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Journal Part 4

Part 4 (2007)

Part 1 (1944-1982) | Part 2 (1983-1999) | Part 3 (2000-2006) | Part 4 (2007) | Part 5 (2008) | Part 6 (2009-present)

January 1: Happy 2007 from Ponty Bone. I wake up after spending last night, New Years Eve, at Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos. We had our new horn section with us, as well as special guest, Texas singer-songwriter Mr. R.C. Banks. Here... Read the following, from Down Beat Magazine, April 2003:

BLUES by Frank-John Hadley

"R.C. Banks: Conway's Corner (Loud House 2001; 48:30) **** Singer and multi-instrumentalist Banks has been rocking honky-tonks throughout the Southwest for so many years his quirky blend of blues, Cajun, Mexican border music, vintage r & b and rock has achieved a back alley honorableness. His uncommonly good songs, like the plea for humanism "Now's The Time," are propped up with discerning lyrics and memorable hooks."

Yeah, that is 4 stars in Down Beat! Excellent. And, he was the Squeezetones second guitarist, following John X. Reed then staying for quite a few years and contributing several songs to our repertoir. On this New Year's Eve night, he did a great job, contributing all the guitar licks for the whole night. Anyway, here is the year's work, leaving out only some of the stories.

(L-R) Steve Bernstein (sax), Ray Strucker (trumpet),
Richard Bowden (fiddle), R.C. Banks (guitar) and me at Jovita's

January 6: The AllGood Cafe in Dallas for a Saturday Night Fish Fry. Owner Mike Snider's fish is excellent.
January 12: Guero's Taco Bar and it's rained out
January 20: Jovita's Restaurant and Cantina. Tonight marks our return (after 6 years) to the scene of so many great nights.
January 21: K.C.'s in Dallas. This gig features The Phantom Blues Rockers, which includes myself, James Hinkle on guitar and others. All blues.

February 9: Ovation Restaurant in Fort Worth. This job, and the one tomorrow night feature Lewis Cowdrey on harp, James Hinkle on guitar, yours truly and others. More blues.
February 10: Cadillac Pizza Pub in McKinney. Same band as above. Then, Squeezetone gigs.
February 16: Guero's Taco Bar. Again, it's cancelled by weather.
February 17: We are at the VFW Hall in Midland for a Mardi Gras Saturday Night. Huge crowd on hand, thanks to Dal Davis.

