Thank you Kevin Smith, bassist for Willie Nelson & Family, for sharing this photo he took from the stage at the PAC, in Newark, New Jersey. What a beautiful place.
Archive for the ‘Venues’ Category
Willie Nelson & Family return to Floores Country Store for two nights, on October
HELOTES, Texas — John T. Floore’s Country Store is comfortably nestled behind a tall wooden fence just beyond the outskirts of San Antonio. You can’t miss it — because the place has a huge sign out front. In fact, everywhere you look on the property, there’s a sign. And they’re all worth reading. To wit: “They said it couldn’t be done. And, by golly, it couldn’t!”
Floore’s, as it’s known, has been here since 1946, built as a store and dance hall by John T. Floore. He’s mentioned by name in Nelson’s song, “Shotgun Willie,” and Floore was Nelson’s partner in the original Willie Nelson Music Co. In the early days, Nelson used to play there every Saturday night. (There’s a sign that says so.) Floore died in 1975, and after his death, a box was found with dozens of his clever quotations. They’ve been scattered on the wall ever since, hanging around with multiple cowboy boots, wagon wheels and tons of framed photos of famous country singers.
Behind the restaurant is a stage, dozens of new picnic tables and a spread that can hold a few thousands folks. A giant tree serves as an elegant canopy over the patio.
“It’s something that’s been built over the last 60 years, rather than some kind of commercial building,” says general manager Stewart Rogers, who grew up nearby and started working there as a teenager. Now 29, he returned to the club after earning a college degree in history. “People spend millions of dollars trying to replicate what we have here. It’s something that’s been evolving ever since they opened in 1946.”
From the very start, Floore’s has attracted fans of live music throughout the Hill Country, and back in the day, Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams and Ray Price all performed there. Robert Earl Keen recorded his highly regarded 1996 concert album, No. 2 Live Dinner, there. To this day, the club nurtures local talent like Kevin Fowler, Reckless Kelly and the Randy Rogers Band. Even the Wednesday night steak dinner is accompanied by live music. Early in his career, Jack Ingram remembers driving from Dallas to check out the scene at Floore’s.
“I went there to play and fell in love with the place,” Ingram says. “[I thought] ‘Oh yeah, this is it. This captures everything about why I’m doing this.’ I’ve probably played there, over the years, 30 times. It’s the cold beer and the tamales and sitting outside, watching kids dance on a cement dance floor while somebody’s playing music. It’s the kind of family fun that Disney hasn’t reached yet.”
Ah, the tamales. While there’s always been a café at Floore’s, a full kitchen opened in June 2006, serving delicious tamales, sausages, homemade bread and more. This allows Floore’s to stay open during the week. There’s a sign out front bragging on the menu.
It just so happened that Nelson himself was performing there recently, and every age imaginable was represented. If you wanted to jump on top of a picnic table for a better view, you’d have to elbow your way through some exuberant retirees. Inside the bar, I chatted with Wayne McGiboney, a San Antonio resident who told me he and his friends once sat at the foot of the indoor stage in 1970 when Nelson played for four hours — a work ethic that Nelson has held onto. “It was one of the red-letter nights of my life,” McGiboney said.
“That’s the thing about the Hill Country, too,” says Ingram. “Willie is their guy and has been since he played there every Saturday night. I think there’s something really cool about a gathering place. We don’t have a whole lot of those anymore. It’s a destination point for not just music lovers but for people who want to be with each other. You don’t get that very often anymore.”
Ingram said he first played there in 1994. In 1996, he held his wedding rehearsal dinner there. He wasn’t crazy about the people who ran it at the time, though.
“The reputation was, if you go out there and play, you’ll be treated like s**t,” Ingram said. “The guy that owned it, uh, he just wasn’t known for his hospitality, let’s put it that way. But everybody wanted to play there anyway, which speaks volumes about just how strong the vibe was.”
Now on its fourth owner, Floore’s has been given a second life. They’re hooked up to city water for the first time. A new roof has been installed, along with air conditioning. A retro neon sign in the corner of the yard is shining once again. The picnic tables and the wooden fence are also new, along with a few outdoor bars. But even with extensive improvements and the encroaching city limits of San Antonio, the vibe hasn’t changed.
“It’s a relaxed atmosphere. That’s something that we, as management, are trying to keep intact,” says Rogers. “We want all of our customers to feel relaxed when they come in. No stress — because of what it is. It’s a beer hall. Come and enjoy yourself.”
Thank you Buddy “The Illuminator” Prewitt, for sending these photos of the stage, all set up and waiting for Willie Nelson & Family at from the Minnesota Zoo today. What a pretty venue; some folks are having a good time tonight.
I am always so grateful when people take the time to take pictures and send them to me.
What a great place to spend the evening.
And here’s a photo from the show! Thanks to Margie Lemons and her husband Flaco, who sits at the sound board every night. And he sends Margie a photo every night, how romantic is that?
