2019 Jungle Show art by Noel Waggener
The Jungle Show: Mike Flanigin, Sue Foley, Chris Layton, Jimmie Vaughan, Billy F Gibbons
Photo credit: Rodney Bursiel
THE JUNGLE SHOW SET TO ROLL IN AUSTIN FOR THE 4TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR
ANOTHER DECEMBER, ANOTHER GET DOWN WITH JIMMIE VAUGHAN, BILLY F GIBBONS, MIKE FLANIGIN, SUE FOLEY AND CHRIS LAYTON .
Keep your eyes open, there’s some wild stuff hanging… deep in The Jungle!” – Jimmie Vaugvhan
Austin Texas (Perfect Music Today) 10/12/19–It has become a tradition in recent years for an aggregation of like-minded topflight musicians to gather in Austin at the end of December for an evening dubbed The Jungle Show. It’s greatly anticipated by fans in Austin, in Texas, around the country and throughout the world.
The event, the inception of which was rather ad hoc, has become something of an Austin tradition. Four years ago, a casual conversation between ZZ Top’s Billy F Gibbons and Austin-based Hammond B3 ace Mike Flanigin started things rolling. The two had been tapped to perform at an Austin City Limits Hall of Fame induction of B.B. King. Most of the more well-known elements of B.B. King’s repertoire had been claimed by other celebrants which left Flanigin and Gibbons in a quandary. The solution, proffered by Gibbons was to perform “The Jungle.” It is a somewhat obscure B.B. King track that was originally released on the Kent label before the cross-over breakthrough that brought King before rock audiences but familiar to both Gibbons and Flanigin. The rendition of that song with the two joined by Herman Jackson, B.B. King’s own drummer, was a great success and begat plans to extend the experience in the near future.
“We really didn’t know who would be in the band,” recalls Flanigin, when a show was booked at Antone’s thereafter. Of course, the gig was named “The Jungle Show” as a reflection of its origin. “I just had t-shirts made up that read ‘Gibbons/Flanigin’ because that’s all we had,” he said recently. Not long after, Mike was at a barbeque joint and ran into drummer Chris “The Whipper” Layton, who had been part of Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble. He was recruited for Jungle service on the spot. Canadian blues/rock guitarist and chanteuse offered to be The Jungle’s opener and, in lieu of that, was simply added to the line-up. Last to come onboard was four-time Grammy winner Jimmie Vaughan who was invited to join in by Mike and Billy. “It took a lifetime, maybe two, to get Billy and Jimmie, two of the true founders of Texas blues-rock, together on the same stage,” Mike commented.
Billy is especially primed for the next Jungle Show, commenting, “We’ve come to think of this Jungle Show thing as something of a destination musical event. Certainly, Jimmie, Mike, Sue, Chris and I all set our sights on Austin as the year winds down and that’s where the vapors coalesce, so to speak. The Jungle Show audience, coming from around the corner and across the globe zeros in on Antone’s and keeps the excitement at an intense level. Let’s put it this way, it’s well worth the trip, irrespective on which side of the footlights you may find yourself.”
Chris Layton is looking forward to being stranded in the Jungle again this year, remarking “As it’s turned out, it’s become a Christmas season tradition and a merry on at that. It always a swingin’ time in the Jungle at the end of the year.”
Similarly, Sue Foley relates the event to the time of the year: “I’m so excited to embark on another Jungle Show. Every time I get to play with these amazing musicians is a gift. No wonder it always happens at Christmas time.”
“It’s the one time of the year when these legends come together and throw it down, Texas style, in Austin,” says Mike Flanigin who adds, “It’s become a pilgrimage of sorts for us as well as for our patrons.”
While The Jungle Show hasn’t toured, it does keep a regular performing schedule: two performances at the end of December between Christmas and New Years Eve. The 2019 Jungle Show “tour” is set for Antone’s on Friday, December 27 and Saturday, December 28. Tickets go on sale at 10AM Austin time on Tuesday, October 15 and are sure to immediately sell out as have all previous editions. Tickets through:
287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211