February 18: This morning, we're up early and on the road back to Austin, to Poodie's Hilltop Roadhouse on Highway 71 for my First Annual Sunday Gras Party. Supposed to kick off at 2pm with The Gulf Coast Playboys and feature boiled Louisiana Crawfish. Well, I just hope all is forgiven. I usually never look back, but I will say that it'll be better-organized by next year. Those of you who did join us out there can always say "We were at the first one, back in '07." The Gulf Coast Playboys cancelled, there were no crawfish and much more went wrong, although Poodie never knew because he was nowhere around. Yours truly actually was left to pay some of the people off out of my pocket. And, btw, however, we did play, as did Mike Blakely, and we did have ourselves a big time, despite everything.
February 20: The Evangeline Cafe for a "Fat Tuesday" Mardi Gras Celebration. Now this party has legs, as they say. Hopefully, a tradition is born.
February 23: Melody Mountain Ranch in Stephenville. It's the annual Ragin' Cajun Fundraiser Dinner and Dance for the Cross Plains Fine Arts Council. Excellent time.
March 5: We're live on-air with Bryan Beck On 107.1 KGSR-FM in Austin at 9am. Then, tonight, we're at the Ruta Maya Coffee House. This gig is put on by the Austin Local 433 of The Federation Of Musicians, of which I have been a member since I moved here in 1980, transferring my membership from Lubbock. Many people are critical of the Union but, as for me, I have never let my membership lapse since I started. Suffice to say, if anyone in the USA needs a Union, it is we musicians.
March 9: Guero's Taco Bar
March 10: Jovita's
March 18: Guero's, as part of the Sunday afternoon festivities during SXSW week.
March 23: Evangeline Cafe.
March 24: The Rosedale Ride, an event we have played for several years, to help the Rosedale School. Then, that night, we are at Riley's Tavern in Hunter.
April 7: Lorraine's in Marble Falls
April 13: Guero's Taco Bar
April 14: Waterloo Park for the Annual Walk For Safe Place, which we have been a part of for several years. Then, it's out to Camp Ben McCulloch Park for the Annual Crawfish Party.
April 18: I'm on American Airlines Flight 50 from Dallas to London's Gatwick Airport. There, I am to play a few dates with Wes McGhee and others. Finally, after a long bus ride through the countryside and through Heathrow Airport, I arrive at Wes', about 30 miles north of London.
April 22: The Musician in Leicester. A good warm-up gig for us, I suppose.
April 23: The Bullingdon in Oxford. My old friend, Philip Guy-Davis' "Famous Monday Blues" show. As might be expected, he turns out a huge crowd for us. So many beautiful women! Philip, you got it.
April 25: The Green Note in Camden Town, London. This Wednesday gig is semi-acoustic, just Wes and I, without drums. The club, run by an extremely nice girl, is primo, the menu vegetarian with good wines. What's not to like?
April 27: The Luminaire in London. This venue was the winner of the "Best Club" award recently and it's easy to see why. First-rate treatment from the load-in to the load-out, including the meal, the Green Room, the sound-man and the recording he made of the gig. (I know, lots of folks want a copy. But, we'll have to wait and see.)
April 28: The Town Hall in Dinton, England tonight, due to the fact that The Granary in Buckingham was recently destoyed by fire. It's the last date of my trip and the band and I are in the groove. Promoter Mike Trotman, of Empty Room Productions (...hmmm, weird name...) absolutely FILLS this old town hall with folks, mostly dancers, and... even Philip, from Oxford's "Famous Monday Blues" shows up with, of course, two ladies to take good care of him.
May 1: You know, there's nothing like a little foreign travel to make you appreciate your home. Really, at the time, one could even be forgiven for thinking - "This is better than home." Then, you make the long flight home, as I did night before last, and you stop for enchiladas and Negra Modelo, before finally settling down and viewing the full moon from your own deck and thinking - "No, there's a reason this is home."
May 12: Guero's Taco Bar on South Congress with my own home-town Kings, the Squeezetones.
May 18-19: The Texas Cafe and Bar (The Original Spoon) in Lubbock, playing (for a live CD recording) with Kent Mings and the Texas Bel-Airs. It sounds real good to me at a playback later.
May 24: Veterans Memorial Park in Elgin
May 26: Fredericksburg's Annual Crawfish Festival, downtown, featuring our 7-piece band
May 27: Gruene Hall for a big Memorial Day Week-End show
May 30: Brother James' birthday. Summer is here, but, in Texas, anyway, it's unusually cool and rainy. Do we love it? Oh yeah. Here's wishing for good weather this summer wherever you are. And, btw, that includes folks from all over the world, as you know. Some overseas Newsletter-Getters have friends in Austin and some are fortunate enough to visit here somewhat frequently, so they like to keep in touch. Way cool. And..., speaking of all over the world, I really had a great time in England in April and would like to, once again, thank Wes McGhee, John Gordon, Al Stewart and Graham Walker, who did an incredible job of playing with me. Also I must thank Philip Guy-Davis, Immy, John Donnelley and Mike Trotman, who also helped out a lot, too, by way of making it happen. Don't forget to ask me if you want more details of my trip.
June 1: Noel Heritage Park in Odessa for an Outdoor Concert. This year, no rain and a big time is had by a big crowd. Mr. R.C. Banks is back in the band.
June 8: Guero's Taco Bar
June 9: The Chisholm Trail Festival in Lockhart. Back by popular demand, thanks to Mr. Russell Seeliger, one of our longtime supporters. As always, it's a real good time.
June 22: Jovita's, again with our big band.
June 23: The Watermelon Thump in Luling, the watermelon capital of the world. Oh, yeah, believe me, people in Europe really envy our having events like this. And, then, I get to go to Chicago and play the blues! Owww...!!!
June 30: Rosa's Lounge at 3420 W. Armitage in Chicago, Illinois, the home of the blues. Man, what a great experience this is! James Hinkle, Lewis Cowdrey and I, along with others, play Saturday night at Rosa's, also jamming there on Thursday night, and jamming at Lee's Unleaded Blues on Friday night. All went really well, considering. I heard, and, in some cases played with, several really good performers. I didn't get all their names but I remember Little Ed and The Blues Imperials, Muddy Waters, Jr., Deloris Scott, Super Percy, and Eddie Taylor, Jr.

