There's a new guitar in town
Meet Frankie G. Teacher, technician and lead guitarist for Cowboy Mouth.
King’s Queens: Downtown Drag makes its third appearance at Corky’s Wine Bar, and tickets are a hot commodity.
Rolling Stogies Mobile Cigar makes the rounds of Central Texas breweries, wineries and private events.
Monster trucks, a gun show, Cornhole League registration and live bands — there’s a lot going on this weekend.
Fishing Report: Fish are biting big at local lakes.
FRIDAY | JANUARY 14, 2022 | THE WEEKEND EDITION
Frankie G jams on stage with Cowboy Mouth. The Maryland guitarist has moved to Temple and is teaching music from his home. He hopes to open a commercial music academy and recording studio in town.
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Frankie G knows the guitar — he served as music director at the School of Rock in Baltimore for 15 years. He’s also a member of the Grammy-nominated Cowboy Mouth, a popular New Orleans-based band.
Frank Grocholski just moved to Temple in early December, and already he has developed a new base of guitar students.
“My girlfriend moved to Austin, and I didn’t really want to do the long-distance thing,” he said this week. “Cowboy Mouth plays mainly on weekends, so I have most of the week off. It makes sense to be in Texas.”
In addition to teaching music, Frankie also runs a recording studio from his home and frequently writes music and does voice-overs for commercials.
“Right now, I’m working out of the house,” he said. “But at some point, I’d definitely like to have my own studio. I’m really liking the little music venues here, especially Downtown — Corkys, O’Briens, Trenos, Fire Base. They’re a lot of fun.”
“I’m doing guitar lessons from home right now, but I’m hoping to find a commercial area to grow and expand,” he said. “I cater to students of all ages, but I prefer them to be at least 8 years old. It takes a lot to get the focus going for younger kids.”
Frankie’s oldest student was a college professor in his mid 70s.
“He wanted to learn two songs on guitar to play at his granddaughter’s wedding. He did that, then continued as my student for years.”
Frankie G has been a musician for as long as he can remember.
“I’ve been playing guitar since I was 3,” he said with a smile. “I actually grew up in New Jersey, and Mom had a lot of friends who played in bands. They were always having jam sessions in our basement. That’s probably where my love for music began.”
“You’ve got to understand, this was the late 80s,” he continued, “so there was a lot of contrast in styles. Some of the guys wore lots of hairspray and were into the hair-band sound. Some of the others had long straggly hair. But they didn’t limit themselves to one style — they played everything from old Robert Johnson blues to Led Zeppelin-style rock.”
“If I learned one thing as a kid in that New Jersey basement, it’s this: It doesn’t matter what the style, just appreciate the music and have fun,” he said.
Frankie has been performing with Cowboy Mouth for about five years and has been an official member for about a year.
“I started out as a hired gun,” he said. “When one of their guitarists was out, I was the fill-in. I remember the first time I was hired to play with the band, I had a week to learn their material before flying to my first gig in Minneapolis. It was literally, ‘Hello, I’m Frankie G,’ then we played our gig.”
Frankie’s tenure with Cowboy Mouth is just a bleep on the band’s timeline of existence.
“They’ve been around for more than 30 years,” he said. “If it wasn’t for COVID-19, they would have played Jazz Fest 32 straight years. But, it has been canceled during the pandemic.”
Also canceled was Cowboy Mouth’s opening performance for the Rolling Stones.
Frankie said that since Cowboy Mouth is a mature band, some of the members have families and they want to spend time at home. To make that happen, the band mostly tours on weekends.
“I’m going to South Carolina for a show next week,” he said. “I fly out on Friday, and I’ll be home Sunday night. No long trips, no constant stays in hotels…I get to sleep in my own bed most of the time.”
For more information, visit FrankieG.
OK, enough talk. Let’s jam to Frankie G and Cowboy Mouth ….
CORKY’S DOWNTOWN DRAG SHOW IS 8 P.M. SUNDAY
Here’s the cast of a previous Downtown Drag show at Corky’s Wine Bar in Temple. Some of the performers will be different at Sunday’s show, but group leader Travis King, aka Lacey LuxXxe Fatale, says to expect a great show.
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Dan Elder has fulfilled his promise to bring a variety of entertainment to Downtown Temple. He’s brought comedy and magic shows through Corkys, shuttle tours to breweries and wineries through Tour Temple, and there are scooters available for rent on nearly every corner.
Elder has made some bold moves, but a proposal he received from Travis King last fall was met with just a bit of trepidation.
King is known as Travis during the day, but at night King goes queen and adopts the persona of Lacey LuxXx Fetale — drag performer.
“I traveled with the Army for 20-something years,” Elder said. “I’ve been to a lot of places, seen a lot of culture. I know this is Central Texas, so at first I was a little apprehensive — to be honest, I was concerned for the safety of the performers.”
Elder and King reached a deal, and Downtown Drag is presented every other month at Corky’s.
“The reception to the show has been very positive,” Elder said. “I haven’t heard a single negative comment.”
