Category Archives: Austin

We’re Goin’ Boot Scootin’

Kendalia-793x526There is nothing more fun than to grab a group of friends on a Friday night, head to your favorite honky tonk, grab a couple of cold ones, and spend the entire night dancing to some of your favorite country hits. If you have never had this experience before; 1). I’m sorry! 2). This post is for you! Think of me as your country fairy-god mother, I’m here to lay out the beginners guide for you!

First things First: Attire!

The best part about going out is the fact that you get to dress up! (Even the guys will admit to it!) Now if you’re going to a western bar you have to look the part.

-Men, put on a pair of your best pair of starched Wrangler jeans (yes your butt looks great), Nicest pair of cowboy boots, an attractive button-down shirt, and your sexiest cowboy hat (don’t take it off because, yes, you do look like a different person without it!) That’s pretty much all you need, you’re all set!

-Now ladies, slay in your hottest dress or most formfitting jeans you own, pair them up with your own amazing boots, killer jewelry, a gorgeous face, and the most teased hairstyle you can come up with (Remember: the higher the hair, the closer to God!) Now you’re ready for a night on the town!

Location, Location, Location

Now that all the prework is done, it’s time to find a place to go for the night! Since I’m located in Austin, I can only give you suggestions of a couple of places around here. I do advise that you do a Google search to find places near you!

1). Broken Spokelocated at 3201 S. LAMAR BLVD.   AUSTIN, TEXAS 78704. This place is known as the “Last of the true Texas Dance halls.” You could enjoy great live music, a friendly crowd of regulars, wonderful food, and cheap drinks. Also, if you have two left feet on the dance floor every Wed.-Sat. lesson are held from 8:30-9:30. Come out and experience a “must” in the Austin area.

2). Dance Across Texas: Formerly known as Midnight Rodeo, this dance hall is located at 2201 E Ben White Blvd. Austin, TX 78741. This is another awesome place known for its tremendous atmosphere to have a good ol’ hoedown. With the “best dance floor in Austin,” you and your friends are sure to have a fun night, not to mention the low prices on drinks. With live music mixed with a DJ I’m sure there is a selection of music for every person.

3). Old Coupland Inn and Dance hall: If you don’t mind the drive this place is located at 101 Hoxie St Coupland, TX 78615 (a 35-minute drive outside of Austin). This isn’t your ordinary “pickup joint,” this place has a family atmosphere where you can enjoy dinner and a night out dancing. Known for its light and fun atmosphere, Old Coupland is really a place to have an old fashion good time.

Practice Makes Perfect:

If you don’t know many of the line dances that are seen in dance halls, fear not; remember I’m here to help! Now for the most part, people are usually nice enough to help you catch on with hands on experience, aka, get out there and fake it till you make it! Which is perfectly fine to do and actually really fun, but if you want to hone your skills I would suggest watching the YouTube videos of Miguel Guzman. He has tutorials of all the great line dances and breaks them down well enough so that anyone could learn. Maybe the week leading up to your outing you could spend a couple of minutes a day learning the steps to some of your favorites. It’ll be more exciting than your homework anyway! That way you could surprise your friends when you’re keeping up with older folks who’ve been doing it for years on the dance floor.

Don’t rock the jukebox:

If there happens to be a jukebox at the place you decide to attend, please I beg you, KEEP IT COUNTRY!!! You are at a dance hall, not a nightclub or a rock concert. There are plenty of hits by George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, and Alan Jackson! Don’t be that person who halts the dance floor and has hundreds of eyes glaring at them all night. DON’T BE THAT PERSON! Enjoy the fun, authentic, Texas experience of a dance hall. Trust me it’ll be something you’ll never forget!

Be back by Midnight… or 2 AM!

As your country fairy-god mother, I have given you pretty much everything you need to have a great night out with friends, it is my hope that you take these nuggets of wisdom and use them well! Now go out, have fun, be great!


