'Is There Life After Lubbock?'

Jaston Williams, Joe Ely, and Jo Carol Pierce say, 'There is, there is'

Jaston Williams
Jaston Williams

What do Jaston Williams, Joe Ely, and Jo Carol Pierce have in common, besides first names that begin with the letter J? How about flat land, high winds, and uncommon levels of creativity? All belong to that curious breed of Texan who survived life in the Panhandle and went on to make names for themselves in the arts. (See also Buddy Holly, Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Terry Allen, Jo Harvey Allen, Lloyd and Natalie Maines, Delbert McClinton, Mac Davis, et al.) Something about that environment fans the flame of a wild, creative spirit, whether you grew up there, as Ely and Pierce did, or landed there to attend Texas Tech, as Williams did in 1969. ("We were running in different worlds, but we were only about five blocks apart," says Williams.) Now, the three will gather on the Stateside at the Paramount stage to swap songs and stories about their times on the high plains in an evening titled Is There Life After Lubbock?

Williams likens it to sitting around in somebody's living room: "We'll have the guitars out and material out that we've written and an idea of where we want to go, but if it starts to move on its own energy, and someone thinks of something new – if Joe thinks of a song and he wants to go into it right then – we absolutely have that freedom." He's so insistent on the informality of this shindig that he's encouraging audience members to wear their house shoes and drink longnecks. And they'll be able to ask questions of the artists in the second half. "We're just gonna let it take us wherever it takes us," Williams says.

Is There Life After Lubbock? takes place Tuesday, May 28, 8pm, at Stateside at the Paramount, 719 Congress. For more information, call 512/474-1221 or visit www.austintheatre.org.

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