Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Release Tuesday...A day late

So lots of cool stuff out today. Let's get right into it.

William Clark Green - Rose Queen There was all kinds of talk about this CD on the twitter. I was a little afraid of all the hype surrounding it.  Truth is out of all the cd's I listened to today this one was the best over all.  My favorite song on the cd is Take Me Away...Bit of warning if you are going to listen to this song now cover the children's ears. There are some f bombs in it. 
Randy Rogers Band - Trouble Here's the deal, this is the first Randy Rogers CD I haven't bought in all the years I have listened to Randy Rogers...There are four songs on the cd that I liked. The rest just didn't do it for me.  I am not sure what he was going for here. A while back a dear friend reminded that in the history of music there is always an album that comes out by band that makes you scratch your head and wonder what they were thinking...that is the case with this one. Here is the one true gem of the cd.
Lucero - Texas &Tennessee - I haven't been able to listen to this four song EP yet but it's Lucero.  I will admit I was a tad bit late to the Lucero fan club.  Now that I am a member of this club there is no getting me out of it.  Next week I get a snazzy new Iphone this EP will be part of my music collection.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Wacky Wednesday Happenings - James Pardo and Reckless Kelly

I know it's Monday and they usually are crappy...but I have great news it is over.  Tomorrow is a new day and more importantly we are closer to Wednesday and this fun happening at County Line BBQ. 

Yes it's Reckless Kelly, but one of my favorite songwriters Mr. James Pardo will be opening the show.  I had the chance to hear more new stuff from him when he played at Dirty's Bar and Q in Seguin, not far from New Braunfels on Saturday.  James is heading into Kent Finlay's Cheatham Street Woodshed studio on Friday to start the process of recording his newest album Junk and Jewels. I can't wait to hear it and share it with you. 

Some of you who are my friends with me on Facebook may remember my issue with County Line opening acts and the fact that many of them aren't somewhat local guys and gals.  I did in fact send an email to the powers that be there. For a brief moment I considered posting the conversation on here.  I decided not to, but will tell you the manager I dealt with was very gracious about my email.  Will it change anything about the opening act selection?  I hope.  Hopefully none of the bands I listed in the email are black listed by the loud opinion of this gal here.  We sha'll see what happens. 

I look forward to seeing friends out and about Wednesday at CountyLine.  Don't forget your canned food or money donation for the San Antonio Food Bank.  It's for a good cause people! 

Support Live Music Wherever You Are. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Music Tuesday - Girl Power New Releases

A couple of new releases out today. Available on the ITunes, Lonestar Music, Soundcloud,etc. 

  • Brandy Zdan -  Also known as part of The Trisha's, she is the one that holds down the lead guitar, steel guitar and accordion.  She is quite possibly one of the coolest gals I have met. I got the chance to see her at Gruene but I want to make a trip up to Austin to see her with a full band.  She's different, a little edgy, little indie and most of all she has a great voice. This is a release from her upcoming EP Lone Hunter. 

  • The Rankin Twins - Moonshine and Maybes This sister duo has been making a name for themselves, I haven't been able to catch a show of theirs yet, but I want to soon.  This album has some stand out tunes on it.  Produced by Ken Tondre I was impressed with six of the tracks on it. Of course they were all the ones about love gone wrong.   Favorite off the cd is Holding Pattern a duet they did with Drew Womack. 

  • Lori McKenna - Massachusetts It is no secret Lori is one of my favorite songwriters. There is no one else who can capture the heartbreak of life like she does. As I type this I am listening to the cd.  Picking a favorite off this one is hard.  They are all stellar.  I really wonder how she doesn't write a bad song? 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Artist Q and A with Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards is a name you might not recognize.  He is one of those songwriter guys though that you should know.  I had the opportunity to catch him acoustic a couple months back at Billy's Ice as part of the Radiofree Texas spotlight artist.  The Radiofree Texas guys and gals do a weekly artist showcase that they broadcast out to anyone who listens in.  These spotlights happen every Tuesday night. At 8pm if I am not mistaken.  What struck me about Chris that night was his songwriting and the fact that he reminded me of one of my favorite's Steve Earle.  I am looking forward to this Tuesday the 23rd when Chris returns to Riley's Tavern (the outskirts of New Braunfels) for a show.  I know, I know it's Tuesday but I don't rest when there are good shows to be seen.  Chris was gracious enough to do this interview with me.  I look forward to more shows from this guy soon.

