Lockhart's town square is still this Saturday night. Streetlights cast a soothing glow against the 1894 courthouse, imbuing the block with a surreal feel. Stars are visible even in the early-evening sky.
Around the corner on Main Street, neon burns late at Loop & Lil's, the pizza and craft beer joint opened just over a year ago by Chris Hoyt, who fronted former Austin bands like Comanche Club. Next door in the Desiderata Wine Bar, Austin balladeer Mark Ambrose keeps an attentive audience, and across the street at the Pearl, Mark Jungers sits on the tight corner stage playing to a much louder crowd.
"It's really turned around in the last few years," attests Randolph Flores, a Lockhart native and vice president of the Lockhart Area Music Association (LAMA). "We didn't really have bands playing here, where people could have a drink or go dancing in the square. Everything closed at 9:30pm.
"Now there's enough people that it's growing and starting to happen."
Earlier, sitting outside of Henry's Restaurant as tour buses unloaded for barbecue at Smitty's Market across the street, Flores and LAMA President Grady Keenan laid out the opportunities they see around them for live music. Their nonprofit sponsors artists for town events, promotes shows, and hosts monthly songwriter open mics and a biweekly blues jam.
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