TEXAS TRAILS: BORN ON THE BAYOU

GarageApartmentBaja

Above is the elegant and comfortable garage apartment I was lucky enough to inhabit for SXSW, thanks to the kind hospitality of Hilmar and his wife Kaaren.

HilmarLakeTravisBaja

I didn’t get pictures or video of several nights at SXSW, so you’ll just have to imagine the wild adventures we got up to, the funky clubs we visited and the great music we heard. At any rate, on Thursday Hilmar and I had lunch at The Oasis on Lake Travis (above), another lake just outside Austin created by a dam on the Colorado River.  The grievous drought in Texas is responsible for the sand islands in the middle of the lake, which are normally covered by water:

HilmarKaarenBaja

That night Kaaren cooked us a lovely meal of spicy shrimp and roasted potatoes, then Hilmar and I headed off downtown with no fixed destination in mind.

We stopped in at Cedar Street Courtyard but the band playing there was lackluster, so we walked to Red 7, where good bands were supposed be booked that night. There was a line of badge-holders around the block so we skipped Red 7, then drifted over to Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, because Hilmar said it was a cool place.

We heard some good music coming from its outdoor music venue and went in. About ten minutes after we arrived, the leader of the band on stage, who turned out to be Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, said, “Now I’d like to bring on someone we consider to be a rock and roll legend.”

Hilmar and I rolled our eyes, sure it would be someone lame, but then a guy walked out who was anything but lame — John Fogerty. The Foo Fighters turned up their game about twelve notches backing Fogerty on six or seven of his greatest songs, including this one:

Fogerty is the one in the blue shirt.

StubbsWristbandBaja

Quite by chance (or some sort of mysterious providence) we had stumbled upon what was undoubtedly the greatest set played at SXSW that night — one of the greatest sets I’ve ever heard. Fogerty can still kick ass, and the Foo Fighters did him justice in spades. This is just the sort of thing that happens at SXSW.

StephenAustinTerraceBaja

We wandered over to the terrace at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel on Congress Street, where we had some coffee, trying to come down from the high.  It took a while.

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