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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Ray of sunshine

TV food personality Rachael Ray has made a temporary home here in Austin for the last several years. Usually around the second or third weekend in March. The line to get in for her Saturday festivities (called Rachael Rays Feedback - borders on infanity (yes, you read that correctly)! Starting a 6 O'clock the evening before, fans of all ages start the wait outside of Stubbs. The food, the drinks, the frivolity, all lead to an afternoon of truly epic proportions. I was thrilled to have been at the event previously to shoot photo and talk all about the extravaganza that only Rachael Ray could put her stamp on. With her small stature and H U G E personality, there is no wondering why people wait for hours just for the opportunity to be a part of this. Even more thrilled to be able to do it again, and this time with my beautiful wife supplying some of the great camera work.

But did you know there is another event that is a 3 day lead up that culminates with the Saturday fun that is the Rachael Ray Feedback!?

It is called the Feedback House. Generally reserved for special guests and press. It takes place in a secret location. So sorry, I can't, and won't tell you about the location, but will divulge some of the beauty of this very small and intimate 3 day party.

The food is all Rachael Ray, just like the big event on Saturday. A special menu dreamt up by Rachael and her staff. There are beverages to enjoy. And this year, OH MY GOD, this year there was peanut butter! Lots of it! It quote Rachael..."DELISH!" It was Peter Pan - Simply Ground. I am not a food critic. I will leave that to the professionals, but I do love me some peanut butter, and the peanut butter pretzel sticks with white chocolate chips was the BEST EVER!

Ok, the music.

Hundred Hounds ( rocked the stage at the Feedback House while I was there on one particular day. It was a stellar performance. In my opinion, way more deserving of a big stage on the Saturday event, but no worries, Hundred Hounds tore into the crowd at the the Feedback House like a pack of hungry wolves. I even overheard someone exclaim "Rachael's husband must have picked out this band." No matter, it was not good. It was EXCITING, ENERGETIC, GREAT, ELECTRIC, AND REVITALIZING... all at once.

Hundred Hounds took the small stage in front of only 50+ people (remember these all invited guests and press) and just pounded out some bad ass rock and roll. The lead singer was a charmer all to himself. Of course he has to be, he is the front man. He came out as an emcee to introduce the band, stepped off the stage, only to return a split second later as the lead singer who thanked the emcee for the introduction. At this moment, I knew Hundred Hounds were absolutely about the performance. Which is just what they did. Listening and watching them drive through their set was a blast. It really did energize the hot crowd. Hell it was exciting enough to make me miss another gig I had planned to shoot.

The only bullshit drama on this piece, as I write it, is Hundred Hounds hail from the upper east coast - New York area. Like most local bands the reap their fame at home. Hopefully the opportunity opens up for Hundred Hounds to lead their pack back Texas way and see how a crowd of a few hundred would bite into their style of rock.

As for Rachael Rays Feedback on Saturday, just stay warmed up listening to some funkadelic tunes to prepare for that review.