Music Pick: Church on Monday
Church on Monday with Elias Haslanger
by Derek Van Wagner
Photography by Todd V. Wolfson
When was the last time you saw some quality music on a Monday night? Hell, when is the last time you did anything enjoyable on a Monday night? Fortunately for you, 2017 is a brand new year and anything is possible.
Church on Monday is one of the longest musical residencies in Austin, and with good reason. Saxophonist and bandleader Elias Haslanger gathers the most proficient players in town and puts them in an intimate venue. One of my favorite members is the man sitting behind the B3 organ, Dr. James Polk. He played in some of the first integrated bands in the late 1950s. After a stint in the Ray Charles Orchestra, he returned to Texas State University to teach future musicians.
Each week Haslanger brings new tunes to the table and his seasoned bandmates devour them. The five-piece band fills the rafters of the Gallery with everything from fusion to funk and blues to jazz. To find the Gallery, hang a left at the Continental Club, spot the glass door next to Southside Tattoo, climb the stairs and follow your ear. A word to the wise: there’s a small capacity and a loyal congregation, so show up early. And bring some bills for the collection plate because this church doesn’t run on faith alone!