Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Old Farts United on Friday Night

I kind of went out of sequence on my weekend with the articles I posted these last few days.  It wasn't on purpose.  It's not often I go out three nights in a row.  I try not to do that all the time.  I am not the youngen I used to be.  It takes A LOT more time to recover especially when I am working weekends at the day job too.  Either way though when there is good music to be seen I will make exceptions.  I started my weekend by rolling out to River Road Icehouse in my favorite town New Braunfels, TX.  There was a little shindig going on there for Nick's Birthday.  Nick owns two of my favorite venues in this town.  River Road Icehouse and Billy's Ice. 

Friday night hosted more than the musicians listed above.  One of the million reasons I love New Braunfels is you never know who you will run into.  On this night not only did I get to see Jason Eady, Adam Hood, and Brian Keane.  I got to see Wes Nickson open.  In the audience amongst myself and all the folks who came out to celebrate was Tom Gilliam and Allan Goodman.  The guys on the bill didn't have to, but they were gracious enough to invite Tom and Allan come up and sing their own songs for us.  Eady addressed the Blake Shelton old farts comment with a wonderful rendition of AM Country Heaven.  Adam Hood always puts on a good show.  One thing he does differently from the other guys is play an electric guitar when he does these solo gigs.  It just goes better with the soul in his songs.  Brian Keane unveiled some new stuff that he wrote with William Clark Green.  It is not very often you get to see a show with this much talent in one room.  It was a great night for the old folks indeed! This is why I go to these shows and tell you about them.  No one should be content to just listen to a cd or just read what I am saying.  Live shows can create memories that will last forever. 
Below is a video playlist from each of the artists listed above.  Go check them out!
Wes Nickson
Adam Hood
Brian Keane
Jason Eady
Tom Gillam
Allan Goodman
If you missed this show, you really missed out on a fun night.  Glad I got to be there. 
Support live music wherever you are.

Last Call Coalition - Proof that it's not last call for Stillwater.

Stillwater, Ok has been home to many great bands we know and love here in Texas.  Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, No Justice, The Great Divide, Bob Childers, Stoney Larue.  After seeing Chad Sullins and the Last Call Coalition this weekend, you can now add them to the list above.

I was lucky enough to get invited over to the Pearsall General Store spot at the San Antonio BBQ cook off this weekend.  That is where I got to see LCC.  There are three things you can count on from Pearsall General Store. 
  1. Good Music.  They have had everyone from James Pardo, Kyle Reed, Jason Eady, Midnight River Choir, and more recently Ted Russell Kamp.  Doesn't get much better than that.
  2. Food, very good food.  I have it on good authority they make some of the best brisket you will ever eat. 
  3. Cold beer.  I don't think I need to elaborate more on that.  I am sure as Texans we all love that! 
I got to talk to John Pettit the guy who runs the show there.  He comes from the same school of thought I do on music.  That is the thought that there are two types of music out there good or bad.  You can bet if John doesn't dig what a band is doing they aren't going to play there.   

Back to Last Call Coalition.  I had heard their cd prior to this weekend and thought it had some strong points.  Full Throttle, Scratch, Only Girl, and Paris are highlights. I almost always will judge a band based off the live show. That is the true test of what band is really made of.   This was a hard charging rock show.  LCC is the second coming of Cross Canadian Ragweed.  Where Cody Canada and the gang left off when they disbanded, LCC picks right back up.  Rocking harder and supercharged in a way that hasn't been seen before.  Much like Ragweed the studio cd doesn't do justice to what you see in the live show.  It's a show heavy on guitar solos influenced by country  and classic rock music with the style all their own.   They even found a way to put a new spin on the weight. Don't get me wrong I love The Band.  Everyone does The Weight though.  It takes a lot to impress me when you close out a show with it.  These guys did it in a way that it made me forget it was a cover.  Pearsall General Store is one of the places that has seen the light of what these guys can do.  I hope we can see these guys around at some venues in San Antonio or New Braunfels soon. 


