We've been asked repeatedly, "When is Robyn coming back to the Duck?" and finally the answer is "now!" Get your tickets, come early, have dinner and settle in for a real treat.
Robyn's 2014 Release Little Rain, produced by Gurf Morlix, crowned Robyn the “Queen of Modern Texas Country Soul” by No Depression and “The Best of Americana and The Best in Texas”.
For more than three decades, Texas singer-songwriter Shake Russell has been entertaining audiences throughout the region with his unique, Americana style of folk-rock. A prolific songwriter, Shake has written or co-written hundreds of melodies. Through the years, Shake’s songs and albums have frequented the Billboard charts, with many, including “Deep in the West,” “You’ve Got a Lover,” “Put Yourself in My Shoes,” “One More Payment,” and “Our Kind of Love” being recorded by such distinguished artists as Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, Ricky Skaggs, Clint Black, and Carolyn Dawn Johnson. Ricky Skagg’s hit recording of “You’ve Got a Lover” has appeared on three of Ricky’s albums.
In 1983 Shake was commissioned by the Texas State University in San Marcos to write a song ,''River of Innocence''. for a documentary filmed and produced by the university. In 1986, Shake was asked by longtime friend Bruce Bryant, creative producer at Houston television station KTRK, to compose a theme song commemorating the Texas sesquicentennial. He obliged and wrote the regional favorite, “Traveling Texas.” Shake is a two-time recipient of the BMI “Million Air” award for Clint Black’s recordings of “Put Yourself in My Shoes” and “One More Payment,” both of which he co-wrote with Clint, and a four-time recipient of the BMI Writer’s Award. The Texas Music Association nominated Shake's song, “Cowboy Coffee,” for the “2007 Texas Music Awards Best New Song.” Shake made history by being named Entertainer of the Year for the third time (2004, 2008, 2011) in the Texas Music Awards!
Weaving sophisticated harmonies through his songs and drawing from various genres, Shake created a style of folk-rock that is uniquely his own. His repertoire consists of a blend of love songs, ballads, and waltzes, skillfully balanced with lively rockabilly tunes and soulful rhythm and blues pieces. His lyrics are imbued with beautiful imagery, catchy phrases, and inventive similes and metaphors. But it is the rich, melodious voice of Shake Russell that breathes life and spirit into the lyrics.
Enjoy folk, country and acoustic renditions by performers that spent their afternoon in classes at Rice or a long day at the office.
Although less common, other performers such as comedians, poets, jugglers and mimes are also welcome. - 365thingsinhouston.com
Sign up at 6pm. Music begins at 6:30
His rise has been as improbable as it has been impressive. After dropping out of college and taking on work as a carpenter in Chicago, he got his musical start by providing CDs for his fans to pass along to their friends. This led to a string of sold out shows and a record deal with Nashville indie Lightning Rod Records (Jason Isbell, Billy Joe Shaver). As he toured behind “Messenger” (2010) and The Great Despiser (2012) it was with a band that looked as much like a jazz trio as an Americana band. “I never quite found a live band that captured what I was aiming for until I connected with Greg [Tuohey–electric guitar] and Matt [Schuessler–upright bass]. It was an arrangement that maybe didn’t make a ton of sense on paper but 10 minutes into the first rehearsal I knew this was going to be my band.” The following years would have them on the road for over four hundred shows, including stops at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and The Newport Folk Festival“We have to make music that stays true to ourselves.”
The Mulligan Brothers have released two albums, The Mulligan Brothers and Via Portland (recorded in Portland with Grammy-winning producer Steve Berlin) and will soon release a Live from The Netherlands album, recorded during the recent tour that included shows at the famed Paradiso in Amsterdam and a spot on The Ramblin’ Roots Festival in Utrecht. They currently have over two million plays on Spotify, including over 1 million of the song Lay Here.
The band kicks of 2017 with a return to the prestigious 30A Songwriter Festival in Florida ,an appearance on Music City Roots Nashville, and are excited to return to Ireland for January-February tour dates followed by a spot on Cayamo A journey Through Song a 7 day Roots Music Cruise in the company of such artists as Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle.
With more than 30 years on the blues scene, Johnny is a true entertainer and multifaceted frontman, alternating between harmonica, sax, and flute as the band cranks out classic boogie and blues tunes.
“Packed with vivid lyrics, steel guitars, and hot licks, Jewell’s Americana-driven brand of country music sounds tailor-made for sweltering, stagnant summer nights.” – Eric Renner Brown, Entertainment Weekly
“Though her fifth album consists entirely of original songs, ‘Sundown Over Ghost Town’ feels like a welcome return to a set of classics you’ve known forever, gently touching on desire, loneliness, and the longing for home… Perfect for fans of Madeleine Peyroux.” – Jon Young, Mother Jones
“Evocative.” – Craig Shelburne, CMT Edge
“Eilen Jewell is an artist to keep your eyes on… Fans may also hear a bit of Kacey Musgraves in her laid-back and effortless sound.”- Christina Vinson, The Boot
“Tantalizing… Wonderful voice… this slightly restrained, beautifully crafted and enticing Eilen Jewell disc proves she remains one of American’s most intriguing, creative and idiosyncratic voices.” – American Songwriter, Hal Horowitz
“A revelatory journey rich with cinematic visions, elegant, sweet, and smoky vocals, and hauntingly autobiographical songs inspired by her return to the West.” Jeremy D. Bonfiglio, No Depression, May 28, 2015
Graham is constantly reinventing himself. His new album #BecauseOfYou released in June of 2016 leans heavily upon his reggae influences while seamlessly combining them with his love for rock n' roll and hip-hop. It features Adrian Quesada of Groupo Fantasma, Trevor Nealon from Band of Heathens, the Tijuana Trainwreck Horns of SHINYRIBS, as well as a rootsy, folk-country duet with Katie Shore; the fiddle player from Asleep At The Wheel.
Graham was recently selected to be in a new documentary for PBS about the person who wrote "I'll Fly Away"; Albert E. Brumley. Albert's granddaughter who runs their nonprofit ~ http://illflyawayfoundation.org ~ has asked artists from across the globe to put into song his notebooks of words that have no music. The documentary will be filmed mid September 2016 in Austin, Arkansas & Nashville with collaborating artists Jim Lauderdale, Dawn & Hawkes, as well as others from Austin, England, Nashville, Australia and more. Stay tuned for more updates to come!
Born in Texas, the son of a preacher and school teacher, Graham was raised on the importance of family and service to others. Over the last 7 years, Graham has independently booked himself to the sum of nearly 200 shows a year; while also being a dedicated father, husband and family man of three wonderful daughters (one in college as well as twin 6-year olds) & two dogs. The line in his song “Laugh Until Life Makes Sense” sums up a message of positivity and love that Graham strives to exemplify and share through his music and home life.
The single "FOCUS" off of his 2011 release "the spiritual accessories ep" made it all the way to MTV.com and remained the #1 Most Shared, Most Commented On, & Most Viewed for over a week; all done as a completely independent, unsigned artist. All of this is on the foundation of his 2009 release "YEARBOOK" which featured Alejandro Escovedo & Hayes Carll.
In between recording, family time, & touring he has opened for such national acts as G. Love, Trevor Hall, The Gourds, Johnathan Tyler & the Northern Lights, Soul Rebels Brass Band & Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Hayes Carll, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Greg Brown, Alejandro Escovedo and dear friend Kimya Dawson.
Graham Wilkinson has been named one of Black Fret’s inaugural nominees for their 2014 grant cycle. Black Fret believes local music is art, worthy of community support and patronage. To support Graham and musicians like him while attending amazing house parties and musical events, please visit Black Fret.
Graham is like no other musician on the scene with charisma in spades and the songs to match. Graham will make you think, drink, dance, maybe even kiss a stranger.” Hayes Carll
“Imagine if Bruce Springsteen fronted an “up-and-coming” indie band. Then imagine if they lived in So-Cal for a few years, picking up a pair of ears for the surrounding sounds. And then they moved to Texas.” WONY Red Dragon Radio
“Graham Wilkinson makes beautiful music for mountain drives and nature hikes, but also for boisterous bars across North America. The music is original. Some might claim it is a kaleidoscope of roots music, folk, rock, Americana, jazz, and reggae, but really Graham Wilkinson melts away genres and makes new and exciting music.” JamTex
Austin-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Jimmy LaFave brings a passionate rock & roll energy to his original folk songs, whether he's playing solo or with a band.
Quite a fixture on the Austin music scene, upon his return to Texas in 1986, LaFave racked up critical accolades among not only Austin–based publications, but periodicals across the country and two Austin Music Awards, in addition to other laurels.
LaFave’s visibility on the musical radar increased with an appearance on Austin City Limits and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tribute to Woody Guthrie, where he was hand–picked by Guthrie’s daughter to appear.
On the title track of his sophomore release, There Is No Map, Sam Morrow sings “Well, I didn’t learn too much, back when I knew it all.”, a sentiment that perfectly encapsulates the soulful journey of this promising young American troubadour. It's been a busy year for newcomer Sam Morrow. Over the course of 15 months, he will have released his first two full length albums, a live in-the-studio EP with accompanying videos, be named an NPR "World Cafe Next" artist and play more than 100 shows, including an East Coast tour with blues legend John Mayall, kicking off The Bandit Town Festival and a successful SXSW.
