Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Saxon Pub on South Lamar Blvd. in Austin Texas

About halfway between downtown Austin and the Broken Spoke there is a big suit of armor, made out of sheet metal, standing by the side of the road on South Lamar Boulevard, it is pretty hard to miss if you ever drive that route. When you see it you are at the Saxon Pub, a South Austin Institution. If you are like me and prefer your bars to be of the dark in the daytime variety, this is about as close to heaven as you can get. The bar owner turned up some of the lights so I could make a video and it still took some manipulation in the processing to brighten things up enough to be visible. Near darkness and video don't go well together but near darkness and cold beer get along just fine. This place has smaller suits of armor strategically placed around the place, and the sound system for live music is one of the best in the city. Speaking of live music, they sure have the bases covered with as many as four different bands in a single evening; starting around 6 p.m. and going late into the night. Many big names have graced the stage from Willie Nelson to Bonnie Raitt but they were just sitting in with the booked acts like Willie's daughter and Bonnie's old guitar player, Stephen Bruton. I've recorded some YouTube music videos in there myself, in the past, but my camera can't come close to the sound and feel of the live performances. It's just something you have to experience first hand. The place is pretty spacious, as far a neighborhood bars go, and although their parking lot isn't huge I've parked next door at Binswanger Glass, after they've closed for the day, and there has never been a problem or even a threat of being towed away. This is the kind of place that always has a few familiar faces at the bar and often plays host to international music fans from all over the world. It's a must visit during SXSW and you never know who might drop in and play a tune or two. I don't write reviews, but if I did this would be a five star joint. Oh, and what they say about no one under 21 permitted in the bar is a fact I can attest to. Actually, just being over 21 isn't enough, you had better be able to prove it and a New York State drivers license won't do unless you are already obviously well past 21. I know because I got kicked out of the bar, along with my 23 year old nephew, back in 2000. I guess you can't be too careful when your liquor license depends on it. Of course, it didn't stop me from going back by myself the next time I felt like it. Let the youngsters fend for themselves is what I say.

No comments: