Sunday, April 21, 2013

Open Mic at Stanley's

Stanley's BBQ hosts a wide variety of musical acts every Wednesday and Friday night to help digest one of their brother-in-law sandwiches or brisket tacos. On Thursdays starting at 6 PM they host a unique kind of open mic night...Every Thursday at 6 PM the stage lights turn blue and people are invited to bring their guitars and play the blues in and open mic jam session. The one I attended just this past week featured The Texas Soul Shakers as the backing band for anyone ready to lay down some feels.

I arrived at Stanley's shortly after 6 PM and the joint was already bustling with people enthused with the Texan mesh of Blues and BBQ. I order a Brother-In-Law and gorge myself in the decadence of of sausage and brisket stuffed between two buns. Whilst gorging I can't help but notice the music coming from the stage. (I did sit right in front of it anyway) The band played a wide variety of tunes from the  classic blues of  B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby" to the rampant psychedelia of Pink Floyd's "The Wall". The trio (guitar, bass, drums) even managed to cover "Riders on the Storm" with out the use of a keyboardist. I may not know some things but I do know that is impressive.

The band played from 6 to about 7 and then took a break before they invited others to come up and play some music with the band backing them. The first participant was a peculiar looking individual who I'll refer to as Alligator Jim (since that's the song he opened with). He was a tall and thin man with his long salt-pepper hair mostly hidden beneath a grungy looking baseball cap. But the first thing that grabbed my attention was the knee length duster he kept on while playing. This completed the overall look for this country gentleman. He picked up his acoustic guitar, taught the band the notes in a song, and this is what happened.

After Alligator Jim returned to the bayou I decided to take a stab at this whole open mic thing. The bassist and drummer easily followed my lead and we were off on a 10 minute journey of nothing but blues. We did the normal shuffles and slides but it had to end because alas it was only open mic night. Or was it really ONLY and open mic night. I met some very interesting people who have spent their entire lives dedicated to spreading joy through music. Music to them is what oxygen is to us. I've always had a great amount of repect for someone who can be that passionate about something.

Stanley's is a fantastic local hot spot for anyone who is a fan of great BBQ and even better music on Thursday and Friday nights. So if you're not doing anything this Thursday at around 6 you know the perfect place to go to see some great music and eat the best BBQ in Texas.

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