Luckenbach 2011 Year In Review

Looks like we are still here, the calendar didn’t end in 2012.  Thank goodness!  The laugh lines are just now starting to get some character. :)

  I was writing to a friend the other day,trying to explain Luckenbach.  Have you ever tried to do that?  Generally speaking, words will fail you.  You have to experience it first hand, then you can take it with you wherever you go.  It is a State of Mind.  After writing a lengthy accounting of our history since Hondo ownership started in 1971’ish I realized one very important thing - Luckenbach was put on the map by local characters.  It has always been, and will always be, a product of the people and the happenings that take place here.  We constantly strive to maintain and guide Luckenbach under one simple idea “It’s what is not here that is here”.  2011 certainly challenged us in that regard.  The Texas Wine business is booming and wouldn’t you know, they heard about Luckenbach and built all around us.   The Hill Country and Luckenbach have become pretty busy these days. It’s sort of like that lady that came in the bar one day and said “Why did they put the Alamo in downtown San Antonio?”  We like our neighbors, the wine is good so we don’t mind so much. 

Since we have limited space in the Post Office/General Store/Bar, the line can be long when trying to buy a T-shirt or a new coffee mug.  In the heat of the summer, this is a HoT experience; we don’t have AC. The good news - we have the space outside to put up several bars filled with ice COLD BEER at a moments notice, should the population swell from 3 to 800 in 20 minutes. The staff of Luckenbach ROCKS!  When you come our way in 2012, be sure and tell them thank you for enduring all the elements every single day of the year except Christmas!  We will do our best to smile, make you laugh and help you have a good time in return.  Everybodys SOMEBODY in Luckenbach!

Music in 2011..WOW. WOW. WOW!  Roger Creager set the tone with his biggest show in our town to date on January 1, 2011. Things just went uphill from there.  The Blues Fest on January 29th was off the charts.  This event has quietly become one of our most anticipated events of the year.  In January!  We are basically an outdoor venue even when we are in the dance hall.  Everything in Luckenbach depends on the weather.  A January Blues Fest in Luckenbach..go figure!  1/29/12 is our 5 year anniversary for this event and it is going to be a celebration of epic proportions.  So proud of our Blues Fest.

  Hug’s a tradition! 37yrs and still going, going, going.  It’s held every year on the weekend closest to Valentines Day.  Gary P Nunn is always the featured Sweet Heart and we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s one of the few times we let you legally sleep/camp on our sacred ground.  What happens at Hug In, stays at Hug In! 

Spring Break found us having a big party with the Braun Family.  Reckless Kelly, Motorcars and Dad, Muzzy Braun.  We love this family and always enjoy having them hang with us.  The Motorcars will be back March 10th to headline a surprise line up of bands for Spring Break in 2012.  HEADS UP!!  Reckless Kelly/Dickson Productions (yep, that’s the Steamboat folks) will be bringing a new event to us in 2012..West Fest, July 7th.  Stay tuned for details on that. 

 In April, we were showered with Bluebonnets and incredible music from Music Road Records.  MRR is a combination of Jimmy LaFave, Sam Baker, Slaid Cleaves and Kevin Welch.  Need I say more??   Larry Joe Taylor returned to Luckenbach for the first time in a long, long time.  He was joined by a super group of talent, The Tejas Bros and one of our favorite new Texas Bands, Six Market Blvd.  They closed out their show with an encore version of Rusty Weir’s “Don’t it make you wanna dance”  LJT said “Rusty Weir says you can’t have any fun if you are sittin down..get up and dance”  And we did!

May started the was dry!  It was HOT! But we kept going.  The bikers started to lay low. Between the heat from the sun and the pavement and no moisture, even a tough old biker has to think about things before heading off on a 3/4 hr ride through the Hill Country.  We kept the beer on ice, the music good & loud - we survived.  Walt Wilkins and Jason Eady became a much anticipated show over the course of 2011.  They held court 2nd Sunday of every month and now I can hardly get’em on the phone!  They are busy guys and for GOOD reason.  I can’t begin to tell you how important these two singer/songwriters are to Texas Music and just the world of Music in general.  They live and breathe to write, and perform.  They love entertaining us,they are pros.  I am thankful to them for bringing us their talents..and they would have done it for free…Oh, they did!!!  Hope you had the opportunity to see one of their Sunday afternoon shows. If not, I will track them down and get them back a few times in 2012.

June was HOTTER than May!  Burn bans went into effect.  Everyday we prayed for rain.  We rewired all the lighting on the outside of our dance hall because we were afraid of any tiny little spark.  The Post Office/General Store/Bar and Dance Hall were built in the early 1800’s and the only 2 original buildings left in our town.  Not to mention our 100+ yr old Live Oak trees.  We were on high alert and started running drip hoses at night so our trees could have a drink and continue to provide much needed shade over our musicians and visitors.  The good news??  No bag worms this year!!!  Woo Hoo!    Jesse Dayton did a 4 hour run, no break, on Fathers Day in celebration of Waylon’s birthday.  Thank you Jesse, I know Waylon would have been proud of you!  We certainly were. (I had the nerve to ask for an encore.. and he did it!)

July/August/September continued to be grueling hot/dry months.  The musicians would take the outdoor stage at 1pm in the afternoon and they never, without fail, let us down.  They rocked, rolled, sang ballads, put up with the chickens and roosters heckling them and they just kept on.  THANK YOU to every MUSICIAN that played Luckenbach this was tough and we LOVE YOU!

October/November found us with a bit of relief from the weather, it rained - once!  It did cool down and the bikers returned.  We had some awesome shows with Ray Benson, WC Clark, Stoney LaRue, Wade Bowen, Cody Canada, The Motorcars, Jimmy LaFave, Ruben V and many more.  Stephanie Urbina Jones continues her Fiesta tradition with us and it just gets better every year.  It’s held the 1st weekend in October and it is a free show.

December finally came a callin.  I wanted to end the year with something different.  Bill Lewis, a local musician of great talent hosted Piano Sessions every Saturday afternoon in the dance hall.  It was a welcome change to our regular 6 string picker circles in the bar. Bill brought in some great talent to hang out with him..John Fulbright, Susan Herndon, Michael Fracasso and Joel Melton. On Christmas Eve Doug Davis and T-Roy Miller joined Bill in the bar for an afternoon of Christmas tunes and we had a great time.  Thanks Bill!   December marked the crossing of a bridge, or the pushing of the envelope for Luckenbach, musically speaking.  I ran across Bob Schneider about 2 yrs ago and I became an instant fan.  He is one talented and creative person.  He has won more Austin Music awards than anyone, even Willie!  You can’t define Bob.  You can’t put him in a box.  He is everything music is. You never know what you will get from one show to the next.  He is a master at reading crowds. Most of his fans are loyal followers and a really good crowd.  They behave, we LOVE that! Luckenbach has always embraced all genres of music but has maintained a conservative edge.  I like that about us.  I love that we are ALWAYS a family place. Bob can be a bit edgy, for lack of a better word.  Somehow, it is in good taste and his fans demand it of him.  During Bob’s show, he asked for requests, he turned down one song 3 times before it was requested a 4th time. The crowd overwhelmingly wanted him to play the he did.  Thank You BOB.  Thank you for being exactly who you are and performing for your fans because that is what they paid for.  Thank You for playing Luckenbach and crossing the bridge with and for us. 

500 words??  Ha, sorry!  I obviously had to fast forward a bit through the year in order to get this blog done.  If any one reads the entire piece, thank you for your time and patience.  2012 is looking to be an exciting year for us. Please keep an eye on our brand new for upcoming events and shows.  You can also find us on our ever growing Facebook page, we hit 60K fans this year.  Luckenbach also Tweets.  We are on Google+, Pinterest and Tumblr too.  It’s always been an adventure to physically find Luckenbach because our signs have constantly been stolen off the roads and byways.  Isn’t it ironic that now, we don’t even need those signs?  Just set your GPS to Luckenbach Texas, or ask Siri…they know the way! (just don’t turn on that one matter what they say ..wink:)

Miles of SmiLeS and Music to you in 2012

Abbey Road


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