Last Honky-Tonk Standing: Celebrate Blanco’s Last Hurrah, Tomorrow
I was lucky enough to catch the inimitable Miss Leslie today at Cactus, and midway through her set, she mentioned that Blanco’s, probably the longest-running country bar I’m aware of anywhere near the Houston city limits, would be closing its door very, very soon. As in, Sunday, December 1st. Damn.
I’ll grant that country music isn’t truly my thing, and you couldn’t bribe me to line-dance for any amount of cold, hard cash, but this really, truly sucks. Blanco’s was — is — an institution, running for more than three decades in a city where bars rarely last more than five (if they’re lucky). And the place held a pretty unique spot in the Houston music firmament, being the one true country bar left standing after all the other collapsed and died away.
There’re plenty of places for folk singers and indie-rockers and rappers and metalheads, but if you’re in a true-blue honky-tonk country band, well, odds are you either played at Blanco’s or played somewhere out past the Beltway. As Miss Leslie put it during her little mid-set speech, for a long time Blanco’s was the only place where they’d let musicians like her play. For that, it’s a damn shame to see it go.
To celebrate/mourn the bar’s passing, there’ll be an a blowout party tomorrow, Saturday, November 30th, with a slew of bands and dancing and who the hell knows what else. I have yet to see a list of everybody who’s playing, but I know Leslie and her band will be there, and so will Snit’s Dog & Pony Show (there’s a name that should make the folks my age sit up and pay attention…). From the sound of it, there’ll be a whole lot more, too, starting at 2PM and running ’til 2AM.
Beyond that, they’re apparently selling the whole damn place, up to and including the actual pieces of the building itself. (Adjacent school St. John’s has bought the property as part of their current expansion; it seems the old Blanco’s building will be torn down to make a new parking lot for the school. sigh.) So if you want to own your very own piece of Houston’s last real honky-tonk, well, here’s your chance. Go raise a beer or three.