Book review: ’39 Down’ by Paul Schwartzmeyer

’39 Down’ is book one of the Joseph Schneider, Traitor-Patriot series by Paul Schwartzmeyer. Photo: amazon

Paul Schwartzmeyer is a former Marine Corp radio man. After graduating from college, he worked on oil rigs in the bayous of offshore Louisiana and in Texas. For eight years he worked as an engineer in the Saudi Desert where he was given the highest level security clearance to work with radioactivity and explosives. He also worked in Dubai as well as in the Al Rub Al Khali, one of the most desolate places on earth. His worldwide contacts include soldiers of fortune, oil industry executives, combat veterans, hostage negotiators, madams, and pub owners. He has extensive knowledge in the workings of international banks, trade cartels and the civilian military complex and his books are metaphors for a world few people ever see. He is the author of the series Joseph Schneider, Traitor-Patriot. “39 Down” is book 1 of the series and the story of Paul Trifthauser, who unknowingly inherits an espionage network from his grandfather.

“39 Down” begins with a CIA memo to the FBI director from the Intelligence Division regarding Joseph Gerhold Wendel Schneider that includes his personal information such as date of birth, occupations, and known family members: his grandson Paul Trifthauser, who is the protagonist of this series. The story starts as Arianna, Paul’s girlfriend, is grieving the death of Gregor, Paul’s best friend. He was shot coming out of Paul’s office building while wearing his jacket so Paul assumes he was the intended target, not Gregor. His death spooks them so much that when Paul’s mother calls to say she is selling the family home and that he needs to go and clean out his stuff, he and Arianna do not think twice about leaving town. Paul is newly sober and he fears that if he starts drinking again, he will lose Arianna and he has already lost too much. But Gregor’s death is only the beginning of the drama and chaos that will upend both their lives. When they find Joseph’s stack of crossword puzzles in the family home’s barn, Arianna, who is good at puzzles, goes through them. Together, they begin to unlock the mystery of Joseph’s past which leads to Paul unknowingly inheriting an espionage network so secretive and so lethal that that even the CIA was afraid to confront it. Buried in layers of code, hidden in 3,000 crossword puzzles are Joseph Schneider’s secrets. Now Paul has to figure out the code before his grandfather’s enemies, the world’s massive trading cartels, realize he does not know it. Not knowing who he can trust and armed with nothing but intuition and with the help of a twenty-nine year old Indian prostitute named Alejandra, he races against time in an attempt to stay alive.  

The Joseph Schneider, Traitor-Patriot series is based on many composite characters, including Paul Schwartzmeyer’s grandfather Joseph Reeb, who was a former tanner for the Pearce Arrow company, a decorated combat veteran in World War I, and owned a furniture store in Buffalo. “39 Down” has a feeling of authenticity since the author used some of his own background to create the Paul Trifthauser universe, including spies, cartels, and Alejandra, the prostitute/assistant. It is narrated in the first person point of view so the reader has an insight into Paul’s state of mind, especially when everything is falling apart around him. Due to Paul’s extensive character development, readers come to care about what happens to him. The language is easy to understand and poetic at times: “The Rover glided over the sand as if we were floating on a cloud.” Some chapters begin with CIA memos updating the Trifthauser/Schneider case which hints that the CIA really is following Paul, that he is not just paranoid. His grandfather’s code name was Arnus, ‘39 Down’ in correspondence with foreign agents; that is where the novel’s title comes in.  It is fascinating when Paul describes what it is like living in isolation and how traumatic it can be going back to civilization: “It takes about a month to internalize it. It’s a process. At night, the silence is so encompassing that your ears ring. The ringing keeps you awake, but when that dies down, your body takes on a calmness that’s quite profound. After just five months, I returned to ‘civilization.’ It was one of the most horrid experiences in my life. I couldn’t sleep inside, choosing to sleep on the roof of my apartment in Dhahran. I drank incessantly, I thought I’d lose my mind.” With action that flows easily through the pages, it is a definite must-read. “39 Down” by Paul Schwartzmeyer is a globe-trotting spy adventure that sometimes keeps readers guessing but does not disappoint. It is recommended for fans of spy thrillers similar to The Bourne series by Robert Ludlam and the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child.

