Case in point is Jim Talbot, lead singer of Jimmy T and the Teardrops. Before a gig at Desiderata in nearby Lockhart, the tanned, long-silver-haired musician leaned over a whiskey and Coke at 4 in the afternoon and explained to me how he ended up in Hays County.
“Back in the days, Austin was just a little college town. The vibe was mellow, the rent was cheap, you could pursue music there,” Talbot said in a raspy drawl. “But a lot of musicians can’t afford to live in Austin now, so the music scene here is wide open. There’s more competition, and it makes you hone your craft.”
Thirty miles down the road from the Live Music Capital of World, musicians can actually afford to play music, tapping into the legacy of greats like George Strait and Stevie Ray Vaughan who both got their start in the area. The result is a burgeoning music scene on The Square, San Marcos’ nightlife district where bars and venues surround the historic center of the city. Even on a Monday, you can stroll from the Green Parrot to Kiva to the Stonewall Warehouse and watch live bands on par with what you’d see in Austin or Nashville, a bass-and-guitar soundtrack laid under the clamber of young professionals and college students.