Little Bigs, the slider joint at the corner of Westheimer and Montrose, is spinning some of Houston's best and brightest bands and it's all because of owner/chef Bryan Caswell's dream of having his own jukebox.
Life-long Houston resident Caswell opened up the slider hut just a few months back. He bought a jukebox from the owner of an icehouse off 290 that was closing down. The jukebox came with the requisite beerhall fodder: Seger, Skynyrd, Journey and the like. You know, the kind of stuff your Dad used to listen to in the garage as he fixed the lawnmower your stupid teenage ass broke.
Caswell's musical journey began as an adolescent sneaking into the Big Easy off of Kirby, which was just blocks from his house, to see the blues artists and generally soak up the vibe.
A month or so back, Caswell decided to turn his jukebox in the corner of his establishment into a Houston music showcase. He put out a call for local jams to load into the roster in his juke. He has also loaded classic Houston artists such as Lightnin' Hopkins, Townes Van Zandt, and his personal heroes ZZ Top to round out the playlist.
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The kicker for Caswell is that he doesn't want to just accept free music. He wants to pay for each disc he buys. As Caswell says, "I want to support local guys with my own money. It's an honor to pay for local music, because it helps everyone."
The jukebox even has its own Twitter account, @LBsJukebox which spouts off its own musical stream of consciousness thoughts and ideas through the day. By reading the box's updates, one can surmise the machine has quite the nightlife. It laments that it can't always make certain shows because of the restaurants busy schedule.
Right now the box is spinning stuff from Buxton, Young Mammals, Last Place You Look, the new Peekaboo Theory release, and one of Caswell's personal favorites, Runaway Sun.