The Drop Everything List
Concerto in Eight Courses, Santa Rita Oil and Hobo Days, Rodney Crowell, and the Texas Blueberry Festival . . .
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Throw your plans out the window. We scoured the state in search of the top events and offerings, from a Concerto in Eight Courses at Triniti restaurant and Rodney Crowell in New Braunfels to the Texas Blueberry Festival and the Santa Rita Oil and Hobo Days. Here’s our super select guide to the things you absolutely can’t afford to miss.
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture, the humorist Martin Mull once said. And simply talking about music—communicating what makes this strange math likable or not—is also complicated. But the Concerto in Eight Courses, a pairing of fine food with live classical music, intends to at least get the dialogue going. This dining experiment is the collaboration of two men who are pioneers in their fields: Ryan Hildebrand, chef of the avant garde Triniti restaurant, and Antoine Plante, conductor of Mercury, the baroque orchestra. Hildebrand’s restaurant will be reconfigured like a stadium so that the diners have a full view of the performers. “We’ll introduce each course and discuss how the pairing came to be,” Hildebrand said. Plante added, “Mainly it’s about the texture and flavor, and how they relate to the music.” An analysis of the marriage between the food and its accompanying music will follow each course. Will Vivaldi’s “Concerto for Four Violins” be analogous to the lobster, a plate laced with strawberry, corn, mustard shortbread and pickled kumquat? Will Handel’s “Concerto Grosso” evoke the rustic qualities of the Uova de Raviolo? “These are pretty abstract when put together,” Plante said. “One of the beautiful things will be hearing everybody talk about it.”
Triniti, June 10, 6 p.m., trinitirestaurant.com
The great troubadour Woody Guthrie romanticized hoboes with his Dust Bowl folk songs, making riding the rails a path to freedom for some. But, for most, this wanderlust lifestyle was born of necessity. “Hoboes were sort of the upper echelon of people during the Depression who were traveling across the U.S. trying to find food, shelter and work,” said David Wood of the Railway Museum of San Angelo, host of the Santa Rita Oil and Hobo Days. This event was formerly just Hobo Day, an immersion into the culture, with washer competitions, hobo costume contests and a chuck wagon serving hobo stew. But this year, tribute will also be paid to Santa Rita No. 1, the nearby oil well that gushed in 1923 and established the San Angelo area as the temporary oil capital of Texas. The railway played an important role in that, and when the boom went bust, the railway became a hangout for hoboes. This timeline will be chronicled with exhibits and oral histories from actual hoboes. “I’ve gotten e-mails from some hoboes, saying they’re coming to the festival,” Wood said.
Railway Museum of San Angelo, June 9, 10 a.m., railwaymuseumsanangelo.homestead.com
The Three Amigos
The Flatlanders’ 40th anniversary show in Lubbock, where the trio formed, will be like Willie Nelson playing Austin or Lyle Lovett playing College Station—absolute devotion between audience and performers. Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock formed the band in 1972 to purvey the first wave of Americana music, but by the end of ’73, after an unsuccessful debut album, the Flatlanders had flat-lined, and each member embarked on a solo career. The threesome reunited in 1998 and has been together on and off since, producing three more albums. Those albums are what the Flatlanders sound like now. But the 2004 CD Live at the One Knite, an unearthed recording of one of their Lubbock shows in ’72, resurrects the original vibe and braces you for what might be dug out of the vault on this milestone night.
Cactus Theater, June 9, 7:30 p.m., theflatlanders.com
Little Blue Dynamos
“Blueberry Fields Forever” is the theme song of the Texas Blueberry Festival. “They’re high in flavor and low in fat, no cholesterol or any of that,” sings Shelby Bond, a k a Cowboy Max, a performer at the festival. “So y’all come down and stuff your face. Cause we got blueberries all over the place.”
Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber, and their antioxidants are thought to stave off Alzheimer’s disease and forms of cancer. That should justify your asking for a second piece of cobbler a la mode at the Blueberry Hill Soda & Sweet Shoppe or another stack at the Blueberry Pancake Breakfast.
Downtown, June 9, 8 a.m., texasblueberryfestival.com
Adventures in Beachcombing & Riparian Discovery, a day of sifting through the sand-filled environs in Matagorda in the minutest detail, will yield treasures that you can’t put a price tag on.
Matagorda Bay Nature Park, June 9, 8 a.m., lcra.org
It will be all about the lyrics when the singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell performs songs from the new album Kin, which he co-wrote with the memoirist Mary Karr, a fellow East Texan who had a hardscrabble upbringing similar to Crowell’s.
Gruene Hall, June 9, 9 p.m., rodneycrowell.com