Tuesday May 24 – Bob’s 70th, Kevin Welch & Slaid Cleaves!


It’s Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday. It didn’t seem that long ago that we all thought 40 was old for a musician! Forever young. Bill Carter was talking about Bob at Red’s Porch the other day, said he had met him a number of times and described him as just a normal fellow who knew a hell of a lot about music. Happy birthday, Bob.

Today I take the one-hour drive to Wimberley to visit Kevin Welch at his house and talk to him and Slaid Cleaves. This will be the show for next Saturday.

The weather is heating up and hits the mid-90s. I tell Slaid that I think the person who invented air-conditioning must have come from Texas. When I get back into the car, the bottle of water I have placed in the cup holder is too warm to drink.

I have realised four things since I have been coming here. One: you have to have a car. Two: you need to stay somewhere with a pool and aircon. Three: someone should invent the refrigerated cup holder. Four: no-one walks because it is too damned hot!

Bob didn’t turn up for happy hour at The Continental but Toni Price dedicated Patsy Cline’s ‘You Belong To Me’ to him. (He also recorded it). ‘What would I say to him?’ she asked. ‘How about them Red Sox?’

I wander up to Guero’s for dinner and, because I am alone, get a seat at the Taco bar while others wait in groups. I have the Tex-Mex plate which consists of a tamale, enchilada and taco. It turns out to be one of the better meals I have had here this visit.

Afterwards, I visit The Gallery to listen to James McMurtry doing a compelling acoustic set. While I really enjoy McMurtry’s music he is a very ‘serious young insect,’ as they say back home. There is not a lot of witty repartee between songs and about the most profound thing that he says is, ‘Don’t forget to tip your bar staff.’

I introduce myself to him, remind him that we did an interview a few years ago and give him my card but this seems to make little impression on him.

Brian Wise

Brian Wise was the Editor of Addicted To Noise‘s Australian site from 1997 – 2002. The site won two ONYA Awards as Best Online Music Magazine in 1999 & 2000. He has also been Editor since its reincarnation in 2013. He also presents the weekly music interview program Off The Record on 102.7 Triple R-FM (rrr.org.au) in Melbourne. It is networked to 45+ stations across Australia on the Community Radio Network and is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program Award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. In 2012, it was nominated as a finalist in the Excellence in Music Programming category. Brian was also the Founding Editor & Publisher of Rhythms Magazine and is now its Senior Contributing Editor.

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