Brendan Ryan’s Rockabilly Backyard Birthday Bash: South Austin Texas

Lloyd Tripp and the Zip Guns.

Lloyd Tripp and the Zip Guns.

In Austin’s Rockabilly subculture, beloved 1950’s styles and sounds still reign, but with a modern, hipster twist. Tattooed gals with brows plucked into careful arches and Betty Page bangs spend nights in honky tonks swing dancing with greasers with cuffed jeans and white t-shirts.

Brian Rise, Combo Mahalo's guitarist/Vocalist.

Brian Rise, Combo Mahalo

Brendan Ryan, long a fixture in this scene, celebrated his 46th birthday last Sunday by bringing together his friends for a do-it-yourself backyard barbeque complete with music played by his crew of talented friends.

Dusk falls as Brendan the birthday man begins to work his magic on the upright bass.

Dusk falls as the Brendan the birthday man begins to work his magic on the upright bass.

Lloyd Tripp and the Zip Guns rocked out first. Then, as dusk settled, Brendan picked up the upright bass to join in with several members Combo Mahalo, which plays traditional Hawaiian music. According to the band’s website, Hawaiian music was once the most popular in the world, and the country steel guitar often played today was directly influenced by the Hawaiian steel.

Jorie Lodes, Beauty artist and owner of La Petite Rouge, with Mary.

Jorie Lodes, beauty artist and owner of La Petite Rouge, with Mary.

Brendan also plays bass guitar with Rosie the Riveters; and he formerly played stand up bass for Two Hoots and a Holler, a band I used to go see at the Black Cat Lounge when I was fifteen. Back then the $4 cover got you a night on the packed dance floor and as many hot dogs as you cared to eat. The Black Cat may have burned to the ground, but thanks to musicians like Brendan Ryan, the Austin Rockabilly scene is still going strong.

Johnny listens to Lloyd Tripp and the Zip Guns.

Johnny listens to the LLoyd Tripp and the Zip Guns.


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About Mary Pauline Lowry


Mary Pauline Lowry, a fourth generation Texan, fought forest fires on an elite type 1 “Hotshot” crew, which traveled the Western U.S battling wildfires.

More recently, Lowry has dedicated her time to the movement to end violence against women, counseling and advocating for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, as well as lobbying the Texas legislature for funding and new laws to benefit survivors.

Mary Pauline Lowry’s unsold novel, The Gods of Fire, based on her experiences as a forest firefighter, has been optioned for film. She is currently writing the screenplay.