District Millworks

Today on Whiskey. Among Other Things… I share the story of Jeremy Williams at District Millworks. While in Los Angeles earlier this year, after spending some time at Apolis’ Common Gallery with Raan Parton, he walked me over to “the mill,” as he called it. After Raan introduced us, we played a game on one of their killer shuffleboard tables, and then Jeremy showed me their skateboard presses.

 

You can see the whole story over at basilhaydens.com

JJ Cale

Saddened to learn of the death of one of rock’s great songwriters, JJ Cale. In addition to writing tunes for the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Waylon Jennings and Tom Petty, he’s perhaps best known for having penned Eric Clapton’s hits “After Midnight” and “Cocaine.”

I had the unique opportunity to see him perform in New York City several years ago, and in the middle of his performance of several of his hits for others, I was thrilled that he made time in his set to play my favorite of his tunes, “Crazy Mama.”

He performs it here with friend and fellow Tulsa, Oklahoma native Leon Russell.

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His obituary in the New York Times.

His official website.

An interview with Cale on NPR.

Guy Clark

Guy Clark sings “My Favorite Picture of You.”

When I’d come home from college with a new mix tape for the three-hour drive in my Jeep, at some point on the visit, I would pick up my high school girlfriend for a catch-up over lunch or dinner or coffee or drinks. She’d dig her fingers into my dad’s hand-me-down sheepskin seat covers. Over the car speakers, Guy Clark would croon “Oh, Susanna, don’t you cry, babe. Love’s a gift that surely handmade,” and she’d smile and scoff, “I thought you didn’t like country music,” a reference to my poohpoohing The Dixie Chicks* while we were still together.

“This? This is different. This is real.”

Towards the end of my sophomore year of college, one of my mentors handed me a photocopy of a bunch of short stories from the singer-songwriter Steve Earle, saying something to the effect of, “Here. This is what you’re trying to do,” referring to my piss-poor attempts to write stories of the American West. Also, it didn’t hurt that the girl I had a crush on at the time was really into Steve Earle.

By the time I was a junior, in effort to channel Mr. Earle, I might have been found walking around campus with a giant afro and sideburns, wearing bell bottoms and a pearl snap, a shiny, vintage pair of pointy-toed cordovan cowboy boots, and amber colored aviators. I most likely had a guitar case at my side.

Guy and Susanna Clark

But this is a story about Guy Clark.

Union Square Donuts

“When you get off the airplane, I have a little surprise for you.”

Union Square Donut’s Heather Schmidt

That’s how the text message read. What it didn’t say was that it was the best thing one road-weary traveller and his girlfriend could’ve possibly encountered. With a bottle of Basil Hayden’s bourbon whiskey in hand, Mr. James Fox of the blog 10 Engines met us in Sommerville, Massachusetts’ Union Square. He then lead us into Heather Schmidt’s Union Square Donuts grand opening.

Among her first batch of donuts were a Dulce de Leche Cinnamon Bun, a Honey Almond, an Orange Ginger Cream, a Chocolate Chipotle, and my personal favorite a Maple Bacon Donut.

For more on Heather’s delicious morsels (and her recipe for Basil Hayden’s caramel sauce), please visit Basil Hayden’s Whiskey… Among Other Things.

The Richter Co.

THE RICHTER SPACE (1)I was heading to San Antonio. I’d asked for recommendations of things to check out from an old college friend who, until literally a week before I was to arrive, had been living there for the last several years. Knowing how much I appreciate a well-made shirt, her first suggestion was that I look into The Richter Co., an upstart clothing company begun by my new friend Mario Guajardo.

Richter CoWhat’s most remarkable about Mario’s shirts is that they are made entirely by him and one other person in a small storefront space in a quickly gentrifying neighborhood just North of the center of downtown.

Richter Co 2Take time to check out their newly launched website, and look for more on my visit to San Antonio, coming soon to Whiskey… Among Other Things.

BNTO

BNTO-Pack-3up-adjscaled

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The enduring appeal of the canning jar as a commonsensical, multi-functional, portable, and downright pragmatical storage tool, makes the latest offering from Aaron Panone, the guy behind Cuppow, a welcome addition to the old jar.

Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic, 1974.

willie nelson picnicWillie Nelson, Texas World Speedway, July 4th, 1974.

Now in its fortieth year, Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnics are the barbecue to end all barbecues. Though each year is legendary in its own right, today, I’d like to focus on the 1974 celebration which looms large in its legend. Nelson was inspired to start a yearly festival by the 1972 Dripping Springs Reunion, where he was a part of the lineup. In 1973, also in the same town, Dripping Springs, Texas, he held “Willie Nelson’s First Annual 4th of July Picnic,” inviting famed rock ‘n roll photographer, Jim Marshall along to photograph the whole thing. The lineup included Earl ScruggsHank SnowSonny JamesTom T. HallTex RitterRoy Acuff, Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. In its aftermath, the people of Dripping Springs called the festival “moral pollution.”