The Kindle edition of “39 Down” appears to be the unedited version because it has numerous typos and grammatical/spelling errors. This does not take away from the quality of the story.

*The author received a copy of this book for an honest review. The views and opinions expressed here belong solely to her.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

San Antonio Museum of Art announces acquisition of historic Chinese artworks

San Antonio Museum of Art. Photo: google

Yesterday the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) announced the acquisition of important historic Chinese artworks, including a gilt openwork crown and a gilt plaque decorated with a standing lion, both from the Liao dynasty (907–1125); a set of jade belt plaques from the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), and a set of gilt silver hairpins embellished with kingfisher feathers from the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). These new artworks expand SAMA’s stellar collection of Chinese art, which has particular strengths in ceramics from the dawn of Chinese civilization to modern time. The new acquisitions are part of an ongoing effort to enhance under-represented areas within the Museum’s wider Asian art collection such as metal work and jade. (San Antonio Museum of Art, 2021)

“The artworks announced today capture the incredible artistry and skill of Chinese craftsman from across history, while also illuminating the importance of these objects—and the imagery and material they hold—to Chinese culture and society,” said Shawn Yuan, Associate Curator of Asian Art. “We are delighted to enhance the Museum’s Chinese art holdings with these stunning works, which further our ability to share narratives and develop understanding of Chinese material culture through time.”

China, Liao dynasty (907-1125)
Gilt bronze
H. 11 7/16”
Purchased with funds provided by the Bessie Timon Endowment Fund

The magnificent gilt crown is a mortuary item for a noblewoman of the semi-nomadic Khitan people, who lived in today’s northern China and Mongolia in the 11th to 12th century. The domed cap is covered with chased floral scrolls and surmounted by a lotus flower and a now-missing deity. On each of the attached standing “wings,” two glorious phoenixes, with wide spreading wings and long tails, are positioned among scudding clouds. This crown is an example of the luxurious lifestyle of the Khitan elite, who established the powerful Liao dynasty and controlled an enormous landmass bordering Korea to the east and central Asia to the west. Acquiring this crown helps the Museum to present a more complete image of the rich Liao dynasty material culture, along with the Museum’s expansive collection of Liao ceramics.

Plaque with a Standing Lion
China, Liao dynasty (907-1125)
Gilt bronze
L. 8 3/8” W. 4 7/8”
Purchased with funds provided by the Bessie Timon Endowment Fund

The gilt bronze plaque decorated with a standing lion is an example of the impressive craftsmanship of the Liao dynasty. The energetic lion, hammered in low relief, stands on his left hind leg while thrusting the other forward. The lion’s broad chest rises, and his massive head turns backward as his flamboyant mane sweeps upward. Under the bushy eyebrows, the lion’s eyes focus intensely on a flaming pearl. The imagery has a Buddhist origin: the lion guards the Buddha’s teaching while the flaming pearl represents the Buddha’s wisdom. The images of a lion with protective power are rarely seen on other Liao works in the Museum’s collection.

Belt Plaques
China, Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
Elongated tab: 3.5”x1.4”; rectangular: 3.1”x1.4”, 2.2”x1.4”, 1.4”x0.7”; tear-drop: 1.4”x1.3”
Purchased with funds provided by the Bessie Timon Endowment Fund

The set of eighteen jade plaques is the first important jade work to enter the Chinese collection. Jade has been China’s most valued gemstone since the dawn of its civilization. These plaques were once attached to belts worn by noblemen. The rectangular plaques are carved in high relief with lively scenes of male figures teasing frolicking lions with ribbons—an auspicious subject with a long history in Chinese art. The hardness of jade is second only to that of diamonds. The delicate carvings on these plaques present the impressive craftsmanship of the jade carver.

China, Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Silver and kingfisher feather
5 ¾” to 5 ¼”x3 ¼” by 3 1/8”
Purchased with funds provided by the Bessie Timon Endowment Fund

The set of three gilt silver hair pins is an exciting addition to SAMA’s collection of Chinese dragon robes, embroidered brocade, shoes, and jewelry—all items from the wardrobes of upper-class families. All three hairpins are inlaid with kingfisher feathers, whose colors are as brilliant as azurite, lapis, cobalt, and turquoise. They were iridescent under the sunlight, creating a dazzling visual effect. Kingfisher feathers were a luxury material used on hair ornaments and crowns for thousands of years. The dominant image on each hairpin is a stylized bat with foliate wings outlined in thin silver. Bats are considered auspicious because the word bat is pronounced the same as luck and blessing.

The San Antonio Museum of Art serves as a forum to explore and connect with art that spans the world’s geographies, artistic periods, genres, and cultures. Its collection contains nearly 30,000 works representing 5,000 years of history. Housed in the historic Lone Star Brewery on the Museum Reach of San Antonio’s River Walk, the San Antonio Museum of Art is committed to promoting the rich cultural heritage and life of the city. The Museum hosts hundreds of events and public programs each year, including concerts, performances, tours, lectures, symposia, and interactive experiences. As an active civic leader, the Museum is dedicated to enriching the cultural life of the city and the region, and to supporting its creative community.

Plaque with a Standing Lion China, Liao dynasty (907-1125) Gilt Bronze L. 8 3/8″ W. 4 7/8″ Purchased with funds provided by the Bessie Timon Endowment Fund 2021.1.2 Courtesy photo, used with permission.

Whataburger’s latest limited-time summer menu

Whataburger’s Pico De Gallo Burger is back. Photo: Whataburger, used with permission.

Back by popular demand, the Whataburger Pico De Gallo Burger is back, and the brand is serving up more Southwest flavor than ever before with all-new Whataburger Pico de Gallo Chicken Sandwiches. Plus, shaking things up, literally, with the new Whataburger Peaches & Cream Shake. (Whataburger, 2021)

Celebrating the rich culture of pico de gallo, the Whataburger Pico de Gallo Burger and Pico de Gallo Chicken Sandwiches feature ingredients like pepper jack cheese, crisp pico de gallo, and a Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce, which create a unique pop of bright flavors with the perfect kick. Nothing says sweet summertime like the new limited-time Whataburger Peaches & Cream Shake, which boasts a perfectly blended flavor of peach and vanilla with just the right level of sweetness. All items are available now for a limited time, and prices vary by market.

Whataburger has been making burgers since 1950 when Harman Dobson opened a humble hamburger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He wanted customers to take one bite and say, “What a burger” so he named his stand on Ayers St “Whataburger.” Whataburger now has over 800 locations across the country and continues to deliver fresh, made to order meals everyday with superior customer service.  Community support includes charitable giving and volunteerism to nonprofit organizations that focus on children’s charities, cancer research, hunger assistance, disaster relief, and military support.

Beat the heat with grilled fruit margaritas from Twang

Watermelon margarita made with Twang-a-Rita chili lime rimming salt. Photo: Twang, used with permission.

As the weather heats up, everyone can use recipes for refreshing summer cocktails. These grilled fruit margaritas are brought to you by Aaron Peña, bartender and owner of The Squeezebox and Amor Eterno in San Antonio, and Twang, a San Antonio-based manufacturer of salts, seasonings and drink mixes. These margaritas are great for a Fourth of July get together or any summer occasion. (Twang, 2021)


  • 1/2 cup fresh grilled Watermelon, Mango or Cucumber (depending on preference)
  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed Lime Juice
  • ¾ oz. Agave syrup – adjust to your taste
  • 2 oz. Blanco Tequila
  • 1 cup of Ice
  • Twang-A-Rita Sunrise Spice


