For the past 38 years, Margaret Moser has dedicated her life to promoting and encouraging some of Austin’s most prestigious bands. Beginning as a writer at The Austin Sun in 1976 and later at The Austin Chronicle in 1981, Moser rose through the ranks to become one of the most beloved women and tastemakers on the city’s local music scene. After this year’s Austin Music Awards, which she took over in 1982, she announced her retirement as Senior Music Writer at The Austin Chronicle. Last Sunday, musicians, writers, and local luminaries gathered at The Continental Club to celebrate the work of this remarkable woman.
Despite her high profile, Moser is one of the sweetest, least pretentious people in this city. As she acknowledged Sunday night, she is so grateful to have lived the life she has despite being a high-school drop out. Since her beginnings at The Chronicle, Moser’s opinion has been one of the ones that mattered. Local musicians and writers who won her approval often saw their star rise, and they have been seeking her praise for the last four decades. They showed their appreciation Sunday night in the most appropriate way possible—through their music.
The line-up at The Continental read like a who’s who of great Austin bands, both established and new. The Bluebonnets, who feature Dominique Davalos and Kathy Valentine are always fantastic, and they proved why they are one of the best groups on the Austin music scene with their brand of garage rock with a Texas twang.
Jon Dee Graham and Jesse Sublett were sublime, as were the legendary Wagoneers. William Harries Graham, Jon Dee’s son, and his band The Painted Redstarts put on a blistering set of melt-your-face off rock. Other acts included the ultra-talented Rosie Flores and Churchwood. The biggest surprise of the night was the surprise guest. Margaret Moser had a list of musicians she wanted to play at her party, and she got the one she wanted. Grammy-award winning musician Christopher Cross showed up to play, and even Margaret was in shock when he arrived.
After seven hours of amazing music, the party was finally over. This town will miss this great lady and the tireless work she has done to make it the Live Music Capital of the World.