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Tag Archive: Daniel Roark


Back in September of last year, I had a week long tour to the east, ending in a show at Akademia Brewing Company with my friend, Joe Cat in Athens, Georgia. The day before our show, I had some time in Atlanta before my show that night. I couldn’t be in the land of Waffle House and not go by the Waffle House Museum where the first location stood. I also went by the Waffle House Headquarters which is a campus in every sense of the word.

Here is a video of my song, Waffle House (Is a Mighty Fortress), about the Waffle House Index.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

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[Read Part One or Part Two] This is the third and last installment of the series. As I explained in part one, I haven’t spent all that much time in strip joints, strip clubs, gentleman’s clubs or whatever you want to call them. As I said in part one, there were two periods of time that I visited strip clubs. The first was when I was in high school, as illustrated in the first two parts. The second was after I divorced my first wife. I had a job on Northwest Highway, I was lonely, and they were convenient.

But oddly enough, the third time I saw a celebrity was in neither of those time periods. It was later, but I’m not sure how much later. The strip joints were dwindling in the particular area on Northwest Highway. A lot of things were dwindling in the area. I was there for some reason or another in the late afternoon or early evening and I wanted a beer. Then I came upon Caligua. It was one of the first “gentlemen’s clubs”, in that it was looking for a higher class clientele. But it was still called a strip club.

I didn’t see any other place where I would like to get a beer, so I pulled into Caligua. I sat with the small group in front of the stage where a ventriloquist was performing. He was funny, but a lot of the jokes were making fun of people in front of the stage and the hecklers who just wanted to be pains in the ass. But being where I was it seemed rather natural. I just sat and drank my beer. I think I finished the beer at the same time he finished his set and took a break. So I got up and left.

Like the first two instances, it wasn’t until later that I realized who the ventriloquist was. It was when Cyndy and I went to see him. It was Jeff Dunham and, if I’m not mistaken, the “dummies” I saw that day were earlier editions of Peanut and Walter.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

For Autism Awareness Day, here is my song, Hello Out There, for those on the autism spectrum. When you meet someone on the spectrum, treat them with patience and grace. They’re living life the only way they know how.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Cyndy and I went to the St. Patrick’s Day party at Community Beer Company on Saturday, March 16. For $15/$20 at the door, you got a Kiss Me I’m Texan Irish glass and three beer tokens. We figured it would be a good party to go to and try craft beers. They also had brewed special Irish style beers and that beats green beer every day of the week.

I didn’t know until we got there that it was $20 at the door – if I had I would have pre-registered. But we figured all told we got our money’s worth.

I started with Hop O the Morning for obvious reasons. It was a full-bodied beer with nice flavor. If there hadn’t been so many choices, I would have stuck to it. Cyndy had the Public Ale, an English style ale that is full-bodied and rather smooth.

Next round, Cyndy had Razzy, a smooth beer with hints of raspberry as you would surmise from the name. I tried Michael J. Hops, which I got without a token because the keg blew before my glass was full. Which was just fine by me, but even more so when I discovered it was quite a bit more “hoppy” than I prefer.

The Texas Lager I chose next was as you might figure – a light bodied lager. It had a nice flavor. Cyndy just had to try the Snickerdoodle Ale. A spiced mild ale with cinnamon and vanilla, it actually tastes remarkably like snickerdoodle cookies.

With my final token I chose Wittbier, a Belgian style white ale. It blended well with the other ales we had tried while adding a little extra bite to the flavor.

Cyndy and I plan to go back to Community Beer Company when we get a chance. The staff was very friendly, courteous and efficient. There was a good vibe among the patrons. And there are more beers we want to try.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

[Read Part One] There was another time that I saw someone who became a celebrity at the Cellar. I could have seen others, but I was more focused on the girls at the time.

