Dylan Bishop

I frequently turn my nose up at Fort Worth musicians. I’ve been called a music snob and I wear that title proudly. But there are always exceptions to everything. The Toadies. Leon Bridges. And most recently, Dylan Bishop.

A month or so ago one of the musicians I use to see called me wanting to know where I was.

“In Austin. Where are you?,” I inquired.

“I’m in Fort Worth with Dylan Bishop and we need a place to stay.”

“Well you know where I live. I don’t know Dylan, but I instantly trust him more than you. Go ahead,” I rolled my eyes and hung up the phone.

I had been hearing about Dylan for a few months. “The boy from Fort Worth.” And I knew he must me good because all my musician friends were endorsing the youngin. He’s all of twenty and plays the blues.

Last week I walk in to my home away from home in Austin, Cboys Heart and Soul to see the best gig on a Monday, Charlie Jones and his band Jonesin.

There are seven drummers in Austin who I think are phenomenal, and Jones is high on that list. The other six are Snizz, John Speice IV, Robb Kidd, JJ Johnson, Johnny Radelat of Gary Clark Jr., and Alex Marrero, who is also a very talented singer and fronts Adrian Quesada’s Brown Sabbath, a Cumbria style cover band that Ozzy has declared “Fucking brilliant.”

Side note… if you don’t know who Adrian Quesada is, then you don’t know music. Texas Monthly did a write up not long ago about the seven degrees of Adrian. And said “He has either written, produced, or been in a band with anyone who is anyone in music today.” And that’s the truth. He is a Grammy winner and absolutely brilliant. Some of his current projects are Groupo Fantasma, Brownout, Brown Sabbath, Ecnocentrics, Spanish Gold, and most recently The Black Pumas featuring himself and Eric Burton. An overnight success for someone who definitely had overnight success coming after decades in the business. Back to my story…

I was thrilled to learn Dylan Bishop was opening for Jonesin and he did not disappoint. I was floored by his talent.

When he got off stage I went up to introduce myself.

“Dylan Bishop?,” it was more a statement then a question.

“Yes,” he grinned and tucked his hair behind his ear as he turned around.

“I’m Alexis. I believe you stayed at my house with Pope a month or so ago?”

His grin widened. “Yes! Thank you so much! Chad and I wrote songs at your kitchen counter.”

“YOU wrote songs at MY kitchen counter?” My mouth dropped open in awe. “Are you fucking serious?!”

He assured me he was serious. And I told him I immediately felt responsible for the success of his next album.

And I do. When he blows up, which he’s already doing, remember my kitchen. Clearly his source of inspiration.

That was a great Monday. Meeting Dylan. Hanging out with Charlie, Russell Lee, Jimmie Graves, Paul Hernandez, my girl Heather, swimming until 5 am playing chicken and having swim races. Russell killed the races, finishing before most got to the halfway mark.

Eric Burton of The Black Pumas was there and kept telling me my eyes had a light that shown brightly in them and that my dimples were gorgeous. My ego was bigger than Pope’s when i left Cboys to head next door to Misty’s to go swimming.

If you are in Austin you should check out Jonesin on Monday nights at Cboy’s. It’s the Monday night that feels like a weekend. Hilary York is the place to be at Cboy’s on Sunday nights. Her voice gives me the chills and her guitar playing and stage presence are something you cannot ignore. Jimmie Vaughn plays there most Friday and Saturday nights. Dylan recently scored a coveted residency and has the Tuesday slot, and The Matt Hubbard Trio opens for The Greyhounds on Wednesdays.

You’ll never be disappointed at Cboy’s. It’s where the musicians go to hang out and local and national celebrities are frequently called on stage to jam. You’re welcome.

Here’s another reason to go see Dylan. Not exactly hard on the eyes.

Losing it All

Sometimes you have to lose everything to gain anything. In the past two years I lost a six figure income job, a fiance, and recently I have put my house on the market, lost my job waiting tables, got in a major car wreck, and broke my phone.

