Greetings from Texas!
Greetings from Texas! We are at the Dominican Joe Coffee shop in Austin. It's our day off after 5 days straight of back to back shows starting in Houston. Magical. That's the one word Rob would use to describe our experience officially performing for the first time in Houston. His friends and family came out and the night was truly magical. Being a native of Houston, Rob has always wanted to perform in Houston to share what we do with his hometown. This has been 7 years in the making and it all culminated at Bean's Cafe on Eldridge in Houston.
The house was packed even before we started the show. We thought people would begin to leave as we started playing. Ironically, it happens that way sometimes. But as we started, more and more people walked in. Bean's Cafe is an eclectic-bohemian type of venue. We performed under a lit umbrella with colorful curtains as our backdrop. I grabbed the audience right away with my improvisational "Cell Phone" song. Everyone in the room became really quick friends and the magic happened when we all went around the room saying names and other tidbits which made up the material for my improvisational songs.
Rob's family and friends were absolutely amazed and very proud of us for putting on such a great show. They finally got the chance to see what we've been doing for a living all these years. We tried to explain it to them in theory, but there's nothing like seeing it in person. Live music comes to life in so many ways. The sheer essence of it reminds you why you are alive. Being able to share that part with friends and family is such a huge honor.
After, our show at Bean's, we moved on to a quaint coffee shop in Galveston - Mod Coffeehouse. We performed on the patio outside right in the middle of downtown. This show was very interesting. First of all, I am the sickest ill I have been in years on this entire trip. I've been high on prescription drugs and pain medication for weeks! I'm not going to go into detail here, but you can check out my ailments here if you're curious. So being put outside on the hot patio, was a big problem for me. The next problem was that I couldn't hear myself sing! As a singer, you have to be able to hear yourself. If you can't, you could be singing off key and don't even know it, plus you could wear out your voice. The city has a sound ordinance. The decibel reading couldn't go over 70db. I have no idea what that means, but Rob said it's not that loud. We were constantly fidgeting with the sound and my monitor so that I could hear. Our contact would come out occasionally with her cell phone to check the decibel reading. I was amazed to see her raising her thumbs telling us we could get louder! Oh, the joy. So we cranked it up and blasted. Rachel, our contact said they have one neighbor who always complains about the noise. Always. So we had to be very careful. We put on our show, and had a great time. The people really enjoyed it too. We did a mix of originals and covers, and people were dancing and singing along. Come to find out, the neighbor that usually complains was sitting in my audience dancing and singing along herself. She really enjoyed herself. Rachel said, she has NEVER told a musician to turn it up! Wow!
Next we went on to Killeen, TX. A small military town in Texas. This show is the reason why we are in Texas. I was contacted by a lovely young lady through my website asking if we could come and perform for the soldiers! We were looking for a reason to come to Texas, so we planned a little tour around it. The Tyku Wine Bar and Lounge is the place. It's a brand new venue in downtown Killeen. I'd say this was one of my favorite shows on the trip so far. Being as sick as I am, I sat down on a stool the whole time and wore my sun shades (lights trigger monster headaches). I felt like Macy Gray! I actually did one of her songs as homage too. This was another packed show. The room was full of people just wanting to have a good time. It was jazzy, mellow, and incredible. It was like an old-school speakeasy event.
Next we headed on to Austin! We did a show in downtown Austin at an awesome bar called - Lucky Lounge. The stage was excellent with a huge asian looking drum as a backdrop. I've never performed at any place quite like this before. The bar was pretty big, but we only had about 5 people there! We had an early show and this was our first time playing in Austin. But the folks that were there enjoyed it. They tipped and bought merchandise. This is another show where I had to sit down and wear shades inside due to me feeling like slop putty! I was literally seconds away from vomiting nearly half the time while on stage. I honestly don't know where I got my strength from. I could barely sit in the seat much less put on an energetic show. If people knew how sick I actually was, they'd be amazed. Our bodies are so incredible! The trauma we go through and sometimes even put ourselves through and live to tell it is a testament to just how miraculous our bodies are. I know not everyone believes in God, but for me our bodies is a constant reminder that there is a God.
One of the things I'm learning on this trip is to love life. Oh how precious it is just to be alive. Being so sick has forced me to slow down and appreciate just being able to breathe clearly. Being able to enjoy the taste of food in my mouth. Being able to feel the wind on my skin. The way someone's skin feels when they touch you. The sparks and vibes you get from other people, whether good or bad. Only people who are alive can feel these things. The truly SAD part is, we have grown numb to these things because of the weight and daily distractions of life. These things I have taken for granted. We all have.
Last night was the fifth night in a row we performed. I don't have any pictures unfortunately from the evening but we performed outside again on a patio in San Antonio at a really neat local pizza joint called Fralo's. They had a beer tap coming out of an old-school truck. I have never seen anything like it in my life! It was the coolest thing. Too bad I couldn't partake in it. I'm having to stay away from 'dranking' unfortunately! We did two hours of down-home soul!
We have one more show left on this trip and then the tour is over. Our last show is in Amarillo at 806! I can't believe how fast this time has passed by! Our Texas trip has come and it's on its way out, but the lessons I have learned and the faces I have met, I will never forget.