NWLYWD Starts Their Tour in Terlingua. Of course.

Austin by way of Las Vegas, NV band/duo NWLYWD played the first show of their national tour at the Boathouse in Terlingua, Tx. last night.

NWLYWD formed during the great vowel shortage of 2012, unfortunately.  They really couldn’t afford the necessary E’s to complete their band name, but it’s pronounced “newlywed.”

nw5

There’s a lot to unpack in that sentence.  For example, “band/duo.” Continue reading

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Grace Askew in Terlingua

I got a text message from a friend- “Grace Askew is playing the High Sierra tonight.”

“Who’s Grace Askew,” I asked?

“Bluesy, from Nashville, was on “The Voice.”

I responded, “are they filming the damn reality show?”

“No!!!”

Ok.  I spent the day working on vocals and guitar tracks at the studio, then to the Starlight Theatre for dinner.  Speculation was that the whole thing was about the Reality TV show.  After dinner, I went back to the studio to make rough mixes, and showed up at the High Sierra around 9:00, where Jeff Haislip was talking to a thin dark-haired woman at a table outside. No video cameras visible… good.

Grace Askew at the High Sierra, Terlingua, TX

Grace Askew at the High Sierra, Terlingua, TX

Continue reading

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Terlingua Goes Hollywood

Video crews, TV shows, Movies – in Terlingua?

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts…  last night, I played a drummer.

In the last month, we’ve had a Japanese TV crew shooting a car commercial, a Dutch travel show filming an episode for Euro-TV, a French crew doing something, and the “reality” show crew is still slithering about.

Last night, another video crew was in town to film a 30-second promotional video for the Texas Tourism board.  At the same time, a local TV reporter was filming an interview with the local District Attorney.

Brewster County DA, Rod Ponton, explains for the camera how he managed to not get a conviction.

Brewster County DA, Rod Ponton, explains for the camera how he managed to not get a conviction.

Actors entering the Starlight Theatre.

Actors entering the Starlight Theatre… again and again and again…

When did Terlingua go Hollywood? Continue reading

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Voices From Both Sides 2015 – Fiesta Protesta.

For the third year in a row, neighbors from both sides of the Rio Grande River gathered in Lajitas, Texas to celebrate “Voices From Both Sides,” a peaceful protest against the closing of the border.

Hands across the water.

Hands across the water.

Before the border closing, this stretch of the Texas border actually extended into Mexico. The communities of Paso Lajitas and San Carlos, as well as Boquillas and Santa Elena were home to many U.S. citizens. Traffic across the border was casual, and crossing the border for groceries, dinner, entertainment, or to visit family and friends was common- and the traffic went both ways. Continue reading

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Donkey Flats – South County Music Corral

There’s a new community gathering place and music venue on Terlingua Ranch, and yesterday George and Anita Goss hosted a party there to get it going.

An old airplane hanger near Camel’s hump on the Terlingua Ranch Road – formerly Suzie’s Snak Shack – is coming back to life as a community gathering place and music venue.

The Bar-B-Que was donated, and sold for $10/plate- all proceeds to go to getting the electricity turned on. The stage was built with volunteer labor and donated materials. The vibe was “old Terlingua” and so was the music- hand made, acoustic, and from the heart.

“I’ve never seen this many cars at Suzie’s before,” was a sentence I heard at least a dozen times yesterday.  People came from Lajitas, Terlingua, Study Butte and Terlingua Ranch to gather, dance, sing, and enjoy life in the desert. There is certainly a need for a community gathering place at the Ranch, and it won’t take much to make it a reality. Terlinguists are famous for making their own entertainment- we don’t need much more than an excuse and a place to create an excellent time.

There’s still a lot of work to do. George has a vision of turning this place into a concert hall, recording studio, possible video location, and a tribal gathering place for family and friends. It’s going to take money, materials, labor, and lots of beer- yesterday’s gathering proved it could be done.

df1 df2 Continue reading

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New Terlingua Music: Paul Sprawl at the Boathouse

A couple of weeks ago, a tall lanky guy wandered into my recording studio by accident. We got to know each other, and found we had a lot in common.

Then, I pulled up a youtube video of him playing… wow. Here’s a video- you can go to YouTube and type in his name and be entertained for hours.

He and his wife have moved to Terlingua and are creating a space for artists called “Glint” on their land.  He told me a little about himself:  he’s a touring musician, does better in Europe than the U.S., is quite technologically savvy and knows his way around a recording studio.

