Part 5 (2008)
Part 1 (1944-1982) | Part 2 (1983-1999) | Part 3 (2000-2006) | Part 4 (2007) | Part 5 (2008) | Part 6 (2009-present)
January 1: Here it is, time to add another entire year to my online Journal. I flatter myself that some of you read this, but, in any case, I shall start with my favorite quote of the year: "There's an amount of wine that makes you say "Damn, I'm a great dancer!" Here's some of that exact amount of wine, from this past year.
January 11: The Spoon in Lubbock with the Texas Bel-Airs. My friend, Kent Mings, is a huge, little-known, talent. He'll have a new CD coming in 2009, we hope. In the meantime, see if you can find "Sons Of Preachers", his earlier one. I'm on it and so is Jesse "Guitar" Taylor.
February 2: Banita Creek Hall in Nacogdoches for a Big Mardi Gras Party. Cool place!
February 5: The Evangeline Cafe for a Mardi Gras (that means Fat Tuesday, the night before Ash Wednesday) Celebration. This is becoming a big tradition among South Austinites, and Curtis Clark always rolls out a good time.
February 8: An acoustic trio gig, featuring Richard Bowden, Danny Roy Young and yours truly, at The Shoal Creek Saloon. And, also a crawfish party.
February 10: The Moose Lodge in East Austin for a benefit for Marcel (Ed) Vizard of Larry Lange's band, who fell and broke his arm. The Squeezetones turn in a righteous set.
February 15: Guero's Taco Bar on South Congress. It's cancelled after 1 set, due to weather.
February 17: Gruene Hall, near New Braunfels, it's Texas' oldest dancehall and, it's early on a Sunday afternoon and free to the public.
February 28: The Austin Children's Shelter groundbreaking ceremony at the former Mueller Airport.
March 1: The Spoon in Lubbock, with The Texas Bel-Airs.
March 7: The National Guard Armory in Stephenville for a Ragin' Cajun Dinner & Dance put on by the Cross Timbers Cultural Arts Society.
March 9: Guero's Taco Bar on South Congress; it's an outside, under the oaks, experience with great food and lovely, cold beverages. And early enough for the whole family.
March 29: The Rosedale Ride at Samsung
March 30: Bluebonnet Blues and Art Festival in Marble Falls, where I am a guest of The Texana Dames. A big time is had by all.
April 5: The Hen House Cafe in Comfort for their big, annual, Crawfish Boil. Good crowd.
April 10: Antone's for Jesse "Guitar" Taylor's Birthday Party. Huge turnout. On-stage and off.
April 12: The Walk For Safe Place at Waterloo Park. The debut of my best lady, Celeste, on frottoir, along with R.C. and me.
April 12: Camp Ben McCulloch Park for their annual Crawfish, Music and Fireworks show. What a party!
April 13: Guero's Taco Bar
April 18: Cheatham Steet Warehouse in San Marcos
April 19: The Iraan Convention Center for Henry Holmes' Surprise 50th Birthday Party. Along for the fun is guitarist Spencer Jarmon, who played many a party, as a mamber of the Squeezetones, arranged for by Henry through past years.
April 22: Dr. Gary Hartmann's book, 'The History Of Texas Music" is released and this event, held on the Texas State University campus in San Marcos, features the music of Richard Bowden on fiddle, David Carroll on upright bass, Danny Roy Young on frottoir and yours truly. It sounds good.
April 25: The Iguana Club on Lake Travis.
April 26: Jovita's. A wake is held for our long-time bass-player, Wash Hamilton, who recently died of prostrate cancer. Needless to say, the place is packed and the music, (including a song, lyrics recently written by Wash, turned into music by yours truly,) is just magically healing.
April 30: Today, it's time for me to put on my "Ambassador of the Accordion" hat, or whatever, and head for Europe. Celeste and I leave Bergstrom International Airport around 4 for Toulouse, France.
May 1: We arrive to find two non-English speakers waiting for us. Within moments, we have crossed the language barrier and are on our way, under their care, first, to the promoter's home to enjoy some champagne, and then, to check in to our room at Chateau Lalande. Fabulous is the only word I can think of to describe this place. The name of the village it's in is Saint-Sylvestre and it can be found on the internet. Fabulous.
