Surf Music at the Hole in the Wall

Saturday night, we experienced some more local music. This time it was Robin Sylar, a local guitarist. The drummer was Kenny Stern, a system administrator at that company I’ve been consulting for recently (yes, the same one where April, the drummer of Frognot works – there are a lot of musically inclined people there). Kenny plays drums on a sort of freelance basis and plays with a variety of local musicians. In addition to Robin and Kenny, Jim Milan played bass. They played in a place called ‘The Hole in the Wall‘ on Harry Hines in Dallas.

Now Harry Hines is not the most upscale area of Dallas, so we were a bit wary of wandering into one of those biker bars like you see on TV where people are always getting into fights and whacking each other over the head with pool cues or beer bottles. Kenny assured us it was a fun little dive so we decided to take our chances. Mind you, we did have second thoughts when we arrived about 9pm and saw a dozen Harleys parked outside. But once we went in, it turned out to be a friendly sort of place. It looked a lot like the older bars and restaurants you see down along the Texas coast. The walls were covered with diving and fishing debris and there were assorted dead, sea-going fish mounted here and there.

The music was a weirdly varied selection of R & B, Surf Music, and Rock and Roll. Some of it was original material by Robin and there were a lot of interesting interpretations of music by The Ventures, Dick Dale, Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Hendrix, and a lot of stuff I’d never heard before. Robin is a great guitar player and all three of them played well together – especially considering that they did this gig without really practicing any of the material together. They were having fun and making things up as they went along. They played 3 sets of about an hour each. We stayed through the first two but had to leave before the last one. On the way out, I picked up Robin’s latest CD, called “Bust Out” and released on the popular Cryptic Goof-Ass label.

I’d forgotten how cool the old surf music sounded. I remember when I was a kid, my older brother had a Ventures album that I used to listen to sometimes. I need to go pick up a few Dick Dale and Ventures CDs. Oh well, I promise to post a news item about something besides music next time – my news page is begining to look like a weekly music review.