Tell the people a little bit about you:  I’m Chris Edwards. I’m a Scorpio (for those of you who determine a person’s worth and social desirability from that sorta thing) and I’m from East Texas. I enjoy nature, a cold beer here and there, a good book, a good meal, and all the other usual stuff.

As I am listening to your music, I was thinking how I would describe it.  It comes across to me as thinking man's music. How would you describe your music?
Thanks for the super-sweet comment! I’m not one for cramming my music into genre boxes because there’s a lot of different things that influence it, musically, but insofar as my lyrics go, I try to spend the most time on the them. I would like to be remembered as an honest, sincere and soulful songwriter and singer. A lot of people think my music is dark and depressing, but I try to leave a little light in every song. I guess you could describe my music as “sincere, soulful country/folk,” if you had to, I’d hope.

What goals do you have for 2013?
I hope 2013 brings some new ears to the noise I’ve been making. I’m working on a new record, The Drifter’s Prayer, which has been pushed-back a bit due to circumstances beyond my control. I’m getting back to work on it soon and hope to have it done by the summer. I really want to get some real promotional muscle behind this one. I also want to start trying to get other artists to cover some of these songs I’ve got laying around. 
Eventually, I want to do basic guitar/vocal or piano/vocal demos of about 50 of my older tunes for pitching purposes. Other than that, I’d really like to put another band together and start playing out more regularly. Recently, I had an accident that left me unable to play guitar for about a month. I had to cancel a month’s worth of gigs, yet it felt like so much longer. I really feel at my most lost when I can’t get on that stage and share some songs. Of course, another goal, and one I try to make a point of every year, is to just keep writing and keep playing. As a long-term goal, I would really like to get involved in producing some records. I've developed a knack for thinking in terms of arrangements, over the years, from playing different types of music and with different bands and musicians. Sometimes, even when I'm writing a song, whether I'm writing on the guitar, piano or just belting out a melody accapella, I'll start thinking of how the tune could sound with different production aspects, from the instrumentation down to the reverb and what-not. I'd love to be able to help some bands and artists bring their work more to life someday. Now I'm not too adept at some styles of music, mind you, but I'm confident I can put together a fairly kick-ass country, rock or blues record.

Where can people see you at next?
Right now I’m getting back to gigging regularly after a month-plus absence from it. I’ve got a bunch of shows on the books in the northeast and southeast areas of the state. I’ve got one Hill Country gig around the corner, though (Riley’s Tavern, April 23rd). 
Planning a Nashville run for the summer, too, and hopefully when the album’s done and out I’ll be able to get out more. For anyone interested in catching a show, I update my Reverb Nation page (http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisedwards) regularly and there’s also Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/ChrisEdwardsMusic ) which will broadcast my appearances and various goings-on to your newsfeed when you “like” the page.

