Music News – Jan 21, 2021

As I slowly count down the days until summer and continue binge watching Hallmark movies, I am hoping we will soon see light at the end of the Covid tunnel. Many of our folks in the medical field have gotten the vaccine, which is a good sign. Our local, state, and federal agencies seem to be trying to get people vaccinated as fast as possible. I certainly don’t envy them; it is a task unlike anything they have ever seen before. Can you imagine trying to get 328 million people to follow the rules on how the vaccinations will be administered? It’s impossible to get just three people to agree on how the government should handle something, so good luck with the other 327,999,997 million. Despite these challenges, our local live music venues are still trying to keep their head above water. Places like the Pour Haus, Riley’s Tavern, Krause’s Café, Watering Hole Saloon, Billy’s Ice, and the Phoenix Saloon are all doing their best to keep live music thriving. I still find it depressing at how the entertainment industry was almost completely eliminated by this pandemic. Hopefully, we are learning how to put measures in place so this can not happen again when another rogue virus breaks out.

Suggestions for local live music

If you are thinking of checking out some live music in town, here’s a few suggestions for you. Tonight, at Billy’s Ice, the Legacy Vets Bike Night will feature music by Highway Hypnosis at 8:30pm. Yesenia McNett and her ace band, the Groove Doctors will take the stage at Krause’s Café on Friday night around 6pm. Scott Wiggins and his band will be at the Pour Haus on Saturday night. Their free show starts at 8:30pm. Gruene Hall is the place to be on Sunday afternoon when the South Austin Moonlighters perform at 4:30pm. Come back on Monday for the incredible Bret Graham at 6pm. Mario Flores plays Freiheit Country Store on Tuesday night at 7pm and Zack Walther keeps his Walther Wednesdays alive at Freiheit at 6:30pm. Remember, if you do take in some live music, always follow the guidelines set in place by our local venues and the CDC. If you have any questions about the safety measures at our local venues, call them before you head out.

Josh Ward plays Freiheit Country Store

When George Strait was starting his music career, he looked to George Jones, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard for inspiration. Thanks to George, we now have several talented traditional country singers like Aaron Watson, Cody Johnson, and Josh Ward. All three list Strait as a major influence for their career and it’s obvious when you listen to their music. All three have a lot in common with King George. They are all Texas boys, they are all happily married, they all feel right at home on a horse and you rarely see them anywhere without a cowboy hat and boots. During the pandemic, they hunkered down with their families and concentrated on their music. Cody played several acoustic live-streaming shows and some socially distanced ones. Aaron Watson recorded two albums during his time off. The first, American Soul was just released last week and the second one, Unwanted Man, will be released later this summer. Josh Ward recently released his first live album, Live at Billy Bob’s, recorded at the world’s biggest honky tonk, Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth. The 2-CD contains all his biggest hits, including one of my favorites, ‘A Cowboy Can.’ Josh cut his teeth on the rodeo circuit and working in the oilfields, so he writes about the life he’s lived. His rough teen years set the stage for a settled family man, one who is grateful for the many blessings his career in music has brought. You can catch Josh on-stage Friday night at Freiheit Country Store with Gabe Garcia opening the show.

Top music memoirs

Rolling Stone Magazine recently released their list of the top 25 music memoirs. It made me think of my favorite memoirs. During the year-long pandemic, I’ve read about twenty autobiographies plus I re-read some of the older ones that I bought few decades ago. Johnny Cash’s Man in Black was the first music autobiography I read. It came out in 1975, the year I graduated high school. From that point on, I was hooked. I read every music memoir I could find. I’ve lost track of how many I’ve read since 1975, but rest assured it’s a lot of books. I picked my top ten favorites, just in case you are in the mood to read a few good books. Robert Hilburn’s book, Johnny Cash – The Life is probably the definitive book on Johnny if you plan to only read one about the Man in Black. Another favorite is Waylon Jennings – An Autobiography, written in 1996. It tells what really happened the night Buddy Holly died. There are many books on Willie Nelson, many written by Willie. My vote for the best one was written by Joe Nick Patoski in 2008 called Willie Nelson – An Epic Life. In 2015, John Fogerty finally wrote his life story titled Fortunate Son. It tells his story from the day he formed Creedence Clearwater Revival and includes his amazing solo career. For honesty, few beat Sammy Hagar’s Red – My Uncensored Life in Rock. Though it takes awhile to get used to his writing style, Keith Richards’ memoir titled Life is a fascinating read. As a founding member of the Rolling Stones, it’s a miracle he’s still alive today. Chuck Berry’s autobiography is an interesting look at one of the founding fathers of rock and roll. There are thousands of books about Elvis, but if you can only read one, I recommend Last Train to Memphis by Peter Guralnick. Elton John is another rock star that has hundreds of books written about his life, but the best is the one he wrote himself, simply titled Me. A few years ago, Bruce Springsteen finally wrote his life story in Born to Run. It still holds the number one slot in my al- time favorite memoirs. For many years he was such a private person, so it was great when he finally let his fans hear his story in his own words. Now if George Strait and Neil Diamond would write their life stories, I would be a happy camper.



