Wednesday, February 27, 2013

And the award goes to...

It is once again that time of year for the Lonestar Music Awards. Since I wasn't picked to be one the descision makers on these nominations.  I decided I would just go ahead and post who I would vote for and give some thoughts on my choice.  Yay for you! The awards are going to take place at the Texas Music Theater in San Marcos on April 28th.  I am hoping to be in attendance but we'll see how it goes.  So here we go. 

The nominees for the 2013 Lone Star Music Awards are.....
The Departed - Adventus *Lauren's Pick*
Jason Eady - AM Country Heaven
John Fullbright - From The Ground Up
Ray Wylie Hubbard - The Grifter's Hymnal
Rob Baird - I Swear It's The Truth
Turnpike Troubadours - Goodbye Normal Street
Uncle Lucius - And You Are Me
That was a tough one to choose but I think I dig the bluesy guitar solos on Adventus.  Turnpike was a close second for me in this category.
Aaron Watson - Real Good Time
Corb Lund - Cabin Fever
Eleven Hundred Springs - Midway
Jason Eady - AM Country Heaven *Lauren's Pick*
Josh Abbott Band - Small Town Family Dream
Roger Creager - Surrender 
Wade Bowen - The Given - This should have been nominated in the regular album of the year category...Just saying.
It didn't get any better than that release.  I loved the Duet with Patty Loveless. Long live the old fart music!
American Aquarium - Burn. Flicker. Die.
The Departed - Adventus 
Dirty River Boys - Science Of Flight
Lincoln Durham - The Shovel Vs. The Howling Bones *Lauren's Pick*
Shovels & Rope - O' Be Joyful 
Turnpike Troubadours - Goodbye Normal Street
Uncle Lucius - And You Are Me
American Aquarium is really awesome and I can't wait to see them later this month.  I have heard their cd's and they are solid well put together packages.  The gritty rawness of Lincoln Durham's songs  and voice are too good not to win.
Chris Knight - Little Victories 
John Fullbright - From The Ground Up
Ray Wylie Hubbard - The Grifter's Hymnal 
Sean McConnell - Midland
The Trishas - High, Wide & Handsome *Lauren's Pick*
Todd Snider - Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
Walt Wilkins - Plenty
This was the toughest category for me.  All of these people listed above I think highly of.  The Trisha's album though hasn't gotten old for me. Sorry boys but the girls take this award!
The Departed - "Prayer For The Lonely"
Jason Eady - "AM Country Heaven"
John Fullbright - "Gawd Above"
Lincoln Durham - "Clementine" *Lauren's Pick*
Ray Wylie Hubbard - "Mother Blues"
Rob Baird - "Dreams & Gasoline"
Turnpike Troubadours - "Good Lord Lorrie"
Man this one was tough too.  Once again I go back to the grit in Lincoln's voice singing this song.
 Cody Johnson Band
The Damn Quails
The Departed 
