Community Life - Cleburne, TX June/July 2020 - Page 30

Guitarist Bill Hudson, left, accompanies Bill Sibley at the International Blues Challenge. they were really good, all tour and that’s all they do. I kind of wondered if we even belonged but when we played we got one of the loudest applause there. Both nights were like that. So we proved that we belonged there and that was real encouraging.” The trip marked Sibley’s first visit to Tennessee, something he and his wife, Julie Sibley, took advantage of. “We went to Graceland but didn’t go in,” Sibley said. “It’s too expensive now, not worth it. But we did tour the Sun Records’ studio. And the food in Memphis is fantastic. The ribs and catfish and the barbecue, oh, it’s good. Coming back someone said should we stop for barbecue and I said, ‘No, I’ve had all the barbecue I need for a while. I’ll just eat fish sticks or something tonight.’” Closer to home, Sibley continues to play throughout Johnson County and the Metroplex a labor of love more than a carefully planned out mission other than to see where the music takes him. “I just like to get my songs out there,” Sibley said when asked what’s next. “I’m not much on playing bars because I’ve been sober 30 years but also because my music’s not really bar music. It’s more songwriter stuff. Which is why I prefer the listening room type places and wineries and things like that. “Cause bars, it’s just people drinking, dancing, fighting, making racket and yelling at their wife,” Sibley said. “I always look at it as I’m not a great musician and I’m not a great singer. So I figure if they’re not at least listening to my songs then I must stink.” The number of awards, live radio appearances and fans won over over the past few years runs contrary to any such sentiment. Either way, Sibley remains a strong proponent of his hometown’s scene. “I do notice a difference,” Sibley said. “A few years ago it was almost impossible to get people to come out in Cleburne. I remember wanting to listen to live music one New Year’s Eve several years ago and couldn’t find anyplace in Cleburne that had live music. “It’s getting better now because of Songbird Live, Loaf’N Dog and places like that. It still has a long way to go, but it’s better. And that’s a great thing because there are some people in this town that are pretty good musically that nobody ever hears about. Those open mic nights at Loaf’N Dog and things like that have helped with that quite a bit.” 30 Community Life