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Wow, Wow, Wow Will Owen Gage

I just returned home from the fabulous benefit that was thrown for that young man in the previous post. They deserved all those blessings and more that they received today.  
Amongst the great line up of bands and song swaps at Riverroad Icehouse; I was able to witness the amazing talent of the Will Owen Gage Trio.  I  have seen Will play once before on the lead guitar and was in awe of his talent at that time.  As a leader of a band...I am not even sure how to describe it. There is no taking your eyes away from the stage.  Conversations shouldn't even take place, because it will cause you to miss something. It was one of the most amazing shows I have seen!  He is a true soulful blues man with talent and skill that are unmatched. I have seen lots and I mean lots of talented guitars players. I have been going to concerts almost every weekend for the last eleven years of my life. That has given me many opportunities to compare em.  I am going to make a bold statement that I will 100% stand behind if you even try to argue with me on this.  Will Owen Gage is the best guitar player in the State of Texas in this decade.  Quite possibly the world.  I truly believe that when we sit down and discuss the musical contributions made by artists to the landscape of Texas music history, he is one of those names that needs to be talked about. That will be talked about. In the same way we talk about Jimi Hendrix.  In the same way we talk about Stevie Ray Vaughn.  In the same way we talk about Duane Allman.  In the same way we talk about Eric Clapton.  I can't say enough good things about what I witnessed tonight...I am not even sure I have enough descriptive words to get across how incredible of a show I witnessed tonight.  The only thing I can do is tell you that you need to find out when and where this band plays at.  Go see them.  I am not sure how long it will be before the rest of the world hears about him and he is selling out shows.  A talent like his is too good to go unnoticed.
Support live music wherever you are.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!!! Come support a very special cause at River Road Icehouse!

Sunday afternoon there is a benefit going on for this young man.  I am sure that we all can agree cancer sucks!!  Come out and support this special boy and his family as we raise money and awareness.  As you can see from the line up listed there will be a lot of musicians coming out to show their support. There will be auction items and lots of ways for you to donate.
Hope to see you out there!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Keep Texas Awesome. Keep Nashville Lame

Blake Shelton made some comments about the current state of  Nashville made "country music".  For those of you who aren't following this story.  Here is what was said. 
If I am “Male Vocalist of the Year” that must mean that I’m one of those people now that gets to decide if it moves forward and if it moves on. Country music has to evolve in order to survive. Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, “My God, that ain’t country!” Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying.
Here is my opinion of the statement.  He's an idiot!  Smart PR move though.  Everyone is talking about him. I am not saying that music shouldn't evolve or change.  It should. I can't say though that the current movement is the right direction.  I feel like the Nashville record execs and radio programmers insult our intelligence as listeners when they try to sell us on songs like Red Solo Cup, Truck Yeah, and We Are Never Getting Back Together.  Really? I said it once and I will say it again; the people involved that released those songs to the masses should be kicked in the balls every time those songs are played.  You can quote me on that.  A friend of mine said it best the other day.  We were discussing songwriting and music.  "If it is good songwriting, you can bet it won't be played on top 40 country radio."  Please don't misunderstand me.  Not everything on the radio is bad. As I have stated before I am a music snob.  If you love the songs mentioned above and think I am an ahole for my opinion; I am sorry.  Sorry you have bad music sense.  Sorry that you only want to buy into what is pushed through the airwaves. I will ask my grandma to light candles at church for you and pray that you come to your senses.  We are lucky to live in a state that embraces what isn't always played on the radio.  We embrace the music and venues that support artists with something brilliant to say.   So with that in mind, I say KEEP NASHVILLE LAME.  I know their are some hardworking and respectable writers in Nashville but those aren't always the ones being played on the radio. Nicole Unser is up in Nashville right now. I met her when she came to Billy's Ice on a Tuesday night.  I was prepared to not give that girl a chance.  The minute I heard her sing and play her originals, I knew I witnessed something special. She is working at the Ryman and writing songs.  In fact in February she is getting her shot at the Bluebird songwriting circle.  I couldn't be more proud of her and her abilities. 
I decided to put together a playlist of songs that are both anti-Nashville and more on the side of grandpa music.  This is the music I buy.  I hope other folks will continue to do so too. Happy listening.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ladies Who Rock Showcase - Lori McKenna

I have decided to do a series on the ladies whose music has inspired me.  These are ladies who write songs about topics from everyday life. You won't find anything in these articles that resembles what the radio is playing.  I am not sure the specifics of my audience.  I want to do this showcase of ladies who rock for that one girl out there in her room writing songs hoping to be more than a pretty face on a stage.  If this inspires at least one girl to keep going when it doesn't seem like she is getting somewhere, than I have succeeded.

