Frances Nail reads from her new book!


Frances Nail has a new book and don’t you know one of her #1 fans John Aielli of KUT  is the first to report! You can read about how I know Frances Nail by reading about her granddaughter Carrie Rodriguez. Here’s some more info about Memphis, Tx and Frances.

Carrie Rodriguez, All Growed Up

carrie rodriguez

The first time I remember seeing Carrie Rodriguez was at a Frances Nail(her grandmother) book signing in a historic house on 7th in Austin, Tx. Carrie was dressed in fancy dress playing classic violin for the crowd. She couldn’t have been older than 10, but it is hard to say. She was really good & very confident. The dresses in “Never Gonna Be Your Bride” made me think about that day and how far she has come.

promo3Fast forward many years and Carrie has traded in her violin for a fiddle and took off her little girl dress and really laid some tracks in a short time. She’s already been on Austin City Limits and Grand Ole Opry. Some people wait a lifetime to do either.

Carrie’s grandmother Frances is my grandmother Mary’s first cousin. I remember Frances’ mother, Kate, as a kid. Somewhere in there Carrie and I are cousins. Maybe I’d met Carrie at the book signing, but let’s say the first time I met up with Carrie as an adult professional musician was at Waterloo Records. Beau and I went to a Carrie Rodriguez and Chip Taylor in-store. Frances was supposed to be there but wasn’t feeling well so when it came time to go thru the line I walked up with a handful of Texas Rollergirl swag (guitar picks, etc) and announced like a crazed  fan, “Hi, I’m your cousin Beth and I’m in the roller derby, blah blah blah blah blah…brought you some stuff…crazy talk…babble babble…this is my husband…great set…talk talk…”

Many months later, I went to the Gingerman and up walked Carrie…”Hey aren’t you my cousin?” We got to see her jazz sax playing husband, Javier Vercher, that night at an open mic. It was great. It’s been a while since I saw Carrie live, but I know she has toured with Lucinda Williams and probably traveled the world, fiddling all the while wooing the hearts of many. I was excited to see her solo, looking so sassy on Austin City Limits. I saw one of her videos on ME Television and wanted to email my mom and video and found so much stuff, I might as well pass it on to you. Looks like she has a new album, She Ain’t Me. Try it you might like it!

If I ever had to fight the Devil in Georgia, I’d definitely recruit Carrie for the event. Not to put words in her mouth, but I imagine her saying, “My name’s Carrie and it might be a sin, But I’ll take your bet, your gonna regret, ‘cos I’m the best that’s ever been.”  She’d kick her cowboy boots in the dirt and show the Devil a thing or 2 about fiddling!

Carrie sings a song called Memphis, Tx which is cool since I was born there and  lot’s of my family still lives just down the road from Turkey, Tx – home of Bob Wills.  I must mention her mom, Katy Nail.

Go Carrie Go!

Stay All Night with Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys & the 3 Stooges

My Great Aunt Starr and her daddy some where in the Texas Panhandle

I remember dancing on my granddad’s feet to Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys. My grandparents in Memphis, Texas (where I was born) used to run in Bob’s circles since he was just down the road in Turkey, Texas

 Once when I took my mom to the Broke Spoke in Austin, Asleep at the Wheel played. In case you don’t know, they are the current kings and queen of Western Swing with many Bob Wills’ songs up their sleeves. After the show ended, I grabbed my mother and hurried her towards Ray Benson. Acting as if I was being paid to snap this photo and I was his wrangler, I threw my mother at him, “Hi Ray! This is my mother, Liz. She is from Memphis, Texas.”

Beth and Mama at the Broken Spoke

I met Ray when when I worked at the Austin Children’s Museum, but he had no idea who I was, but kindly posed a like a true southern gentleman and nearly made my mom faint when he replied something cool that include the worlds “Hall County“. Thanks Ray Benson! You made my mother’s night! See all the fun things we did that day, including France Nail’s play “I’m Not The Woman I Used To Be” featuring Karen Kuykendall!

Mama & Ray Benson at the Broken Spoke

I heard a lot of Bob Wills as a kid and with my husband playing in a band many Sundays at the Common Ground  in Bastrop, Texas. I also watched a lot of the 3 Stooges! This is perfect!!!

I’ve been so lucky to see Johnny Gimble play many times in Texas, including with Willie Nelson. God Bless Texas!!!  YYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HAAWWWWWWWWW and a Hell YEah!

Thanks for reading!
XXOOO, Beth in Texas


Books for the Holidays

A few Holiday Book Giving Suggestions. Enjoy!!!!

Frances Nail

arts_feature-29947.jpgMy grandmother has a first cousin (my 3rd cousin?), Frances Nail who makes quite a stir in Austin, Texas and beyond. She’s a cool lady who didn’t start writing until her 70s. There’s a story or 2 about my grandmother, Mary, and I actually remember Frances’ mother, Kate. Groovee Fortune is currently working on a web site for Frances, but you can buy her books online. It’s a family affair – daughter Leslie does the editing, daughter Katey Nail does the illustrations and granddaughter Carrie Rodriguez does the music on the audio. You can often hear Frances on KUT.

Books by Frances Nail
– Crow in House, Wolf at the Door, Eakin Press, 2004
I’m Am Not the Woman I was , Eakin Press, 2003,  Play starring Karen Kuykendall
– God, Cars and Souvenirs, Unknown Binding, 1998

Sydelle Richards

dearmama2.jpgI recently reconnected with my old basketball/school buddy, Sydelle Richards. We went to school from 4-12th grade. I often thought of Sydelle when issues of sportsmanlike conduct arose in roller derby, wishing she would come tell us how to deal with our bad attitudes. I was saddened to learn of all the things in her book but I was thrilled to see her book on Essence’s Top Ten Paperbacks. I ran against this lady for Student Body President of Dimmitt High School and she BEAT ME! She’s writing something funny next time!

Book by Sydelle Richards
Dear Mama, Through the Eyes of a Child, Glory Books, 2006

Melissa “Melicious” Joulwan

truetales.jpgRoller derby has take the country by storm. A bunch of ladies in Austin, Texas revived the sport and leagues have popped up all over the country. In 2003 we were on a roll (hee hee) and the league split in two. I haven’t the patience to tell you the story. Luckily, Melicious has captured the tale. She was recently named, “Best Local Author” by the Austin Chronicle “Best of Austin” poll.  I’m really impressed she was able to write a book and be in the Texas Rollergirls at the same time!!!! Give em Hell Melicious! You can read about Scarlot Harlot attacking Dave Attel!

Book by Melissa Joulwan
Joulwan-Rollergirl: Totally True Tales From the Track! Touchstone, 2007

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