Category Archives: JESSE'S GIGS


Jesse Sublett, crime fiction writer, legendary Musician & Author, Speaks At All Saints Episcopal March 28

Quoting from Son House

Yes, it’s the same post from this morning. Sorry to confuse you, but the original post had so many errors (some weren’t even my fault), I wanted to repost the corrected version.

Here I am on YouTube, speaking (with a little a capello intro tribute to Son House) at All Saints Episcopal Church, Austin, TX, during Lent, their Autobiographies of Redemption series.  Jesse Sublett at Front Porch session March 28, 2014, “How to Fly with a Heavy Heart.”

(You can also view Stephen Kinney’s flattering introduction here.)

The experts believe that flight evolved as a means of escape from predators. Creatures who were already built for running swiftly developed to the point that they could actually escape from the tyranny of gravity for longer and longer periods, which adds new dimension to the term “flight,” as in leaving one’s problems — creatures who want to hurt, imprison or otherwise negatively impact one’s existence. The first creatures who actually became airborne were really odd looking, and so were the first flying machines developed by man. By the way, an ancestor of mine from the Hill Country, Jacob Broadbeck, is claimed to have built one of the first powered aircraft (although calling it that might be a stretch, even if the wildest claims of its success were true), which he tested either in San Antonio or near Luckenbach in September 1865, just after the end of the treasonous rebellion of the Southern States known as the Civil War–40 years before the first successful flight by the Wright brothers. The Handbook of Texas has a pretty good entry on Broadbeck. Like many German immigrants, Broadbeck was a sour looking fellow, at least in the images I’ve seen, such as this one below, and you have to wonder, did his expression change any when/if his invention “lifted the surly bonds of earth?”

Jacob Broadbeck, ancestor of Jesse Sublett, musician and author

Jacob Broadbeck, a great, great uncle of mine who may have been the first inventor of powered flight

Well, anyway, I spoke about my experiences, growing up Johnson City, which was a mean little town in the sixties, but LBJ was from there, and he was and still is my hero… and becoming a musician, falling in love, experiencing the murder of my first love, Dianne Roberts, by a serial killer in 1976, and dealing with that some 25 years later, when I was struggling, with the help of my beautiful and superhumanly strong wife, Lois Richwine, to overcome the odds of 4 percent chance of survival with throat cancer, starting in 1997. Well, look, it may sound depressing, but there was a lot of laughter, and I think it was the first time that I, Jesse Sublett —surrealistic blues singer, punk rocker, visual artist, crime writer, radical leftist liberal bird lover — have EVER filled the pews of a Christian church! Might be the last time, too. I dunno. I really appreciate being invited by Stephen Kinney, with some urging from congregation member John Burnett… They treated me well. Nice people. And the video was shot by Chris Green. Love the lighting! My face looks like the map of a forbidden continent!

UPCOMING GIGS / EVENTS: May 1, Tertulia at Continental Club Gallery, 7:30 PM… May 12, Noir at the Bar with Jesse Sublett + Ace Atkins, Opal Divine Penn Field 7 PM… June 19, 7 PM Austin book party for Broke, Not Broken: Homer Maxey’s Texas Bank War, by Broadus A. Spivey & Jesse Sublett, at BookPeople… More details to come on the above. [For latest developments, check my FaceBook page. There will be FB events created for most of these gigs.]

FYI, much of what I spoke about to the church gathering was covered in my memoir, Never the Same Again, published in 2004. You can order it by contacting me, or from BookPeople in Austin (they always have it), and you can read all about my other books, including my most recent noir novella, Grave Digger Blues, on the Jesse’s Book Page.

While on the topic of flight, I’ve been studying grackles a lot lately, trying to draw or paint them. They are such weird, funky creatures. I’ll keep trying — if only to redeem myself from the clumsiness of my early attempts.

