Q. What do you call a guitarist who only knows two chords?
A. A music critic.

That’s what I said when I started this site in 1997. Now going on 18 years (where does the time go?), I have used this site to store the many wonderful memories of my musical excursions. It was time for an upgrade, so here is the latest incarnation of my life of live music.

When I started this site, it was pre-blog, not many people even had their own Web sites. I learned Web design to support my love of concert-going, and that blossomed into the career I now have as a professor of new media at Texas State University. When I lived in Houston I was quite starved for good, live, local shows. I did manage to catch several excellent touring concerts like Alanis Morisette, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, Dishwalla, Soul Coughing, Chalk Farm, Geggy Tah, James Taylor, Better Than Ezra, many, many Barenaked Ladies shows, Sting, Natalie Merchant, Lemonheads, Stone Temple Pilots, Van Halen and Soundgarden. My reviews from that time period are available via the links on the right.

In 1999, I moved to Austin, ostensibly for doctoral studies in mass communication, but as it turns out, an even better reason for moving here was to feed my hunger for live music. For music lovers, Austin is Mecca, the Live Music Capital. Now I get to go to great live shows all the time. There are literally multiple great bands to see here every night of the week. I’ve seen regional favorites like Old 97s, Spoon, Fastball, Bob Schneider, and touring bands like Rolling Stones, Wilco, and Son Volt. I’ve been to Austin City Limits and South By Southwest Festivals for years. And, I’ve spent many a Sunday night at Hole in the Wall watching the best talent this city has to offer in Paul Minor, Jeff Johnston, Jon Sanchez, Andrew Duplantis, Mario Matteoli, Darin Murphy, and countless others. I’ve seen my friend Neal Mehta play literally hundreds of times in different lineups including the Recliners, Halloway, Flat Stanley, and as a solo artist. If for no one but myself, I use this site to chronicle my live music adventures.

These days, my posts are more about the photos and media, rather than doing a straight up review of the shows. I started Sessions at OTN in 2009, an interview show at my house, hosting a nice chat and acoustic performance with some of Austin’s finest – quite possibly the best idea I have ever had. But alas, the time for that activity is not available. I might get back to it sometime.

If you have any comments on a review, have a band you want me to check out, or just want to chat with a fellow music lover, you can contact me at clroyal@gmail.com.

I started this site as a labor of love, and now I owe a gigantic debt to it for changing my life, opening up a whole new career for me, and giving me a reason for going out to hear as much live music as possible. If there is one thing I have learned from this experience, it’s to follow your heart. You never know where it might take you.

on that note……