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Thursday, November 23, 2017


Since I live down in South Austin, Texas and  Moontower Saloon  ( is a couple of minutes away. This allows me the joy of hanging out at Austins original, bad ass, outdoor venue. With a 21 and up policy, it allows for a great time to be had by all. With a ton of parking, there is o need to fret, and if you have had to many, don't worry, they are cool with you leaving your car to make it safe for everyone out there on the road.

The facility consists of a small house that is the main bar and building, a huge outdoor covered deck with another bar and a large TV for your sports viewing pleasures. Another small deck attached to the back of the house which works as the stage. Tons of table seating, fire pits, washer pits, cornhole, sand volleyball courts in the distance. There is another satellite deck that works as a VIP area. 

To enjoy music pick your Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and go. Be surprised and be entertained, always.

Knocking down a tic mark on my Austin music bucket list this night was the  Chris Castaneda Project   ( What an outstanding group. Even better than just the CCP electrifying the crowd with his wicked guitar skills, super tight band, and great singing voice, but a special guest, Rojas - El Guitarrista,  stunning us all on the acoustic. This performance simply proved what I always preach - go out and catch some live music in Austin. You will NEVER know who you will see and what performances you will experience. 

The Chris Castaneda Project mixes originals with classic and iconic covers. The crowd stayed tuned and drawn in while Chris played, sang, and the band performed. The sound was a little bit rock and a heavy Latin influence, it is a group you have to catch. An evening performance, and afternoon festival or fair, it doesn't matter, you will be thrilled and enjoy the performance like every person in the crowd did during this set.

Joining Chris and the CCP on stage was  Rojas - El Guitarrista ( This is was the special, unexpected, joy of this performance. Something new and freaking bad ass. Rojas was a stunning fill with his abilities and talent on the guitar. Although I had never seen the Chris Castaneda Project before this evening, it was stellar to take in the whole performance with this special guest. I was not aware of how lucky all of us in the crowd were until my dad saw Chris the next night. He was blown away by the performance, but was surprised when I asked him about the acoustic prodigy of Rojas. My dad indicated the performance was sans Rojas talents. 

Lucky for all of you Rojas performs regularly all over the place as does Chris Castaneda Project
Go out support live and local, and tell both Chris and Rojas I sent ya!

Post Script - I Saw The Castaneda Project one more time at Moontower as a trio. It is frigthening how bad ass these guys are. I had to look twice to believe there was not another guitarist on stage with Chris. There sound is full and exciting....and just wait, maybe Chris will do the National Anthem - Hendrix style for you!


Goodbye Nick

I am pretty sure this is my top place to sneak up to and see local music. One of 3 places in Austin you could catch me at whenever.

One 2 One ( remains my top pick for small venue in Austin. For the sound, stage, and bar service.

Quick rundown of the walk in to the large rectangle shaped room. Bar to your right running half the length of the club. Stage directly in front of you and impressively large and gorgeous for the small venue. Bathrooms are to the left and right of the stage for men and women....and let me tell you, it is ALWAYS a hoot to watch women constantly trying to go to the mens room cause the cant find the women's room!

This performance review is gonna be really off as it was pretty much a one time performance. Although I hope not, and would expect and believe from the packed house and reaction of the crowd, Jonathan Ellington ( would make this happen again. It was a Led Zeppelin tribute show! And what a tribute it was.

The place was sold out. The players onstage, could not have been any better if Plant and Paige had walked in themselves. The core group was J. Ellington on guitar - paying much respect to Jimmy Paige, by being flawless. Vocals was Josh Ross ( Robert plant had to be turning over in his grave - and I know the dude ain't dead. Aric Garcia ( just blistered on the drums all night. My friend Nick Casillo was epic with his bass lines and smile all night long.

With special guest Cole Gramling on on the keys to bring in that full Zeppelin sound was superb. Guest vocalist Michael Dillard ( and Curtis Lee ( both respectively shocked the audience with the renditions of the songs they performed. Michael Dillard being expectedly bad ass for his song and performance and Curtis Lee choking up some in the crowd with his performance. Let me stop and take a moment to say that even though Curtis Lee knew of Led Zeppelin, this is not his bag. TO be on stage at a rock show, outside of his normal, soulful, R&B self and do the job he did, damn!

In all, With everyones participation, it was an event I am super excited to have gone to and proud to have these guys here in Austin and part of the music scene. Please, look ALL of them up. Go see them on any of their respective projects as they are all amazing performers, entertainers, and have great band.


Goodbye Nick. Congratulations on the Family. I love you sir, will miss your smiling face onstage, your handshakes and the respect you have always given me as a fan of the Austin music scene!


XIII on 13

Walking in the doors of Texas Mist ( for the first time... is like this... remember that hall... You know the one your dad or grand dad used to go to... the VFW Hall... yeah that one. It's like that, kind of, but the music is wayyyy better and the bartender doesn't smell like coffee and Vicks Vapor Rub.... and yes, I tried to sniff him and he wasn't haven't none of that shit.

Texas Mist for the most part is just a big open room. You walk in the door and the bar is immediately in front of you to the left. The bathrooms are farther back as well as an exit to go out back for smoking or hanging out. To your right is the open area and the stage, which faces the bar. Lots of tables scattered around with a mix of seating.

There were several bands on the bill this evening. I caught the last few songs of one band and the entire set of the next band. Both were good, but there was little love from the crowd for there respective performances. So little, in fact, That I am done with blogging about their performances.

Now, Before I get into the review of the headliners performance let me talk another paragraph about the sound. As a fan of Austin music I am all about the performance, the impact, and the venue. The venue plays a large portion of any show, because if the club sucks or something about it, that will taint your night and impact your impression of the band(s). The sound here was pretty terrible. There was a blown speaker that kept making a popping noise all night...annoying. The sound person that evening acted like she could have given two shits less than nothing for being there or the bands on stage, super annoying. There was no urgency or hustle in anything she was doing. Worse than that to me, is a great that seems to be a great disrespect to the bands who are performing and the crowd that is paying, FUCK NO! 

On with the show.

XII ( was having this grand party for the release of their new album. I do not have a copy so can't and won't comment on it here. Follow there link ( and get a copy though...I will. This band is such a great surprise for being local. I saw this band a mere week earlier opening for a large national touring band and was so impressed by the performance, I decided to do it again to see a full headlining set. I was not let down nor were those in attendance with me. From the presentation of their merch - super important if you want to 'brand your band' to their stage presence, this band is acting and thinking big time and it shows in their performance. The lead singer does an eerily great job of being, not just the center of attention, but the front man down on the ground and in with the crowd. The audience loved the entire performance. Those that were sitting outside were drawn in. Those inside that were sitting were standing, and all of us were pushing up to the stage. 

I can tell you for a local metal band, the lead singer has a vision what he wants to perform and how. He nearly carries this off perfectly. With a touch more of rehearsals and coordination of an actual stage show - these guys stand to take the place of the reigning Gods of performance metal in Austin, The Dirty Wormz and take us another decade into bad ass, fun rock shows here in Austin!