Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's a personal record.

The week after my visit to Kentucky was a busy one. I managed to attend three great concerts that week. One on my own, one with my buddy Glenn, and another with Denise and a few great friends of ours.

I flew home on Columbus Day, the Monday. I got home at about 6:45PM and set to work fixin' and emailin' all the pictures I took of the new baby. That took me most of the evening. It was weird bein' there by myself. The cats didn't know what to do. They wanted their momma, who spoils the hell out of them, gooin' and gushin' over them all the time.

Bein' busy, I mostly ignored the occasional soft nudge at my leg, but would put a hand down now and then, only to have them scurry away. I guess I've grabbed 'em and squeezed 'em too many times, so now they don't trust me. That's cool. They don't wake my ass up meowin' in the middle of the night ether. Toss enough pillows at them and they get the picture.

I went to work Tuesday in Florence and San Saba, and then I drove down To Austin Tuesday night to see the Black Crowes at Stubb's BBQ.

They have a little outdoor stage behind the place, which turned out to be a great place to experience a concert. I'd seen the Crowes a few times before, but I'd never been to Stubb's, so it was a special event for me.

The concert was great! I elbowed my way up close to the stage and tried to take some decent pictures. You can click over here and look at the rest of them, or click over here and read a full report.

It was great! In the end, I picked up a few new t-shirts and a CD, and was home workin' on the concert pictures by midnight. I think I stayed up till about 3AM workin' on 'em, but I knew I had to get them done. There were still shots from the previous weeks gig, the Kings of Leon, and I had to get them all done. I knew there were more to come.

Friday night, Denise was scheduled to fly back to Texas, but I couldn't be there. Months earlier, my buddy Glenn and I had bought tickets to see the Allman Brothers and Widespread Panic in Dallas. The concert started at 7PM, so there was no way I could be there at the airport to meet Denise's plane. So I got another friend to follow me out to our local airport Friday afternoon and I left Denise's car in the long term parking. I left a ten spot on the dash for the parking fee, called her and told her where she could find her car.

Glenn lives up in Waco, between here and Dallas, and he gets home from his day job, teaching at a local elementary school, at about 4:30PM. So we planned for me to swing by about that time, pick him up and we'd head up to the gig. We thought there might be some traffic issues, but we figured if we left his place early enough we'd be able to avoid much of it. Famous last words.

I was in my first bumper to bumper snarl almost as soon as I hit I-35. I was about a half hour late pickin' Glenn up, and then we ended up havin' to explore side roads to try to avoid the snarls we hit north of Waco. It was ugly, and incredibly frustrating. We both wanted to see the lead-up band, Widespread Panic, and we were afraid we'd end up missing them entirely.

By the time we got to Dallas we thought we were home free. Again, famous last words. We ended up getting tangled up in State Fair traffic, and then having to park about a mile from the concert venue.

By the time we got in there, Widespread Panic had finished most of their set. Derek Trucks had come up on stage to play a long jam with them, so we took the time to grab a hot dog and a beer and took our seats under the awning to enjoy the rest of the show.

By the time the Allman Brothers took the stage we'd traded our lousy seats on the edge of the awning for empty ones more towards the middle of the stage. Those proved to be excellent seats. So, thanks, to whoever didn't show up that night. We enjoyed it!

The Allman Brothers are a band I've always loved, but I'd never seen them till last Friday night. There are only about three original band members left, but the folks that have ether passed away or left the band have been replaced with other excellent musicians, Like Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks (who's uncle, Butch Trucks, still plays drums in the band). So there's no excuse for not goin' and enjoyin' all that great old music.

This years concert tour is designed to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Album Eat A Peach. At the end of the concert, as the encore began, Greg Allman came out from behind the organ and played the acoustic guitar to Warren Haynes beautiful electric, on the old song Melissa. Here's a taste.

That guy in the black shirt with the long hair, makin' that wonderful noise, is Warren Haynes. What you see there in that video is what we got. The line-up you see there is about what we saw the other night. Maybe the bas player is different, but everyone else is the same.

