Dale Watson at the Sahara Lounge, Austin, Texas
They sure are proud of their music in Austin, the ‘Live Music Capitol of the World’. When I was driving into town from Galveston, in the pouring rain mind you, they announced a concert featuring Dale Watson, a well-known crooner from the area. I decided to see if I could organise tp go see him. I know I should have gone to the Broken Spoke (highly recommended) but then it would also be nice to see a recognised artist and hob nob with folks who appreciate his music. Well, the Sahara Lounge is a right old-fashioned cowboy honky tonk (except now they have African –American artists, too) and was a much smaller venue than I imagined. It was in that never, never land of East Austin, outside of the nice suburbs and before the farms and ranches start up. Though a bit scruffy around the edges, with fairy lights and tinsel everywhere left over from Christmas, the bar had a very friendly clientele and everyone smiled at me. Anyway, I loved the atmosphere and soon saw the man himself. Dale is a petite kinda guy with a huge pale grey squiff (the type Johnny Cash had as a young man) which is what Rockabilly sorts prefer. He was dressed head to toe in black and with a silver decorated belt and spiffy cowboy boots as accessories. I know he performed a cover or two of other artistes, but I imagine most of these country, rock n’ roll numbers were his own. He had a very nice baritone and his backup band, particularly the bass player, looked like they could have played these numbers in their sleep. And I mean that in a good way. It didn’t take long for the band to set up and start playing. The first set, almost everyone got up to dance. Proper close dancing –a two- step I believe. And every female had on smart cowboy boots. I tell you them young fellers and fillies danced just as well as their older counterparts. Everyone was havin’ a great time. There were quite a few cowboys in the Sahara Lounge but there were no red necks that I could spot and the evening progressed without any incident.