Dirty River Boys *Lauren's Pick*
Robert Earl Keen
Turnpike Troubadours 
Uncle Lucius
I am going with the river boys.  They put on a bad ass show. 
 Evan Felker - Goodbye Normal Street
Jason Eady - AM Country Heaven 
Kevin Galloway - And You Are Me
Rob Baird - I Swear It's The Truth
Sean McConnell - Midland
Seth James - Adventus*Lauren's Pick*
Wade Bowen - The Given
I just love Seth's voice...what else can I say.
 Audra Mae - Audra Mae & The Almighty Sound
Cary Ann Hearst - O' Be Joyful
Dana Falconberry - Leelanau
Elizabeth Cook - Gospel Plow
Ruthie Foster - Let It Burn
Shellee Coley - Where It Began
The Trishas - High, Wide & Handsome *Lauren's Pick*
The harmonies on that cd and live put them at the top on this category. 
 John Fullbright 
Jordan Minor 
K. Phillips
Rob Baird *Lauren's Pick
Six Market Blvd.
The Trishas 
Tyler & The Tribe
I really like his stuff.  Truthfully I like all these guys and gals but I have had Let Me Down Easy by Rob in my head all afternoon.  That made the decision.
 Evan Felker 
John Fullbright
Kevin Galloway
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Sean McConnell
Todd Snider
Walt Wilkins *Lauren's Pick*
Hard to choose but I am such a fan of Walt's. 
Cody Canada - The Departed
Corby Schaub
Gary Clark Jr.
John Fullbright
Jon Grossman - Uncle Lucius
Ryan Engleman - Turnpike Troubadours 
Seth James - The Departed *Lauren's Pick*
Adam Odor - Adventus*Lauren's Pick*
Jason Isbell - Burn. Flicker. Die
Justin Pollard - Dandelion, Songs We Wish We'd Written II
Kevin Welch - What The Hell Is Going On?
Lloyd Maines - Surrender, Art Of Removing Wallpaper 2012
Ray Wylie Hubbard & George Reiff - Grifter's Hymnal, The Shovel Vs. The Howling Bones
Wes Sharon - From The Ground Up, Goodbye Normal Street
American Aquarium - Burn. Flicker. Die.
The Departed - Adventus 
The Flatlanders - Odessa Tapes
John Fullbright - From The Ground Up
Lincoln Durham - The Shovel Vs. The Howling Bones *Lauren's Pick*
Paul Thorn - What The Hell Is Going On?
Todd Snider - Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
Big Fest - San Marcos, TX
Greenfest - New Braunfels, TX 
KNBT Americana Jam - New Braunfels, TX 
Larry Joe Taylor Fest - Stephenville, TX 
Lone Star Jam - Austin, TX 
MusicFest - Steamboat Springs, CO
Old Settler's -Driftwood, TX 
Billy's Ice - New Braunfels, TX*Lauren's Pick* 
Cain's Ballroom - Tulsa, OK
Cheatham Street Warehouse - San Marcos, TX 
John T. Floore's Country Store - Helotes, TX 
Gruene Hall - New Braunfels, TX 
Luckenbach Dancehall - Luckenbach, TX 
Texas Music Theater - San Marcos, TX 
All of these venues have their own special charm but I have to go with Billy's on this category.  Always great up and coming acts there.  Always great quality music!
So what do you think? Agree or Disagree?

