Crazy Hearts In Austin

27/09/2023 Wesley Dean
View Article Crazy Hearts Diary

Austin is the punk rock sister to Nashville in my opinion. 

It’s a playground full of great food, creativity, and artists. I understand why people are leaving the other major cities and moving there. 

Once we got to the RV park, we headed straight to Barton Springs for a swim. Barton Springs is a natural spring formed millions of years ago and has been a public pool since the 1920s. It’s described as one of the crown jewels of Austin. It was so great to be near water again and, even with the summer heat, the spring was ice cold.

It was love at first sight for all of us. 

The first night we ate at a beautiful Italian restaurant called Juliet. The food was amazing. I ate all the carbs and slept like a baby that night, after another long drive. We were all getting used to the rhythm of the road now, and the kids seemed more settled. The RV still had its issues but at least we could plug in to the RV parks now and everything seemed more ‘normal.’

The first day in Austin was my Aussie Father’s Day, so I loved opening my presents over coffee in the morning and after all the chaos in the first week of the Crazy Hearts Tour, we all finally had time to stop and take a breath. We ate at some incredible places and shopped for vintage clothes. 

We stumbled on a great hat store called Trovador Customs, and as we entered I thought I’d recognized the owner Ryan, and we got talking and realized we knew each other from Instagram! We talked about our own creative processes, and he designed a hat for me on the spot. 

His story was cool, and we had a lot in common. He quit his job and started his hat business, and it’s great to see how successful he’s become. Ryan designs hats for some very high-profile artists and just it’s so inspiring to see an artist thriving in something they love after taking risks and believing in their own creative process and breaking the mould.. 

That’s what Crazy Hearts is about…

We met another Crazy Heart out on the street, typing on a typewriter and for a few bucks he claimed he would write a customized poem based on any theme you gave him. Naturally, we said Crazy Hearts. It took him about 5 minutes, and he wrote this beautiful poem.. (Watch the video above to hear the full version read by the man himself).

Immortalised in film and song,
they beat long and strong,
The hearts that keep in the chests of the wild roaming,
still free
few who do only
what they wish to do.
Like the fabled mustangs who laugh at
those tamed;
taken by the urge to do the same
as those now seemingly
safe in the fenced
in place
even though the life
has left the face 

Next, we sailed out on the Colorado River in iconic swan shaped pedal boats. The kids loved it. Char thought it would be a great idea to film some videos of me singing and playing guitar and pedaling around like a madman. It was a core memory of the trip.. 

We had also hoped to see the bats fly out from under the The Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, but we were a little early. 

We spent a lot of the time just soaking in the energy of Austin. Our pace slowed down and over three nights, we had time to regroup. The next leg of the adventure was intense and I don’t think we realized just how intense it was going to get. We were about to drive through the Texan desert in the hottest summer ever recorded and the next couple of weeks were going to be challenging. Austin was to be our last big city for a while.

Next stop St Friedricksburg via Luckenbach, and into the heart of Texas…

P.S. I’m excited to return to Austin this November for a one of a kind show with Sofar Sounds. Details and tickets here:

-Wesley Dean