Dancehall since 1968
The Last Chance Bar & Dancehall was built in the 1860’s a few miles from its current location on the county line between Austin and Dripping Springs, TX. The building has served as a post office, general store and was used as a mustering point for troops from the hill country on their way to World War I. It wasn’t until 1947 that the Blue Goose applied for their liquor license and the building started serving as a social center and gathering point for those that grew up in the Cedar Valley area. It was 1968 when the dancehall was added to the building to establish what is now, the second oldest dancehall in Austin, TX. It has continued to serve in that capacity under many names. And it has been blessed by the talents of many including Willie Nelson, Johnny Rodriguez, Robert Earl Keen, Dale Watson, Jimmy and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and many others on their way up. The owners, Karl and Teresa Parker, each have a musical heritage of their own. Teresa is the oldest daughter of Johnny Rodriguez and has spent her life as part of the Texas dancehall experience. Always a devotee to country music and specifically a true fan of her father’s work, she has spent her life raising three children and is blessed with seven grandchildren. She has spent 35 years in accounting in the construction industry, and has had several side businesses including a bakery and a BBQ. Karl is the middle child of Gene Parker, a storied Jazz musician and professor from Northwest Ohio. He grew up in bebop joints and jazz clubs in Toledo, Detroit and Cleveland scenes. He also grew up hearing his father playing with and meeting Jazz and R&B greats like Aretha Franklin, Maynard Ferguson, Harry Connick, Jr., Frankie Avalon and others. Two people met and fell in love, not only with each other, but with the idea of bringing to their children and grandchildren the experience of live music. They were presented with a singular opportunity to take on a dancehall that, although well loved by the community, was also well worn by time. Although a continuing restoration, the Last Chance Bar & Dancehall is working each day to provide a safe, clean and wholesome environment where the love and respect of their musical heritage is preserved for families and generations to come. The dancehall is and shall be the historic pinion around which the community revolves. Time changes everything, but can’t erase a historic tradition of a building, that at its core is the key to the past that unlocks the future of Texas country music in the Austin area.