I had the fantastic opportunity to join a few thousand other folks on a beautiful Saturday for the 1st Annual Dia de los Muertos festival at Fiesta Gardens in downtown Austin, Texas. The beautiful grounds to walk around on, moving from the Fiesta Garden stage across the bridge to the Festival stage. Everything was set up well, with food booths, merchandise vendors, and two stages set up for non-stop music and fun. You just can't beat good music, family, and fun on a beautiful Texas fall day. With all sorts of good food to eat, souvenir shirts to remember the day with, awesome face painting, music and dancing for all, it was a can't miss day.
Austin Samba school (http://www.austinsamba.com) was kicking up their heels on the Festival stage when we arrived and was showing everyone a great time. The rhythm of drums was powerful and driving, the dancers were moving on the floor and through the crowd. All of this building up wonderful join in and dance along! Just check out the photos and a quick video here http://youtu.be/1TuQ0W82eH8
Moving through the festival, down across the bridge, and to the Fiesta stage where I caught DaHeBeGeBees (http://dahebegebees.com). These guys put the soul in Latin rhythm without a doubt. DaHeBeGeBees are a staple in the Austin music scene and can be seen regularly at many of Austin's fine music venues. When you get a chance you will not be let down at the good times and great feelings you get listening to them. In fact it will probably be the only time you can say you were happy to get DaHeBeGeBees! My personal favorite is 'Hurts to Hate', that is some powerfully fun stuff there. Check out these photos and video from the festival. http://youtu.be/ORO-obOfM4Q
Running back across the grounds was so worth it to see Flaco Jimenez (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Flaco-Jimenez/187073768014785), Rick Trevino (http://www.ricktrevino.com), and Los Texmaniacs (http://www.texmaniacs.com) on the Festival stage. WOW! All that grammy award winning talent right there on one stage. It was great and the Tejano dancing crowd couldn't have completely agreed more. I will be happy to admit that I am not thoroughly familiar with all of their music, but that has nothing to do with how much fun the crowd was having and how great Los Texmaniacs were on stage. We will see if the 2nd annual festival can top a great gathering of talent like this.
Back across the grounds, to the Fiesta stage, I caught some of the performance of another of my Austin Favorites, El Tule (http://www.eltuleband.com). I first caught this band a few years ago at the Hot Sauce festival and darn glad I did. This group has that Latin sound with a cool horn section and a smoking hot rhythm section. It was completely and utterly uptempo. El Tule had people in the crowd moving to the groove. Loved It!
Now for the last time, I made it back across the grounds to catch the utterly amazing and incomparable Dale Watson (http://dalewatson.com/index.htm). Are you kidding me! This, for me, was the greatest thing. Dale Watson has had the people in Austin doing the 'quick quick, slow slow' (C'mon ya'll - the Texas Two Step) and the 'quick, slow slow' (HELLO - the Waltz) for years. I was thrilled to death when OUR Dale Watson made his recent appearance on national television on The David Letterman Show. All of that doesn't matter though as Jonas Schwartz, Chairperson of the Board, Executive Chair for Easter Seals Central Texas proudly introduced Dale Watson to the stage! My goodness you don't understand, a fan of Dale Watson for many, MANY years and I have not one darn good excuse for not going to see him at The Broken Spoke or any other place in Austin, or the central Texas area....and here he was. It was every bit worth the wait. The audience definitely agreed with me as it got really crowded and EVERYONE seemed to be dancing and singing to EVERY SINGLE SONG. The crowd even loved every second of Dale's Lonestar commercial, in the middle of his set. Here are some photos from his performance.
To finish off the evening on the Festival stage, on his 73rd birthday, Little Joe Y La Familia (http://www.littlejoeylafamilia.com). This looks like the event that the crowd was holding out for. Everybody up on their feet and on the floor. It was definitely a celebration of music and good times. With an epic history of making music and performing, it is undoubtedly the best way that the Easter Seals Central Texas could have capped off their 1st annual event.
I look forward to next year and hope to see many, many more people there. Remember it is not all just good times, but for a great cause!
Special thanks to KOKE FM for allowing me this opportunity to tell everyone about this special event!