For songwriters, Nashville has The Bluebird Cafe, Los Angeles has the Troubadour, and Austin has The Saxon Pub… A home for the likes of Wille Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Jeff Walker, Rodney Crowell, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Stephen Bruton and many more.
Nothing Stays the Same celebrates the last 30 years of live music in Austin, Texas, while also examining the challenges faced by musicians and music venues in one of the fastest-growing and most popular cities in the country, all through the lens of the legendary Saxon Pub. With iconic venues closing each year due to rising rents and property taxes in the Live Music Capital of the World, the writing is on the wall for the Saxon Pub, a mainstay in live music since 1990. Soon being forced to a new space – akin to closure for most clubs – its owner, its regulars and staff and its beloved musicians such as local luminaries Joe Ely, Bobby Whitlock, Bob Schneider, Patrice Pike, Guy Forsyth, Hector Ward, Carolyn Wonderland, The Resentments, Johnny Nicholas, W.C. Clark, Robynn Shayne and others, turn to face the music until they learn their fate might not be sealed after all.
Call it divine intervention or a stroke of good luck, the Saxon could live to see another day if it plays its cards right…”…a really beautifully done doc…an outstanding film” – Louis Black, SXSW Co-FounderUniversal in its appeal…as noted in the Austin Chronicle, “There is still something universal about the challenges facing (Saxon) owner/manager Joe Ables and all the regulars – onstage and in the audience”, mirroring a situation found in cities across America (Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Brooklyn, etc) rising rents, property taxes and gentrification of arts districts and the downtown result in clubs closing and artists and musicians being forced to move out of town.
In 2019, Nothing Stays the Same made its world premiere at SXSW and was the “Audience Award Winner” in the 24 Beats Per Second categories. It also won “Best Texas Film” at the 2019 Hill Country Film Festival. That same year the film was nominated for “Best Texas Independent Film” by the Houston Film Critics Society and was an official selection of the Dallas International Film Festival and the Lost River Film Festival.
“…both an exceptional document of a unique Austin venue, anchored by remarkable live footage and artist interviews, and a treatise on maintaining a city’s values and priorities amid rapid growth.” – Doug Freeman, Austin Chronicle”Jeff Sandmann’s SXSW 2019 Audience Award-winning documentary is just as much a tribute to Austin’s musicians as it is to the legendary live music venue established almost 30 years ago in the state capital of Texas.” – Joe Friar, Houston Film Critics Society