We talked a while, and I encouraged him to play the local venues here in Terlingua so his neighbors can get to know him- and enjoy his music. Very soon, I heard he was going to play at the Boathouse. Continue reading

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Voices From Both Sides Benefit 2015

Sunday, 4-12-15, High Sierra Bar and Grill, Terlingua, Texas.

Funding for the third annual “Voices From Both Sides” Fiesta-Protesta was provided by the Terlingua community at last night’s benefit/auction.

It all started with music.  As Jeff Haislip and Patrick Smith performed, a fabulous “wall-cloud” storm blew in from the West, dropping the temperature by at least 15 degrees, and blowing wind and rain at a high velocity.

Inside the High Sierra, musicians made music, kids played with various electronic devices and each other, and friends talked and hugged.  Collie Ryan, Jalapeno Schwartz, Chris Baker, Charlotte Teer, and others performed.

After the music came the auction, and several hundred (thousand?) dollars were raised to help Jeff and Collie Ryan put on the show.

After the auction, the music resumed, the storm moved on, and the sun came out.

Here are some pics.

 

voni paul Continue reading

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Terlingua to Reality Show Producers: “HELL NO!”

A reality show in Terlingua?

Maybe.  Maybe not.

A reality show in Terlingua that is going to exploit Glenn Felt’s death and Tony Flint’s trial?

HELL NO!

This morning I woke up early and LaRoja didn’t, so I slipped outside, got in the 4Runner, and drove to the American Legion parking lot on HWY 118.  Using the legion’s internet to check my emails on my phone, I received this:

Subject line:  Glenn Felts

Pat;

Good day to you.  We are, as you may know,  in the midst of filming a new
documentary series – Badlands – for National Geographic.  Filming is
taking  place in Terlingua, Texas in earnest for the next 10 weeks. Here
is a synopsis of this exciting series that examines man’s thirst for
adventure in the one of the most remote places in the Southwest and the
people whose gusto for life takes us all over the Badlands of Texas.

THE BADLANDS
Hundreds of miles from the nearest city sits a small town, Terlingua,
Texas,  in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert populated by people who
have given up modern comforts and financial stability for something that
money cannot buy – freedom. THE BADLANDS is an 8-part documentary series that brings this world to our viewers through an intimate look at the
people who live here and the businesses that make the town function, all
set against the backdrop of a murder trial that has torn the community
apart.

I came upon your web site Terlingua Music – and saw your posting about
Glenn and the celebration of his life and what he meant to the community.
I would like to know if we can chat soon and like to ask you about the
photos that were posted and the video crew that was filming.

I thank you for you consideration and look forward to a favorable reply to
our request.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact
me.

Best Regards,

David

David Scott Jones
Associate Producer
Original Productions, LLC
308 W. Verdugo Ave.
Burbank, CA 91502 USA
P: 818/295-xxxx
M: 818-378-xxxx
E: djones@(xxxxx).com

Original Productions, LLC is a television production company based in
Burbank, California and was founded in 1999 by veteran television producer Thom Beers.  Original Productions is best known for producing reality television shows for the Discovery Channel but has more recently produced shows for other networks such as History, NatGeo, truTV, and Spike. Some of its most popular shows are Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men, Coal, Black Gold, and 1000 Ways to Die just to name a few.  Its earlier hit was Monster Garage.

National Geographic Channel (also known as Nat Geo) is the American
digital cable and satellite television channel that is owned by Fox Cable
Networks division of 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society.

The channel airs non-fiction television programs produced by National
Geographic and other production companies. Like History and Discovery
Channel, the channel features documentaries with factual content involving nature, science, culture, and history, plus some reality entertainment programming. Its primary sister network worldwide, including the United States, is Nat Geo Wild, which focuses (sic)

 

My initial thought was that the timing was excellent. I’m sure they’d pay me well for the use of my photographs. I was tempted. I’ve had some expensive health issues lately and could use the money. Seeing my photos on a national TV show would be nice.

Prestige and money.  What’s the problem?

Here’s the problem.

1. Tony and Glenn both were/are friends of mine.  The story of Glenn’s death is not a simple, one-dimensional story and it’s far too personal to trivialize.  The fact that they’re shooting their “reality” show during Tony’s trial is not a coincidence, and is insidious.

2. There is a rich, nuanced and fascinating story to be told about Terlingua. The people who live here and the culture we’ve created are unique and valuable. It would be good for the rest of the world to know that such a place exists.

The Terlingua they describe in their synopsis bears no similarity to the place where I live.

Unfortunately, the producers of this show aren’t interested in the story of Terlingua.

