Butch Hancock Art at the Starlight Theatre

Monday, June 5, 2017 – Butch Hancock art show in Terlingua.

I would have been there anyway, as it turns out I was booked to play a “Blue Monday” show at the Starlight that night anyway, so, with guitars and camera…

A lot of people who showed up for Butch’s show- some of whom have known Butch a long time- didn’t know he was an artist. He’s also an architect, record label head, playwright, actor, songwriter, performer, river guide, and, I suspect, anything else he wants to be. You don’t meet many real polymaths in real life. Butch is one.

A polymath (Greek: πολυμαθής, polymathēs, “having learned much”) is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas; such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems.

After sound check but before the restaurant opened, Butch was showing me around. There’s a photo he took on Hallowe’en in 1985 on 6th Street in Austin – the photo is pretty amazing, but the way Butch took it is, to me, even more amazing. Continue reading “Butch Hancock Art at the Starlight Theatre”

Townes Van Zandt Terlingua Tribute – 2017

The 4th annual Townes Van Zandt tribute concert was held last night at the Starlight Theatre in Terlingua, Texas.

Four years ago, John Hogan and Maria Moss had the bright idea of hosting a TVZ tribute. It’s turned into an annual event attracting performers and listeners from all over the Southwest.

Now hosted by Butch Hancock, who had a personal connection with Townes, it’s a night of celebration of Townes’ music.

This year’s show featured performances by Butch and Rory Hancock, J.P. Schwartz, Bonnie, Alex and Marti Whitmore, and many others.

The Starlight was packed- standing room only, so I left before the show was over.

Here’s how it looked to me.


Continue reading “Townes Van Zandt Terlingua Tribute – 2017”

Slim Fest oNe

Carolyn Wonderland, Butch and Rory Hancock, Alan Munde, Jitterbug Vipers, Ghosts Along the Brazos… and more!

Slim would’a had fun…

Actually, Doug Moreland did a chainsaw sculpture of Slim that hung out on the stage during the festival…

Jeffro Greasewood, the former promoter of Rice Fest in Fischer, Texas, showed how a music festival is supposed to be done. He had a lot of help, most notably from David Crum who provided the big tents, helped set them up, and did some major landscaping to prepare for the show.


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Holiday Music – Terlingua

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”

Butch Hancock and Bruce Salmon together at the Boathouse

Just another night in Terlingua.

A couple of locals got together at the Boathouse to sling songs.

Butch Hancock and Bruce Salmon got together for, as far as I know, the first time to trade tunes.

It wasn’t an intuitive match-up. Butch’s songs have a timeless West Texas by way of Dharamsala vibe. Simple chords, deceptively simple lyrics that are as precise as diamonds.

Bruce’s songs sound to me like they’ve been excerpted from an interesting play. Possibly a play set in Eastern Europe. Like Butch, his songs tell stories. His melodies, however, can be based on modes that are more Eastern than Western. Certainly not Country and Western.

They’re both folk singers, and the combination and juxtaposition of their songs and styles made for a fascinating evening of music.

Inevitably, dancing broke out during the last set. Jim Keaveny, who knows a bit about writing songs, added percussion on his tambourine. Stories were told, beer and chicken-fried steak were consumed, and when they played “What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding,” harmonies joined in from various places in the room.

Just another night in Terlingua.

Butch and Bruce
Butch and Bruce 

Continue reading “Butch Hancock and Bruce Salmon together at the Boathouse”

Viva Terlingua Music Festival 2015 Day 2

Friday night at the Viva Terlingua Music Festival was another historic night- So much good music.

At La Kiva, Trevor Hickle previewed songs from his soon to be released CD, and then was joined by his dad, Danny, for some serious (seriously) outlaw country music.

Aaron Todd played an elegant set of classical and flamenco (flamingo?) music. Breaking Light played a stunning set of psychedelic instrumentals.

At the Starlight Theatre, Ashley Monical added a glaze of class with her songs. The Lavens rocked the house, and the Dead Pyrate Society played unapologetic rock and roll.

