Archive for the ‘Austin Texas’ Tag

Live Music   Leave a comment

Live Music (November 30, 2005) — Photo-Artistry by kenne

The Guitar

The weeping of the guitar
The goblets of dawn
are smashed.
The weeping of the guitar
to silence it.
to silence it.
It weeps monotonously
as water weeps
as the wind weeps
over snowfields.
to silence it.
It weeps for distant
Hot southern sands
yearning for white camellias.
Weeps arrow without target
evening without morning
and the first dead bird
on the branch.
Oh, guitar!
Heart mortally wounded
by five swords.

— Federico García Lorca

The Blanton Project Revisited   Leave a comment

The Blanton Project Cover (Oil Field Girls, 1940, by JerryBywaters) — Image by kenne

In 2009, Borderlands — Texas Poetry Review published a Special Ekphrastic Poetry Issue.

Founded in 1992, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review was created to respond to the Gulf War and is a literary journal based in Austin, Texas. They publish poetry, visual art, book reviews, and essays. The journal continues to garner a national readership, distributed across the U.S., with contributors worldwide. 

The 2009 special issue contains 89 ekphrastic poems written about works of art in the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin, one of the largest university art museums in the U.S. In March of 2009, the Writers in Performance Series at Lone Star College — Montgomery presented The Blanton Project, where some of the poets read their ekphrastic poems. One such poem was Oil Field Girls on the Jerry Bywaters painting, Oil Field Girls.

Oil Field Girls

Blue skies and the open road

until an hour and a half beyond San Angelo

and the highway yields to brazen curves.

It’s not their thumbs

that make you slow the red Road roadster,

nor even the vestal boots

that look to plant a few fresh kicks.

As stately as an oil rig

set beneath miasmic clouds,

they beckon restless wanderers

who never staked a wildcat claim.

These desperate locals travel lightly

yet do not need a map

to know which way is out.

Because it does not do to gawk,

you press your bootles foot against the gas

and hope next curve to find a Coke.

— Steven G. Kellman

After the readings were completed, the poets were invited to a reception at my home. 
Click here to see photos from the reading and the reception.

— kenne

Equality and Excellence   1 comment

Image by Brian Joseph

Beyond the challenge
We must teach our children
That each one is special
As we provide equity
For their excellence.

— Brian Joseph


Chapel Dulcinea   Leave a comment

Wizard Chapel-5-B&W-72Chapel Dulcinea — Images By kenne

Chapel Dulcinea sits daringly on the edge of an ancient walking trail on the
Wizard Academy campus, approximately 20 minutes southwest of downtown Austin.
The chapel was new when we first visited Wizard Academy in 2005.

This summer Jerri and Justin had scheduled their wedding at the Chapel Dulcinea,
but because of COVID
, it didn’t happen, even after rescheduling a couple of times.
I had prepared this post to go out before the June wedding. The wedding
did take place in east Texas this summer, but we were not able to attend.
Too bad their wedding was not able to be at Chapel Dulcinea
; it’s a beautiful place
in the Texas Hill Country.

— kenne

Bydee People, Bring You Delightful and Entering Experiences   1 comment

Equity and Excellence-72Equity and Excellence (Bydee People) by Brian Joseph the Bydee Man

In 1994 I was attending an education conference in Austin, Texas.
While there at the conference I met a local artist, Brian Joseph
and through him, became aware of the fun-loving, happy Bydee People —
Bring You Delightful and Entering Experiences.
His message to the educators is “Equity and Excellence.”

Beyond the challenge
We must teach our children
That each one is special
As we provide equity
For their excellence.

— kenne


Joy   2 comments

Joy-11-30-05-art-72Joy — Photo-Artistry by kenne

Came but for friendship, and took away love.

— Thomas Moore

One Of Our Favorite Artists, Daryl Howard   5 comments

Daryl Howard (1 of 1) blogOur First of Three Daryl Howard Woodblock Prints (Kenne, Daryl and Joy, 1992)

Daryl Howard (1 of 1)-2 blogOur Second of Three Daryl Howard Woodblock Prints (Kenne, Daryl and Joy, 1996)

In the early 90’s Joy and I were at an event at the George R. Brown convention center in downtown Houston, which included a gallery of artists. As we like to do, we spent some time window shopping the various exhibits, no planning on buying any art. But, that was before we noticed the woodblock prints of Daryl Howard, an artist out of Austin, Texas. The one print that really got our attention was, “Dawn’s Moment . . . Vision of Light” now hanging in our entranceway in Tucson.

Four years later we purchased two more of Daryl’s works of art, “Timeless Path Toward Home” and “Crow’s Gift” now proudly hanging in our dining area. 

Yesterday, Joy was purging some of our old files when she found these two Polaroid images. You can learn more about Daryl and her work at


Yes, She Was A Phenomenal Woman!   4 comments

Texas blues singer, Ruthie Foster singing Maya Angelou’s poem,”Phenomenal Woman.”

Phenomenal Woman


Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


Willie, Still Great After All These Years   11 comments

Willie Nelson art blogWillie Nelson at dedication of statue in Austin.

50785The first time we saw Willie Nelson and Family was in the 70’s at Austin’s Waterloo Park. Over the years we have attended several of his July 4th Picnics, and Farm Aid events. (This year’s Farm Aid in September is already sold out.)