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Palace, The Stragglers, The Departed

Big News in the Hurricane Highway world.  As you can see from the above pics Jason Boland and The Departed boys are coming to town.  To Seguin to be exact, at a new venue The Palace Theater.  I got to meet the owner at Roadside Libby's show in New Braunfels last week.  I am pretty excited for what he has planned for this venue. Also that there will be an air conditioned venue to go to when it's 100 plus degrees at 11 at night! First and foremost some of my favorite bands/friends are going to be opening for those shows in the picture above. 
On March 7th opening for Jason is Chad Anderson of Southern Strangers, Andrew Van Winkle of Roadside Libby, Nate Thomas and Jeremy Alvarez of Troubadour Junkies.
On March 15th opening for The Departed is Roadside Libby.
Exciting stuff for those guys.  To see what else they have coming up you can check out the venues website  I am looking forward to see who they have coming next.
Support live music wherever you are!

Patton, Hood, And Cheatham

I woke bright and early Sunday morning for the day job and even though I was tired and grumpy at 7 am I couldn't help but smile about the night before.  No I didn't meet a cute boy or have one of those best night ever beer commercial nights. Who has those anyway?  They really should make those ads more know a drunk girl in the corner crying over the ex, two stupid dudes puffed up fighting by the bar, antisocial weirdo creeping everyone else out, someone puking in the ladies from too much jaeger, waking up the next day feeling rough as hell, realizing you took the weird guy home and need a plan to get rid of him.  What? Do those things not happen at your bar or when you drink?  anyway.  I woke up aglow from the music I saw the night before.  Courtney Patton and Adam Hood were playing at Cheatham Street in San Marcos.  First off when you walk into Cheatham it is not the most glamorous venue you will ever see.  I am cool with that.  If you are true music nerd like I am, you can feel the history and envision the greatness of those who have once stood in that room.  Stevie Ray Vaughn, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, and Todd Snider to name a few. On this particular night with Courtney and Adam I knew I was going to see a cool show.  I didn't realize and I should have, that I was going to see a supercharged tell the whole world about it cause it was that cool type of show.  Courtney as I stated in the last women who rock showcase was amazing.  This girl can sing!  As I also said before it's my personal mission to share her greatness to anyone that will listen.  With Adam coming up to some lead guitar magic the opening set ended with this really cool cover of Led Zeppelin's ramble on.  Adam wasted no time getting into the set starting off the night with Hell of fight.  Always the constant show man, he had everyone in the crowd singing along to every song and laughing at his serious dance moves as the shots kicked in. I love his cover of Raspberry Beret! Lucky for those of you who weren't there I found some delightful little videos from that night to post for you.  Also a HUGE thanks to James Fillpot and Alaisha Holt for taking some awesome photos that I can share with the masses.  I really need to figure out my camera situation. 

Ignore the weird creepy kissy couple in  the beginning of the video.  Love Soulshine.  Glad he covered it.
Pics from the show.


Ladies Who Rock Showcase - Courtney Patton

When I first saw Courtney open for The Trisha's at the beginning of the Month I was blown away as soon as she hit the first verse of her song. She opened with It's Not Easy.  In that moment I knew I was witnessing something special.   Seeing her again this past weekend with Adam Hood I was even more impressed. She is one of those great songwriters much like Lori McKenna that can paint you a picture with lyrics.  Her new album that is set to come out soon.   I am convinced that she has been the best kept secret in the songwriting circle.  Her song The Fool was covered by The Trisha's on their High, Wide, and Handsome Cd.  If you weren't in the audience at Cheatham Street Warehouse this past Saturday you missed out on a great show. One which I will tell you all about in my next post.   I am making it my personal mission to tell anyone who will listen to me just how amazing she is.  So if you like what you hear from her, help me spread the word!
She can cover Led Zeppelin like no one else.  You should have seen her and Adam rock this song!
Check out her reverbnation page to see where she will be next. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Artist Q and A With Adam Hood

Hello out there to my dozens of readers.  I have been a little quiet this week.  I only like to write when I have been inspired to.  I don't want to force things.  Nothing good comes from all areas of life that rule applies.  I am looking forward to fun weekend of shows. There are some other shows and people to tell you about coming soon.  This Saturday one of the shows I am really excited about is happening at Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, TX.  The wonderful Ms. Courtney Patton is opening up for Adam Hood. If you have never seen Adam play you don't know what you are missing.  What I love about Adam's songwriting is that he is country but not in the way that is sold to us by someone who hasn't lived the life.  He tells the story of how it really is, there are no references how big the tires on his mud truck are.  What you get is an appreciation for the small town stories that are real.  The good and the bad.  He has this distinctive voice and guitar licks that are unmistakably him.   When I asked Adam if he would answer my little want to be Barbara Walters questions I was thrilled he said yes.  So here it is people a Q and A with one of my favorites Mr. Adam Hood!  Here are some videos as well of Adam to listen to while reading.  Enjoy

So many of the bands, I see here in Texas are fans of your music.  It comes across in their song writing and music style. You are an influence to them but who and/or what inspires you? When it comes to lyrical content I'm a pretty practical writer.  Most ideas come from plain old conversation. It can be with my wife, another writer, or just being nosy and listening to other people talk. Musical content comes from other music. I try to constantly listen to as much music as is available to me. There's a chord or a melody in every song that spurs a chord or a melody for me. 