May 2: Festival “Accordions-nous” in Trentels, France. This festival includes an accordion orchestra, a jazz trio, some classical Japanese music, and, me, with a blues band. The band and I are, actually, of the same mind and turn in a really good set.
May 3: The Bourbon Store Cafe in Sainte Foy la Grande, France. Now, this is more like it! It is a real blues bar and we rock the place until way late. The Bourbon Store Cafe has a logo which looks, uncannily, like a Black Jack Daniels bottle. A serious and beautiful crowd. My eternal gratitude to Abdell B.Bop Bouyousfi on upright bass, Pascal "Junior" Delmas on drums and Mr. Tchang (Sam Audrix) on guitar for backing me up just as if I were home. I know you can find them (perhaps as The Rosebud Blues Sauce) on the internet, as they are absolutely first rate. Many thanks also to Christian Boncour, who put the whole thing together.
May 4: Sunday, and Celeste and I catch a ride to Toulouse and are walking around the big city before dark. Well, anyway, to this San Antonio boy, it seems like a big city, what with all the shops and cafes open late and lots of people out and about. We spend the next couple of days sight-seeing.
May 7: We catch a train to Cassis for a couple of nights. This little town is nestled along the Mediterranean and the seafood here is fresh and delicious. Of course, they have a local white wine to compliment. Then, sure enough, on Friday, before sunup, vendors set-up in the streets for a day-long market, featuring things you can't get anywhere else.
May 11: Now we are in Italy, thanks to our Eurail passes, and are the guests of Angelina and Fabrizio Poggi, of Chicken Mambo and much more. Today, we're off to S. Michelle di Galbiate, high above Lake Lecco. For this gig, I'm only accompanied by two, acoustic, guitars (Maurizio Fassino and Francesco Garolfi) and, occasionally, Fabrizio's harmonica, but we are very warmly received by a nice, big crowd. The afternoon is warm, but with scattered showers, so we play under the roof, out of the rain.
May 15 - 18: The Piacenza Blues Festival in Piacenza, Italy. My band consists of Maurizio and Francesco, again on guitars, along with Roberto Re on bass and Marco Serra on the drums, who do a fantastic job. This festival features both blues artists and writers. While this might seem like an unlikely use of two different art-forms, it introduces lots of us from each camp to each other's work. As for myself, I have the pleasure of mingling with lots of good writers, like Ronald Everitt Capps, Anne Perry and Joe Lansdale, and, some great musicians, like James "Blood" Ulmer, Grayson Capps and Keb' Mo'. Many thanks to our new friend, Seba Pezzani, for his organizational skills in putting this very fine festival together. Plus, we are reunited with his wife, Rossella, one of the owners of a club near Bedizzole, STORYVILLE, where we had played in 2004.
May 19: A long series of flights back to the U.S.A. Toulouse-Amsterdam-Minneapolis/St. Paul-Austin. Finally back to our home by midnight (been up for 24 hours) and, we are simply too excited to go to sleep, sitting outside until dawn saying things like "... and can you believe that just yesterday we were in Marseilles, France?" Anyway, one cannot begin to describe the beauty everywhere we went, from the mountains all the way down to the sea.
May 24: Fredericksburg Crawfish Festival. The Squeezetones, thanks to Danny Roy Young on frottoir and Steve Bernstein and Ray Strucker on horns, are 7 pieces strong. A rocking good time.
May 25: The Oaks in Manor. It's a celebration of our good friend, who left us too early, Chris Gaffney. I first met Chris when I was a member of the Joe Ely Band back in the early 1980s, stayed friends through the years and then played on his CD, "Loser's Paradise", which he recorded in Austin. Word of his diagnosis had reached my ears only slightly before word of his death, and it really points out how brief a time we may be here. I can't believe he's gone.
May 27: The Annual Accordion Free4All at the Austin Senior Activity Center. There are lots of accordion players and... it's free. The show has been a tradition for many years and, as always, a packed room. All styles are well-represented.
