Album of the Day:
Mike Stinson/Hell and Half of Georgia- I know absolutely nothing about this guy truth be told. The title alone gets points. This is a rocking and rootsy collection. Stinton's voice comes off as the real thing. Not a great singer in the Marvin Gaye sense but authentic and believable and that's what matters. Produced by RS Field.
This is the best bar band record I've heard in a lon...g time and that's not a sideways compliment. How many times do you hear a bar band translate to tape. It's not as easy as you would think. No lyric book- but it's not mixed like a record that begs a lyric book, point taken.
This record makes me wish I was in a bar watching the condensation roll down the side of a Shiner with my arm around the waist of girl in a tank top. Maybe she drives a 72 Ford F-150........ - Rod Picott
Texas Music Magazine’s 2012 Artists of The Year – Mike Stinson
No. 53 (Winter 2013)
Mike Stinson took a leap of faith three years ago, chucking his crown as the reigning king of Los Angeles honky tonkers aside, loading a U-Haul and heading for Texas. Since arriving in Houston in June 2009, it hasn’t been easy; he’s had to claw and scratch and hustle to learn the ways and mores of the Texas scene.
But 2012 finally saw Stinson turn a certain corner as he began to attract the attention of more venues, particularly in Austin. In the past year, though still based in Houston, he and his band have earned their spurs by becoming one of the only Houston roots acts who can regularly draw a decent payday in the Live Music Capitol.
They’ve become favorites of the savvy dance crowd at Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon, the longtime stronghold of artists like Dale Watson, Billy Dee and Rick Broussard. He also finally came to the attention of the Continental Club as well as newer venues like the White Horse and Blackheart. And he’s been hand-picked to open shows for Dwight Yoakam, the Gourds, Chuck Prophet and roots rock icon Joe Ely. Not many so-called honky tonk bands are up to that task.
Along the way, Stinson has learned there’s more to Texas than honky tonkin’ and two-steppin’. He is one of the few bands in the state that can do a four-hour country dance gig at Ginny’s or Blanco’s one night and take on all comers at rock joints like Rudyard’s Pub or Sons of Hermann Hall the next. As one female fan was heard to say, “He’s like a cross between Willie Nelson and Joe Ely.” That description is as accurate as any.
A sneak listen to his hook-laden next album, tentatively titled Hell And Half Of Georgia, and dropping in 2013, reveals all the honky tonk songwriting smarts that have made him a favorite of writers like Jim Lauderdale and Jesse Dayton, who produced Stinson’s 2010 celebrated twanger The Jukebox In Your Heart, which contained Houston Press’ Song Of The Year “No One To Drink With.” But in the next album Stinson muscles up and rocks like no other Texas honky tonker. Period. With a crack band that includes former Hayes Carll guitarist Lance Smith, Stinson is just one break away from the next level.