  • Lightly grill fruit of choice on a grill
  • Add grilled fruit, ice, lime juice, tequila, and agave syrup to blender and blend on high speed
  • Rim glass with Twang-A-Rita Sunrise Spice or your favorite Twang salt.
  • Pour into your rimmed glassware and enjoy

Based in San Antonio, Texas, Twang Partners Ltd. is a family-owned and operated creator and manufacturer of premium-flavored salts, sugars and seasonings and credited as being “The original beer salt.” Since 1986, Twang Partners has produced the highest quality products designed to enhance the taste, appearance and enjoyment of food and beverages. Brands include Beer Salt, Twangerz, Twang-A-Rita, Twang Reserve Michelada Mix, Twang Reserve Rimming Salts, and ZAS! Super Seasoning. Twang products are available in grocery, convenience, liquor and specialty store shelves in 48 states across the country. Twang Partners has successfully collaborated with some of the top food and beverage companies around the world to create innovative custom blends.

Grilled fruit margarita by Twang

Upcoming new book release: ‘The Hollows’ by Mark Edwards

‘The Hollows’ by Mark Edwards will be out July 8, 2021. Photo: amazon

Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people. He has sold 3 million books since his first novel, “The Magpies,” was published in 2013, and has topped the bestseller lists several times. His other novels include “Follow You Home,” “The Retreat,” “In Her Shadow,” “Because She Loves Me,” “The House Guest,” and “Here To Stay.” He has also co-authored six books with Louise Voss. His new book “The Hollows,” a chilling story set deep in the woods, will be out Thursday July 8, 2021 and is available for pre-order on amazon. (amazon, 2021)

“The Hollows” – With his marriage over and his career in freefall, journalist Tom decides to reconnect with his fourteen-year-old daughter, Frankie. Desperate to spend precious time together now that they live an ocean apart, he brings her to Hollow Falls, a cabin resort deep in the woods of Maine. From the outset there is something a little eerie about the place―strange whispers in the trees, windchimes echoing through the forest―but when Tom meets true-crime podcasters David and Connie, he receives a chilling warning. Hollow Falls has a gruesome history: twenty years ago this week, a double slaying shut down the resort. The crime was never solved, and now the woods are overrun with murder-obsessed tourists looking to mark the grim anniversary. It is clear that there is something deeply disturbing going on at Hollow Falls. And as Tom’s dream trip turns into a nightmare, he and Frankie are faced with a choice: uncover the truth, or get out while they still can.



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Release: ‘The Hollows’ by Mark Edwards

MerleFest announces full lineup

JOHNNYSWIM, The Milk Carton Kids, We Banjo 3 and many more added to list of performers for September 16-19 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Photo: google

MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the full lineup for MerleFest 2021, which will take place September 16-19, 2021. This lineup of world-class bands and artists will be joining the annual homecoming of musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. MerleFest tickets are on sale now. (MerleFest, 2021)

MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk and gospel, and blues and expanded to include Americana, classic rock, and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the multi-day event. MerleFest is the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects, and other educational needs.

The following is MerleFest’s complete list of performers including the previously announced headliners:
Sturgill Simpson, Tedeschi Trucks, Melissa Etheridge, Mavis Staples, Margo Price, LeAnn Rimes, Shovels & Rope, Balsam Range, Amythyst Kiah, JOHNNYSWIM, The Milk Carton Kids, We Banjo 3, Adam Traum, Banknotes, Bill and the Belles, Brittney Spencer, Cane Mill Road, Carol Rifkin, Charles Welch, Charley Crockett, Chatham Rabbits, Cordovas, Creole Stomp with Dennis Stroughmatt, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Donna the Buffalo, Happy Traum, Hogslop String Band, Iron Horse Bluegrass, Jack Lawrence, Jeff Little Trio, Jim Lauderdale, Jody Carroll, Joe Smothers, Joe Troop (of Che Apalache), John Cowan, Kelsey Waldon, Kruger Brothers, Laura Boosinger, Mark Bumgarner, Mary Flower, Mitch Greenhill & String Madness, Moore Brothers, Nefesh Mountain, Oliver Hazard, One Fret Over, Paul Thorn, Pete & Joan Wernick, Peter Rowan & Free Mexican Airforce with Los Texmaniacs, Piedmont Bluz, Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, Presley Barker, Rev. Robert Jones, Robbie Fulks, Roy Book Binder, Sam Bush Band, Sam Williams, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Scythian, Shinyribs, Sierra Ferrell, Smitty and the Jumpstarters, Sweet Potato Pie, T. Michael Coleman, Terrapin Creek, The Barefoot Movement, The Cleverlys, The InterACTive Theatre of Jef, The Local Boys, The Waybacks, Tommy Emmanuel, Tony Williamson, Wayne Henderson, Wyld Fern, Yasmin Williams, and Zoe & Cloyd.

