A Triumphant Return to Tejas
On this soggy and swampy St. Patrick’s Day, I was graciously invited to spend the afternoon at Sam’s Burger Joint by Mexican Moonshine creator and indie music rock star, Roger Clyne. He had arrived in Texas for a busy week of concerts at the famed music, media, film conference and festival, South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin.
With additional gigs in San Antonio and New Braunfels, this night he was slated to perform an acoustic set at Sam’s Music Hall with his Arizona Peacemaker compadre, Jim Dalton. The rest of the band would catch up later as they traveled by bus.
Over a burger and a cerveza (and a few selfies), Roger and I caught up on current events.
When We Last Left Our Hero…
When we last saw Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers in 2013 and sipped and talked tequila on his tour bus, his then Texas spirits distributer had suddenly and unceremoniously dumped Mexican Moonshine tequila, despite its growing sales and Roger’s staunch Texas fan base.
Undaunted, he continued to seek more adequate representation for Mexican Moonshine in what is arguably one of the biggest tequila-consuming states in the Southwest.
This time around, Clyne elected to join forces with a much
smaller, boutique distributer. However, he is keenly aware that such a decision can be a double-edged sword in the spirits business.
As many brands of promise often do, they lean towards employing these specialty distributors in hopes of gaining more attention for their label than they would from large, impersonal corporations who are only interested in mass volume case movements and “what’s on spiff?” items.
Staff trainings on Mexican Moonshine’s finer points is key to seeing bottles moving off of the shelves and into customer’s hands and into local bars and restaurants. A challenge he is certainly up for since he continues to conduct pre-show tastings of Mexican Moonshine to fans at selected clubs and concert halls.
Coming Back With a Vengance
Clyne admitted that he has no delusions of becoming the next Margaritaville or Cabo Wabo, or any of the other celebrity-owned tequilas. Like his music, Roger’s aspirations for Mexican Moonshine are much more independent.
“I want to be a Southwest brand of tequila,” he confessed. “I have no dreams of entering large competitive markets where Mexican Moonshine will disappear in a sea of brands.”
Due to the heavy Mexican cultural influence of his rugged
Arizona upbringing, Clyne has not ruled out venturing into the world of other agave spirits in the future.
“But,” he adds cautiously with a sly smile, “let’s get some traction back in Texas, first.”
Guess Roger and I will have to talk about those distant opportunities next time over some street tacos and Mexican Moonshine.
Enjoy the following snippet of Roger Clyne and Jim Dalton as they perform Marie during a sound check at Sam’s Burger Joint.