This was one of four full-color posters
commissioned by Craig Hillis of Steamboat
Springs 1874 in the years 1980 – 1981.
This was the second, the first being Beto Y Los Fairlanes,
and the following being Stevie Ray Vaughan.
One more, Joe “King” Carrasco,
was commissioned and completed, but was never printed, as
the show was cancelled just as the artwork went to press.
When posters were first done for the Austin music venues,
they were the only effective and cost efficient ways to promote
the acts and thereby sell tickets. As time went by and money
and sophistication increased in those venues, promotional
money was better spent on newsprint and radio advertising.
Consequently the poster became more and more a vestige of
the earlier days, and hardly cost-effective in selling tickets.
As a result, many clubs dropped them altogether. Craig was
the first to recognize that what posters did do was promote
the venue over the long haul, and so – at considerable
expense – he not only bucked the trend by continuing
to commission posters, but improved their quality by going
from two- to four-color (full-color) printings such as this.
Denim was one of many local bands who changed
their names periodically – as in this case – and
assumed as one of its incarnations, Traveler.
This particular band belonged to a group that played a tight
spectrum of clubs, most notable among them, besides Steamboat,
were The Saxon Pub, Mother
Earth and The South Door.
Their reunion show was quite incredible, with the venerable
Krackerjack opening for them. What really
made it all memorable though was the inclusion of a young
guitarist in the reformed band – his name was Eric
Johnson. And he would become one of the definitive
guitarists in this guitar town. On this cold March night downtown,
he burned the roof off.
Sadly, Traveler was a viable band for only another year of
so, though Eric would go on to much greater fame. So too for
Beto, and much later for Joe “King” Carrasco.
Craig, like Cliffor Antone, would run into
some extracurricular legal problems a few years hence, and
even Steamboat, the most venerable of the 6th Street clubs
would be forced to leave, though it would reincarnate again
after a year’s hiatus at Riverside and Congress, south
of the river.