Texas State of Mind

JOHNSTOWN – A little bit of the Lone Star State made its way up to the Fulton County Airport on Tuesday night, with a traditional Texas barbecue and a trio of musicians from Austin.

Grandma Millie’s Bakery presented the barbecue, with all the “fixin’s.” This was followed by a concert featuring the intimate country rock of Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros under a white tent behind the bakery.

“We were wise enough to leave Texas in August for a few weeks,” Wilkins told concert-goers.

Dave Markowitz of Glens Falls, who previously saw the band at The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio, in Albany, enjoyed the show Tuesday night.

“He tells a story,” he said of Wilkins. “It sounds like he sings from his heart.”

Rain throughout the day held off for the show, although the clouds stayed and the wind kicked up. Frontman Wilkins and fellow bandmates Bill Small and Jimmy Davis played for about 30 people, kicking off the show with the acoustic “Just Be.”

“I just think these guys are awesome,” effused bakery co-owner Chauncey McCormick before the show. “They really like it here. It’s brown in Texas.”

McCormick, who went to college in Texas and met her husband there, is a friend of Wilkins. The band wasn’t able to get an Albany gig this year and she was able to arrange his band for the Fulton County Airport. McCormick first saw Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros play live at her brother-in-law’s birthday party five years ago in Luckenbach, Texas.

“This is unusual for me,” Wilkins told the gathering. “This is my first bakery, my first airport, and I’ve never played anywhere prettier than this.”

Grandma Millie’s Bakery in the past year has been trying to pick up its business profile at the Route 67 airport, as well as provide the public with fun events at the facility. TLC’s “Buddy’s Bakery Rescue” TV show host and celebrity chef Buddy Valastro visited last October to give Grandma Millie’s a makeover. The showed aired July 8.

“We’re just trying to get people up here,” McCormick said. “This concert was really near and dear to my heart.”

Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros have three albums together, the latest being “Diamonds in the Sun.” The different band members also have solo projects. Together their songs have titles that include: “You Can’t Outdrink the Truth,” “Beautiful Texas Sunshine” and “Love and a Good Buzz.”

“We’re on a tour of New York and New England and the Midwest,” Wilkins said before the show.

Wilkins and the band enjoyed the barbecue pulled pork, beans and coleslaw, took photos and took time to observe some of the dozen small planes tied down on the airport grounds. The band has many fall shows planned for pubs in their home area of Austin, as well as LaGrange and Aledo, Texas.

“The barbecue was great,” said Dave Butkus of Gloversville. “My wife said, ‘Let’s go up there; they’re doing something nice at the airport.'”

Other upcoming events planned by Grandma Millie’s Bakery include a flea market Aug. 24, and Pancake Breakfast Drive or Fly-In on Sept. 13 and Oct. 11.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.