What's A Gospel Brunch?

My daughter suggested I'd love to try a Gospel Brunch. I envisioned large, robed ladies belting out traditional Baptist hymns while I tried to swallow down a buffet of breakfast, lunch and dinner (that's NY style) and everyone getting up and swinging ans swaying yelling Halleluia!

Wrong.  Well, maybe there is one like that somewhere, but Gospel Brunch at Strange Brew in South Austin was a lovely, relaxed, Sunday spiritual experience.  The Purgatory Players perform every Sunday from 11-1. The setting is a darkened coffee house where they have a large selection of coffees and teas, milk choices (Hemp milk, anyone?), breakfast tacos, pastries and an amazing sandwich menu. 

Jeff Plackenhorn explained that the regular Purgatory Players were down three members on the particular Sunday that I was there - one was on the road, one was sick and one was playing elsewhere - so they had guests Stan Smith (pictured on the right, who sounds a lot like Dylan and plays on Tues and Wed. at the Elephant Room) and Dave Scher (on the left) who had the voice of an angel and finger picking that was utterly amazing.

The group played a mixture of Bluegrass and folk and, as Stan put it, "old hippie music."  I would have never been able to have figured out that they didn't play regularly together. Everyone got their solo time and there was even some guest performers from the audience. I finally got to see a performance "the Austin way" with popular artists who stopped by to see the show, joining in the fun.

The show benefits the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas and Jackie, a representative from the Food Bank got up and shared how every dollar donated is matched by local companies and becomes $5. in essence.  She related how the Food Bank feeds folks from 21 different counties and that one in every four are children.  They are always looking for volunteers. 

The Gospel Brunch takes place every Sunday morning from 11-1 at Strange Brew. This show benefits the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. Give it a try and I believe you'll be glad you did. 

PS Photos were shot with natural light 1/60, f2.8 at 6400 ISO.


  1. Great stuff. I have been watchin YouTube videos of their performances for months, now. I first saw Jeff Plankenhorn at a gig with Slaid Cleaves in Hallowell, Maine. That was about 2003. It's a long way from Maine to Austin, TX, but I hope to get to the Strange Brew someday.


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