Friday, August 30, 2013

Reckless Kelly - Long Night Moon Review

Set for release next Tuesday - Long Night Moon is Reckless Kelly's eighth studio album.  One of the things I have noticed with these guys is that there seems to a formula that comes standard with every album.  In every release going back to Millican  and The Day, there will always be at least one Waltz, lots of fiddle, the Braun brother harmonies of Willy and Cody, and a sound that is unique to the Brothers Braun.   It is this formula that we have come expect that gives each album a timeless sound. There is nothing trendy or whimsical about it, this is the type of music that when we look back on the history of whatever we call this Texas/ Red Dirt/Americana thing Reckless will stand out amongst the heavyweights like Rodney Crowell, Joe Ely, and such. 

 The first track on the cd, the namesake of the album starts off with an ominous drum beat as the rest of the band comes in with Willy Braun's lyrics. The lyrics tell the story of what it is like to love a man always on the road from both sides of the relationship. The first release from Long Night  to  the radio world is The Long Goodbye. This has been in regular rotation on KNBT lately.  A track that I instantly liked but also one that continues to grow on me the more I hear it. With the steel guitar hook at the beginning and throughout the track, it had me at hello. It is the tale of love gone bad and finally being able to walk away.  Irish Goodbye sets a perfect picture for this story song, with the melancholy sounds of the fiddle mixed with the angst of the lyrics.  Other standouts include The Only Home I've Ever Known, The Girl I Knew, Idaho, and  Be My Friend. Which I think might be the first song  that I have heard that discusses the warped world of social media. Essentially asking us to live our lives in the real world instead of the over dramatized lives portrayed in the world of Facebook.

Long Night Moon fits in nicely with the other albums from Reckless. With a theme of travel it is another well rounded disk from the boys.  Well worth purchasing the whole cd.  Long Night Moon will be in stores September 3rd. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Let's go to Luckenbach, TX


If you follow me on twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, you know I spent a Saturday night out at Luckenbach, TX recently. Jason Eady and Courtney Patton were opening for Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis.  When I got asked to sell merch for them, it was a no brainer.  I said yes.  After working the day job I set my sights for the road.  Traded in my diamond rings (really it was more like rhinestones, I have no diamonds) and got some boots and faded jeans and drove west. I have a confession to make. I, Lauren Gonzalez had never been to Luckenbach before this trip.  I know, it's a shock.  I will let you come to terms with this confession.  I did the drive through the long winding roads of the hill country and made it in good time from San Antonio to New Braunfels, and to Luckenbach.  I was a tad bit sad that I missed Drew Womack's full set from one to five.  I did get to see the last song he played. One day I will get to see a full set from him.  One day.

With some time to kill between the big show and this, I did my best to avoid the chickens that meander through Luckenbach.  I know everybody is somebody there but the chickens I could do with out.  Here is the part in story time boys and girls where I tell you I have been attacked by more than one rooster in my lifetime.  I have bad luck with feathered animals. I fear them.  One time in my truck I hit a buzzard and killed it...I am pretty sure there is a bad omen associated with that sort of thing. I also fear cows with horns but I will tell that story during another story time episode. 
Soon enough it was time for setting up the merch and sound check.  I was lucky enough to get to sit in the hall while Bruce and Kelly sang various songs to prepare for the night's show.  Getting to hear her sing How I Got To Memphis was pretty cool.  I am not going to lie, I completely geeked out at that.  After sound check everyone went their separate ways for costume changes, dinner, and other pre show preparations. 
When show time hit, Courtney and Jason opened up there set with a duet of Man On A Mountain.  I have seen Courtney and Jason play at least a half a dozen times this year. What I enjoy about seeing them both separately and together is that I always learn something new from them.  Whether it is a new song they have written together or own their own or a classic song that I have never heard before that they just made their own.  They are classic country fans at heart themselves and that shows in their stage shows.  Jason is fixing to come out with his follow up to AM Country Heaven and I even heard there may be a duets album coming from the two of them in the near future.  If you still have not seen either of them live you are missing out.  Jason's full band shows don't get enough credit for being as good as they are. Courtney herself, has a voice that can make everyone in a bar stand up and take notice. I am so happy to see her having success with her latest cd Triggering A Flood.   This night at Luckenbach was magical.  This night of vocal harmonies, steel guitar, and four great songwriters was more than I could ask for. I had never gotten to see Bruce and Kelly before either, so it was interesting to see how they put their show together.  Between the both of them they had more than enough songs to cover a two hour show.  The staples I expected were in there.  His hits like Angry All The Time, Desperately, and Traveling Soldier.  Kelly brought some of my favorites of hers Not Forgotten You, If I Left You, and Heaven Bound. 
It was probably more fun then selling merch should be.  I would like to think I could be a roadie for the rest of my life and be happy. I am always glad to be asked to do these kinds of things.  I remember I asked a seasoned merch/tour manager if he still got excited about hearing the music.  He told for him it was just background noise. I hope that if I get to do more merch gigs that it doesn't turn into background noise.  So till next time it is back to the highway home for me.  I just saw Walt Wilkins will be at Luckenbach this weekend.  I am off from the day job Saturday.  I may just end up back there for Walt.  Who knows. Have a great week everybody.
Support Live and Local Music Wherever it is!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Greenfest Day Two