Jesse Sublett, noir author, essayist, blues singer

Courting Grackle

Jesse Sublett + Lois Richwine + frompunktoputanesca

Me & Lois at the Legendary White Swan

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The Skunks (1978) return for SXSW 2014

The Skunks after the first gig at Raul's 1978, Jesse Sublett, Bill Blackmon, Eddie Munoz, photo by Cheryl Smith. Austin history, The Skunks put Austin on the rock n roll map

The Skunks after the first gig at Raul’s 1978, Jesse Sublett, Bill Blackmon, Eddie Munoz, photo by Cheryl Smith

March 13, at their only SXSW 2014 showcase, THE SKUNKS (1978) are back. Original members Jesse Sublett, Eddie Munoz and Bill Blackmon will recreate the moment Austin, Texas was jolted out of its cosmic cowboy coma in February 1978, when the earthquake-shaking Skunks electrified a little Tejano bar on the Drag called Raul’s, just a month after the Sex Pistols show in San Antonio. With instant classics like “Earthquake Shake” and “Cheap Girl” and “Something About You Scares Me,” the Skunks set the stage for its Live Music Capital of the World rebirth. After 12 whirlwind months, Eddie left for the Plimsouls and was replaced by 19-year-old Jon Dee Graham, who continues to play with the Skunks as well as his many other roles. Spread the word! #TheSkunks1978 Facebook event page here. More bio on The Skunks here.

Check out the mp3s from “The Black LP” from The Skunks 1978 produced by the late Joe Gracey, released on Rude Records in 1981.

The Skunks (1978) will kick off The End Records showcase at 8 PM. Get there early to catch 40 minutes of sizzling, bonerattling rock ‘n roll. The lineup for the whole night follows.

Lit Lounge
215 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
(512) 236-8878

8PM The Skunks (Jesse Sublett)
9PM Marianne’s Wish (George Solonos)
10PM Ruby The Hatchet (John Scarperia)
11PM Okta Logue (Olli Frank)
12PM My Jerusalem (Jeff Klein)
1AM Rich Robinson (Randy Miller)

PS. Eddie Munoz will also be at SXSW 2014 rocking with Split Squad.

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Bookstore Party Gig March 1

Sometimes you know me as an author, sometimes you know me as a musician. This is one of my favorite times, when I get to be both. I’ll have books for sale, and I’ll be putting my music in the air. What could be better? (OK, I’m not asking for suggestions, it’s just a saying). More details to follow, and/or keep up with the bookstore’s own info here.

Jesse Sublett, author, musician, raconteur,

Jesse Sublett & The Big 3 Trio will rock the bookstore Saturday, March 1.

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To help celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’ve put up a new page with my art, some stories about which I’ll share later… not all of them are happy endings, but you may get a chuckle or two on my expense. With no further ado, I’ll post the link here and ask you to have a look.

And I know we’ll see a bunch of you at Tertulia tonight, that quarterly community art event we all look forward to. I usually read a new prose piece, sometimes with my wife, Lois Richwine, but tonight I’ll be singing a new song.

Jesse Sublett, noir writer, blues singer, artist at large, Austin, TX

CHAVEZ ON THE MOON, about 20 x 16, signed limited print, $250.

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Get your tickets to our show here:   Cool show. You’ll dig it. We promise surprises. A portion of proceeds to benefit  HAAM. Your good taste & dollars will help support the health of Austin musicians.

Hosted & produced by Jesse Sublett & Kim Simpson. Featuring Jesse Sublett’s Electric band, with Jesse Sublett, Kim Simpson and Bill Blackmon (original drummer of The Skunks). We’ll be joined by Dashiell Sublett and Jon Dee Graham (also of The Skunks) and Steve Bernal. Solo performances by Steve Bernal, Kathy McCarty, Kacy Crowley, Jon Dee Graham, Kim Simpson… Also featuring the Reivers, Why Not Satellite and The Wild Seeds. Read about it in Austin Monthly (February issue) and other choice media, including Austin.CultureMap. These are all Austin artists for whom Lou Reed has been a seminal influence. It’s not a “Sweet Jane” marathon jam, but a tribute, a recognition of the legacy of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground. Some of us got through dark times in our lives with the help of Lou’s music and the sonic, emotional space occupied by songs like “Waiting for My Man,” “Berlin,” “Stephanie Says,” “Sister Ray,” “Perfect Day,” “Heard her call My Name,” “What Goes On,” “Busload of Faith,” “Venus in Furs,” “Dirty Boulevard,” etc… the list goes on forever, like art itself.

Keep your eye on this blog. I’ll add more later, along with other links to stories about the gig. Oh yeah, we’ll be on KUTX-FM with Jay Trachtenberg at 2:30 PM Thursday, January 30. We’ll do a couple of songs, an interview. It’ll be cool.

