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San Marcos-based Big Day Pictures presents its feature documentary Nothing Stays The Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub this Friday at 730 p.m. in The Chambers Theater in Buda. Photo submitted by Jeffery Brown

Austin-area music documentary to screen Friday in Buda

Thursday, November 18, 2021

San Marcos-based Big Day Pictures presents its feature documentary Nothing Stays The Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub this Friday at 7:30 p.m. in The Chambers Theater in Buda. 

Local musician Guy Forsyth, featured in the film, will join the filmmakers for an exclusive Q&A after the film. 

Awarded the SXSW Music Doc Prize after its 2019 premiere there, the documentary film celebrates the last 30 years of live music in the Austin area while also examining the challenges faced by musicians and music venues in one of the fastest-growing and most popular metropolitan areas in the U.S., all through the lens of the legendary Saxon Pub.

“The film first off celebrates the music, which has always made the Austin area special,” said producer Jeffrey Brown from his Cheatham Street office, “but at the same time delves into the larger issues facing musicians and clubs trying to survive with rising rents, rising prices and gentrification in the area which we all know too much about. The Saxon lived through all of this a few years ago.”

A list of local luminaries help Brown and director Jeff Sandmann tell the story such as Joe Ely, Bob Schneider, Patrice Pike, Guy Forsyth, Hector Ward, Carolyn Wonderland, The Resentments, Johnny Nicholas, W.C. Clark, Robynn Shayne, Van Wilks and others. Especially touching is the tribute to musician Stephen Bruton, who passed away in 2009, which runs through the film. 

The film shines in its presentation of the community of Austin musicians, the way they have taken care of each other over the years and with record sales having plummeted  long ago in the age of the internet, the essential need for live music as a way to make a living.  Much of that existence has been threatened with clubs closing or moving outside the city center — akin to closing in many cases. 

In addition to the musicians, Saxon owner Joe Ables anchors the story alongside other clubs owners from long-time haunts such as the Continental Club, Antone’s, The Broken Spoke and Threadgill’s. “We brought together the club owners to discuss the issues facing their clubs and gave them a chance to speak for themselves,” said Sandmann. 

Name your cliché — the writing’s on the wall, the music’s over — as the end draws near for the Saxon Pub, that is, until local realtor (and musician) Gary Keller enters the picture late in the film. Call it divine intervention or a stroke of good luck, the Saxon could live to see another day if it plays its cards right.


Screening: 730 p.m., Friday, Nov. 19

Venue: The Chamber Theater, Buda

Tickets / Info:

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666