You are going to be at Cheatham this Saturday?  What does the next few months hold in store for you?  Any really cool gigs you want to brag about? Seems like I'm pretty busy this spring and its a good thing. Back in November I signed on to play the 4th Sunday of every month in Luckenbach with Jason Eady and Brian Keane. That's a great gig on so many levels. Being in that town is obvious why the gig is great because I've never been to a place that has THAT kind of vibe. Also, Jason and Brian are two of my closest friends in the music scene.  They're the guys I talk to regularly and the ones I send my songs to if I want an honest opinion. It's a fun show. Since josh Abbott released "I'll sing about mine" as a single, I've accepted a good string of shows as his opening act in the southeast! It's wild, but the region  I'm from is relatively new to my music, so some of these places I'm playing with josh are ones I'm doing for the first time. 
What is coming for Adam Hood this year?  IE any new music or cool co writes you are planning. Man, I have all sorts of unrealistic plans for this year. I've been writing a LOT since the new year and its great. I'm writing with Will Hoge in a few weeks and that's a big one for me. I've been a fan for a long time and all his success recently is well deserved. I got a phone call from Jack Ingram last week about writing soon and he's another one that's huge for me. I remember jack coming to play in my hometown in 1994!! He was the first Texas artist I laid eyes on and our paths have run together in strange and funny ways ever since. 
 You have had the opportunity to play in some really cool venues.  If you could choose one, which venue is your favorite? Why? I get that question a fair amount and it really is a tough one to answer. Every place is different and they all have their own charm. I have a good story and a bad story about most of the places I play these days and that's very cool. It means these places are becoming comfortable and that comfort is the only way I can keep from losing it when I travel. But, to answer the question, I'm into the Luckenbach thing right now. I really love it there. 
 If you could tell one crazy from the road story, what would it be?  You can change names of the parties involved if needed. This isn't my BEST story from the road (I'm sure I blacked out while creating my best story) but this one popped in my head the other night... I did a week of shows with JJ Grey and Mofro a few years back. The first show was in Gainesville, FL which is the area where they got started. I was solo in front of a sold out room of Mofro fans who had no idea who I was, but I played all 45 minutes without a slanderous remark from the crowd and walked off the stage. The tour manager met me right off stage and said "dude, they just towed your car while you were playing". I parked next to their bus in a no parking zone. So I spent all the money I made that night getting my Chevy venture out of the lot. 
Out of all the songs you have written, which one do you feel the most proud of and why?  Another tough question that I might not answer the same if asked tomorrow. The Tennessee Will is one of my prize cows these days. I wrote it with pat McLaughlin and, although I've never written a song with pat I don't really love, I think we nailed that one. I think the vibe of that song is the essence of who I am as a musician. To me there's a difference between being southern and being a redneck, hillbilly, or whatever other derogatory term the rest of the world labels us as (and that, sadly, we accept and embrace).  I feel like that song is sort of what being southern should "sound" like... Rather than like some of the current country music sounds. 

The idea of this blog is to talk about and promote artists that aren't household names and are working hard to build a career. I am sure you have seen and heard some great music out on the road.  Have you seen any great bands or musicians out there that the rest of us should give a listen to?                                                     My friend Brent Cobb is an artist to keep an eye out for. He's from GA and his hometown is about a 2 hour drive from mine. I could write his bio for you, but I'll spare you the long-winded answer (this time) and say we wrote Grandpa's Farm (on my newest cd) and wrote a song called "go outside and dance" that Eli young recorded and released online. He's as genuine and clever a writer and person as I've ever met. It's a different level of country music. 
What made you want to become a musician? To really think back, I've just always loved music. I don't know of any specific "burning bush" moment that put me on this path.  When I was a kid I would make guitars and mics out of cardboard until my parents had to buy me a guitar (out of pity for their weirdo son). I've always loved to play and sing and I always run into music that keeps me feeling that way. 