Jesse Sublett

Lou Reed Music: An Austin Tribute, presented by Jesse Sublett, with Jon Dee Graham, Dashiell Sublett, Kacy Crowley, Why Not Satellite, The Wild Seeds, the Reivers, Kathy McCarty, Steve Bernal & others TBA


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I just rec’d the news that my friend, the great writer and strange man, Neal Barrett, Jr., has died.

My first reaction, on receiving the email from Kip Stratton, president of TIL, was this:

That’s terrible news. I was already depressed today, so this is the icing on the cake. But I guess I can get myself together somehow, because I can hear Neal in my head saying, “Cheer up shithead, at least you’re not dead. On the other hand, it’s pretty cool out here. See around.”


Neal Barrett, Jr.

Neal Barrett, Jr. , from Austin American Statesman

The above photo was borrowed from a profile about Neal in the Austin American Statesman.
Well, I could write more, like, give you some anecdotes about things Neal said or did when we were hanging out a lot a few years ago, me and Tom Garner, James Crumley, Dick Holland, and the other guys in the gang when Tom would load us up in his Lincoln Town Car and haul us out to Lockhart for barbecue… like when they brought me a big plate of ribs and brisket from Smitty’s when I was on chemo after having my mouth and neck overhauled, and I was down 50 pounds, skin and bones, and I took one bite and said, Wow, boys, thanks, I’ll try to eat more later, and their faces fell down so far… or the day that Neal turned 70 and he said, Wow, 70, what’s that about??? Anyway, here’s the facts.

PS, Nobody wrote about Billy the Kid like Neal. I’ll scan his Billy the Kid story later and share it with you, if you promise to buy one of his books.

Dear TIL Members:

I’m saddened to report that Neal Barrett Jr. died on Sunday. He was 84 years old.
Barrett was inducted into TIL in 1999 and won a TIL award for his novel, Interstate Dreams, the following year. As that novel proved, he was a gifted literary writer — who could be extremely funny. He tended to work in genre fiction, although he twisted and bent the genres to meet his artistic goals. He wrote all sorts of novels — Westerns, science fiction, fantasy, sometimes combining genres — and enjoyed a devoted following. He published around 50 books, 20 or so under his own name. He also used ten noms de plume. He even wrote two Hardy Boys mysteries under the publisher’s house name of Franklin W. Dixon. He was known for mentoring a number of writers, including our own Joe Lansdale, who considered him a close friend. Barrett won a number of other awards in addition to the TIL award, including the Nebula and the Hugo. In 2010, he was named Author Emeritus of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Born in San Antonio, he grew up in Oklahoma City, but called Austin home for many many years. Upon learning of his death, Joe tweeted, “The Great Neal Barrett has died. Great person and writer.” An apt assessment if ever there was one.
Here’ s a link Joe forwarded:
W.K. (Kip) Stratton
TIL President

A link to a Todd Wolfson photo gallery from our United Sounds of Austin Show, Jan 11, at the Moody.

One more link: Advance tickets to my Lou Reed Tribute Show at Cactus Cafe Feb. 1 are now on sale.

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Advance Tickets for LOU REED MUSIC: AN AUSTIN TRIBUTE Feb. 1

Get your tickets to our show here:  Sponsored by HAAM. Cool show. You’ll dig it. We promise surprises.

Jesse Sublett

Lou Reed Music: An Austin Tribute, presented by Jesse Sublett, with Jon Dee Graham, Dashiell Sublett, Kacy Crowley, Why Not Satellite, The Wild Seeds, the Reivers, Kathy McCarty, Steve Bernal & others TBA


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Happy New Year

Jesse Sublett, noir author, bass player

Me & Moe & Lois

A few presents to you, friends & strangers: Starting on New Year’s Eve (12.31.13) all eBooks I’ve published to date are slashed in price. On the Amazon Kindle page for my books, you’ll find all my novels reduced to either $1.99 or $2.99. That includes my most recent, wildest, most surreal novel to date, Grave Digger Blues, which has almost 100 illustrations, song lyrics, and provides links to audio chapters and my original blues soundtrack on two separate pages, and You can download up to an hour or so of my original music and narration. If you dare.

I don’t control my memoir, Never the Same Again, so I can’t lower the price on that one, but I’m going to ask the publisher to consider it. More books are coming from me in 2014, including Broke, Not Broken: Homer Maxey’s Texas Bank War, a non fiction legal thriller and West Texas history chronicle written with Broadus A. Spivey.