Tonight's inaugural edition will showcase Lori McKenna.  As a songwriter Lori has this remarkable ability to paint pictures with words.  Her characters are flawed.  There are no happy ever after love songs.  What you get instead is a story of real relationships.  Complete with the trials and tribulations we see an every day life.  These aren't party songs. There is no sitting on a pontoon boat. Nor going clubbing with the girls.   This is songwriting that lets the listener travel down the road the characters are taking, whether the road is good or bad is up to the listener. She was in town last April but I sat that show out for some dumb reason.   It's a decision I regret...Thankfully though she confirmed to me via Twitter (I love twitter.) that she is planning a fall trip back through Texas.   There is no way  I am going to miss that show!  Here are some videos of Lori's talented singing and songwriting.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


Oh ya! What the hell happened to them?

Edition 2: South First Band
Once upon a time in the land of Lufkin, TX  came a band known as South First Band.  It was a little four piece band. Thanks to radio airplay they were  given the opportunity to open up for the big name bands.  And then like that they were gone.  So the story goes about this band.
This is a band that in my opinion had a lot of promise.  The lyrics and the lead and harmony vocals were done just right to show case the songs. Their first and only cd is Like The Movies.  The title cut song is still one of my favorite songs. Ice Cold Beer and a Cigarette is one of those great weekend anthems.  Two more standouts on the cd are Stars Over Austin and Something Real.  This was a cd that was written by the members of the band - Jeff Harvard on vocals, Warren Smyrl on guitar, Steven Adams on bass, and Pat Overstreet on drums. It was produced by Mack Damon. I was able to see this band open for Brandon Rhyder not long after his first live cd came out at Midnight Rodeo. This is back when they tried doing live music on Thursday nights.  That is on my list of the top shows I have seen my lifetime. The band broke up sometime about five years ago to go off and settle down in to adult life.  Jobs, homes, families; the very kind of thing that I avoid as I get older. In doing some Facebook research it appears they got back together for a reunion show last year.  I have a dream that one day they will get back together full time and take the show on the road.  Till then I will hold on to their koozie and cd liner in collection.  Not kidding. Here's proof.
Here is a pic from the above mentioned Midnight Rodeo show.
 I have attached their whole cd below.  I love that I finally figured out how to do this...go me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Oh ya! What the hell happened to them?

In the last ten years I have seen and heard a lot of music.  Some great, some not so great. Sometimes though the ones I liked fall off the radar.  I have decided to do a little Vh1 series similar to "Where are they now?".  I am calling it -

Oh ya! What The Hell Happened To Them?

Edition 1 The Bois D'Arcs

I remember hearing this band back in 2004 or 2005. (My timeline could be off.  I can't find release dates on the internet)  I bought their self titled cd The Bois D'arcs back then.   It had some highlight songs on it.  Songs like Sick of it All, Wasted, and my personal favorite Better Off Tonight.  Better Off Tonight was in heavy rotation on jukebox at The General Store (The General Store was the equivalent to cheers.  It's since closed down. That was a fun little place.) that summer if I am not mistaken. I did some research on the band today.  From what limited stuff I could gather on the internet the band is still together.  They play mostly up around their hometown of Muenster, TX.  It doesn't look like they are touring much far from home.  That's a shame.  I am currently listening to their music on reverbnation.  They have a sound similar to No Justice.  I would be curious to see how their live show is.  There were a few videos on YouTube of them but nothing of great quality to listen to.  Here are the songs on their reverbnation page. *

*I am no computer expert.  It took me forever to finally figure out how to get the player below to work on here. Yay team Lauren!

Pardo(n) me..have you heard James Pardo?

Happy Tuesday throughout the land.  I am enjoying a nice day off reporting to you from an undisclosed patio location. Haha, ok really it's not that top secret.  It just made me feel like a real journalist for a second. It's a beautiful Texas day and I am sitting outside listening to some tunes.  James Pardo just released some new tracks he's been working on that I thought I would share for you. 