"One of country's most intriguing voices" - LA Weekly
"Without doubt, Morrow’s freewheeling, experimental attitude, his self-assuredness mixed with self-awareness and his ability to bring people together in a creative environment makes him one of the exciting new fixtures in modern Americana." - Elmore Magazine
Jaime Wyatt is a striking figure that walks the Earth with an old soul. Despite Wyatt’s roots in rock music, her vocal style has always been considered country, with a rich, sometimes raspy tone and frequent use of breaks and bends. Comparisons are frequently drawn to Emmylou Harris, Stevie Nicks and at times she has been anointed a female Tom Petty. Nancy Wilson of Heart even professed loving Wyatt’s “Punk Rock attitude.” Regardless of genre, Wyatt is all things classic and American; a dynamic performer, powerhouse singer and stellar guitar player, sailing between vintage 60’s and 70’s Country/ Rock/Soul anthems and heartfelt ballads of love and confusion.
After 20 years of accompanying other musicians, Frances is being backed up by some of her dear friends on this first album released under her name.
Frances Cunningham lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and for the last 20 years, has accompanied bagpipes, banjos, fiddlers, singers, and everyone who needed her brilliantly thought out chords behind them. She is originally from Houston, Texas, and learned to play Irish music through guitarist Lloyd Gibson and flute player Turlach Boylan at their weekly sessions at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck. She went to high school at Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where she studied the French horn and started playing at weekly contra dances with her friend Eden MacAdam-Somer. Frances toured the US with a Celtic rock band (SixMileBridge) in the mid-90s with her husband Sean Cunningham, who plays the flute and pipes. She discovered a talent for arranging tunes and songs together and especially for coming up with just the right chords and timing to make everyone she plays with sound great.
In 2011 Frances joined the Mike Snider Band at the Grand Ole Opry and was the primary accompanist there for five years playing every weekend. In 2015 she joined the Piper Jones Band and has been touring and recording extensively with piper EJ Jones.
In 2013 Frances won the Midwest Fleadh (traditional Irish music contest) in both tenor banjo and accompaniment and was the primary accompanist in the US for Shetland fiddler Lynda Anderson.
Frances teaches workshops on accompaniment and illustrating the difference between Scottish, Irish, and American Old-Time tunes.
(with special guests Q&A)
Mary Sarah, who recently turned 21, belongs to two pretty exclusive clubs, making her perhaps one of the few artists who can claim membership in both. This spring, she advanced to the Top 5 in the latest season of NBC’s The Voice, which won its second consecutive Emmy for Reality-Competition Program this past Sunday. Shortly after she was voted off in May, she got the call that most country singers can only dream about: to perform onstage at the Grand Ole Opry, the 89-year-old Nashville institution known as the Mother Church of Country Music. She’s now done it three times, and admits the initial nerves she felt at her Opry debut have receded somewhat.
Mary Sarah Looks Far Beyond The Voice
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 AT 6 A.M.
BY CHRIS GRAY
“There’s nothing like being on that stage,” says Sarah, who was born in Oklahoma but grew up mostly in Fort Bend County. “So I still get nervous but...it’s not nervous. Larry Gatlin told me, ‘It’s not nerves, it’s excitement.’ [That’s] what takes over you at the Opry. So I get really, really, really excited [laughs]. It has gotten a little easier as we’ve got on, but it’s still — like I said, it’s still the Opry.”
The reason Sarah has the likes of Larry Gatlin giving her advice is that despite her youth, she’s known many such old-school Opry types for a while now. Released the day before her 19th birthday, her most recent album, 2014’s Bridges , features Sarah more than holding her own with a virtual Rushmore of country-music greats, including the since-deceased Merle Haggard and Ray Price. Other partners include Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Tanya Tucker, Lynn Anderson (“Rose Garden”) and her early benefactors the Oak Ridge Boys, one of whom had heard her sing on YouTube and reached out on Twitter. Sarah herself has been in show business since she joined preteen pop troupe Kidz Bop at age ten, but she says Dolly Parton, whose haunting duet on “Jolene” kicks off Bridges in style, left the deepest impression during those sessions.
“The one thing I learned without her even saying it, by just kind of watching her, was how real she is; how she knows how to make somebody feel so special,” Sarah says. “I feel like with her name, Dolly Parton, you could go two ways with the fame that comes with that. You could either let it go to your head or you could take it and use it in a positive way, and that’s exactly what she does.
“I walked into the room, I was like so nervous, and then all of a sudden she starts talking and you feel like you’ve been friends forever,” she continues. “She has a way of doing that to everyone. It’s definitely a gift.”
Parton was in fact the first star to come aboard the project, and Bridges drew widespread acclaim from the likes of The New York Times, Rolling Stone Country, and numerous other outlets. When the tour was up, Sarah returned to Nashville, where she had moved with most of her family after graduating from Richmond’s Foster High School. In a 40-minute phone conversation earlier this month from her home, Sarah talks like a young person, self-confident and staccato, her sentences full of enthusiastic words like “crazy” and “amazing” and “gigantor.” She likens her audition for The Voice, where she sang another favorite from Bridges, the Connie Francis weeper “Where the Boys Are,” to a video game, “like ‘Wii Sing’ or something.” (This does exist, btw.) Showbiz credentials notwithstanding, she also displays a preternatural amount of poise for someone still so young, which no doubt also served her well in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of reality TV.
Although Sarah says she never watched much of Voice competitors like American Idol or America’s Got Talent, she does admit to being drawn in by the NBC show’s emphasis on pure singing skills. She survived the early rounds and into the knockout phase, charming both judges and audience with a savvy mixture of vintage-country classics (“Stand By Your Man,” “Rose Garden,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough”) and more contemporary fare (“My Church,” “Johnny and June”). While bonding with her castmates, who were often sequestered in their hotel on their days off with only each other for company, Sarah advanced far enough that she admits she allowed herself to entertain the thought that she might actually win the whole thing.
“One of the biggest things I feel like I had to overcome was just the pressure of being perfect,” she says. “Several times I just sat in my hotel room and it just hit me, like, ‘What am I doing? Why am I putting so much pressure on myself?’ Because I totally believe that what happens is gonna happen, and it’s gonna happen the way it’s supposed to. So it’s either you can sit back and enjoy it, or you can literally freak out all the time. But it’s still going to happen the same way. It’s inevitable. So I always did my best, but I never tried to put too much pressure on [myself].”
Alas, it was not to be. Sarah faced elimination after her version of Randy Travis’ “I Told You So,” and her performance of Carrie Underwood’s “Something In the Water” in the show’s “Instant Save” round was not enough to persuade Voiceviewers to let her continue. But as quoted in tasteofcountry.com, Sarah’s coach Blake Shelton couldn’t say enough good things about the young singer’s potential.
“I’m just saying no matter what happens here tonight, when you go back to Nashville, you’re going to find there’s a big giant door open for you there and that makes me very happy for you, Mary Sarah,” Shelton said.
Despite such ringing endorsements, or having a legend-packed album like Bridges under her belt, or that she’s still so young that she’s still getting used to being able to spend Friday and Saturday night on the town instead of staying home (because that was just a few months ago), Sarah knows what she’s up against. To put it kindly, modern country radio offers a less than hospitable climate for up-and-coming female artists, even those who have appeared on The Voice, and especially those whose own voice evokes a more traditional sound. But Mary Sarah has been working with Nashville songwriter and producer (and fellow Texan) Bart Butler, who has had some recent radio success with neo-honky-tonker Jon Pardi. For now she plans to keep writing, learning her craft, and doing her best to stay positive. It’s taken her this far.
“Right now my main goal has just been to write what I love, because when I think about the legends that I worked with, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Ray Price — I mean, I don’t think they were ever listening to radio going, ‘We need to sound like this,’ Sarah says. “They were living on houseboats, drinking and smoking and writing whatever the heck they wanted to write, and it turned out to be great.
“If what I write isn’t what people want to hear, that’s OK, but there are people who want to,” she continues. “So my goal is just to be happy with what I do and what I love to do, and share it with other people.”
Jimmie Dale Gilmore is a native of the Texas Panhandle, born in Amarillo, Texas and raised in Lubbock. Early musical influences were Hank Williams and the honkytonk brand of country music. In the 1950’s he was exposed to the emerging rock and roll of Texas greats Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly, as well as to Johnny Cash. He was profoundly influenced by the Beatles, Bob Dylan and the folk and blues revival in the 1960’s. In the early 1970’s he founded The Flatlanders, who have been performing as a group off and on for more than four decades. He has also had a prolific career as a solo artist.
Jimmie Dale Gilmore is coming to the Duck with his son, singer/songwriter Colin Gilmore. They will perform the progressive, alternative country music that Jimmie Dale and fellow Flatlanders band members Butch Hancock and Joe Ely first introduced in 1973. As a solo artist, Rolling Stone named Jimmie Dale Gilmore “Country Artist of the Year” two years straight and he received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Artist of the Year.
Colin Gilmore is a fine songwriter in his own right. He has been a touring musician for 14 years, has several albums to his credit and has played venues all over this country and in Japan and Italy. He also enjoys the opportunity to perform with his dad from time to time.
“A southside collective of songwriters modeled loosely on the template established by Saxon supergroup the Resentments a decade ago, the S.A.Moonlighters take a big step with “Burn & Shine,” their first studio album.
Former members of Mother Truckers, Stonehoney and Monte Montgomery’s touring band collaborate on an eclectic mix of rock, soul, funk, blues, country and more; whereas the previous live disc was highlighted by covers, they’re now bringing their own material to the fore. Highly Recommended.”
As a songwriter, Lisa’s songs unfold like masterpiece movies. With a rich and visual command of language – both in English and in Spanish, she captures the emotions of love and loss and all the shades of life in between in such vivid detail. Lisa lets a song’s storyline dictate the sonic approach she takes.
She can rock with anyone if that’s what’s called for or she can bring it down to the near whisper of two people sharing a moment that’s intimate and raw. Lisa’s music distills human emotions down to universal truths.
