Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Mini-Road Trip -- with CRAWFISH!!

The Tim and Bob Show celebrated a rare gig-less weekend by driving from San Antonio to Houston Saturday morning to attend the almost annual Acoustic Guitar Forum Guitar Show, Jam Session, and food fest at the Lake Houston Marina. This get-together is a very important event for The Tim and Bob Show and we hate to miss it. Somehow, though, we've not made it to Houston yet with the full group. This time, Mary Lou was missing [in California still]. Next time, darn it, it'll be all of us.

We (Don [aka DonBob], Steve [aka phuufme], and Steve's wife Kathy) set off a little after 0900 to the rare accompaniment of a light drizzle -- we haven't had any real rain since mid-May! The high gasoline prices and the hour of the day allowed for relatively light traffic as we cruised east on IH10 listening to the radio and doing the NYT Sunday crossword! With a brief stop at Columbus for the most expensive gasoline we saw all day [$3.99 for regular unleaded], we got to the Marina fairly close to 1 o'clock. Mr. & Mrs. Guitarman [also known as Joe and Vicky] were already there along with Mo's Art [Mo] and Antonio Salieri [Chris]. Larry H from Houston [uh, Larry H from Houston] arrived shortly afterwards. Joe Gallego and Joe and Vicky's son Shaun-Bob [it's a long story] were also there along with some friends of theirs whose names escape me.

The cooking was well underway when we unloaded our car and helped get the patio is shape for the more than 30 people who said they hoped to attend. Several guitars were lined up in their cases, but nothing was ready to be played until everything was squared away. The corn-on the cob, potatoes [spicy and regular], crawfish, and BBQ chicken were already well on their way to ready before the first guitar cases were opened.

Mo's music stand was already set up, when Kathy, Steve, and I started setting ours up. Joe had provided two microphones and two speakers with a primo mixing board. As was the case last year, he asked Steve and I to get the ball rolling on the PA and we agreed. After playing a couple of songs, one of the listeners on the non-AGF side of the marina came over and dropped $10 on Kathy. Later on, obviously still pleased by the music we were making, he brought us some hot dogs!

As was the case last year, there was absolutely nothing in the way of a rush to replace us on "the bandstand," even though Kathy joined us for a couple of numbers. Soon, we abandoned the microphones to take part in the real fun of the day. Mo had brought several guitars and generously let me play her Taylor 414 [what a sweet, true high-to-low sound that guitar makes], as well as her Alvarez 12-string and its 6-string twin brother. Steve, meanwhile, introduced Mo to his koa. I think there was some love there. Mo used the koa to play and sing a song that's a long-time favorite of mine, "Streets of London." Unable to resist, I hopped over and provided her a harmony that I hoped she enjoyed.

By this time, a friendly looking gentleman dropped by, guitar in hand. He introduced himself as Hondo [Rob] and we all nearly fainted. Hondo is the AGF's version of Godot. At most of these get-togethers we all look for him and some folks even doubt his existence. Well, I'm here to tell you that he's here, he can play more than a little bit, and he's got a great voice. The jam had begun, and even slopped over into the microphones again where we got Larry H and Mo to join us for some tunes.

And then the food was ready. Man, what a feast!

After we'd all stuffed ourselves pretty good for about 45 minutes or so, we assembled ourselves in sort of a lumpy circle. In the absence of other songbooks, Steve and I took out our Tim and Bob repertoire and hunted for rockers. Shortly after we started, Kego [Keith] and his lovely lady Lrgo [Lisa] showed up. Shortly after he sat down Kego blew everyone away with some of the cleanest, smoothest, and most economical leads anyone has heard for a long time, played first on a beautiful Martin and later on his #48!. Lrgo brought her bag of acoustic percussion instruments to join those that Kathy brought from San Antonio, and each song was "everyone participate."

My fingers gave out first, and finally we started to realize that we had a long drive back to SA, and that none of us is as young as we like to act. So, around a quarter to six, we said our good-byes to all the pickers and singers and cooks and percussionists and eaters, loaded up Steve's Mazda 3, and headed back to San Antonio.

It was a little before 10 when we arrived back at Steve and Kathy's, and everyone was wiped out. It was a great day, though, and the soreness in my four left fingertips as I type this is proof enough that I had a ball. If there's a better way to spend a late Spring afternoon than playing guitars with new friends and old, I haven't heard of it. Thanks to our gracious hosts. Thanks to our fellow pickers. Thanks for the memory of great food, great music, great conversation, and great good will.

Take a look at the pics HERE.

We hope to see y'all next year!

No comments: