Music News – Feb. 20, 2020

When Willie Nelson played the 1998 Flood Benefit at Gruene Hall I had a chance meeting with his drummer Paul English. He was standing under the small oak tree on the side of the hall, dressed entirely in black. I talked with Paul for awhile and asked him to sign my copy of Willie’s CD titled Me and Paul. He told me to stop by his bus after the show to continue our conversation. We talked for several hours while the crew loaded up the gear and prepared to head out to the next show. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses and I stayed in touch with Paul on a regular basis. Anytime they were playing nearby, I made a point to go see him. One night at Floores Country Store I convinced him to wear his famous black cape again. He hadn’t worn it in years but he humored me and put it on just as he stepped off the bus and headed toward the stage. Just as Willie kicked off the show with his customary tune, Whiskey River, he stopped and did a double take at Paul. When he introduced Paul that night, he mentioned that Paul was wearing his famous cape. Back in the 70’s, Willie saw the cape in an old clothing store and bought it for Paul as a gag gift. Paul always wore black and was nicknamed the Devil, so the cape completed his outfit. He was Willie’s oldest and best friend and was his personal bodyguard since joining the band in 1966. Willie wrote two songs about Paul. One was simply titled Me and Paul, the other was The Devil in a Sleeping Bag. Nelson named his daughter Paula after him. Paul was the band leader and tour accountant and kept a loaded pistol in his boot in case a promoter tried to cheat them out of their money. I noticed that he used a beat-up old briefcase to keep his tour receipts in so I bought him a new one for Christmas. It took him three years before he could part with the old battered one. Paul shared hundreds of stories about his time with Willie and fortunately I taped them all. He would often say “Willie tells the story his way but I’ll tell you how it really happened.” Paul passed away last week at 87 years old after a bout with pneumonia. I spoke with his wife Janie to offer my condolences and she informed me of a celebration of life they are having for Paul on March 3 at Billy Bob’s in Ft. Worth. I suggest you go online and read the great story that Joe Nick Patoski wrote about Paul for Texas Monthly. Paul left behind a legacy that will live forever.


Hal Ketchum Benefit

Gruene Hall will host a special benefit concert for Hal Ketchum this Sunday at 4pm. When Hal got his start at Gruene Hall, he played on Sunday afternoons at 4pm so it’s a fitting time for his benefit to kick off. Hal is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and requires care around the clock by his wife Andrea. Ketchum went through a tough spell back in 2009 and was coerced into signing away all of the royalty money he had earned and would ever earn. His money is running out and now he needs some help. Many of Hal’s fellow musicians are pitching in to help their fellow singer out. At press time those scheduled to appear are Walt Wilkins, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, Lee Roy Parnell, Bruce Robison, Kelly Willis, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Kevin Fowler, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jesse Dayton and more. There is an online auction with items donated by folks like Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Kathy Mattea, Keb Mo and Rodney Crowell just to name a few. Download the Handbid App on your electronic device to see all items and bid on any you might want to own. The show is sold-out so hopefully you already have your tickets. If not, you can stream the show live on this website, They ask that you make a small donation to Hal’s fund when you sign on. Hal always lent his time and talent to local benefits and now it’s payback time.


It’s Mardi Gras Time in New Braunfels

Next Tuesday just happens to be Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday and it symbolizes the last night of feasting before the start of the Lenten season that begins on Ash Wednesday. Our city offers many ways to celebrate Fat Tuesday with venues offering many choices in the live music category. Going alphabetically, Alex Meixner will be back at the Brauntex Theatre for his Annual Fat Tuesday Concert. He always has special guests join him for these shows so if you don’t have tickets you may want to get yours now at Devils Backbone Tavern will feature Jesse Lege for their Fat Tuesday celebration. Over at Gruene Hall, Slim Bawb will host their Fat Tuesday party. Krause’s Café will host a Fat Tuesday show with Dirty River Dixie Band. You can catch Soul Sessions at the Pour Haus for their Fat Tuesday party. As you can see, there’s plenty to do on Fat Tuesday. It makes you wonder how many people will call in sick on Wednesday.





Billy’s Ice  (1193 Loop 337, 830-692-8169)

Tonight – Austin James Band – 8:30pm

Fri – Purple Room – 9pm

Sat – Jamie Talbert & Band of Demons – 9pm

Sun – Gayle Stonecipher Benefit – Noon


Black’s BBQ (936 Loop 337, 830-358-7006)

Fri – Frank Gilligan – 6pm

Sat – Richie Allbright – 6pm


Black Whale Pub (367 Main Plaza, 830-625-6605)

Tue – Aaron Stephens – 9pm


Brauntex Theatre (290 W. San Antonio, 830-627-0808)

Tonight – 3 Redneck Tenors – 7:30pm

Fri – Moe Bandy & Janie Frickie – 7:30pm

Tue – Alex Meixner Fat Tuesday – 7:30pm


Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street, San Marcos, 512-353-3777)

Tonight – Giovannie & Hired Guns / Austin Meade – 8pm

Fri – Grant Gilbert / Mason Lively – 8pm

Sat – Forrest Weiss / Max Flinn – 8pm

Wed – Kent Finley Songwriters Circle – 8pm


Devil’s Backbone Tavern (4041 FM 32, Fisher, TX)

Fri – Jamie Lin Wilson – 9pm

Sat – Floyd Domino – 1pm / Slaid Cleaves – 9pm

Sun – Charles Thibodeaux & Austin Cajun Aces – 1pm

Tue – Fat Tuesday w/ Jesse Lege – 7pm


Farmer’s Market (Castell Street Downtown)

