Open Mic at the Boathouse

For 16(?) years, every Wednesday there was an open mic at La Kiva.  It was the longest-running open mic in the galaxy, and they didn’t skip a Wednesday in all those years.

For several weeks after La Kiva closed, we gathered at La Kiva’s parking lot or the “Passing Wind” compound near the ghost town, and continued the tradition.

Time passed…

Two weeks ago, I was honored to host the first Wednesday night open mic at the Boathouse. Jeffro Greasewood is the host, but he was under the weather that night.  Last Wednesday night, Jeffro was back at full strength and the Boathouse was packed with players, listeners, dancers, and an Archie action figure.

This is an ongoing, weekly open mic- and you never know who will show up. C’ya there.

Jeffro Greasewood hosts the open mic at the Boathouse in Terlingua

Jeffro Greasewood hosts the open mic at the Boathouse in Terlingua- Bucky plays along on ukelele.

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Townes Van Zandt Tribute at the Starlight Theatre, 2015

New Year’s Day, 2015, the 3rd annual Townes Van Zandt tribute was hosted at the Starlight Theatre by Butch Hancock, with assistance from Rory Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Colin Gilmore.

Moses and Brandi started it off on the “little stage.”

Then Butch, who actually knew Townes for decades, did a few Townes songs and told some funny stories.

Then, the open mic started. Jalapeno Schwartz did a few obscure Townes songs, Laird Considine (with Butch and Rory) did Pancho and Lefty, Jim Keaveny did “No Deal,” which should be the official song for the Terlingua Drinking Team.

Several others played Townes songs, or songs that sounded like Townes songs, or songs Townes might have done at some point…

Then, Butch, Jimmie Dale, Rory and Colin took over- and I felt like I was witnessing Texas Music history. Timeless performance of timeless music:  Butch and his son Rory, who is turning into a fine guitar player and Jimmie Dale and his son, Colin, who is building a solid career the old fashioned way.

Colin and his wife also played a couple of tunes.

The Starlight was packed.  The dance floor was converted to concert seating, and packed.

Only in Terlingua, y’all.

 

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Celebrating Mark “Eyeball” Kneeskern

Friday and Saturday, 12/19/14, 12/20/14, family and friends of Mark Kneerskern gathered at the Starlight Theatre in Terlingua to celebrate Mark’s life with art, poetry and music.

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Free Tea Party Bus in Terlingua

From the porch in Terlingua I noticed a converted bus in front of the art gallery… not too unusual. Terlingua attracts all sorts of alternative living people and out here a bus is not an unusual structure for a home.  The only unusual part was that apparently this bus actually runs.

Later, at the community garden, the same bus was there. This time I noticed the sign:  “free tea.”

Ok. I’ll bite.

I wandered over and met Guisepi, Mr. Tea, the free tea guy. Very quickly, I realized that he was a very special guy with an amazing mission.

Guisepi, the free tea guy

Guisepi, the free tea guy

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Terlingua off-season

During the Thanksgiving holidays the Terlingua Ghost Town was packed. Tourists from all over the world came to enjoy Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and Terlingua. There was a two hour wait to get into the Starlight Theatre. A line at the bathrooms. Traffic on the roads and lots of new faces on the porch.

Then, the holidays ended and the tourists returned to their points of origin, leaving just Terlinguists in Terlingua.

We appreciate the visitors, and the economy wouldn’t work without them- but, it’s also nice when it’s just locals. Last night, Laird Considine played the Starlight Theatre with Chase Peeler on Sax and Taylor Luttrell on fiddle.  Dancing ensued.

At the Boathouse, James and Don were serving up delicious burgers as the locals gathered outside to watch the sunset. In the back, there was a cut-throat competitive scrabble game going on.

I didn’t make it down to the High Sierra and La Kiva is still under construction, but as I drove the 30 miles home- passing two cars on the way – I reflected on the fact that we’ve built a pretty nice little world down here.

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Recording Studio in the Big Bend?

There is a surprising, unlikely, music recording studio in Terlingua.

 

You should probably make your next CD in Terlingua.

