Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sundays at the Bugle Boy!

Barry Whitfill

Amanda, Lane & Chris

Kim & Karen

1051 N. Jefferson St. (Hwy 77)
La Grange, Texas 78945

The Bugle Boy

Step one...go to the link and check the schedule...step two, grab a buddy, it's a drive for good conversation.. and three..get in the car and go!

Be prepared, you're going to hear some damn fine music, with the cream of the crop of Texas artists all vying for a spot on that little stage. You're also going to be sitting in an audience with fans that know how to listen, it's truly a listening venue. Established by Lane Gosney in a an old WWII barracks (there's even a metal bathtub in the office bathroom!), the Bugle Boy has established itself as prime listening property, right on Hwy 77 in La Grange, TX.

Lane started having Show Case Sundays, to give not quite as well known performers, or perhaps someone new to the area an opportunity to win a cash prize as well as to perform in the Best of Showcase Concert where the big prize is performing in the Bugle Boy Anniversary Show each January. She has 3 judges, one from the music industry, one is a performer that has performed on her stage and the third is a venue owner...and house concerts qualify! I was very honored when Lane asked me to participate.

And I'm not lying when I say it's probably one of the hardest things I've ever done! Ten performers, performing two of their own songs, right after another, with a break in the middle...and then we meet to figure out three top "winners"...who come out to perform another song each...and then, again...we meet to figure out a "winner"!

There is a reason Central Texas holds the title of "Live Music Capitol"...we draw the best of the best to this area. Young, old, male, female, Americana, country...a little Townes type thrown in, it was a smörgåsbord of exceptional sound and lyrics. Four hours, twenty-three songs...you really should have been there.

Havilah Our Winner on Sunday!

Others on the stage, in no particular order:
Steve Power
Nick Verzosa
Amanda Pearcy
Jana Pochop
Beth Kille
Chris Brecht
Monica Wright
Barry Whitfill (no web site provided, email address on request)

The photos above include Barry Whitfill, on the patio tuning up! and then Amanda Pearcy, with Lane behind the counter and Chris Brecht. The ladies are Mandy Rowden, from Girl Guitar, Havilah, Kim Miller and me on the end. Mandy and Kim were my fellow judges that day, you can get acquainted fairly quickly when you have smart women all with opinions! But Havilah was sensational, I'm sure all the other contestants were not surprised.

You can hear all of those with web sites or myspace sites on those links. Have a listen...and imagine hearing all of those fine performers in 4 hours...23 songs. Who would you have chosen?

Friday, Feb 27, you can catch my favorites on that Bugle Boy stage...Greg Whitfield George Ensle and Freddie Fuller.It is well worth that drive!!

Greg has been on our "stage" here at WHC and will be here again this summer, while George is set for May 17th, right in my own back yard. Amanda Pearcy will join Donna Frost, MJ Bishop and Leeann Atherton on March 29th here at WHC for Ladies W/Lyrics. MJ will also perform at Bugle Boy on that trip down from Seattle.

Kim Miller will be in the round with MARVIN DYKHUIS & BETTY SOO on Saturday Feb 28 at the Bugle Boy.

It'd be a mighty good weekend to start your visits to the Bugle Boy...say hello to Lane and tell her Webb House Concerts sent you.

and thanks to her for bringing Bugle Boy alive...just wait until you hear...

but remember...loose lips sink ships...it's a LISTENING venue.

Friday, February 13, 2009

South Austin Music

It was quite a crew that filled up the Waterloo in south Austin last night...all on hand to give Kathy Street and Tommy Byrd some congrats and good wishes...as well as their votes for Texas Music Awards nominee Byrd & Street for Best Duo/Group in Texas!

Joined by the tremendous talent of Greg Whitfield on lead guitar, Tommy and Kathy gave the crowd a taste of the new CD, Love Broke the Fall...plus many of the favorites of their Austin fans. As usual, tight harmony, solid melody and superb professionalism make Byrd & Street's performances of their original songs an evening to remember.

In the audience was Patty Finney, soon to release her CD just finished at Byrd House Studios, and another WHC favorite, Sandy McLain.

Greg Whitfield, a phenomenal singer/songwriter in his own right, will be here at WHC sometime this summer.

You can find the work of most Austin musicians, like Byrd & Street, at cdbaby.com.

To learn more about the Texas Music Awards (and to vote for Byrd & Street) go to Texas Music Awards for a list of nominees. Voting ends Feb 20.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wunderlich House Concert!

Just the other day... I perched on my chair, and realized I was on the edge, leaning forward to catch every single note as it floated by...in the dining room, peering into the living room at Ruth Wunderlich's...and on her impromptu stage...Karen Mal, sweet, petite..gorgeous and professional in the center, to her left the ever so handsome folk artist, Ken Gaines...and on her right, Butch Morgan, glowing smile... Karen played his straight man so well! It was an amazing performance...showing each off to their individual strengths. Butch is a showman, an entertainment pro...with a wealth of songs (and CD's..buy one right here!) to draw from...Ken, again the professional, with the generosity of heart to share his voice and guitar with Karen...and Karen Mal, my first time to hear her show!

When I was Three my first favorite of Mal's songs, just so tender live and in the quiet of respectful house concert audience...I just love that moment after a song like that...before the applause, as the song seeps into you...Gaines shows his folk roots, the story in the song, right or wrong to be decided, great verse in his rich voice, the melding of Mal's and his voices just so just right...add in Butch's guitar and his ability to make the song live enough for laughter, it was a perfect combination! After the break, Will Taylor from Strings Attached arrived, fresh and funny from working a wedding...and added that violin to the mix, who thought it could even get better?

Standing ovation at the end! well deserved and brought us another couple of songs...with Mal starting Good night Irene and ending it with all joining in ...including, did I hear Grace Pettis? the angel voice floating from the audience?

A special treat kind of night all the way around! Thank you Ruth!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Starting out

Webb House Concerts started in September 2007...the end result of moving into social networks...aka myspace and meeting Tommy Byrd and Donna Frost...plus reading, connecting with so many house concert venue operators, and the belief that I can do this. This is just not that hard...and really, except for the physical labor of getting ready....it is not. I admit if I wasn't a mom all these years, I'd give up some of that housecleaning crap that I do, but I'm just so darn well trained!

Austin musicians are ready to perform in the backyard and homes of folks willing to host concerts at a moment's notice...especially with those magic words "all donations go to the artists..." tacked on every handbill. To be fair, the opportunity to share their music, uninterrupted and without any chattering folks, rattling bottles and slamming doors, is the biggest draw. Listeners. Listening! To Every Word, every lyric, every note...and laughing with them if they screw up...it draws everyone in, the artist and the fan, the community of sharing that magic.

My plan for this blog is to share my concerts with readers, plus any other music that I wander around Austin to hear...reviews of a sort, I guess...some pictures thrown in.

My taste in music changes with the day sometimes, but at this point and living in this town, Americana roots...from folk to blues would be my favorite. My advancing years makes me love old R&B...what I consider the real stuff, with the BarKays, Otis Redding, Wilson Picket, Sam and Dave...which by the way, was my first REAL concert I ever went to as a teenager...omygawd. But here in Austin, I love our singer/songwriters, hearing a new song every time...it's truly a one of a kind performance when that happens.