Grave Digger Blues, Jesse Sublett,

And, starting on Dec. 31st, the  iPad versions of Rock Critic Murders and Grave Digger Blues, which include tons of added media, including over 100 color graphics, original music and audio chapters and some video, those have also been reduced to $1.99 or $2.99 on the iBookstore site. Cheap, Cheap, Cheap! Go directly to Grave Digger Blues on iTunes, or Rock Critic Murders: 25th Anniversary iPad Edition.

Exciting gigs on the horizon include a Skunks cameo at Alejandro Escovedo’s Sounds of Austinshow at the Moody Theater on January 11. I’ll post more details on that as I learn them. Also…

SATURDAY, FEB. 1st, 2014: The big, cool, classy show I am producing with Kim Simpson is “Lou Reed Music: A Tribute” starring a select group of Austin artists who will be performing their favorite Lou Reed / Velvet Underground songs in the intimate world class room, the Cactus Cafe at UT. HAAM is co-sponsoring. Advance tickets and more information available soon. Our list of performers: Jesse Sublett, Jon Dee Graham, Kim Simpson, the Reivers, Mike Hall & The Wild Seeds, Dashiell Sublett, Why Not Satellite, Steve Bernal, Kacy Crowley, Kathy McCarty, and others TBA. Show starts at 8:30 PM.

Jesse Sublett presents "Lou Reed Music: an Austin Tribute"

Lou Reed Music: An Austin Tribute, presented by Jesse Sublett, with Jon Dee Graham, Dashiell Sublett, Kacy Crowley, Why Not Satellite, The Wild Seeds, the Reivers, Kathy McCarty, Steve Bernal & others TBA

More art is coming, too. Expect some of the usual naked beauties plus other, more abstract things. I’m also working on my minotaur stories and may publish my original one-act musical play script which was formerly titled and performed under the name “Marathon.” The story mixes ancient Greek legend from the Heroic age with West Texas small town football, and a visit by a modern slacker Theseus who must battle a modern evolution of the mythic Minotaur in a labyrinth constructed in a small-town high school football arena. So… stay tuned for that.

Jesse Sublett, author, playwright, bassist extraordinaire, noir novelist, Minotaur Memoirist

Minotaur Ready for Combat in the 21st Century

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Cool gig, Sunday Nov. 24th at One-2-One Bar, just so happens I’m playing. Tribute Concert to Monterey Pop to Benefit MMMF – Music Moves Mountains Foundation, a great cause, a real cool concept. Read about Music Moves Mountains here, and look at the lineup for the show.

Then consider this for a minute before you move on to the images I’ve posted. In Austin, we’ve got so many music festivals & film festivals, high tech cons, etc., back to back, the word “festival” might even seem common, like a dirty word. But flash back for a minute, to June 16, 1967, a day when the Establishment thought they were still in control, and longhaired rockers and leftists were considered weird, off the wall, maybe even dangerous… rockers like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and the San Francisco psychedelic rockers came down like invaders from Mars.. they were the rock messiahs… Otis Redding made everybody cry, shout, shake… Listen, I’m a baby boomer, and maybe I exaggerate sometimes about how important these things were, but they were pretty damn important.
gamble-townshend-monterey-pop-1967-largerSo instead of writing about it, giving my thoughts on Monterey Pop, I’m just going to post some images from it, and let them do the talking. I admit that I do not have any rights to these pictures and have not researched whether they are PD or not, so assume that they are not, they’re just posted for your perusal. And mixed in with the old pix, I’ll insert some pictures of the performers that will be playing at the tribute show on Sunday 11.24.13. Hope you can make it. Thank you, Julie Frost, Madame MMMF, for involving me in this gig. I couldn’t make it last year because I had contracted a case of pneumonia, the second time last year (Much, Much better now, I think I’m past all that 2012 stuff), and will be playing with extra mojo this year with my pal Kim Simpson on the shredding acoustic guitar.

MontereyPopFestival_3 MontereyPop1967_01tumblr_m8y0i2lS7j1rceea4o1_500 tumblr_lg5c1hl8Q01qa1iiqo1_500



Entwistle Monterey group


Here’s a slide show with narration. This was apparently recorded in 2007 by people who experienced it, locals, mostly, with phenomenal photos of the event.










AND here are photos of some of the artists who will be playing at the Tribute show, Kevin McKinney, Andra Mitrovich, Tameca Jones, Dan Dyer, Jesse Sublett, Mike Flanigin, Robert Kraft, Why Not Satellite, Oliver Rajamani.