The boathouse had Texas acoustic music- Mark Allan Atwood, Claude Butch Morgan, Ken Gaines… they all played timeless “poets with acoustic guitars” music. We could have been at Sand Mountain or Anderson Fair Retail Restaurant circa 1972… Continue reading “Viva Terlingua Music Festival 2015 Day 2”

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.




Continue reading “Townes Van Zandt Tribute at the Starlight Theatre, 2015”

Butch Hancock, Butch Morgan – 2 fer 1 Butch’s

Butch Morgan and Butch Hancock did a song swap at the Starlight Theatre during “Burger Night.”

It’s always a bit bizarre to hear Butch Hancock at a local venue. It shouldn’t be. He’s been a resident of Terlingua, off and on, for decades.

Butch also talked me into buying a new camera. Now, I’ve got to decide which one I want.

Butch Morgan was still in town- he came down for the “Terlingua Music Bash.”

Later, Jason Blum and Jenni Mansfield Peal sat in with Butch Morgan and did some songs. As I was leaving, John Hogan and Maria Moss were preparing to do a short set.

Just another night in Terlingua.

Butch Hancock playing at the Starlight Theatre.

Butch Hancock playing at the Starlight Theatre.

Continue reading “Butch Hancock, Butch Morgan – 2 fer 1 Butch’s”

Viva Terlingua Festival Day 3

Viva Terlingua Festival – Day 3

We kicked off the Saturday fest with a film festival –

Breadwinner, Vanessa Cook’s comedy, was definitely a hit.  And, of course, The Road to Austin, Gary Fortin’s masterpiece, got an ovation.

The Grove, a documentary about a family, a town, a lifetime of collecting, and the disbursement of the collection… just go see it.  Definitely tugs at the heart-strings in a good way.

It was very, very cool to sit out here in the comfy, air-conditioned Flat Rock Theatre with the mountains of Mexico out the front door and brand-new Indie films showing inside.

Then the music… I’ll post reports from the Starlight as they come in. I spent the day at the Thirsty Goat in Lajitas.

Ashley Rose had already gotten quite a bit of attention Friday when she played solo. Her duo act, “The New Vagabonds,” were definitely crowd pleasers.

Jason Blum got us started, Dr. Fun, featuring Griff on slide guitar, showed what the local boys can do.

The March Divide and D.B. Rouse kept the rhythm going… and then, Gary Fortin walked in and told me that Jesse Brand and Butch Hancock were going to do a song swap for the last set.

There is no way I could have planned this one…

If you were there, you know.  If you weren’t there… well… here are some pics.  Let me see how the video looks…


Butch Hancock and Jesse Brand – Intense

Butch and Jesse

D.B. Rouse

Dr. Fun, with Griff on slide and Joshua on bass

Jason Blum

The New Vagabonds – audience favorites

Viva Big Bend Festival 2014

For the very first time, the Viva Big Bend Festival came to South Brewster County.


Trevor Hickle and I found out a few days before the shows that we were going to be the sound crew for the festival. This involved some scrambling and long days, but allowed us to meet and hear some new friends and hang out with some old buddies.

It was a blast. The O’s, Butch and Rory Hancock, and Mike and the Moonpies were professional and put on amazing shows. Emilie Clepper premiered her new band and pretty much floored us all in English and French.

Wednesday night was also George Goss’s birthday, and he brought his party to Lajitas- cake and everything – so the crowd was twice as big and several times as festive. George was also celebrating the 1,000,000th view of his “Ain’t No Honky Tonks in Jail” video on YouTube. Quit a birthday present!

It was a great rehearsal for the upcoming Viva Terlingua Festival.  It was also exhausting, and it was just six bands in two days at one location. I have a suspicion that running sound and co-ordinating 30+ acts over four days at two locations is going to be an adventure.

Now we know what gear we need to acquire (mics, lights, backline, direct boxes) and have a better idea of what’s going to be involved.

Pics from Viva Big Bend Festival below- enjoy!


The Anthony Ray Wright Band

The Anthony Ray Wright Band

The O’s.

The O’s.

Butch and Rory Hancock

Emilie Clepper and new band.

Emilie Clepper band – tight fit on that stage.

Moonpie Mike – Mike and the Moonpies

MIke and the Moonpies closed the show with a very tight set.

Rory Hancock’s strat

Moonpie Mike and Trevor Hickle