I had held it all together pretty well, but one day a couple of weeks ago I sat down and started bawling. I had a major fight with my parents and I had decided I didn’t care if I was homeless, that whatever happened to me I could handle it.

“You can’t be serious,” a friend had said to me.

“Oh yes I am,” I replied. “I’ve already looked into shelters. I can move into the Union Gospel Mission and they allow children up to the age of 12, which gives me two and a half years to figure it out.”

My friend looked speechless.

It was at the moment of surrendering everything that things began to look up.

The easiest thing was replacing my phone. Next I got my car situation figured out and got a new car. Well, new to me. I’m still waiting to sell my house, but I have an apartment to move into, and I move September 11th. I finished real estate school and I take my test this week. I also got a job working for the real estate agent who is selling my house. I am going to be her assistant, and since she doesn’t work with buyers, she is giving me all the people who are referred to her as such. I also got a job at H&G Supply that I start on Wednesday.

I also started writing a book. Something that was in me for a long time, but I finally took the plunge.

Sometimes surrendering to your higher power and being willing to do absolutely anything is what it takes. It’s what it took for me and instantly things began falling into place.

I’ve been seeing the most adorable man who is 10 years younger than I am and a total freak about commitment, which is okay with me because I haven’t the faintest idea what I want. I’ve been a serial dater the last year or so, but there was just something different about this one.

For one, he has a good job. He’s a counselor for troubled youth, and that just makes my heart melt. He truly wants to make a difference in the world, something that resonates with me.

And he has a good head on his shoulders, which is also something new for me. Normally I date musicians who like the smell of cocaine a little too much.

He challenges me, which is something I also haven’t had in any of my recent relationships, not that we are calling this a relationship, but I did get the counselor to admit we are dating. Ha! I’m not letting him take that back either.

After being through pure hell the past two years, things are on the up and up. And something that I have gained is gratitude. I am absolutely, 100 percent grateful for everything I have in my life. I make gratitude list and almost daily try to think of what I can do to get out of my head and help someone else. This is something that was recommended to be for almost a year, but I naturally fight things that would benefit me and this was no exception.

If you are going through a rough patch, this is my advice… Realize this is a season, and this too shall pass. Happiness nor sadness last forever, it’s just not possible. Be grateful for what you have. Write it down. If you don’t think you have anything to be grateful for here are some things you might be overlooking…

Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have enough food to eat? Do you have clothing? If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’ you have something to be grateful for. Get out of your head. Smile at those around you. Figure out a way to serve others. It will get you out of your head space and make you feel better. If it doesn’t work right away keep doing it. It took me a hot minute, or six months, but it finally worked. And I’m not looking back.

Phish

When your life is in the gutter why not try to uplift your spirits with a Phish show? Some people in the fellowship I am in were going and I thought it would be great to go see some live music with people I knew were going to be sober.

My friend and I arrived in Austin and met up with our sober friends and went to lunch. We were all really excited about the show and talking about being in the Pit {right up front} for the show.

After lunch we went back to meet up with more sober friends and get ready for the show. We wanted to be there early and check out the Shakedown. A strip where Phisheads meet to sell t-shirts and get together and hang out before the show starts.

We make our way into the venue and claim our spots right in front of the stage. My friend had driven some of his friends from college to the venue because they were drinking and we wanted them to be safe.

The show was amazing. They played for three and a half hours. After the show and everyone was dropped off safe and sound we headed back to Fort Worth my friend had to work the next day and I had a lot of stuff to get done.

The stories we got from the guys that stayed in Austin were of Epic proportion. I had never heard such crazyness. The closest thing I had ever heard to this kind of story was the Steve Poltz drug bust. If you haven’t heard that crazy tale you should google it.

Apparently… when we dropped the drinking friends off they Ubered out to continue the party. The girl, let’s call her Kate, had a story that was out of a movie. I didn’t think this stuff happened in real life.

She had gone to my favorite bar Cboy’s and met up with some other friends who had attended the show. She got separated from her husband and her phone was dead.

“How on earth did you get separated?!” I inquired on the phone the next day in disbelief.

