It’s sometimes easy to take it for granted. One can walk into the Hole In the Wall on any given afternoon for a pint or grub from East Side King and not think twice about it. But when you do think about it, the Hole In the Wall is an institution, a testament to all the great music that exists in this town or got its start here. Those dark and dingy walls are full of history – impromptu gigs, legendary jams, musicians connecting, and…well, hell. People having a damn good time, really.
The Hole In the Wall was established in 1974, and quickly became a place for new bands to try out their stuff, for established bands to get the room jumping, and for famous artists to catch patrons by surprise with a set or two. Whom, you ask? C’mon. Doug Sahm was a regular. Stevie Ray Vaughn stepped onstage to play with Paul Ray‘s band, The Cobras. Lucinda Williams would play for tips, back in the day. Sterling Morrison (The Velvet Underground) had a weekly residency back in the ’70s, for crying out loud! Beaver Nelson, Nancy Griffith, Spoon, The Gourds, Black Joe Lewis, Gary Clark, Jr. – the list people who’ve played the Hole goes on and on, as do the legendary tales of some wild and crazy times there.
This year, the HITW celebrates 40 glorious years of all this brilliance and insanity with a grand 10-day live music anniversary extravaganza, starting tonight with a kickoff show featuring Grand Champeen (recent hard-rockin’ guests in Studio 1A), Moonlight Towers and Li’l Cap’n Travis. The music starts at 9 p.m.
The shows continue throughout June 28th, featuring Joe King Carrasco, Fastball, Magnet School, Ramsay Midwood, Sixteen Deluxe (on today’s AMM), Orange Mothers, Mrs. Glass, Ben Ballinger, Riverboat Gamblers, BLXPLTN and many more. Visit the HITW website for the entire schedule. Seriously, there are lots of your favorite local bands performing in honor of a great establishment.
Happy Birthday, Hole In the Wall. Here’s to 40 more years of amazing music and wonderful times.
-Special thanks to Paul Minor for his assistance with today’s AMM.