JOHNNYSWIM: Much like families, bands go through it all together. At the core, husband-and-wife Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano translate the memories, moments, and milestones on their journey into spirited, slick, and soulful anthems steeped in singer-songwriter tradition, yet amplified by alternative experimentation, rock energy, and pop ambition. JOHNNYSWIM will perform on Friday evening.

The Milk Carton Kids: Listening to The Milk Carton Kids —Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale—talk about their creative process, it is easy to imagine them running in opposite directions even while yoked together. Defying the conventions of melody and harmony is a strategy The Milk Carton Kids have consciously embraced. The Only Ones, the group’s latest record, finds Ryan and Pattengale performing a stripped-down acoustic set without a backing band. On “The Only Ones,” the pair returns to the core of what they are about musically: the duo. The Milk Carton Kids perform on Friday evening.

We Banjo 3: One of the best live acts to come out of Ireland in many years, the multi-award winning We Banjo 3 combine supergroup credentials with a breath-taking command of the emotive power of fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and banjo. Any single member of this group could electrify a venue with a solo performance, but together, in the joyous musical alchemy of We Banjo 3, their passionate lead vocalist like a young Springsteen adopted by the Chieftans, the result is truly unforgettable. Simply put, the gold standard of Irish and American roots music. We Banjo 3 will perform on Saturday and Sunday.




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MerleFest 2021

Blue Star Contemporary presents three new summer exhibitions

Blue Star Contemporary presents the work of Doerte Weber, Joanna Keane Lopez, and Terran Last Gun. Photo: google

Blue Star Contemporary (BSC), San Antonio’s first and longest-running contemporary art nonprofit, announces the opening of three new summer 2021 exhibitions, opening to the public on Thursday July 1, 2021. The solo exhibitions feature the work of Doerte Weber, Joanna Keane Lopez, and Terran Last Gun. (Blue Star Contemporary, 2021)

Doerte Weber presents Shed, a collection of weavings reflecting on COVID-19, everyday life during the pandemic, and climate issues. Joanna Keane Lopez is a multidisciplinary artist whose work blurs boundaries between contemporary sculpture and architecture through the medium of adobe mud. Her BSC presentation will include a newly commissioned sculptural work. Terran Last Gun presents an exhibition of ledger drawings, a form which rose to prominence among Native American artists in the mid-1800s and continues today.

In her work, Doerte Weber reflects on the emotions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic as she worked on more than 45 handwoven towels. As Weber worked on the loom, she experimented with patterns, colors, designs, and inscriptions. The resulting work is a direct reflection on the feelings of frustration, worry, and acceptance.

Joanna Keane Lopez is a multidisciplinary artist whose work blurs the boundaries between contemporary sculpture and architecture through the medium of adobe mud. By working with materials of adobe architecture, earthen plaster, and alíz (a clay slip paint) her work addresses sculpture’s relationship with land. Through the passing down of knowledge of the vernacular architecture techniques of the greater Southwest, Joanna creates work that seeks healing and reparation of fragmentation towards land, home, family, and community that is connected to her own multi-generational roots in New Mexico.

