Our KZSM Kissing Alley concert series returns this Thursday, October 20 from 7-9 p.m. with a celebration of San Marcos singer-songwriters. Over the years and until today, our city has fostered an impressive range of musical creativity. On Thursday you can listen to songs by Dee Bartlett, Ike Eichenberg, George Ensle, Nate Guthrie, Molly Hayes, Mark Jungers, Missoula Slim and Kathleen O’Keefe.
The inspiration for this celebration of San Marcos talent came from Tony Wilson, a veteran of the local singer-songwriter scene, founder of KZSM, and host of “Roots and Branches,” an eclectic music show that airs Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. He chose the performers and was planning the concert when he died on September 28. Dee Bartlett and Steve Jones, hosts of “Veterans Hour,” Sundays from 11 a.m. to noon, honor his memory by completing his project. “Tony Wilson has long celebrated and mentored local musicians, myself included, and I think this Kissing Alley will reflect that,” says Bartlett.
Twilight in historic Kissing Alley, just off Hopkins across from the courthouse, provides the perfect setting for this mix of fun and memorabilia. Deepening shadows and moonlight make the space magical. “It’s the perfect time of year to do a song swap,” Jones jokes. “If only they would let us light a campfire in the alley. . .” According to Bartlett, the eight singer-songwriters who performed on Thursday “represent real music history in San Marcos.”
KZSM has presented Kissing Alley concerts since 2017. This year’s fall series will continue on November 17 with country music from Wimberley-based Foster & Quinn, with Sam Downing opening. The December 15 concert will celebrate winter vacation, featuring CISD San Marcos bands such as the Miller Middle School Jazz Band and Nuevo Cascabel, San Marcos High School Mariachi. Our 2023 concert series is sponsored by the San Marcos Arts Commission, and the October concert is also sponsored by the Cheatham Street Music Foundation.
In keeping with our mission to showcase the diversity and creativity of our community, KZSM.org also supports local singer-songwriters by featuring them live on our shows and playing their music between our programs. We are honored to present them and remember Tony Wilson with this month’s concert. “It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the simple yet essential relationships that music holds,” adds Bartlett. “I think Tony would have liked that.”