It is a well known point that Austin considers itself the music capital of Texas and has a tremendous variety and choice for anyone wanting to drive up to Austin on any given evening. Not to be left alone in the music world San Marcos has a very good claim to some top music venues. For locals familiar with the opportunities available there is always a good crowd for the Music in the Park series on Thursday nights every summer. The River Pub has a good program every Sunday evening overlooking the San Marcos River. Both of these are free with the only recommendation is to bring your own lawn chair.
Local establishments in San Marcos host a wide variety and some very talented local as well as area musicians at places like Cheatham Street Warehouse, Lucy’s, Triple Crown, Cancun Rob’s, Jack’s Roadhouse and Waterdogs on many nights during the week and weekends. For those that want a short drive down to Hunter, Riley’s Tavern has a venue pretty much every night. People in San Marcos have a good source of music to take part in and listen on almost any given night. And this does not include the music programs put on by the Texas State Music Department during the year with recitals and programs by students and professors.
The one program that I have enjoyed this summer is on Friday and Saturday evenings at Jelly Stone National Park. When I mention this to people they give me a strange look and repeat “Jelly Stone Park??” I reply, “You know. Where Yogi Bear hangs out.” Actually Jelly Stone Park is near Canyon Lake just 15 miles west off highway 306 exit. About one mile past the Exxon gas station at the traffic light and on the left side of the road you will find Jelly Stone Park. You need reservations for the show (877-964-3731) but if you have guests from out of state or even a distance away this program provides a real country music treat.
When you call in for the show the cost is $25 for a great brisket meal and a music program. The person will tell you “The gate opens at 6:30 p.m. and a cowboy will greet you at the gate.” From 6:30 until 7:30 you can sit in the hall and visit with other people at the show or watch old black and white movies with Roy Rogers or John Wayne starring. I have met and talked with visitors from Idaho, Alabama, even one couple from the United Kingdom (England). At 7:30 they ring the dinner bell – actually an iron triangle just like the old trail rides. You are then handed a tin dinner plate, just like they did on trail rides in the old days, that you will fill with brisket, baked potato, applesauce, ranch beans and coffee, tea, or lemonade and a large piece of spice cake for dessert for your meal.
After you finish with the meal the music starts. The English Brothers, four actual brothers that have greeted you, fed you and been around to chat with you before the show provide the music program. The music is very family friendly, (you can sit close and not have to wear ear plugs). These four brothers, Gregg, Wes, Ray and Jerald, are very talented artists and will sing, play and entertain you for over an hour. While the main program is great easy to listen to country music you will find yourself laughing hard at the side jokes and stories that are told along with the music. If you want to hear some great yodeling then listening to Wes bring his talents to the mike is worth the trip.
What is enjoyable for me is that after the show the four brothers are there to talk with you, visit, and make you feel like a real Texas welcome. I have taken three different couples to the show and everyone of them have mentioned that it is one of the best shows they have been to and will come back again. I can’t afford to treat everyone to this show but maybe this article will tweak your interest and you might find time to call in for a reservation and take in this music program with your friends or family.
By MOE JOHNSON