Terran Last Gun creates a visual interpretation of nature, the cosmos, cultural narratives, and recollections in reduced geometric aesthetics and vibrant energetic color harmonies. Often referencing Piikani painted lodges and visual iconographic vocabulary, his work explores the varying relationships between color, shape, nature, and sky. Piikani or Blackfoot painted lodges are visual masterpieces of the Great Plains and are pre-European invasion classic art. Through various art making approaches, Terran Last Gun seeks to connect the ancient to the contemporary while creating visual color stimulation. His presentation at BSC, features ledger drawings which explore and visually dissect the three visual tiers of most Piikani painted lodges with a focus on the top and bottom zones, and the various narratives that accompany them and make connections to the land and sky. 

These three exhibitions accompany The Sitter, which opened last month, featuring works by artists who use contemporary portraiture and figuration to build narratives and generate conversation around the subjects’ actions, experiences, or identities. Exhibiting artist include La Vaughn Belle, Suzette Bross, Ruth Leonela Buentello, Carmen Cartiness Johnson, Madison Cowles Serna, Natan Dvir, Sarah Fox, LaToya Hobbs, Loc Huynh, David Johnson, Philip Matthews, Zora J Murff, and Cruz Ortiz.

For the first time at Blue Star contemporary, the exhibitions are accompanied by an interactive app featuring in-depth exploration through gallery texts, visitor prompts, and information aimed at giving visitors a broader context to engage with the works of art. The newly launched app is free to download and available at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

“Last month, we saw great energy and excitement in our galleries as people enjoy their new freedom and venture off to see art in person. This app has allowed our visitors to have an enhanced on-site experience, but it has also allowed them to spend more time with the exhibition content once they are back home and take time to reflect on the work they saw.”

Mary Heathcott, Executive Director

All BSC’s summer exhibitions will be on view through September 5, 2021. Terran Last Gun’s exhibition was made possible in part by First Peoples Fund. Blue Star Contemporary’s exhibitions are supported in part by the City of San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Blue Star Contemporary (BSC) is the first and longest-running nonprofit space for contemporary art in San Antonio, Texas. Founded by artists and grown from a grassroots art exhibition in 1986, BSC arose from the need to provide a platform for the work and ideas of contemporary artists. As an artist-centric, educational, forward-thinking, inclusive institution that strives to exceed expectations, BSC welcomes 30,000 residents and cultural tourists each year to experience contemporary art through its exhibitions, public art projects, and education programs. In 2016, BSC became the first San Antonio arts organization to be W.A.G.E.-certified, solidifying its commitment to fair compensation of artists and creative professionals.

The Accidentals to embark on fall tour with Sawyer Fredericks

The Accidentals will be touring in support of their upcoming release Vessel. Courtesy photo, used with permission.

On September 29, multi-faceted folk-rockers The Accidentals will kick off a long-awaited U.S. tour in their home state of Michigan. Joined by their friend and collaborator Sawyer Fredericks, this co-bill tour will take the female-fronted, multi-instrumentalist power trio throughout Michigan and the Midwest before heading east for a southerly jaunt from Boston, through New York, Philly, D.C., and down into the Southeast. (The Accidentals, 2021)

The Accidentals—Sav Buist, Katie Larson, and Michael Dause—are touring in support of their upcoming release Vessel, which is due out October 1, 2021. Billboard says, “The Accidentals display a genre-hopping range of influences and some smart songwriting skills to go with their abundant musical chops.” NPR called the band “some of the most compelling writers of our time,” before saying “they display equal interest in the focused musical forms of indie rock and pop and the expansive potential of orchestral arrangements, jam band open-endedness, and impressionistic singer-songwriter expression.”

This tour is not the first time The Accidentals have collaborated with Fredericks. The Accidentals’ Larson and Buist contributed two songs to Fredericks’ recent Flowers For You album—“Lies You Tell” and “Days Go By”—and were also featured in the video for “Lies You Tell.” “The Accidentals have great energy on stage and a very driven work ethic,” says Fredericks. “In addition to the fun of touring with good friends, I also feel I will learn and grow a lot through working with them.” Fredericks will perform solo from the first date in Traverse City, MI, until his band joins him at Chicago’s City Winery for the duration of their tour.

