Friday night I joined my friend Steve for another memorable night at Courville's. This night, however, was more than memorable, it was surreal. The night would consist of the first ever five minute drum solo I've ever seen at Courville's, a mini set by Donnie Courville of the Courville's Courvilles and an opening act of two country music Australian women.
One of the things I like most about concerts at Courville's is that the main performer goes on at around 8:00 p.m. and I'm home by 10:00 p.m. The top act Friday night was Billy Joe Shaver and he didn't really understand the concept of an 8:00 p.m. start time and was two hours late getting to Courville's.
I knew something was up Billy Joe Shaver-wise when the opening act seemed to be going a little long. The opening act was Anne McCue and Audrey Auld playing a combination of blues, blue grass, rock and Australian bush music. They were fantastic and great sports about the whole thing.
When they finished their set at around 8:30 p.m., Donnie took the stage to try to fill some more time. I've never heard him play or sing before and he was terrific. After about five songs, Donnie told the crowd that he was running out of songs, because he can only remember about five songs at any given time. That brought Ann and Audrey back to the stage.
Things began to get really interesting, because Ann and Audrey had been drinking Shiner Bocks and Merlot during their show and then during Donnie's set and Rich Courville started selling $1 draft beer to everyone.
Ann and Audrey were a lot of fun for their first set, but were a riot during their second set. They played a little bit of everything they knew and we were all beginning to feel like we were in some weird parallel universe and that Billy Joe Shaver would never show up and we would all be there forever all taking turns playing instruments and trying to sing and drinking $1 draft beer for eternity.
Suddenly, behind Audrey and Ann a guy with a drum kit appeared. Everybody was overly excited about a drum kit until the drummer told us Billy Joe Shaver was the inevitable "ten minutes away." So, Audrey and Ann sang another couple of songs and, by God, Billy Joe Shaver showed up around 10:00 p.m.
There he was, a tall wispy 70 year old version of the legendary Billy Joe Shaver. He immediately stood in front of the mic while the band continued to set up and started a stream of consciousness explanation of where he and the band had been and instantly, all was forgiven. Just like that exboyfriend or exgirlfriend you always forgive because they make you smile, we were all in deep like again.
Billy Joe has an amazing band and his voice is still wonderful. He only performs songs he's written and that is a beautiful thing. If you have an opportunity to see Billy Joe Shaver, do it.
Also, I've told you this before and I'm telling you again. Go to Courville's!