Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon

I spent the past 3 hours drinking $2 Lone Star bottles at Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin, TX. Why did I go there? First, I'm in Austin for business. Second, I saw that country truebador Dale Watson was playing there. Third, I saw their website and new I couldn't turn it down.

Where I come from, musicians don't play from 4-8pm on a Sunday evening. But in TX, they do. Ginny's is about 5 minutes north of downtown Austin and when I drove by I was surprised to see a bunch of people sitting in the parking lot on chairs it appeared they had brought (brung) with them. It turned out that Dale was between sets and after everyone had stood in line to purchase their chickenshit bingo ticket, they just hung out out back with their buddies drinkin' their Lone Stars or Buds. In fact, I don't think I saw anyone in the joint drinking anything other than a bottle of Lone Star or a bottle of Bud.

I found myself a lean at the bar in the bandbox joint that is smaller than my 1000 square foot condo and awaited the next set. The clientele was mostly dressed in jeans & boots, even in the 94 degree heat. The band had their little 4-piece setup in a corner -- drums, bass, pedal steel, and Dale on Telecaster & vocals.

At first, I was intimidated by the long line to the chickenshit bingo so I initially passed on it. But the buzz in the entire joint during Dale's set was: When is that chicken gonna shit? Chickenshit bingo is just as it sounds: A chicken coop sitting atop the pool table is turned into a 6x9 grid, randomly numbered 1 through 54. You buy a ticket for a number. The chicken is placed into the coop which is scattered with chickenfeed and wait. Lucky winner pockets $114 or has a chance to swap it for the money in Dale Watson's pocket (just like Let's Make a Deal). It's an amazing microcosm of Texas culture.

Alas, my bullshit iPhone camera is busted. I know! How does that happen?! So I am unable to share photos. But let me say that this was absolutely a Top Five music/cultural event of all time and put all those SXSW experiences to shame.

Wish U were here.

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