Catch The Accidentals and Sawyer Fredericks on Tour:

9/29 – Traverse City Opera House – Traverse City, MI *
9/30 – Traverse City Opera House – Traverse City, MI *
10/1 – State Theatre – Bay City, MI *
10/2 – The Ark – Ann Arbor, MI *
10/3 – Beachland Tavern – Cleveland, OH *
10/7 – Great Lakes Center For The Arts (Blissfest) – Petoskey, MI *
10/8 – Cheboygan Opera House (Blissfest) – Cheboygan, MI *
10/9 – Calvin University – Grand Rapids, MI *
10/10 – City Winery – Chicago, IL
10/13 – Lake Michigan College Mendel Center – Benton Harbor, MI
10/14 – Riverdog Concert Series – Wakeman, OH
10/16 – Daryl’s House – Pawling, NY
10/17 – Club Passim – Boston, MA
10/20 – City Winery Loft – New York, NY
10/21 – Gateway City Arts – Holyoke, MA
10/22 – The Linda – Albany, NY
10/23 – Jonathon’s – Ogunquit, ME
10/24 – Voices Cafe Presents @ The Bijou – Bridgeport, CT
10/26 – Ardmore Music Hall – Philadelphia, PA
10/27 – Ramshead Tavern – Annapolis, MD
10/28 – City Winery Main Room – Washington DC
10/30 – Evening Muse – Charlotte, NC
10/31 – City Winery Main Room – Atlanta, GA
11/3 – City Winery Main Room – Nashville, TN
11/7 – The Quonset – Memphis, TN

*Sawyer Fredericks solo opening set
Rest of shows are co-bills with Sawyer and his full band

Celebrate Independence Day with La Panadería

La Panadería’s red, white, and blue pan dulce, the Tres Leches Croissant. Photo: La Panadería, used with permission.

Returning just in time for Independence Day Weekend, San Antonio staple La Panadería will bring back its patriotic-themed croissant, available at its Broadway, Houston St. and La Cantera Heights locations for a limited time July 2 through July 4. A delectable addition to this year’s July 4 festivities, La Panadería will offer its popular Tres Leches Croissant filled with strawberries and cream, and topped with red, white & blue frosting. The Independence Day treat will be available to order online and in-store. (Giant Noise for La Panadería, 2021)

Since opening La Panadería in San Antonio in 2014, the Cáceres brothers’ mission has been to share Mexico’s “Bread Cultura,” bringing the art of their beloved pan dulce items to the Texas market that have since become a culinary staple for residents and visitors to San Antonio alike. La Panadería has seen great success in San Antonio and has shown resilience throughout the uncertain times the global coronavirus pandemic has brought on. The bakery, which specializes in handmade bread, pan dulce, and pastries inspired by Mexico’s Golden Era, or Epoca de Oro, draws influence from French, Italian and American bread making techniques. La Panadería’s unique approach to breadmaking includes a minimum 48-hour fermentation process that results in artisan bread and pastries unlike any other. All three of La Panadería’s locations offer indoor and al fresco dining as well as online ordering.

Celebrate National Day of the Cowboy at the Briscoe Western Art Museum

National Day of the Cowboy celebration spans day and night on July 24. Courtesy photo, used with permission.

