Amanda Kitchens, Garner Sloan, Epic Porch Jam

Last Saturday night, Amanda Kitchens and Garner Sloan, along with drummer Daniel Warner, played the “big stage” at the Starlight Theatre.

I wrote about their last gig here. It was a good folky Americana show. This show rocked. The energy level was high, Garner put a little hair on his guitar for a grungy tone, and the drums added punch.

Garner’s got a new CD coming out soon. I’m looking forward to hearing what he’s created.

Amanda’s becoming a Terlingua regular. She’s been here with a handful of different bands, including her own band, and they’ve all been different and delightful.


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Amanda Kitchens and Garner Sloan – Last Minute Show at the Starlight

Garner Sloan and Amanda Kitchens

La Roja and I went to the Starlight Theatre last night to see Bruce Salmon with Amanda Kitchens on Accordion and Janie Cowan on upright Bass.

Due to life happening, Bruce and Janie didn’t make it so Amanda and Garner Sloan played- and a fine show it was.

Garner Sloan and Amanda Kitchens
Garner Sloan and Amanda Kitchens

They’re both seasoned professional musicians who make their living traveling the country playing their songs. Together, Continue reading “Amanda Kitchens and Garner Sloan – Last Minute Show at the Starlight”

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.


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Mark Kneeskern Memorial Art Party – 2016

Last night was the 3rd (?) annual Mark Kneeskern Memorial Art Party/Auction at the Starlight Theatre in Terlingua, Texas.

All art you see in the pics, and more, is available to purchase. Proceeds go to a fund to finance various art-related charitable activities including free art lessons for local children, scholarships, art supplies, etc.

I’ll add more detail later, but here’s how it looked to me.

You’re welcome to share these photos for any non-commercial purpose. (right-click (ctrl-click on Mac), “save image as”)


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Changes at the Boathouse

It’s 2016. The history of the building we know as the Boathouse in Terlingua starts in 1981,  There have been a lot of changes there during its 35 year life.


Since I’m a relative newcomer to the area- I bought my property 10 years ago and have lived here full-time for just 3 years – I asked Mike Davidson, who’s owned that property since the early 80’s, to write a “history of the Boathouse” for us- it’s included at the end of this blog post. Continue reading “Changes at the Boathouse”

Sarah Burton + Open Mic

Wednesday night was another amazing night of music in Terlingua.

I met Sarah Burton at the Las Ruinas Campground, which I run and where she was staying for the night. She’s a Canadian singer/songwriter touring the Southwest U.S. for the summer.

She was late for soundcheck, so I cleaned the bathrooms and shower at the campground while she hurried to the Starlight Theatre, where she would be performing later that night.

Later, I joined her for dinner and then sat down to catch the first few songs, thinking I’d head for the Boathouse for Open Mic. Two and a half hours later, I was still sitting there. I turned to Buckner Cooke, who is entertainment manager and sound guy at the Starlight and said, “I would have paid for this show.”

Bucky informed me that he had just decided to charge a retroactive $10 cover.

Sarah is one of those rare performers who is able to take on the character of the protagonist of her songs. She becomes the song. Her show was mostly originals, with a few tasty cover tunes.

She played for a half-filled room, but people lingered over dinner and drinks and she held the crowd. I suspect that the next time she plays in Terlingua she’ll fill the room. I’ll certainly be there.

After Sarah’s show, she, Buckner, some of the staff from the Starlight, and I headed for the Boathouse, where Santa was hosting the Open Mic.

Santa sang. Chris Baker and Shanna Cowell sang and played. John Cronin, who plays with Ian Tyson, was visiting and he played and sang (Another Canadian!). Shannon sang and Trevor played. Trevor sand and played while I accompanied him. And then, Sarah played and sang.

Once again, it was just another night of amazing music in Terlingua.

Jeffro Greasewood is Santa
Jeffro Greasewood is Santa

Continue reading “Sarah Burton + Open Mic”

Paper Moon Shiners and Daisy O’Connor in Terlingua

Last night was another night of great music in Terlingua. 

At the Starlight Theatre, the Paper Moon Shiners – Elena Antinelli and Frank Meyer – played.

Deeply embedded in the past, the riotously fun, gritty, saucy, sometimes sad, operatic and always soulful Paper Moon Shiners mine time periods that conjure up smoky prohibition speakeasies, dust bowl medicine shows, Mississippi Delta juke joints and Harlem Renaissance night clubs.

Elena owns the songs she sings, whether it’s one of their originals or a vintage classic like Minnie the Moocher. Frank is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, and when he hits the low notes on “Low Yodeler,” people just look at each other and shake their heads. Nobody can hit those notes- and yet, Frank does.

The Paper Moon Shiners are regular visitors to Terlingua, and played to a packed room.



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Jackie Myers Band at the Starlight Theatre

Last night, the Jackie Myers band played a jazzy set at the Starlight. I found it to be a delightful change of pace. We’re rich in “poets with acoustic guitars,” but jazzy trios with hot, tasty licks are pretty thin on the ground.

The set was tight and well rehearsed, with jazzy keyboards, strong vocals, and an excellent rhythm section. Think: Diana Krall with a rocking bass and drums.

Over breakfast this morning at La Posada Milagro, I talked to the band- their next stop is Abilene, then on to New Mexico. Like many Austin musicians, they all play in several bands and although they’re based in Austin spend most of their time on the road.

They’ll be back in March. I’ll be there.

Tonight, the Paper Moon Shiners will be at the Starlight and Daisy O’Conner and the Late Bloomers are at the Boathouse.

Saturday night- Hallowe’en – The Fabulous Vortexans will be at the Boathouse for the big party.

Jackie Myers
Jackie Myers

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Ambient music, modern dance, and cowboys.

portable recording studio

There was something new and different at the Starlight Theatre last night.

Paul Sprawl and his wife Leralee Whittle are building an artist residency retreat here in Terlingua. They plan to have housing, performance space and audio/video recording facilities.

They’re still building, but their first “resident” was Ted Killian, a composer from Oregon. Ted plays guitar- actually, Ted uses a guitar as a source sound and manipulates that sound through walls of technology.

Last night, Ted and Paul improvised over two hours of very cool ambient music. Paul played Moog synthesizer, guitar, and sang. Ted played his guitar rig and a Daxaphone. Leralee set up a dance space and danced/performed while Ted and Paul played. Continue reading “Ambient music, modern dance, and cowboys.”

Indie Music Promotion – getting the CD made.

Logic - compressor - Moog controls.

Here’s how you can get your own online store and set up your CD duplication for free.

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.

Logic - compressor - Moog controls.
Logic – compressor – Moog controls.

Continue reading “Indie Music Promotion – getting the CD made.”