You’d think that all the good bars are downtown, right? WRONG! I discovered a diamond in the rough up on the northwest side of Austin. A diamond in the rough among dive bars, that is. And since dive bars tend to be some of my favorite places to hang, it was a shining jewel for me. This place is so small with such limited parking that I actually had to park a couple of buildings down. No matter. As soon as I walked in, a big smile broke out on my face. It’s one room, one bar, one pool table and about half a dozen tables. Tonight, these tables were all filled with patrons, so I stayed in the back, leaned against the pool table, and started to soak in the vibe of this joint. Ginny’s has been around for more than 30 years. I could bet that it looks the same as it did when it originally opened. It’s a no-frills, down-home, beer-only, cash-only honky-tonk. I LOVED it!! As soon as I walked in the bartender gave me eye contact and a big hello. Once she saw that I made no attempt to get a beer, she let me be. That was cool. She could tell I was good. As I looked around the bar, I saw an older lady sitting behind the counter at the opposite end. I’m wondering if that was Ginny. Hmmmm… Once I was comfortable, I was carried away by the swirling blues guitar of Alan Haynes. This guy is so incredible. He’s more of a blues rock guitarist in the vein of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Wow!! All I could do was stand there and smile, in awe of what he was doing up there. He really riled up the audience. People were screaming and yelling and just going NUTS for his performance. Alan plays with a variety of musicians, but from what I’ve seen it’s typically he with a bassist and a drummer, as was the case this evening. He’s a very fluid, laid-back performer. I think he knows how incredible he is, but he takes it all in stride, which just makes everyone become that much more enraptured by his performance. Since it’s such a small venue, he walks up and back through the crowd and just shows you what he can do! He’ll stop in front of the most enthusiastic audience members (including me) and just go nuts on his guitar. It’s a pretty cool experience. He’s most definitely worth seeing. His vocals were pretty impressive as well. Somehow this guy has slipped under the radar, but he’s been out and about playing with some of the most talented guitarists in the business and deserves to have his name spread around just a bit more, even if it’s just by little old me. I fell in love with the bar and Alan Haynes’ playing tonight and I look forward to spending more time with both.