James as a songwriter is unapologetically James.  What I mean by that is he does what he does with out any thought to what you or I think.  I commend him for that.  His songwriting style is one all his own.  The lyrics are smart and convey the perfect amount of imagery to give you insight to what feeling he is trying to get across. James has been playing around San Antonio and New Braunfels for the past few years.  At one point I think he even used to host an open mic out at Countyline.  Countyline people if you are listening, perhaps you could start doing that again...You can check his reverbnation page to see where he'll be soon.  His page has tracks from his Autobiography album which I just got about a month ago.  It is in heavy rotation in my workday slave to the man playlist.  Amongst No Justice, The Damn Quails, and Folk Family Revival.  Below are the two new songs and some other Pardo tunes I felt like throwing in today. 

James' Reverbnation page.

Also just so you know if you like anything you hear and want to buy the music feel free to stop by ourtracks.  They have almost all the music I have mentioned available for purchase straight to your computer or phone.  (Not sponsored by them or getting an payolas, just a fan of Larry's support of this music scene).

Here is he has Will Owen Gage on the guitar.  This guy is impressive on lead guitar.  I was in awe of his talent when I saw him play. 
With the steel guitar and Keegan Reed on Lead guitar this song sounds awesome! 
Here is singing a Hal Ketchum song. Love his version of this this song.

Happy Tuesday once again folks, there are some good shows in the concert plans this week. This makes my heart happy. 
Support live music wherever you are. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

A trainwreck is coming through.

I have talked about the days of 92.5 the outlaw before.  It was one of those stations that I listened to all day, every day when it was in existence.  If I heard a song that made me take notice I would hunt down the nearest computer to find out as much info about the song as I could.  One of the bands that caught my attention was Trainwreck.   The band consisted of Bryan Boyce (lead singer), Kyle Reed (bass), Kendall Merryman (guitar) and Rob Fernandez(drums). I got to see them open for Bleu Edmondson at the original Jack's Patio way back when.  I think it was around the time Lost Boy came out.  I do know it was when he still had Devin Leigh as his lead guitar player. (I wonder what happened to him. hmm) I am not sure on all the specifics of why, but the band broke up sometime a few years back.  Bryan Boyce the lead singer has been off in San Marcos living the hippie college songwriting lifestyle.  Kyle Reed the bass player has been off playing gigs  and writing songs.  Both are the front men for their own bands.  On their own, they have a knack for writing and covering songs that showcase their strong vocals.  I have been able to catch them separately playing out and about over the years.  A year or two ago they did a little reunion at Rolling Oaks sports bar but I wasn't able to attend.  I just saw today on the book of faces that they are going to reunite again!  This time at Jacks Patio on March 30, 2013.  I am looking forward to this.  As I type away like a mad scientist over here I have been listening to the songs they posted to their reverbnation page. It takes me back.  I forgot how much I like their song Another Round. Trainwreck guys if you are listening can you upload cocaine blues on there?  Please.

Bryan just recently released a video. Everything about this video makes me long for the college life I never had.  I am suddenly feeling like I should go to college but only for the parties.  

Here is Kyle Reed out at Sam's Burger Joint. This is a cover of a Tim Krekel song that he does. 
I do want to showcase a song that he and his brother wrote called Thankful For It All.  It was written based on a YouTube video they watched about a family living through a tornado in Joplin. Kyle tells the story at the intro much better than I do.

Here is the link to the reverbnation page.  Come relive the outlaw glory days with me on March 30th. 

Here is the link to Jack's Patio Bar also.  Check out what other things they have going on. http://www.jacksbarsa.com/calendarix/default5.php

Support live music wherever you are. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Crystal Ball of Reflection