I’ll add more photos as they are contributed — and please, send pix to me. You can do it through the contact on the menu above, or via Facebook, or some other route. Cheers, Jesse.

The incredible Tameca Jones

The incredible Tameca Jones

Jesse Sublett & Kim Simpson, who will be rocking, acoustic style, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Otis Redding

Jesse Sublett & Kim Simpson, who will be rocking, acoustic style, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Otis Redding

Kevin McKinney

Kevin McKinney

Why Not Satellite

Why Not Satellite

The awesome Tameca Jones

The awesome Tameca Jones

The unstoppable Robert Kraft Trio

The unstoppable Robert Kraft Trio

The indispensable Oliver Rajamani

The indispensable Oliver Rajamani

The legendary Mike Flanigan Trio

The legendary Mike Flanigan Trio

The unfigureoutable Jesse Sublett, by Todd Wolfson

The unfigureoutable Jesse Sublett, by Todd Wolfson




I haven’t had much time to blog lately, and still don’t, but I wanted to throw out some news.

Check this out: New compilation from Soul Jazz Records of London, England, KILL THE HIPPIES! KILL YOURSELF! a collection of great punk rock singles from late 1970s to 1980 including The Skunks (“Earthquake Shake”) and Johnny Thunders, the Normals, Pere Ubu… There’s a book tie-in — PUNK 45 sleeve art… what a great job these guys have done. The title alone makes me proud! I love it. Available NOW.

Jesse Sublett, jon dee graham, the Skunks, Johnny Thunders, punk compilation

GREAT new compilation including THE SKUNKS, Johnny THUNDERS, etc.

Jesse Sublett, jon dee graham, the Skunks, Johnny Thunders, punk compilation

Check this track listing, dudes. Track 14, Earthquake Shake.

I’ve been checking the copy edit of Broke, Not Broken: Homer Maxey’s Texas Bank War, which I wrote with Broadus A. Spivey, and will be published by Texas Tech University Press in Spring 2014. I’m really proud of that book. It’s been a lot of work for us, but it’s a big story and it merits the attention. The Spring catalog isn’t out yet, but you might keep an eye on the TTU Press page, or wait for my update.

I’ll be out and about during the Texas Book Festival this weekend as the ending of a very busy week. Thursday night I’ll be at the MEOW Con banquet (Musicians for Equal Opportunities for Women) as the guest of Kathy Valentine, which is nice. Talk about an icon for women in rock, Kathy, along with Carla Olson, were among the first female rockers in Austin. Kathy and I played together in 1978 and again in 1987-1989… (the Violators and World’s Cutest Killers, respectively), and Carla and I played together in 1978 and again 1989-1990 (the Violators and the Carla Olson/Mick Taylor Band, respectively). And it will be cool to see Suzi Quatro, another pioneer.

November 24, 7 PM, I’ll be playing at the Music Moves Mountains Foundation show at the One-2-One Bar. This one will be a tribute to the Monterey Pop Festival — details here. I’ll have some surprises for you in my little minstrel show, I promise. I’ll be playing upright bass and doing some Who covers and some blues. That’s all I’m saying for now.

Thursday, November 7, at Continental Gallery, it’s Tertulia again. I’ll be reading another strange comic piece with my beautiful wife, Lois Richwine. This will be a reprise of the last Tertulia event, when Lois and I performed my piece “HE & SHE in the Underworld.” This one is a follow up titled “HE & SHE in the Unfigureoutable.”

I’m still working on the Overton Gang book / a k a “Austin Underworld in the 1960s” and plan to be done with a presentable draft by New Year’s Eve. Wish me luck. Hell, send money, rye whiskey and espresso beans from Ethiopia. It will happen. I’m going on the record here.

Now, for a few shots by my friends, David Jewell and Bill Blackmon, of my recent shows with Kim Simpson at Whip In.


Jesse Sublett, noir blues, upright bass, crime writer

My bass. Great shot by Bill Blackmon. I really like how my hair looks in this shot.

Jesse Sublett, noir blues, upright bass, crime writer

Me & my bass by Bill Blackmon who is quite the artistic photographer

Jesse Sublett, noir blues, upright bass, crime writer

Me & my bass, by David Jewel, poet & photographer extraordinaire

Jesse Sublett, noir blues, upright bass, crime writer

Kim Simpson, left, myself right, by David Jewel

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