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Monday, October 27, 2014

Dia de los Muertos take 2

Happy, so happy, to be a part of this special celebration and beautiful tradition. Easter Seals Central Texas threw down with the 2nd Annual Dia de los Muertos ( celebration in East Austin. The Texas weather couldn't be anymore cooperative. Hot enough to make you thirsty and keep sponsors Casa Garcia's and El Jimador tequila busy, but not so hot as to make the crowd miserable.

Behind Zavala Elementary school is were this celebration took place. A small stage behind the school was the perfect spot for the music, dancing, and early entertainment. There was a kids zone behind the stage with face painting, games, and a piƱata. There were also some food trailers on the hill opposite of the stage with some different selections there to calm the hunger pains. My only criticism is how spread out and distant all these things seemed to be from each other. It was an awkward set up.

The performances for the early crowd were absolutely perfect. The mariachis, the ballet folklorico, and musical performances were spot on. Set up early and scheduled well to keep the crowd with the young children happy and entertained.

Mariachi Nueva Generacion were every bit as spectacular as you would expect. I Can't say they needed the sound system, as the group projected their voices and instruments and did it well. The music selection, the different singers and soloists kept it interesting and every bit entertaining.

Roy Lozano's Ballet Folklorico de Texas  ( was as beautiful and visually stunning as they were inspiring. Giving the crowd that moment where you are transported away, while watching them. It was very nice to see all the young girls in the audience enjoying it and mimicking the dancers on stage.

OH MY! Austin Samba School ( and drum line with Las Monas was the high point of the early festivities. Doing a Dia de los Muertos version of a conga line. The procession entered the fields and snaked around through the crowd. With the beautiful Austin Samba School dancers and all the other characters leading the way for the drummers as well as Las Monas, it was FANTASTIC. Drawing in many members of the crowd, the performance was a wonderful way to continue the festivities for the evening.

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The final performance was a traditional dance by Austins own Groupo de Danza Mexica-chichimeca de Austin.  They were doing some very beautiful footwork to bring the crowd out to the main stage area. It was a very moving moment.

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Kicking off the evening on the main stage were the Tiarra Girls  ( A 3 piece band that was as surprising in their music and performance as the realization these were 3 sisters ages 13 - 16. What WHAT you say?! Yes! You read that correctly. The girls did some covers and originals mixed together. It was brave and stunning, when these young ladies did the Selena song 'Como la Flor'. With Selena's brother and father there. They did it good and did her song justice in their rock version. Go ahead and do covers, but own it don't karaoke it. The reaction from the crowd was enough of the truth, they were loved and the crowd enjoyed the performance. I loved the originals, and some of the covers were pretty damn surprising and amazing. I will bet you that my dad would have choked up hearing the Tiarra Girls do Linda Ronstadt. These girls need the experience and continued support of live performances, but there is NO doubt all in attendance can say with pride "I was there."

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There was a small break in the performances with the introduction and some words from both the Easter Seals Central Texas ( executives and some local politicians. There was also introductions of special guests and ambassadors of the Easter Seals organization. It is nice to have been a part of a special event that is so meaningful to so many people and does so much for the Austin Community.

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Son De Rey  ( was up next. This is the band I was really excited to see. With some recent recognition at the Austin music awards, I was stoked. The lead singer definitely had all eyes on him with his amazing headdress, so if anything,  you new it would be entertaining. It was actually better than that. They were great! With the mix of Latin themed music, Spanish lyrics and some cover songs, this band powered through their set. As the crowd built up, more people were on hand to absorb the brilliant performance from Son De Rey. So glad I did enjoy this set with the crowd. Hell, one member of my entourage was downloading their music before the set ended.

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Quimikoz Del Son
( was from Ft. Worth and these cumbia performers came to show Austin, live music lives all over! They were energetic and exciting. Quimikoz Del Son are one of those bands that have members filling the stage from on side to the other, but it didn't stop the lead singer from conducting the show and having the Austin crowd on their feet. It was cumbia done well and it was cumbia done fun. Here's to hoping these guys don't stay away from Austin to long. I am sure they will enjoy the love Austin gives them back. Special congratulations to the keyboardist as he became the father of baby girl the very morning they left Ft Worth to come perform for the Easter Seals Dia de los Muertos in Austin.