R.C., Mike, me and Wash on the 4th of July in Port O'Conner

July 6: Evangeline Cafe for excellent Louisiana food, beer and music.
August 9: Guero's Taco Bar
August 11: Riley's Tavern in Hunter, Texas and it's packed. Check them out at: 
September 1: Under the heading of enjoying other music, I am still (very much) enjoying "Crazy Crazy Baby" by Larry Lange and his Lonely Knights. Anyone out there who likes that old South Texas-to-South Louisiana sound better see about getting a copy. Go to:  I also love the new one, called "Blues Now, Jazz Later"  by James Hinkle, as do lots of other listeners, like, for instance, Blues Brother Dan Akroyd. All originals except for one (btw, the cold-blooded, acoustic, "East Dallas Dagger") his writing is dead-on Fort Worth blues. And, I particularly love the keyboard work of long-time side-man Robert Cadwallader. For more info and to get the CD, go to:  And those of you who have an internet music show might see about getting these, too. Your listeners will agree they are awesome CDs.
September 7: R.C. Banks and I are playing with our old friends and good buddies, the Texas Bel-Airs. First, on Friday night at the Cactus Theatre in Lubbock on Buddy Holly Avenue. Then, on Saturday night, we are their special guests again at Jessie Jane's in Justiceburg, Texas. This place is too cool, built around the old Justiceburg Post Office.
September 28:
Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos
October 2:
Our long-time friend, Danny Roy Young, wash-board man for Cornell Hurd's great band for many years, has gathered together a few friends and inaugurates his new band, the Southsiders, tonight at Patsy's Cowgirl Cafe. The first show is a benefit for H.A.M.M., the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, and the band members are Conni Hancock, Paul Skelton and myself in Danny's new group.
October 6: Gruene Wine Festival at 12 Noon (Ponty Bone & The Squeezetones)
October 9: Patsy's (the Southsiders)
October 12: South Austin Museum Of Popular Culture (with Dino Lee) As some of you may know, I was a member of the Austin band known as Dino Lee and The White Trash Review for a few years back in the early 80's. This band had the, previously unheard-of, distinction of being elected both "Best Band" and "Worst Band" in the same year, during this time. Anyway, this is the month for a reunion and tonight, we play and re-release our early material on CD.
October 13: German Free School Oktoberfest Party (Ponty Bone & The Squeezetones). For more info on this historic school, check the web-site at: 
October 16: Patsy's (the Southsiders)
October 23: Patsy's (the Southsiders)
October 26: Antone's (20 Year Reunion of Dino Lee and The White Trash Review)

Yours truly with Dino Lee and The White Trash Review at Antone's

October 27: Fredericksburg Food And Wine Festival (Ponty Bone & The Squeezetones) Tonight, we are joined by our horn-section and it is a beautiful thing.
October 30: Patsy's (the Southsiders)
November 3: Riley's Tavern in Hunter, Texas

November 6: Patsy's (the Southsiders)
November 8: Rice Fest Pre-Party at Fischer Hall. The Rice Fest is held each November to raise money for the scholarship fund in memory of Rice Harrington. Dinner is at 6 and the music is at 8. For more information on this great, yearly, event, check out: 
November 10: Three Dudes Winery in San Marcos, Texas for a Pig Roast & Wine Tasting. Fun despite being a little windy.
November 13: Patsy's (the Southsiders)
November 18: Jovita's for a very special event designed to benefit my long-time friend and bass-player, Wash Hamilton, who has been diagnosed with cancer. Many great entertainers serenade us as we dine, dance and look through the many, donated, items in the big, silent auction. Wash is there, as are Shelley King, The Texana Dames, Jane Bond and many more, including (the big version of) The Squeezetones kicking things off. By the end of the day, we are able to give Wash over $8000 in cash.
November 20: Patsy's (the Southsiders)
November 25: Gruene Hall
November 27: Patsy's (the Southsiders)
December 1: Sportsman's Expo in Wichita, Kansas. Man, what fun.  Played with James Hinkle and Lewis Cowdrey and we tore the place up. Opening was Lee McBee and his band and they were also really good. Just your typical Wes Race birthday party.
December 13: Guero's Taco Bar
December 14: Evangeline Cafe
December 22: Palmer Auditorium for the Keep Austin Bizarre Christmas Bazaar
December 23: The Austin Convention Center for the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with our Big Band
December 29: Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort Bar in Bastrop
December 31: Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos for New Years Eve with our Big Band

Part1 (1944-1982) | Part 2 (1983-1999) | Part 3 (2000-2006) | Part 4 (2007) | Part 5 (2008) | Part 6 (2009-present)