She captures a moment - no matter how grand or how small – with such visual and verbal clarity, you see and feel what people in her songs are living in that moment. A rare songwriter and performer of clarity, emotion, and delivery. A artist with insight and vision and an acute ability to share it.
Lisa has also worn producers hat with highly acclaimed production on Hayes Carlls’ “Flowers & Liquor; co-wrote “Waiting For the Stars to Fall” with Hayes Carll on his CD “Trouble In Mind”, and also toured with him.
Lisa Morales is also half of the Sisters Morales who have done countless shows including sharing stages with Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys, Raul Malo, Allison Krauss, Joe Ely, Merle Haggard, George Strait Alamodome,Trace Adkins, Country Jam Festivals, and have performed at theaters and festivals such as World Fest, Spencer Theater, and countless others including many times in Europe.
Mike Stinson can write songs in his sleep....no really, check out Walking Home In The Rain from his fourth and most recent album Hell And Half Of Georgia. "Well that only happened once but yeah it's true. I woke up with that song fully formed playing in my head. No idea where it came from." General consensus is that Mike's blue collar songwriting ethic earned him that freebie. That kind of 'luck' comes from putting in the time. Here's a glimpse at what that time has looked like. Raised in Virginia, schooled in DC, Mike moved to Los Angeles where eighteen years made him a veteran of what he calls "the trenches of beer joint warfare." The last six years have found him based in Houston and barnstorming the roadhouses of Texas week in and week out.
Along the way he has written his very own version of the American songbook and developed an expansive live show that "has taken country and rock and boiled them down to their essence before injecting everything with the kind of ju-ju that Gram Parsons died for." (Bill Bentley, The Morton Report) Critical acclaim has followed. Los Angeles Magazine named him Best Country Artist (2004), The Houston Press awarded him Song Of The Year (2010), Texas Music Magazine named him one of their Artists of The Year (2012) and one of their Records of The Year (2013), and The Houston Press named him Best Country Artist in each of the last two years (2014, 2015). But perhaps the more significant mark of Mike's creative success is the respect and admiration he's earned from a large songwriting community. His songs have been released on albums by Dwight Yoakam, Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Gilkyson, Jesse Dayton, Brian Whelan, Folk Uke (featuring Willie Nelson), Austin Hanks and Larry Bagby.
Few, if any walk, away from a Mike Stinson show unaffected by his particular slant. His songs are the thrills, chills and spills of life, filled with razor sharp word play, charm, depth, poignance and musical muscle. “Mike Stinson is dangerous, the kind of songwriter who can upend the way you see the world with a single line, and whose lean, mean rock and roll machine of a band usually starts at a Chuck Berry gallop and goes from there. They can crank it so hard, in fact, it’s entirely possible to miss all the diamond-tipped rejoinders, double entendres, aphorisms and the occasional outright burn that litter Stinson’s songs, and make him one of the wickedest lyricists around today.” HOUSTON PRESS
Cory Branan is like a particular breed of bad boyfriend — never around when you need him, wildly inconsistent with his emotions, arrogant, vulnerable, quixotic, brilliant and, of course, ultimately irresistible. — Nashville Scene
With one foot planted in the blue-collar alt-country of Steve Earle and the other in the ragged folk-punk of Chuck Ragan's Revival Tour, he stretches his songs to their near-breaking points. — Rolling Stone
Left-leaning roots music that owes more to the rhythmic whiplash of Memphis' Sun Records than the poppy, polished twang of Nashville's Music Row. — Rolling Stone
He’s a powerful songwriter, a world-class guitar player, a singer with enough melody and grit to please the ear and stick to bones. He crafts complex songs, toying with structures and characters in ways most songwriters never consider, let alone have the guts to commit to record. — Noisey / VICE
Like all good country music, Cory Branan is hard, if not impossible, to define. — PopMatters
Cory Branan is perhaps the most unheralded man holding a guitar today... there’s no question that the guy can write the absolute hell out of a song. — Noisey/ VICE
Cory Branan’s new album is wryly titled The No-Hit Wonder, but despite the self-inflicted jab, the Memphis-bred roots-rocker is at the crest of the new wave of Americana. — CMT Edge
The No-Hit Wonder is brimming with vivid and infectious songwriting. It’s a breath of fresh country air in an otherwise stale market. — Consequence of Sound
I get heartily sick of people saying they don’t write country songs the way they used to – open your eyes and ears; they do and Cory Branan is one of the best, even if he doesn’t wear a Stetson. — No Depression
Whether the protagonist or antagonist in his own set of narratives, Branan coaxes listeners firmly to his side with his whiskey-smooth croon and a transparency that is somehow bold and vulnerable all at once. — Interview
Throughout his career, Cory Branan has been too punk for country, too country for punk, too Memphis for Nashville, and probably a little too Cory Branan for anyone’s damn good. He has proven himself as a top-notch songwriter
(Chuck Ragan recently called him “the greatest songwriter of our generation”), fierce lyricist (in Lucero’s “Tears Don’t Matter Much” they sing that Cory has, “a way with words that’ll bring you to your knees”), and a hyperdynamic performer with the ability to fingerpick finer than ‘60s Greenwich Village folkies and brutally strum like a proto punk shredder.
Throughout his career, he’s made collective struggles poetic and breakthroughs into sympathetic acts of populist heroism.
Cory Branan is a natural-born storyteller, his seemingly conversational, painstakingly crafted anecdotes benefitting from a hard-eyed stare at hydra-headed life experiences. Not unlike his musical and literary pedestal sitters, from John Prine and Leonard Cohen to Raymond Carver and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Cory's gift for detail and phrase-turning is a thing of wonder. There's a novelistic flair to his writing, an approach full of layers and depth. Songs seemingly reveal something new with every listen.
Cory has a well-documented history with groups like former label mates Lucero, musicians of his ilk who trend toward the rawer end of roots music (The Loved Ones' Dave Hause, Chuck Ragan, The Hold Steady, The Gaslight Anthem, Two Cow Garage, Drag the River's Jon Snodgrass), and rock stars like Chris Carrabba (Dashboard Confessional), who has covered Cory's gorgeous "Tall Green Grass" and been a reoccurring tour mate.
Never one to shy away from an itinerary of non-stop cross-country shows, Cory possesses a unique performance style that enables him to gravelly sing a coy double entendre in one ear of the audience, while yelling the most beautiful love song into the other.
This show will be performed "Under the Big Top" tent outside.
All Tickets are "general admission". Seating will be available on a "first come" basis.
Dinner service will be available inside the Duck.
The latest, tight incarnation of the Cody Canada-led group The Departed isn’t a reinvention of the group’s sound, or a reimagining of Canada’s musical perspective – it’s a reunion. As with any reunion, the passing years have provided the involved parties with new and unique perspectives, breathing vibrant excitement into their streamlined new environment.
Canada, Jeremy Plato, Chris Doege and Steve Littleton are reopening the doors to a sonic garage where sounds and stories some thought were gone for good are now being unleashed onto an eager public after a few years of fruitful – even risky -- artistic diversion. Being guided by raw emotion and nerves that are often unguarded, Canada hasn’t begun to pluck the opening notes to an increasing number of Cross Canadian Ragweed favorites without some reluctance or painful reminiscence, mind you. But the powerful nature of such visceral connections is what makes his stories stunning while rightfully placing him in a prominent class of modern songwriters occupied by the influential likes of Robert Earl Keen, Bruce and Charlie Robison, Todd Snider, Mike McClure and the men of Reckless Kelly, among only a strict few others.
To be clear, the men of the Departed are not the frat-house faves many of the latest generation of river-tubing popsters are. Ideals and experiences of a person enduring the sometimes-harsh realities of the real world demand space in a Departed concert.
In the wake of Ragweed’s 2010 dissolution, most fans likely expected – and few would’ve blamed – Canada for adhering to the heartsleeved, Okie-rocker recipe that propelled Canada into a true Rock Star realm.
Bolstering his bad-ass bona-fides even more, however, was his decision to choose the dirt road less traveled. By finally partnering up with Seth James, a long-time friend universally admired for his soulful skills, Canada’s words had a different backdrop that certainly represented commercial risk, but offered an unusually fresh outlet where the iconic songs of his past, for a while, stayed in the past. For three years, Canada became a side-man for sections of each concert as the Departed quickly built a reputation as a crack band focused on packing as much expertly-curated song-craft into each show as possible, eschewing the demands for “more Ragweed!”
With the chill of 2014’s winter thawing into the haziness of the spring and the Departed now having played as a powerful four-piece for several months following James’ amicable exit, Canada’s appreciation for the truly remarkable, intensely personal body of work he created as he fronted Ragweed is intact, and indeed, fresh with the passing of time and the healing of emotional wounds. Unsurprisingly, fans are exuberantly responding to the inclusion of classics such as “Alabama,” “Dimebag,” and “17” into set-lists for Departed shows. The refitted outfit is channeling the power chords and raw-bone ballads, which vaulted Canada into the status as Red Dirt’s biggest name for so long.
This is not a comeback. This isn’t a rebirth.
This is a rock and roll renewal only an artist with Canada’s strength of will and determined vision is capable of. He’s making great use of a rare chance few artists ever receive. He now knows what he only started to understand many years ago, and his words are all the more impactful as a result.
Austin-based singer/songwriter/creative force of nature Bob Schneider has a guy in his band, Oliver Steck, who plays keyboards, accordion, trumpet and assorted whistles and horns. Also, Schneider notes, “Oliver also does a lot of dancing. He doesn’t necessarily get paid for the dancing. He does it because he can’t not.”
