Viva Big Bend Music Festival 2013 – Lost Horse Saloon – Marfa, Texas.
The Big Bend of Texas is the last outpost for singer-songwriters. Totally uninfluenced by outside trends, it’s a world unto itself. On any night, and pretty much all day long, there is music playing here.
The local bars support the local musicians with money, food and beer. There’s always a jam going on the porch in the Ghost Town – fiddles, mandolins, guitars, and voices raised in harmony.
The Terlingua Music Concert Series is going through some changes. It’s a good thing.
First – there will be no Legiondary Jam at the American Legion in July. The legion is going through some changes, too, and a lot of our favorite musicians will be in Santa Fe then, cheering Greg Grymes on as he makes his new CD.
August will be all about the Terlingua School.
After the “Second Sunday” jam at the high sierra, I was talking to the track coach. He said, “I’ve got a group that I think can take State this year- if only we could afford track shoes.”
So, the second Sunday in August we’re having a “Second Sunday” jam at the High Sierra Bar and Grill in Terlingua. We’re going to raise enough money to buy the team shoes.
Later in the month- similar deal. The local art and music teachers have been buying supplies for their students out of their paychecks – and they’re about the lowest paid teachers in the State of Texas. I’m not going to talk about the lack of support for Art, Music, and education in general in Texas except to say that it would be nice to vote in some representatives who have the kids best interest at heart.
What we’re going to do is fund those programs ourselves. I’ll announce the details as soon as I’ve confirmed the date and location.
The first “Second Sunday” Jam at the High Sierra exceeded my expectations.
New location. New time. And the Terlingua Moon (the only “newspaper” out here) didn’t include our info, so the PR campaign consisted of flyers. It could have been lonely…
It was a blast. Somehow, word got out.
The room was full of locals, tourists and musicians. George Goss started at 2:00 and Moe and Brandi closed the show around midnight. In between, some truly amazing music happened. Unexpected combinations of musicians played together, some new musicians showed up, and everybody played like they meant it.
It was a good show.
For the musicians, it was also a chance for good friends to hang out, play together, and share gratitude for being part of such a vibrant musical community. For the audience, it was a free concert showcasing the region’s finest talent.
The High Sierra is a great location for the concert. They’ve got a large selection of cold beer, great food (Tacos Alhambra (sp?) for me), cheerful staff, and the best air conditioner in the county.
The experiment was a success. We’ll be doing a “Second Sunday” concert on a regular basis from now on.
We didn’t have a designated charity for this one, so the money raised will go to the Terlingua Music General Do-Gooder fund.
After the concert, a few dedicated partiers gathered at the outside bar for conversation under the stars. The moon was setting- a dark gold sliver over the ghost town. The Milky Way was a spray of diamonds across the sky. Music played from a pickup truck. And, somebody just happened to have a cooler of beverages.
Talking to the local track coach, I learned that he’s got a new batch of kids that he thinks can take State this year- if only they could afford shoes.
I think we’ve found our charity for the next “Second Sunday” jam.
Legiondary Jam continued the tradition of good times, great music, great food, and good friends hangin’ out.
This month, our beneficiary was the American Legion Post. The legion is under new management, and the new team has a nasty fiscal mess to clean up.
The legion is crucial to the folks who live on Terlingua Ranch. For some people, it’s their Internet cafe. For others, it’s a place to leave messages or borrow the phone (not everybody out here has a phone and cell phones don’t work). If you run out of gas or get a flat, it’s a place to go for help. UPS and Fedex leave packages for those of us who live way off-road.
Most of us moved to the desert for solitude. Sometimes, the solitude can get a little oppressive- and there are usually folks at the legion who are up for conversation, a game of pool, or to just provide a connection to another human.
This morning, it was big smile time at the Legion. They had a good night, and we raised enough donations to cover the electric and phone bill for the month.
Thanks to all the musicians who played, the cooks who provided the pot-luck dinner, and the people who listened and partied with us. Thanks to y’all, the legion is well on its way to solvency.
The new Terlingua Music “Hotter’n Hell and Cooler’n Shit” t-shirts made their debut last night, and it seems like everybody was wearing them. We’ll have those at all future jams- all profit goes to charity. Thanks to Anna Oakley for the fine design.
Friday night, Pat Smith and band were booked to play the High Sierra. Pat made it but his band didn’t. The previous blog post describes how a team of talented locals filled in and the show went on. (The Show Goats on!)
Pat seemed a little disappointed that his band hadn’t made the gig.
Saturday night, Pat, Maggie Montgomery, and a crowd of locals formed a pickin’ circle at La Kiva. I had planned to go, but a rainstorm came through the ranch and the roads were flooded. By the next morning, the roads were passable, but I missed that show.
It’s all part of living with nature.
When I walked into the High Sierra Sunday afternoon, the “Hangover Jam” was over. George Goss, Nick Cooper, Jim and Anna Keaveny, and Pat Smith were hanging out, drinking beer, and talking about how good the jam was.
When musicians from Austin, Luckenbach, and Terlingua, Texas get together to jam on the border, you get real Texas music.
Last night at the High Sierra Saloon in Terlingua, Pat Smith and Maggie Montgomery pulled in after driving all day across Texas. No time to change or shower… it was show time.
The original plan was for Pat’s band to accompany him, but they were kidnapped by of viscous crew of nude marauding female pirates in a 57 Corvette – or maybe they had car trouble – it was unclear. So, word went out on the Terlingua grapevine and a band of top local hands joined Pat on stage. Chris Baker brought her flaut. Nick Cooper played his dog-house bass, Mark played mandolin and fiddle…
On a stunning full-moon night, in the desert about 25 miles North of the Mexican border, a group of musicians – from Dallas, Austin, Fort Davis, Terlingua – got together to play music and hang out.
Word got around, and some of the locals showed up to join the party.
It’s a good thing it was a warm night. There’s no way that everybody who showed up would have fit into the American Legion hall.
I took video – 2 cameras – which means there’s a total of 12 hours of video that somebody gets to wade through to find the good parts. In the mean time, there were a LOT of photographers there. Looking through my shots, I think I got some good ones. I don’t have time to whup ’em into shape, so I’m just posting snapshots here to give you an idea of what the evening was like.
Thanks to all the pickers and singers who played for free. You’ll be gratified to know that we raised almost $200 for the Crisis Breadbasket Center. That will feed some people.
We’ll be doing Legiondary Jam #3 in February. Check back here for dates and details.