FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It’s Raining Music Down in Texas

by GREG MOSES

Not too many hands went up when Hadley Barrett asked who was here for their first rodeo, but I think folks were just being shy, jammed together hip to hip, toe to butt, up and down the aluminum bleachers of Rodeo Austin, all the way over to corner section UU, today’s winners of the Sonic sundae giveaway.

For the animals in the house it was a day of strange intensity, one horse diving head first into the dirt, another tumbling over the exit gate; bulls shaking off riders, barrel racers knocking over barrels. A calf who lay dazed for several awkward seconds after the rope came off its neck. Only a couple of sheep took it easy as if to insist that Sunday is a day of rest.

But it was Willie’s day to work, nevertheless, and the crowd was gathered for a homecoming.

Drummer Paul English was early to the set, taking his seat in the center of the round portable stage, waiting awhile for things to get started, then climbing down from his seat to check his iphone, maybe texting something like “hey, y’all comin?”

But the arrangements were more complicated than usual. There were two sections of seating at dirt level, which had to be set up with camping chairs, and a steel barricade to set the distance for a couple dozen stander-uppers. And since it’s a Willie homecoming, who knows how many friends and family were gypsying along to hang out around the insider section of dirt between the stage and the bucking gates.

So time flowed, but not too quickly, and soon enough everyone was on their feet to cheer Willie up the portable stairs to the portable stage where he took the front-man position next to son Lukas and the coolest looking guitar player you ever saw, a mystery man in black suit, dark glasses, and oversized hat who turned out to be flocking Johnny Depp.

Whiskey River warmed it up the way you handle a glass that’s just been served. You look into it, swirl it around, sniff it a little, and then you raise it to your lips. When Willie leads the band with Trigger, it’s like a double presence, the guitar having its quite independent interpretation of how things should sound.

Willie’s moment I thought was “Always on My Mind.” He and Trigger dug a blues groove together that made you feel deeply.

Used to be times when Willie would pick up an electric guitar for a song or two, but with Lukas standing there, he deferred to his son’s cover of “Raining Down in Texas.” And in the middle of that song there was a really cool guitar trio going on between Lukas, Johnny, and Willie. It would be nice to see that on youtube or hear an mp3. I hope they find a way.

Also a sweet duet with Lily Meola, reprising a duet she recorded with Willie, “Will You Remember Mine.” Let’s remember that one, too.

So many sing-alongs for the fans. Beer for my horses. Don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys. In love with a good timing man. May the circle be unbroken. I’ll fly away.

And finally a new sing-along. Roll me up and smoke me when I die. Willie’s got this corkscrew thing he does with his pointing finger. Smoke curling up to heaven.

Well, we usually like to hang out after the show and let the traffic beat us home, but today we’d had enough butt kicking from the big folks sitting behind us. We had to get out the door quick, just to keep the right memories in all the right places and let the wrong memories go.

Greg Moses writes about peace and Texas, but not always at the same time. He is author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. His writings are archived at gregmoses.net and he can be reached at gmosesx@gmail.com

 

 

Greg Moses writes about peace and Texas, but not always at the same time. He is author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. As editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review he has written about racism faced by Black agriculturalists in Texas. He can be reached at gmosesx@gmail.com

More articles by:
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
Jeffrey St. Clair
Night of the Hollow Men: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Renee Parsons
Blame It on the Russians
Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Is it the Cops or the Cameras? Putting Police Brutality in Historical Context
Russell Mokhiber
Dems Dropping the N Word: When in Trouble, Blame Ralph
Howard Lisnoff
The Elephant in the Living Room
Pepe Escobar
The Real Secret of the South China Sea
Ramzy Baroud
Farewell to Yarmouk: A Palestinian Refugee’s Journey from Izmir to Greece
John Laforge
Wild Turkey with H-Bombs: Failed Coup Raise Calls for Denuclearization
Dave Lindorff
Moving Beyond the Sanders Campaign
Jill Richardson
There’s No Such Thing as a “Free Market”
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Moves Against the Gulen Movement in Turkey
Winslow Myers
Beyond Drift
Edward Martin - Mateo Pimentel
Who Are The Real Pariahs This Election?
Jan Oberg
The Clintons Celebrated, But Likely a Disaster for the Rest of the World
Johnny Gaunt
Brexit: the British Working Class has Just Yawned Awake
Mark Weisbrot
Attacking Trump for the Few Sensible Things He Says is Both Bad Politics and Bad Strategy
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Think Three’s a Crowd? Try 2,000
Corrine Fletcher
White Silence is Violence: How to be a White Accomplice
July 27, 2016
Richard Moser
The Party’s Over
M. G. Piety
Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Humiliation Games: Notes on the Democratic Convention
Arun Gupta
Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Splinters Apart
John Eskow
The Loneliness of the American Leftist
Guillermo R. Gil
A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC
Norman Pollack
Sanders, Our Tony Blair: A Defamation of Socialism
Claire Rater, Carol Spiegel and Jim Goodman
Consumers Can Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Guy D. Nave
Make America Great Again?
Sam Husseini
Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedienne
Dave Lindorff
No Crooked Sociopaths in the White House
Dan Bacher
The Hired Gun: Jerry Brown Snags Bruce Babbitt as New Point Man For Delta Tunnels
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
David Macaray
Interns Are Exploited and Discriminated Against
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail