Monday, February 4, 2008

Jerry Jeff Walker groupies

So. The Mystery Woman and I were groupies this past weekend. We went to a Jerry Jeff Walker concert, and, judging the age of the audience, mine was not the only pacemaker in the room.

The aging outlaw did not disappoint; he rocked the joint and brought the audience to its feet, albeit slowly, several times.

The venue was One World Theater, a strangely wonderful big old Tuscan home in the western hills outside Austin. It was sort of like having Jerry Jeff in your living room if you were filthy rich.

The Mystery Woman has been away from Texas, her native state, nearly 30 years but Jerry Jeff has always been her connection to home. She nearly swooned. When she wasn't jumping up and down, clapping, whistling and hollering. Simultaneously.

Long ago, Jerry Jeff transcended his accident of birth in New York to become a true shit-kicker. He is a story-teller set to music. A song-writer of both lyrics and melody. And he can still belt out Mr. Bojangles and Red Necked Mother with raucous abandonment after all these years.

But the mellow side of the man enriches other forms of music. At times, he is even a jazzman, and always a troubadour.

It was a wonderful evening. His set was not long enough. Even though I was willing to drive at night.

Final note: since the theater was out where I once published the Westlake Picayune more than 20 years back, I hoped I might run into old friends. And I was not disappointed. Not my doctor nor my accountant -- but the car guy from consignment lot where I've purchased half a dozen cars. Sucking on a cold beer.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You and definitely agree on JJW. I have seen him live many times. Of course, I have no culture, so I fit in perfectly.
JR

ArchGrafiX said...

My younger brother Jimmy treated me on my birthday a few years ago to a Jerry Jeff show at Gruene Hall (which I KNOW you know, George, as the "Oldest Dancehall in Texas, and where you and I met face-to-face, courtesy of Bob the Huff and Veva). I had seen him a couple of times before, once a LONG time ago at the now-office-building-site Armadillo World Headquarters. He has given up his sloppy drunken ways and actually shows up and stays at his concerts now, but he can still croon and rock with the best of 'em. He is at once crass and sensitive, loud and mellow, good and evil. At Gruene, you can almost shake hands with him onstage, always a very intimate venue. Jerry Jeff is still one of my favorites and sidles up to personifying Texas music to me. He ran around with Hill Country kookoo wizard and imagineer Hondo Crouch and so did I on lucky occasions long ago. If A knows C and B knows C, does A necessarily know B? I like to think so...

-- Buddy

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