People love Willie and his music. He is one of the few entertainers who doesn’t need fancy settings and lighting to connect with the audience, establishing a mutual appreciation that lasts for years. This was very evident as we talked to people at yesterday’s Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson. We were all quick to share our “Willie” stories that flowed in a stream of love. It is said that “Texas is a state of mind,” for us this 80-year-old singer/song-writer (a true poet) is a state of mind.

Jody Payne

Jody Payne

Last night’s concert was straight-ahead music for 90 minutes. If he had a message to convey, it was in the music. I was a little surprised that he didn’t mention the death (August 10, 2013) of his longtime friend, Jody Payne. Jody played guitar with Willie for 30 years. You can see a video of Bobbie Nelson is on piano, Johnny Gimble on the fiddle, and Jody Payne on guitar, filmed in Willie’s Church in his town called Luck in Texas at

As we have done so often in the past, we set on the ground, this time for 2 1/2 hours, which included the talented young band, Wild Feathers.  For my old body to allow me to sit on the hard ground that long is testimonial to how entertaining the evening was at the  5,000-seat Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheater (AVA) at the Casino Del Sol Resort. It’s a great venue for music under the stars on a pleasant desert night. The only thing that seems to be missing from last night’s concert, compared to those in the past, was a whiff of marijuana smoke in the air — just “roll me up and smoke me when I die.”

The more I look at these gray-headed guys with white beards, the more I can see why, while lounging by the Casino pool yesterday, a guy came over and ask if I was a member of Willie’s band. I thought about playing along, telling him I was Merle Haggard, Willie’s special guest — I’ve been told I look like Merle, it might have worked.Oh, well!

I didn’t have any of my cameras with me, just my iPhone, so I put together a few clips to give you an idea of what the evening was like. I would like for the quality to be better, but these smart phone cameras are getting better all the time.


Capturing The Moment — Blues In The East Texas Woods   Leave a comment

WIP & Porter DavisThe PorterDavis Band at Ken & Mary’s Blues Project in East Texas, October 17, 2009. — Image by kenne

PorterDavis Band at Austin’s Threadgill’s south during SXSW, 2009.

Growing Up Listening To Border Radio   Leave a comment

imus-lrBruce Robison and Kelly Willis on Imas In The Morning

Living in the mid-west in the 60’s, many of us would frequently listen to the powerful radios on the Mexican border. The Austin singer/songwriters Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis have a song that captures the times.


Getting A Weekend Blues Fix   4 comments

Wild Horse Pass Resort & Casino in Chandler, AZ — Image by kenne

This past weekend we went to the Wild Horse Pass Resort & Casino to see the Texas blues-rock band, the Fabulous Thunderbirds. This group, which has featured the Vaughn brothers, Stevie Ray and Jimmy Lee in its early days, is lead by one of the best harp players you will find anywhere, Kim Wilson. It was a great evening of rocking blues, which included an impressive display of harp playing by Kim Wilson.

Over the years many great musicians have been in the group. Probably the Vaughn brothers were the best known, but one that my friend, Diunna Greenleaf and I talked about during her recent tour in the Tucson area was Nick Curran — having  just pasted away. A very talented guitar player out of Austin, Diunna had considered Nick to be her lead guitar player some years ago, but she concluded that he was too flamboyant to be a part of her band. (See the related article below.)


Carolyn Wonderland On NPR   1 comment

Carolyn Wonderland at Houston’s McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, June, 2009 — Image by kenne

As I opened the front door after my morning run, I was met with a great blues song and in a split second I knew it was Carolyn — but I was listening to NPR when I left the house, so to my surprise and pleasure Carolyn Wonderland was on NPR. The song she was performing was  and old Janis Joplin song,“What Good Can Drinkin’ Do”.

Those of you who visit this blog know that Carolyn Wonderland is one of my favorite blues singer, out of Austin by way of Houston. Since seeing her live in Houston at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, I have done several posting on one of Texas’s best. My Youtube video, “Carolyn Wonderland McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, June 27, 2009,” has had close to 5,000 views.

I hope she makes it though Tucson soon — they would love her!


Susan Bright, R.I.P.   Leave a comment

On the same day the Blues world lost one of its own (Mean Gene Kelton) , I received word that one of the past Writers In Performance Emily Dickinson  panelist, Susan Bright, long time poet / publisher (Plainview Press) succumbed to liver cancer. Susan was author of 19 books of poetry, three of which have been recipients of Austin Book Awards. As editor/publisher of Plain View Press since 1975, she had published 100 books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States. Montgomery County Literary Arts Council founder, Dave Parsons shared in an email how Susan adored swimming at Barton Springs, “. . . which of course, made her my blood-sister…she was a real force for poets in Texas…here is a poem she wrote which has been published on Facebook as a fitting tribute:”

Mother Fish

The Swimmers,
the real ones
are clear
and emerald
like the water
that pulses
up from the center
of the planet
and cold.

blend with the water
so fast
you don’t see them
except when
they get in
or out–
they are invisible
once they’re

They dry off
and go
but the essence
stays with
a glow
just below the surface
of the skin–
emerald light.

~Susan Bright – from “House of the Mother”, Austin Book Award, 1994


(Click here to view the Susan Bright Memorial Page.)

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