[4/5] Preview: Manuel “Cowboy” Donley tardeada at the Moose Lodge

Manuel Cowboy Donley

Manuel “Cowboy” Donley. Courtesy photo.

Sunday, Apr. 5, the Moose Lodge welcomes back the legendary Manuel “Cowboy” Donley. The Austin Tejano pioneer will continue his monthly tardeada residency with another Sunday afternoon of classic Tejano, along with some trio romantico favorites as well.

Donley, 87, is an Austin icon who was recently awarded the National Heritage Fellowship, the nation’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts, presented by the National Endowment for the Arts. After forming his first band in the late 1940s, his popularity really took off with his band, Las Estrellas, in the mid 1950s with a style of music called “orquesta.” With saxophones, electric guitar, and flavors borrowed from rock and roll and jazz that defined the genre, the group scored a hit with “Flor Del Rio” in the early 1960s and toured the entire state. In the past few decades, Donley has gone on to perform and record in the more traditional “trio romantico” genre as well. Even after nearly 70 (yes, 70!) years in the business, Donley’s voice is still clear and strong.

Long story short: Highly recommended for anyone who loves music history, especially Austin Mexican-American music history. Beautiful guitar, great harmonies, perfect for an Easter afternoon. The family atmosphere at the Moose is perfect for a tardeada and any kind of traditional music.

The Moose Lodge is located at 2103 E.M. Franklin Avenue, north of MLK and east of Airport Boulevard in East Austin. Cover is $5. All ages are welcome. Show starts at 4 p.m. For more information, call 512-926-0043.

Piper LeMoine

Piper LeMoine manages all things technical, promotional, and creative at Austin's own Rancho Alegre Radio, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Tejano and Conjunto music. She also co-hosts Rancho Alegre, playing Tejano and Conjunto music every Monday from 9-10 a.m. on KOOP 91.7 FM in Austin and online at koop.org.

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