Where does your songwriting inspiration come from?  
It’d be a colossal cop-out to give the standard “my songs come from life” answer, so I’ll try and flesh this out a bit. I do a lot of writing, and not just with my lyrics, but with poetry, essays and the occasional short story. I used to work as a journalist, and in some ways, a certain aspect of my songwriting is a continuation of that: just documenting people and events and using poetic license to fill-in certain details. I’ve learned, as a writer, to always have my antennas up and ready to receive whatever might cross my path
as potential material—be it the odd, or interesting, turn-of-phrase or the story that just beckons to be put into lyrics. These bits and pieces can come from anywhere: from sitting in a bar to overhearing something at the grocery store. Hell, there’s one song on my last record (“Let Love Lead Us” from 2011’s The Winter Garden) that had its initial idea sprung from a rerun of “Beverly Hills, 90210” which I fell asleep in front of. I woke up from that brief siesta with the idea light-bulb beaming bright above my dome. Generally, I don’t watch TV or any recent films, but the rare occasion I do, I get ideas for songs. Another song of mine (“Without a Word”) came from an idea I got while watching a TV show. As far as technique goes, I’m also a big reader, and many of my influences as a lyricist are literary writers like William Faulkner and Carson McCullers. 

What made you want to do this? 
By this I mean get up on that stage and play songs. After I’d played covers and a few primitive originals in bars around Nacogdoches, I found that I had a knack for playing and singing, but also that people really dug my energy and stage presence. I’d played music prior to that, just not on guitar. I’d played drums and a little piano and had made noise with the guitar; just not very structured, musical noises. 
I used to suck back then, musically, but playing with tons of great musicians and studying great songs by just learning to listen helped out a ton with my craft. Anyhuevos, it’s hard to pinpoint a single moment when I thought to myself, “Man, I can really do this,” but there had to be some point where I realized I really wanted to play music for people. Wish I could remember it. The more I got into the idea of crafting songs and studying the way great songs were written and what made them work, I realized just how much power music has and I think that, more than anything, has been a big factor in making me want to take my music out to the people. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’d like to think I have something to add to the ongoing conversation that all artists contribute to.
That being said, I really can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing. There’s nothing better than sharing a stage with great musicians, great friends or just going at it solo and playing something that I’ve put my blood, sweat and tears into. I love playing great songs that other folks wrote, too, but I love that feeling when I play something of mine and it gets a good response. I’ve played in all kinds of different bands, and I love playing the sideman, whether it’s holding it down on bass or sitting-in on some harp and harmony, but at the end of the day, playing guitar and singing gives me the greatest personal reward. I’ve gone through pretty bad stretches of storm-and-stress where it’s been hard to leave the house, but that fondness for music and connecting with people through that gift has usually been the thing to pull me out of those states. 
There’s been times when there hasn’t been much money to come out of a show, or I’ve had to lug PA gear for a block or so, and countless instances of wrong directions and barely making it out to some honky-tonk in the middle-of-nowhere on time, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

If there was a song you wish you could have written, what would it be? Why?
I’m not sure there is any one song that I wish I would’ve written, but there are so many lines in songs that are pure genius that I wish would’ve dripped off my pen. “Out here in the city, it feels like things are closing in./The sunset’s just my lightbulb burning out,”
from Ryan Adams’ “Oh My Sweet Carolina” is one such line, and so is just about every line in Townes Van Zandt’s “To Live is to Fly.” Come to think of it, that song just might be the one song I wish I could have written. Hell, I’ve got a tattoo of it, so why not?

Who do you listen to when you aren't playing music? I don’t seek out a lot of music. Mostly what I listen to that’s not produced by friends of mine is music from long-gone artists. Kasey Chambers, Ryan Adams and Alice in Chains are probably the most recent and frequent artists I listen to that aren’t Texas artists, but there’s so much great music in our scene that I feel like I don’t really have to pay attention to what’s going on in the national music scene to keep my ears sated. People like Mike Ethan Messick, James Pardo, Matt Harlan, etc. provide all the great music and inspiration I need to go on.

If you could open for any one artist dead or alive, who would it be?
Save the hardest one for last, why don’tcha! Well, I’ve made no secret of two of my biggest influences, which are Townes Van Zandt and Hank Williams, both deceased, and it would be for one of those guys without a doubt. Let me toss a coin and see which one it’ll be *tosses quarter: heads=Townes, tails=Hank*. Well, it came up heads, so Townes it is. I’d have to remember not to gamble with him after the show, though!

Lincoln Durham - One Man, Lots of Instruments.

I want you to picture the inside stage at Floores in your mind and picture this set up.
A hardshell suitcase
kickdrum with a tambourine on top
acoustic guitar
hollow body electric guitar
cigar box guitar
This is what you get when you see Lincoln. He is the lone man of this show using all these instruments.  There is no bassist, drummer, lead guitar player.  Just a man and his music at its gritty best.  It was one of those shows that I watched like a like a fascinated little kid. I had seen YouTube videos but to see this guy in person...wow!! There is nothing else like it. I appreciate people that are different and make you stand up to take notice.  He is one of those people.  It takes gut to say I am doing things this way and you can either listen or leave it.  I admire that in musicians.
I saw this photo on twitter. These are two of my favorite Lincoln's. Lincoln Durham and Lincoln Lankford from Folk Family Revival. This would be a cool show with those two on the bill...hmmm, I need to talk to someone about booking that.
The cigar box guitar I talked about earlier apparently it is called a diddly bow. Who knew?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

It Was Ladies Night...

This past Thursday I trucked (or carred it...ok I drove) up to New Braunfels.  To Gruene Hall to listen to the acoustic show of Courtney Patton, Jamie Wilson, and Brandy Zdan.  This week was crazy.  I have a lot to still write about...Lincoln Durham, Paul Thorn, interviews to send off...but I wanted to share this little video that my friend Brian who does the  Music of New Braunfels website made of the ladies singing the other night. These gals have a lot of fun on stage and know how to keep the crowd entertained. I haven't gotten up to Gruene enough. I need to do that more these next few months. If you haven't checked out the Music of New Braunfels site the link is on the side... He is much better at keeping up with the schedule of who is playing in New Braunfels than I am.

Oh and for those of you who like to do Sunday Funday activities Courtney will be playing at The Vineyard in Gruene (The two story building closer to Tavern) from 3-6 tomorrow. I am going for any of you who care to join me.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Music Tuesday

Stewart Mann and the Statesboro Revue dropped their new album today.  I have had the opportunity to see these guys live a few times in the past month or so.  I am convinced Stewart is a combo of Mick Jagger and Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes) when he is on stage.  I have heard a few of the tracks on the album live,  this is going to be a good one to add to your collection.  You can get a copy of this album through Lonestar Music, iTunes, and wherever else good music is sold. 

Another Album that has been out for a week or so now, is The Great Controversy by Javi Garcia.  I wanted to go to his cd release party but this was the same night as grit and groove, so I missed it.  Listened to the album last night.  From start to finish, this is good.  It's rock, bluesy, and captures Javi in his element. I recommend it all the way. 
Both of these are great bands to see live.  Get their albums, support them out on the road.  Happy listening to all!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

So Many Shows Only One Me.

What a week it has been. Finding my Adam Hood Interview on his website and Paul Thorn tweeting me that I should attend his show Friday...Is this what Cinderella felt like when she went to the ball?  I would like to think so..I am finally starting to come out of the coma that has been life.  That is why March was so quiet for me.  It was a lot to take in, but in a good way.

Spring is among us which means lots of fun shows to attend!  Like last night at County Line, got to see The Damn Quails!  Such a fun show!  I am happy to announce coming soon a full band interview with those guys will be on here.  I feel like I am fing Barbara Walters and I love it!  Also got to see Six Market Blvd.  Those guys put on a bad ass show.  I have a new appreciation for Usher's Nice and Slow thanks to them. I will also talk more about that later.

Friday 4/12 there are more than a few shows I wish I could attend, but alas I can't be in four places at once. So here is a little run down of those shows.  If I miss anyone I normally talk about on here, sorry.  Let me know I will send an update on the twitter and book of faces.

Consider this my own version of the Sound check they have on knbt.  

Band of Bandits @ Hooligans Bar and Grill.  I have really been wanting to catch this band, and I promise I will make it out to one of their shows soon!

Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers @ The Pheonix Saloon - New Braunfels
I stumbled across this lady when I was listening to the honkytonk station on the tv.  When I heard If I Can't Trust You With A Quarter I knew this girl was cool.  I think this could be my theme song...Also Do you love the cd cover as much as I do?

The Damn Quails @ Billy's Ice - New Braunfels
Let me tell these guys played acoustic full band and it was a hell of a show.  Come out to Billy's to see what they can do with it all on the table.  You will have a great time!
Mike McClure Band @ The Palace - Seguin
One of my favorite shows to see.  Mike is a genius and he has Tom Skinner in his band.  One of the best song writers to come out of Oklahoma.  Also inspiration for these stickers that show up in random places in between Texas and Oklahoma.

So, Where will I be you may be asking?  If you aren't I am going to tell you anyway.  I have the keyboard, I make the rules...Drumroll please.
Paul Thorn and Lincoln Durham @ Floores Country Store
For those of you who don't know who Paul Thorn is, I am sure you have heard Mood Ring by Wade Bowen.  Well Paul is the guy who wrote that song.  Paul and Lincoln are two guys I have been wanting to see for at least a year now.  I couldn't miss this chance.  Plus I got this super cool tweet from Paul the other day.  I had my mind made up already, but this was too cool.  Don't judge me too much. I am a dork.
There are other worthy shows to go see I am sure.  Get out there and support live music.  If you go to any of these shows listed above, tell  me how they were.  I could talk music stuff all day long! Have fun and be safe!



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Quarterly Hurricane Highway Awards - Quarter One

The other day it occurred to me that I wanted to do a recap of the quarter.  I am not sure who actually reads every post I do or who is an occasional reader.  The ACM's or CMA's was on the other day, I didn't watch it.  It got me thinking though that maybe I should do an awards ceremony of sorts.  I am thinking I will try to do this every quarter to recap some of the golden moments of the blog so far.  This will also catch up those of you who don't read it all the time.   (I am sure that is only a few of you, right? Right???) So welcome friends, family, frenemies, and who ever else reads this to....

  • Kick Ass Musician of the Quarter - Female : Courtney Patton - Look for an album from her to coming in May. Also you can see her with Jamie Wilson and Brandy Zdan at Gruene Hall 4/18.
  • Kick Ass Musician of the Quarter - Male : Will Arrington - Look for him and his band to be playing in San Marcos and hopefully soon all over.  He also will have a new album out soon. 
  • Kick Ass Band of the Quarter - Copper and Glass - This is a band that I found out of Cali. Word on the street is they are coming to Texas soon.  Give them a listen, good stuff coming from those guys. 
* CD's To Add To Your Collection (Released & available where music is sold)
  • Chris King - 1983 
  • Southern Strangers - Reckless Ways
  • Holly Williams - The Highway
  • James Pardo -  Autobiography, Chapter One
*Standouts To See in Action.  Check em out, like them on Facebook and such to see where they will be next.
  • Chad Sullins and Last Call Coalition
  • Will Owen Gage
  • James Pardo and The Underestimated
  • Roadside Libby
  • Captain Legendary Band
  • Jason Eady
*Favorite Venues - Support these places that keep the live music going!
  • Billy's Ice - New Braunfels
  • Riverroad Icehouse - New Braunfels
  • Kicaster's Country Store - Adkins
  • The Palace - Seguin
Special Thanks to my fellow bloggers that keep me inspired and share their love music with me and the web. 
  • Brian Strickland of Music of New Braunfels
  • Brandon Meyers of Red Dirt Blue Collar
  • Rita Ballou of Rawhide and Velvet
Also thanks to the Q and A artists Forest Wayne Allen, Adam Hood, and Will Hoge.  I am hoping to do more of those in the next few months. 
I have lots of ideas and other posts I am working on and thinking about.  Thanks to everyone for your support for me and the artists I talk about!   See you out on the highway!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Courtney Patton Preview

Miss Courtney Patton just released a new single from her upcoming album.  It looks like this will be out in May.  If you have the chance she will be out with Jamie Wilson and Brandy Zdan at Gruene Hall on April 18th.  If you are in the area come out and join in on the fun.

