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10/23/2008 Whew!
Well folks, today, October 23, has officially been declared HEYBALE! DAY in the city of Austin. Mark your calendars. Never forget it. I’m pretty sure that they’ll be closing down schools and banks for it next year. I mean, they got an official proclamation from the mayor himself. It doesn’t get much more official than that. Of course, Billy Dee got his day first, but that’s just minor details…

Welcome back and howdy again! It’s time for some more tall (pig) tales and stories from the past 4 months. When we last left off, Redd was getting ready to go to Ottawa for the big blues festival. The band had a great time and played their little hearts out. Redd and Cindy were so glad to see that they are SO insanely popular in Ottawa, that the festival folks actually changed their names to hide their identities and thus prevent a rabid mob of fans overrunning the show. I mean, why else would they list them as Rod Volkaert and Cindy Cashdoll? (tee hee hee)

After he got home, Redd spent a little time trying to score some free beer. He recorded some great video spots for Shiner for their website. You have to check it out! Go to www.shiner.com and click on Redd’s picture to hear and see his stories. I’ve been staking out his house for months now waiting for the delivery of his lifetime supply of Shiner beer. Good thing I’m patient…

Mr. V also had another fancy interview the next day, this time for yet another article in Vintage Guitar Magazine. Despite a few blips and glitches here and there, it was an alright read. I mean, if you like reading about Redd Volkaert. (yawn)

As I mentioned in the previous tales, Redd and the band, along with Cindy had some plans to head east and play with Bill Kirchen. And so they went. On July 24, the foursome opened for Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. Then, the next day off to the Lowell Folk Festival. After three days of folks, they finally came back to Austin where Redd settled in for a long summer nap.

I guess nap may not be exactly the most appropriate term for it, but Redd didn’t fly across the country or across the pond or anywhere else for a whole two months, so that is pretty relaxed and nap-like considering. Of course, he did have his regular schedule of gigs and sessions and lessons. Oh my! But, little Dick sure was happy to have his dad home for some good quality time and training. He says he did teach his old man a few things, so that old saying about old man, new tricks isn’t exactly true.

Among the usual gigs for Mr. V in August were a couple notables as well. For starters, there was the 17th Annual Buck Owens Birthday Bash on August 12 at the Continental Club. Redd, along with about 30 other artists, generously donated their time and talents to honor the legendary Buck Owens and also to raise money for the Center for Child Protections. And to have a stompin’ good time.

Heybale also made their way over to Houston for a gig at the Continental Club in the big city on August 15. I think maybe they found themselves some dancers there outside of the two-stepping loyal fans that fill up the Continental Club Austin up every Sunday night. Maybe they’ll get invited back to spread the love and make more dancers happy. Not to mention those Houston area guitar players that go to gawk at Redd.

August 20 found Mr. Volkaert at the ME TV studios for a great big party and live CD/DVD taping. Seems like a year or so ago, Redd played on a record for a certain Mr. David Newbould, and was asked, along with pretty much every other Austin musician, to join in a bash that Newbould put together to record a live taping. Other familiar faces there were Cindy Cashdollar, Papa Mali, Wendy Colonna, Rachel Loy, Beth Garner, Will Taylor, Danny Levin, and I’m sure I missed someone in that list, but there were an awful lot of them. The highlight of the evening was a delicious dinner at the Magnolia Café afterwards. Mostly because I like to eat.

After a slow start to September, the middle of the month had some major excitement. REDDHEAD, Redd Volkaert’s newest studio album, was officially released. I say “officially” because Redd kind of jumped into a soft release back after the first pressing of discs in July. But, the record hit the major markets and became widely available on September 16, and it literally flew off the shelves. They’ve already gone through three pressings, and I’m thinking Mr. V will get his platinum record to hang on the wall any day now. Also, the official release of Reddhead sparked a whole gluttony of record reviews, mostly all good. Check out the press section of this website to catch a few of the raves. I think Redd only allowed reviews that refer to him as a “guitar god” to be posted up there, but, well, not many reviews didn’t call him that so I guess it’s not all his ego. If you haven’t bought the album yet, buy it now and see for yourself! One stop shopping right here on reddvolkaert.com.

I guess someone read the “guitar god” reviews, because Redd was invited to Urbana and Champaign, IL for gigs, lessons, and a clinic for Corson’s Music in the second week of October. Volkaert had the pleasure of joining the Boat Drunks on stage. No, he didn’t play a gig at Carlos & Charlies, the Boat Drunks are a Jimmy Buffet tribute band that rock Illinois and beyond. He played two gigs with those guys, noodled around a bit for clinics, schooled some folks in the guitar god ways, and then headed home.

The second weekend of each month is Market Days in Boerne, TX. The Redd Volkaert Trio entertained the market masses on October 18, after a little antique and crafts shopping. I’m not sure if they found any buried treasures, but the fun part is the hunt, right?

Then Redd jetted off to Nashville for a couple days to play on a new artist’s demo, barely making it back in time for the City of Austin’s big HEYBALE! DAY proclamation.

So there’s all the gigs and such since July, but surely there’s been some other news and gossip…

Well, for starters, Heybale! has added a new pedal steel player to the band. Buzz Evans has been tearing it up every Sunday night with the usual suspects at the Continental Club. He also played all the cool steel licks on the new Reddhead CD. Hmmm, I wonder how he got his foot in the door with Heybale? Not that he really needed help. He’s a great player and if you haven’t seen Heybale! lately, you have to go and check out Buzz. Sunday nights at the Continental Club in Austin. (hint hint)

Chris Gilson, the fearless RV Band leader, has been behaving himself and laying pretty low, so we don’t have any funny stories about him for this edition. However, trusty bass player Nate has been making some waves. Well, maybe not waves exactly, but he did grow himself a nice beard. He claimed that he was going to shave when the Cubs won the World Series or something like that, but seeing as how they went out in 4 in the playoffs…well, his beard may be down to his knees by the time that happens. Oops! Did I say that?

And it seems that with all of Redd’s traveling around, the babysitters he’s found for poor little Dick have somehow managed to corrupt the impressionable pup. They’ve been sending him home with lots of fleas and all kinds of bad habits. Like how to sneak out at night. Hopefully Dad can undo some of the damage and get him back to the good clean kid he used to be.

Oh, and I almost forgot a certain someone. And he’s pretty offended that a lot of the record reviews did too. Producer Extraordinaire Alan Durham put buckets of blood sweat and tears, and maybe a little cursing and sleepless nights, into the making of Reddhead, and yet he’s not getting his props from the critics. His name did make it into one review, but he was referred to as “husband of songwriter Laura.” Oh the horror! Poor guy.

I guess that’s about all for this installment. I’ll try to stir up some dirt and better stories for next time. These boys have just been too well behaved lately. BO-RING. But, I say if you can’t find the news, make it up! I promise to try to be more creative.

See you next year!


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