Apparently, the same could be said of Schneider in terms of artistic endeavors in general. He can’t not be creating something.
Sometimes it’s writing songs — he has written some 2,000 songs in the past 16 years — sometimes it’s creating videos to accompany some of those songs and sometimes it’s making gallery-ready art, including paintings and collages. He also has played a wedding singer in an indie film, written two books and penned a rock opera that has a title that can’t be printed in a family newspaper.
Some of his musical mates even wonder when — or whether — he ever sleeps.
“I love making things, so that’s what I spend a lot of my time doing,” says Schneider… “I do have periods where I feel like I’ll never create anything that’s any good ever again. The good news is, it doesn’t stop me from creating things, and eventually that feeling will pass and I can look over the stuff that I’ve made and figure out which of it is better than the other stuff. Because I like to do it so much, I’ll end up with quite a bit of it at the end of the year.”
Schneider has been a recording artist for 25 years, putting out his first record (“Party Till You’re Dead”) in 1991 as frontman for Joe Rockhead, a funk-rock combo in the vein of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That band was followed by his best-known group, Ugly Americans, which toured with the Dave Matthews Band and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. Ugly Americans was a kind of alt-rock supergroup, with former members of Cracker, Poi Dog Pondering and Mojo Nixon’s band.
Schneider also fronted a full-on funk ensemble that played around Austin in the late 1990s called The Scabs, at the same time he was establishing himself as a solo artist. His first solo project, “Songs Sung and Played on Guitar at the Same Time,” came out in 1998, and he’s gone on to record an almost inconceivably diverse and eclectic array of songs since then, with his work making it onto the soundtracks of seven major motion pictures (and one indie film).
All told, Schneider has been the singer and main songwriter on nearly 30 studio albums, and he has been named Musician of the Year six times at the Austin Music Awards. Considering the renowned strength of the music scene in Austin, that’s saying something. His artistry coupled with his movie-star looks and boyish charm makes it a wonder he’s not a household name around the rest of the country the way he is in Austin.
His prodigious musical output is a result of a songwriting challenge group he started 16 years ago while touring. At first, the challenge was to write one song a day, and the people doing the writing were on the tour bus with him. They’d come up with a title each morning and at the end of the day play the songs they came up with for each other.
The pace of the songwriting challenge has eased up substantially since its beginnings, going to one song a week, but the scope of the participation in the group has widened to include a lot of widely known musicians.
“We’ve had lots of famous folks in the game from time to time, but they usually don’t last very long,” Schneider says. “The exception would be Jason Mraz, who has been in the game on and off for six or seven years and is one of the most consistent songwriters in the group. Very talented and will always turn a song in. At the end of the day, though, I really only have the group as a motivation to get me to write a song each week. Otherwise, a month might go by without writing anything and that would be a shame.”
The past few years, Schneider has grouped the songs he’s written in a year under an album title, just to kind of keep track of when they were written. Titles for recent years have included “Here’s the Deal,” “The Ever Increasing Need to Succeed,” “Into the Great Unknown” and “Mental Problems.” This year’s theme (and the name of his current concert tour) is “The Practical Guide to Everything.”
Schneider has a fantastic website where fans can listen to all of the songs from the three five-song “King Kong Suite” EPs he released last year, with humorous commentary from Schneider himself between songs. The website also has the 10 videos he created for “King Kong” songs using public-domain found footage, including the menacing “Black Mountain” video that culls scenes from Francis Ford Coppola’s directorial debut.
The website also offers a chance to stream his regular Monday evening shows at Austin’s Saxon Pub.
“The Saxon Pub shows are unique in the fact that I play a lot of material there that I don’t play anywhere else,” Schneider explains. “New stuff that I wrote that week or in the last few weeks. Really old material that we haven’t played in a while. I hardly play any of the stuff that you’ll hear on the road, which is a mix of the best of everything. The best new material alongside the best of my last 20 years of writing songs.”
…He has an almost Dylanesque reputation for keeping things fresh, with shows so different from one another that for years he [has] recorded every show and…[sold] copies for people to purchase right after the show.
“I play a lot of cities twice a year, and I like the fact that a lot of my fans will come see me play every time I come to town, knowing that I’ll be playing material they’ve never seen me perform and might not ever perform again,” Schneider says. “I don’t have any of the banter planned either, so that stuff is usually unique to that night as well. It keeps things fresh for me and allows me to play crowd favorites that I’ve been playing for years, but still makes the whole thing feel new overall for me and hopefully for the audience.”
Adapted from "Bob Schneider surfs an ocean of creative juices" written by Randy Erickson and published in the LaCrosse Tribune, April 14, 2016
“With an expressive voice and a way with words, Ely stands among the finest musical storytellers. You’ll be glad you embarked on musical travels with this rambler!” — Paul Freeman / Pop Culture Classics
“This Lubbock luminary ranks among the greatest songwriters of his generation.” — Julie Wenger Watson / No Depression
“Ely’s at his best when he’s playing the defining sounds of his home in the vast upper square. Panhandle Rambler will thrill Ely’s faithful, and damn, it ought to gain him plenty of of new converts.” — Tom Clarke / Elmore Magazine
Members of the classic rock band, Spirit, The Staehely Brothers (Al and John) are hosting two very diverse shows on the same night for one ticket price. The first, at 7:30 PM, a cool collection of Staehely written acoustic numbers- some recorded by Marty Balin, Keith Moon, Bobbie Gentry, John Cippolina, Nick Gravenites, Patti Dahlstrom, Peter Cox of Go West and up and coming blues sensation, Annika Chambers- others recorded by Al and John when they left Austin in '71 to join the legendary West Coast group, Spirit. Also featured will be songs from the the Staehely Brothers Epic Records release, Al's solo recordings on Polygram and SteadyBoy Records, as well as new songs- some influenced by Al's travels to Brazil. John's guitar work makes clear why Robert Palmer, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt and Jo Jo Gunne chose him as their guitar slinger. Sitting in with the brothers is Evelyn Rubio, the beautiful and uniquely talented singer and sax player from Mexico City. A cameo performance by Al's son, Christian, featuring his compositions, will offer a glimplse of more to come from the Staehely millinneal.
At 9:00 PM Al and John will rock the Duck along with Texas Music Hall of Fame drummer, Freddie Steady Krc, and keyboardist Mike Robenbaum with an electric set including songs from their Spirit days like "Nature's Way", "I Got a Line on You" and "Cadillac Cowboys". The Staehely Brothers are not only contemporary artists but they are also a part of America’s musical heritage. Merging their Texas style with West Coast rock they took their music on the road headlining Carnegie Hall as Spirit members and touring the U.S., Canada, Australia, Europe and Asia. On November 1st, they bring it all back home to Houston.
Reservations are highly recommended for this two show, one ticket, one night special event.
with special guest, Evelyn Rubio
Shawn Phillips is one of most fascinating and enigmatic musicians to comeout of the early '70s singer-songwriter boom. The mere fact that he was a musician as much as a singer and songwriter made him stand out, and helped him attract a dedicated following.
His refusal to shape his music -- which crosses between folk-rock, jazz, progressive, pop, and classical -- to anyone else's expectations has allowed him to hold onto a large and dedicated cult following, without ever achieving the stardom that his talent seems to merit. Read the full BIO
Music by Nashville chanteuse Shannon LaBrie defies genre and brings to life insightful stories of a woman who remains true to herself in a life where uncertainty is certain. The Lincoln, NE native instantly became a favorite among music fans and critics alike with her powerful 2013 debut Just Be Honest. With her lead single, “I Remember a Boy,” the independent release reached inside the Top Ten on iTunes and the Triple A Radio charts. Famed music blogger Bob Lefsetz wrote, “This track affected me. Made me believe like the great singer-songwriters of yore, maybe this woman has something to say. That in this crazy, mixed up, shoot-up world she can illuminate her story and people can relate.”
Austin Chronicle calls LaBrie, “a true guitarist singer/songwriter whose soulful voice’s sensual honey-crisp highs brings to mind the late, great Jeff Buckley.” Rolling Stone says "It's as if Norah Jones and the great late Jeff Buckley started a band and went a tiny bit country."
“Austin’s got no shortage of indie blues musicians whose music sounds great from a coffeehouse stage, but it only has a few who can put together the total package of eclectic, soulful jams and a stridently powerful voice the way that Jackie Venson can.” (read the full article here) TEXAS MONTHLY
“With an astonishing mix of raw soul, superb musicianship and laid back grace it was easy to believe that we were participating in the origin story of Austin’s next great export — a Gary Clark Jr. level talent who speaks boldly through her guitar while simultaneously entrancing with her gorgeous smoky voice.” (read the full article here) AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
"I can't breathe but I'm still smoking, I'm so high but I keep toking" is a hell of a way to start a song, but would you expect anything less from the cow punk revivalist granddaughter of Willie Nelson, Raelyn Nelson and her Sonic Youth-loving, flannel-shirt-sporting band?
Their new single, "Brother," is a high-energy threat to a philandering lover, that combines a quick-stepping country boogie with a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am punk shred — all with Nelson in the center, strumming mischievously away on her ukulele.
"The song came about when I was watching a TV show and got inspired by the storyline of a girl getting her three older brothers to track down her unfaithful boyfriend," Nelson tells Rolling Stone Country. And for the video, she and her band went super DIY, shooting it all with one GoPro camera. "[Guitarist Jonathan Bright] and I got together and wrote it, and we were trying to come up with a video concept that we could do on our own.
The 'band side' was done with a tripod, some cheap workshop lights and a clear shower curtain as a light diffuser. The other side was just Jonathan running around with the GoPro strapped to his head. Then with some tips from friends, YouTube tutorials, and editing software we managed to pull it off. And we came in right on budget — which was zero!"
