Gage and his amazing roommates (Jesse & Ginger) are all from Asheville (or thereabouts), North Carolina. They are transplants that moved to Texas within the last year or so, one by one and are surely making the most of their time in Austin. These folks are an incredibly talented bunch whether it be through dance, music, art, photography or their fine cookin’ skills they are truly are radiating positive energy.
That’s why I couldn’t wait for their monthly potluck and house show. They had just bought a lovely Christmas tree and asked that along with a dish to share that everyone bring an ornament to hang on the tree. Before the start of the music, the once bare tree was vibrant with all different shades and colors and sparkling with homemade magic and love. The food was equally delicious with peanut soup, vegan cheesy grits, sauteed veggies, homemade bread, and countless desserts. With our bellies full of warm food there was only one thing we were all eagerly awaiting and that was the music. With a line up including Loblolly Boy , Cole Bee Wilson , Aisha Burns of Balmorhea, Chase Weinacht of the Marmalakes, a few friends from NC and Jesse among a few others. There must have been 30 people or more nestled closely in the front living room space which made for a super cozy and intimate setting on this December’s eve.
It made me realize that this kind of setting is the best environment for hearing live music. Everyone in the room was silent except for their smiles – you could actually feel their smiles as they were creating their own quiet noise (which is the kind of noise we could all use a little more of in our day to day lives). Each singer was unique and had a different story to tell yet we were all moved by each one. As the night went on the room got more cozy and even the doorways were filled with new faces. My cowgirl cookies were a hit which lead to being introduced to some people from back east…
I was in the hallway in between sets and got to talking with Luke (Loblollyboy) who is originally from the beautiful state of Maine and so naturally we started to talk of lobstering and the like. He spoke of his friend, Dan who was also at the party and said he had just moved here 5 days previous from the east coast. Eventually Dan made his way over and upon meeting him his face looked familiar. He mentioned that he lived in RI and attended UMASS. I asked, “which one.” He said, “Dartmouth.” I said, “Then you must know my best friend.. she was an English major..” “I know a few English majors. What’s her name?” “Ms. Athena Moore” — and ’tis a small World after all – turns out Dan who just moved to Austin is also a good friend of Athena’s from college. This is the kind of stuff that I live for – making you realize that had you not made the decisions leading up to that moment it would have never existed. Just like the day before that I had with Ryan & Jess… it put me right there in the moment and all I could do was smile.
An amazing evening was had by all – there wasn’t one person I locked eyes with that night that wasn’t smiling (they are contagious after all). So, at the end of the night we were all in good spirits with our feet hardly touching the ground as we left the warm, cozy space of the Cotton St. House into the refreshingly chilled December air..
photos taken by Ryan Martin