By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Of course, booking a full slate requires calling upon more than just one's stable of musical friends. The business at hand still requires the passionate music fan inside of both Avezzanos to set aside their fandom and crunch the numbers before booking a band.
To be certain, the relatively small capacity of the venue has created difficult scenarios for the duo that functions as a cooperative unit when bouncing ideas for possible bookings off each other.
"For us, there's a fine line between what we really like and what's going to sell," Joe says. "My goodness, we've had Coolio play here! It's just fun, really."
Understanding that a sports bar atmosphere isn't exactly appealing to most artists, the Avezzanos have gone out of their way to give the club an atmosphere that lends itself more to that of a listening room than a smoke-filled den of fist-pumps and high-fives. When the newly added stage lighting shines upon a performer, the stage is the focal point, rather than one of the big screens that show sports on nights without music.
LaRue, a definite member of the current vanguard of what many call the "Red Dirt Scene," often has thousands flock to his Billy Bob's Texas gigs in Fort Worth. As a friend of Tony Avezzano's, LaRue appreciates what Hat Tricks means to him at this point in his career.
"People make the church and bring an electricity to the room there," he says over the phone after Tony speed-dialed him directly from his personal cell. "I'm a person, the fans are people, and it's just cool to have us all connect as people in that intimate of an environment."
Ultimately, though, the motivator inside of the Coach knows that his team's work isn't yet complete.
"We're a player in the field now," he says, "and it's rewarding, but it's a challenge that will never end."