There was some amazing music in Terlingua over the holidays:
Butch and Rory Hancock, Jimmie Dale and Colin Gilmore, Gurf Morlix, The Mastersons, Bonnie Whitmore, Jacob Jaeger, Kristopher and Ann Wade, The Jitterbug Vipers, Will Taylor (Strings Attached), Chet O’Keefe…
And some locals also played- The Whitmores, The Fabulous Vortexans (with Chase Peeler on Sax!), Jim Keaveny and band.
From a consumer’s point of view, it was a delicious smorgasbord of wonderful noises.
I play guitar and keys in the Fabulous Vortexans Blues/Jam Band and our show at the Starlight Theatre was packed. It is so much fun to play for a room full of dancing, happy people. That band at that venue on that night is becoming a tradition, and it’s one I treasure and hope to continue for years. I’ve come to expect New Year’s Eve to be packed.
However; I was surprised that the Townes Van Zant tribute (1/1/16) at the Starlight was so packed that there was nowhere to stand or sit. There were so many people listening to the music… and ordering drinks and food… and talking… and the waitresses zoomed by like smart bombs loaded with burgers and beer, gracefully bouncing off of people who drifted and rebounded like the rocks in an old asteroids video game looking for a safe place to stand… Continue reading “Holiday Music – Terlingua”
Before the Jitterbug Vipers unleashed their Viper Jazz on a standing room only crowd in the Boathouse, Sharron and Jeffro had a renuptual ceremony behind the Boathouse.
What’s a renuptual ceremony? Well, first there was the “Frayed (fraid) knot ceremony where Jeffro and Sha promised to not get married. Then they got married. Then, yesterday, they did it again.
After the ceremony, the attendees all laid on the dance floor and watched the sun dogs in the sky. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a sun dog before- it’s a rainbow directly overhead, best viewed from a prone position after a couple of shots of sotol.
Viper music was developed in the 1940’s to celebrate the underground- specifically pot-smoking- culture that was developing then. It’s a fun, swinging genre that leaves lots of room for virtuoso soloing by the musicians. Greg Harkins, Beth Gallagher, and Cinco laid down some very impressive leads.
Popularized by the gone but damn sure not forgotten Slim Ritchy (The Most Dangerous Guitar Player in Texas), the current line-up of the Jitterbug Vipers keeps the spirit and chops alive and jamming.
The Boathouse was absolutely packed. Some of the tourists seemed confused, and left early. This was not what they expected. Their places were quickly taken by those who “got it,” and the crowd stayed to the end.
The Vipers will be back at the Boathouse tonight. Long-time Terlingua celebrity Uh Clem will be at the Starlight.
The 2nd Annual Mark Kneeskern Art Party was just how Mark would have liked it. Costumes, art, dancing, music…
Yes, it was a party. However, it was a party for a good cause. In addition to remembering Mark, thousands of dollars were raised to teach art to children and provide a scholarship for a local graduate.
For the last 12 years, long-time Terlingua resident Marcos Paredes has taken food and presents to the children of Boquillas on Christmas Day. Marcos and some of his friends and neighbors have bought presents for the children plus turkeys and hams for their families, and delivered them personally.
This is a wonderful tradition. For it to continue, we need to pitch in.
Although there is now a legal border crossing into Boquillas, tourism is way down from where it used to be and without our efforts these children will not have much of a Christmas.
This year, Santa needs some help. He needs your help so that our less fortunate neighbors to the South can celebrate Christmas.
Halloween in Terlingua. For about 15 years, the big party was at La Kiva. Gumby behind the bar, Trevor Hickle and band on the stage, and locals in amazing costumes dancing.
Some things change, some things stay the same.
This year, the big party was at the Boathouse. Gumby behind the bar, Trevor Hickle and band on stage, and a packed house of locals in amazing costumes.
The Fabulous Vortexans played the blues and jam-rock, Gumby and Laura served the beer, James cooked dinner and played drums- but it was the vampires, skeletons, and zombies of Terlingua who provided the entertainment.
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It’s a slow summer in Terlingua, music-wise, until the Viva Terlingua Festival cranks up August 20-23. Since so many of the people who check out this blog are involved in the creation of fun noises, I’m using this space to share what I’ve learned recently about music promotion.
The first step is to actually create the music recording. I’m not even going to try to cover that here. Any musician with a computer, a decent microphone, and some software has the technical tools to create recorded music.
I use an Apple computer running Logic, Tascam interface, JoMeek and Bellari pre-amps, and Neuman, Shure, MXL, Audio-Technica, AKG (etc) microphones. I have 27 guitars, 5 guitar amps + a Line 6 Pod (which is what I actually use most of the time), and several vintage and modern keyboards (which I use as MIDI controllers because Logic’s software instruments are better than the sounds in the keyboards). You don’t need near that much stuff to get acceptable results. Many hit records have been recorded with a Shure SM-58, and MXL makes pretty good large diaphragm condenser mics that are cheaper than that SM-58. Audacity is a FREE software program that you can use to make professional recordings.
Bottom line, gear is NOT your problem.
You may have a problem if you’re new to recording. I learned how to make records on 2″ tape decks and have been doing it for decades. I followed the transition from analog to digital as a professional. So, when I look at the controls of the virtual tube compressor I know what “attack,” “ratio,” “knee,” and the other techie words mean. I know how hard to hit the virtual tape emulator to get the sound I’m looking for. When I call up the virtual ARP 2600 in Logic, I know which patch-cord goes where to get the sound I need.
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.
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.
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 “Voices From Both Sides 2015 – Fiesta Protesta.”
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.