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\\’.”zk Uncle Walt’s Band: The Girl on the Sunny Shore An American in Texas ReviSited Walter Hyatt’s Web Site: http.// and eclectic sets made Waterloo a Mecca for audiences and musicians who wanted to listen to music. “No one so much as sipped their beer while they played acoustic,” said Heidi. Austin songwriter and former Waterloo regular Kim Miller recalls thinking it was “pretty remarkable that three such big talents could actually play together in one small group.” Filmmaker Stephen Purvis, whose new film, In The West, is dedicated to Hyatt and features his music, remembers when Willis Alan persuaded him to book Uncle Walt’s Band at an SMU coffee house in 1972: “Willis called them ‘musician’s musicians.’ Here were three guys that all had perfect pitch. And their songs were so good. They’d play old songs and songs of their own that seemed old. It was hard to tell where Cole Porter or Hoagy Carmichael left off and Walter Hyatt began.” “I always felt that Walter was going to become one of the ‘old masters,”‘ said Steve Clark. “Many better known musicians looked to Walter as the master, and he was just a kid!” s UWB came of age along with the Austin music scene, the band cut a path into new venues and indepen dent business strategies. “In a way, they were trailblazers for what became accepted practice later,” says Heidi Hyatt. “They de cided that you don’t have to wait for a label to sign you. When no one made their own records, UWB made one.” At a North Car olina gospel studio, they pressed their first record on recycled vinyl \(“it had pops and cover art on plain white cardboard album sleeves. Changing the character of the Texas music industry forever, UWB inspired other musicians, from punks to jazz men, to go into demo studios and make their own concept albums to sell at gigs or on consignment. Airplay and interest from major labels would often follow. And for a small club band with no major label recording contract, UWB had a large 30 THE TEXAS OBSERVER NOVEMBER 22, 1996