Editor's note: Junior's Listening Room at CapRock Winery will resume in the Spring of 2017. To check for updates, go to www.caprockwinery.com. This story was published before the Listening Room was postponed.
Since learning to play guitar at age 10, Lubbock native Junior Vasquez has followed his musical passion. “Music has always played a major role my life,” he said. Throughout the 1970s, he played music full-time. During the 1980s he led contemporary worship services while settling down to raise a family with his wife.
Gigs at the Cactus Theater in the early ’90s led to his first acting experience. He played Richie Valens in the theater’s production of “The Buddy Holly Story.” Vasquez went on to share the stage with Barry Corbin in “Soul of the West,” the story of Charles Goodnight. His part in the acclaimed play led to a movie role. Filmmaker and Slaton, Texas native Jeremy Boreing shot the modern western “The Arroyo” just off the caprock in Post, Texas. The cast was comprised of actors from the Lubbock area with Vasquez delivering an excellent performance as the sheriff.
“It’ll Turn Around,” his first solo album, was released in 2009. The album is currently available for free download under the tab “Portfolio of Work” at www.junior-vasquez.com. “I look forward to recording another album hopefully before the year is out,” Vasquez said.
Now Vasquez has teamed up with Caprock Winery for his latest project, bringing the concept of a listening room to Lubbock for the first time. “They came to me and asked if I’d be interested in doing something out there on a weekly basis,” Vasquez said. Junior’s Listening Room offers a distraction-free, intimate musical experience. Audience members are asked to silence their phones and refrain from conversation during the performance. “My desire is for people to have the opportunity to go sit down, drink a glass of wine, enjoy something from the food truck, and hear great music—without having to listen through all the noise that’s in the restaurants, like people talking and eating, glasses clinking.”
Vasquez opens with a 20-minute set, then the week’s guest artist performs for an hour. Genres range from folk and rock n’ roll to jazz and blues. “I want to showcase Lubbock’s talent. The people who’ve come out and experienced it, they go, man, this is really cool,” Vasquez said. At 8:30 p.m., the songs continue out on the patio.
Vasquez said he was unsettled recently when he felt as if Lubbock has almost begun to take its local musicians for granted. “We don’t really understand how fortunate we are as a community not only to have the artists, but to have the venues that allow them to share their music,” he said. “So, I want to encourage people to go out more often. Support those venues that allow musicians to provide that incredible thing we call music—that touches the soul, that touches the spirit, that can heal hearts, that can make people laugh, that can make people cry, that makes people smile, that can bring back memories... Music does all of those things. But if you’re not listening to it, it’s not going to do it for you. So, get out and listen to some music and let us touch your soul, let us touch your being.”
Music meets wine every Thursday night, 6 to 9:30 p.m., at Junior’s Listening Room in the Caprock Winery, located at 408 East Woodrow Road. For more information, call 806.863.2704, or visit www.caprockwinery.com.
By Max McNabb