Austin is just about my favourite American city (while Oxford, MS is my favourite small town). It is easy to get around, has dozens of excellent venues, good restaurants, excellent whole foods grocery, a great record store and a very good bookshop. I can see why people want to live here.
Western wear store Shepler’s was the main target for the morning. The large superstore has more Western boots, hats and shirts than you can believe can be gathered in one place. On reflection I am not sure that I can safely wear back home more than one of the three shirts I purchased without some sort of ridicule. Still there were plenty of bargains to be had.
Lunch was at the distinctive Broken Spoke on South Lamar. From the outside this unprepossessing building looks as though it is falling down. The old bus next to it is rusting away, the car park is gravel and dirt. Inside it is a walk into history. There is a lot of memorabilia featuring many of the Texas legends who have played here. The small museum also contains a cigar once smoked by Bob Wills and a beer can from which he allegedly drank. It reminded me of the Museum of the Revolution on Havana which preserved such items as the bootlaces of some of better-known rebels.
Benny Peters was the featured act at the Continental’s happy hour and he proved how well he fits in here. His Fly By Niters line up here features the Horton Brothers.
After Benny’s show we walked down to Threadgill’s to watch Del Castillo – appropriate on Cinco De Mayo. The great thing about Threadgill’s is that you can enjoy your meal in the beer garden as you watch the band. For $10 I got the meatloaf!
Del Castillo are a dynamic Latin rock band named after brothers Rick and Mark Castillo. The band members obviously share a good sense of humour, built up over a decade of playing in Austin. A great way to celebrate the day.
The evening ended back at The Continental where Jon Dee Graham did a late set and then upstairs at their gallery to watch a late night three-piece funk band.
Tomorrow: San Antonio