San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 6th, 2009
The Weekend: A Tribute to Eddie Durham

Scene Editor

America is impatiently waiting for President Obama to fix everything by waving a magic wand that will erase the last twenty years. Must have been a campaign promise we missed.

Michael Phelps took a toke from a bong. Stop the presses! College kid tries weed. If you are weary of all these teapot tempests, fear not. San Marcos and environs are loaded with music and events to cheer you. And there’s always room for Jell-O. Just don’t forget the Cool Whip.

Friday, February 6

A great evening of music is planned for the Eddie Durham Tribute Concert at 7 p.m. tonight in Evans Auditorium (off N. LBJ Drive on the Quad). This concert is the opening salvo in the 19th Annual Hill Country Jazz Festival, an event that comes to town courtesy of the hard work of the Gamma Phi Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at Texas State.

The Jazz Festival gathers talented jazz ensembles from Texas middle schools, high schools and junior colleges to participate, jam and learn. Each year, an internationally known jazz musician is brought in to clinic the ensembles. This year, it’s Wayne Bergeron, who started his illustrious career as lead trumpet with Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau Band in 1986.

Tonight’s concert focuses on Eddie Durham (1906-1987), a San Marcos native who went on to pioneer the electric guitar. In addition to his many talents as a trombonist, composer and arranger, Durham was the first musician to record on an amplified hollow-bodied guitar.

Durham’s most famous musical arrangement might be Glenn Miller’s “In The Mood.” Durham also co-composed “Topsy” with Count Basie and worked with Cab Calloway, Jimmie Lunceford and many others.

Jazz maven and former editor for both Metronome and Downbeat magazines, Dan Morgenstern, who knew Durham personally, will serve as host /lecturer for the event. Morgenstern has won numerous Grammy awards for his incisive jazz liner notes for albums by Art Tatum and Coleman Hawkins, among others.

If you are an animal lover, an art lover or a combination of the two, you could wander down to the artist’s reception taking place from 6-8 p.m. at the All About Image Gallery in Wimberley (14500 Ranch Rd 12, Suite 16). “A Celebration of Four Feet and Fur”, the current art on display, is the handiwork of Wimberley artist and sculptor Suzanne McBride. The work is a collection of mixed media paintings and prints as well as “pettable” sculpture. Call (512) 847-0134 for more info.

The Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham St) features the Texas Music Awards Live Band of the Year winners for 2008, Texas Renegade. At Riley’s (8894 FM 1102 in Hunter), you can hear genuine country music with a touch of rockabilly from a guy who found his musical voice while serving in the Air Force, Weldon Henson. The Triple Crown (206 N. Edward Gary) early show at 6 p.m. presents Rabb Rodriguez y los Killa Hogs, a band that’s as fun to hear as it is to say. The evening show is a local favorite, Robbie and the Robots. Whatever “robots” the multi-talent Robbie Doyen assembles are sure to make some good music. Sharing the bill with Robbie are Wailing Walls and Colin Gilmore.

Saturday, February 7

Start off your morning with a delicious breakfast of pancakes at Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill (210 Springtown Way) with the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 923 Annual Pancake Breakfast. It goes from 8-10 a.m. The cost is $5 at the door.  Vietnam vets and their spouses will serve the pancakes, eggs and bacon for the fundraiser. They served their country and now they’re serving you breakfast, so give them a break and help ‘em out. All proceeds go to aid local veterans.

If you are more into getting a good workout in the morning, the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance is hosting an Upper Purgatory Trail Hike from 9:30-11:30 am. It is advised, as always, to wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Other accoutrements which could prove handy include water, a hat, sunscreen and a camera. Call (512) 754-9321 for details.

The San Marcos Public Library has some relief for you in the form of free tax aid if you are elderly, handicapped or low income. Volunteers from AARP are on hand to help you with your tax return on Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m. from February 6-April 13. Service is guaranteed to the first 50 people per day. If you can’t make it on Saturdays, their Monday hours are 3-6 p.m. Call (512) 393-8200 for details on what to bring with you.

Kids can join the Campfire girls and boys in making valentines at the library starting at 10 a.m. Participants are encouraged to make some for their friends and some that will be delivered to patients at the Audie Murphy Veteran’s Hospital. Children under five need to bring an adult along for supervision (a case could be made that all adults should be supervised by children under five). The craft supplies will be provided.

Today the city clerk’s office is open for passports, so now is the time to renew or finally get that passport for your dream trip to the Himalayas or Marseilles. Open from 9 a.m. to noon, the city clerk’s office offers a substantial savings over U.S. State Department fees (i.e. a three week wait for a State Department passport will cost $60-$70, the City Clerk’s fee is $25). The city clerk’s office processed 2, 271 passports in 2008. Call (512) 393-8090 for more info.

It’s always a pleasure to visit the San Marcos Nature center and see the amazing collection of animals. Their Wildscape is open Saturdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. with ornate box turtles, snakes, lizards a Gulf Coastal Plains Toad, scorpions, tarantulas and more. This Saturday, for a fee of $15, the nature center will supply the craft materials to make valentines for your friends and family from 2-4 p.m.

Hip-Hop masters Word Association kick off Spread the Word Saturdays tonight at the Triple Crown, while Riley’s features those hot and fast psychobillies, Turbo 360. The Cheatham Street Warehouse always allows Mickey and the Motorcars to get out and shine brightly in San Marcos, far from the shadow of Reckless Kelly. You can see Mickey and the putt-putts there tonight.

Sunday, February 8

Today is the start of National Jell-O week, and if that doesn’t make you quiver with excitement, there’s plenty of music to enjoy today,

It’s always a pleasure to see music students at Texas State give their recitals. It’s helpful for them to have an audience, and it’s a joy to hear music played with the passion of a student. Everybody wins. Today at the Music Building Recital Hall (corner of North LBJ and Pleasant), student Nathan Smith will give his senior recital, tickling tones from the tuba at 4 p.m. Admission is free.

The Triple Crown and Riley’s will have their mics open tonight so you can fulfill that singing star dream, or kill it, one of the two.

The Cheatham Street Warehouse is starting a two-day hootenanny celebrating Kent Finlay’s Annual 29th Birthday. The day will feature Cody Canada, Tom Gilliam, Slaid Cleaves, Terri Hendrix, John Arthur Martinez, Roger Marin, Gregg Andrews, Big John Mills, Mark Jungers, James Pardo & Will Gage, Jordan Minor, Javi Garcia, Aaron Allan and more.

It bears repeating that Kent Finlay is a local treasure and we all owe him a big birthday thanks for his tireless work on behalf of Texas musicians, whether they are singers, songwriters or even harmonica players. May you be 29 forever, Kent!

If you just want to hang out at home tonight, it would be a perfect time to go to and vote for your favorite nominees. Frequent visitors to the Cheatham Street, Honeybrowne and Wade Bowen, are up for numerous honors. Riley’s own Joel Hoffman Band is up for the Rising Star award and these local luminaries could use your vote. There are sound samples of all nominees at the site, and you’ll swell with pride at the depth of Texas music when you hear it.

Or, you could make Jell-O.

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0 thoughts on “The Weekend: A Tribute to Eddie Durham

  1. I really appreciate these week-end updates of music, art and other San Marcos cultural activities. You provide a much needed service and make us aware of the great place where we live. Thanks, Diann McCabe

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