Music News – Oct. 29, 2020

Anytime the weather drops below 80 degrees, I start looking for a fire and a warm coat. I’ve hated cold weather for as long as I can remember. I always said that if I win the lottery, I would buy a jet plane and fly farther south anytime the temperature dipped below 80 degrees. So, we get our first cold front during a pandemic and Jerry Jeff Walker passed away. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of this year. I’m ready to push fast forward and skip right on over to January. So far we’ve lost Joe Diffie, John Prine, Little Richard, guitarist Peter Green, guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Neil Peart, drummer Paul English, Justin Townes Earle, Charlie Daniels, Bill Withers, Roy Head, Kenny Rogers, Spencer Davis, Mac Davis, Johnny Bush and Jerry Jeff Walker. These are just the most popular entertainers, there is 132 more lesser known musicians that have died in 2020. I think that may be a record for most deaths in a single year. It’s certainly not a record you want to repeat, and we still have two more months to go. I may just lock myself in the house and not come out until January 1.

Jerry Jeff Walker passes away

Another week and another iconic singer passes away. This year seems determined to rid the world of everything and everyone in the music business. It was late last Friday night when the news hit social media that Jerry Jeff Walker had passed away at 78 years old after a long battle with cancer. Tributes to his life and music were posted online for the next four days from thousands of people that knew him, worked with him, or had his music touch their life. Trust me, if you live in Texas, Jerry Jeff Walker sang your song. He could be stubborn; he could be wild and crazy, but he stayed true to his musical vision until the end. He was born Ronald Clyde Crosby in Oneonta, New York in 1942. His gypsy ways led him to travel south to play music under the stage name of Jerry Ferris and then Jeff Walker before combining both names and legally changing his name to Jerry Jeff Walker in the late 60’s. He gave a young Jimmy Buffett his first ride to Key West when they were both struggling musicians. Buffett stayed in Key West, but Jerry Jeff went on to New Orleans. A night in jail with an old street performer inspired him to write Mr. Bojangles, his biggest hit. It would provide him the money to travel America before finally settling in Austin in 1970 and helped start the outlaw country movement with Willie Nelson and Michael Martin Murphey. His Viva Terlingua album, recorded in Luckenbach in 1973, kicked his career into overdrive. It also launched the careers of Gary P. Nunn and Ray Wylie Hubbard because Jerry Jeff included their songs on the album. He married Susan Streit and once she took over as his manager, his life became more organized. They had two children, son Django and daughter Jesse Jane. Everyone has a favorite Jerry Jeff story and he influenced thousands of young Texas musicians. I remember seeing him many years ago at Saengerhalle doing a song swap with Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, and Guy Clark. My wife remembers being a part of his Hill Country Rain video shoot at Guadalupe River State Park. He left behind a catalog of music that defines our state and one that will last forever. Long live Jerry Jeff.

Bruce Springsteen releases Letter to You

When Bruce Springsteen released his new album, Letter to You, last Friday, it marked the first time he recorded live in the studio with his E Street Band since the Born in the USA sessions in 1983. After that album, Bruce started demoing his songs at home, then having the band add their parts later. Last November he had lunch with his keyboardist Roy Bittan and played Roy some song samples. Roy suggested that Bruce don’t demo the songs but let the band learn them live in the studio and add their parts spontaneously. He agreed and they met in Bruce’s home studio a few weeks later. Over the course of five days they recorded the entire album, knocking out all twelve songs in record time. Remember, it took them three years to record his Born in the USA album in 1984. Nine of the songs are brand new, written by Bruce in late 2019. The album kicks off with ‘One Minute You’re Here,’ a song that examines the mortality of your friends and family. ‘Letter to You’ is a testament to the dedication he has to his fans. By the third track, ‘Burning Train,’ you hear the E Street Band full force, running wide open. He goes to the vaults for ‘Janey Needs A Shooter,’ a song pulled from the vaults, written back in the mid 70’s. It certainly sounds like vintage Bruce. He touches on his early days in music with ‘Last Man Standing,’ and realizes he’s the last surviving member of his first band, The Castiles. There’s a definite 1980’s sound on ‘Rainmaker,’ the only song on the album that hints at current events. ‘House of 1000 Guitars’ is my least favorite song on the album, but it’s simply my opinion. He salvages two more songs from his archives, ‘If I Was A Priest’ and ‘Song for Orphans,’ and they both have the heavy lyrical style he favored in 1973. You can hear his Bob Dylan influences on these two tracks. One of my favorite tracks is ‘Ghosts,’ with the lines ‘when the band kicks into overdrive, by the end of the set we leave no one alive.’ After all, this is where Bruce and the band truly shine, on stage. Their nightly marathon shows that hover close to the four hour mark every night is what sets them apart from everyone else. Even at 71 years old, he plays every concert like it will be his last, leaving everything on the stage. There’s no one else playing at this level today, it’s what sets Bruce apart from all others. That’s why they call him the Boss. He hopes to tour in 2021 and so does his millions of fans, we need an E Street Band to help put 2020 behind us.

