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BRUSH WITH FAME: They were ‘there for a good time’ with George Strait

Ken and Catherine Shaw of Buchanan Dam (left), George Strait, and Leslie and Todd Burke

Backstage at the Alamodome in San Antonio in 1995 are Ken and Catherine Shaw of Buchanan Dam (left), George Strait, and Leslie and Todd Burke, friends of the Shaws. Courtesy photo

Sometimes a brush with fame takes a little more than luck. Catherine and Ken Shaw of Buchanan Dam upped their chances of rubbing elbows with a couple of famous and oh-so-talented country music artists in 1995 when they were given backstage passes to a Labor Day weekend show at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Two marquee names — George Strait and Vince Gill — were on the bill.

The wheels were greased for the backstage visit by sister-in-law Kay West, who was Strait’s publicist for about 15 years. She flew in from Nashville for the San Antonio show. 

“That was unusual for her,” Catherine Shaw said. “She usually didn’t travel to the shows.” 

The Shaws are serious George Strait fans and had been to many of his concerts before. 

“We always went to see his shows when he came to Austin,” Catherine said. “This time was a special treat because of the passes.” 

Although the meeting with Gill was a quick picture and a handshake, Strait hung around and shot the breeze with his publicist’s family and friends. Ken Shaw, a musician himself, had met Strait once before on the band’s bus at a Chilympiad chili cook-off in San Marcos. Ken was a student at what was then Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). 

“We love live music,” Catherine said. “We go to concerts all the time.”

Their most recent concert was Willie Nelson and Zach Bryan at the Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels on Memorial Day weekend. Bryan’s fiddle player also plays with Ken’s band, Fridayz with Renee´, which can be heard at a variety of venues in the Highland Lakes, Liberty Hill, and beyond.  

In between gigs, they continue to follow George Strait, even though sister-in-law Kay West no longer works for him. They’ve been to at least  10 more Strait concerts since but nothing like the 1995 experience.  

“That was a day and a concert we’ll never forget,” Catherine said. 

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