The Westside Social Club

Another Texas music legends gets a toast

The Westside Social Club

Tributes and benefits are beautiful things. A while back I was involved with a few that were very successful and one was an epiphany. Right now, I’m on the fringes of another most worthy, the Steve Jordan tribute on Sunday at the H&H Ballroom in Southeast Austin, with the makings of one of those legendary Austin ya-shoulda-been-there nights. Here’s why:

At the Candye Kane benefit in May at Antone’s, Billy Joe Shaver arrived onstage like he always does: ready to entertain. Only this night, he roared like a runaway train bound for hell if he didn’t save himself and the entire audience from damnation and ruination by singing like the devil had come down to Antone’s from Georgia and demanded a duel. Shaver was on fucking fire, blazing and stomping in tent show glory as if the power of music would purify us all. And it did.

In an evening with excellent performances, the realization was that even if the Austin music community is oversaturated with demands on its kind and giving heart, what it gets back is priceless. I’ve seen a dozen fine Billy Joe Shaver performances over the years – this one smoked with an unholy heat. The couple visiting from Belgium was agog and the man from Japan must have filled a memory card with photos. The four folks up from Houston for the weekend danced in a frenzy on the outskirts of the crowd of 200 or so. On that night, Austin delivered its fabled magic to all. Trust me when I say the Steve Jordan tribute will create that same magic, this time laced with the truest Texas music of all, Chicano Soul.

This show didn’t come together without a lot of work from organizers Steve Dean and Deb Fleming of the Oaks, along with Larry Lange and his wife Susie. They ought to dub themselves the Westside Social Club for all their good work. They managed to get assistance from the Austin Latino Music Association, Alex Gonzales at Eliseo Productions, La Voz, and Rock N Roll Rentals, and were smart enough to ask Guero’s Taco Bar, Joey Pena BBQ, and Torchy’s Tacos to help. We at the Chronicle pitched in ad space and organizations such as the Uncle John Turner Foundation have been generous.

Takes place at the H & H Ballroom, 4404 Brandt Road, Sunday, August 10, 3-8pm.

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