Corkys will host Downtown Drag this Sunday night at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Downtown Drag tickets.
King said his performers love the Temple venue.
“Downtown Drag is a wonderful show,” he said in a telephone interview this week. “This is the best cast I’ve ever had, and they really get into it. The crowd loves it, and we have fun too. My entertainers say they have felt more comfortable at Corkeys than any bar we’ve worked.”
King said the Downtown Drag lineup changes from show to show, but he always brings four to five entertainers, plus “Lacey.”
“I always try to book at least one ‘male’ performer,” he said.
Wait a minute? Aren’t they all really male?
“Yes, they are, but a ‘male’ performer is a guy who performs as a guy,” King said. “We all have different styles. Downtown Drag is a very diverse show.”
King, aka Lacey, said each performer does two numbers — usually song and dance — and each number lasts three to seven minutes.
“We all do a number, then take a short break, visit with the crowd and totally change our appearances,” he said. “I usually change my dress and my hair.”
King, a native of Harker Heights who has been performing in drag since September 2018, says he sings a variety of songs during his turn on stage.
“I do anything from an emotional ballad to dance music,” he said. “I tell audiences: ‘I don’t do funny on purpose.’ But, at some point during my set, I do something that cracks them up.”
King and his performers travel between Temple, Heights, Copperas Cove, Austin and San Antonio. They’ve even made a trip to Tacoma, Washington, to entertain.
There are two ticket options to Sunday’s performance.
General admission seats are $15 and are first-come, first-served. King suggests arriving around 7 p.m. to pick seats.
There also are VIP tickets that include special seating, a 7:30 p.m. meet-and-greet and a post-show game that’s sort of like Stump the Band.
“Customers pick the songs we sing, and it can be brutal,” King said. “I’ve had to sing The ABC Song and Twinkle, Twinkle. Brutal.”
King said Downtown Drag was a natural name for the Corkys shows.
“It’s very fitting because of the location, and well, we’re a bunch of guys in drag.”
Brad Carey, an Army veteran and owner of Rolling Stogies Mobile Cigar, is set up at a recent event. Carey started his business Oct. 1 and is high demand by Central Texas wineries, breweries and bars.
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Brad Carey is taking quality cigars to the partying public.
Carey, owner and operator of Rolling Stogies Mobile Cigar, makes the rounds every weekend to Central Texas breweries, bars and wineries. He also sets up shop at weddings, birthday parties, military balls and other occasions and events.
“I’m a mobile cigar booth based in Temple, and I can set up a booth indoors or out,” Carey said this week. “I can even cut your cigar and help light it.”
Rolling Stogies features a variety of cigars, including several high-end brands such as Rocky Patel Premium and smokes from the Devil’s Weed line.
“I carry everything from lighter cigars to the bold,” Carey said. “I can even pair a cigar to the beer or wine you are drinking.”
In addition to cigars, Rolling Stogies also carries a line of cigar cutters and will soon add lighters to their line up.
“I’m waiting on lighters — they are on backorder,” said Carey, an Army veteran. “Apparently they are caught up in the supply chain situation, but I do have matches.”
Carey and his traveling humidors set up booth-style for now, but he is working on getting a trailer. He was hoping to have a walk-in humidor trailer but an abundance of red tape helped change his mind.
“What I’m looking at is similar to a food trailer,” he said. “The side will open up and I’ll have a menu for the 30 to 40 cigar varieties I typically carry.”
He is hoping for a spring launch with the Rolling Stogies trailer.
Carey is working with Kim Langston, owner of 3 Texans Winery & Vineyard, to include a permanent Rolling Stogies humidor at the winery after an expansion project there is completed.
But for now, Carey and his smokes are keeping busy. Since opening Oct. 1, Rolling Stogies has been a fixture at events throughout Central Texas.
“I’m out every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and I’m booked up this weekend,” he said. “Tonight I’ll be at Fire Base Brewing Company in Downtown Temple. Saturday I’ll set up at Bare Arms Brewing in Waco, then I’ll be back in Temple on Sunday at 3 Texans.”
“I’m booked up most weekends,” he said. “I have an upcoming event at Kissing Tree Vineyard in Eddy. The best way to see where Rolling Stogies will be set up is to follow us on Facebook.” Rolling Stogies Mobile Cigar
For information about booking Rolling Stogies for a private party or for information about party package, email Carey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 Texans Winery, Fire Base Brewing Co., Kissing Tree Vineyards and Bare Arms Brewing are just a few of the regular stops for Rolling Stogies Mobile Cigars.
AROUND TOWN: Let the Good Times Roll
Saturday is the final day to see Facing the Inferno, an outstanding photo exhibit featuring the work of Fire Center photojournalist Kari Greer.
Monster weekend in Temple area
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Another big weekend is just around the corner with live music, monster trucks, a drag show, bar games and the final showing of a classic photo exhibit.
Facing the Inferno features the wildfire photography of Kari Greer, a photojournalist with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. Greer has been photographing wild-land blazes across the American West sInce 1994.
The exhibit ends Jan. 15 at the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum.