They played beautifully, and we soaked it up till the end. The final encore was Whippin' Post, which has always been one of my favorites. In all, they played for about two hours, letting up at about 11:45 PM. It was wonderful.

The most touching part of the concert for me was when they superimposed the image of Derek Trucks with the images of long passed band members like Allen Woody and Dwayne Allman.

You can go here and see a few more shots. Glenn and I drove home after the show. By the time I made it home and slid into bed beside Denise it was close to 3AM. Still, it was a great reunion. I was really missing her.

Saturday morning, as pooped as I was, I had to get up at about 9AM and drive over to Salado to get my hair cut. I wasn't shaggy or anything, but I knew that by the time another free Friday or Saturday rolled around I would be.

By the time I drove home from gettin sheared, Denise was up and we were gettin' ready to drive down to Bastrop, where we ere scheduled to meet some friends and attend an annual charity concert down there, benefiting the local Boys and Girls Club.

It's called the Jazz Jam, and includes performances by locally born artists like the Jazz performer, Hannibal Lokumbe, and guitar great Eric Johnson.

We drove down, got into our room at the hotel and met our friends, Jim and Terry, at the hospital where the benefit is held.

See what I have to deal with. Witness protection program, fer sure.

The concert always starts out with these guys, local musicians, who play the hell out of those guitars.

Then Hannibal comes up and joins them. They jam for about a half our, and he plays the hell out of that trumpet.

Then, the highlight of the evening has Eric Johnson, who was born and raised in Bastrop, coming up and doing about forty-five minutes of his best stuff. In the end, we were all happy, giving them all a standing "O" and making plans to come back next year. You can go here and see the rest of those shots.

We met up the next morning for the complementary breakfast, and then headed over to Austin to attend their monthly Gun Show. It turned out to be lame, with only about a third of the tables set up that they normally have. I did get a chance to show my new .45 to Jim though. He approved.

After that we went over to Pappasito's for lunch. After some good spicy queso and fejitas, we all finally said our goodbyes and parted ways. Denise and I drove home, and then I crashed. I was pooped. I think I had about a three hour nap. Then , taking advantage of the remaining sunlight, I spent about and hour trimming weeds in the yard, tryin' to police up the place so the code enforcement folks don't come knockin' on my door.

So, that was one hell of a week. This week has been placid in comparison, but it has had it's own excitements. I started a new semester Tuesday night on Ft. Hood, and now, as I type this, we're packing for a flight to Orlando. Denise's brother, his wife, sister-in-law and their parents are all flying in from England to their time-share and we're gonna spend the weekend with them. It'll be a hoot. they're all fun folks to hang with.

So, enough is enough. I'll reconnect with ya next week. Try to have a good weekend yourself, and try to remember my buddy Mushy and his mom in your thoughts and prayers. Cheers!


BRUNO said...

Damn, I'm tired!

And all I had to do was READ it!!!

Suldog said...

Excellent. I saw The Allmans back in the 70's in Boston. It was the version of the band from "Brothers & Sisters", after Duane and Berry had passed, Chuck Leavell joined, etc. Dickie Betts was ON FIRE that night I saw them. One of my favorite concert memories.

Hey, here's a question for you: Have you ever seen Steve Morse or his band Dixie Dregs? I had the extreme pleasure of catching him just two nights ago at Berklee College Of Music here in Beantown. Amazing guitar player. Revved up jazz fusion with a metal edge to it, so maybe not everybody's cup of tea, but I loved it. His bass player, Dave LaRue, makes me me ashamed to call myself a bass player. My playing, compared to his, is as if I were a caveman banging two rocks together (and not two particularly well-tuned rocks, either.) He was stunningly good.

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

Where the Hell do you find the time?

Great Stuff!

FHB said...

Bruno - Me too, but it was a good tired.

Sully - Nope, I'll have to check that guy out. I wish I'd seen the ABB back then too. Cool!

PRH - Truthfully, I really don't know.