Chronicle Live Music Venue Guide



Out-of-Town Music


Photo of Kendalia Halle.

Kendalia Halle

photograph by John Carrico



Continuing the traditions of their homeland, European immigrants who settled in the Hill Country around Austin built dance halls that served as civic and entertainment centers in their communities. Most of the wooden barn-like structures had a local band that played every Saturday night. Then, in the early part of this century, bands under the sponsorship of flour companies and breweries began traveling the weekend circuit. More than a century later, the honky-tonks, dance halls, and cafes outside of town still offer an eclectic blend of ethnic and traditional music. Here's a list of some of the live music venues.

Gerald McLeod

Blanco Area

Kendalia Halle, in downtown Kendalia on FM3351: Old classic dance hall run by Tom and Glenda McKinney. Dances happen every second and fourth Saturday night with classic country dance bands 8:30pm-12:30am and a Cajun band on the fifth Saturday of the month. No cover for the Sunday jam sessions. Food is limited to snacks unless Glenda cooks up something special. Families welcome. Smoking. (830/336-2609 or 888/262-2609)

Bastrop

Western Pleasure, 710 Chestnut: Best dance hall east of Austin, you can hear new and old country music, old rock bands, some blues, and original artists. Open seven days a week with live music on Fri-Sat nights. Because Bastrop is a dry county, you have to buy a club membership to buy alcohol. Smoking. (512/303-4244)

Fredericksburg Area

Luckenbach Dance Hall, across from the general store: You never know who might be playing here on a Saturday night. Live music is scheduled a couple of times a month and during special events. No food service is available and only beer and wine are sold at the bar. Smoking. (830/997-3224)

Georgetown Area

Henry's, US183 & TX29: In the old stage stop at Seward's Junction, this is a country & western honky-tonk with pictures of all the great artists on the walls and ceiling. Live music on Fri-Sat nights and a great jukebox the rest of the time. They have a restaurant, but only sell beer, wine, and setups. Smoking. (512/778-6918)

Java Net, Saturday night music, 3010 Williams: This is a coffeehouse with all kinds of live Christian music on Fri-Sat nights, 8-10:30pm. The kitchen serves sandwiches, salads, desserts, and has a full espresso bar. All ages are welcome. No alcohol or smoking. (512/819-9399)

Johnson City

Ed's River Place, one mile north of town on US281: Progressive country bands keep the 4,000-square-foot dance floor filled on Saturday nights. Doors open at 8pm and music goes from 9pm-1am. They serve snacks, beer, and wine. All ages are welcome. Smoking. (830/868-4342)

New Braunfels

Gruene Hall, 1281 Gruene: The oldest dance hall in Texas, many famous musicians perfected their chops on the old wooden stage. Evening crowd is made up mostly of college students. Beer and wine served, but you'll have to try one of the nearby restaurants for food. Smoking. (830/606-1281; http://www.gruenehall.com)

Landa Station, 381 Landa: At this college student bar Tuesday is Ladies Jam night, Thursday is songwriters night, and on Saturday the band is usually rock or blues. All ages are allowed. Snacks are available at the bar. Smoking. (830/629-3311)

Round Rock

Mike's Place, 1826 N. Mays: A neighborhood bar with a mix of garage band music on Fri-Sat nights. All ages are welcome. Smoking. (512/388-3550)

Rascal's, 3133 S. I-35: A neighborhood bar that books rock and blues bands on Saturday nights. They serve snacks and full bar. 21+ Smoking. (512/246-7979)

Saradora's, 101 E. Main: Downtown coffeehouse Saradora's has live music every night. Usually it's folk or acoustic, but patrons have been known to start impromptu jam sessions. No alcohol, but they have a full espresso bar with sandwiches and desserts. No smoking. (512/310-1200)

Taz Country, 1406 FM1825, Pflugerville: There's never a cover at this big dance hall with live country music on Fridays and sometimes on Saturday and Thursday nights. They offer a full menu and bar with lots of games and pool tables. Smoking. (512/990-5526)

San Marcos

Club 21, on TX21 north of town: Funky old dance hall with country & western music on Saturday nights. All ages are allowed, and they sell snacks, burgers, beer, and wine. Smoking. (512/398-2901)

Triple Crown, 206 N. Edward Gary: College bar that books all kinds of live music every night of the week. Sunday, 7:30pm-midnight, is open mike. Some shows are all ages, but most nights admission is restricted to 21+. No food served, but they have lots of games. Smoking. (512/396-2236)

Yellowrock Saloon, south of town (Centerpoint Rd. exit off I-35) at 3413 Hunter: A typical roadhouse saloon, Yellowrock Saloon doesn't have food, but they do sell beer and wine. Country bands Wed-Sat nights. 18+. Smoking. (512/396-7188)

Wimberley

Cypress Creek Café, on the square: A great restaurant with a small club out back with live music on Fri-Sat nights. Local bands play an assortment of styles here. Sponsors the Wimberley Jazz Festival. All ages. Smoking. (512/847-2515)

Woodcreek Waterhole, #1 Woodcreek Circle: A hotel bar in a country resort, Woodcreek Waterhole offers an eclectic mix of live music Wed-Sat nights. No food service. Minors are allowed with parents. Smoking. (800/870-5678)

Gerald McLeod