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12/16/2009 Summer & Winter Goin's On
Well, fans and friends, itís time again for teeny update on the life and times of Grammy Award Winning Artist Redd Volkaert. So where did we last leave offÖ

The boys from Heybale! were just getting ready to head up to the big city for their annual trek for barbecue. The band went to Manhattan (thatís New York, not Kansas) to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of Hill Country BBQ on June 5th and 6th. As usual, it was a ball, and everyone was well fed.

After a week back in Austin with his four legged son Dick, Redd headed north to Edmonton, Alberta for a nice escape from the Texas summer heat. Mr. V was included in the 2009 Global Country Concert at the Winspear Centre in a Salute to Canadian Classic Country. Even though heís been south of the border for a while now, it sure was nice of those folks to remember old Redd as one of their esteemed Canadian songwriters. If only Nickelback had been thereÖ

Then, nothing new for our jet-setting pal, Redd popped into Austin only long enough to pat little Dick on the head and repack his suitcase and head to New York yet again. This time, to beautiful Buffalo where Heybale! played at the Sportsmanís Tavern, the Honkin Tonkin Beer Joint. The owner of the club is a retired player, so you know heís a good guy. And with such a cool dude and such a cool venue, and a recording studio next door, you canít help but have a good time.

The Heybale! band then skipped on down to Pennsylvania for a gig on June 20. In the lovely town of Honesdale, PA, Heybale! played the Roots & Rhythm Festival, opening for Junior Brown. They may or may not have blown Junior off the stage, maybe not

Good thing Redd made it back into Austin by the 22nd. He and Dick had their big photo shoot for the Blue Dog Rescue 2010 Music & Mutts Calendar. Dick was pretty excited about all of the attention, and has discovered that his left side is his good side. Heís now a real pro and ready for his modeling career to begin.

After a couple of days of quality time working with his old man, Dick was once again left alone as his dad hopped the pond with Heybale! to play at the Countryfestivalen in Seljord, Norway. It wasnít for long though, as the band did a sort of dine and dash and were only there for one day.

The next weekend, Redd was pretty excited to head back to the Sportsmanís Tavern. July 31 saw the reunion of the Twangbangers, featuring our friend Redd Volkaert, Bill Kirchen and Dallas Wayne. The fellas put the band back together for a stellar show in Buffalo. Then, at the end of the night, as is usually the case, they had a fight and broke up again until itís time for the next reunion.

Back in Austin, Heybale! drummer and party-planner extraordinaire, Tall Tom Lewis teamed up with Casper Rawls to put on the annual Buck Owens Birthday Bash at the Continental Club on August 12. It was a shimmery night with at least 4 sparkle telecasters in sight, so you know Mr. Volkaert was there pickiní and lovin the sparklefest.

Then, finally after a good bit of time searching for the right place, Redd started a new weekday residency. Starting August 27, the Redd Volkaert Band took over Thursday night entertainment at the newly opened Ghost Room in the Warehouse District of Austin.

After putting around town for a month or so looking for some action, Redd finally found a good party on September 23. With the help of a certain someone who can be found at Justineís pretty much any given night that heís in town, a select group of Austinís elite met at the cozy new French brasserie for the quiet birthday celebration of Alan Durham. There were no Reddy Bears in sight, but a good time was had none-the-less.

A few days later, since he was already in the birthday celebrating mood, Redd hauled his guitar over to the Continental Club for super sound man Jamie Wellwarthís 40th bash. Itís a good thing he did, too, since the world is now forever changed by a new style of music. Mr. V and a little country band from Toronto called Grady shared the stage for the occasion, and the combination of all these Canadians was revolutionary. Mark it on your calendars, folks. September 27, 2009 saw the birth of ďShreddbilly.Ē

Getting bored of hanging around town for too long, and also having exhausted everyone in Austin with his preaching about Shreddbilly, Redd hit the road again on October 8, heading over the Holland, Belgium and England to play with the lovely or talented Dale Watson. Being thrifty the way record labels are known to be thrifty, Daleís new Dutch label put together a mushed together group tour in support of Daleís new record and also a new record the label put out by Chuck Mead. Nashville boys Mead (of BR-549 fame) and Mark Miller (bass player for the Ex-Husbands) shared the stage with Dale and Redd, doing some songs from each otherís albums and having a generally good time pickiní and singiní together.