Filed under Austin, Blog Post 4, Honky Tonk, Live Music

An Interview With Country Music’s Rookie

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThere’s a new artist in town, and it’s my good friend Tyler Dial. His country style is fitting in well with today’s top 40 hits. He’s been at it for a while, and is only getting better. Over the summer his single “Damn Good Time” debuted on Sirius XM’s The Highway. I was lucky enough to grab a second of his time from a busy practice schedule, and sat him down for an interview. Here’s a look into the journey of a promising, hungry artist.

What started your dream to be a singer?

  • I was in middle school when I saw some older guys play “Hotel California” and I thought it was the coolest thing. I made it my goal that year to learn guitar and learn how to sing so that by the time the talent show rolled around, I’d be ready. Ever since I played “Free Fallin’” in 7th grade, I was hooked. The next year I played my first live country song, “God Love Her.”

Why country music?

  • Some of my first memories are riding in the car with my dad listening to guys like Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, James Taylor, and the Dixie Chicks. Their music was ingrained in me at an early age, and as I grew up I started to discover country music on my own through artists like Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, and Sam Hunt.

What sorts of things have stopped you?

  • I don’t think anything has really stopped me. A lot of people tell me I’m not ready yet or I’m too young but I try to tune the naysayers out. When people don’t believe in my vision, that’s okay, hopefully they’ll come around one day.

Could you tell me a little bit about how BBVA Compass noticed you, and the story with them?

  • Yeah! Our partnership with BBVA has been very mutual. They saw something in me and my music that aligned with their brand. So they stepped up and helped us take my first single, “Damn Good Time” to radio. It’s a song that matches with their #livebright brand. They have been such a blessing and an amazing partner to work with.

What does living in Austin, the music capital of the world, do for someone like you?

  • I always thought Nashville would be where I would become the best artist I could be. But it turns out that Austin is the city that is challenging me to be a better artist. When I lived in Nashville this past summer, I learned the skills of becoming a great songwriter, but here in Austin, I find the inspiration to write great music and be a better artist.

What styles did you grow up listening to? Did that affect the singer/performer you are today?

  • Like I said earlier, I got my knowledge of music from my dad. I always stayed true to the music I was introduced to as a kid. Especially when middle school came around and my friends were listening to artists like Lil Wayne and Akon. I would listen to artists like Keith Urban, The Counting Crows, and John Mayer.

What was your favorite performance you’ve ever done?

  • That’s hard because I feel like we are always raising the bar. Even this past weekend we had one of my favorite performances on 6th street. Every gig and every rehearsal we are getting better as a band. I typically view a performance as a success when I’m able to engage the crowd.

What motivates you when you write?

  • Every day life experiences honestly. I’m also motivated by what I hear on the radio and see on the Internet. When I hear artists doing unique and cool things, it motivates me to do the same. I’m also very competitive. I’m always trying to make the best music possible.

Who inspires you to keep working everyday?

  • My dad is really the one who is always challenging me to be a better artist. He knows how important it is to never be content. He’s also the one who shares my vision so when I’m not executing it, he makes sure I change things up.

What type of song are you working on next?

  • I’m working on a bunch of new material. Currently I’m trying to write songs that are timeless like the Eagles’ “Take It Easy.

What do you like most about what you do?

  • My favorite part about being a musician is the live performances. I know it’s a little selfish to say but being on stage and being the soundtrack to someone’s Saturday night is so cool to me.

Finally…what did you learn in your semester in Rhetoric of Country Music that you remember most?

  • Rhetoric of Country Music gave me such a great knowledge of the history of country music. Being able to listen to my idols’ idols was very cool. The class made a huge impact on how I view country music and how I view myself as a country artist.

Tyler is always at work on his music. Even during class I’d peek over and see him researching ways to improve his skills. UT Student by day, artist by night. You can either catch him walking past the Tower, or find him on Spotify, Youtube, SoundCloud and even iTunes. I do see a lot of potential in him, and I encourage you to give him a listen and come to his next performance! You could very well be witnessing country’s next best.


