Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Miss Austin

I miss Austin. Have you ever missed a place so bad that you feel like a piece of your soul quietly slips away every day that you're not there? I've missed people like that after they were no longer part of my life. I've missed music I didn't have. I've missed other places I've lived. But not like this...I miss everything about Austin. I miss the silly middle age hippy dance you see at the Saxon Pub. I miss Barton Springs. Even though I hardly actually went there. I just miss knowing it was there for the people who like it. I miss Torchy's, and all other breakfast tacos. I miss the one and a half seasons. Really...who needs 4? I miss the comfort, I miss the speed at which time saunters there. Some places I've lived, I was wound like a top. Some places I was restless and bored. Austin I felt just right. I had a talk with Jon Dee Graham about it before I left. He knows - he left once for his career. He told me you just can't explain it - there's something magical about Austin, Texas. I had the best relationships of my life there - with women, with friends, with musicians - and of course with my beloved Kim, who I met there, who I remain with to this day. Thank you, Austin. Maybe one day we will move back and once again be a part of you. I confess I get choked up at the sound of your name. I tell audiences you are where I'm from, because I feel like I am. And because it helps sell CD's. My career aspirations call, but you and I were oh-so-good a match.

Yet sadly, Austin, at the same time I was always bitter that your music community never accepted me as I'd hoped. Your musicians certainly came to do so, even some of your club promoters who I spent all that time coveting. But your masses - the ones who enable a musician to truly succeed in Austin - where were you? Your booking agents, your small record labels. Your papers, your radios, your residencies. I had certain writers and DJ's in your ranks who were always very into what I had. But I never made your playlists, your year end recommendations. No-one ever said, "This guy stayed in Austin because he loved it, look at all the great music he's sharing with us. Look at all the great musicians we have who speak for him." And don't even talk to me about SXSW. I gave you everything I had Austin, and yet I had to leave. I never wanted to. While I love you with all of it, you kind of broke my heart.

It's OK though, Austin. I'm in a city with more opportunity, with more irons and more fires. And I think you like people who return because they couldn't stand being away. I'm going to show you, Austin. I'm going to make the best record of my life this year. I'm going to capitalize on the fans I'm making across the country. I'm working as hard or harder as I worked there. And one day I will be back, Austin. I love you too much. It's as simple as that. Just don't break my heart twice. I don't think I could take it a second time.


  1. Austin still loves you - we just love you in a smaller venue. We're crazy like that...

  2. Austin is a great place to be a musician, but a hard place to make a living as a musician.

    Austin will be here when you're ready to come back. Safe travels.

  3. Go out in to the world and make your career. Then you can bring it back home. We'll wait.

  4. That broke my heart! I feel the same exact way... except without being a musician