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Who:  VITERA
When:  Next Thursday, January 22, 2009
Where:  Maria Maria Restaurant 
415 Colorado (Downtown Austin)
Time:  7PM to 10PM

Haydn Vitera, who plays as VITERA as both a solo artist and with a band, was recommended to me by Millissa Salinas as a possible feature for popolio.  So, props to her for the connect. 

I went to check him out at what seems to be a somewhat regular gig at Maria Maria Restaurant here in Austin last Thursday,  January 8, 2009.  Not sure if it’s every other Thursday;  I’ll follow-up on this and report back.

For those of you who don’t know — these are Santana’s chain of Mexican food restaurants.  One opened in Austin some months ago.  I believe Haydn played at the opening as well, which Ms. Salinas attended.  The official site defines the cuisine as “nuevo Mexicano” and describes it as:

a regional exploration of Mexican dishes presented with a modern flair.

I had the duck taco appetizer and a tangerine mojito (that was a little strong) while I listened to Haydn’s acoustic set.  I had never had duck tacos before.  They were good.  But, I’m here to talk about  the music not the food.  The ambiance and setting were nice; the Mezo-contemporary murals/artwork that grace Santana’s CD covers were plastered all over the walls. 

 hv

Okay, okay — the music.  Back to the music.  But, it all kind of works together, though, doesn’t it?  A small little  black square stage against the wall held up Haydn and his compadre-in-arms as they played their guitars in the non-reservation area next to the bar.  

As they played a flat-screen TV floated above them against the wall as well.  This was the sports-barsy-TV-veiwing-area.  Collections of little black square ottoman like seating and tables at their centers huddled around a circular center-piece facing the stage and TV. 

Some football game or other was on.  I believe they played for some of it, so people could watch the game above their heads and just listen to their music if they wanted to.  Neither  musicians nor audience members/restaurant attendees seemed to mind this.  After each song their was enough engagement in the form of clapping, whistling, and hooting and hollering that I think more people were listening and watching the performers than were not.  But, it wasn’t just polite applause.  These folks were digging the musical entertainment.  

Though, after one break they did wait for a part of the game to finish as to not offend the Maria Maria denizens.  I thought that was nice of them as they did have the gig booked from 7PM to 10PM.  I figured it was their prerogative to play.  Just my opinion.

They played a nice mix of Spanish and English and standards and original material.  And, yes, Santana’s “Maria Maria” was included in the set list.   Are they required to play it every week?  That, I don’t know. 

Remember, this was a stripped down acoustic set.  So, if you want to enjoy some nice music with dinner, drinks, and, perhaps, some game-watching catch VITERA next Thursday, January 22, 2009, at Maria Maria Restaurant at 415 Colorado Street (Downtown) from 7pm to 10pm.  And, yes, it was nice music.  That, I do know.

NOTE:   He does play shows with a more rocked out band.  Go to his MySpace Page to find out more  about what Vitera has coined his “Rock AlterLatino.”

INTERESTING FACThv3:  Yes, he plays the violin and/or fiddle.

Who:  VITERA
When:  Next Thursday, January 22, 2009
Where:  Maria Maria Restaurant 
415 Colorado (Downtown Austin)
Time:  7PM to 10PM

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