Reckless, Roadside, and Arrington

Reckless, Roadside, and Arrington - what does a night like that sound like?  Lot's of fiddles, harmonies, and a good night of tunes.  Once again The Palace delivered a great show.  This really is a little gem in the heart of Seguin.  Be sure to check out their line up through out the summer.  As you can see I added a handy dandy links section.  You will not believe the amount of time it took me to figure it out.  I will add more to it as I go, but anyway as you can see the link to The Palace is there.  Also let me just say that near this theatre there are some really cute shops in Downtown Seguin to check out.  I was a little sad though cause they all closed before I got to town.  I am going to have to make a trip back for shopping. I have two loves of my life and they are shopping and music.  Only I can pick the most expensive hobbies.  Oh Well, at least they are the most fun.   Back to the task at hand. Telling you about the night below.


I had a group of people telling me Will Arrington was a name I needed to remember.  I always take that kind of advice with a we'll see attitude. It is this stubborn thing I do.  I went out to open mic at The Palace  recently and was pleasantly surprised.  When I first hear someone acoustic, there is always a little nervousness for me on how they will sound when you throw in other people to mix.  Especially when you don't know much about the band. There are a few things that when it comes to music I go gaga for.  They are bluesy guitar solos, fiddles, and harmonies...From the start Will and the band brought those elements on to the stage. Three part harmonies or any kind harmonies are hard to do.  You have to make sure the voices go together just right.  Otherwise you sound like cats or a pack of dogs howling. I should have known these guys would be good.  When you are allowed to play Cheatham Street you can't be mediocre.  Kent Finlay didn't build that little empire by letting just anyone play there.  Will has a cd that is set to come out soon.  Once again like many of my other posts.  I will let you know when that is out and where you can get it.  I am really looking forward to this one.  Among the others coming out this year.  If you have the chance to check out this kid it is well worth it.


 I have pretty much decided the month of March is dedicated to the Roadside Libby boys.  I say this cause I think I saw them at least once a week in that month.  It wasn't on purpose, we all just happened to be at the same places. One of the things that I took notice of during the show with Will and Reckless was how these guys have grown.  I have seen them play off and on for the last couple of years.  They always put on a good show but now I couldn't help but notice there is something different.  I am really not sure what it is or how to describe it. The talent is there.  The song choices are there.  Whatever it is though, these guys are ready to compete with the big dogs of Texas Music. That is a statement I will stand behind with whoever wants to question me or argue about it. 

When you have really good opening acts, the headliner situation can go one of two ways.  Really great or a complete let down.  I have seen many a let down situation.  With Reckless Kelly, I didn't expect their acoustic show to be as good as it was.  There is something to be said for an acoustic show, I find myself liking a more stripped down show these days.  It's rootsy, groovy, and I get to pay attention to the lyrics of the song more.  I don't get to see the Reckless guys as much as I would like to.  If you were in the audience you got to witness what I consider to be one of the best versions of 1952 Vincent Black Lightning.  That is one my favorite story telling songs.  I would even say it beats The Road Goes on Forever. At least in my world.  One song that I wasn't expecting to hear was Willy Braun's cover of Townes Van Zandt's I'll Be Here in the Morning.  It couldn't have been a better acoustic show.  Reckless Kelly is coming to County line pretty soon, that is the closest you will get to seeing what we witnessed last weekend.  May 1st to be exact.  Mr. James Pardo will opening up for them. If you are in the area come out and lend them your ears. 

It was a fun night, I am looking forward to this coming Friday. The Palace is hosting the one and only Mike McClure Band! 

Hope to see you there!