This past month BLUES JUNCTION hit the road. Our destination was Austin, Texas. We dedicate the entire March Edition to the Capital of Texas. Yes, this is our first ever dreaded theme issue...likely our last.
We, of course, fell in love with Austin all over again. It has been many years since I visited the heart and soul of Texas. We beat a hasty retreat out of town as the rest of the world arrived. The ten day massive South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival, symposium, inter-active media, film festival and conference is now under way.
Despite this event, or maybe because of it, I don’t know, Austin remains unique in many ways to the other Texas metropolitan areas. Read my thoughts on this in a piece entitled, Austin: The Capital of Texas Cool.
Our travels were as circuitous as they were adventurous. Read about this in a piece entitled BLUES JUNCTION Hits the Road. I think you will be glad you did. I look forward to hearing from our loyal readers regarding your thoughts on this excursion.
Our shines on a young Texan named Dylan Bishop. He has recently relocated a few hundred miles down I-35 to the Texas capital from his home in the DFW Metroplex. His brand new album The Exciting Sounds of the Dylan Bishop Band is outstanding. Dylan represents a bright light on the blues horizon. Enjoy a conversation I had with Dylan Bishop.
Our Re-Visited feature examines a man who embodies the eclectic nature of Texas music as much as anybody, Doug Sahm. We take a look back at his album The Last Real Texas Blues Band. This record remains one of my favorites of all time.
We also have for your enjoyment an all new Charlie’s Re-Issue Rodeo. I can just picture big Charlie on horseback riding up the Chisholm Trail in a ten gallon hat with his lasso rounding up a herd of brand new CDs which feature a bunch of old noise.
Our Austin trip had us visiting with some BLUES JUNCTION veterans and future subjects of features we hope you enjoy. One of the veterans is reed man Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff. He is still burning up stages and recording studios with his sax. Read an interview with one of the most recorded blues men in the modern era.
We also look back at an interview I did a few years ago with another Austin musical institution, Eddie Stout. Eddie just received the 2017 “Keeping the Blues Alive Award” and is the subject of another magazine feature in March. Buddy magazine out of Irving, Texas, which bills itself as the Original Texas Music Magazine, has finally gotten hip to Eddie Stout as well.
Eddie is responsible for many great recordings two of which were made by a wonderful singer, who remains one of my favorite interview subjects of all-time, Jewel Brown. She is a true American musical legend and her story is a compelling one. Read a conversation I had with this very special individual.
I suppose any examination of the music of Austin, Texas, has to at least acknowledge the tremendous influence that Jimmie Vaughan has had in his adopted home. The Dallas native has lived in Austin now for over 45 years or so. I finally caught up with Jimmie in May of 2015 for an interview. In the updated intro to this piece, I tell our readers why the timing is right for this feature to be pulled out of the archives and put back on the top shelf.
As we look back on our trip to Austin, we are reminded that the policies of the new administration, better known as the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, do not reflect the values of this great country. Austin remains an island of civility and enlightenment in an otherwise bat sh*t crazy ocean of bad ideas and public policies...the rest of Texas.
Austin is like a lot of places where people want to live, it is liberal. It has the massive University of Texas which churns out well educated people from all over the world who choose to make this city their home. Austin has a diverse economy which provides jobs in both the private and public sectors. Austin is full of lakes, rivers and parks with lots of hiking and bike trails. It is simply a wonderful place by any measurable standard. For our friends in Austin and of course around the country we again are providing a resource page entitled Resistance is NOT Futile. We urge you to check that out and help us with any ideas you have along these lines.
Thanks as always for all the letters of support and encouragement from our loyal readers. It means a lot as this labor of love just keeps limping right along. Remember, in April we return to our regularly scheduled programming which might include subjects that are not connected to the Austin blues and roots music scene. Until then...be well and be in touch...y’all.
- David Mac
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