Willie Watson @ the Cactus Cafe

Waiting in line. Doors open in 5 min. Pro tip, arrive early at the Cactus. It’s usually seated in rows or with tables.

We’re in and seated. I love this place. Sturdy wooden seats, old posters on the wall advertising players past. Some signed; Lucinda, Ani, and Townes. You can feel the magic here.

The Fraulines from Austin TX

Jenn Marks, you will love this band. Harmonizing gals singing old mountain picking tunes. Maybe we can catch them at sxsw.

Up next, Willie Watson

Willie’s voice is that unmistakable vibrato, old time sound from Old Crow Medicine Show, though he plays with The Dave Rawlings Machine (Gillian Welch) now. Thin and sporting a wide brim hat he takes the stage and smiles almost psychotically when he sings and plucks the strings of his banjo or guitar. It seems like a mix of nervous energy and trying to squeeze a particular note and sound from his vocal chords. Almost like his smile tunes the notes he sings. It’s uncomfortable at first but by the end it’s contagious and the whole audience is smiling. What a treat to hear this iconic voice in an intimate venue with such incredible sound.

As we left the Union building at UT, I noticed a bird fly from one tree to the next. It was about the size of a dove but something seemed odd so I went back to look. It was a tiny screech owl! You probably can’t make it out but it’s the fluff ball in the middle. It was my first time to see one in the wild!

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