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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shiny Hot Sauce Ribs and Moonpies for dessert

The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival 2012 was at the new Fiesta Gardens location. My personal opinion is this; the location was so much better. Parking was pretty damn easy, traffic walking to and from didn’t feel life threatening, and the layout was really patron friendly. The booths were lined up around the perimeter and the pavilion in the center housed not only the blind tasting part of the event but the stage for the musical performances as well. 

I have attended the last three Hot Sauce Festivals (and plan on continuing that) and written up the respective blogs for them too. This is the first year I took the time to solicit some of the vendors and try what was available. DAMN! There was some good hot sauce out there that we tried. The one that I will call out by name here was the unanimous winner between my girlfriend and I was My Chihuahua Bites ( – Queso Blanco. We have found their hot sauce at our local HEBPlus in Kyle, sadly…no Queso Blanco. Check out their website and tell me where you find it.

The live local music blends pretty damn well with the festival. If you are not standing in front of the stage checking out the band(s) you can still hear them all around the park. It makes for really good ambiance when you are waiting in one of the many, many lines or while your mouth is burning from that last habenero sauce you tried. The music I heard this year was wonderful (not that it hasn’t been wonderful in the past), but I really was diggin on Mike and The Moonpies and REALLY had a great time with Shiny Ribs.

I will be honest and say that I only caught the last 10 minutes of Mike and The Moonpies (, but they definitely snapped my attention as soon as I got there. With some fun covers and smooth originals they drew your attention and drew the crowd. Although the sun was still cooking the crowd they definitely made it worth hovering in the heat and shuffling your feet. Although I will try to avoid being at another performance of theirs out doors in the heat of the day, I will tell you to make a point of checking them out anyway, anywhere. In a nice bar with seats, a table, and food…Hell yeah!  

SO here is the challenge put before everyone in attendance that day and to you reading the blog…do a search on Google for Shiny Ribs ( and you are assured that the only thing you will find IS about this band! This is the command from their lead singer and showman, Kevin Russell. I had a preconceived notion of how freaking great this performance would be because the make up of the band includes members of The Gourds. Oh what fun! “It was unexpected to see them perform a song that was so popular in its time. I mean Really! Who the Hell covers TLC’s - Waterfalls?”  The Shiny Ribs do and they did it well. In their other incarnation I mentioned before, they are known for doing a cover song here and there and make it a countrified, hell yeah, audience singing along, kind of event.

Whether you see them acoustic or plugged in this is one of those Austin originals you have to see. I am glad to have seen them and will happily take you along for the ride next time they fire up a set.


Ancient History

I was recently reminiscing to my girlfriend about the 'good ole days'...OH Please! Whatever!...and stumbled across my first music review/write up. I was astounded and dumbfounded. To say the least I was extremely happy. To me this validates what I do. To think that I have been doing this IN AUSTIN, for 25 years!!!

It warms me and chokes me up at the same time. To all of you reading this, to all of you that take the time, to all of you whom I call my friends. To MC Overlord and EVERY stinkin musician that he has introduced me to. To the families of those artists, their friends, my kids, my girlfriend, TO EVERYBODY...thanks. 

I was really taken aback when I saw this article and re read it. So here it is for printed 25 years later. Check out the photos as well.

THANKS...and yes there is still more to come. I ain't going down until the big man says it's time!

as it appeared in "The Spur" 1987


It's concert season year round in Austin, "the Rock-n-Roll capital of the world," as many artists, including David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar, have said.  These are just a few of the bands which hit the Austin music scene which Reagan students enjoyed.
The season began on September 10 when Swedish guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen (pronounced Ing-vay) stopped at the Austin Opry House. "He's a technical (guitar) wizard and his misc is quality work."  That is how senior Greg Allen described the guitarist. Greg also said, "his show was pretty good, but I've seen better."
In October, Austin shook with the sound of the long awaited new Van Halen, Queensryche and Huey Lewis. It started on the fourth with Van Halen playing to a capacity crowd. "It was awesome, " senior Chris Miller said. "I went to see them so I could compare Sammy Hagar to David Lee Roth."  Senior Roger Harvey said, "The thing I remember the most about it was the bass going through my body, and me pants were shakin'."
Queensryche played the Austin Opry House on October 6.  "They have good music and their concerts are great, " said senior Angie Anderson. Allen said, "They have such a beautiful style of music, yet a slight unrefined edge that makes it (their music)stand above the rest. Another thing is that their lead singer has an incredible four octave voice."
Huey Lewis played October 27 at the Erwin Center, and junior Thelma Ortiz was there.  "It was my first concert, and I thought it was great. He's one of my favorite rock singers, " Ortiz said.
The fall months came and went. Then winter hit, and with it the really hot concerts slammed into Austin. On November 15, Triumph played at the Erwin Center with one o fthe most high powered shows that Austin has seen in  a long time.  Paul Kelley, a senior, said. "It was fantastic. Their sound was really great, and their laser light show was the best that I have ever seen, even better than their last tour show." On October 28 David Lee Roth played to a rally hot audience in the Erwin Center. Some of the hits he played were "Yankee Rose," That's Life," California Girls," and Going Crazy."  "I never cared much for Van Halen," said senior Steve Bork, "but I like DLR a lot. The band was really good. They put on more of a show than a concert."

On December 2 Lionel Richie played to a full house, including sophomore Sandy Rodriguez.  She said "It was jammin'. It was a blast, you know. the best part of the whole concert was when they (Lionel and Sheila)sang a duet and she was in her skimpy outfit, and Lionel was all sharp lookin' with his stage set up. It was totally awesome."  December 12 revealed a new tour band for Journey, along with a very hot show. "It was vogue, alive, and very moving," said Ortiz.