May 28: Waring General Store with R.C. Banks, Scott Wade and Ronnie Leatherman
June 13: Guero's Taco Bar in Austin
June 14: The Chisholm Trail Festival in Lockhart
June 21: The Cypress Creek Cafe in Wimberley
June 29: This afternoon I play, along with friends Conni Hancock, Danny Roy Young, Richard Bowden and David Carroll at The Shade Tree Potter's Gallery out on Highway 71, just west of the Pedernales River. The room is packed and we make many new friends.
July 11: Guero's Taco Bar
July 12: The Evangeline Cafe
July 30: Waring General Store with R.C. Banks, Scott Wade and Ronnie Leatherman
August 1: Riley's Tavern in Hunter
August 2: The Moose Lodge in East Austin
August 8: Guero's Taco Bar
August 10: Gruene Hall, where we have a big bunch of friends waiting on us. Meanwhile, if you are not able to come to Gruene Hall, perhaps you are at the Steve Jordan Tribute Concert at The H & H Ballroom, featuring Little Joe, Ruben Ramos, Larry Lange and many surprise guests. That's where I would have been. Steve has been an accordion hero of mine since we first crossed paths in the 1960s.
August 15: Cheatham Street Warehouse
August 17: Sunset Valley City Hall Center as part of their ongoing Summer series of monthly shows by local bands.
August 22: The Evangeline Cafe
August 27: Waring General Store with R.C. Banks, Scott Wade and Ronnie Leatherman
August 30: The Kerrville Wine and Music Festival at Quiet Valley Ranch, marking our return after several years' absence and we're greeted as heroes. Good playing by each of the band, R.C. on guitar, Mike on drums and Chip on bass.
September 6: Garrison Park Harbor
September 12: Guero's Taco Bar
September 24: MoMo's for a special show featuring Freddie Krc and yours truly, and, all the way from England, Wes McGhee and B.J. Cole. By the way, if you aren't familiar with Wes, please try an internet search. He is an excellent singer/songwriter/guitarist and his recordings have often featured some really sweet performances from B.J. on steel guitar, as well as yours truly on accordion. Wes and I first met in the late 70s and have toured both Texas, and, England, together.
October 8: Rockport Sea-A-Bration Celebration
October 11: Gruene Music and Wine Festival
October 16: Threadgill's North. The original location and, while this is not a Squeezetones show, it gives R.C. and I a chance to look over the changes at this great old room, as special guests of Freddie Krc.
October 19: The Austin Music Hall for "Keep Austin Young: Celebrating the Life of Danny Roy Young" Danny Roy Young, who so many of our followers know as our long-time fifth man, playing as only he could, using silver dimes super-glued to leather gloves on a custom-designed rubboard. . . the epitome of cool. Today we're joined by James McMurtry, Marcia Ball and many others to help the family of this Austin icon pay off his debts. What a loss to the huge community of artists who call this town, home.
October 25: Guero's Taco Bar
October 31: Paleface Ranch in Spicewood. For this fundraiser, music is by Danny's Dream, featuring Zeke Jarmon on frottoir, Richard Bowden on fiddle, David Carroll on upright bass, Spencer Jarmon on acoustic guitar and yours truly. For the first couple of hours, music is by Zeke and me, strolling.
November 13: Bear Moon Bakery in Boerne for a Chamber of Commerce Mixer.
November 14: Guero's Taco Bar
November 21: The Evangeline Cafe
November 28: The Fairmount in Fort Worth, playing the blues with my good friend, James Hinkle.
November 29: Fred's Cafe in Fort Worth, playing with James Hinkle.
November 30: The Keys Lounge in Fort Worth, playing with James Hinkle.
December 6: The National Guard Armory in Santa Anna for the Annual Two Nights of Christmas celebration.
December 19: Guero's Taco Bar
December 23: The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. It's that time of year again, the time of the year when my family always celebrates each other's interest in their lives. I just want to say, thanks to you who receive the Newsletter, for your support thoughout the year. I, your accordion-playing friend, feel better about my playing and singing than ever before and promise to continue for many years to come. Stay with me.
Part1 (1944-1982) | Part 2 (1983-1999) | Part 3 (2000-2006) | Part 4 (2007) | Part 5 (2008) | Part 6 (2009-present)