Filed under Austin, Blog Post 3, Concert, Live Music

Town Lake Country Series

Rockin RiverCountry music has always gone hand and hand with warmer weather and water. As summer begins, country artist begin to release new albums and singles made for the season, and things that go along with it. Songs are filled with lyrics about cold beer, the scorching summer sun, bathing suits, and great times out on the water with friends. Summer country songs are usually up beat and high-spirited, and the good ones will make you want to roll the windows down as you sing along. Around this time of year all I want to do is float the river or hop on a boat at the lake with friends and listen to country music. Fortunately enough, my hometown of Fort Worth has recognized the relationship between country music and water. They have done so by bringing a concert series called “Rockin’ the River” to town.

“Rockin’ the River” is a concert series held on the Trinity River in Fort Worth every summer from June to August. Each Thursday an up and coming Texas country artist will preform at Panther Pavilion. This is an elevated stage that sits on the riverfront, and the downtown skyline serves as a backdrop for the stage. Past performers include The Damn Quails, Cody Jinks, Brandon Rhyder, and I have even witnessed a performer do a backflip off the stage into the river.

Admission to this event is free, all you have to do is rent a tube to float in the river if you don’t bring your own. Backwoods is also there so fans can rent kayaks and paddle boards to relax in as they listen to the concert. Of course there is beer and food available for purchase when you arrive. Don’t feel like getting in the water? You can grab some lawn chairs to throw out on the lawn by the water. Lastly, the night is ended with a small firework show. It makes for a great summer evening.

The reason I bring this concert series up is because I love it so much, and have enjoyed it many summers in the past. My only question is why does Austin not hold a series similar to this one? Yes, there is Blues On The Green in Zilker Park during the summer, but that’s just not the same. Austin needs to take advantage of Town Lake. I propose a developer comes into the Zilker Park/Town Lake area and build a stage that hangs over Town Lake. Then we to could float in the lake and listen to our favorite Texas country artists here in Austin. If fans did not want to get in the water, the developer could also make a lawn area near the stage so lawn chairs could be laid out. Just as Panther Pavilion has the skyline as a backdrop, the Austin stage could use the Austin skyline as a backdrop. After all, Town Lake is located in the middle of downtown Austin.

Not only would this be good for country music fans, it would be good for the city as a whole. Local businesses could sponsor the concert series, and benefit off of it. For example, Austin Kayak could be there to rent out kayaks and offer demos. A local brewery such as 512 Brewing Company could sell beer at the event. Local food trucks could find parking on the lawn to serve hungry fans. Yeti could rent out coolers and show new products. At the end of the night you have happy country fans, and local businesses that have advertised and profited off the concert. How would y’all feel about an event similar to the one I described?


Filed under Austin, Austin Food, Blog Post 4, Concert, Live Music, Texas

Home With the Armadillo: Jerry Jeff Walker and ¡Viva Terlingua!

jerryjeff2I first became familiar with Jerry Jeff Walker’s album, ¡Viva Terlingua!, on the fourth of July a couple of years ago. I was playing in a band at a house party in East Dallas. We heard that there was a great group playing next door so we went over to check it out. There we found a grizzled pair of old men playing early rock standards such as Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” and Sam the Sham and the Pharoh’s “Wooly Bully.” At the end of their set, they played a song called “London Homesick Blues.” The drunken crowd seemed to already know every word.

“I wanna go home with the Armadillo,

Good country music from Amarillo and Abilene,

The friendliest people and the prettiest women you’ve ever seen.”

I’d never heard the song but it was impossible not to sing along. Afterwards, my friends and I introduced ourselves to the band and talked with them for a while. The leader turned out to be Bob “Cosmic Bob” Livingston who was a founding member of Jerry Jeff Walker’s band The Lost Gonzo Band.


The next day I woke up and listened to ¡Viva Terlingua!, the album that featured “London Homesick Blues” as well as many other songs the band had played the previous night. It instantly became one of my favorite country albums I’ve ever heard.