The Watson/Volkaert duo flew back to Austin on October 19, just in time for Redd to get over his jet-lag and entertain his adoring fans at the Ghost Room for the official release party for the Blue Dog Rescue calendar. Imagine Mr. Vís surprise when they unveiled the new calendar to reveal that his son Dick is a cover boy. Well, I mean, Reddís on the cover too, but seeing as how Dick is trying to launch his modeling career, a calendar cover is pretty big deal. Next stop, PlaygirlÖ or Playboar...

While all of this excitement had been going on, someone in the Redd Volkaert Band had been putting a lot of thought into Halloween. Seeing as how the regular Continental Club matinee happened to fall on the day itself, the band had to do something. So, Redd dug up some white pants and a captainís hat and took on the role of the Skipper, as the RVB turned the Continental Club stage into an island. Rich dressed up as Gilligan, Nate was Thurston Howell III, and fearless leader Chris was the professor, of course. Lots of ladies were fighting to be Ginger, Mary Ann and definitely Lovey. In fact, the women were scrapping so much that one of the Gingers got killed and then came back from the grave as Zombie Ginger. See for yourself:

Itís pretty hard to top that Halloween fun, and maybe the boys needed to lay low for while, so there wasnít too much excitement in November, just the regular gigs and stuff. But December 13 the Heybale! crew will load up and fly to Greenbay, WI to play 3 days at the Oneida Casino. Brrrrrrrrrr! Hope they have their parkas and tuques packed.

After that, Redd will go back home to see his mum for Christmas and play a couple shows with his brother while heís there. Our pal is crashing one of his brotherís gigs with another artist, and then the Volkaert Bros, along with some old school chums, are getting together as the Fleetwood Boys for a gig of their own. Both shows are benefits, in the spirit of the holiday giving season. Then, after a day of marathon speed recording, Mr. R will head back to Austin to start a whole new year.

So, other than those gigs and festivals and travels and stuff, there hasnít been too much going in the RV Camp. Chris and Nate are both single again and on the prowl. Look Out! Not that Redd doesnít also have his fair share of stalker women showing up. There are even rumors that one of them even gave Redd that new bling heís been sporting. Yep, RVís got himself a fancy new guitar ring with a big old ruby in it. Heís been pretty hush-hush about where it came from, but, yep, there are rumorsÖ

And RV has almost got his Collings City Limits guitar just the way he wants it. Redd being Redd, he got the beautiful Les Paul-ish guitar and now is trying to make it sound more like a Tele. Iím sure to the horror of the artists at Collings, Redd even got after it himself, in his shop, with a dremel. No kidding. He wanted to put another P-90 in the bridge, so he got out his collection of power tools and routed out the hole just a bit more, chipping the paint just a teensy bit in the process, Iím told. But, at least the guitar then started to sound cheap and tinny, just he way he likes it. Redd did eventually take the new baby in to the experts at Collings to get a third pickup version in the bridge. They did an amazing job, as always, and now itís really really close to perfect. Heís been playing it lots, and the guitar even made the cover of the Blue Dog calendar next to Dick.

Speaking of Dick, heís been getting by alright, even with his dad on the road so much. He got a few new Hawaiian shirts this summer, I think as a hint that heíd like for his old man to take him on a good summer beach vacation. Luckily, after last yearís Halloween Dick-Tater embarrassment, he wasnít forced to dress up in costume this year. He though it would be detrimental to his budding modeling career. Best of luck to the little guy with his next photo spread!

Thatís about all for now, folks. Weíll be back soon with a whole new yearís worth of dirt.

Happy Holidays~


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