I can’t remember when I even wrote last. What gig I got up to. It doesn’t really matter. They blur together, it’s a shame really. Places should be more memorable than that. Maybe they would the further you go up the food chain, better the transport, better the hotel, better then venue, but from what I read that does not seem to be the case.
I know we did our first three shows in San Antonio. The first show at Beethoven’s has been as good as it probably got. Good crowd, a beautiful place, and people that look forward to seeing me every year. That recipe always works, for anyone Imagine. The Barriba Cantina was fun, downtown San Antonio, playing for tourists. Not what I am into really, I like playing music for people that live here, that grew up on this music. The Mix, Sunday night. It is always fun at the Mix. They always smile when I walk in. “Here’s that crazy Aussie again. Do you live here yet? “No, not yet, still thinking about it” You should move here” Yes , I know, I love it here” This has happened the last few years at least every time. Band was ok this night, rough, songs still unfamiliar. Still trying to figure each other out. Like any job people to together. Working together is the key, that seems to be a mixture of intention, awareness and organic synchronicity. Firstly you have to want to make it work. Have the intention that you are going to connect with folks, find that place in you, that is open to meeting with that place in them, that’s open to meeting with you. If that sounds confusing, well doing seems to be just as hard. That’s why good music is a mystery . If this doesn’t happen, then its just notes thrown together. Can be played perfectly, but if it ain’t got no soul. Ain’t got that swing, then it’s all elevator music. And the worst thing is sometimes, you can be so on it, it’s pouring out, effortlessly, everyone connected, feeling good, and then the next show, sometimes the next set, boom, gone, back to four strangers again going through the motions.
We drove to Austin to play the Legendary White Swan. Crushing, no-one showed for the first hour. Then three people showed, fortunately all fans of this band, and we played for three hours straight!, the difference one person make when they are dancing is incredible really. One moment you are just rehearsing, playing for yourself. We were filming it, and even that wasn’t motivating enough, as we were playing like shit. Then one woman walks in, starts dancing, and then we lifted three gears. Thank God, it was killing me. Hard to fight of the thoughts “Why am I here?”” I have come all this way” “For what?” Power of positive thinking cannot hold a candle to moments like these. They’re familiar to me. If you play independent Country Music, insist on pushing the envelope, traveling making records, film clips etc, then you are going to come across wilderness occasionally. Blank stares, you are from where? “, “Why the hell ‘all playing this joint for?” It’s as though unless your famous, with record company backing, why would you possibly want to travel all this way to play to us . The thing is, this is my grumpy old man insurance policy. When I started Chucks Wagon, it was to make sure that before I was done, that I had really had a shot. Make some records and travel. When I started , travelling was all around Australia, that was as far as I was thinking. But 5 years into Texas and six tours later, I can still wonder why we are here. But I keep coming now, to try to get on some good support tours, Randy Rogers, Charlie Robinson, open at Floores Country Store, Gruene Hall, Billy’s Ice. Get the songs heard by fans of Texas Country, as really, when it comes down to it , that’s what I am. A Texas Country Music fan. If you could get this at home, I probably wouldn’t leave home, but you cannot, nothing even close. Driving through West Texas is simply my favourite thing to do, listening to Whiskey Myers, Reckless Kelly, Micky and the Motorcars. Heaven.
We have been doing some driving this week. Seeing I am only here a short time due to Jen being home , pregnant, and looking after little Marshal, I need to get back home, so this trip, we are playing every night. This week we headed to Houston, played Cactus record’s , which was cool, sold a few records, the Australian thing drew some people in. Then we supported Mike Stinson, great Honky Tonk man, was fun to open for a talented country singer, and it was a great night. Had fun driving home at 3am taking pictures by the La Grange sign.
Then it was Ft Worth, another long drive to play for a few people, but we had some fun, played ok, hard to keep the spirit up, then we slept at Justin’s, cool local dude that looked after us, thankyou mate for the love. I slept in the Freak Van to keep an eye on the gear, and there was not to much room left on the floor! As we couldn’t get three nights in a row, we headed back to Hunter Texas to play Riley’s Tavern, have played there for four years, and it was fun and probably the first gig were the band hit its stride, pulled back, played softer, more restrained, could here each other and the people loved it. I was grateful we played well here, because Riley’s means a lot to me. Headed back to San Antone, as we had to swap the Freak Van over for the drive back to Dallas, and the Velvet Elvis was a great Bar, and once we got past the calls for Slayer and Freebird we settled into a fairly decent night of country rock and roll. Band not bad, not great, but we did ok.
Back to Austin, an early set at the Hole in the Wall. Great venue and we had a lot of fun. The Bulls Ball bag I have been using as a tips jar has been paying off, especially since I have been introducing it as Valerie, the cross dressing Bulls Ball Bag! Told people if they rub it, kiss it and stuff money in it, that it will bring them good luck! It worked, and makes for some fun at a show to lighten the mood. After the Hole in the Wall we dropped in Antones to wind down, and relax before crashing and heading to Colorado. Great fun in such a legendary Joint.
Last night, played Midland Texas to play the Blue Max. Small crowd, great sound, awesome gig!!! Felt better there than Riley’s, and a great warm up for the Colorado shows. Good people to. Thankyou Erica for the Chilli and hospitality! Can’t wait to come back y’all.
Now it’s 9am, got four hours sleep , and it’s time to drive to Colorado. Raton Pass here we come. Pueblo tonight. Bring it on…