Saturday, December 11, 2004

Los Lonely Boys, Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Byrd and Beaumont, Texas

Los Lonely Boys has been nominated for four Grammys: Record of the Year (Heaven), Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal/Duo or Group (Heaven) and Best Rock Instrumental (Onda). We became familiar with Los Lonely Boys in the last couple of years because they would play once or twice a year here in Beaumont at Antone's. It was great because although they were well known in west Texas, most people here had not heard of them so the club wouldn't be crowded and Los Lonely Boys would be amazing.

It didn't take long for word to get out about how great they were and Antone's would be more crowded for their shows but still bearable. Now, with these Grammy nominations, if they ever come back to Beaumont, we'll probably be fighting huge crowds. It was nice while it lasted and all we can say to our friends who wouldn't get off their butts and go with us to see them when the tickets were cheap and the view was spectacular is, "We told you so."

It reminds me of the mid-eighties when we used to go to Cutters. There was a guy playing there that we had seen before at the South Texas State Fair and at a little club called Yvonne's and any time we would hear he was playing somewhere, we would go see him. His name was Mark Chesnutt. My favorite memory of Mark at Cutters was late one night very close to closing time when he sat on stage without his band and played "Norwegian Wood." I've always hoped he would put it on an album. Maybe I'll tell him the next time I run into him at Kroger.

After a couple of years at Cutters, Mark got famous and left us. His replacement was Tracy Byrd. I remember the first night Mark announced he was leaving for Nashville and that his replacement was Tracy Byrd and we would be hearing Tracy later that night. We all thought Tracy was going to be a girl and we were prepared to hate her.

Of course as soon as we saw that not only was Tracy not a girl, he was a damn good looking man, we decided to give him a chance. Within about five seconds, we knew we had another winner. Of course, Tracy left us, too and Cutter's was never the same after that. It eventually closed and it's only been within the last couple of years that a huge variety of live music has made a major comeback all over Southeast Texas.

I'm doing my best to take in as much of it as I can. I don't want anyone coming back to me saying "I told you so" when the next big thing comes...and goes...through Beaumont.


Zina said...

That happened here in Dallas. When I first moved up here I was always looking for something fun to do on the weekends besides hitting the clubs. One of my employees told me I HAD to go with her to see this girl singer who reminded people of Janis Joplin. This same girl also graduated with my co-asst at the time and we use to let her into the movies all the time.
She is now Mrs. Paul Simon--Edie Brickell. Of course, the time she brought him to the movies I was off.

Laurie said...

Edie Brickell! Amazing!!

Laurie said...

Hi! I got to your site via another blog (Mango) and have to laugh about your Beaumont experiences. My family is from Beaumont....well, that's stretching it, they are from Lumberton. UHEM. Anyway, I just had to tell you that I've had a few run ins with Mr. Byrd and Mr. Chestnutt as well( My cousin and her fiance actually live in T. Byrd's old house where you can still see the imprints of his daughter Evie's hand prints in the back porch with her name. My cousin's fiance is a police officer and often does security for both singers. Both very nice. I actually attended the "Jammin For the Judge" a couple years ago and sat with the Chestnutt family. Very much an experience for this Austin girl. Anyway, I enjoy your site! -Laurie