Last night I was at Jalopy, a place you should go see shows and take music classes or buy instruments at, taking in Smokey Hormel’s Western Roundup. It’s his occasional Western Swing band (I spoke about Western Swing, and it’s inventor Bob Wills, in a previous post), featuring Charles Burnham on fiddle, Bob Hoffnar on steel, Tim Luntzel on bass, and Konrad Meissner on drums. The above links were taken from the listing on the Jalopy website, now gone.
If you don’t know who Smokey Hormel is, he’s played guitar on a lot of amazing records, notably by Beck, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, the Dixie Chicks, and uh, Justin Timberlake. The show was a ton of fun, and a great way to remind myself that Texas isn’t all overfed corporate types who think they’re kicking up shit by playing Tracey Lawrence, and wearing uncomfortable boots and a large hat. My home state (The Republic Of) has a rich cultural heritage and can be fun. Not that any of these players are from Texas, but the musical genre is, and the show very much had sounds that were familiar from my childhood, although made interesting, fun, and engaging by Western Swing’s solos, improvising, vamps, and the skills and background these players brought.
It’s sad to me that Texas has thrown off all but the most superficial elements of its traditional culture, at least in the big cities I’ve been to…but I’ve been away a long time, maybe I’m wrong. Anyway.
I’ve been away from here because I’ve been working on a few short stories, and getting an application together for an MFA program in Creative Writing.