In the middle of the Texas Hill Country, where barbecue brisket is king, a dinner crowd is throwing back crabcakes, fried oysters, flounder and stuffed shrimp.
Onstage is the establishment’s owner, a 68-year-old Greek-American bluesman who’s been performing for half a century. He is Johnny Nicholas and this is his Hilltop Cafe.
“Well, I spent all my money on a real fine automobile,” he croons. “It’s a custom ride, got a pearl-handled steering wheel.”
The Hilltop opened in 1980 outside Fredericksburg, Texas., about 75 miles north of San Antonio. It used to be a gas station and beer joint. Nicholas’ wife, Brenda, was the genius in the kitchen. He handled the music.
Listen to the full interview below / Continue reading at NPR.org
[iframe src=”https://www.npr.org/player/embed/523442395/524076604″ width=”100%” height=”290″]