Texas is the Motherland for the styles of music the Rhythm Review makes. Austin in particular, has a RICH musical history that is filled with a long list of truly great artists. It is home to so many of them. To be an out of towner in a city like Austin, where the level of expectation and quality of music has been and still is so high, is an absolute and total honor.
To be treated like FAMILY at some of the most legendary music spots in Austin by folks who are a long part of their rich tradition is to me, mind blowing.
Not long ago while reviewing our list of cover tunes, we realized that although we'd never planned it to be so, the vast majority of the tunes we chose had roots in Texas. Most all of them are favorites from my childhood. Without ever realizing it as a kid, I was being raised on Texas music. It's less surprising now that I think about how much a role my Grandparents had in raising me and that my Grandfather's family is from San Antonio.
As a guitar player, to look at the long list of greats who have or had Texas ties, it's humbling to even get a gig in the Lone Star state, let alone thrive in it.
The last decade or so that I've been playing gigs in Texas have been the best years of my musical life.
It was a no brainer to start our CD Release shows in Austin for "Heartaches, Time Takes". It's definitely the most Texas inspired work I've ever done and since I was just recently announced as an Official Ameripolitan Artist, it was only fitting that we kick things off in Austin.
We opened the weekend by sharing a few copies of the CD with some state troopers just outside of Ft. Worth. It seems they like to find ways to stop vans with Colorado license plates pretty much anywhere outside of Colorado, so we weren't surprised to be pulled over once again. We were surprised however that they turned out to be pretty nice fellows and didn't really give us the business like others have in the past. No harm, no foul. We were back on the road in minimal time but not before handing out the first 3 discs of the weekend to our friends in uniform.
We hightailed into Austin to perform live on 91.7 FM KOOP in the morning. It was a great experience and as always, the crew at the station treated us so very well. We truly had a good time and really appreciate their support.
Photo by Larry Burgin.
It was also the debut for Mandy Marie Luke. THE Mandy Marie Luke!!! My sister and BFF is now playing upright bass with the Rhythm Review and will be traveling with us for just about 2 months as we tour Europe! She's been a blessing in my life and one of the people close to me who's really instilled the confidence in me to go it alone and make sure the world hears the music I wrote. She's done A TON in her musical life and her opinions mean something to me. She's told me for years that I should be doing this and getting my music heard. I love her and will always be indebted to her for the support and confidence she's given me. Having her IN THE BAND IS A DREAM COME TRUE!!!
That was followed up by me being interviewed by Mark Daven for The Guitar Radio Show. It was my second time being interviewed for the show and it's always an honor. The show keeps reaching more and more people and the guests keep getting more and more famous. To still be included after all the success the show has had since my last appearance really means a lot. Mark is doing some great things for guitar playing and players and to be included as someone he thinks needs to be heard is a blessing.
Photo by JJ Pistols.
Later that day we played the happy hour spot at Ginny's Little Longhorn. I do believe it is now technically just "The Little Longhorn Saloon", but with all due respect, I can never separate Ginny from The Little Longhorn. It was just a few years back that she was at one of our shows there and made it a point to let me know that she was a fan! That's been one of the highlights of my "career" quite frankly. Of all the music she's seen and heard....it means everything to me.
The show was ton of fun. The crowd grew and grew and the music got hotter and hotter. Especially when the legendary Bill Kirchen took the stage. WITH US. Wait what?? The man that made Hot Rod Lincoln famous. The man who pretty much drew up the blueprints for how I have combined my songwriting, singing, guitar playing into this thing we now call the Rhythm Review. THAT guy. I'd met and worked with Bill before, but this was something else entirely different. He was there to help celebrate the new release with us. He was there FOR US. To support what we do as a fan AND friend. Truly truly humbling and more meaningful to me than I can describe.
We played some of his tunes. He played some of our tunes. It was just a treat for us and the crowd who loved the somewhat unexpected guest.
THANK YOU BILL KIRCHEN FOR MAKING A DREAM COME TRUE!!!
Photo by Larry Burgin.
Photo by Larry Burgin.
Video clip by Larry Burgin.
We finished off our weekend with a prime time Saturday night slot at The White Horse. As always, the place was packed, hot & sweaty, and the dancers were out in force. The White Horse is another special place and to be part of their roster and family is amazing. They welcome us with open arms and treat us like family. The crowds get rowdy with us. They dance with us. They sing aloud with us. It's a heavenly place to perform for music lovers. Having our special guest Johnny Carlton back on bass for part of the night was an added bonus!!! Y'awl know Johnny as a fellow Rhythm Reviewer but look for him this summer touring with Wayne Hancock! Congrats on the new gig big guy! We love ya!