Friday, December 2, 2016

One more month to go!
Back from the Thanksgiving break up at the “Annandale Ranch” near Uvalde and Concan, TX. It was hosted by the owners Paul and Sharon McQuone who are good friends with my old friends from Dallas, Michael and Ahbie Coghlin. Michael and Ahbie invited us to join them, along with their daughters Heather and Lindsey, husbands Michael and John, grand babies, 18 months and 11 days, and 10 year old granddaughter Lilly,  to be part of their holiday celebration.  It was a beautiful way to spend Thanksgiving.  Paul and Sharon own the ranch and are stewards of the land and of this old family heirloom ranch. The ranch was established in 1889.  It is   historically registered and recognized by the state of Texas. The ranch sits on 10,000 acres (originally 64,000 acres).  It’s the home of the largest bat cave in Texas. Even bigger than Austin’s bat population.  The bats have gone down to Mexico but we explored the cave and learned a little history.   Back during the Civil war the Confederate army gathered and used bat guano mixed with fertilizer which is very rich in nitrogen and was used in making gunpowder. They mixed it there at the cave site, then took it by wagons to Galveston where it would be loaded on ships and sailed along the gulf and around Florida to the southern ports to the Confederate troops. The Union army knew it was somewhere in Texas and were always trying to find its location.  It was quite a history lesson.  I was  also given a tour by Paul of the museum which is housed in a  log cabin. The cabin had been taken apart at its original site miles away and floated down the river to its present location where it was reassembled by Paul’s great, great, grandmother. The cabin is now used as a museum for the ranch.  

One could spend many hours looking at everything, all the old rifles, pistols, hats, uniforms, bugles, and photographs of people and life there at the turn of the century. There were documents, release papers from service in the army signed by Abraham Lincoln, even items that belonged to Davy Crockett and hundreds of old books and antiques of all kinds.  Like I said, I could have spent many more hours there.

The log cabin ‘museum' sits  a just a few yards off from the main house.  Walking through the main house (which is over 100 years old) is like traveling back in time. The home is furnished with much of the original furniture and pictures of the family  history lining the walls.   There is also a long porch that wraps around three sides of the house which provides a relaxing place to sit and watch the world unfold and to reflect and to count your blessings on this Thanksgiving.  Thank you.

We headed home on Saturday, rested the ponies, watered the plants, and played the iconic Gruene Hall on Sunday with Michael Hearne and Mike Roberts. It was our last show of the year at Gruene.   We had a fantastic turnout for the show and a great audience response. Everyone stayed to the end and still wanted more!  Gruene Hall is always a fun gig for everyone…both playing and listening and dancing.  Thank you Tracie Ferguson!  We will see you there next year.

Then…we set the GPS for Houston on Monday.  Tuesday night we performed at the home of Jerry Simon for a gathering of the Board of Directors of the Junior Achievement Association.  I’ll tell you what, we were a little concerned before we played.  We were sitting out back by the cement pond and pondering that perhaps this crowd (all the bigwigs and such) wouldn’t care for or want to listen to what we were offering up musically. After all, this was a huge cocktail party,  a meet and greet kind of atmosphere. This was not a concert vibe situation at all. We were merely the added attraction and entertainment. Mike Roberts and I, along with John Inmon,  kicked off the set of music. We were determined to ‘play it by ear’ and ‘read the crowd.’  In a very short time all of the CEO’S and their wives were all taping their feet, smiling, and dancing in their chairs and some shouting out requests. Our host, Jerry Simon, joined in on a few songs on his grand piano and for a moment we became the Jerry Simon Band. Jerry also allowed me to play his gorgeous Taylor 12 string guitar.. Whoa! I know what I want for Christmas. The night was a GREAT SUCCESS!
I drove home feeling good.

Miranda Lambert’s new CD, “The Weight of These Wings” is at NUMBER ONE on the Billboard Country Charts!  Go get ‘em Miranda!    Hey!  Where’s the champagne?

OK!  Sorry I digress….Where was I?…Back to work….This Saturday we will be down in Pearland, TX.  for a house concert at the home of Rick and Delma Schriever.  It’s the only place I’ve had the cops called on me since I was 16. The last time was when my band was trying to play “HUSH” by Deep Purple, just a little too loud for a school night and they shut us down.  At Rick and Delma’s they did give us a warning, stuck around, had some desserts, and stayed to enjoy the encore! Weather permitting we’ll be out in the backyard this time under the stars!  If not, we’ll move the show inside and get ‘up close and personal’. Hey Rick…I’m knocking the dust off of “Pretty As A Picture” for this show….so….you better be ready to jam, man.

Before I go….I want to mention Michael, Mike and I will be back in Austin this coming Monday night for ‘Mystery Monday’ at El Mercado.  Usually hosted by Christine Albert but she will be away this Monday Dec. 5th …music from 7:30-9:30 PM.
Come on out, join the fun on a Monday evening.  Good  food too.

I hope to see you all there.

PS.  NEW YEARS EVE @Anderson Fair.  Make your reservations now.!