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

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 29, 2015
Mike Whitney
The Politics of Betrayal: Obama Backstabs Kurds to Appease Turkey
Joshua Frank
The Wheels Fell Off the Bernie Sanders Bandwagon
Conn Hallinan
Ukraine: Close to the Edge
Stephen Lendman
What Happened to Ralkina Jones? Another Jail Cell Death
Rob Wallace
Neoliberal Ebola: the Agroeconomic Origins of the Ebola Outbreak
Dmitry Rodionov
The ‘Ichkerization’ Crime Wave in Ukraine
Joyce Nelson
Scott Walker & Stephen Harper: A New Bromance
Bill Blunden
The Red Herring of Digital Backdoors and Key Escrow Encryption
Thomas Mountain
The Sheepdog Politics of Barack Obama
Farzana Versey
A President and a Yogi: Abdul Kalam’s Symbolism
Norman Pollack
America’s Decline: Internal Structural-Cultural Subversion
Foday Darboe
How Obama Failed Africa
Cesar Chelala
Russia’s Insidious Epidemic
Tom H. Hastings
Defending Democracy
David Macaray
Why Union Contracts are Good for the Country
Virginia Arthur
The High and Dry Sierras
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, the Season Finale, Mekonception in Redhook
July 28, 2015
Mark Schuller
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting
Lawrence Ware
Why the “Black Church” Doesn’t Exist–and Never Has
Peter Makhlouf
Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After “Protective Edge”
Carl Finamore
Landlords Behaving Badly: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People*
Michael P. Bradley
Educating About Islam: Problems of Selectivity and Imbalance
Binoy Kampmark
Ransacking Malaysia: the Najib Corruption Dossier
Michael Avender - Medea Benjamin
El Salvador’s Draconian Abortion Laws: a Miscarriage of Justice
Jesse Jackson
Sandra Bland’s Only Crime Was Driving While Black
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Paul Craig Roberts - Dave Kranzler
Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets
Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz
July 27, 2015
Susan Babbitt
Thawing Relations: Cuba’s Deeper (More Challenging) Significance
Howard Lisnoff
Bernie Sanders: Savior or Seducer of the Anti-War Left?
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma’s Profiteers: You Want Us to Pay What for These Meds?
Joshua Sperber
What is a President? The CEO of Capitalism
John Halle
On Berniebots and Hillary Hacks, Dean Screams, Swiftboating and Smears
Stephen Lendman
Cleveland Police Attack Black Activists
Zoe Konstantopoulou
The Politics of Coercion in Greece
Patrick Cockburn
Only Iraq’s Clerics Can Defeat ISIS
Ralph Nader
Sending a ‘Citizens Summons’ to Members of Congress
Clancy Sigal
Scratch That Itch: Hillary and The Donald
Colin Todhunter
Working Class War Fodder
Gareth Porter
Obama’s Version of Iran Nuke Deal: a Second False Narrative