Willie Nelson will perform in concert, Sunday, September 9 at 8:00 P.M. at the Marin Center in San Rafael, California. This will be Willie Nelson’s first Marin County performance in over a decade. Nelson last performed at the Marin County venue in November of 1999. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 13 at 11:00 A.M.
If ever the words “living legend” were more than just public relations bluster, the application would be to Willie Nelson.
The iconic Texan is the creative genius behind historic recordings like “Crazy,” “Hello Walls,” “Red Headed Stranger” and “Stardust.” His career has spanned six decades. His catalog boasts more than 200 albums. He’s earned every conceivable award to be bestowed on a person in his profession.
In the last five years alone he delivered 10 new releases, two of which received Grammy nominations, and a career-spanning box set, released his debut novel and again headlined Farm Aid.
As ever, Nelson tours tirelessly, climbing aboard Honeysuckle Rose III (he rode his first two buses into the ground), taking his music and fans on a seemingly endless journey to places that were well worth the ride.
Tickets for Willie Nelson & Family are $69.50 and $89.50 and go on sale Friday, July 13th at 11:00 A.M. Tickets can be purchased at www.RBPconcerts.comor at the Marin Center Box Office or by phone at 415-473-6800.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Marin Center in San Rafael California, design in 1957. It was his last commission and opened in 1962 after his death.
The selection of Frank L. Wright was controversial at the time, and the structure built was no less controversial. The black panthers and Symbionese Liberation Army staged terrorism there. It has been featured in sci-fi movies like Gattaca and inspired the new Star Wars. The composition of circular elements in stucco certainly drew inspiration from eastern influences, and the gold spire speaks of religion.
The control of sunlight in well arranged spaces and climate control is superb. The blue decorated circular roofs speak of religiously portrayed skies, heavens, while the procession of cars under the building’s bridge speaks of telestial. A very symbolic and contextual structure.
Willie Nelson and Family @ in Cape Giraraud, Missouri
Sunday, April 8, 2012
by: James Samons
Chances are the Red Headed Stranger will be familiar to many area residents when he rides through town Sunday evening.
Known as an expert performer with a relaxed and poignant style, Willie Nelson’s outlaw charm and humor have won him fans for more than 50 years. And Sunday, he’s coming back to the Show Me Center after a canceled date in 2011 and a memorable performance in 2005.
“We’re extremely excited to have a legend like Willie Nelson playing here,” Show Me Center marketing director Joshua Hanlon said. “It’s one of those kind of shows that you look at on the calendar and circle. We’re not talking about any artist, here. He’s a living legend.”
As a songwriter and a performer, Nelson has played a vital role in post-rock ‘n’ roll country music. Although he didn’t become a big name until the mid-1970s, Nelson spent the ’60s writing songs that became hits for stars like Ray Price (“Night Life”), Patsy Cline (“Crazy”), Faron Young (“Hello Walls”) and Billy Walker (“Funny How Time Slips Away”) as well as releasing a series of records on Liberty and RCA that earned him a small but devoted cult following.
“I’m one of his biggest fans. It seems like everything I do is somehow influenced by Willie,” said local musician Doug Rees. “He’s such a great songwriter alone that it makes you want to study him. The man is one of the best ever at what he does.”
During the early ’70s, Nelson aligned himself with Waylon Jennings and the burgeoning outlaw country movement that made him popular in 1975. Following the crossover success of that year’s “The Red Headed Stranger” and “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” Nelson was considered a genuine star, as recognizable in pop circles as he was to the country audience. In addition to recording, he also launched an acting career in the early ’80s.
“Willie has done a little bit of everything, I guess you could say,” Hanlon said. “We expect a great show because that’s what his shows are. People who miss it will wish they hadn’t.”
Even after becoming known as a star, Nelson never played it safe musically. Instead, he borrowed from a wide variety of styles, including traditional pop, Western swing, jazz, traditional country, cowboy, honky-tonk, rock, folk and the blues, creating a distinctive, elastic hybrid. Nelson remained at the top of the country charts until the mid-1980s.
“It’s great seeing a Willie show because he does it without a set list. Does the whole show by the seat of his pants. At the same time, he’s very real with the crowd,” Rees said. “There was a time in my music career that I tried playing his songs and following his lead. But I realized there is only one Willie Nelson, and that’s how it always will be.”
During the ’90s and into the 2000s, Nelson’s sales never reached the heights that he experienced earlier, but he has remained a vital icon in country music, having greatly influenced the new country, new traditionalist, and alternative country movements of the ’80s and ’90s as well as leaving behind a legacy of classic songs and recordings.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Show Me Center, and tickets are available by phone at 651-5000 or online at showmecenter.biz. Tickets range from $37.50 to $67.50.
Thanks to Monique, of Amalphi Design, for sharing this picture she took at the Austin City Live. in Austin. She was on holiday with husband Mark, and when I asked if she would take some pictures at the venue, she kindly did.
[Monique is my tech genius; she taught me how to create links like that.]