Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hank, Hill's, Horton and Heathens

It was our first time to Hill’s Café. They have free “live on the radio” shows on Wednesdays in summer. The history of the venue goes way back to the 1940s (see the link), and The Band of Heathens were playing, so we tried it out.
[Click photos to enlarge] One of the most interesting features of Hill’s is their display of the Skyline Club neon sign. For those not familiar with the Skyline, it was a club that used to be outside of Austin and was the last place that Hank Williams performed before his death. It was also the last place that Johnny Horton (North to Alaska, Battle of New Orleans) performed, he was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver after leaving a gig there.

Horton and Hank were also coincidentally married to the same woman (Hank’s widow married Horton nine months after Hank’s death), and both died in Cadillacs.

The patio of Hill’s has several beautiful and huge live oak trees and a backyard feel to it, complete with the smell of BBQ (which for us is a smell we can do without… but hell… this is Texas. It’s unavoidable.). There was a really nice cat cruising around for pettings. Not sure if he lived there, but he was an intact male, packing a set, and sure to add to the burden of cat overpopulation.

The first band was Ruby Jane, a girl fiddler who’s only 13 years old! She was good and had some good players in the band. Here is her merch table above. The cow was not for sale. The venue was also making sure that the opening band did not guzzle down more than their share of cold refreshments.

The (Band of) Heathens is one of our favorite bands in town. They’re a force of three singer-songwriters/guitar players plus rhythm section, and loaded with flavors. They always put on a great show and I have to say that this show was one of the best. It was a real WOW, and also a very hot and sweaty experience dancing to a band like that when it’s as sweltering as it’s been lately. Whew! I’m exhausted… but trying to knit myself back together for another freebie tonight when Del Castillo plays at Shady Grove. I’m tired as hell but can’t miss that one.

Radio station KVET took photos of last night’s events. The Blueberrys are in some of the shots, HE: very cool and together. SHE: hot and sweaty. Ain’t it always like that?

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Freida Bee said...

Very cute! (I think I recall from your anniversary post which one you might be.) I used to love to see Don Walser at Jovita's, but I have been sorely not seeing more music, especially of that sort.

Mando Mama said...

Oyoyoy! Apparently the Skyline and Cadillacs do not mix well with honky tonk singers. Poor fellas. I never did like Cadillacs. Poor Hank, he's sort of on my heart this week. What a mess.

That looks like such a fun place. Up here, the outdoor concert season lasts about 45 minutes, unless it rains.