 The last q and a I did was with Forest Wayne Allen.  I like to have each musician ask a question for the next band or artist to answer.  This is his question.  What to you is the difference in confidence and arrogance, and how has either helped or hurt your career?  I think the difference is the focal point. Arrogance seems to have a self-centered focus. Arrogant people seem to be sold on themselves as a whole... Not any goal, platform, accomplishment , etc. Confidence is is different. Most people have to GIVE themselves confidence or absorb it from the encouragement of others. And it usually focuses more on a belief. People develop confidence to get over that hurdle in front of them. I think being unaware of the difference has been a tough thing for me to learn. It isn't my nature to be assertive or competitive and so I've let those little moments pass me by... Returning a phone call that might have created my best song or most memorable show, Introducing myself to someone that could be a vital part of my career, and so on. I tell myself that I neglect those things due to a lack of confidence, but I cringe to think deep down I do it out of the arrogance that makes me think I "don't need" to do those things.  Whew... That's heavy!!
To check out where Adam is playing next here is the link to his official website.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Copper and Glass - A Little Cali Gem I Stumbled Across Today.

With social media it is possible for anyone to sell themselves as a band, model, superhero, or whatever else they want you to believe.  With my twitter, off and on I have bands that follow me or message me to check out there band cause they sound like the next big thing.  It may sound weird but I have this little intuition about who I will like or who I won't.  Through one of my social media outlets I stumbled across this band out of California.  It could have been boredom, it could have been something else.  Somehow the music gods shined down on me today. I am not sure, but I decided to Google them.  It lead me to their reverbnation page, which has since led me to spotify where I am listening to there cd.  The band is Copper & Glass.  If you like Band of Heathens, Folk Family Revival, Uncle Lucius, and Ryan Adams it is possible you will like this band too.  Since they are from Cali, it will probably be a while before they make it to this state.  Check these guys out and if you like them tell your friends. Word of mouth is still one of the best marketing tools out there.  Here is the link to the website.  If you don't have the Spotify app, download it and listen to their self titled album.  It is good all the way through. I haven't been this excited about a cd since I got Folk Family's Unfolding Cd.
 Copper and Glass Website

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sing Forest Sing - Artist Q and A with Forest Wayne Allen

A while back I had gotten into a Facebook discussion about country music and what it should sound like.  Country music is about telling the story of the common man.  I maintain that fiddles, mandolins, and steel guitars should be common place in that genre.  Today we have too much over production in what is played to the masses. Someone who felt similar to me in that thought process was my friend Forest Wayne Allen.  Forest plays what I consider to be traditional country music. Forest moved here from out of state and has been playing in San Antonio, New Braunfels, and San Marcos.  Currently working in the oilfield, he has been picking up gigs sporadically when he is in town. I decided I wanted to start  doing Q and A's with different people on the scene as I go.  I am channeling my inner Barbara Walters here on these little question and answer segments.  Forest was kind enough to be my first interview on this little highway of mine.  So ladies and gents here are some tunes from the man himself and below is our little conversation.  Enjoy.

Tell me about what has been happening with you?
 I've been farming in the oil patch lately. I was farming in the credit
card patch before that, so I had to get real. At least for 2 weeks out
of the month.  But I am really enjoying actually being responsible for
something other than changing my oil & strings; and, I'm loving music a
lot more lately.  Stepping away from it for a lil bit has helped me
appreciate every aspect of it so much more.

 Any really cool gigs coming up you want to tell people about? 
Until I get my oilfield schedule in stone, I'll just be playing
last minute stuff.  My friends like Jordan Minor, Tony Taylor, Daniel
Thomas Phipps have been hooking me up with shows when I'm back. I'm
supposed to play Tavern in the Gruene the 14th with my buddy Brett
Hauser, but he might have to be his own valentine if I'm on a rig in

Most memorable show you have played?
Dosey Doe in Conroe  It's one of two shows I've done without a single
drop of booze, and it was very memorable.  Literally, I could remember
it.  People really came to listen and it's a super cool venue. Ray
Benson was playing at the other one in The Woodlands, and I was about
flattered when the owner chose to hang out at my gig.  Even I wouldn't
have done that...
 Do you any crazy on the road stories? Or at least any you can share without getting people in trouble? 
For the protection of others, the guilty will remain nameless.  I played a gig in Corpus at
Outta Bounds (shout out) with ____ _____ and ___ ____ and Angie from
Outta Bounds got us a hotel.  When we finally made it to the hotel, I
spent all my effort trying to get two girls to come over.  When I
finally gave up, I noticed the two were missing, but I had a feeling
they were somewhere in the building. I opened the bathroom door and they
were sitting in the bathtub with their legs over the side, just

