Think Austin is weird now? How does the idea of making music in an ice cream parlor strike you? The Folkville Ice Cream Parlor was just such a venue, serving up helpings of folk music by such artists as Townes Van Zandt, Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett — and that was 30 years ago.
On Sunday, May 15, starting at 4 p.m., some of the musical artists who performed in that venue will gather at The Thrice (formerly Cafe Caffeine) at 909 W. Mary Street to pay homage to the late Weldon Brewer, the man who helped make that odd, magical fusion of dessert and sweet music happen.
There will be a toast to Weldon Brewer, great music, and of course, ice cream. The show is all ages. Donate what you can for the music at the door.
The Therapy Sisters, Bill Oliver, Norm Ballinger, Ky Hote, Gail Lewis, Carolyn Norulak, Brenda Ladd, Frank Hill, Brian Cutean, Jan Seides, Marilyn Cain and others will perform into the evening — perhaps a Lounge Lizard or two.
“Everyone likes to say, ‘Keep Austin Weird,’ but this is one of the things that made Austin weird in the first place,” said Brian Cutean (QTN) who is organizing the event to honor his good friend Weldon.
Folkville Ice Cream opened in 1981 at the corner of 29th and San Jacinto (where Crown and Anchor Pub is today). Folkville followed two other ice cream music venues: You Scream Ice Cream, and Nothing Strikes Back, a psychedelic black-light ice cream parlor on Guadalupe St.
Brewer, a retired 30-year Navy Commander, hosted three or four sets a night by anyone who wrote and sang music. He passed a Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet around for donations after each set.
“Folkville was a classic Austin venue,” said Cutean. “It gave a lot of great musicians a chance to develop a following in Austin. Music is something eternal. The people who played there are still playing and writing great music 30 years later. They are the survivors. We want to give a belated salute to Weldon for bringing us all together.”
Check out the logo for the old Folkville Ice Cream Parlor:
I love that last line: Used Tire(s). As if ice cream and music in the same joint wasn’t a weird enough juxtaposition.