There wasn’t any one thing that caused her to kill the beast; her reasons are varied.
She’s a married woman now, having hitched her wagon to longtime local musician Gonzy Trevino recently.
The many hours involved in throwing a weekly concert were demanding when she was single. Now she’s got less time on her hands. There’s also a diminished motivation after watching her favorite performers over the years — Randy Rogers, Stoney LaRue, Wade Bowen, and many others — graduate to bigger stages and stellar careers.
Beard was a rare promoter. She didn’t take a cut from the gate. The musicians got all the money. They loved her in return and would come back to town and do a fundraising concert when the nonprofit Clubhouse’s bank account went dry.
Beard moved the concerts from the White Elephant Saloon to Mambo’s Cantina earlier this year but was unhappy with the management there. The White Elephant asked her to come back, and Trevino invited her to move the concerts to The Keys Lounge where he drums regularly.
But Beard turned down both offers. She was burned out and figured it was time to bring the concerts to an end.
The talent pool among the Texas Music singer-songwriter crowd doesn’t seem as strong to her as it once was. Likewise, the crowds have thinned at times. Packing the house is easy when Rogers and the rest show up for a reunion gig, but more times than not, Beard showcased fledgling entertainers. Newbies don’t typically draw crowds.
It was tough for Beard and her volunteers to do all the work necessary to book and promote shows and then watch only a handful of people show up.
My take on all this: Beard was always a fan first, and the talent pool in this genre was never as strong as she used to think it was. (And it’s only gotten worse.) During the early years it was her sheer enthusiasm and motherly instincts slathered upon her babies such as Rogers that ignited the spark that flamed the concerts. That fire has dimmed as her babies have flown the nest.
“Maybe I’ve outgrown a lot of it,” she said.
Still, the Clubhouse is going out in style with another all-star cast scheduled for the Dec. 12 finale at Keys Lounge. Stay tuned for more details.
In the meantime, check out a few of the many emails received this week by Beard from past Clubhouse performers:
“Some of my most fond memories of performing are from the Clubhouse. You girls have always been so sweet and accommodating… .” Mike Graham
“You folks have poured blood, sweat and tears into it and it’s given a lot of people a lot of joy. Thanks for what you have done.” Max Stalling
“A legendary run and a real gift to the community… .” Owen Temple