Greer’s work has appeared in Outside Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Wildland Firefighter and The New York Times. And in 2018, she was contacted by the University of Idaho’s Forestry Department. They wanted her to photograph an exhibit on forest fires in America.
“Wildfires are directly affecting more and more of the population,” she said. “Smoke from these have a national impact — West Coast fires even affect air quality in Temple, Texas.”
If you’ve seen the exhibit, or if you’re just in a rowdy mood, head to The Expo on Friday or Saturday nights for the No Limits Monster Truck, Mud Races and Motocross. The action starts at 7:30 p.m. both nights.
“We’ve been coming to Bell County for 20-something years,” said Ed Beckley, CEO of No Limits. “We like the crowd, we like the Expo staff and we love this arena. It’s big, and we can go wide open.”
Today’s top monster trucks will be there, including Bear Foot, King Crunch, Wicked Sickness and Outlaw Wrangler, the mud-slinging, car-crushing Jeep.
“We have so much going on,” Beckley said. “This is going to be a relief — an escape from all your problems. You’ll have a chance to get out and enjoy the normal things in life, like trucks going fast in the mud and making a tremendous noise.”
“One of the highlights of the show — and there are many — is Cowboy Kenny Bartram and his motorcycle stunts,” Beckley said. “Kenny is a 10-time X Games and Gravity Games medalist. He is really amazing.”
Beckley called No Limits a “motorized circus” that draws crowds to Belton from Austin, Waco and even the Houston area. But some of the stars of the show will be local folks.
“We have several events featuring people from Bell County,” he said. “One of the favorites is the kids’ Power Wheel races. People bring their little battery-powered cars — like a Barbie Jeep or Corvette — and race them.”
Power Wheel contestants are limited to 3 to 9 year olds and they are separated into classes depending on how the machines are powered.
“We have a 6- to 12-volt class and a 24- to 36-volt class,” Beckley said. “The kids like to dress up in costumes and have fun, and their families are encouraged to get down on the track and cheer them on.”
Parents can call (940) 683-4742 to register a child.
A second event for local participants is the Hooligan Mini Bike races.
“This are the little bikes with big fat tires,” he said. “They are the new go-karts. They are fun and competitive, and they are a blast to watch.”
Another two-day event at The Expo is the Lone Star Gun Show, which will take place Saturday and Sunday. The event will feature new and used guns, knives, swords, hunting gear, books, coins and medals, ammo and reloading equipment.
The Gun Show runs 9 to 5 on Saturday and 10 to 4 on Sunday.
The deadline to register for Temple’s Winter 2022 Cornhole League is Friday, Jan. 14. Call (254) 298-5690 for more information.
The Cornhole League season runs Jan. 25 through March 26, and matches will be held at Sammons Community Center. The entry fee is $50 for a two-person team.
If live music is your thing, there are good choices all three nights of this weekend.
Wade Ralston performs live at Fire Base Brewing Company on Friday night beginning at 6:30 p.m., and The Billy Holt Band will have ‘em scootin’ at Bo’s Barn on Saturday beginning at 9 p.m. A short drive to Seaton’s Tom Sefcik Hall on Sunday will be well worth the trip: The legendary Jerry Haisler & The Melody Five will be performing at 6 p.m.
For something a little different, head to Corkys Sunday night for a Downtown Drag show featuring Lacey Luxx, Luiz Fatale and others. The show starts at 8 p.m.
For a complete calendar of local events, click on the link below!
Water lightly stained; 59 degrees; 2.54 feet low. Our coldest weather to date this winter swept in early in the week and was then reinforced by a milder front late in the week, causing our greatest water temperature rate of decrease so far. Winds and post-frontal conditions led to limited fishing this week. The star of the show this week was a five-eighth ounce white Bladed Hazy Eye Slab worked vertically in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope. Report by Bob Maindelle, Holding the Line Guide Service.
Catfish are good, scattered from mid to deep water in the river channel and in structure. Drifting using fresh cut bait will put the cats in the boat. Report by Jason "SPUD" Barton, Cattin' Around Adventure's Professional Guide Service.
Water lightly stained; 57 degrees; 2.31 feet low. Our coldest weather to date this winter swept in early in the week and was then reinforced by a milder front late in the week, causing our greatest water temperature rate of decrease so far. Winds and post-frontal conditions led to limited fishing this week. The star of the show this week was a five-eighth ounce white Bladed Hazy Eye Slab worked vertically in conjunction with Garmin LiveScope. Report by Bob Maindelle, Holding the Line Guide Service.
Reeling in the Cure
Pink Fishing, an organization that raises money for breast cancer research and helps cancer sufferers financially, has scheduled it’s 7th annual Reeling in the Cure Bass Tournament for Saturday, Sept. 10, at Belton Lake’s Cedar Ridge Park. Registration will be at 5 a.m. and the fishing starts at 6 a.m. First place is guaranteed $3,000. The entry fee is $125 prior to September or $150 after Sept. 1. For more information, call (254) 681-0102. MORE TO COME