I am out at Rice Fest in Fischer, TX this week. It’s an annual pilgrimage for me. The event spotlights Americana music with a bent for songwriters and bluegrass–this year’s line up includes Kevin Welch, the Band of Heathens, Darrell Scott, and the Hudsons..
Watched Hays County Burn Band last night. Billy Bright on mandolin, Matt Downing on banjo, Tom Ellis on bass, Elliot Rogers on guitar, and Mike Montgomery on fiddle. Everybody sings. They play into one mike, and it is magic to watch them weave in and out, so someone can come forward to sing or solo.
I was glad to be out in Fischer, but I was disappointed I had to miss Split Lip Rayfield’s show at the Continental. To atone for my inability to be in two places at one time, I met up with Jeff Eaton, Eric Mardis and Wayne Gottstine at 8:00 am this morning to talk for a few minutes and get some pics. SLR drove 12 hours yesterday to get to the Continental Club, and were up early to drive 8 hours up to Oklahoma for another gig tonight. They stayed at a hotel at South First and Barton Springs. In the early seventies the property along the south bank of Bouldin Creek was the dirt driveway providing access back to the Armadillo World Headquarters. Seemed appropriate, somehow, to be standing there talking to musicians.
SLR travels as a trio with a two person crew, for a total of five. Life on the road is lots of late nights, long drives, the occasional one drink to many, and putting up with the humor of your cohorts. The engineer/gear tech apparently has a brand of humor all his own. The banter was friendly, though. Everyones spirits were remarkably high considering they played at midnight last night and were operating on a few short hours of rest.
Don’t know the next time SLR will make it back to Austin. There is talk of a show sometime around SXSW, but don’t count on it being part of label showcase. SLR is currently off the label train, promoting themselves instead. If, like me, you missed last night’s show, keep your eyes peeled. They usually find their way to Austin at least a couple times a year. You probably shouldn’t miss the opportunity two times in a row.
My assignment this morning was to get a pic of the bass. Turns out there is an Austin Daze sticker on there, and it would be cool to have a pic to show off. I asked Jeff Eaton where he got it and how it wound up on the bass. “Somebody gave it to me, and I stuck it on.”
“Somebody” was our own Russ Hartman, and we are thankful Jeff works in mysterious ways…or, at least, has good taste in stickers.
Unfortunately, the bass was packed deep in the back of their gear trailer, so no photo–you have to imagine it until SLR come back to town.