Warning: Before reading any further, this is not a story on flyfishing. However, it does round out my trip to Texas. If you’re not a fan of traditional country, nor have interest in becoming one, this is probably not your cup of tea, or Lone Star beer, as it may be.
For the past couple of years I’ve been following Dale Watson, a recording artist out of Texas. He and his band, the Lonestars play what most would describe as traditional country. His songs are accessible, and the pedal steel player is one of the best I’ve seen.
In addition to leading a popular touring band, for the past ten years he has produced and emceed the Ameripolitan Music Awards. The show recognizes country artists in the genres of western swing, outlaw, honky tonk, and rockabilly.
This year’s awards show was held in the Moody Theater, part of the Austin City Limits complex. Parking near the venue is relatively convenient, and there are plenty of places to drink & dine if you want something before the event. The theater is spacious and the seats comfortable, much needed for a 3-hour show.
If you are unfamiliar with the awards, it draws a cross-section of Texans from diverse backgrounds. Many artists and fans arrive in colorful and era-specific attire. I expected the Stetsons and cowboy boots, but was surprised to see the sequin dresses and blazers adorned with various patterns, ranging from wagon wheels to exotic birds. In some cases, the musicians looked like country bands from the 50’s and 60’s, the kind you see on album covers, country fair posters, or old TV shows.
I was on the main floor, center section about eight rows back, a great seat for the show. What I didn’t realize was that the entire section to my left, and some of the rows in front of me, were filled with nominees. As award winners were called, many were sitting near me. It was great to see musicians, largely in their late 20’s and early 30’s, excited to accept an award and keep traditional country alive.
In between awards, various artists performed. It was a night of great music. Highlights included the 2024 Master Award given to Ray Benson, who has led Asleep At The Wheel for over 40 years, and Junior Brown, who effortlessly transitions between the dual necks on his guitar/pedal steel while singing. Here are samples of Asleep At The Wheel, Junior Brown and Dale Watson.
If you have a chance to support these artists through attending live shows or buying their music, please do. This is a part of Texas culture we don’t want to lose.
As I sit in the San Antonio airport, finishing the third and final post of this installment of Five Weight Roadtrip, I realize how good of a trip it has been. The weather cooperated (mostly), I explored new water, caught my first Guadalupe bass, and heard some great Texas music. Not a bad way to spend a long weekend.
Hope you get out this year, hit the open road, and find new adventures and places to fish. Enjoy!