Complete text -- "Concert For Two at Onion Creek"

10 December

Concert For Two at Onion Creek

Billy Bucher, Austin, TX, December 2004,

The "My People" Concert For Two at Onion Creek:
A Moment in True Country Time

Since Niederwald, TX, is about twenty miles south of Austin, I wanted to get there ahead of time because I had a bit of a change in my percussion setup. I wanted to be fully prepared for the evenings festivities and the John Vandiver
Tribute Show. That was all right with Jojo, John Vandiver's daughter, because she had to get the posters and DVDs and pictures set up.

You see, Alice's Restaurant has designated that every first Thursday of the month will be called "Chicken Fried Steak Night" in honor of one of John's most popular songs, "Chicken Fried Steak."

So we left Jojo's about 4:30 and took a very, very back route because I-35 was already spilling over with commuter traffic. Austin has changed so much since the sixties and early seventies. Then, Onion Creek was very far outside of town. And, then, Austin still WAS a town. Now, we could see I-35 in the distance and the city of Austin was behind us.

It was brilliant that 2nd day of December and the late afternoon sun was filtering down softly on the yellows and reds and golds in the leaves.

I was telling Jojo about a recording project I was working on in Dallas for Shelly Niebuhr. I told Jojo about her music and then everyone else in the band. Roopa and Jim Tiemann and then I started talking about Cornell Kinderknecht and his magical flutes and recorders, just a few of the numerous instruments he plays.

Cornell is rather like Tom "Bones" Malone who plays in the David Letterman Orchestra. Tom is supposed to play 18 instruments and, incidently, went to North Texas. Certainly, Malone went to the Hob Nob. I guess I should write him and find out.

"Wow, Jojo," I exclaimed, "I wish you could hear this song called 'My People' that Cornell had me put some percussion parts on. I have a copy but it's in my office. I think everything I own is hidden in my office somewhere!"

Just then we arrived at a low water crossing and I realized that we were at Onion Creek.

"Years ago," I told Jojo, "I played a concert out here with the legendary sixties group called Shiva's Headband with Spencer Perskin on violin and another group called Hub City Movers. I still have a poster from that day in the sixties. Hmm, ever remember going skinny-dipping in Onion Creek after the show. Those were the days."

Jojo just laughed and shook her head. "Billy you're so silly!!!" She looked at me with a sideways, quizzical look which suddenly reminded me of how John sometimes looked at me when he thought I was being just a bit crazy.

Since there was no traffic, I stopped a second and Jojo and I stared at the water running over the road in front of us.
For some reason, I opened the armrest hideaway compartment between the seats and there, on top of the stack of CDs, was none other than the copy I had of "My People."

I couldn't believe it. Then, I remembered that a week before I'd played it for Betty when we were going somewhere or other.

"All right," I yelled. "What a stroke of luck. Listen to this. It is just so beautiful you won't believe it."

I slipped in the CD and suddenly flute and percussion began filling the cab of the truck as we stayed still and watched the flowing waters of Onion Creek, dotted here and there with fallen, brightly colored leaves.

Several times, Jojo exclaimed. "Wow, how did he do that?" as Cornell did a rapid run down his flute and once with a flourish that sounded more like unearthly breaking sticks than a flute of any kind. We listened to the whole piece and just sat there for several minutes after it was over.

"That was truly amazing," said Jojo.

"Well, it was certainly fun to layer on the percussion parts. Kind of like being in a percussion ensemble at college with Ron Fink conducting but you're the only player. It was fun."

The sun was still playing with the colors of the leaves and we watched the little swirls of the flowing water of Onion Creek as it crossed the road, knowing we had to be going on. I eased the truck through the moving waters and headed on towards Alice's Restaurant.

We didn't listen to anything for the remainder of the trip. "My People" had totally filled up our souls.

The sound of many hands clapping.
Thanks for the music, Cornell. That's a great one. Hear the sound of four hands clapping.

