August 31, 2019 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
On a clay dirt pasture between Leakey and Utopia, TX a musical hamlet was settled in the late 19th Century. Built on the backs of ten strong-willed donkeys and a community of Northeast coast immigrants looking for a better life, Ten Ass City was established as a petrie dish of mixed cultures, traditions and beliefs.
Although it only existed for eleven months due to a catastrophic mosquito infestation, its influential reach was monumental. Often referred to as the “the birthplace of what my grandmother would refer to as ‘real music’, Ten Ass City nurtured a colony of musicians who weren’t ostracized for not having day jobs. They lived off the land, until the canned food ran out, and created a body of work that you can still hear in today’s Americana Rock n’ Soul music. Many a Texas troubadour have made the pilgrimage to the limestone shale and Cottonwood trees that define the border of where Ten Ass City used to thrive.
On a thick, black, starry night, if you listen closely and turn your phone off, you can still hear the harmonies weave in the wind.
Today, this forgotten footnote of Southwestern history is being revived by Ten Ass City’s incarnation as a band from Austin, TX. With a focus on melody and meaning, Ten Ass City brings alive the kinds of songs that can make you laugh, cry, think, and dance, all in the span of a three-minute run for five-dollar coffee. The last living descendants of the city founders, Lee Miller and Ashley Miller, were inspired by their ancestors to carry on the power of song.
With only a 130-year-old, half-melted wax record to inspire what was to become their sound, the Millers committed to spreading the long-forgotten motto that was painted on the beacon welcoming all travelers to Ten Ass City: