Local venues work to bring more live music to Liberty Hill

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By ANTHONY FLORES

In an effort to bring Central Texas’ live music scene closer to home, several venues in the area are working to bring more live entertainment to Liberty Hill.

With the hope of ushering in a live music scene in the downtown area, Hell or High Water Brewing is hosting live music every Friday and Saturday starting this month.

With house musician Zach Willard at the helm as the talent booker at their downtown location, investor and co-owner Jim Jenkins believes Hell or High Water can be one of the best spots for live entertainment.

“Zach is going to work local talent in as well as regional talent,” said Jenkins. “We want to make sure that we give people a different experience a couple times a week.”

The goal for the downtown hot spot, musically, is to keep things fresh and explore a broad spectrum of music. Last Friday night, former “Voice” and “America’s Got Talent” contestant Dave Fenley took the stage.

“We do like a full spectrum,” said Harrison Holmes, a co-owner of Hell or High Water. “When you have the local guys come in, it’s the grungy, down-home feel. Then you have guys like Dave that come in. He still has the grungy feel but also national recognition.”

The brewery’s set up lends itself to live music, and offers music lovers a selection of beers, spirits, and food options as well. With the stage located in one corner of the venue, the music isn’t hard to miss. As things move forward, the plans are to add to the outside patio, and eventually, once things warm up, have music outdoors.

“We want the community to know this is a place they can rely on to have different music acts, and we’ll bring creativity to the music scene,” said Jenkins. “As the weather turns, we’re going to look to the outside patio for additional opportunities for music.”

As Hell or High Water works on locking down the downtown area of Liberty Hill, Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant is laying claim to Highway 29 East, offering a variety of live entertainment. The establishment is one of the few, if not only, places that provide an open mic.

“It’s a lot of fun, we’ve had some outstanding talent come by,” said Co-owner Karen Kirkendall. “People from stand-up comics to flute players. It’s a little of everything.”

Currently, work is being done to add to an outdoor area to provide even more opportunities for live music.

The biggest goal for Kirkendall is creating a local entertainment spot, and she’s planning to add nights focused on the youth in the community.

“We’re going to try and have a teen night once a month,” she said. “We want to try and involve everybody in Liberty Hill. We have so many people moving in here, and we want to be that safe haven people can go to.”

The new area will be around 3,500 square feet and offer various activities including pool and mini-golf, along with a dance floor and a brand new stage for music and comedy acts.

Just down SH 29 is the Liberty Hill Beer Market, offering a variety of food, along with a large selection of beer and a weekly trivia night.

The Beer Market, like Margarita’s and Hell or High Water, offers live music for the community, bringing in acts from time to time. On March 28, the venue will host musician Michael Ingalls.

On the more mellow side of the spectrum, Fire Oak Distillery is offering a chance to enjoy spirits by the fire pit and listen to a variety of local musicians.

“We focus on more local musicians because we’re local,” said Co-owner Guy Endsley. “We maintain a board where local musicians and acts can post their cards or flyers and share their information to allow for more acts.”

The distillery sits on a hilltop overlooking a pasture between Liberty Hill and Bertram, a location that allows customers to view the sunset and various animals like zebras while enjoying beverages and music.

To mix things up, the location also frequently brings in different food vendors, including gourmet hot dogs, grilled cheese and tacos.

Just outside of Liberty Hill, south on US 183, Sabino’s Pizza Pub is making an effort to give its patrons a relaxed musical experience during mealtimes. The eatery doesn’t bring in bands, instead choosing to focus on more of a background experience.

“We try to keep music at a respectable volume,” said owner David Sabino. “We do mostly acoustic. What we’re trying to do is bring out just a little taste of Austin to Liberty Hill.”

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