Sat – Colton’s Kin – 9:30am


Faust Brewing Company (499 S. Castell Street, 830-609-9086)

Fri – Matt Kirk – 7pm

Sat – Highway Hypnosis – 7pm


Floores Country Store  (14492 Old Bandera Rd  210-695-8827)

Fri – Jonny Burke / Ray Wylie Hubbard – 8:30pm

Sat – Joshua Ray Walker / 1100 Springs – 8:30pm


Freiheit Country Store (2157 FM 1101, 830-625-9400)

Sat – Sundance Head – 7pm

Wed – Zack Walther Band – 6:30pm


Grapevine in Gruene   (1612 Hunter Rd  830-606-0093)

Tonight – Julieann Banks – 5pm


Gruene Grove (1263 Gruene Rd, 830-765-0300)

Tonight – Luke Williams – 7pm

Fri – Silo Road – 7pm

Sat – Jaimie Krueger – 7pm

Sun – James Canchola – 2pm


Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Rd   830-606-1281)

Tonight – Brock Zeman, Mark Jungers, Dustin Welch – 6pm

Fri – David Adam Byrnes / Jon Wolfe – 7pm

Sat – Jake Worthington / Jon Wolfe – 8pm

Sun – Hal Ketchum Tribute – 4pm

Mon – Bret Graham – 6pm

Tue – Slim Bawb’s Fat Tuesday Party – 6pm

Wed – Julieann Banks Trio – 6pm


Happy Cow (9103 FM 1102, Hunter, TX. 512-667-7510)

Fri – Dallas Burrow – 8:30pm

Sat – Austin Gilliam – 8:30pm


Krause’s Café (148 Castell, 830-632-5076)

Fri – Michael Milligan & Texiana Bluez – 7pm

Sat – Shawn Hart – 7pm


Luckenbach Dance Hall (412 Town Loop, Luckenbach  830-997-3224)

Tonight – Brent Ryan – 5pm

Fri – 40 Acre Mule / Old 97’s – 8pm

Sat – Jen & Ted Frumkin – 5pm / Lee Mathis & Brutally Handsome – 8pm

Sun – Jimmy Davis – 1pm / Jake Martin – 5pm


Middleton Brewing (101 Oakwood Loop, San Marcos  512-847-3435)

Sat – Austin Haynes – 5pm

Sun – Nick Garcia – 7pm

Mon – Open Mic w/ Tom Taylor – 6pm


Muck & Fuss/Side Car (295 E. San Antonio Street, 830-312-5387)

Tonight – Little Jewford – 6pm / Brett Cline – 8pm

Fri – Little Jewford – 5pm / Ruby Alexander & the Boys – 9pm

Sat – Little Jewford – 5pm / Henri Herbert – 9pm

Wed – Little Jewford – 6pm


Old River City Café (2771 FM 725   830-620-1900)

Sun – Ryan Waguespack – 10:30am

Wed – Monte Good – 5:30pm


Phoenix Saloon (193 W San Antonio, 830-643-1400)

Tonight – Floyd Bauler – 5:30pm

Fri – Junior Nash – 5pm / Soul Sessions w/ Robert Carter – 9pm

Sat – Sons of Johnny Cash – 9pm

Sun – All Mixed Up – 3pm / Lucas Taylor – 7pm

Wed – Steven Vee – Noon / Junior Nash Plays Cash – 5pm / Open Mic w/ Billy Roy – 8pm


Pour Haus  (343 W San Antonio, 830-214-6033)

Tonight – Robert Dimmel – 8:30pm

Fri – JJ Garrett Band – 8:30pm

Sat – 3 Man Front – 9:30pm

Sun – The Vagabonds – 8:30pm

Mon – Tony Taylor & Friends – 8:30pm

Tue – Fat Tuesday w/ Soul Sessions – 8:30pm

Wed – Cody Coggins – 8:30pm


Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102 512-392-3132)

Tonight – Jackie Darlene – 7pm

Fri – The Homebodies – 6pm / Cecil Moore – 9pm

Sat – Josh Grider – 9pm

Sun – Blues Jam – 4pm

Tue – Mark Jungers & Brock Zeman – 7pm


River Road Ice House (1791 Hueco Springs Loop  830-626-1335)

Sat – Saturday Night Five – 8pm


Rudy’s BBQ (844 Loop 337,  830-609-3337)

Tonight – Secondhand Cowboys – 6pm


The Rustic (17619 La Cantera Pkwy, Ste 204, San Antonio, 210-245-7500)

Tonight – South Austin Moonlighters – 8:30pm

Fri – High Divers – 9:30pm

Sat – Drivin’ & Cryin’ – 9:30pm

Sun – Natalie Rose – 4pm


Sam’s Burger Joint (330 E Grayson St   210-223-2830)

Tonight – Scott H. Biram – 7pm

Fri – Skyrocket – 8pm

Sat – Wishbone Ash – 7:30pm

Sun – Paula Boggs Band – 6pm


Tavern in the Gruene (830 Gruene Rd,  830-608-0438)

Tonight – Richard Watson – 5pm

Fri – Nate Rodriguez – 9pm

Sat – Chuck Wimer – 5pm / File 13 – 9:30pm


Tobin Center (100 Auditorium,  210-223-8624)

Mon – Howard Jones – 7:30pm


Villa at Gruene (1190 Gruene Rd,   830-625-9463)

Tonight – Isaac Jacobs Band – 7pm


Watering Hole  (1390 McQueeney Rd  830-625-0045)

Tonight – Meyer Anderson Band – 8pm

Fri – 3 Man Front – 8:30pm

Sat – Jeremy Egg Band – 9pm

Tue – Songwriter Night w/ Jay Bleu – 8:30pm

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