I spent the Thanksgiving break with my girlfriend’s family in Austin, and finally made it out to The Broken Spoke, a country venue known for some of the best honky tonk in the area. We had tried to go almost a year ago, after it was recommended to me by a friend who lived in Austin for a number of years, only to find out it was closed the day after Christmas. We went back this time and made it in. It’s a pretty interesting place, that from my limited experience, at least appears to capture the Austin country scene well.
Inside there are a number of tables surrounding a large dance floor, with a stage in the far back. On stage was Gary P. Nunn, an apparently well known Texas country musician, who started out in the 60’s and was big through the 80’s. He played with a simple band — just a drummer, an upwright bassist, and a pedal steel guitar player — and Gary sang and played the guitar. I wasn’t blown away. They were good, but I’ve enjoyed even some of the countryesque bands at Toad, or even some of the music we saw at White Horse in Austin a year ago, much more. But it was fun, and the atmosphere was unique.
The best part was the people watching. The crowd varied from young people in their 20’s to some who seemed as though they’d been coming for 40+ years. Many on the dance floor killed it — showing off some impressive swing on other something-step dance skills that I struggled to fake. I definitely recommend checking it out, although if I were to go back, I’d make sure to look up the band in advance.
Here’s the place from the outside:
And here’s my girlfriend and her brother showing off their moves: