In a world filled with slick, Hollywood style Country Music Stars and multi-million dollar concert venues, The Broken Spoke stands alone as the last of an era.
Austin, is known as the Live Music Capital of The World, and the ‘Spoke offers visitors an opportunity to experience all the music, dancing and excitement of an honest to goodness, neon lit, cold beer and chicken fried steak, side-of-the-road, honkytonk in all of its glory.
Simply stated, The Broken Spoke is the last of the true Texas dance halls and an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Austin.
This place represents a musical history that dates back to 1964, when owner/founder James White visualized the “red rustic building next to the big old oak tree” that became what is universally known as the quintessential Austin honky tonk.
Born and bred in Austin, James not only serves up cold beer, hot food and great music, he is a historian, and curator of his very own museum. Known as “The Tourist Trap,” the museum is filled with a dizzying array of artifacts and ephemera that range from the whimsically obscure (Bob Wills’ half smoked Cigar) to much more historically significant items like Lyndon Baines Johnson’s 10-gallon hat.
“The Spoke is a favorite hangout of most of Austin’s “real” country musicians.
The list of country luminaries that have graced or continue to grace the stage at the far end of the old dance hall is impressive. The Broken Spoke has been host to the originator of Texas Swing, Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Tex Ritter, Randy Travis, Roy Acuff and George Strait (who, with his band Ace in the Hole, played the place early in his career, among others)
“The Spoke is a favorite hangout of most of Austin’s “real” country musicians. Don’t call ’em “Hat Acts,” around here. The hats you see on stage at the Broken Spoke are as traditional as the music echoing off the walls.”
By: Greg Root
Photos: Allen Carrasco
Special thanks to Rick Henson of RickHensonPhoto.com for his outstanding photographs.