What inspired you to become a musician?
My mom and dad.  I grew up walking around old smokey bars, listening to
them play bluegrass. Sometimes I'd be an outdoor thing, sometimes they
played for funeral homes and my mom was the piano player at out church
growing up.  I started on the trumpet and got my first guitar my junior
year of high school.  I've been pickin' ever since.

 Of all the songs you have written, what song is your favorite? Why?
Well hell, the're all my favorite!  (I'm pretty sure a
guy named Billy Joe said that).  I have one called "My best days".  It's
just the truest song I have, and I really seam to get into it more than
any other song.

What goals are hoping to reach in 2013?
I just want to get this record out...and get my schedule figured out so
that I can book gigs and get myself and hopefully a country band back on
that road!

Favorite venue? Why?
The first place I ever played in the state of Texas was Tavern in the
Gruene.  That was 4 years before I moved here to stay.  I just love the
room, it's a great acoustic room and some of the crowds are really cool
about listening and hanging out after the show.

When you aren’t playing a show who do you go out to see?
I usually end up going to see my friends in the scene.  Court
Nance, Midnight River Choir, Jordan Minor, Tony Taylor, Jaime Cortinas, guys like that.  I
do love Dwight, Robert Earl, Billy Joe, Rodney Parker & Reckless.

 What do you think sets you or your band apart from other bands?
 I'm the weirdest guy in the business, and I'm not even trying. It
comes so easy to me.

Anything else you would like the people to know about you or your band?
Grab the new record!  It's country.  They'll have it playing
on Radiofreetexas and Superfly's Lonestar Music in San Marcos will
probably be the first ones to carry it.  This is my forth record, but
the first one I really believe in all the way through.  Thanks to Jordan
Minor for producing it with me and Gary Hickenbothem for engineering it.
So there you have it.  Go Check out Forest when he is in town.   As soon as I know when the new record will be coming out, I will let you know. 
Support live music wherever you are. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bundle Up The Babies - Story of a Merch Girl

Back at the end of January The Trisha's posted on Facebook that they were looking for someone to sell merch for them at the shows on the winter tour run.  I emailed them offering my services for the New Braunfels or San Antonio show.  Really I didn't think it would happen, surely they had someone else in mind already.  Well as luck would have it, they asked me to help out this past Saturday at their Sam's Burger Joint show! 

