So I decided to change it up and venture out of Austin and down to San Marcos. I never had any reason to go there and I’m not sure that I’ll ever have a reason to go back, BUT the one positive was Pake Rossi. After nearly an hour drive through some heavy rain patches, I finally reached San Marcos. As I got closer to the bar, it became clear that San Marcos shuts down early. Pake’s start time was 10:30 and I got there at just about that time. Let me tell you, aside from Cheatham Street, NOTHING else seemed to be open in that neighborhood. At first, I was a little surprised by the amount of people in the bar at that hour on a Monday night (there were quite a few people), but upon reflection, that is probably the only bar open anywhere in San Marcos. lol Pake went on a little after 10:30. He’s the main guy on vocals and acoustic guitar in his funny little hat. He plays with three other guys, bassist, drummer (who also lends backing vocals), and guitarist; but Pake is the songwriter and heart of the band. He’s definitely a country artist of the homegrown kind. He’s a storyteller in the truest sense, which in his case is a good thing, because he’s got some interesting stories to share. He has such a laid back and positive attitude. Even with several sound issues in the beginning of the set, he took it all in stride with a laugh and a shout-out to the sound guy, which definitely put an impatient person like me at ease. In any other situation, I may have walked out, but the way he handled it, the way all the band members handled it, made me want to stay to hear more. While I’m not a big country fan, his brand of country is more along the lines of the country I do like: honest, real, down-to-earth. He played the first hour of the set with his band mates and was going to end the night with some acoustic songs by himself. I didn’t stay for that portion as I had a long drive ahead of me. Hopefully, when he plays in Austin, I’ll get to see that side of his show. Cheatham Street itself is a pretty big bar with tons of space and a center raised area for the stage and tables. There are more tables surrounding this center area and some pool tables toward the back of the space. You hit the bar as you walk in. From the outside, Cheatham Street reminded me of a shack, but there was more to it on the inside. I guess you can still smoke in bars in San Marcos because every table had an ash tray and I had smokers on either side of me. When I walked out reeking of cigarettes, I kinda missed the smoke-free Austin venues. I also kinda missed the city. As I was approaching my car, two small “creatures” were running toward me yelping. Yes, YELPING. I kinda froze while one ran past me and the other turned and headed in the opposite direction. At first I thought they were little dogs, but when the one ran past me, I realized, ‘that is NOT a dog’, but I’m not exactly sure what the hell it was. I’m still kinda gagging about it. Only in San Marcos, I guess.