A sampling of live performances from some of our favorite Texas artists performing at the state’s longest continually operating dance hall.
Not much beats a trip to Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, Texas, but for those of us who can’t make it to the next sold-out show, there’s an ever-expanding collection of live concert videos from the legendary venue on YouTube. Here are a few of the best.
There’s nothing more Texan than seeing Willie Nelson in Texas’ Oldest Dance Hall. Watch this clip of his classic set opener for a peek at the legendary barebones backstage entrance.
Jerry Jeff Walker
“Pickup Truck Song”
Jerry Jeff Walker has been a Gruene Hall mainstay for years, and this charmingly loose performance from his 1989 comeback live album showcases the love between performer and audience that’s kept him hosting his annual birthday celebration there for decades.
I’m With Her
“See You Around”
Singer-songwriter and Wimberly native Sarah Jarosz has built a national following since breaking out of Central Texas, most recently with her Americana supergroup, I’m With Her, which took the stage earlier this year for a captivating homecoming performance.
“Musta Notta Gotta Lotta”
This fiery 1982 clip shows Ely and his band, fresh off a tour with the Clash, flying through the new-wave rockabilly that made their live shows legendary.
Los Texmaniacs and Flaco Jimenez
“In Heaven There Is No Beer”
Let’s be honest — there aren’t many other venues in Texas where you’re likely to see a 10-year-old jump on stage with an accordion to jam with Flaco Jimenez.
Charlie Robison, Bruce Robison, and Jack Ingram
A perfect snapshot of a rowdy Gruene Hall crowd, as fans sing along to the now-retired, sadly, Charlie Robison’s biggest hit, one of the essential songs of the Texas country movement.
The Texas Tornados
“Who Were You Thinking Of?”
Observe as Texas legend and future gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman takes the stage to introduce the Mount Rushmore of Tex-Mex music – Doug Sahm, Freddie Fender, Flaco Jimenez, and Augie Myers.
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Hubbard’s version of James McMurtry’s dense hillbilly epic “Choctaw Bingo” drips with a bluesy menace that puts frontmen half his age to shame.
Photography: Rodney Bursiel