After running late the day before, I set out on a mission to not miss anything that was scheduled on the second day.  The Lonestar Floathouse  hosted the days events.  So let me tell you a little secret.  Up until the week before I had never been to the floathouse.  After an invite from a friend I went up there to listen to music and have a burger...Oh my god, it was like heaven on earth.  I didn't get this dainty figure of mine from salads, let me tell you I know my way around a burger.  I have had lots of burgers in my day and this is seriously the best burger I have ever eaten.   I feel bad even saying that as I am currently sitting at Sam's Burger Joint typing this.  Trust me Sam's is a close second on my best burger list..Enough from the chubster chronicles though, back to music. 

The second day of music was all acoustic.  To start it off Nate Rodriguez and John Dempsey came out to share their brand of music.  They were relatively unknown to me but that was all about to change.  These guys brought to the table some powerhouse vocals and passion.  I did a little research on these guys the way of reverbnation and found some snippets to share with you.  From what I gathered about Nate he plays around San Marcos and Austin. John who is a native of West, TX started his set with a poignant song inspired by the recent disaster that hit his beloved town called Heroes and Angels. If I am not mistaken Heroes and Angels is on iTunes and proceeds from the sales of that song go to people affected by the West explosion. If you like what you hear from that song, please be sure to do some good and buy it. Consider it your good deed for the day.

After that round of song swapping came some familiar faces to me. Chris King, Jordan Minor, and Allan Goodman. These are three guys that I really enjoy seeing play. Chris has been doing the full band thing now for a few months. I have to encourage you to go see his full band shows. They are really cool. He is currently playing in support of his latest cd 1983. That is one great country cd. Jordan Minor is one name that I haven't brought up on here before. That is something I am kicking myself for. I have seen him acoustic at both his gigs and as part of other song swaps. He is actually playing tonight at Gruene Hall full band. I need to make it a point to go see him full band and get some videos for my youtube channel. I did find this great preview of what you can expect to see fromJordan.


Allan Goodman was playing bass in Adam Hood's band the night before. Allan actually has a knack for songwriting. I like his brand of songwriting. It has this playful fun element to it. Definitely makes it entertaining to see him in a song swap. If I am not mistaken he is part of the blooms which includes Matt Briggs and Zach Walther. The blooms have been holding down the after Roots and Branches Tuesday night spot at Tavern on the Gruene for a while. Another show I need to get back out and see more.

Following up these guys was one of my newer favorites William Clark Green and Troubadour, TX star Zane Williams. Who I am convinced Troubadour, TX doesn't give any justice to how stinking funny he is. I know his sense of humor doesn't necessarily have anything to do with music but truth be told I wasn't a fan of his at all from anything that they showed of him on the show. Either way though, Zane and Will were great in their song swap. I have to say Zane hit the nail on the head with his song Overnight Success. A song that talks about what it takes to be that overnight sensation in this music biz. For Will I have to say my highlight was when he covered Enough Rope. As you know I am a Chris Knight fan like no other so to hear Will sing it with the same emotion if not more than Chris does...Man it just hits you. At this point in the night I was able to move around a little more, so I started snapping pics.

