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Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's all about me... Max Stallings and friends

OK, finally I admit, Navasota, and all the cool stuff happening here is all for me. It’s all about me. I’ve had so much fun living here the past months with fantastic live music every weekend, that I’m almost beside myself. This past Saturday was the most recent and obvious example. It was going to be a fantastic music day and I took my old ‘50 pick-up to town and parked it in a conspicuous place...

First of all the weather became so cold, people stayed away in droves, and it made negotiating between euphoric events much more simple. Parking was very convenient. There was always a place to sit, wherever I went, usually with good friends. As has happened before, there was so much going on it was impossible to see it all. That bummed me out, but regardless, I had all the fun I could stand.

The day started with Christmas decorating at Blues Alley, where a vendor was having an outstanding half price sale. Then some free coffee and conversation at a couple of Navasota’s gorgeous new downtown stores. Then selling a big painting to a precious couple from Bryan at Tokoly Consignments. All this made the advantage of living and working in Navasota seem obvious, and right here in the Center of the Universe. God is good! Then the music began!

Randy Pavlock kicked off the first Navasota Bright Lights Christmas event on a stage set up right in front of the Corner Café, one of my favorite hang outs. I was able to chomp on a delicious hot roast beef sandwich inside, as I listened to Randy give the cold front a firefight of Pavlockian blues rock. He won the battle, but unfortunately with few witnesses. But Randy and his band gave a show worthy of thousands. This would be the theme of the day. So giddy and enraptured by the days unfolding, I had forgotten my CAMERA, and after abrupt adieus, fled home. Fortunately, I lived just two blocks away.

When I returned, tall and lanky Max Stallings was introducing his talent to a new batch of admirers, with his Texas Progressive Country sound, making wisecracks about the weather and good–humoredly playing his music in a cold brick canyon with around fifty shivering spectators. The crowd gravitated into the sun on the Post Office steps, and a couple began to dance in the middle of the concrete dance floor. It was Scott Armstrong and his daughter, fresh from square dancing somewhere, all dressed up in western duds, making a picture out of OKLAHOMA. Suddenly Scott cast off his winter coat… and I realized who he was. At the end of the number Stallings acknowledged him. “It’s been a long time,” he smiled warmly.

When I asked later, Scott explained that he not only knew Stallings, he had been his neighbor and introduced him to the guitar. After the set, Max and he posed for a picture together.

Then I met a world class music magazine cover photographer, on a shoot for Best of Texas Magazine, who told me a great personal story that will be a blog someday… autographed some copies of my latest collaboration with Dr. Robin Montgomery, and then the Mayor subtly informs me; “Your signal light indicator was left on…” The police or somebody had noticed, and knew it would drain my battery, and called him, knowing he could find me. You gotta love living in a small town. Thank goodness, my battery on my ’50 Chevy truck was still good, and I took it home, just in case the parking space was actually needed as the day wore on. Already it had been a memorable day… but it was just the beginning of a crazy cold ride, that some of us will recall as the Navasota Brass Monkey Classic.

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