Tonight, Buffalo and I played on Texas Radio out of Victoria, Texas. It was my first time to set foot in that part of our state. A big thanks to John Evans for talking me up to the station and to Jeremy Halliburton for having me as his guest. John swears it’s the coolest radio station in Texas. Now I believe him. It’s the real deal. Someone asked me tonight, “How often do you get to play for an hour with 100,000 Watts?” It’s true. Victoria is only a town of about 60,000 people, but the station reaches from the outskirts of Houston to the outskirts of Corpus Christi and from the coast to the outskirts of Austin.
Before the show, I was looking at all the posters on the walls of the Texas artists who have played the show and thinking about what songs I would play. It was clear they have a strong TEXAS identity. And then as the studio audience started to file in, many in cowboy hats, I sort of confessed to one of the employees what was on my mind. “I am not a country artist. My songs aren’t really rootsy at all. It’s more pop, jazzy, songwriter stuff.” She said, (Insert thick Texas accent) “Honey, we love that here. This is probably the only station where you’ll hear Norah Jones followed by Everclear… and Norah Jones is from Texas.” How refreshing. The show went really well. People were into it. They bought CDs. We got a SWEET live recording. What was so rewarding about this experience is that I got to be myself and be a Texas artists at the same time.
Dan Workman had a recent conversation with probably the most prominent Texas Music writer. The writer talked about my album, how I had a great voice, how I should embrace my Texas roots more. Translation: Sarah should sound more like KGSR staples Patty Griffin (from Boston?) or Kim Ritchie (Australia) or Eliza Gilkyson (L.A.) or Lucinda Williams (Louisianna). I love these women and I have been very influenced by them. I have also chosen not to try to be them. I just called my grandmother and she says I am a 5th generation Texan.
On the way into Victoria, we heard Foscoe Jones on Texas Radio promoting a songwriter night at Club 205 in Victoria. So after our show we drove into downtown Victoria, scoped out some of the amazing architecture and soaked in some history. We sat in among a great collection of songwriters and some of the audience members from the radio show even came along. Victoria… who knew?
I don’t want to live anywhere but Austin, but sometimes it is so nice to step out and remember that it’s not the center of the universe that it thinks it is. On the way back home, we were able to listen to 98.7FM all the way until 5 miles from my house. It broke up in the middle of a Stevie Ray Vaughan tune that I had never heard. I had never heard it because it wasn’t one of the five or so that can be heard every day on Austin radio.
Way too many things are slipping by without me writing about them. Last Friday, I played at a private event at the One World Theater. It was the sneak preview of a TV show called Fuel that my friends at IVEEA are launching. The pilot episode features celebrity entrepreneur, founder and CEO of the $700M John Paul Mitchell Systems company, John Paul DeJoria It was the first party I have ever been to where the guest of honor actually OWNS the company that makes the liquor that was served. He owns Patron tequila. His wife Eloise was lovely. It was a great party and a successful night for everyone involved.
One thing that I learned about the DeJoria family from watching the show is that when they are at their house in Austin and they have to wake up early, they hire a band to show up and play outside their house on a stage they have constructed right by the lake. That’s what I call a good way to spend your money!
Oh, and Mark Luna flew in from L.A. to play too. Check him out.