That scrappy nature is nicely reflective of Raelyn Nelson Band's overall mantra – which is to not really care if things look perfect or fit into current country convention. "It's not that we're against the Nashville music scene, it just seems like there is no place for us right now," says Nelson, who spends more time playing local rock clubs than honky-tonks — probably because their sound has much more in common with Social Distortion or LA punk outfit OFF! than, say, current chart-toppers Zac Brown Band or Darius Rucker."
Our music doesn’t fit into any playlist. The collaboration of old country and dirty garage rock is original in itself and kind of cool." Indeed, feedback, head-banging and fiery shouts of "one, two, three" aren't the most familiar sounds in the new incarnation of "Papa Willie's" genre, but they sure are welcome.
When it comes to releasing new music, Raelyn Nelson Band don't plan on doing that conventionally, either. "I think we've decided this year to skip the traditional 'CD release' and just release a single every month or so, with a video and new T-shirt to go along with it," Nelson says. "We have the songs, but it makes more sense to us to release them as singles and have something new to offer each month, instead of beating a record to death for a year."
And the Red Headed Stranger approves. "Before I do anything I text him," she says of her famous grandfather, whose famous Fourth of July Picnic she'll be playing this summer. "And he'll send me a big smiley face."
"I think there are plenty of guys in today's country music that are creating the same sound, and I'm a country girl with an actual rock band so I don't see how the sound doesn't fit in," she adds. "And I'm having a blast rocking out with those guys. I get to sing my country tunes louder."
- Marissa Moss
The Austin Lounge Lizards are arguably the perfect pairing of their hometown’s moniker, “Music Capital of the World,” and its motto: “Keep Austin Weird.” For 33 years, the Lizards have been spoofing the topics American families try to avoid at the Thanksgiving table; subjects like politics, religion, romance, the music industry, and their crazy/stupid relatives. With pointed lyrics, precise harmonies and instrumental expertise, the band has become legendary for its satirical skewering through song.
The Lizards originated in 1976 in New Jersey, when Hank Card (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Conrad Deisler (vocals, lead guitar, mandolin) met as mutual history majors at Princeton University and started songwriting together. Following graduation, both Hank, a native Oklahoman, and Conrad, a Tex-Cali-Connecticut-Venezuelan, ended up in Austin. University of Georgia philosophy graduate and banjo/dobro player Tom Pittmancompleted the founding-troubadour trifecta in 1980, and the Austin Lounge Lizards was born.
With a series of talented fellow players and writers, the band began playing dates around Austin and across Texas. Soon, they had developed a widespread following of loyal Lizard fans, and by 1987, began appearing at festivals and concerts throughout North America and in the United Kingdom. Five-time winners at the Austin Music Awards, the Lizards have played many celebrated festivals, including California’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and Strawberry Music Festivals, New York’s Grey Fox and Florida’s Stringbreak Festivals, Canada’s Vancouver and Edmonton Folk Festivals and Summerfolk, the Americana and Iron Bridge Festivals in the UK, and the Kerrville Folk Festival close to their home in Texas. They have also performed at dozens of prestigious concert venues, including The Barns at Wolftrap (Vienna, VA), the Freight & Salvage (Berkeley, CA), the Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, CA), John Ascuaga’s Nugget (Sparks, NV), Eddie’s Attic (Atlanta), The Ark (Ann Arbor, MI), Calgary Folk Club (Alberta, Canada), the Bass Performing Arts Center & McDavid Studio (Fort Worth), McGonigel’s Mucky Duck (Houston) and Austin’s own Cactus Café.
After more than three decades, Tom retired from the band to Asheville, NC, in 2011. The departure of Tom, who stands about 6’4”, literally downsized the band; to honor his legacy, the Lizards chose to do so figuratively as well, continuing as a quartet, less a banjo but no less eccentric. The band is now made up of Hank, Conrad, Darcie Deaville (fiddle, mandolin, vocals) and Bruce Jones (electric bass, vocals). Darcie joined the boys in 2008, bringing a womanly perspective to the traditionally all-male revue, while Bruce became part of the group in late 2009.
With their unique amalgamation of highly literate Ivy League roots; the folk, country and bluegrass musical conventions of Appalachia and Nashville; creative influences like Frank Zappa, Spike Jones, George Jones, and Flatt & Scruggs; and an unquenchable thirst for the absurd, the Lizards specialize in musical eclecticism, excellence and extreme entertainment.
The songwriting and warm, honest, straight-to-the heart voice of lead singer of Ross Newell draws listeners into the group’s signature sound, where the harmonies of Greg DeLuca, Ben Leininger and Melody Duncan make the songs soar or haunt from the shadows. De Luca plays drums and Leininger is on the bass. Fiddler Melody Duncan recently joined the band, bringing a female voice and perspective.
The group’s latest single, “Divine Design,” is about being taken advantage of by the person you love. “The offender doesn’t see it as hurting someone else, but as helping himself or herself,” says Newell. “It is a terrible feeling and I want the song to create an awareness of what it is like to be treated that way, whether it is intentional or not. I want the listener to think if this is a song about them or the people around them. If this is divine design, then divine design is behind the times.”
I feel like a suit of second-hand armor. It can protect you but may never wear a shine. Every time you see me you know I’ll be there when you need me, never thinking of the dead man left inside. Pay no mind to the dead man left inside. - “Divine Design”
“Writing songs is one of my favorite things, but I take a while to write a song,” says Newell. “If a line seems forced or anything but honest, then I have to scrap it. I have to live through something or feel strongly about it to add authentic details. I have to sing these songs hundreds of times a year and it is important to me to identify with that song every time. Fortunately the songs take on a life of their own and people are willing to listen and read more into the lyrics that what was said.”
“We have to make music that stays true to ourselves.”
Guitarist Nick Diaz is a musical chameleon who negotiates his cinematic shifts and twists with passion and purpose ~ Guitar Player Magazine A mix of Americana, electro pop, and bluesy hook filled rock, Buenos Diaz is one of the more impressive live acts you can catch coming from the state capitol today ~ Free Press Houston Heavy fuzzed-out rock n’ roll bass, wailing 80’s electric guitar, driving rock drums, psychedelic spoken word promoting an all-out reign of love ~ See/Saw Music Blog Buenos Diaz is a breath of fresh air ~ Tip Cow Music Blog
Singer-songwriter acts that we’ll take a pedicab in inclement weather just to see ~ Tour Worthy Blog
"Southern Avenue is simply the best band in Memphis ...coolest music to come out of Memphis in years." - Memphis Flyer
"If Memphis Music Is A Genre, This Is It!" - American Blues Scene
"Most talked about band in Memphis." - ROCK 103FM Memphis:
"If you were only going to go to one concert this summer, Southern Avenue would be the band to catch." - Memphis Flyer
Miranda Dawn and Chris Hawkes first met in 2010 when he crossed an Austin barroom floor and asked her to dance. A modest beginning became an undeniable attraction the first time they sang together.
“Undeniably intimate” - Texas Monthly
"Impeccable vocal harmonies and instrumentation” - Acoustic Guitar
“Outstanding musicians individually, they are absolutely magical together.” - Houston Press
"Transcendent alternative-folk - you will find yourself craving more from this amazing, dynamic duo" - Huffington Post
“If you are looking to be blown away by raw talent, then look no further than Griffin House.” —American Songwriter
It is a true, and nowadays rare, musician who writes lyrics so vulnerable and authentic that an audience is irrevocably captured by the powerful experience of sharing the journey. An album that is essentially an autobiographical account of personal mistakes, change, and growth, offers listeners a chance to reflect on their own experiences and connect with another’s story.
With Griffin House’s upcoming album, So On and So Forth, it is clear the artist digs deep and offers up his narrative after much reflection. House is now a young family man and artist who is choosing sobriety and celebrating the path to his success, through songs which share his perspective on how people remember the past with rose-colored glasses, how we grow up and realize what we deeply need, and how we must find happiness in ourselves in the present.
“The record has a lot to do with recognizing the ego in one’s self and letting it die. It can feel like your whole identity is being wiped away, and you don’t even know who you are anymore. For the person singing these songs, holding on to one’s own individuality in order to remain special or important in the world has started to became far less important than being content with being a good, decent, and loving person. But old habits die hard,” adds House.
The project was tracked last summer at Lakehouse Recording Studios, in Asbury Park, New Jersey. House’s ties to Asbury Park go all the back to 2004, when he was invited to tour with Patti Scialfa. His first show in the boardwalk town was opening a show for Scialfa at the Paramount Theatre. It was there that Griffin met her husband, Bruce Springsteen, and all the wonderful characters in their crew and band. Those memories and experiences made returning to Asbury Park over a decade later to record So On and So Forth feel like a full circle moment in his career.
House recorded the essentially live project with no click track and very little overdubbing. Lakehouse owner, Jon Leidersdorff, helped assemble the band. Prior to walking into the studio, House had never met the musicians and had no idea how the songs would turn out. He adds, “The experience ended up being one of the most fun and positive of my career. The process was stress-free and freeing.” The resulting album reflects this journey — a leap of faith with triumphant results.
Recording and performing for over a decade, House has toured with Ron Sexsmith, Patti Scialfa, Josh Ritter, John Mellencamp, Mat Kearney, and The Cranberries. He received early critical acclaim on the CBS Sunday Morning, and his songs have since been featured in countless films and television shows such asOne Tree Hill, Army Wives, and Brothers and Sisters. He has also appeared on Late Night with Craig Ferguson. Most recently, CNN Newsroom invited House to perform “Paris Calling,” from So On and So Forth, live on the air, and the song has been picked up by radio prior to being serviced. House has released ten albums and continues to headline his own national tours. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Jane and their two daughters.
