like a great time.

I saw him once at the sunken gardens theatre here. He was on with Santana.

I bought a couple of those bad boys for my carbine too. They do indeed look sharp.

FHB said...

Man, I saw Tool at the Sunken Garden Theater in about 96. If there was ever a better place to herd people in and shoot them, that's the spot. I was almost trampled trying to get out after the gig. Awesome concert though.

PRH....... said...

Love me the gun shows! Going to everyone I get a chance to this summer, because you never know when the other Obama shoe is going to drop.