Austin Business Journal: A Serendipitous Meeting Turns to Jamming at the Saloon

Austin musicians Kevin Higgins and Barbara Malteze had an impromptu jam session with Hugh Laurie of television’s “House” this week at the Luckenbach Saloon.

The husband and wife musical team, founding members of the Texas band The Dust Devils, were hosting a sing-songwriters circle at the saloon about 80 miles west of Austin on Monday, when Laurie and a film crew stopped in to join the festivities. It turns out, the actor Laurie, a jazz and blues musician, is filming a music documentary.

Laurie mentioned he was visiting locations across the country and just happened upon Luckenbach and the music circle, which is open to the public. Laurie and his crew filmed the circle, but did not say when the documentary will be completed or if it will be aired.

“After Luckenbach, he was headed to Beaumont and then to New Orleans,” Higgins said.

Over the years, Higgins and Malteze have been asked to periodically host the singer-songwriter circle at Luckenbach Saloon. They are booked to host the Monday night gig through May.

“A lot of people come to Luckenbach. There is a variety of people that come through there from all over the world, ” Higgins said, saying part of that popularity is linked to Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson’s song “Luckenbach, Texas”

Higgins, who didn’t recognize Laurie off the bat, said one of the crew members revealed his identity with one word: House. The award-winning actor is known for his portrayal of the surly Dr. Gregory House on the Fox television program.

Of meeting the actor, Higgins said: “It’s kind of weird when it happens, but it makes you smile.”

Higgins said Laurie hung back most of the session, allowing others to take the limelight.

The singer-songwriter circle welcomes musicians at all levels, Higgins said, and are a good way for musicians to get feedback on their original music. Higgins has been nominated for song of the year and songwriter of the year for his latest album “Find Your Shine” by The Academy of Texas Music, which is the official sanctioning organization of the Texas Music Awards.

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