by Stacey Lovett
The second installment of Luck Ranch’s Live at Luck concert series brought Austin’s own Shakey Graves sharing the stage with a handful of friends.They joined as a continued celebration of the last ten years of music at this magical place. Luck Reunion was held just two nights before, then Jason Isbell kicked off the new spring concert series. Willie Nelson’s Luck, Texas home and ranch has given so much to the community of music lovers and musicians alike.
Outside of the city lights and the structure of the industry, the shows at Spicewood, Texas bring it all back to the basics, back to the essence of what that connection with music brings to the heart of it all. Celebrity is set aside and the spotlight is shone on a tight community – away from the woes of the world into what it’s truly about. For a moment in time we’re aware of being surrounded by nothing but the hills of the Pedernales river and the notes that float in the air among them.
An original Heartbreaker Banquet alum, Shakey Graves brought together a network of friends for an intimate night of music and musings on a shared stage with the feel of a picker’s circle. We all got a glimpse into a different side of these artists than what’s portrayed in the public lens in the beauty of unscripted creativity and stories.
Rising Americana singer SG Goodman, The Flatlanders’ Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Austin-based Southern rock & bluesman Jordan Matthew Young, East Texas backwoods singer songwriter Country Willie Edwards, and iconic Capitol City venue owner Denis O’Donnell all gathered in what Graves jokingly kept referring to as a “cat rodeo”. But this was truly a special event celebrating musical alliance and a reminder of the ties we all hold in uplifting and supporting each other – a theme born out of the time spent apart these last couple of years. Each artist played their own sets as well as collaborations throughout the night with each other in laughter, quips, and often improvised situations.
One such showcase featured Jimmie Dale Gilmore and the Today Band which formed during the soundcheck. It featured Shakey Graves on drums and Jordan Matthew Young on guitar for what turned out to be a seamless performance as an only hours-old band; this speaks to the power of tuning in to the vibe of the night and the creative surroundings.
Housed within the setting of a decades-old film set, Graves deemed everyone citizens of the fake town that night as it came alive (as it does with each one of these special shows). It marked a new vignette of life and music to carry on the tradition of the creative production born of passion and grit, nurturing the energy of this land and continuing to share these events with those lucky enough to attend. Luck is never a façade which is the very beauty and success of these shows and all who attend also join in a society of sorts of those fortunate souls who get to experience firsthand all the meaning it brings.
These dynamic productions lend more of a gleam to a golden opportunity. They are unfiltered portraits of the artists we love and admire, up close and personal and in an authentic light of a very special venue. Luck encompasses all who set foot on this sacred land – there is no ego, no hate, only love and creativity and magic built from music. These gatherings facilitate new friendships all around and celebrate the roots and connection this all has been built on and continue to live on through artists like Shakey Graves and all of his friends old and new. They are a physical example of all the good that ripples out into the world through music.