Somewhere near Waco, Texas this evening gathered a group of people to join with food and fellowship. Among the participants of this crowd, and the hosts of this gathering were Auggie Del Ray and Brenda Flores of local music fame in Waco.
Auggie and Brenda, along with drummer Erik Williams were saying their farewells to Texas.
The band BEAUTIFUL DISTURBANCE dissolved with the departure of their bass player and they made the difficult but confident decision that in order to further their career in music that they were going to be moving to Los Angeles. But as the new project called “Queen Of Kings.” I did personally receive an invitation to Waco, Texas to join them this evening at their Farewell Party. I had previously been invited one-on-one by Auggie and Brenda to come to their party even before the announcement of them leaving for Los Angeles was actually made public. I’ve kept it to myself… until now.
Unfortunately I was unable to travel and attend. And it has me somewhat heartbroken. But that definitive spark within way in the back of my mind tells me that this change is for the better. Over the last few years of attending their live performances and shows locally and in once in Houston, I have felt like I was part of La Familia. I had heard about them for the first time in 2012.
It was a musical suggestion to check them out by Dr. Froth from SIX MINUTE CENTURY. My first opportunity to see them perform live was the 30th of June in 2012. It was an acoustic set but that didn’t matter. I was set and sold as a fan. And from that moment on I feel as if I have grown with them, and them with me as musical friends and colleagues. I only needed to hear the first three seconds of “Nearly Forgotten” to know I was going to fully get into this band…. complete with rockin’ out until the cows come home or someone calls the police, whichever happened first.
The song became like an anthem for me.
I had their EP, and I insisted that they autographed it, even though they might have given me the look that I was insane.
I still have that EP. A little smudged but in good condition otherwise. I’ve probably seen Auggie and Brenda perform live with their band more times than any other band that I’ve followed here in Texas. When opportunity was knocking… I answered the door!!
I followed them in 2013 and in 2014 during the SXSW Music Festivals as much as I could. I’ve supported them when they went into the New York/New Jersey area to the recording studio with freakin’ Atlantic Records. I supported them throughout these past few years and now this is a new chapter with more opportunity to support them.
The rough factor to think about is that they will be in California chasing that dream and then one day capturing it. Farewells though, are never easy. Most certainly, they are not easy for me as I never utter the words “goodbye” from my voice. For anything or for anyone.
California is going to be hit by a major storm by their massive talents. Queen of Kings will make a name for themselves there. Their flag will be put into the ground. I regret not being able to go to the party earlier. I regret not being able to attend their show as Queen of Kings at Muddle in Waco, Texas on the 15th of August. If you are in that area or going to be, I would definitely stop for the evening. It is worth your time.
From my first show on 30 June 2012 to seemingly my last show at SXSW on the 14th of March. And I was always up front or as close as I could be to up front and singing along.
Without knowing that their path was going to lead them out of Texas, it now seems legitimate and appropriate that the last time that I saw Brenda and Auggie I attempted to give the band a dozen red roses, not knowing if Auggie was going to introduce me to his massive, anaconda-sized biceps to wrap around my neck.
The band probably didn’t even know themselves at that time but if any one of us would have known that this decision was going to be made in the future… I would have found something tons better to say as I departed from them other than to use humor and mix it with my ability of being bilingual and say….. “Hasta la tacos!”
Of course I am happy for them and I wish them well. But I’m sad that I won’t see them again before they leave. I will continue to encourage them in both their personal lives and in their professional lives as musicians. And I’ll cross my fingers in hope, praying that they return for SXSW 2015 and beyond with each annual festival afterward.
Erik: I didn’t get many chances to get to know you personally as I may have liked. But I am glad that our paths have crossed and that we became friends. I hope you capture those stars in the sky and hang on to them for dear life. Your talent as a drummer and musician is remarkable. The West Coast honestly will not know what hit them until you’ve left your mark on them. Walk tall, be proud of yourself as we are of you, especially me. I only wished I had more time with you. I will miss you, brother.
Auggie, ……. if I may, hermano: These have been some crazy times. But I feel that they’ve been productive times throughout the past couple of years that I’ve known you ever since meeting you for the first time in person at the Microsoft store at The Domain that very warm late June afternoon. It was worth busting my ass and falling over many times over uncovered paths to find you and watch that fire within you just grow and grow and grow with every single possible that I have seen you perform live. If I had my own band, you would be the sought after gold mine that bands so desire as a musician and as a person with that drive and desire to be successful in all that you do. Thank you for all that you have done for me, both spoken and unspoken. Realized and unrealized by you. You’ve been such the pillar of inspiration for me, the strength in many weaknesses to press on and to keep going. Be good to those intimidating biceps. Keep crashing those drum sets!!! Keep me posted. I love you, amigo. You rock!! And as always: \m/
Brenda: This has probably been the hardest blog post to date to have to write. Along with Auggie, you too have done so much for me, whether I actually told you or not. Your voice is wonderful and powerful. I’ve gone through chills to tears and to smiles and everything in between and back again each and every time I’ve heard you once you’ve picked up a microphone. Los Angeles is definitely picking up a new treasure. Too bad we couldn’t have done a duet or something, that would have been fun (or scary) to do. Scary for me at least. I’m never going to forget just what a beautiful person you are both on the inside and outside. Your passion and strength is exemplary and its something that I strive to duplicate every day of my life. You and Auggie are a permanent fixture and role model in my own life. And I know that you will be setting that same example out west as more and more people are able to hear your voice and talents. Never lose touch. I love you as well, amiga.