Road Blog: Tuesday October 14, 2014 - Austin, TX
Tour Blog – Day 6 – Austin
Although I’ve been to Texas, I’ve really never actually experienced Texas. My indoctrination started with Dallas traffic. Brutal! But we made it to Austin in pretty good time (7+ hours) and checked into our dumpy motel with a bladder that was about to burst. Aaaah, sweet relief. We had very little time to chill and it was off to find a meal and get to the venue.
For lack of time and effort, and the fact that Popeye’s parking lot was overflowing, we pulled into Whataburger. I don’t do burgers very often, and I’ll take a fajita taco most any day, so that’s where I landed. I’d spend the rest of the night defending this decision to offended Texans who were appalled that a) we went to Whataburger and I got a taco and b) we’re in Austin and I got a taco at Whataburger. Well, I get it, but options were limited and I’ll make up for it today for sure.
The Sahara Lounge sits on a lonely corner in a neighborhood in North Austin, far from the 6th Street clubs everyone loves. It’s got a Louisiana Bayou theme, with colorful characters working the bar and the fire pit, and a pot of spicy beans and chips for the patrons. Everyone was welcoming and there were Detroit ties too – including a Baker’s Lounge poster behind the bar. I promptly ordered my first Lone Star Beer and shared the moment with J Tyler from TCR who seems generally confused by the profoundness of it all. I’ll remember it forever. I took a few minutes to call home and enjoy the beer before some folks showed up.
The Tuesday night crowd, as expected, was thin, but we had a handful of friends from back home show up. It was great to see John Speck, a former-Detroiter responsible for some of my favorite music EVER, and get a little caught up with him. Jenna Gueke came out and sat in with us on fiddle for a tune. She’s a Marquette gal who played and sang on my solo record. She did awesome! And my dear friend from my younger punk rock days, and supa-rock&roll chick, and unapologetic Michigan gal Jenni Sperandeo was her usual ball of energy and fun and we had a great time getting caught up, talking and taking in the music. We have a lot of common ground, and are both uber-Replacements nerds, so, sadly, time always runs out before the conversation does.
Openers Hankenstein kicked things off with some acoustic traditional country. Tom has a great voice, and it lent itself well to some Willie and Waylon covers. We were up next and tore through a short set broken up in the middle when Jenna came up and made us look good on our country tune. TCR was next, fueled by cheap whiskey and Lone Star Beer. Funny – the sound was not great at the Sahara, but they sounded killer! I came up and sang with them again then strapped on the guitar for a few tunes. It was great fun! By midnight, it was getting really thin so we loaded out and back the motel.
Today we’ll hit a couple record stores and get some REAL Texas food in an attempt to redeem my blunder. Then it’s off to Houston for tonight’s show at Molly’s pub. So glad it’s a short drive!