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Capping off the night was AB Quintanilla and the Kumbia Kings All Starz ( WHOA! This was a hella set. From the moment the lights came up, the Kumbia Kings All Starz completely showed the crowd why they are kings. Looking out into the crowd, there was no question this is what every one came to see and no doubt everyone was having a good time. With all of the dancing going on and crowd cheering, they lit up the east Austin night with their sound. Like true professionals, the Kumbia Kings All Starz powered throughout the set when there were sound problems. They happily gave the crowd what they wanted, had fun doing it, and left the crowd not wanting more, but happy. An all around entertaining performance and crowd pleasing good time with the cumbia and rock mix. Watching all the beautiful people in the crowd have a great time, it was a stellar night.

Happy that we were all there!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Coldfire was HOT

Another weekend in Austin, and no it was not a new place, but a great place. It may be a familiar setting, but there were new friends and always memories to be made. Moontower Saloon in far south known as far south Awesome, Texas.

Moontower Saloon ( is a 21 and up facility. Be prepared to show you ID's upon driving in, but the bartenders may ask as well. There is TONS of parking. There are beach volleyball courts. The indoor bar area has a pool table and some tables for seating and a couple of TVs. Outside on the covered patio there is another bar that provides service 360. There are several tables on the patio for seating and a side view of the stage that is attached to the back of the building.

Here is where it gets really cool. You step down from the patio and there is tons of room, rows of tables, fire pits, another deck area. There are some very swanky pot o potties towards the back along with some washer pits. There are some food trailers as well (cash only please). Trees, tress, and lots of big beautiful trees. There is plenty of grass to just enjoy, and when there is music, there is not really a bad spot at the Moontower.

As for music, my beautiful date and I managed to land on the Moontower during a performance of JT Coldfire. Oh My God this guy is hot. We came in during the last half of his first set. He was doing some rip roaring covers and doing some things with his guitar to make music that you have probably never seen anyone do

We settled in with some wonderful Lonestar Beers and proceeded to be knocked out of our boots. JT Coldfire was performing covers and doing them well. Doing them well is a sad understatement for the  jams JT threw down. If you are going to do covers, do them, do them well, and make them your own. And for the love of all that is good and evil in the world...DO NOT KARAOKE the damn cover song(s)!

JT Coldfire ( definitely did not. I can't even name everything he did because he did everything. Rock, Country, oldies, goodies and everything in between. But the mash-ups he did with the covers was the heart of what I call some damn fine music to entertain for the evening. It was great to hear the crowd singing along to their respective favorites, people dancing and mixing it up where there was room, and everybody appreciating the deep voice and smoking hot guitar work of JT Coldfire.

I will throw in a side note here - The entire set and whole evening was so fun, that I will make my trip there to see JT Coldfire again. I will and take friends, and make him some new fans every chance I get. BUT... I have heard the originals (lucky enough to score a CD from the kindness of JT) and that is where JT Coldfire REALLY shines. Find him on the net, seek him out on stage, wither way...covers or originals, that is one hot Coldfire you will love!


yes..they are my photos dammit!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What's funner than that?

Willie's Joint ( in WAY South Austin (okay Buda really). It is a nice little outdoor spot on Main Street under the trees. There are washer pits, horse shoes, a ping pong table, and a jumbo sized Jenga. The bar and restaurant are located in the small building on the property along with the rest rooms.

There is a food selection of BBQ and plenty of good drinks. Sometimes there is staff outside, but not always. Ask about the pork ribs... awesome. The food prices seem a little pricey for the serving size, but it's good. It is family friendly, mainly because it is outside, but it is a drinking establishment.

There is a stage in the corner outside for that touch of live music... And THAT is what I like. The whole set up lends beautifully to the stage and any live performance.  Lucky me, every time I have been there, I have had the pleasure of the sound and talent of Johnny Burke. 

Johnny Burke ( is originally from down the highway in New Braunfels, Texas. He is solo acoustic. Just him and his guitar.  Johnny weaves stories of love and recklessness. Trouble with the law and traveling the land. He sings like he speaks with his quiet and distinct Texas drawl.

