From the corner of my eye, I noticed a bright red, plaid shirt, and aforementioned feathered hat walk up to the bar next to me.
The sight was a bit odd in a bar known for its loud rock, metal and punk music.
We nodded at each other, and he proceeded to order a beer.
“I like your hat,” I said.
He smiled and nodded, grabbed his beer and leaned on the bar, looking around.
He turned to me and said, “Are you messing with me?”
Having an affection for all types of music, and quickly noticing that he was some sort of musician, this reporter laughed and responded, “No. I really dig your hat.”
He replied, “Thanks.”
“Are you a musician?”
And he introduced himself as Pake Rossi.
He was a quietly spoken young man, but very quick to talk about his music and his influences and that he was playing a show in Beeville in a couple of weeks.
Lo and behold, he was one of the headliners at the rodeo arena during Saturday night’s set for Western Week.
We laughed and talked a while, and afterward we met at his vehicle where he handed me his latest album, 2010’s For All it’s Worth.
The album’s a blend of folk and Texas country filled with broken hearts, booze and love ballads all accented with twangy, rustic guitars and the occasional harmonica or fiddle thrown in for good measure.
Rossi’s vocals are rich, and you can hear every pain-filled syllable as if these stories he’s singing all really happened.
And, by looking at Rossi, it seems possible.
Though he’s a young-looking guy, he has an old man’s eyes, filled with stories of lost loves and highways and nearly empty bars with just him and his acoustic guitar.
His songs are rich, and he’s one heck of a writer.
Having found out later that he doesn’t write down his lyrics to his songs before heading into the studio makes him even more impressive.
Rossi seems poised at the edge of mainstream stardom. His songs are too pure and honest for the rest of the world not to notice.
And he’s a great guy, too.
We chatted and cracked jokes for a little over an hour, and, even before I heard a strum of his guitar, he had a fan in me.
So, make sure during Western Week you look for the guy with long hair and brown floppy hat and say hello.
He’s sure to appreciate it.
You can request Pake Rossi’s music by calling Kicker 106 or find out more about him at www.facebook.com/pake.rossi.9
Paul Gonzales is the entertainment writer at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 116, or at thescene@mySouTex.com.