viernes, 17 de septiembre de 2010
TC´s Lounge es un sitio de esos que sale en las películas. Hablo de esas películas donde muere mucha gente. Sin embargo, TC´s es la casa del blues y el funk en esta ciudad, un secreto escondido en el East Side (lugar que los estudiantes y los blancos evitan a toda costa) y un museo viviente de músicos y personajes. TC es el dueño, BabyGirl su mano derecha y Sheila su mano izquierda. La foto lo representa de maravilla.
Pasé un miércoles en la noche con TC y BabyGirl. Hablamos de blues, alcohol, prejuicios y comida. Nos reímos un rato y escuchamos la banda de funk que esa noche hacía temblar el piso. La historia de abajo lo cuenta todo...
A bluesy home away from home
By Gabino Iglesias
What could make an old, lopsided neighborhood bar with no air conditioning way better than any flashy and fashionable downtown Austin joint? Well, the people, the music, the chow and the freedom, to name a few. Enter TC's Lounge, the real home of the blues.
TC's Lounge is located deep in Austin's East Side, on 1413 Webberville Road to be precise. Its ramshackle exterior and architectonic nonchalance are nothing compared to the amazing quality of the people, music and food you can find on the inside.
"We've been here for about thirty years thanks to the grace of God and the good people that come on by," said the bespectacled man whose initials adorn the hand-painted sign that hangs outside. This is TC, head honcho, music connoisseur, and the bar's owner. (In case you were wondering, TC is quick to point out that those letters are "what it says" on his birth certificate.)
In a city that prides itself on being the Live Music Capital of the World, TC's Lounge can safely be called the last real, gritty blues joint in town, a true gem in a city full of flash. Just looking at the walls and stepping on the cracked floor gives you a sense of the history of the place and the character on the folks who frequent it.
"We like the blues. We like to find good bands and get good people to come and see them," explained TC. "Blues is a way of living. It tells real stories about real people. It's real music."
But blues is not the only music that gets stage time. Soul and funk are readily available multiple nights a week, and the jukebox is one of the best in the city. My visit took place on a Wednesday and the eight-piece hard-edged soul/funk band Felan was staying true to their motto and "shaking the city to its core." With blaring horns, banging percussion and funky-as-hell rhythms played with commanding passion by the impeccably tight group of musicians, Felan provides the perfect soundtrack to a night of beer, sweat, laughter and rollicking good times.
"We're keeping alive the soul/funk tradition of the Wednesday nights," said Alex Felan, on keyboard and vocals. "We just do our thing and let the music speak for itself." (Be sure to check out FelanMusic.com for more on this funk powerhouse.)
TC's Lounge is a living music museum, a showcase for some of the best blues and funk musicians in Austin and a place to feel at home in. Where else can you can bring your own liquor and get some free home-cooked meals while you're at it?
"We make chili beans, enchiladas, whatever," said BabyGirl, TC's right hand. "We just want everyone to feel welcome." According to BabyGirl, many people come to Austin and never leave. TC's is a place where you can make yourself a home away from home.
"In the last seven years or so, I have seen diversity come together," said the man in charge. "We want to let everyone know they're welcome here. We're all family." With BabyGirl's sweet demeanor, TC's fun-loving ways and Sheila serving as his left hand and doling out contagious smiles, it's easy to feel welcome.
"We treat people right. Everybody feels good and we all feel free," concludes TC. Translation: feel free to call or just show up. You have a blues band? Drop by and maybe you get a gig: according to TC, they're "always looking for new blues bands."
Whether you're happy and want to dance the night away among friends, feeling tragic and battling the blues, or just in the mood to enjoy some great music, head on down to TC's Lounge and let Sheila, BabyGirl and TC treat you right. After all, they're family.