It’s been a few days since I have posted anything.  Mostly because I have been pondering a lot of life’s little mysteries; things like the direction I want to take this.  Is that the right direction?  Why do I have so many grammatical errors?  English was one of my better subjects in school, but I really didn’t pay attention much (obviously).  After spending the better part of two days really looking into a crystal ball of reflection, I finally came to a conclusion. I am going to roll in the direction of the wind; wherever the hell I want and without a care.  That means I will post topics (as they come to me), shows I have seen, and artists/bands that I think you should know.  Whether you like it or not. 
I have been accused over the years of being a music snob, which isn’t far from the truth.  I don’t like most songs played on the radio. Unless you have the radio set to KNBT, than it’s a safe bet I probably will.  I will not say my music taste is perfect. Good music is in the opinion of the listener. I haven’t always had to good music sense. There was the unfortunate NSync period in high school.  Don’t judge me! It was high school.  To redeem myself for that fall from grace I will say that during this period I also discovered The Great Divide.  This was way before I realized how much their music would mean to me. 
The only true mission I have with Hurricane Highway is to introduce people to the music and venues that mean something to me. It is with the hope that you will see what they mean to you.  I don’t want to talk too much about the big names you would normally hear about.  They already have their own people fighting for them.  I will only highlight the smaller guys that are out there every day giving you their heart and soul in the form of a song.  I do hope that you will take the time to support these artists as well as the venues that host them.  This isn’t an easy job that these people have when they are up on that stage.  There are no booking agents, promoters, assistants, road crews, and drivers taking care of these people.  Often times they are all of those things; some with day jobs on the side to keep these dreams alive.  It may seem like I am repeating myself from the very first blog.  I am reiterating my mission not only for you the reader but, for myself as well.  I almost considered packing up and calling it quits on this blog.  I was having a bad day and there were a lot of doubts and fear plaguing my heart.  I found myself questioning if it was good enough.  I have gotten lots of positive feedback and great advice.  The problem was with the belief in myself. Do I have what it takes to really showcase these people in the best way possible? Fear and doubt in oneself is a tricky obstacle to overcome.  To tell you the truth I am not sure how musicians do it.  Maybe that’s why I believe as strongly in them as I do.  If they can get up there on that stage give it all they have than I feel like I owe it to them to fight for their craft.  Inspiration comes in many different forms. It appears mine was found today.  Thank you for reading this.  I have some articles to work on in the next few days.  I will post them soon.   I will also try to make it out to as many shows as I can but obviously I can’t be in twenty places at once.  It’s just not possible.  I encourage you to go to smaller shows as much as you go to the big shows. Go out there and support the live music in your area!
To close out here are some songs that inspired me today. Thanks Walt Wilkins.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Amazing moments don't just happen on the weekends. What are you missing?

I am sure many that read this may not have a schedule that allows them the option to get out to shows during the week.  I understand, everyone has different priorities.  I am a believer though that magic doesn't always happen on the weekends or at the big sell out crowd shows.  Sometimes some of the best shows you will ever see is when their is a small number in the room on a random Tuesday night.  Those of you that live in the New Braunfels and San Marcos area don't realize how good you have it.  Any day of the week you can see someone who may not seem like much of showman at the time but give them your time and attention and in a time you may realize you witnessed something amazing. Prime example - did you know Stevie Ray Vaughn got his start on a slow night at Cheatham Street, I think on Tuesdays to be exact. Who would want to admit they missed out on that? Not me! With that in mind I am off to my happy place tonight to do some work in the field.  New Braunfels, TX more precisely River Road Icehouse.  Another one of those great venues I have fond memories of.  Home to the first Ragweed Show I ever saw when I was young 20 year old full of spunk.  (ah, memories) Since then at River road I have gotten to see some really great shows acoustic Jason Boland  comes to mind.  The time one fourth of July that I saw Bleu Edmondson there is another memory that stands out.  To anyone in the crowd that doesn't understand concert etiquette, don't ever ask an singer to play a song that isn't his especially when the crowd is yelling out for his songs.  It will cause Bleu to yell mean (but fully deserved) things at you and the crowd will be mean to you also...just saying.  Tourists, what can you do?  But back to my point, time to go support live music.  I suggest you do the same. 

Support live music wherever you are. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

In the land of sausage...where did the ladies go?

Now before you read to much into the title this isn't going to be a raunchy blog...just a call to awareness if you will...Can someone, anyone in the San Antonio area, tell me who is a kick ass female worth seeing?  Now I am not talking about the chick doing her best karaoke Miranda Lambert - Pistol Annie's impression.  I am talking someone writing songs that can compete with the big voices and songwriters in Texas.  Currently right now there about five ladies I am listening to and think highly of that having been touring and writing songs. 

