Wednesday, August 24, 2016

OK, ALL RIGHT, GOOD DEAL! Michael Hearne, Mike Roberts and I are playing Anderson Fair this Friday night, August 26 at 9:00 PM. for tickets to this iconic venue!
The dog days of August are nearly history. Here we are heading into September and it’s almost time for Michael Hearne’s 14th Annual Big Barn Dance in Taos, New Mexico! Michael has been running back and forth between Texas and New Mexico working on last minute details for the Barn Dance. He is a man of many hats these days. In the meantime we’ve also been staying busy traveling and running around Texas. Last weekend we played what we called our Gas Station Tour, aka’ the clean the windshield, check under the hood , and top‘er off tour’. Saturday night we played "THE GROVE", PECAN GROVE STORE in Fredericksburg, just out North on Highway 16. It’s an old Sinclair Filling Station converted into a cool little bar and BBQ place with an outside area under the trees for music and even a floor for dancing. A very nice Texas style outside under a grove of Pecan trees. A wonderful way to play music on a Texas Saturday night! Go to and read its history! But wait! Well, we all know how it’s been a dry hot summer and all the brown grass has needed some rain for a while now.…......Well, earlier in the day on Saturday, it began pouring and pouring. The rain is good for the grass, not so much for outdoor concerts! As we neared show time, our hosts Rick and Becke put plan B into action and moved the whole operation inside this old Sinclair gas station/general store. I had no idea how many folks you can squeeze into a really small gas station. The crowded party preceded to go0 inside and a great time was had by all. It kept raining outside as we kept playing inside. In this general store/filling station/BBQ joint. I love it! I mean only in Texas. Every one left happy and we plan to make a return in the Spring next year and play out under those trees and pick a night with no rain in the forecast. Go to and read this amazing history.

The next afternoon we drove down to Shiner, Texas for our second gas station gig. Howard's right off Highway 90 as you pull into Shiner. Actually the first time I played Howard’s a couple of years ago, I wasn’t sure exactly where it was in Shiner so I told my wife "hey, let’s pull in at this convenient store gas station to get directions". I went in and asked where is Howard’s located and the clerk said you‘re here! This is Howards. So there you go. I walked throughout the store, past the Shiner Beer dispensers on the wall next to the soft drinks and soda dispensers and made my way on out the back screen door which opens up unto a covered patio with folks all sitting around having a cold one and enjoying live music being played by Bill Pekar and the Rainey Brothers Band. Bill was instrumental in getting us booked into the venue. This was my third visit to Howard’s and Michael Hearne’s first time. It poured on us all the way down from Austin but in Shiner the skies were partly cloudy most of the afternoon evening. We got a little down pour towards the end of our show, but folks all just pulled in closer under the partially covered patio and we were able to get our set in. You know I was thinking, if we keep playing very many more gas station gigs, I am going to have them add to my contract that the venue must also include and supply a full tank of gas to go as part of the deal. What do you think?

Fast forward a few days and Michaels heading back to New Mexico and Mike Roberts and I are rehearsed for our show at JP. Hops House in Houston. We played the annual Spud Stock/Mr. Potato Head’s Happy Birthday Show.  So we knocked the dirt off of a few " tater songs," parodies of songs from the sixties. We performed such classics as, All You Need is Spuds, Addicted to Spuds, No Taters No Fries, Wanna Whole Lot of Spuds, For Your Spuds, Spud Stock, the list keeps going on. I’m ‘Shake Russett’ and Mike is ‘Yellow Finn', Michael missed the fun. His name is ‘Yukon Gold’. It only happens once a year. It’s a little like a cross between Woodstock days and Halloween. I’m always a little concerned and afraid that someone hearing us for the first time (on a Spud Stock Night) might leave the club scratching their heads about this one! But we had a blast and so did the fans.

With the spuds in our rear view mirror we headed into The Mucky Duck for a sold out show this past Saturday night. Michael joined us for this one and the Duck was rocking! Thank you Houston for showing up and coming out. We debuted a new song Michael and I wrote with Mr. Dean Quinn. The song was derived from a poem he had written and given to his wife Christi on Christmas many years ago.  The poem is called “Sit With Me”, along with a garden bench inscribed the same. The Quinn's were in the audience Saturday night and were gleaming. I want to give a special ‘shout out’ to my buddy, traffic man in the morning on Channel 11…..Mr. DARBY DOUGLAS. He made the show and brought some friends with him. I took a selfie with him or I should say I took a selfie with his hair. Great meeting you Darby! And FYI, Darby. Both Dee and I were awake for your 4:30 a.m. shout out! Thanks and see you next time!

If you didn’t catch the show at the MUCKY DUCK, last weekend we will be at the iconic folk club, ANDERSON FAIR this Friday night, August 26. There are still sits available! For tickets contact We hope to see you there.

See you up the road and "stay tuned"!  Shake

P.S. I wanted to mention and let everyone know that we received word from our label, ”Howling Dog Records", that we’re getting airplay overseas in Germany and France and Denmark. All three of our CD’s are being received very well so far and various songs being played from all three. We’re also getting good, encouraging feedback from radio DJs and programmers. I’ll keep you posted on future happenings.

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