We All Tell Our Stories, Some are Musicals
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Austin, Texas attracts a lot of attention for being the hub of the reddest of
red states, ask Attorney General Eric Holder. While it seems somewhat ironic to a survivor of the “Cold War” that Texas is proud of being “red” today, irony
barely shows in the herds of viable stories about Austin. If you focus on a single member of the herd, stereotyping takes its toll and robs you of knowing the culture of a place or a group of people. Austin prides itself on being the home of a vibrant musical community where people you probably never heard of share their stories using a variety of instruments and genres. While you ponder the multiple threads that make up Austin, Texas, here is a little bit of July in Austin.

To begin with the end, the Austin Chamber Music Festival that ran throughout July included a Saturday night appearance of Time for Three at Antone's. Two violins and a double bass in a blues club as part of a chamber music festival? Practically perfect for a group that bills itself as the first classically trained garage band to play in a blues club to a standing room audience dressed in jeans, short sleeved shirts and sipping various drinks. They opened with a wonderful improvisation that included elements of classical, bluegrass and cajun influence that received the kind of applause that you would expect in a blues club on Saturday night which led to violinist Nick Kendall observing, “This is the Austin Chamber Music Festival. Definitely not the New York Chamber Music Festival.” So, how do two violins and a double bass tell stories? You probably had to be there, so instead, consider the video they produced telling their story.

An hour west of Austin, on most summer Sunday afternoons, you can sit in the shade behind the Luckenbach General Store and listen to Austin area singer/songwriters tell their stories in the tradition of troubadours. Early in July this meant Shelley King, Susan Gibson and Walt Wilkins were putting on a songwriting clinic helping each other improve the lyrics of existing songs to tell the story of that day, that performance and lunch with bacon. Again, you had to be there, in Luckenbach, Texas, to really share the story but these performers are storytellers, recording the history that they see all around them set to guitar chords and powerful vocals. Just telling stories, like those that follow.

Shelley has a story of leaving Austin to visit the Gulf coast.

It seems that all of Susan's songs come from her real experiences.

Here is Walt's song of Ruby's 2 Sad Daughters.

Humans are storytellers. In pictures, music, sculptures and words. As wonderful as there performers are, the audience that gathers to hear the stories is as much a part of the experience as telling the stories. Story Chip began to help make stories available and in our next blog entry Story Chip expands beyond its current blog and story archive.

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