Jon E. Garrett
Writing the future of journalism one post at a time


June 30, 2012

My interns rock harder than yours

The first time I heard Ricky Stein’s voice it was 2005 – and I was pretty sure I was experiencing an auditory hallucination.

It was mid-afternoon in the offices of the West Austin News, where he had come in search of an internship to hone his burgeoning writing chops. I was recovering from a bout of binge-writing the night before and in a fevered hunt for writers to fill assignments. In short, I was in a very bad mood.

Then the fresh-faced 20-something opened his mouth and  I don’t remember what he said, because a voice tinged with smoke filled rooms, alcohol abuse and all the soul and swagger of a Mississippi bluesman  boomed forth. I was in shock. Once I recovered enough to peruse his writing samples and realized they were just as raw, beautiful and promising in tone – I was relieved. I had found my man.

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A McNeil High School graduate with a fondness for baseball and plucking the guitar, Stein filed several stories for me at various publications through and following the internship. A competent craftsmen with a pen or keyboard, however, it is music that is his first love. In the end it appears to have won out and Austin may be better for it.

Around the same time he began writing for me he formed the band that eventually became Ricky Stein and The Warm Guns. He released his solo debut, Crazy Days, in 2009 followed up by 2010 EP “In the Red” and “Something in the Night” in 2011. He has opened for Bob Schneider and Alejandro Escovedo and toured internationally.

But for the Austin roots rocker, following in the footsteps of his dad Rick –an Austin musician in the 70s – there is no place like home. Tonight he returns to play one of the places where it all started. Along with Carpetbagger and The Superlites, Ricky Stein and The Warm Guns will take to the stage at Austin’s legendary Hole in the Wall. The show is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. There is a $5 dollar door fee.

It is a paltry price to pay in my opinion. While I lost a competent freelancer when Stein began pursuing music, over time the world has gained a far more valuable commodity – an original musician, with a voice transports you and a sound that, while still raw, speaks of great things to come.

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Jon E. Garrett



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