Bill and I avoided the crowded Mother’s Day buffets this year and went to two free concerts instead…much more enjoyable with less guilt!
First we saw Elizabeth McQueen up at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. This month the Texas Center for Music History is sponsoring a free concert series on Sunday evenings on the museum’s terrace. Last year I had avoided going to outdoor concerts here since it’s all concrete. But while watching The Big Squeeze competition a few weeks ago, I realized that the terrace is shaded by the museum after mid-afternoon so these evening concerts are not unbearably hot.
Elizabeth McQueen performs with the Texas swing band, Asleep at the Wheel, but also does solo work. Our local NPR station KUT has been playing songs from her third and latest album, The Laziest Girl in Town. Elizabeth’s voice is clear and strong and she has a good stage presence.
The museum offers free admission on Sunday evenings during these concerts, so Bill and I looked around inside. Their latest special exhibit, Texas Music Roadtrip, celebrates famous Texas musicians including Janis Joplin, Bob Wills, Selena, Willie Nelson, and many more. I was thrilled to actually see Stevie Ray Vaughn‘s famous guitar, Number One, which has never been on public display before this exhibit. His custom Fender Strat is immortalized in the Stevie Ray statue at Auditorium Shores.
Bill and I then walked a few blocks to the Texas State Capitol to hear a free concert by the Austin Symphonic Band. I know a few musicians who play in this band and have attended their other concerts around town. We arrived late to this concert (I had spent a lot of time looking at Number One) but we enjoyed selections by Henry Mancini and John Phillip Sousa. Both concerts had several hundred people in attendance.