Kelly Willis
The Trisha's
Bri Bagwell
The Rankin Twins
Kylie Rae Harris
There are some other names I keep hearing about that I need to check out like Courtney Patton (who wrote a song on the Trisha's cd), bonnie bishop and Sheila Marshall. 
Consistently I hear the same argument woman don't sell tickets or beer in a bar.  Here's the deal I don't buy that.  Cause these gals are selling tickets and booking shows.  Maybe the answer is we as a whole aren't giving them the credit they deserve in the boys club.  Is there enough promotion? Is there enough radio airplay?  In the San Antonio area?  I will answer that question with a big fat NOOOOO!
I understand money makes the world go round and keeps bars and dancehalls open.  It once again comes down to the quality versus quantity debate.  In my opinion lets keep the quality of what made this whole Texas Music scene great.  In order to do that though in can't be an all male club.  I don't want to hear a thousand songs about going to bar and drinking the girl off your mind or how she is just a bitch that cheated on you (there was probably a reason that happened). 
Sometimes its good hear a song from a ladies point of view. They can be just as rocking as a man in concert. Brandy Zdan who plays steel guitar, lead guitar and I think accordion at the Trisha's shows could give a lot of guitar players I know a run for their money. 
So to finish this little ladies who rock showcase, if you know of any rocking ladies that should be showcased in the San Antonio, New Braunfels area tell me about them.  However please don't tell me about the girl you are trying to get in the pants of that sings great karaoke.  I will tell you now I am a horrible wingman.  Tails of my horrible wingmandom(yes I made up a word for it) are known through out the land.  Ask my guy friends they can tell you.
Support live music wherever you are.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Stranger things have happened.

By now you may or may not know I am a recording artist. Yep, that's right boys and girls somebody thought it was a good idea to let the girl that sings worse than Taylor Swift on a mic.  Thank god it was a sing along song and there were others involved.  I don't think Jerry Clayton would have had enough auto tune in the world for me to do stand alone vocals.  But alas, everyone gathered at his radio dog recording compound to put the final touches on a song from the album called Time To Go.  The album itself is going to be called Reckless Ways.  Its the second album that Southern Strangers will be releasing.  I could not be more proud to be a part of it.  For those that don't know about this band I became friends with them over time and have had the opportunity to watch them grow over the years.  I have also made some fun memories and been fortunate enough to gather some wonderful friendships.  Now for those that don't know me or my music taste, I will tell you this statement. If I was not friends with the band and just heard their stuff from out and about I would still be telling you about them. The first cd had some really strong songs on it.  Songs like One Night Fix, So Long, South Texas Drought stand out to me.  On this new cd the songwriting has grown, the instrumentation has gotten smoother  and more creative.  This is going to be a good one to get everyone.  I loved every minute of being in the studio.  The whole idea of watching songs come together from being written on an acoustic guitar to it coming together with a full band fascinates me.  I could watch documentaries about it for hours.  March 23rd is the cd release.  It is going to be a fun night and it will be filmed!  I can't wait! It is going to be a fun night at Kicasters, I can feel it. As we get closer to the release I am sure I will be updating with details.  Below are some pics from the day.  I take no photo credit for any of these.

Francisco "Frankie fiddles" Martinez in studio adding his fiddle genius to a track.
 Jerry Clayton and Southern Strangers.
 The PR man himself Tater helping with catering.
Bass Player Pony listening to the tracks off the new cd. ok I do take photo credit for this one.
The sing along crew. Photo credit to the director of the cd release recording Jacob Wayne Bondesen.
Support live music wherever you are!

Rollin, Rollin, Rollin...