I woke up with rocks being thrown at my second floor bedroom window. My friends wanted me to sneak out and go with them. I don’t think they had anything in mind – just hanging out. I jumped out of the window. Then they decided they wanted to go to the Cellar – having never been there before. But, for reasons I don’t remember, I was not wearing any shoes. I didn’t know they were planning to go anywhere.

So we’re going into the Cellar and – surprise, surprise – I can’t get in barefooted. My friends were kind of pissed because they really wanted to go. But they couldn’t take it out on me, because they didn’t tell me we were going anywhere. We go back to the car, where we find some plastic wrap, a sack, and some other materials. I’m not exactly sure what all – I’ve slept since then. But my feet were wrapped in something resembling shoes. Undaunted, we walked back to the club.

It wouldn’t work today. Not only were they not shoes, we were underage. But the doorman just laughed with his buddy, shook his head, and waved us on in. We went and sat on the mats in front of the stage. The band came out and started to play. As I said in the previous post on the subject, the girls would come out and dance in front of the band on a stage that was actually four risers stuck together end to end. Like the ones you stood on in grade school to stand behind the tall kids in the class picture.

Then the red light would flash and the girls would scamper off stage as if the police had arrived and they needed to get dressed in a hurry. Which couldn’t have been hard – they didn’t take a lot off. The whole act would have been a lot more convincing if there hadn’t been an officer hanging out in the back talking to the bouncer.

I was drinking a Tom Collins – yea, yea, I know. I can’t stand either ingredient now. But I was underaged and it was a common drink at the time. I was watching the band. There was a kid about my age playing guitar. I was jealous that he was playing with a band. I wondered what it was like to play in strip club underage. Then after a while we left and went home.

But I would hear the guitar player again. It was Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

When I was finished setting up at Gilmer Brewing Company, I went to the men’s room. I’m used to seeing my poster in the bathroom. I’m not used to seeing them marked up. But I got such a kick out of it that I took it with me at the end of the evening.

I’m thinking about asking all the venues to specifically put a poster in the bathroom. It would be interesting to see what people come up with. But I have to be prepared for the not so funny comments.

What the hell. You’ve got to have something to look forward to, right?

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Last Saturday I had the good fortune to play at Gilmer Brewing Company in – you guessed it – Gilmer, Texas. It’s located on the town square, which is always a nice touch. And, after dealing with metroplex driving all the time, a drive in East Texas is rather pleasant.

My son, Cameron, and I arrived at the brewery about 6 p.m. I was to play from 7-9. Owners, Ruth and Drew Emory, were welcoming and gracious. We set up the sound and were ready in plenty of time. Then it was time to get a beer. Kyleen Hunter and Matt Collier were helpful with that.

I tried the Peacemaker – a 6.2% Pilsner, and Buckeye – a 6.0% blonde lager. The NE IPA, “Pritchett Fog”, Shrapnel IPA, and the Big Woods stout all looked really inviting, but we still had to drive back to Dallas. Maybe next time…

The Saturday crowd at the Gilmer Brewing Company is a friendly, charming, and accepting bunch. Which is why I like to play breweries. It was a small but enthusiastic crowd as they say. They clapped, laughed, and even danced at one point (albeit slowly). And they were appreciative, I must say.

I certainly hope to return to Gilmer – town and brewery – but in the meantime, if you happen to be driving out 20 headed east: turn left just past Tyler and take a side trip to Gilmer and visit the brewery. You will be wholly welcomed and the brewery food is the perfect compliment to their five beers. Tell ’em I said hi!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

My son, J.D., playing college ball.

I’ve been watching the playoff games. For one thing it’s easy to have on in the background while I work on booking shows for next year. For another thing, at this point I have a love-hate relationship with the Astros. I go back and forth between wanting them to go all the way again, and wanting them to get their asses kicked. They are a Texas team, true, but they are still – the Astros.

Then again, watching the playoffs reminds me that it’s not freaking raining EVERYWHERE! More importantly, I overload on baseball to get me through the drought until spring training. The only other sport we watch is some golf on the weekends – the tournaments of which have also been having some good weather, by the way.