Jerry Jeff live with Guy Clark and Dave Perkins

¡Viva Terlingua! was a live album recorded at Lukenbach, Texas on August 18th, 1973. It’s often seen as the seminal album of the progressive country scene. This offshoot of country music occurred mostly in Austin in the 70’s when country artists started embracing the hippy movement. I think this “progressive” sound comes through in the album in its laid back, party feel. At times Jerry Jeff sounds almost drunk while singing as the crowd yells out in approval. The first song on the record,“Gettin’ By” is an autobiographical account of Jerry Jeff’s carefree, hell raising lifestyle he was living as a musician.

In the next song on the album, Jerry Jeff dips into the catalog of fellow Texan and folk musician, Guy Clark with “Desperadoes Waiting For A Train”

The song is about Guy Clark’s childhood mentor growing old and slowing down. The haunting violins and intensified drumbeat late in the song give it an eerie runaway train sound.

The next song on the album is “Sangria Wine” a fun song about drinking with friends. This is followed a sad song with an upbeat tempo, “Little Bird,” and the rock influenced “Get It Out.” Following these songs is the classic “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother” written by Ray Wylie Hubbard.

“Backslider’s Wine” and “Wheel” follow “Redneck Mother” and have a more somber feel.

c504bcfc582063df91a13b4ea519332bClosing out the album is “London Homesick Blues,” written by piano player, Gary P. Nunn, which is about a country singer feeling homesick for Texas while on tour in Europe. For me, this track sums up what country music and recordings should be. The band is tight but is at the same time playing relaxed.

The repeated chorus and howls from the crowd towards the end of the song left a huge impression on me that July 4th a couple of years ago and continues to resonate with me to this day.

Here’s the version from the album, which is my favorite one, as well as a later live version.

Track Listing

1.    “Gettin’ By” – 4:01

2.    “Desperados Waiting for a Train” (Guy Clark) – 5:47

3.    “Sangria Wine” – 4:25

4.    “Little Bird” – 4:10

5.    “Get It Out” – 3:37

6.    “Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother” (Ray Wylie Hubbard) – 4:32

7.    “Backslider’s Wine” (Michael Martin Murphey) – 3:34

8.    “Wheel” – 6:00

9.    “London Homesick Blues” (Gary P. Nunn) – 7:43

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Filed under Austin, Classic Country, Live Music, Progressive Country, Texas

Country Music in my Community

IMG_3942Normally people belong to multiple types of communities where people identify themselves. For me, in this part of my life, the most significant community I take part in is the UT men’s tennis team. The guys on the team are the people I am with at least five days a week. We are all very close on the team, most likely because we can all relate to one another. Not only because we play tennis, but because we all relate to each other on what it is like to be a student-athlete, and the struggle it is having to practice for almost 5 hours a day and still having to work on our academic duties.

Nine out of the twelve players on the team are from Texas, and they all listen to country music. I am from Mexico, so I personally do not know much about country music; I just listen to whatever the guys on the team are playing without even knowing the names of the songs. They love to play country music when we are in the bus travelling to matches, so I have learned the lyrics to some of the songs. The playlist we play on our home matches also includes a couple of country songs that the team in general likes. They do this because it gets them fired up and excited for the match with those songs. For the members of the team who do not like country, there are other songs that we enjoy in the same way they enjoy country.

I am uncertain whether some of the members listen to any songs in particular, but I know one of our seniors is a big fan of a country band named “Florida Georgia Line.” He told me he likes this group because normally country songs and country singers tend to be sad and somewhat depressing and this group gives of a better vibe and makes him happier.

I do not think the team uses country music as a way to distinguish themselves from other communities. They just enjoy and listen to country music, in my opinion, because it is what they are used to as Texans, and is part of their southern culture. As a community, I have to say we don’t avoid country music. However, there are two French guys on the team who absolutely hate country music and always want the rest of the team to stop playing it and are always complaining because they do not want the tennis team to be seen as the team who listens to country music. The reason that the French guys on the team dislike country is because they probably have a hard time relating to the lyrics of country music since their culture is different. Although they have been more patient about it lately, so who knows, they might end up liking it after all.


Filed under Austin, Blog Post 1