Last Saturday nite, August 4, GRO played at the Western Kountry Klub in Midlothian, Texas, just south of Dallas. Jerry and Barbara are the owners and proprietors, and they couldn't be nicer or more welcoming, and we appreciate them. GRO shared the gig with (the great) DEAN CHARLES; hearing him sing "I Gotta Travel On" is always a real treat for me. We had a nice crowd, and the Klub, which started out as a skating rink in the 1950's, was full of nice people and good vibrations. And it's always a treat to see MARYANN PRICE kicking up her heels and singing to beat the band.
Then the next day, on Sunday, my old folk-singing friend RORY McNAMARA flew in from SanFrancisco, and we spent a week in the studio recording and documenting five old "never recorded" songs, mostly written in the 1970's by our old colleague and brother, BILLY MARLOWE. Rory is an Irishman who grew up in England before settling in the Bay area around 1975, and it was a treat for him to meet and work with a handful of our great regional Texas players. I know that I enjoyed it---immensely, as my mother used to say.
We owe a big thank-you to old friends BUDDY WHITTINGTON, RAY AUSTIN, GONZY TREVINO, ARAM DOROSS, GARY BRISTOL, and MARK WILSON for contributing their fine spirits and skills to "the new Billy Marlowe project." And we want to also say thanks to "the new guy" CHUCK MAYO who came and blew the doors off the studio, playing Hammond, and thanks to Gonzy to introducing him to the studio, and to GRO.
We are planning to do more of Billy's tunes, just to see where his spirit leads us.
What a great thing last night. I was dozing in to Letterman last night, just to see Tom Waits, and lo-and-behold, there was Augie Meyers, looking great and sounding great.
Ages ago (1987 maybe), I recorded a film score for Augie in NYC with lots of fine players and voices on it, and I haven't seen him since, so it was like old home week, at least for me.
Augie: one of the better guys on the planet.
For an old guy who doesn't get out of the house much, today and tomorrow I need to go pick up my "lost" camera at Crews Control, buy pecan mulch and dirt at Marshall Grain Company (and unload it all at home), go see Big Wampum at the Harley place in Fort Worth, go to a western swing jam tonight in Cool, then spend Saturday (with Joyce and Gary) in Mineral Wells at SWINGFEST while not forgetting to visit CHUMP CHANGE at Jake's on Camp Bowie---and really I ought to stop in late tonight at the The Keys to see Rusty and Davy one more time.
I swear, I am too old for all of this. And it's a lot of riding for Mimi! But Crystal, of course, is glad to get me out of the house, ha!
Texas DJ Ted Branson invited Floyd Domino, Maryann Price and myself onto the Austin air for an hour this morning, to yak about DOUBLE SHOT and GRO. We had a great, relaxed time on his fine show that is called called UNDER THE X IN TEXAS. Happily, I was out on my back porch with my darling Mimi, smoking a big cigar and drinking home-made expresso (Bustelo).
Floyd and Maryann are both really busy, so it was extra nice for them to take the time to get up and get down to the station this morning. This promoting stuff can be heavy lifting when it's done right.
It's funny how quickly an hour goes by. I was talking as fast as I can during my segment, and yet I still forgot to mention so many names and "titles" and contributors to the project: SORRY. I can now sympathize, sorta, with winners at the various awards ceremonies who typically have the impossible task cranking out much-too-quick "thank-you's" to all those who contributed to their winning projects.
Well, off to the Dog Bark for some Texas heat. Summer's coming.
All right. I am going to type a few words.
Last night at the Stagecoach Ballroom in Fort Worth, J.D. Smith, Bubba Stephens and Michael Holleman played a night together backing up the fine Fort Worth singer Dean Charles, a singer who should be simply certified as a Texas legend. I wish everyone who likes swing could have been there, watching and listening. Country music, and country jazz, has never sounded bigger and better than those fellows did last night. Hubba, hubba, Big Bubba, and all.
Thanks, Bubba, for your response.
Now if we could only get someone who's not in the band to say something!
HEY, if anybody finds this dang page, please slip me a note to encourage me to keep going. sssssssteve
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