I used to play in Texas a lot. Not Austin. “Real” Texas; the part of Texas that wants to be its own country; the 5”-belt-buckle and ropers-with-real-spurs part of Texas. When I told folks I’d come from New York City, inevitably someone piped up with “get a rope!” And as polite and well-mannered as those Texas cowboys could be, they rarely hesitated to follow their welcome with “but don’t forget to go home”. They said it with a wink, so I replied with a chuckle. They weren’t fooled any more than I was.
But despite the “friendly ribbing”, I loved making music in Texas and returned often. I credit Archer City, home of Larry McMurtry and the Royal Theater, for my love affair with the Lone Star State. The Royal, made famous by McMurtry’s “The Last Picture Show” with Cybill Shephard and Jeff Bridges, was rebuilt after the filming of the sequel, “Texasville”, and became home to the Texasville Opry as well as the Late Week Lazy Boy Supper Club. The Supper Club was one of my favorite shows to play in the Southwest. A concert series created by Archer City’s own Abby Abernathy, it was inspired by the informal song circles I used to host in the cramped but cozy living room of my Manhattan apartment. Wouldn’t those cowboys love to know that!
The Lazy Boy Supper Club featured a stream of talent including Emily Erwin of the Dixie Chicks, Chris Wall, Terri Hendrix and Max Stallen to name a few. One night, Larry McMurtry’s son, James, showed up and joined us on the porch of the Spur Hotel for an informal post-show hootenanny that carried on late into the balmy Texas night. I was honored to share the stage with these Texas artists, and remember being especially blown away by fledgling songwriter at the time, Adam Carroll. Adam’s music and story became the inspiration for my song “The Boy”. It’s featured on my second release, Onion Dream, alongside “Lori’s Song”, another Texas-inspired story based on Lorena, the big-hearted whore of Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove”.
But by far my most requested song in Texas was “The Dog Song”. I learned pretty early on, if you play in Texas, you’ll wanna have a song about your dog dyin’, or your pick-up truck breakin’ down, or your momma in prison. If you’re really good, you have a song about your pick-up truck breakin’ down on the way to visit your momma in prison to tell her your dog is dead. I’m not that good. But I do have a dog song. And as a THANK YOU for being one of my subscribers I want to give it to you for free – no strings attached.
If you like the track you might also consider checking out Sing Louder. It’s my latest album full of high energy tunes and stories inspired by my adventures along this sometimes dusty, always winding road.
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