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

Tonight – Legacy Vets Bike Night w/ Highway Hypnosis – 8:30pm

Fri – Rodney Pyeatt – 8:30pm

Sat – Clever Name Band – 9:30pm

Sun – School of Rock – 4pm / Lucas Taylor – 7pm

Wed – Zach McCabe – 8:30pm


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

Fri – Jordan Nix / Tanner Usrey – 8pm


Dam Red Barn (16520 S. Access Rd, Canyon Lake  830-964-3276)

Sat – Steele River Band – 8:30pm


Farmer’s Market (Castell Street Downtown)

Sat – Emily Hart – 9:30am


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

Tonight – Geoff Hill & Tony Taylor – 4pm

Fri – Gabe Garcia / Josh Ward – 7pm

Sat – Lady & the Tramp – 9pm

Sun – Gunnar Latham – 4pm

Tue – Mario Flores – 7pm

Wed – Zack Walther Band – 6:30pm


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

Tonight – Austin Gilliam Band – 6pm

Fri – Soul Sessions – 6:30pm

Sat – Pat Byrne Band – 12:30pm / Jake Penrod – 6pm

Sun – Texas Tycoons – Noon / South Austin Moonlighters – 4:30pm

Mon – Bret Graham – 6pm

Tue – Tony Taylor, Lucas Taylor & Austin Gilliam – 6pm

Wed – Silvercloud – 6pm


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

Fri – Wyatt Weaver Band – 8:30pm


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

Tonight – Walburg Boys – 6pm

Fri – Yesenia McNett & The Groove Doctors – 6pm

Sat – Alli Mattice Band – 1pm / Monte Good & Honky Tonk Heroes – 5:30pm

Sun – Terry Cavanaugh & Alpine Express – 10am / Cactus Country – 2:30pm

Wed – Yodel Blitz – 5:30pm


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

Tonight – Jen & Ted Frumkin – 5pm

Fri – ShAnnie – 6pm

Sat – Ben Beckendorf – 1pm / Small Town Habit / Cory Morrow – 8pm

Sun – Stephen K Morris – 1pm / Jake Martin – 5pm


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

Fri – 3 Swings & A Miss (Side Car) – 8pm


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 – Tex Porter – Noon

Fri – Tony Taylor & Geoff Hill – Noon / Jesse Stratton Band – 8pm

Sat – Blackbird Sing – 8pm

Wed – Steven Vee – Noon


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

Tonight – David Russell & Friends – 8:30pm

Fri – Natalie Rose Band – 8:30pm

Sat – Scott Wiggins Band – 8:30pm

Sun – Myles Smith & Friends – 8:30pm

Mon – Shawn Hart & Friends – 8:30pm

Tue – Open Mic Night w/ Bob Schmueckle – 8:30pm

Wed – Tony Taylor & Friends – 8:30pm


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

Tonight – Mike Ethan Messick & Friends – 7pm

Fri – Josh Baca & the Hot Tamales – 8pm

Sat – John, Joel & Ronnie – 8pm

Sun – Kayla Janes Picker Circle – 4pm


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

Tonight – Logun Timberlake – 6pm


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

Fri – William Beckman / Paul Cauthen – 7pm

Sat – William Beckman / Paul Cauthen – 7pm

Sun – William Beckman / Paul Cauthen – 7pm


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

Fri – Painted Pony – 9pm

Sat – Meyer Anderson Band – 9pm

Sun – Bud Vargas – 2pm

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