 Great weekend on the hurricane highway.  Started it off with an acoustic song swap night.  Went out to Polecats in Seguin.  Or is it considered in Stockdale?  I'm not sure, I just know its out in the boonies and if you're coming from the China Grove area its MUCH faster to go up 87 than I-10(Damn you MapQuest!) Either way always a great time to see my buddies Nate Thomas and Jeremy Alvarez playing on stage.  Also on the bill with them is Nick Wells. That little youngin has a great voice, first time I got to hear him play and its been a while since I have seen the guys acoustic.  Also in the house enjoying a night off from the road was 3 of the 5 Roadside Libby dudes and Clint Taft.  Always nice to see other musicians and bands come out to support friends.  I will say it was a great time at Polecats the crowd enjoyed the show and all man band jam at the end was a highlight.  Polecats as a venue is homey (and yes bars can be homey feeling), I love the open air patio situation they have going on there.  Frankly if you're bar has a patio and windows I can look out of I am a happy camper.  Something about windowless buildings bothers me slightly...a couple lonestar lights later I am over it though. I wish I could tell you I got awesome pics and videos from the show but I am a terrible picture taker and video taker. (Can't be awesome at everything although I try but for the sake of this thing I am going to have to work on it or find someone who will work for skittles or something.) Thankfully folks in the audience took photos that they shared on Facebook. 
Below is the all man band jam.  (Photo credit to not me)
With Polecats closing at midnight, the party (or really just me) mozied closer to home at Kicasters.  Where they were hosting a song swap themselves.  On the bill was Chad Anderson, Luke Huggins, Bryan Boyce and David Rodriguez.  What wasn't on the bill was the surprise guys that showed up to support this group of pickers, Kyle Reed and James Pardo. This is what I love about acoustic deals and this group of musicians I know, you never know who or what you'll hear.  Always good to see these guys all play. I arrived towards the end of the night so I missed a lot but it was a good time at both venues.  What I appreciate about both Polecat's and Kicaster's is that the owners have an appreciation for not just booking any ole band in their establishments.  They consistently pick good bands that are working to make names for themselves by performing good shows and building their audience one show at a time. I recommend checking out both venues and all the people I mentioned when you can...Now I don't want to be sued so if you're going to check these places out and have beverages do so responsibly.
Support live music wherever you are!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Soooo you're a groupie??

No other word can make my blood boil like the g word.  Unfortunately it's a question that I am asked far more than I care to admit.  I shall give you an example of the typical conversation I run into.  Let me set the scene. I (the musically enlightened)  am enjoying a show, watching the chord progression, listening to the lyrics, thinking how much I do or do not like the song choice, vocal range, etc.  Some slack jawed cowboy walks up to me...and the conversation almost always goes as follows.

Cowboy -  Hey um so this band's not bad. Who is this?
Lauren- Its (fill in the blank), have you heard of them?
Cowboy - No...
Lauren  Stares blankly...thinks to herself he's cute enough, I'll enlighten him... Ok well this band is from (any old town) they were produced by (a name I think they should know but I get the blank stare and know they have no idea who I am talking about) continue with my speech in hopes something will strike and he won't be as musically challenged as he is coming across..(wishful thinking)
Cowboy- Sooo you're a groupie or something?
Lauren - rolls eyes and thinks to herself...yep he's that dumb. No I am not...I am just a girl who knows her information...and where are you from??

And so the conversation goes, and I know that the cute cowboy is not worth my time.  Either way I walk away from that scenario annoyed...Here's the deal and the official press release.  Lauren Nichole Gonzalez is no groupie.  Simply a girl who knows her shit. I have seen the Vh1 documentary they made about the groupies of the 60's and the 70's...Did you know Elvira was considered one of  Elvis's groupies...If I am not mistaken I think he is the reason she ended up leaving vegas (she was a showgirl at the time) and ended up becoming Elvira because he told her while they were chatting and playing piano that she needed to get out of Vegas and do something with her life... Now I know not all stories are like that...want evidence?  Watch seasons one and two of Brett Michaels Rock of Love.. Either way you shouldn't mistake a girl who actually cares about the music and knows what she is talking about as a groupie.  And so with this in mind I will call it a night.  I have a big day on my hands folks.  I am going into the studio tomorrow. I must be prepared.  ( and yes I did get to say that tonight).  Hope everyone had fun tonight and there will be a review of all I witnessed tonight...That should be ready Sunday or Monday night.  Good times.

Support live music wherever you are!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kickstarters - Who needs record companies??

When I saw the posting from Larry Mofle today about Jackson Partens's Kick starter, I made myself a note in my handy dandy notebook (kudos to you if you get that reference) to write about it when I got home.