The Briscoe Western Art Museum presents the return of its National Day of the Cowboy celebration on Saturday, July 24, from 10a.m. to 2p.m. at the Briscoe. The free community event, which includes free admission to the museum and its exhibitions, features indoor and outdoor activities for cowpokes of all ages. And there is no riding off into the sunset when the daytime National Day of the Cowboy celebration concludes. The fun continues with the Briscoe’s “Sips and Sounds of the West” series at 6:30p.m. with live music in the museum’s McNutt Sculpture Garden. The ticketed event is a night of music, drinks, and tasty bites under the stars. (Briscoe Western Art Museum, 2021)

Cowboy Fun Under the Sun – And Throughout the Museum

One of the Briscoe’s most treasured annual events, National Day of the Cowboy is held on the fourth Saturday of July each year. After a pause in 2020, the celebration returns, inspired by the Briscoe’s blockbuster summer exhibition, Still in the Saddle:  A New History of the Hollywood Western. The exhibition tells the dramatic story of the Hollywood Western from the late 1960s through the 1980s, recreating a 1960s-era theater experience that features more than 60 original movie posters, authentic lobby cards and costumes worn by John Wayne. Do not be surprised if The Duke himself is roaming the exhibit, ready to take pictures with adoring fans.

National Day of the Cowboy Celebration highlights include:

  • Free admission and activities for the whole family, including guided tours of the Briscoe. The tours, with bilingual options, will highlight artworks that relate to cowboys, cowgirls and vaqueros.
  • Cowpoke games and crafts, where you can outfit yourself in a cowboy vest and spurs, make a stick pony and try out some barrel racing, learn how to rope and brand cattle, herd some balloon animals, do a little bull riding, show off your gunslinging skills, and more.
  • Lil Partners Reading Zone, offering up cowboy tales in the museum’s San Antonio Public Library Kampann Library Portal. Sit a spell and enjoy a book reading with Emily Wilson, the Briscoe’s Curator of Art. Wilson’s recently published children’s book, “Charlie Russell and the Gnomes of Bull Head Lodge,” crafts a modern fairy tale based on the life of one of the fathers of Western art, Charles M. Russell (1864–1926), and his many letters. Stop by to learn the art of gnome-making so you can craft your own cowboy gnomes.
  • Bruce Morgan, a stuntman who played a role in making scenes memorable in Hollywood Westerns in the 1970s, shares behind-the-scenes stories about movie stunts.
  • Dairy Farm Demo, with a traveling milking parlor featuring a live cow for all to learn how to milk, with a hands-on practice station with milking balloons.             
  • Chuck wagon cooking with samples of peach cobbler and beans, along with food truck grub available to satisfy any hungry cowpokes.

The fun continues after the sun sets with the Briscoe Western Art Museum’s Sips and Sounds of the West series at 6:30p.m. in the museum’s McNutt Sculpture Garden. With live music from singer/songwriter Marcy Grace and band, drinks and tasty bites under the stars, enjoy a night out celebrating all things cowboy. Surrounded by the beauty of the garden’s fantastic bronze sculptures and lush greenery, kick back and soak in the sounds of West with music, drinks, and food until 9:30p.m.

Named 2019 Solo Artist of the Year by “Formo” Magazine, Grace was nominated by the 2021 Texas Radio Music Awards for Best New Female Artist and has had three Top 40 singles on the Texas Regional Radio Chart. Her song “Margarita Man” is featured in the film “The Margarita Man” starring Danny Trejo and San Antonio’s own Jesse Borrego. Sips and Sounds of the West tickets are available online and are $15 for members, $25 for non-members and each ticket includes two complimentary beer tickets.

The National Day of the Cowboy was designated in 2005 as a day to celebrate and preserve the heritage of the American cowboy, cowgirl and vaquero in the United States. The state of Texas declared it a day of honor in 2015 and the Briscoe annually hosts a celebration event, throwing open the doors of the museum to honor the cowboy, cowgirl and vaquero in us all.

From its McNutt Sculpture Garden to the museum’s beautifully restored historic home inside the former San Antonio Public Library building, the Briscoe’s collection spans 14 galleries, with special exhibitions, events and a fantastic Museum Store, providing art, culture, history and entertainment. Museum hours, parking and admission details are available online. Per the latest CDC guidelines, vaccinated guests are welcome to enjoy the museum and Jack Guenther Pavilion without a mask. The Briscoe respectfully requests all non-vaccinated guests wear face coverings.