I am not going to lie, I was more than excited about this show.  Like kid in an all you can eat candy store kind of way.  It's the music geek inside me, just can't help it.  In the days leading up to it, I started to get nervous.  What if they were mean?  What if they don't like me?  I had in the back of my mind the stories you hear from others when they meet musician's or people they look up to.  You know those stories how they met so and so, turns out so and so is a pompous ass.  Well Luckily the ladies were nothing like that at all.  Once all situated, each of the ladies came by one by one to introduce themselves and check on me.  Not long after being there Courtney Patton opened up the show.  If you remember my previous post about the lack of bad ass ladies on the scene, she was one of ladies that I said I had been wanting to see.  Turns our Courtney is well worth seeing.  I loved every song she played! She does have an album coming out soon, that I can't wait to get my hands on.  I found some videos on YouTube to share with the dozens of you that are reading these little ramblings of mine. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
With the audience ready to hear some more tunes the ladies took the stage.  In this day in age when you listen to what is made in the studio compared to what is played on stage you will hear two different versions of a band.  With The Trisha's it is not like that at all. They sounded amazing on the album with the harmonies and instrumentation.  In person I think it's possible they sounded even better.  Not an easy feat in the world of auto tune and what is normally played on the radio.  I saw the girls back when they did the High, Wide, and Handsome CD release show at Floore's Country Store and at the time was impressed with what Brandy Zdan added to the show.  Once again she blew me me away with her guitar, steel guitar and accordion playing.  The audience who was really into the show requested she sing a song.  What a voice that girl has also.  I wasn't expecting that!  It was an inspiring and wonderful evening.  The ladies surprised me with their sense of humor too. They all goof around and make some funny jokes in between these songs that are heartfelt, sometimes happy and sometimes sad.  One of my memorable moments from the night was when this guy I will name him John came up to me at the table and asked about Liz and if she was single.  Truthfully I told him I wasn't sure.  I mean really it wasn't like she and I sat around talking about boys prior to this.  This guy being the overly confident male he was bought her a beer and a with the koozie he just bought hand delivered her a little love note.  Now surely you can't expect to hand a girl a note and  her not show it to her friends. Luckily or unluckily for him it was read out loud to the audience.  He was kind of embarrassed, but he played it off pretty well. 
Sam's has always been one of my favorite venues.  They always get artists that are worth seeing.  I have seen so many memorable shows there.  Bob Schneider acoustic, which I think is the best show I have ever seen.  Guy Clark just recently.  Mike McClure, Chris Knight, The Departed, and Hayes Carll all come to mind as well. What I love is the people that come to Sam's are usually huge music fans as well so the audience is almost always comprised of people who actually want to listen to the music.  I can't wait for the ladies to come back again in April.  Hopefully if it all works out I will be selling the merch for them again in the big street fiesta that Sam's is hosting. 
Here are some pics from the evening . 
Photo credit goes to Matthew Costilla. 
 Left to right in the pic - Kelly Mickwee, Courtney Patton, Brandy Zdan, Savannah Welch, Me, Jamie Wilson, and Liz Foster

This was such great experience.  I can't wait to do it again! 
Brandy Zdan
Support live music wherever you are.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tales From The Highway - Guitar Battle Royale

Part 3

After spending some time in New Braunfels listening to James Pardo, Jordan Minor, Chris King, and Forest Wayne Allen, I skedaddled down the road to Hooligans in San Antonio to hear my friends Southern Strangers.  I know it seems like I see them a lot.  I will admit I do.  For me though it is about the journey of seeing them grow and change with each passing show.  They have come a long way. Also kudos to them, as they are opening up for one of their favorite bands Whiskey Meyers in Austin on the 21st.  As they prepare for the CD release, the show is changing still.  They are previewing new songs in the set list.  In fact I got to hear another new one that I really enjoyed Friday night.  I am telling you boys and girls make plans (if you haven’t already) to be at Kicaster Country Store in Adkins on March 23rd.  I suspect it’s going to be a fun night.  Truth be told I don’t really remember much from the first cd release party…I blame the Shiner Light Blonde for that.  That is one good beer…but that is a whole other story and not one I care to put on the web.  Where was I?  Oh ya, Hooligan’s.  Not sure on the specifics of how it all happened, but the Strangers announced earlier in the day That Chris Brady, lead guitar player for Roadside Libby would be joining them on stage for the whole show.   So that brings the grand total of lead guitar players on stage to two.  In my head there was this little thought process of it being like a UFC cage match.  Picture it in your best announcer voice “In this corner weighing in at…” or what ever they say.

The reason I say that is not due to any kind of  competition the guys have with each other.  It is far from that. I say that cause you have two guys that aren't used to sharing the stage with each other.  Both are skilled guitar players in their own right.  How would they decide who gets the guitar solo?  How would it even sound?  Who would be crowned the champion?  While I could sit here and dissect the differences between the two guys and tell you my thoughts on who won "the battle",  I am not going to.  Not because I am scared of hurting anyone's feelings, because this blog is meant to be informative for the reader.  If you the reader, want to make the decision for yourself that is up to you. I will encourage to see Both Southern Strangers and Roadside Libby when they have shows.  Here is the link to both websites to see where they are playing next. 

Southern Strangers Website           Roadside Libby's Website

What I will say...