The playoffs are getting interesting now. The games from the wild card games to the current two series were decidedly one-sided. It’s a competition in both series now. I’m interested to see how it turns out. The announcers are freaking annoying, but that’s why the mute button was invented.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

I headed for Chattanooga two weeks ago Monday. I stopped over in Memphis and drove on in to Chattanooga on Tuesday. I played at Tremont Tavern Tuesday night. Then Wednesday night at Abbott’s Bar and Grill in Atlanta. I had a show on Thursday at Akademia Brewing Company with my friend, Joe Cat. So I was playing open mics on my way down. Hopefully setting up future shows.

Open mics are pretty much the same any where you go. The host is usually a popular member of the local music community. In the case of the Tremont Tavern, the host is Mike McDade. He’s pretty much a staple of the local scene.

I intended to get there when the list went out at 7 p.m., but I screwed up on the time change. Yeah, I know, but I did. When I got there, some of the local performers had already signed up. I added my name to the list, not all that concerned about the time. Check out was at 11 a.m. and I only had a two hour drive to Atlanta.

I got a beer at the bar and found a place to stand to watch the show and be out of the way. I missed Mike playing to open the show. But I only missed one or two on the list. I don’t know if it started on time or not.

There was the usual assortment of people playing the open mic. From those who don’t really have a lot of talent, but have friends who will show up and make noise to those who actually have a little talent and are working to get better. Needless to say, the latter had the most talent. Then there are those who think they are significantly better than they actually are. Yet they still need support, so I clapped too – but not too hard.

With the exception of those who showed up late because they only wanted to play for their own little group anyway, most of the performers stayed to hear other performers. Of course, two or three people played their set and left. Which is pretty standard for open mics.

I opened the out door for a guy coming in with a bag and a guitar case. His wife, I assume, followed him. He said hello to Mike, who told him he was next. Either the guy had showed up early to sign up and leave – which I doubt, or he had Mike put him on the list. Either way, he almost overshot his starting time.

He pulled his guitar out of its case. Then he opened the big black case he had. He pulled out three dulcimers. Then he pulled a stand out of the bag.  The third case – a bit smaller – held his pedal board, with looper. In the time it took him to get everything on stage and get it set up, someone else could have played. On the final of his three songs, he played all four instruments, two of them more than once, setting the loops up, and playing the one song – which took somewhere around six minutes. I understand that he had a show there that Friday and wanted to advertise. But all of that for three songs?

The girl pictured above was a regular who had a new song to try out. She was one of the performers who stood out from the rest. She was one of those people who make open mics interesting. As was another young man who played his songs in a practiced manner. He was playing a couple of places around town.

I played after the two people who followed the dulcimer player. I woke the place up to a degree with three songs from my Hello Out There cd in rapid fire delivery. After waiting to play – and having driven a good part of the day – I was fairly pumped. The crowd certainly seemed to enjoy my songs.

After a few more acts, I headed for the hotel. Next morning, I headed for Atlanta…

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Cameron and I got to the Ryman Auditorium about noon on Friday. After we got up and drove to Kentucky so Cameron could get a few 6-packs of Ale 8, a drink he likes that can only be found in certain places. When we got back to Nashville, we drove to Music City Center, parked the van, and checked my guitar into the bag check for Summer NAMM. Then we walked the two blocks to the Ryman Auditorium.

We took the self-guided tour and it wasn’t as easy as you would think. But we wandered around and worked it out. Cameron enjoyed it, and it’s always a special thing, but I was a little disappointed. Only because I had the chance to see it before the restoration. I was fortunate to tour the Ryman when you could see the back stage dressing rooms. We would call them closets. Just enough room for them to change clothes and sit waiting.

With the exception of the theater, the restaurant, and the stage lighting, it still looks pretty much the same. When we left I had to have a beer at Tootsies across the alley – as did the performers when the Grand Old Opry was still at the Ryman.

Then we headed back to Music City Center….

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

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