Here’s my reply:

David,

No.  We have nothing to talk about.  You do not have my permission to use any of my intellectual property or content, including photographs and videos, for any purpose at all- and specifically not in a reality show.

Especially THIS reality show.  From your synopsis, it’s obvious that you’re starting with a false premise and are going to create your “reality” show to fit that premise, regardless of how far away from reality that premise is. Exploiting Glenn’s murder and Tony’s trial for profit and cheap sensationalism is inexcusable.

I’m especially irritated that you want to create a narrative that focuses on how Glenn’s death has “torn the community apart.”  It has done no such thing.

There is a good story to be told about Terlingua, its people and its history.  This reality show isn’t it.

Sincerely,

Pat O’Bryan

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“Will play for food – for others.” Terlingua Musicians Rock!

 

Terlingua musicians rock in many ways- musically, compositionally, harmonically, personally.

Yesterday, they rocked compassionately as Jeffro Greasewood handed Mike Drinkard a check for $1,200.

Jeffro hands Mike the check.

Jeffro hands Mike the check.

Jeffro runs the open mic at the Boathouse on Wednesdays.  Anybody who runs an open mic knows this one:  you might run 30 musicians across that stage- who gets the tips?

Jeffro’s solution was to pool the tips and donate them to the Big Bend Crisis Center’s Food Distribution program- the local food bank.  The open-mic participants agreed that this was a grand idea.  The food bank is a popular charity for local musicians- in our small community in some months 240 households get food assistance.  The majority of the recipients are either children or the elderly.

That $1,200 check will completely fund the food distribution program for 2-4 months.

Congratulations and a big round of applause to Jeffro, Jeff Haislip, Charlotte Teer, Jim Keaveny, Anna Oakley, Alex and Marti Whitmore, Emy, Bryn Moore, Hank Woji, Mark Lewis, Chase Peeler, Shannon Carter, Laird Considine, Trevor Hickle, Trevor Reichman, Webster Delcambre, Jana Laven, and the rest of the open mic gang, and a deep bow of gratitude to the Don and the Boathouse for supporting local music and musicians.

 

Jeffro Greasewood (with Jeff Haislip)

Jeffro Greasewood (with Jeff Haislip)

Mike Drinkard, director, Family Crisis Center

Mike Drinkard, director, Family Crisis Center

 

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Keith Gattis in Terlingua – (not El Cerrito Place)

Talking to Keith Gattis last night was pretty mind blowing.

I know a lot of songwriters. I am one. Songwriter friends, try saying the following sentence out loud and see how it feels:

“It’s been kind of a slow year- so far, I’ve had four cuts by George Strait, one by Willie Nelson, and one by Randy Travis.”

Feels good, doesn’t it?  For those of you who, like me, have kinda wished for a major artist to record one of your songs… or, like others, have actually tried for decades to make such an event occur… well, it’s mind-blowing.

Add in a new wife and a gorgeous baby daughter (he showed pics on his phone) and it’s no wonder Keith is smiling.

He’s also starred at the Grand Ol’ Opry, played guitar for Dwight Yoakum, had hit records of his own and written hits for many other country stars.  He produces albums in his Nashville studio. He’s got a new CD coming out soon. Tours will follow.

For fun, Keith comes to Terlingua and plays guitar with the locals.  He and Webster do a collection of classic country standard tunes.  It’s very Terlingua.  Inclusive.  Alternate chords and non-traditional time adventures abound.

Last night, Laird Considine played bass, Charlotte played her (do NOT call it a fiddle) viola, I played keyboards, and Abbie (not pictured) played harmonica and mandolin.  Webster played guitar and sang the country and cajun songs.  Keith played blistering leads on his tele and sang.

High points, from my vantage point behind the piano, were a minor-key variation on “Dang Me” by Roger Miller, and “Bones” and “el Cerrito Place,” which Keith wrote.

The High Sierra bar and grill was packed.  Word got around fast that something was happening. Most of the listeners had no idea who they were listening to, but knew they were seeing a hell of a show.

Here’s a YouTube clip of Keith doing “El Cerrito Place.”  You might enjoy typing his name into YouTube and seeing what comes up… he’s fearless about what he puts out there, and you can find some incendiary honky-tonk performances if you look.

Here’s Keith and a group of locals – Charlotte Teer on Viola, Laird Considine on Bass, me on keyboards- doing a bluesy, minor-key version of “Dang Me.”

 

 

Here’s what last night looked like-

band keith 1 keith and web

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