Photos courtesy of Kristen Baird

I witnessed a group of friends who got together to jam in front an audience that came out to hear good music and have fun.  Both Matt and Chris played off of each other and gave everyone in the audience a treat that they wouldn't have ordinarily heard otherwise.  If you were in the crowd you would have also gotten to hear Kyle Reed and Andrew Van Winkle (lead singer for Roadside and fill in sound guy for the night) get up and sing with the band also.  These kind of moments are why I encourage people to go see live music.  These are fun memories that I and those friends around me will have for the rest of our lives or till the Alzheimer's kicks in. 

As for Hooligan's.  That was actually my first time there.  What I want to know is why they aren't having more shows there? They a nice set up and really should do more with it. I think recently they hosted Rich "I'm going to throw a twitter tantrum and go indy" O'toole. Hopefully they will start having more shows out there. 

To close out here is a little preview of my favorite songs from both the Roadside and Southern guys.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tales From The Highway - Chapter 2 - Phoenix Rising...

Part 2
After listening to the guys at the Pour Haus, I headed down the street to the Phoenix Saloon.  When I was living in New Braunfels back in 2009-2010 The Phoenix had just opened. I was fortunate enough to see some really fun shows there.  Acoustic Drew Kennedy, Jason Boland, Matt Powell, Adam Hood and full band Javi Garcia and Dustin Welch shows.  The architecture of the building is just cool too.  It always made me feel like I was in this little building full of history.  James Pardo was having a full band show.  It seems like I have seen James quite a bit lately but it is usually in song swaps where I happen to catch him. Plus I don't really get tired of seeing him.  He doesn't ever play a bad show.  He's such a great songwriter and truly one who doesn't get enough recognition for his talent. I haven’t seen a full band James Pardo & the Underestimated show since August.  I was curious to see how the new stuff would sound with the whole band.  It sounded great!  I walked in at the right moment, as he was playing Inside Out.  I have posted some videos before but for those of you who don't follow all the posts, I will post some of the new stuff that he is playing.  I am really looking forward to what will be on the new album.  If I am not mistaken, I think James is working to start that process very soon. 
Support live music wherever you are.

Tales From The Highway - Chapter One

Part 1

I found a little bit of paradise in downtown New Braunfels Friday night.  The Pour Haus is a relatively new bar that opened up where the Red Rooster cafĂ© used to be.   They are hosting music about four times a week out there.  Friday they had Chris King, Forest Wayne Allen, and Jordan Minor.  It wasn’t originally my plan to go to New Braunfels that evening, but when the lineup calls for it exceptions should be made.  The venue is awesome…open and airy with a nice menu. This is the kind of place that I would want to spend my days off at just hanging out and enjoying the scenery.  See the pics below. 


 I also got to meet Brian Strickland the operator of Music of New Braunfels another site that has the same mission as I do.  To promote these great people that you aren’t hearing on the radio but are playing for audiences in venues that see the light of their talents.  Be sure to check out the information Brian is posting on his facebook and twitter pages.  There is a lot of valuable information to be found there.

As for the guys playing this was a country song – guitar picking kind of night.  Forest, Chris, and Jordan lean more towards traditional country than what you are hearing out there from the terribles. I define the terribles to be Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, and basically any “country artist” that thinks they need to turn a song into an 80’s power ballad to be played on the radio.  While to some traditional country might seem boring, I enjoy the fact that you have to listen to these songs to hear the story being told. It goes back to the old school way George Jones, Johnny Cash, and Waylon used to make music.  What the guys proved is that sometimes you don’t need to have all the pomp and circumstance to make people take note and listen.  What you need is a few chords and simple truths about life, love, and the art of storytelling.
In the next few weeks I should be posting a little artist spotlight on him.  Stay tuned.
 He just came out with an album titled 1983,  It has gotten some really great reviews. I got to listen to some of the songs from it at Billy's last week. I'm looking forward to seeing a full band show from him soon. 
These guys are playing all around New Braunfels.  If you like what you hear come out to a show sometime. 
Support live music wherever you are.