“Somehow this exciting band manages to sound like they’ve been around since the early days of the Grand Ol’ Opry while sounding new and fresh at the same time. Gal Holiday is the cure for modern country music’s doldrums if commercial radio would just pay attention.” -Marvin O’Dell, Musikode Productions, The Country Campfire, Defenders of Freedom Radio, Albuquerque, NM and KKRN, Redding, CA
You can’t help but admire the tenacity of Lucas Jack, the old school, soulful piano man.
One day, something clicked in his head, and he decided to abandon a successful law practice — preferring instead to set up his piano on dusty Texas stages. From his perch in these smoky bars and ballrooms, Lucas Jack powers through ballads, while people enjoy the atmosphere he creates. He’s not just playing a piano anymore. Lucas Jack is painting a room with the stories of his life.
More than anything else, Lucas Jack is a reflection of the man he is: A dad with two kids, and a wife he beams about. He leads a band that swaggers around stage like sailors, grinning and jamming. Make it Beautiful is filled to a surfeit with stories of fatherhood, loss, coping, and his struggle to navigate a music industry that doesn’t seem to “get” what he’s doing.
His second full length EP is like walking into an unfamiliar bar, and seeing some guy just wailing away in the corner, with a piano, for about a dozen people. It’s not a popular bar, but the music is fantastic, so you decide to order a beer. Four songs later, you’re into another beer, talking to the person next to you. The bouncy piano chords fill the room, and you get an idea for who Lucas Jack is. You ask the bartender who the piano player is.
“Oh, that’s Lucas. He hauls that old upright piano in here every time he plays. I heard he was like a lawyer or something? I don’t know. He just came in here and offered to play piano one day, so I gave him a shot. Now he’s in here every week. People just like his stuff.” You can feel the narrative of his gumption through his music, and that’s hard to find. People say they want something “authentic” — which is the most overused word in any press release. Lucas Jack is authentically himself, a guy who probably should have been on stages in the 1970s, jamming with a bygone era of piano pop artists, yet he relents into our era. Nothing on Make it Beautiful is a compromise, or a song that’s written for the sake of writing a song. He’s telling stories about his kids. He’s talking about moving. His marriage. A life filled with joy. It’s a happy album, but sometimes there are moments of self-doubt. It’s a story of a life well-lived.
"Potenza is to the blues what Alele is to pop” - Rolling Stone
After Potenza's spellbinding blind audition yielded a four-chair turn on NBC's The Voice, a visibly moved Pharrell Williams told her she was "giving this generation something they've never seen before." Potenza is to the blues what Adele is to pop: a colossal-voiced singer who merges her old-school influences with a modernistic sound. Her new album, Monster, solidifies endless Janis Joplin vocal comparisons but also colors between the lines of Memphis blues, Nashville Americana, New Orleans funk and L.A. punk. Its lyrics are personal and personally therapeutic, as she empowers herself through tunes denouncing industry naysayers and embracing her fuller-figured, boisterous self.
"Took a whole lot of miles to know what I know now," sings Will Hoge on "Growing Up Around Here," the opening track off of his tenth studio album, Small Town Dreams. "I'm kinda proud of growing up around here." It's been a whole lot of miles, indeed: miles on the road, driving the bus himself from venue to venue since the nineties; miles to and from Nashville writing rooms, where he's spent countless hours penning songs – some for him, some for others; miles exploring lands outside of his native Franklin, Tennessee, chasing the spirits of his musical heroes. Roads meet, roads split, roads led to home. This is the album that follows them all, every twist and turn in Hoge's American journey – a journey that's positioned him as one of our keenest, most honest modern storytellers, telling both his tale and ours.
"It's a reflection of where I am currently in my life," says Hoge of Small Town Dreams, "but also where I grew up, and, ultimately, where I think I'm going." From the streets of the town where he was raised, to the sidewalks of cities a hundred times the size, we all have dreams; and these are the stories of growing up, looking back and passing on those dreams, told as only Hoge can. Nostalgia, in his hands, is truly magic.
An extremely prolific songwriter with ten albums under his belt and countless songs written for others (including a Grammy nomination for Eli Young Band's number-one hit, "Even If Breaks Your Heart," co-written with Paslay), Hoge saw this next phase of his journey as an opportunity to explore even deeper into both his country and rock & roll roots. Never fitting particularly neatly into a genre box, he's always just made the music that moved him – but it's safe to say that he feels more kinship with the country community than ever, particularly as a storyteller.
“The sweet honey of Colonna’s voice fills our cups with the enduring energy of her pure songwriting. She has blossomed as a songwriter, but it’s the unadulterated beauty of each song that moves us from one flower to the other." - No Depression
Stalling's style is modern with a vintage feel. With Jeff Howe on drums and percussion, Clay Willis on guitar, and Jason Steinsultz swapping between upright and electric bass, Stalling creates a dynamic live show that’s smart, charming and as listenable as it is danceable. Stalling and troupe are equally at home on a huge concert stage in front of thousands or playing an acoustic set for a hundred.
Despite playing the same circuit as many household names in Texas country, grouping Stalling with them would be premature. His unique voice and amusingly clever song lyrics pull him in a different direction - a direction most obviously evident in his newest record Home to You.
"Mary Fahl - Former Lead Singer of the October Project"
“Sounding like no other singer of her generation” (Allmusic.com), Mary Fahl is an expressive, emotional singer/songwriter who first achieved fame as lead singer and co-founder of the mid-1990s NYC- based chamber-pop group October Project. The hallmark of their sound was Mary Fahl’s awe-inspiring power vocals over gorgeous melodies played with passion and sophistication.
As a solo artist, Mary has released several compelling albums, including the fantastic re-working of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” for V2 Records and her wonderful, original studio album “The Other Side of Time” on Sony Odyssey. She has also written and performed songs for several major motion pictures, including the lead song (“Going Home”) for the Civil War epic Gods and Generals.
Her most recent album “Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House”, winner of the Indie Acoustic “Album of the Year” award, is a collection of twenty-four tracks recorded live at one of America’s oldest vaudeville theaters that captures the soaring, soul-permeating vocals and musical breadth that makes the Mary Fahl concert experience what the Portland Press called “soul-permeating”.
The show was filmed for PBS and is currently airing on PBS affiliates around the country. Fahl’s elegant, cinematic songs draw on classical and world music sources, American art song, as well as thinking man’s folk-pop which she performs with an earthy, viscerally powerful contralto that Boston Globe critic Steve Morse calls “a voice for the gods that can transport listeners to other realms”. Her music appeals to a wide range of musical enthusiasts, including a large, loyal fan base of Mary Fahl evangelists.
Kawehi is a new breed of musician, a one-woman-band from Lawrence, Kansas who uses technology to carry the weight of a full band on her own. She was seen and heard in the Super Bowl 50 commercial for Intel, has landed in publications such as People Magazine, Spin, Esquire, and on the front page of Reddit.
Elle magazine has dubbed Kawehi “The Genius One-Woman Band” and HuffPo has praised Kawehi as “Killing the DIY scene.” With over 11 million views on her YouTube channel, Kawehi has been performing to sold out shows across the nation and has already been on three headlining tours. With eight Kickstarter projects under her belt, Kawehi shows no signs of slowing down.
Her newest project, EVE – a Sci-Fi Short Film/Visual Album – was funded via Kickstarter in less than a day and is set to release in the Spring of 2017.
The best music knows no boundaries, transcends borders and genres, and mixes, matches and melds styles into something all an artists own. Doing just that comes naturally to Sisters Morales.
A veritable spectrum of sounds and styles can be heard in the music created by Lisa and Roberta Morales, but their music is rooted in the Southwestern spirit of Texas(they live in San Antonio), Arizona (where the girls grew up) and Mexico (their family and cultural roots). The Sisters Morales are Border Rock. The live show combines their songwriting, both in English and Spanish, breaking down to just classical guitars and percussion singing traditional Mexican songs. Then there is the “All Spanish Show” which is Gitarron, Percussion, Accordion, Vihuela, Guitars, and sometimes violins and trumpet as well...add Sisters Morales sibling harmonies- there’s nothing better.
They started out sitting in with Mariachis when they were 4 & 5, and eventually honing in on their own compositions, each eventually going their own way and coming together again later after they had developed their own styles. That adds a different dimension to most sibling groups because each of them has there own identity. When they come together in their Mexican traditional songs there the magic of their sound unfolds. The listener then witnesses music from deep within their souls.
Slaid Cleaves. Grew up in Maine. Lives in Texas. Writes songs. Makes records. Travels around. Tries to be good.
Slaid Cleaves lives with his wife of 21 years, Karen Cleaves, in the Hill Country outside Austin, Texas. While Karen books the shows, the flights, the hotels, and the rental cars, designs, orders and sells the CDs and T-shirts, pays the band, updates the web site, answers fan questions, does the taxes and makes dinner, Slaid writes his little songs (and fixes things around the house).
They travel around the world together while Slaid plays for fans far and wide and gets all the glory. If it wasn’t for Karen, Slaid would be carrying all he owned in a shoe box, scrounging around for a happy hour gig.
Imagine you are Texas singer-songwriter Bruce Robison on any given Saturday night, and you might be forgiven for thinking life looks pretty good. You’re on your way to headline at one of the Texas Hill Country’s legendary dancehalls—the Broken Spoke, say, or Gruene Hall or Floore’s Country Store—when one of your songs comes on the radio. Maybe it’s Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s hit version of “Angry All the Time,” or George Strait’s cover of “Wrapped” or even the Dixie Chicks’ No. 1 hit, “Travelin’ Soldier.” It’s a pleasant interlude in what Dan Jenkins used to call “Life Its Ownself.”
As one of the most acclaimed tunesmiths to come out of Austin, Bruce has worked in the traditional musical model all his life: Sign with a label; Record an album; release single; tour to support same…and repeat.
But although his songwriting work ethic remains anchored to traditional values—strong storylines, compelling characters, hook-laden melodies—Robison is working hard to refit his business model to reflect new music industry realities.
For one thing, although he has an album’s worth of new songs (From the Top, produced by Rodney Crowell, for his own Premium Records label) ready to go, Robison is committed to recording and releasing a song or two at a time, as opposed to entire albums. By releasing singles directly to radio in chosen markets, and making them available online, he can use exposure to cultivate interest in his personal appearances.
As this is written, Bruce is giving away free “Song of the Month” downloads, via his website (www.brucerobison.com) and his Facebook page. By using radio, the web and old-fashioned, boots-on-the-ground live shows, Robison wants to make it easy for fans to find his music without having to rely on the vagaries of traditional promotion outlets.
“My feeling is now, that everybody’s on their own,” he says of the current state of the industry. “There’s no labels, there’s hardly any management. It’s like the Fifties again; we don’t know how it’s all going to shake out. But I’m really excited about the future, and finding new ways to get the music directly to the fans. And I’m having fun doing it.”
In a similar spirit, he’s taken pains to revitalize his live sound. He has recruited Joey Sheffield from the Austin pop-rock band Fastball (their 1998 song, “The Way” was a massive radio hit) and Brian Becken and Bruce Hughes from the acoustic-music ensemble the South Austin Jug Band. In blending strains of acoustic roots music with pop melodicism and his own incisive sense of songcraft, Robison is injecting a new vigor and energy into his live shows.
“I’m the luckiest guy that I know, you know?” Bruce says rhetorically. “I just want to have a great time onstage, and I hope that comes across.”
“The best part of the whole deal is we’re really good friends and we were friends before we ever started collaborating, so that adds a nice foundation to the whole thing.”
At the same time, there are traditional avenues that Robison still pursues avidly. A working songwriter, he still goes to Nashville regularly to write songs and keep his hand in the mainstream country music market. But with a new band and a new blueprint for getting his music into folks’ hands and heads, Robison is not only confronting change, he is embracing it.
Robison has hit the musical trifecta as a songwriter, performer and go-to guy for hits. Though it is as a songwriter that Robison has always defined himself, it’s as a performer that he feels most alive.
“Man, it’s almost like foreplay and the other thing,” he says with a laugh, delineating the difference. “For me, writing a song--you might think that it’s good, and you record it.” But, he adds, there’s nothing like seeing the music take on a life of its own onstage in front of an audience. “I’m the luckiest guy that I know, you know? I just want to have a great time onstage, and I hope that comes across.”
Although he is about as far from a preening egotist as it is possible for an artist to be, Bruce Robison takes a fierce, unvarnished pride in what he has achieved in the field of songcraft.
"I always had very high goals and a very high opinion of myself as a songwriter," he said, adding, "and I don't say that in a conceited way. I just think everybody should feel good about what they do.
"And I really loved calling myself a songwriter, from the time I first started doing it through the first ten years, when I never made a dime.”
The hit versions of Robison compositions by Strait, McGraw and Hill, the Dixie Chicks, Lee Ann Womack and Allison Moorer helped change all that. "I've never not liked it anytime anybody's cut one of my songs. I'll always be amazed by that," he marvels.
Following in the footsteps of Texas icons Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker, Bruce has remained fiercely independent by making a base for himself in Austin. With his own recording studio, record label and fan base that fills a dance floor whenever he plays - the Lone Star State is home. Always will be.
Austin-based, Alabama-raised singer/songwriter Nakia has a heart that beats to the rhythms of Muscle Shoals soul, pumping blood infused with Stax funk to cells lined with Chicago blues grooves. His vocal talent is the kind that instantly turns listeners into fans — among them CeeLo Green, who invited Nakia to sing on his Muppets Christmas special.
Nakia was a Top 8 Semifinalist on CeeLo’s team during the first season of ‘The Voice‘ on NBC.
Nakia moved from Chicago to Austin in 2002. After a brief stint in The Small Stars, a tongue-in-cheek lounge act fronted by Fastball’s Miles Zuniga, he formed Nakia & His Southern Cousins, got booked to perform at the 2008 Austin City Limits Festival, and wound up singing with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.
Alejandro Escovedo heard him at a Rolling Stones tribute, which led to him singing backing vocals on Escovedo’s Street Songs of Love album, and to a second recommendation — this time by producer Tony Visconti — for Nakia to front his own Blues band. So he formed the Blues Grifters. A YouTube video of the band led to The Voice producer Mark Burnett recruiting him for the pilot, which resulted in his relationship with CeeLo.
Nakia is a active member of the Austin music community. He is an outspoken advocate for organizations such as Black Fret, HAAM, and The SIMS Foundation. He has served as the Chair of the Austin Music Commission and as a member of the Board of Governors for the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy.
Nakia is a two-time Black Fret nominee. Nakia and the Blues Grifters appear on the new ALL ATX album, “Low Down Violet Crown: Austin Rocks the Blues.” Nakia recently performed at the 2016 Austin City Limits Music Festival with the Barton Hills Choir.
Born and raised in Galveston, Texas, Loomis is the son of musician parents who listened to blues, rock and soul. Music ran in his veins and, with instruments readily available around the house, he picked up drums, piano, guitar and harmonica, honing his multi-instrumental talent in addition to performing regularly as part of his family’s doo-wop group.
“My parents had a fantastic record collection and, when I started writing, I gravitated towards what I’d been listening to all my life. I have a huge reverence for the blues and all it encompasses, but I’ve always been fond of R&B and funky music.”
A protégé of Bo Diddley, Loomis met the icon backstage at the age of 16 at Houston’s famed venue Rockefeller’s. Before the night was over, Loomis was onstage playing guitar with the legend. Diddley quickly became friend, mentor, collaborator and supporter, appearing on two of Loomis’ albums and presenting a cherished red guitar that he still plays.
In so many ways, we are a word weary culture, ever searching for ways to communicate in fewer and fewer words, letters, syllables...Our online, blogged out, you-tubed attention spans are truncated and fragmented like never before. Birds of Chicago, the collective centered around Allison Russell and JT Nero, reassert the simple notion - radical in these times - that beautiful words and music can still tap deep veins of emotion.
real midnight's gonna come/ real midnight's' gonna come real wolves at your door/ with blood on their tongues now what you gonna do/ with your days left in the sun ? ha da la ha
Stark, elemental imagery that feels like scripture, or a lost folk song recovered; the Birds draw heavily on the gospel tradition and the music feels like a new, secular gospel of sorts. For Birds of Chicago, every word counts. Every note counts. No gold-dusting, no filler. Music is the good news and Real Midnight, the band’s poignant new Joe Henry produced album, throbs with an urgency that feels quietly seismic.
Birds of Chicago was born in 2012 when Nero began writing for his vocal star-muse, Russell. Both were accomplished singer/songwriters with projects of their own, Nero with JT and the Clouds and Russell with the acclaimed Canadian roots outfit Po’ Girl, but together there was an unmistakable chemistry.
Nero had found the perfect voice for his rock and roll psalms. Russell moved from being a primary songwriter to an interpreter, and her simmering restraint is deeply refreshing to a landscape scorched by post Voice/American Idol vocal gymnastics and over-emoting.
On Real Midnight, Birds of Chicago alternate moody rock swagger with the ghostliest of soundscapes. Produced by Joe Henry, a man who’s expert blending of light and shadow is well known, the album is a melancholy - but never shoe gazing - suite, full of wayward, joyful, lonesome voices raised up against the night.
Music this raw and soul-rich demands to be experienced live, and Birds of Chicago have developed a fervent following, touring 200 nights a year since their formation in late 2012. For these Birds, singing for a room full of new people, hearts wide open, keeps off the cold and chases off the shadows. 2016 will find the band in constant motion - from sea to sea and beyond.
Piper Jones Band is centered around beautifully and energetically played Highland bagpipes accompanied by the percussive chords of the bouzouki and drum. In addition to original instrumentals and traditional tunes from Ireland, Scotland, and Appalachia, the group sings powerful harmonies and can lead the audience in traditional Celtic dances.
They bring authentic traditional music in an entertaining form. Piper Jones Band seeks to share abundant spirit, life-filled dance tunes, and song – with those who know Celtic music well and with those who are hearing it for the first time.
The band’s first album The Wandering Stars has been played on the BBC Radio Scotland’s program Pipeline, NPR’s The Thistle and Shamrock, and has been enjoyed on the WNCW Celtic Winds program. With the recent release of Crossing the Sabine, Piper Jones Band is expected to reach even wider audiences.
Clandestine is hard-driving, toe-tapping Texas Celtic sound. Formed in 1991, the band is known for their brand of blasting tune sets and fresh songs. Piper EJ Jones and fiddler Gregory McQueen lead the tunes with the full force of their individual musical energies. Al Cofrin brings cittern and occasionally another set of bagpipes to the mix.
Percussionist and singer Emily Dugas captivates with her original song collaborations with Al, as well as her singular interpretations of songs in the Celtic genre. EJ and Al also join Emily on vocals, with many songs now set in three-part harmony.
As its name suggests, Wood & Wire is a young acoustic band with a love for pure music played well.