Let me start this thought process of mine off with a tiny little disclaimer.  I am in no way a musical expert or genius. Simply just a gal with an opinion...Here is my interpretation of what a kick starter is.  If I am wrong or miss a point feel free to correct me.  Kick starters are a way for fans, friends, or family (sometimes all of the above) to help you get your next album funded so you can share it with the world.  Depending on who the artist is working with and where the record is being recorded and produced a simple little cd that you don't want to pay 10 or 20 bucks for or that one song you paid 1.99 (or whatever the going iTunes rate is)  can cost a musician anywhere from $1 to $1 billion (and you have to say it in your best Dr. Evil impression, cause that's how I am saying it as I type this) to get made. So when one does not have a record label this is how they get their art to the masses. 

Personally I love everything about what my little interpretation of a kick starter stands for.  I think this is the new wave of the music industry and certainly the best way to ensure the vision of the  musician will always stay the way the musician wants it. 

That being said  let me take a minute to share with you my love of Jackson's songwriting.  I first heard of him thanks to clear channel radio's attempt at a Texas Country station in San Antonio 92.5the outlaw.  Thanks to the outlaw I was introduced to some very good singer songwriters from all parts most importantly this town! (who remembers full throttle, trainwreck and cj7,  cause I do) Anyway somehow I got my hands on a copy of Jackson's cd Sum of all Parts.  In my opinion one of the best cd's I have listened to in the last ten years.  Favorite song on the album is called "nothing at all"  is in heavy rotation on the sad songs de Lauren playlist.  (don't judge my play list names).  Anyway so as I was saying Jackson has a kick starter campaign that I think is worth donating to.  I certainly plan on it.  I also intend to help out other worthy starters, I consider it my good will to humanity or at the very least the ears of humanity...you're welcome.

So I encourage you music fans out there if you know of other artists out there also doing these kick starters to help em out.  I am telling you, you could be funding the dreams of the next Stevie Ray Vaughn or Janis Joplin.

Here is the link, go check out Jackson's page.

Also be sure to check out Larry's website OurTracks . 

Support live music wherever you are!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Some days I question if I really know what the hell I am doing.

I want to take this time to say thank you to everyone for the nice words and encouragement you have shown me about this blog.  It means a lot.  More than I can put into words without being all kinds of mushy and girly and overall just emotional.  It comes in handy especially after some unfortunate emails I had the displeasure of reading.  But alas what's done is done and the past as they can't be undone we can only move from this moment we have.  That being said I am having a moment of reflection so I thought why not post some songs about reflection and picking up and dusting off and in general just some songs I felt like hearing and sharing.
The first song is a James Pardo tune called inside out.  Check out his reverbnation page, good stuff. James is a great songwriter and I have been very lucky to get to know him this past year.
Next up on the reflection playlist is Roadside Libby with their song brokedown. Little side note Tonight at River Road Icehouse  Andrew the lead singer for this band and Chad Anderson from Southern Strangers are song swapping.  They will be there next Wednesday too.  I highly recommend going out there to see them.  Ask Chad to do his Marvin the Martian impression. 
And just cause he is my favorite and I swear if I were to ever have my own reality show this would be the theme song  - the one the only Mr. Chris Knight.
And cause tomorrow is a new day and I feel like I am going in to a battle I'm not sure I'll win. I'll end out tonight with this little number. Todd Snider.
Support live music wherever you are.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Welcome to my very first blog on Hurricane Highway!!!
My primary goal for this blog is promote the music and venues that I love in and around the San Antonio areas. While there are a lot and I mean a lot of other Texas Music bloggers out there doing the same thing I am not doing this to be in the scene or make money.  I am doing this solely for the purpose of showcasing the music that speaks to me. 
So sit back and let us all see what is to come 2013. 
One very big highlight I am looking forward to this weekend is I am going the recording studio with my good friends Southern Strangers!  They are releasing their second cd on March 23 and I as well as some other folks are going to be singing on a song for the album.  Big stuff, especially when you consider I have no real music talent.  Just a huge love for great songwriting and instrument playing.  I do dabble in songwriting but trust me its nothing compared to Chris Knight or Steve Earle.  Either way I am so looking forward to this. 
If you have never heard of Southern Strangers here is a little video of the band.
As I said this is my first blog.  I look forward to the adventure this brings telling you about the story of my year all with some great people, places, and adventures that come with it.
Support live music wherever you are.