We went to the Continental Gallery, and there was a jazz band playing and I got kicked out for being to loud. My husband wanted to stay so I said I’d just walk to Cboy’s and we’d meet up later. I walked out of the bar and a creepy guy started following me, so I ran across the street to the Austin Motel to ask them to call me a cab because I realized my phone was dead and they wouldn’t let me back upstairs to tell my husband.

When she got across the street the lobby was locked and the creepy guy was now right behind her. I ask if she could borrow his phone and he kept trying to get her to go swimming. He said if she went swimming with him he would let her use his phone. Drunk and desperate she agreed.

The pool was closed as it was nearing 2 a.m. They had climbed the fence to get in. Luckily the security guard saw what happened and ran to get them out of the pool. She ran to him and grabbed him and ask him to call her a cab.

He took her to the lobby and locked the crazy guy out. He called a cab and she took it back to Cboy’s where she knew some other friends of hers were. When the cab pulled up her friend was outside with 7 others who had been to the show. He told her to get in the cab with them and he’d eventually get her back to her husband.

when they arrived at his place She ask if she could plug in her phone to charge it. She was immediately uncomfortable when she got back to his ranch in South Austin because she said everyone there was doing cocaine and there seemed to be mounds of the white powder everywhere. The guy plugged her phone in and after a few minutes she became even more frustrated because it wasn’t charging. She was trapped.

The “friend” told her not to worry because they were about to “have some fun” and hop on an ATV that sat nine people and go four wheeling. She really had no option at that point but was quickly sobering up.

She got on the ATV with 7 guys and sped off on the property. She said they approached a thicket on part of the property that had a locked gate. One of the guys jumped off and unlocked it. She said they went for about another mile and there was another locked gate. They went through five locked gates total and she was getting more and more nervous.

After they went through the fifth gate they pulled into a clearing and everyone began jumping out of the ATV and reluctantly she did too. There was a huge open barn in the clearing. The friend flipped a few switches and she said the entire place lit up. He plugged in his bluetooth and cranked up some music. And busted out the coke.

“Here I am trapped in south Austin, on a ranch, in the middle of nowhere with six guys I don’t know and a bunch of cocaine. It was pretty terrifying and I kept asking to get back to my husband. I wanted no part of this situation.”

“I’ll bet,” I replied. “Jesus, it sounds like a fucking nightmare.”

“It gets worse.”

“Worse how in the fuck does it get worse?”

She continues the story. There was one guy I latched onto because he seemed normal and wasn’t doing blow. He was a father who had met my friend at the show. He had flown in from Denver and needed to catch a flight at 9 am back to Denver. She kept asking him to help her get back to the house and get an Uber back to her husband.

Then that guy looked over and spotted several brick type looking things wrapped in plastic wrap.

“If I didn’t know better I’d say those look like kilos of cocaine.”

She looked over too, and her heart immediately began racing.

“Is that what those are?!” She counted 16 wrapped bundles. Then she recognized one of the other guys they were with as a “huge cocaine dealer in the Widespread Panic community.” She kept talking saying her stomach was in such knots she started throwing up. I just wanted to get back to my husband.

She convinces the “normal guy” to get her friend back to the house. Her phone was still dead. She started crying.

The normal guy said something along the lines of, hey, I have a plane to catch in a couple hours and need to get the hell out of here too. Here, I’ll call an Uber right now. He did and she said it took another full hour for the Uber to arrive. They Ubered back to his hotel and then he plugged in this credit card information and sent her back to where she was staying.

When she arrived at the place she was staying she realized she didn’t have the four digit code to get in the place. Luckily they were staying across the street from the Driskell and it was now 5:30 am, when some people were getting up for work. She walked in the hotel and there was a nice looking older gentleman on his phone. She ask if she could borrow the phone and she called her husband.

She got the code and did the walk of shame back across the street to unlock the gate into the place she was staying.

Naturally, her husband was not to thrilled he had lost contact with her for seven hours.

I can’t imagine that conversation went well, but damn. She was lucky to be alive.