Now for the main event came Drew Kennedy, Josh Grider, Owen Temple.  Now by this point in the night and weekend I was realizing that I am nowhere near as knowledgeable about all things music as I should be.  Thanks Galleywinter peeps for that lesson.  I was familiar with Drew and Josh and knew enough about Owen Temple and his alter ego Gary Floater but it has been a long time since I have seen all three.  I used to go see Drew all the time at Gruene Hall and Billy's when he and Rodney Hayden used to song swap together on a regular basis.  Dollar Movie Theatre and An Audio Guide to Cross Country Travel still have their place in my heart.  This night however showed me I need to catch up on his newer stuff.  Including his new single Rose of Jericho, which features Ms. Brandy Zdan on harmony Vocals.  It was also nice to see Drew let her take the stage to do an acoustic version of Morning Dove. Josh is one of those guys that I have always liked but I just never got to see enough.  Owen brought out enough Gary Floater to make the audience laugh all night long.  Gary Floater is an alter ego that Owen and I think Adam Carroll created.  The joke is that Gary is this songwriter that is known for getting himself banned from Nashville recording artists.  I managed to capture some videos from that night.  I also got to be a part of a cool moment at the end of the night.  Some Owen fans were requesting Tennessee Highway, Owen didn't include that song in his set but came over to a small group of us and played it without the mic for those few of us who weren't in a hurry to leave for the night. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Greenfest Day One

This is a little late in recapping GreenFest but it was such a fun filled weekend with lots of good music that I couldn't not tell you about it.  This two day music festival was put on by the folks at Galleywinter,  Long before the days of Hurricane Highway and well before blogging was cool there was Galley's website which brought together music snobs from all parts looking for anything relative to Texas Music.  I am not sure on specifics or how the music festival came to be, but somewhere along the way they started GreenFest.  A weekend of live music that consists of some really talented musicians at venues that are willing to hold the masses of people wanting to come together for a good time. A very big shout out and round of applause goes out to everyone that had a hand in the planning and hosting of this event.  You really have no clue how much hard work goes into these things.  All so folks like me can just show up, look cute, and enjoy.

When it came to the first day of this shindig there wasn't a bad act in the lineup.  I have been to other all day shows where there may have been one or two in the lineup that I didn't want to see or consisted of lineups that don't make sense. This wasn't the case here.  I decided to do a little break down of the events as they unfolded band by band.  As you know I suck at photography I am pretty lucky though to have friends that are handy with the cameras and use them to make their livings at different points in time.  My buddy Jeff Dykhuis was in the audience that night and is letting me borrow the images he got.  Thank you buddy!

Quaker City Night Hawks
This is a band that I have heard a lot of buzz about.  A lot of people were telling me that they were good and I needed to see them.  I tried to arrive to Riverroad on time for them.  As I usually do, I was running late.  I did get there in time to see the last part of their set.  I immediately kicked myself for not being on time.  Everything about this band screams cool.  They have this southern rock sound, that shines with the vocals from the lead singer.  I want to catch these guys again and really just watch the whole set. I have been listening to their cd Honcho since the show and really can't get enough of it.. 

Josh Weathers
 I just recently in the last few months started listening to Josh Weathers. When I saw that he was part of the line up I really excited to see him.  He has this bluesy groove sound that I like.  I was impressed with his set that includes a sax and piano player all through out it.  I really want to keep watching Josh and what his band do.   I hope we get to see more big things for them and more shows for them in this area.  Sam's burger Joint or River Road I am talking to you!!
Javi Garcia
If there ever is a band and cd that I am surprised to find myself listening to it is The Great Controversy.  I have seen Javi about a handful of times. Acoustic and full band.  He has a stage presence, that when he sings with those raspy vocals of his I find myself hanging on to every word. He owns the stage for every minute he is on it.  He is not country, not blues, but pure rock and roll. His set was really a highlight of the night for me. 

K. Phillips
 This set by K Phillips was something I wasn't expecting.  There was all kinds of cool stuff happening with his set.  From a punk rock beer shower on the stage to some really great harmonies coming from the talented and definitely the prettiest band members of any band that night,  Little Brave and Brandy Zdan. There is no classifying what genre to put K and The Concho Pearls in but I will tell you this is an electric man and band to see.
Adam Hood
As you know, Adam is a Hurricane Highway favorite.  He played the night before at Hooligans.  A show I am told I really missed out on.  Adam put on a hell of show for his part in Greenfest.  I could probably see this guy once a week and not get bored. If you haven't already listen to him and go see him in concert. You can thank me later.
Uncle Lucius  
When Uncle Lucius came on there wasn't a place to stand up in the front are by the stage.  For good reason, these guys put on a show that you can't take your eyes off of.  That seemed to be a common thread with this night of entertainment.  I stayed for about half the set.  Nothing against the Lucius guys.  My five thirty am morning and work day caught up with me.  I could kick myself for leaving because not long after I left there was an all out JJ Cale tribute that  include any and all the artists still hanging around.  I wish I would have stayed for that.