a keyboard kind of day



Emily Gimble and her band at the Armadillo  Christmas Bazaar.

We started off our day by catching a cab at 10 AM and heading down the hill to the Palmer Event Center for the annual Christmas bazaar.

This is no ordinary Christmas bazaar.  Because it’s in Austin, there’s a stage.  And three musical shows at 11, 3 and 7.  Two sets each, with 30 minutes in between.  For an $8.00, all day ticket.

Emily recently left “Asleep At the Wheel” and is now performing with her own band.  She does a lot of modernish bluesy stuff (I don’t know how else to describe it) and her voice is better than it has ever been.  She’s clearly in her element with this new style, but I admit to loving her old country blues stuff when she was playing with her grandfather, the legendary Johnny Gimble.

I miss hearing him.  I still keep his picture in my violin case.


While shopping gawking at the gorgeous things for sale at the bazaar–I kept reminding myself that I needed **nothing**–I discovered a booth of frames and wood art work made of out salvaged New Orleans buildings.  The artist was from New Orleans and was familiar with the street where my grandparents–and great grandparents–lived.  It was a nice conversation.  I would go back later with Banjo Man and buy a frame for our New Orleans-themed bathroom.

After  Emily’s show, we walked across the street to have lunch at Will’s place of employment, Terry Black’s BBQ.  We toured the pit, discussed the wood situation, watched Will cart off brisket, and saw 100 pounds of sausage being placed inside a  huge smoker.  Will treated us to a lunch filled with brisket, ribs, sausage, potato salad, beans, macaroni & cheese and banana pudding.



Banjo Man wore his “Theatre by the Sea” sweatshirt, which caught the eye of a man seated at the end of our table.  Turns out he was from Rhode Island and had moved to Austin 2 years ago.  He knew there could only be one Theatre by the Sea, he said when he introduced himself.

Then we headed back to the condo–Will and I had naps while Banjo Man studied the stock market–and I made dinner.  Or tried to.  The slab of salmon refused to cook, so we grabbed some cheese and crackers for dinner and returned to the Bazaar to hear boogie-woogie Cajun pianist Marcia Ball’s 7 PM show.

Will dropped us off and returned to the condo to get some work done in peace and quiet.  The old folks would be happily settled in front of the stage for about 3 hours.

Wrong, Story Man.

This is what we saw at 6:40 PM.


My text to Will:  Five keyboards on stage.  Johnny here with Marcia.  Who else playing!?

We’d stumbled upon “Piano Rama”, with Marcia Ball, Johnny Nicholas, Floyd Domino, Red Young and Nick Connolly.


Will joined us within ten minutes.  He had a big grin on his face and admitted he couldn’t resist.  He’d taken the salmon out of the oven and tossed it into the fridge for tomorrow’s lunches.



Floyd Domino and Marcia Ball, with a peek at Johnny Nicholas’s hat on the left.



John Chipman on the drums, with Red Young and Nick Connolly.

How I wished Retired Mountain Lady was with us! 

We found seats for the second set, thank goodness.  The older I get the more painful an hour of standing becomes.  We usually manage to arrive early to various shows so we can snag a seat, but the place was packed.

It was an amazing show of boogie-woogie, Cajun and jazz performances.  They took turns doing solos on every song, so the differences in styles was obvious and exciting.   I think my favorite was the “Silent Night Boogie”.  I’ve never heard that song played like that, in five different ways with a boogie beat.

Here’s a link to one of Red Young’s bands:


He also plays with a jazz saxophonist on  Tuesday nights, 10:30 PM, at the Continental Club Gallery.  Banjo Man is determined to stay up late and catch that show next week.

Here’s info on 2-time Grammy winner Floyd Domino:


Today the Funny Grandson is coming down here to the condo with his ever-patient father.  It’s “Cowboy Boots” day here in Grandma Land.  Because the FG announced he’d “waited his whole life for cowboy boots”, that is what he is getting for Christmas from his Rhode Island grandparents.

It’s going to be a big day at Boot City.

And yes, there is music tonight.  Bill Kirchen is playing the happy hour at the Saxon Pub at 6 PM.  Banjo Man plans on landing a front row seat.

We can rest after our vacation, right?




This entry was posted in austin, books & music, family, food, music, shopping, texas, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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