Sometimes the buck stops with you and going out isn’t in the cards. What could be worse in Austin than not being allowed to experience its lifeblood, live music? The town where everybody knows your name giveth and taketh away – the Vulcan Gas Company, Armadillo, Liberty Lunch – but where would you be if you couldn’t take in South by Southwest, Chaos in Tejas, the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Fun Fun Fun Fest?
Branson, Mo., that’s where. Welcome to me and the Austin Music Awards.
For the last decade, save for 2010 and 2011, I’ve been manning the Music desk at the paper during the annual celebration of local music by locals. Meaning I missed Bruce Springsteen with Alejandro Escovedo and Joe Ely at last year’s AMA finale. Missed the Dicks and Roky Erickson backed by the Black Angels in 2009. Didn’t see Erickson matched with Okkervil River (Rokkerville) the previous year, or Gary Clark Jr. playing the blues of AMAs to come, or the Uncle Walt’s Band tribute. I’ve only seen pictures of Pete Townshend guesting with Ian McLagan at the Faces tribute to Ronnie Lane in 2007. And I’d forgotten all about fellow Pomona College alum Kris Kristofferson duetting with Waylon Jennings’ gal Jessi Colter. Ouch.
This year I’m missing the Brent Grulke Tribute, a riff off last year’s volcanic GrulkeFest as hosted by Mike Hall’s Wild Seeds and starring Alejandro Escovdeo, Robyn Hitchcock, Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Susan Cowsill, and God knows who else. I won’t see Texas’ next Dixie Chicks – the Trishas – harmonizing with a reunited Mavericks’ Raul Malo. No Ben Kweller, no Bill Carter & the Blame and his very special guest, or my Latin, fire-breathing brethren Brownout. I don’t even know who the headliner is!
Historical matchups beckon you, so report back. On second thought, better not.– Raoul Hernandez