And thanks later to the people playing at the Tribute. Shake Russell and Dana Cooper with Mike Roberts on bass and yours truly, Billy Bucher, on percussion (bio under billybucher at end of post), Ann Armstrong and Steve Hughes, and single artists such as Tommy Hill, Alton Rex and Ky Hote all took turns at the mike. And, what a surprise, Mike Hearne, whom I hadn't seen for many years, had wandered in all the way from Taos, New Mexico.

Hear the sound of many hands clapping.

Posted by billybucher at 01:27:17 - Category: General

Cornell Kinderknecht wrote:

Bill, I absolutely love the phrase "... a flourish that sounded more like unearthly breaking sticks than a flute of any kind." I must use that as a testimonial on a press page or something sometime. Thanks for the great story and I'm glad you could share my/our music.
12/28/04 12:33:31

billybucher wrote:

Thanks for the kind words. Actually, the phrase "... a flourish that sounded more like unearthly breaking sticks . . . " could also apply to the state of my own mind when I'm trying to put my first thoughts together in the morning before having that, ah, so vital cup of coffee.
Billy Bucher
12/28/04 19:02:01 wrote:

I truly love to hear your enthusiasm for music and what it can do for the soul. People like you are what make great music!! I apperciate all the music you have shared with Avery and I and I sure hope you get the recognition you deserve from your music one day very soon! I hope and pray that in the near future we will all be fortunate enough to buy "The Best of Billy" cd and we can all enjoy the awesome ability you have to make the drums come alive!! You are definitley a true amazing drummer! We love you!!!
12/29/04 12:12:53

billybucher wrote:

Wow, Stormey, those comments pretty much left me speechless. Recently I wrote an email to Jinelle Boyd who is a cofounder of MyTexasMusic with her husband, Lucky Boyd who is a singer, guitarist and songwriter. (See: I basically told her that dealing with her in ordering was as great an experience as the fine sounds you'll receive from them when you receive the CDs. She replied that she printed out my email and put it in her very thin file entitled "CHEER UP." She explained that when things got crazy she could always go back to the 'Cheer Up' file and feel better. Well, that, in turn, freaked me out because I started a "Feel Good" file several years ago with notes from students and parents and people in general who liked something I did. When I get the blues, I pull out the file and within minutes I begin feel better. Jinelle and I agreed that usually people won't comment on the good things but only when they think you did something wrong. Your comments will certainly go into the "Feel Good" file momentarily. I think we'd all be so much better off if we'd make it a priority to just tell other people right away when we think that they are doing something well, whether it be preparing an order for shipping or playing music. In the end, we'd all get that feeling of sheer positive energy as you do when you hear ol' Johnny Vandiver when he's singing 'Calkwalk.' Sings John: "Well, I'm feelin' so much better, I'm gonna cakewalk into town."
Thanks again, Stormey. "Think I'll Calkwalk into Dallas!!!"
Billy Bucher
12/29/04 18:53:42

Wayne wrote:

I was listening to a radio station yesterday (K something out of McKinney, TX) when Ray Wiley Hubbard, working as a guest DJ ,introduced a song by John Vandiver and mentioned his album. I was blown away by the great sound and wonderful lyrics and today ordered the CD from the website run by his daughter.
I had never heard of John but now can not wait to get the CD and tell all my friends about John!
01/22/05 19:19:31

billybucher wrote:

"Thanks for writing in. Playing with John was one of the greatest pleasures of my life. I didn't know they were doing Ray Wylie's show up here but will track it down. It is out of Wimberly, I believe.
I forwarded your statements to Jojo, John's daughter, and I'm glad you enjoy her site and John's music. I think she's done a great job. I sent John's CD to several of my friends across the country at Christmas and they were all blown away."
John's CD, by the way, is up for album of the year from MyTexasMusic. Will announce the results when they come out.
I also wrote stories on John on July 3rd and January 1st of 2004. You can see the later in the archives.
Billy Bucher
01/23/05 12:31:54
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