I saw a post that Albert was going to have two live bands on the 21st. We’ve been to the hall several times but never to dance to a live band. If you want to get some of the history and see what happened before, here’s the link. We planned to get there for the early set with the decision to stay for the second dependent on how tired we were when they started.
It was a hot day but a good breeze was blowing. We arrived about half an hour early and saw quite a few vehicles parked in the lot. We chose to park under one of the many pecan trees. The dance hall had the backstage door open and we noticed several people walking up the steps.
As we walked to the IceHouse to get a beer, we saw the band Johnny McGownan and the Rugged Gents setting up beside the outdoor patio. The bartender told us the dance hall was open for people to view, but the band was playing outside. Disappointment.
We may have been disappointed about the dance floor, but the band did not disappoint. Johnny McGowan and Ric Ramirez were great. Johnny sang and played guitar, Ric was on the bass and sang backup. They took requests from the audience and kept up a jovial banter with a couple on the front bench. We learned that gentleman produced music so he had a vast music base to draw from in his requests. We also re-connected with Trace of Gold, who we heard at Hye Hall in June. They were taking a day off and came to enjoy Johnny.
Though we didn’t get on the dancehall floor the area under the trees gave us ample area to dance. People were spaced out in their own groups but that didn’t stop them (or us) from having conversations. The upper patio and inside the Icehouse at the bar stayed crowded.
On a previous visit the food truck, the Pig Pen, sold pulled pork. The new food truck, Cowboy Cantina, sold burgers, brat and chicken. Sad for us since we were looking forward to a pulled pork sandwich. Others there didn’t have the same craving, as we noticed one of the options was erased from the menu board halfway through the set.
We were tired by the time five o’clock came around, so we called it a day, waved good-bye to our new acquaintances and headed home.
We’re looking forward to hearing Johnny McGowan and the Rugged Gents again. If you are in the Fredricksburg area check the Albert Dancehall and Icehouse website and make a side trip for one of their outdoor shows.