No, Johnny Burke's music is not dance music. Not two step or anything else. It is smile inducing stories told in his own unique way that will leave you smiling,  raising your drink and looking forward to seeing him again.

I will.

So see you there.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Don't play with fire, dance to it!

The White Horse ( in Austin, Texas is located east of IH35 in between 6th and 5th on Comal. I saw the sign, but drove by it the first time mistaking it for some little bistro with outside dining.  The entrance is located on the south side of the somewhat nondescript building (except for said area out front). Once you enter it is fairly large inside. The typical rectangle shaped bar.

As you step into The White Horse and look down the length of the club the bar is long, to you left, and runs the greater part of the length of the club. Bathrooms are to your immediate right and the stage is in the far right corner on the long side of the wall. There are a couple of doorways that let you walk through a rather large, unassuming empty space of the club to go outside - said bistro area. It is actually a rather large side yard of The White Horse the has a few tables and a food trailer. this is where you can enjoy a bite to eat from their food trailer (and the food was quite good) or have a smoke.

Back the inside. Several bands were performing this particular evening...Liv Mueller, Delaney Davidson, Robert Allan Caldwell's DAD Jim, The Flametrick Subs (why I went!).

Liv Mueller ( was haunting and beautiful. Her music reminded me of Twin Peaks (the TV show). It just sounds like it should be the sound track life. Her voice is just sweet and singular. They cool thing is what she did on stage by herself. It had me pause my conversation and stand slack jawed watching her perform. It was the sound of her voice, her guitar work, and the working of the loops, to make it all pretty damn close to breathtaking. 

Although the crowd was very light, it seemed the majority in attendance were just as enamored as I. Now I will tell you I have my sour opinion of the single artist that does this thing with the loops to make a performance or a show, but there have been several performances I have seen recently that were done very well. This was one of them. It wasn't cheesy, it wasn't a was a performance. Not only did Liv do this impressively, but I was then blown away by...

Delaney Davidson ( Uhhmmm, so this is really weird. I make the Twin Peaks reference about Ms. Liv Mueller and then as I am pulling the web info for Delaney and WTF?! The first thing I see is a reference to Delaney's music and David Lynch. DAMN! It seems like there is some common thread running through this show. Delaney had the same set up as the previous artist. Himself, a guitar, and his loop equipment. Musically done like a genius. Wicked, eerie, and astounding is the best way to describe Delaney's ability and performance on stage. 

There were more people in the crowd now, pushing towards the stage. I did not mind as this just shows his creative genius with his voice, his guitar, and the ability to entertain. Once again, proof to me that talent is only limited by the universe.

Robert Allan Caldwell's DAD Jim ( This was the shock and surprise performance of the night. No Drums. A banjo, a mandolin, a guitar, and a washtub bass. Oh YES! I said a washtub bass. Robert Allan Caldwell's band DAD Jim stepped on stage and immediately you knew this was going to be different. But Different in the most amazing, musically bad ass way. Roberts lyrics and whole performance is just a rowdy middle finger to Nashville, in the most fun way you could imagine that being done. 

The performance of everyone in this band sharing the solos and the spotlight, made for crowd cheering, dance floor packing good time. And yes, the washtub bass was UNDOUBTEDLY the show stopper of the evening.  It was thrilling to watch that young lady tear that shit up. The how and why someone could do something that musically provocative with a washtub, a stick, and a piece of HAVE GOT TO GO SEE DAD Jim!

The Flametrick Subs (! THIS is a band to see. A performance to experience. Yes the other bands were good this evening, but Hell be damned if the crowd didn't know this was the performance to see and experience. The exciting performance of The Flametrick Subs is knowing Hell chewed up a Rock-A-Billy band and spat out this Psycho Billy 3 piece of divine musical entertainment. The ambiance of the stage presentation, the words, the music, the crowd... It is a sight to behold and an experience you will not soon forget.

The Flametrick Subs just have that devil may care attitude with their performance and it shows up in the crowd. With folks dancing where there is no dance floor and the crowd howling and singing along... It is the premier throwback party that would make devil himself proud.