Freiheit Country Store and Gruene Hall lead the charge for live music

When live music started returning to our city, Freiheit Country Store and Gruene Hall stepped up to the plate and did their best to bring it back as fast as possible. Since they have a full restaurant on site, Freiheit was first in line with live concerts. When they could open at 50% capacity, they started the live acoustic shows with artists like Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen, and Jack Ingram. They show upcoming shows by Mike & the Moonpies and Blackhawk. Gruene Hall followed soon after with limited seating shows by Robert Earl Keen, Stoney LaRue, Granger Smith, Josh Abbott, and Cory Morrow. Their calendar has upcoming shows by Eli Young Band, Randy Rogers, Mark Chesnutt, Jason Boland, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Pat Green, Sean McConnell, Wade Bowen, Aaron Watson, and Gary P. Nunn. These venues had to change their entire business model to accommodate the CDC guidelines so be patient with the staff if you attend any shows. They are doing everything they can to survive this crazy year. Always check with each venue before attending a concert so you will know their rules for the event. Hopefully, we are close to the end of the pandemic and will be back to normal by the holidays.

Red Bird Listening Room Hosts Songwriters Night

Tonight, the Red Bird Listening Room will host their second songwriter’s night with a solid group of local singer songwriters in our area. Soon after the building was finished, owner Dallas Burrow invited all his friends to stop by and christen the room. They showed up in full force and it was a memorable night. For tonight’s songwriter showcase, Dallas has invited a large group of artists to stop by and play a few songs. It’s a very relaxed casual atmosphere, with each songwriter playing a new song or one they have had in their catalog for a while. Red Bird Listening Room is a historic old farmhouse that was meticulously restored to provide a beautiful and intimate experience. So, if you are a songwriter, this is where you need to be tonight. Doors open at 6pm, music starts at 7pm and a $10 donation is appreciated but not mandatory. It goes to help continue these cool events. If you do attend, remember listening is permitted but talking is not. Seating is limited so arrive early if you plan on attending. Hand sanitizer and masks are available if you forget yours. The Red Bird is located at 1260 Business 35, next door to Walgreens at the corner of Walnut and Business 35.



Adobe Verde  (1724 Hunter Road, 830-629-0777)

Fri – JJ Garrett – 6:30pm

Sat – Halloween Festival w/ The Percolators – 6:30pm


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

Tonight – Garrett Mann, Bo Brumble, Mike Stanley – 8:30pm

Fri – Clever Name Band – 8:30pm

Sat – Dustin Schafer – 9:30pm


Brookshire Brothers (18275 FM 306, Canyon Lake 830-935-3130)

Fri – Lady & the Tramps – 6pm

Sat – Jesse Stratton – 6pm


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

Fri – Austin Meade – 8pm


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

Tonight – Turn Up Jam – 8pm


Downtown Social Club (386 W. San Antonio, 830-214-6650)

Tonight – Piano Melt w/ Mike Atkins & Jake Koenig – 7pm


Farmer’s Market (Castell Street Downtown)

Sat – TBA – 9:30am


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

Fri – Jesse Daniel / Raul Malo – 7pm

Sat – Hailey Whitters / Flatland Cavalry – 6pm & 9:30pm


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

Fri – Kat Hasty / Pecos & the Rooftops – 6pm

Sat – Opener TBA / Jason Allen Band – 8pm

Wed – Zack Walther Band – 7pm


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

Fri – Bret Graham – 4pm

Sat – Sylvia Kirk – 2pm

Sun – Johnny McGowan – 1pm


Gristmill River Grill (1287 Gruene Road, 830-625-0684)
Tonight – Colton’s Kin – 6:30pm


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

Tonight – Eli Young Band – 8pm

Fri – Randy Rogers (Trio Acoustic) – 8pm

Sat – Flat Top Jones – 1pm / Carson Jeffery / Giovannie & the Hired Guns – 7pm

Sun – Danny Brooks Band – Noon / Aaron Stephens Band – 4:30pm

Mon – Bret Graham – 6pm

Tue – Jackson Parten & Matt Kirk – 6pm


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

Fri – Tyler McCollum – 8:30pm

Sat – Undercover Killas – 8:30pm


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

Tonight – Slim Bawb – 6pm

Fri – Zack Walther Band – 6pm

Sat – Monte Good – 2pm / All Mixed Up – 6pm

Sun – Village Brass Band – 3pm


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

Tonight – Dan West – 5pm

Fri – Jake McLain – 4pm / Koncrete Kings – 8pm

Sat – Yesenia McNett & Soul Twang – 1pm

Sun – Walt Wilkins, Drew Kennedy & Josh Grider – 1pm / Jake Martin – 5pm


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

Tonight – Soul Ethos – 6pm

Fri – Soul Ethos – 6pm

Sat – Devan Jones – 7pm


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

Wed – Monte Good – 5:30pm


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

Tonight – Jesse Stratton Band – 7pm

Fri – Steven Vee – Noon / Junior Nash – 5pm

Sat – Halloween Party – 8pm

Sun – Junior Nash – 1:30pm


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

Tonight – Dirty White Horse – 8:30pm

Fri – 3 Man Front – 8:30pm

Sat – Matt Moeller – 9:30pm


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

Tonight – Kayla Jane Sheppard – 7pm

Fri – Season Ammons – 6pm / The Lucky Odds – 8:30pm

Sat – The Blevins – 8pm


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

Sat – Eddie Esler / Shaker Hymns – 8pm


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

Tonight – Paul Eldridge – 6pm


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

Tonight – Jamie Lin Wilson & Courtney Patton – 7pm

Fri – Marcy Grace – 7:30pm

Sat – Nightbird: Tribute to Fleetwood Mac & Stevie Nicks – 7:30pm


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

Tonight – Jonathan Tyler, Cody Braun, Jonny Burke – 6pm

Fri – The Brew – 8pm


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

Fri – Drew Moreland & Neon Hustle – 8:30pm

Sat – I35 / 3 Man Front – 9pm

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