Flanfire (Duggan Flanakin) is bringing LIFE to Austin music -- and telling the world how sweet it is!

Friday, November 07, 2003

Ahhhh! The sweet feeling of the ground beneath my feet. What a cruise it was - with Shelley King, Floramay Holliday, Michael O'Connor, the inimitable Susan Gibson, and the lovely and talented Jessica Shepherd and Bonnie Whitmore.

But onward and upward. Last Friday, because I had not gotten enough of Susan and Michael, I went to see them at Flipnotices. Alas! It was only their ghosts who were playing -- but Susan's mom was hanging out (dad was back at Susan'sbuilding stuff for her), and we had a great visit.

And, finally, we went to see the School of Rock and laughed and cheered.

On Wednesday evening we journeyed down to Artz' Rib House for another dose of Shelley and Floramay - and hung out and shared cruise photos with each other (a larger crowd of cruisers was there, including ringleader Monica Andrews).

All of this builds up to my first opportunity to head over to the Carousel Lounge for a dose of Karen Poston and the Crystal Pistols - and the loverly and talented Stella Boes. The Carousel is celebrating 40 years in Austin on Saturday, and the elephant-friendly lounge will be all aglitter. But catch Stella's groove quickly, as she is headed back to her Canadian homeland for a 2-week vacation just after the show. For those who do not know, the Carousel is on 52nd Street just east of IH-35 -- take the 51st Street exit and turn right on 52nd. Be careful NOT to park in front of the liquor store or in a no parking zone.

Karen is getting back in action after several twists of fate in her life (which will go unmentioned here) - but the lovely yodeler and twangy singer promises to be more active after New Year's while slowly building up her schedule with the new band - which includes -----

Vance Hazen on bass and vocals (I love his rendition of Streets of Baltimore, which he admits he cribbed from the late, great Gram Parsons).

John Hahn on drums -- if you know John, he alone is worth the time.

My bud Kevin Hollingsworth on lead guitar -- the longtime Mandy Mercier (and others) sideman continues to shine, and his daughter's grandparents (his mom and dad) are now living in Austin and dancing at Karen's shows from time to time. You may know that Kevin's daughter is an associate Beamette and all-around up-and-coming singer in her own right (that is, if you call Kevin's number and get his voice mail).

Finally, the one, the only (drum roll, John) -- Bobby Snell is playing pedal steel, and he and Kevin are already working on twin leads that sound Tony the Tigerish.

On Thursday (they'll be back at the Carousel on November 20), Karen closed out with a rousing number (a revamped Appalachian death ballad, she says) featuring the band, and then segued into Cowboy's Sweetheart to give Stella the dance floor to strut her stuff - and strut she did (as is the common thing for the past 15 years for this dear lady). With the retirement of Don Walser, and the ever rarer Austin appearances by Slaid Cleaves, Karen may be vying for top yodeler in town - she certainly has enough fun doing it.

Sidelines -- Those who know that Ryan Adams abhors Bryan Adams may not know they share a birthday. Oh, well - he's not my favorite Whiskeytowner, anyway -- and I still cringe when I remember that Jack Ingram, though in the movie, did not (for contractual reasons, we are told) get his song on the sound track of Hope Floats - while Whiskeytown, which was NOT in the film, did. On a sadder note, the great Bobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brothers passed away this week - at age 63. But I have not lost that lovin' feeling.

We'll be back in the saddle again for the weekend - and both this and next weekend have blockbuster events (you know what they are if you are in Austin and if you are not, you may read about them here soon anyway).

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