Saturday, Dec. 6, the Hard Luck Lounge will celebrate its grand opening with an Austin icon: the legendary Johnny Degollado y Su Conjunto. Club owner Denis O’Donnell (The White Horse) purchased the location formerly known to Tejano fans as The Office, and rumor has it that he plans to feature Degollado regularly for a Saturday evening residency at the Eastside cantina.
Also known as “El Montopolis Kid,” accordionist Degollado is one of the most prolific songwriters in Conjunto music, with scores of songs to his credit over his long career. The Hometown Boys’ cover of his “El Pintor” went to the top of the Tejano charts and it has remained among one of their biggest hits. His music was also featured during Alejandro Escovedo’s acclaimed “United Sounds of Austin” production back in January.
Degollado has presented the Austin Conjunto Festival during the Cinco de Mayo weekend for the past quarter of a century, and the pavilion at Fiesta Gardens is named for him. He was recently inducted into the Conjunto Hall of Fame during the annual Tejano-Conjunto Festival in San Antonio.
Long story short: O’Donnell has seen the Conjunto community firsthand at the White Horse with Conjunto Los Pinkys on Sundays for damn near three years (there was a KLRU documentary made about it, it’s so special). Adding another night of regularly scheduled Conjunto with a legend like Degollado at another location speaks volumes about the genre, in my opinion. Real-deal, genuine culture at its best.
The Hard Luck Lounge is located at 3526 E. 7th Street, just west of Springdale in east Austin. There is no cover. 21+ are welcome. Event starts at 5 p.m.