McGonigel's Mucky Duck is celebrating its 20th anniversary next week. The little venue on Norfolk has consistently been a haven for singer-songwriter types and other folk, pop, rock, country and undefinable acts when they were trying to find a welcoming stage in town.
Some Duck performers — Okkervil River, Old Crow Medicine Show — in recent years have moved on to larger venues. Some who have seen their audiences grow, such as Bob Schneider and Todd Snider, still make a point to play a venue that supported them from the outset. It's also a fine place to find Texas favorites, including Kelly Willis or Ray Wylie Hubbard.
Its sound and sight lines remain clear and clear, respectively. And should you go with an empty stomach, the shepherd's pie has healing properties. Rusty Andrews, who opened the venue 20 years ago with his wife, Teresa, fielded questions about their time at the Duck — one for each year.
Can you pick a single favorite show from the past 20 years?
Tarika. Roots music from Madagascar. … No, really. The band Tarika, fronted by sisters Hanitra and Noro Rasoanaivo, were spellbinding. In 1991,Time Magazine voted them one of the 10 best bands in the world on a list that also included U2, Radiohead, Portishead, Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers. There was a silence when the show ended that seemed to go on forever, and then the room erupted in applause and cheers.?
(See Question 15)
Four wooden clothes hangers, three vanilla candles, two pink Camay (soaps) and one steam iron.
Walter Hyatt, one of my all-time favorites.
Phoebe Legere, American composer, soprano, pianist and accordionist, and centerfold, Playboy, June 1988.
Carolina Chocolate Drops are making their first Duck stop (June 16).
Willie Nelson (Rusty said), Kris Kristofferson (Teresa said).
One a day times 20 years comes to …
What if nobody comes …?
Our opening night was June 1, 1990, featuring the Banded Geckos.
There are three great parts. We have been exceptionally lucky to have been found by a devoted group of music-loving regulars. We have met some of the finest musicians in the world. And we have enjoyed knowing so many fine young people who have worked here over the years.
They have come and gone — some far away and some still here in Houston. Now they are artists, doctors, lawyers, teachers, preachers, bar owners and musicians, but they are still our ducklings, and we wouldn't be here without them.
The first Bruce Cockburn show. An 18-wheeler and a tour bus rolled up and began unloading equipment, which included a Hammond B3, two 48-channel soundboards and 17 guitars. We had to strike 40 seats from an already-sold-out show to make room for all the gear.
But again, because the above-mentioned music-loving regulars are also good sports and are willing to overlook some of our limitations, it all went off without a hitch.
We borrowed 40 bar stools from our friends at the Ale House and lined them up on the opposite side of the Hammond. With the raised seating everyone was able to see over the organ, and what could have been a really sticky situation turned into one of the best shows ever.
Yes, but they still play here, so that's better left unsaid.
If I have any skills, I learned them on the job. Maybe I will be able to work all the kinks out in the next 20 years.
Duct tape, no question! Once wrapped in duct tape it won't move or squeak.
The baptismal fount.
Vern thinks so.