Songs and Stories

JIM JONES
I first met Jim Jones at an Academy of Western Artists gathering in Ft. Worth, a number of years ago. He sat in, one evening, at a jam session that Kip Calahan and I were enjoying. I quickly learned two things about Jones; one is that he was a pretty darn good hand with a guitar, and the second was that he and I knew a lot of the same songs.  A short time later, I invited him to join me on a number of my concert dates.

Since that time, we’ve had a good deal of fun running up and down the road, playing music, and “spending thousands to make hundreds.” Besides being a good picker, Jones has the sort of laid back attitude that I appreciate. We’ve all worked with musicians who felt they needed some pharmaceutical assistance to get through the evening.  Those kind of folks just aren’t very dependable, nor are they very entertaining. Besides the occasional Cold Beer, to ward off the evening’s chill, Jones and I have kind of outgrown all that other stuff. Life is much simpler and more enjoyable now.

Jim Jones is also a dandy songwriter.  He’s penned a number of songs that have been nominated for awards.  His albums are entertaining, as are his performances.

The coolest thing, however, is that the Academy of Western Artists chose Jim Jones as the 2008 Male Vocalist.  I think it is recognition that is well deserved and has been a long time coming.  Check him out atwww.jimjonesmusic.com.

The main thing, however, that I appreciate about Jim Jones is that he has become a good and true friend of mine.  I enjoy his company.  But…. please don’t tell him that I was bragging on him.

NAPA OPERA HOUSE
This past December, Il Ling gave me a very wonderful birthday gift.  She got us tickets to attend a concert at the Napa Opera House, in Napa, California. The particular concert was a performance by John Sebastian and David Grisman.  Il Ling and I, and a few hundred over-the-hill hippies, thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

I knew Sebastian and Grisman by reputation, but had really never listened to their music. I have to tell you that it was pretty darned cool.  Sebastian thumb-picked his Gibson J-45 in the style of his hero, Mississippi John Hurt. The name of John’s band, The Lovin’ Spoonfulls, even came from one of Hurt’s old blues songs. Grisman, of course, is a past master on the mandolin.  An extremely entertaining evening.

However, the funniest part was the fact that there was some woman, sitting down at the end of our aisle, who sang along with every song in the first portion of the show. You can imagine how it annoyed the rest of us. Well, you can imagine how it surprised the rest of us when, in the second half of the show, Sebastian introduced Marie Muldaur to the stage.  Yep, it was her!  And she’s singing as great as she ever did.

So, whenever you’re out Napa way, be sure to check in at the Napa Opera House and see who they’ve got on the bill.  Actually, you’d better check in and order your tickets online because they sell out well in advance.

TEXAS COWBOY POETRY GATHERING/GRANADA THEATER
This past February, there was a great crowd in Alpine for the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Doris Daley & Dave Stamey headlined the evening shows and all of the sessions were well attended.

In keeping with our habit, for the past couple of years, I booked an evening show on Friday night following the traditional stage show. This year, we were honored to use the newly renovated Granada Theater. Karen Travland has really done a wonderful job of renovating this Alpine landmark.

We billed the event as “Jim Wilson & Friends” and I am pleased that a number of my friends showed up to help entertain the 200-plus folks that were in attendance.  Jim Jones, Dave Stamey, Kip Calahan, Randy Huston, Allen Chapman, Audrey Hankins, Mike Querner, and the Texas Trailhands, all made appearances.  And I’m sure that I’ve left someone out… if so, please forgive me.

It was a great evening and lots of fun. I want to especially thank my good friend Mark Pollock (www.transpecosguitars.com) for helping to organize the event and run the sound. So, you folks should plan to attend the 2010 Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, be sure to leave Friday night open. We’ll be having another “Jim Wilson & Friends” event and I sure hope that you are able to attend.

See ya down the road…..

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