The San Marcos music scene has produced a bevy of nationally and internationally-recognized acts.
From the ethereal post-rock of This Will Destroy You to the Texas twang of George Strait, the history of San Marcos’ music scene is full of forward-thinking artists. Behind every great artist, there has been an equally important venue giving the artists a chance to grow and hone their craft.
At the corner of Edward Gary and Hopkins Street sits a non-descript building that houses some of the loudest, rowdiest and energetic shows in town. Triple Crown has hosted some form of live music every day for the past 12 years and they show no signs of slowing down.
Taylor Wilkins, of local rockers The Couch, said his band always jumps at the opportunity to perform at the club.
“We love playing the Triple Crown because of the sound system, the open-arms environment and the snug feel of the venue itself,” Wilkins said.
The “snug feel” Wilkins refers to can probably be attributed to the small stage which often forces band members to set up their instruments in the crowd, creating an intimate experience. Wilkins said he has seen numerous shows at Triple Crown and his favorites include Cactus Rash, the Murdocks, the Silver Pines and Kallisti Gold.
Any venue that is instrumental in launching careers like those of George Strait, Terri Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Charlie Sexton deserves to be visited at least once. Kent Finlay, owner and manager of Cheatham Street Warehouse, said his goal is simple.
“We’re really serious about music, obviously,” Finlay said. “We’re really serious about developing Texas music and growing it.”
One of the ways the venue is achieving the goal is through its weekly Songwriter’s Circle.
“It’s just conducive to music,” Finlay said of the Circle. “That’s what we’re all about. Developing and conserving music.”
Javier Aguilar, Texas State alumnus, plays drums for the Nathan Daniel Band. Aguilar said his singer got his start at the Songwriter’s Circle years ago and the band has since moved on to opening and headlining shows at Cheatham Street Warehouse and other venues around Texas.
“Every time we play it’s always a great experience,” Aguilar said. “The staff, bartenders and sound technicians always made the bands shows enjoyable.”
“Its always the satisfaction of playing. When you see people reacting to your music it’s a good feeling,” he said.
Music fans in need of a break from the dark, smoky bars housing bands can find respite at Tantra Coffeehouse. The venue recently hosted a festival exclusively featuring San Marcos bands called the Best Bands of the Land.
Assistant manager Miles Landry was very pleased with how the show turned out.
“It went really well,” Landry said. “It was a packed house. A lot of people came.”
Tantra features an indoor stage, usually reserved for open mics and solo artists, and an outdoor stage, decorated with Christmas lights and a trellis covered with plants capable of supporting a full band. Aspiring musicians can test out their material Thursdays at open mic nights.
“If you don’t have a full band or if you’re an up and comer this is good and it’s free so check it out,” Landry said.
Landry is excited for one of Tantra’s newest traditions.
“Gypsy jazz night is every Tuesday,” Landry said. “These are, in my opinion, some of the most talented musicians in San Marcos.”
Tantra is located at 217 W. Hopkins St.