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Music Festival Memories


The Biggest Little Festival, Well Anywhere!


Six years ago this week I had the great opportunity to attend South By Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. I highly recommend a trip to SXSW to any music lover. It’s unlike any festival you’ve every seen. Yes, there are official festival stages, and yes, you can pay to listen to keynotes, panel discussions and paying-customers-only concerts.

But the real magic of SXSW is the nearly 1,000 bands that play the “fringe festival” – travelling at their own expense to play on every street corner and in every doorway, gas station, pizza shop, parking lot, and bar all over town. We deliberately saw over 40 bands in 3 days, and heard at least that many more.

A Dream Come True

There is always at least one breakout band at South By. In 2012, it was Alabama Shakes. I was lucky enough to stand right in front of the stage – in a motel parking lot – and watch them perform as part of a whole afternoon of incredible bands.


The experience was so overwhelming for me, that I started dreaming I was writing songs. When I woke up, I wasn’t sure if I had written the songs or heard someone else play them. Two phrases stuck with me. One was “El Paso trembles,” which I thought maybe I subconsciously picked up from Alabama Shakes. The other phrase was “Ruined Love.”

Play Me a Sad Song

Ruined love seemed like such a sad situation, I wrote the saddest song I could about it later in the summer. That song, Ruined Love, appears on the Club Dave Music CD. A couple years later, I wrote Oklahoma Trembles, about fracking and earthquakes, so I kind of got to use my other Austin dream, too.

Do your dreams influence your creativity? Let me know by commenting on this post.


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