Studio Butte, the only professional recording studio in the Big Bend (Terlingua, Alpine, Study Butte, Lajitas) area, is an unexpected delight.

Hours from the nearest highway or airport, you drive right past the driveway to the studio when you’re heading to Big Bend National Park.

Created by local musician/band director Ted Arbogast in 1990, the studio has an alarmingly good selection of mics, pre-amps, and outboard effects. There’s enough room- and rooms- to record a full-size band with drums and horns. The Rolling Stones would’a loved this place.

Ted at the controls


Ted at the controls

If this studio was in New York or L.A., it would be packed 24/7 with sessions- especially at Ted’s rates. Continue reading

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Bottom Dollar String Band, Bruce Salmon – Music in Terlingua

Another great night of music in Terlingua-

 

Trevor Reichman played the dinner set at the Starlight Theatre, accompanied by the newly returned Chase Peeler. Chase slipped out early to play with Hank Woji at the Boathouse.

Then, the Bottom Dollar String Band played. They look like a high-school field trip gone bad, but they play like seasoned veterans. Dancing was.

I left after the first set, but stopped by the High Sierra to say howdy to Bruce Salmon, who was playing a passionate set to some very intent listeners.

Tonight is going to be just as strong, musically.  The Bottom Dollar String Band will be at the High Sierra, Frank Myer is at the Boathouse, and I’ll be with the Fabulous Vortexans at the Starlight Theatre.

Trevor Reichman with Chase Peeler at the Starlight Theatre


Trevor Reichman with Chase Peeler at the Starlight Theatre

Bottom Dollar String Band at the Starlight Theatre


Bottom Dollar String Band at the Starlight Theatre

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Fletcher Clark, Russell Clepper, and the ghost of Steve Fromholz

Last night, Fletcher Clark played the Starlight Theatre.

 Fletcher Clark


Fletcher Clark

There’s a lot of information packed in that sentence- let me unpack it for you.  Fletcher is “olde Austin” royalty. Back in the 70’s he had a band called Balcones Fault which was, at the time, the most popular band in Austin.

They almost made it. Signed with the William Morris agency, moved to California, almost, but not quite, got the big record deal. After two years of that, Fletcher called it quits and headed back to Austin where he took over the Armadillo World Headquarters’ recording studio and record label. Continue reading

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Elizabeth Lee in Terlingua

International blues-rock singer, Elizabeth Lee, visited Terlingua for a couple of special acoustic shows. She’s a festival/concert performer with her band in Europe, and currently has a song on the Euro-pop charts.

Sunday night, she was joined by Trevor Hickle and myself at the High Sierra Bar and Grill. Monday, she and I played at the Starlight Theatre.

Hormones were carbonated, and Terlinguists were treated to some world-class blues rock.

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Elizabeth Lee

Me, Elizabeth, and Trevor Hickle


Me, Elizabeth, and Trevor Hickle

Elizabeth Lee at the High Sierra


Elizabeth Lee at the High Sierra

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C.A.S.I. Chili Cook-Off, Terlingua, 2014

The Chili Appreciation Society of America’s Chili Cook-off in Terlingua, Texas just has to be seen to be believed.

Tits, Beer, and Chili is the rallying cry.

Thousands of people, RVs, tents, 4-wheelers, and trucks create a temporary city between Terlingua and Lajitas. During the day, it’s a dusty, hung-over parking lot with redneck zombies wandering around nursing a “hair of the dog” that bit them the night before.

Tonight will be a combination of Mad Max and a Fellini film.

Last Wednesday, The Fabulous Vortexans, a blues band I’m proud to play with, performed for an appreciative crowd. The scene was impressive then. Since then, thousands more chili-heads have made the trip.

Tonight will be the big party- Chili will be served and judged, there will be music, dancing, pole-dancing, breast painting, and a LOT of alcohol will be consumed. I’ll be safely playing the Boathouse in Terlingua with Trevor Hickle and Laird Considine… darn it. The missed photo opportunity…

I drove through the site today just to get a feel for it- here’s some pics.

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At the tequila and cigar party

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