Mike goes country

Finally, I’ve finished alphabetizing the band names on my website (link on the right). My next highly tedious task is to put up that same list sorted by genre. That should take less time than the alphabetizing, actually.

Last weekend I went down to Austin, TX for Cinco De Mayo. It was my first time in the fine city of Austin, and I hope to return soon. As you may know, Austin is known for its remarkable music scene. It’s a scene dominated by rock and country bands, mostly. Having grown up on the East Coast, I haven’t had a lot of exposure to country music apart from the awful garbage that makes it to mainstream radio. In Austin I discovered that authentic country music is something I can get into. I must have seen about ten different bands over the weekend, and there were only one or two that I didn’t enjoy. The talent level of the musicians was off the charts. One misconception I had going into Austin was that most of the bands down there would be comprised of young musicians, perhaps right out of college. To the contrary, virtually every band had a mix of crusty country vets and a twenty-something virtuosos.

My favorite performance of the weekend was by Wayne “The Train” Hancock (or “Big Train”, as my girlfriend Sarah likes to call him…for reasons I’d rather not know). We got a tip about Wayne Hancock from a Mr. Jim Franklin, who runs the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture. Franklin was kind enough to give me and Sarah a brief history of Austin’s music and art scene, and suggested we check out The Train at the Continental Club. Wayne is a bit of a throwback – his music takes you back to a 50’s sock hop. His band consisted of two guitarists (including Wayne), a stand up bassist and a violinist. It was at Wayne Hancock’s show that I figured out that REAL country music isn’t this stylized, commercialized “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” crap on the radio…any more than Poison is metal. Country music is just rock n’ roll in its purest form.


~ by mikehill25 on May 7, 2007.

One Response to “Mike goes country”

  1. Mike –

    I had a feeling you would “understand” once you got there – especially with a knowledgeable and agreeable guide. Austin “country” is nothing like Nashville “country” – much more rootsy and less produced. Check out James McMurtry sometime. And, on your next visit, if you don’t make it there in time for the Thursday evening performance of the Cornell Hurd Band, I will revoke your kitchen pass!
    You may also find that, if you cross out Dallas and Houston, Texas is a pretty cool place.

    Hook ‘Em, Horns!

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