In 2011, the group exploded onto Austin’s bluegrass and old-time-music scene while quickly gaining a national fan base through appearances at notable festivals and venues like Old Settlers Music Festival, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and the IBMA World of Bluegrass.
It was icing on the cake, then, when they also garnered a last-minute appearance onstage at The Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
For more than three decades, Texas singer-songwriter Shake Russell has been entertaining audiences throughout the region with his unique, Americana style of folk-rock. A prolific songwriter, Shake has written or co-written hundreds of melodies.
Through the years, Shake’s songs and albums have frequented the Billboard charts, with many, including “Deep in the West,” “You’ve Got a Lover,” “Put Yourself in My Shoes,” “One More Payment,” and “Our Kind of Love” being recorded by such distinguished artists as Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, Ricky Skaggs, Clint Black, and Carolyn Dawn Johnson. Ricky Skagg’s hit recording of “You’ve Got a Lover” has appeared on three of Ricky’s albums.
Hometown Houston CD Release show for Jordi Baizan and his debut solo record, Like the First Time.
with special guests The Renfrees
These songs are inspired by loving relationships, the triumph of the human spirit in the face of tragedy, the beauty of nature, how our decisions give us the power to shape our destiny, and the importance of family and where Jordi grew up. This project was recorded and produced in Nashville by the brilliant Ren Renfree, who, with his wife Andi, will be opening the show and later joining Jordi onstage.
Jordi Baizan was born into an international and musical family. With his distinctive voice and songwriting, he has the ability to connect with the mind and the heart of the listener. A life of reading, global travel, and multicultural experiences enhance Jordi Baizan’s songwriting along with musical influences as varied as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Jeff Tweedy, Guy Clark, and the folk music of the USA, Mexico, Cuba, and Spain.
Both as a solo artist and as front man and songwriter for his band, QandA, Jordi has experienced growing recognition from audiences on the radio and in some of the best listening room venues in the country. QandA released its third record on January 12, 2016. The first Jordi Baizan solo record will be released on May 23, 2017 at the Mucky Duck in Houston.
Following will be a tour that will take Jordi to destinations domestic and international.
The Renfrees are a performing songwriter duo, now residing in the Nashville area, and founding members of two-time Texas vocal group of the year 2-Bit Palomino.
Barber has emerged as one of the next wave in this country’s proud tradition of songwriting talent. The follow-up to his award-winning albums Love Songs for the Last Twenty and Headwaters, Prairieography is the earnest travelogue of a wandering troubadour, and the realization that creativity is rarely a bolt of lightning.
Good songs are the result of hard work, calloused fingers and learned lessons from a life well lived.
One year after releasing Soul Searching, his tribute to the musical histories of Memphis and Nashville, GRAMMY ® winner Jim Lauderdale draws influence from Texas for his 28th album, This Changes Everything.
Lauderdale has been an ambassador for the Americana genre for years, not only releasing more than two dozen albums of award-winning American roots music, but also emceeing the acclaimed radio show Music City Roots. Along the way, he's collaborated with legends like Buddy Miller, Ralph Stanley, and Robert Hunter. The WagonMaster award recognizes an Americana pioneer whose career continues to roll ahead, leaving a large legacy in its wake.
"I was already a fan of George Strait when he began recording my songs," says Lauderdale, "and his support really opened up a lot of doors for me. It helped allow me to make the kind of music I want to make, and release it the way I want to release it. It allowed me to create. This award is one of the most important things to happen to me, in my life and my career."
Lauderdale's latest creation, This Changes Everything, presents the songwriter's own version of the traditional Texas dancehall sound, filled with shuffles, rave-ups, plenty of sharp songwriting and appearances by a handful of genuine Texas legends. For a wagon master who's nowhere near the end of his journey, This Changes Everything marks the latest stop in a longer trek.
Alongthe way, Phoebe found her voice and delivered her most inspired set of songs to date -- the soundtrack to her self-discovery. Shanti’s Shadow marks an arrival for Phoebe Hunt, whose artistic and personal journeys have deep story lines. These masterfully crafted songs are brought to life by the musicians Phoebe has gathered, each a virtuoso in their own right. The Gatherers are Roy Williams (guitar), Dominick Leslie (mandolin), Sam Reider (piano/accordion), Nick Falk (drums) and Jared Engel/Dave Speranza (upright bass).
The album, "Shanti’s Shadow" is garnished with additional guests who are dear to Phoebe’s heart: Stephanie Hunt and Jazz Mills - vocal harmonies, Alex Hargreaves and Nathaniel Smith - strings. Each of these musicians is a leader in their own right and have won awards and toured the world with some of the best musicians on the planet.
Described as “one of the sharpest, funniest storytellers in rock” by Rolling Stone and “an exceptional songwriter” by NPR’s Fresh Air, Snider uses his narrative chops to keep the world of ‘Eastside Bulldog’ poignant, acerbic and hilarious.
The album finds Snider exploring new sonic territory, too: proto-rock and roll, taking as many cues from Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis as Guy Clark and Billy Joe Shaver. Snider also plays every guitar part on ‘Eastside Bulldog,’ the first time he’s done so in his career.
The Money, the final volume in Charlie Mars’ Texas trilogy (out Oct. 14 on Rockingham Records/Thirty Tigers), opens with a scene of cinematic vividness. “Looking out a rainy window/In a hotel in Caroline/Drinking free coffee, smoking that smoke/From an apple by the exit sign.”
He called the song “Hell Yeah,” a Rebel yell from this Oxford, Mississippi, resident not of celebration but of recognition. Maybe you, too, have found yourself far from home and feeling very alone, seeking relief in the substances at hand, exhaling out the open window as a practical measure.
In those four lines, jotted down in a Hampton Inn in Greenwood, South Carolina, moments later, we find Mars (or a protagonist who closely resembles him) resuming his zigzagging trek through the darkness in search of the light. It’s a theme as old as The Odyssey, laid out in crisp contemporary verse over a lowdown, hickory-smoked backbeat, in the tradition of fellow Southern minimalists Tony Joe White and J.J. Cale.
One of Houston's true roots-music icons, Jack Saunders can be described perfectly in one word: Integrity.
Saunders has been at this so long he cuts straight to the chase. This isn't some over-thought, let's-play-at-folk-rock schtick that numerous young bands have, this is a full-grown pro matching sounds and words -- "I say goodbye to gravity when you come around" -- with all the precision of someone who's been at his craft 40 years. This one is Houston proud. - Houston Press
Seattle-based Teresa Kolo is a performing songwriter who embraces her art with wit and optimism. Her strong and percussive guitar style lays a foundation for her primary offering -- honest and intelligent songwriting. Kolo grew up in Houston and devoured all the music played in her home -- Jimmy Reed, Joan Armatrading, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Taj Mahal, Willie Nelson, Dana Cooper and Randy Newman. The list goes on.
What she culled from her exposure to these diverse artists was the ability to use lyrics to surprise and affect her growing audience. Performing live is where her talent shines most. She is emotive and comfortable on stage, delivering her songs in a way that can only be described as original and authentic.
“…I can't overemphasize how excited we are that Teresa has returned to performing. Her warm and fuzzie but in your face quirkiness is heart-tugging and jaw dropping. -- Tom Yeager, Songbird Sanctuary
“In a cookie cutter world of formulated music, Teresa Kolo is an inspiration and a standout. Her songs are tough, vulnerable, funny and poignant…sung in that voice truly unlike any I’ve heard before, young and old at once and haunting in its’ beauty”. -- Dana Cooper
Wheatfield's new album, "Big Texas Sky” is out of the same pocket of all your fave Texas troubadours that care more about the music than the trappings, this ain’t no sippy cup country or faux genre work.
This is a band that knows how to put what they want out front and have it reach you. More musical proof that Texas is a whole ‘nother country. Well done.” – Chris Spector, Midwest Record
There is no mistaking Bobby Whitlock co-founder of Derek & The Dominos who not only recorded “Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs”, but who has also appeared on Rock and Rolls greatest albums including George Harrison’s “All things Must Pass” and the Rolling Stones “Exile on Main Street” and who is now partnered with wife CoCo Carmel to make a formidable duo. Tops in the Austin scene Bobby and CoCo are featured in the newly released Documentary “The Road to Austin”. Bobbys “A Rock n Roll Autobiography” is sustaining high reviews.
The two have been travelling playing around the world and making records for the past fourteen years. CoCo engineers and produces all their records, the latest and greatest being “Carnival Live from Austin”complete with an all star line up.
Bobby and CoCo are setting up the new year with a solo record on Bobby to be produced by Rob Fraboni (The Stones, The Last Waltz, John Lennon, Bob Dylan).
Free Sneak Preview of this year's production at the Duck tonight! 7pm
Join us for a free preview of "The Gondoliers" at McGonigels Mucky Duck pub. Join the entire cast as we perform the songs from the show with explanation, history, and anecdotes between songs by Alistair Donkin.
Come early, have dinner, we've heard that the Duck has the best fish and chips in Texas!
If you’ve ever wondered how it would be to exist for a time in a collage – or better yet in the mind of the artist who created that collage – then go see a Bob Schneider show. It’s the closest thing to a musical out-of-body experience.
Between straighforward solo guitar-based songs, Schneider beat-boxed into a mic and sampled it along with keyboard and guitar riffs, and then looped the playback behind such gems as “Ready Let’s Roll” from his King Kong Vol. III EP, a frenetic, high-speed-chase of a rap rife with pop culture references. Balanced against this would come “Love Theme from Mork and Mindy” and “Let the Light In,” his eyes playfully scanning the sellout crowd for their reaction.
Schneider was introduced to Red Clay Music’s Eddie Owen by none other than Alejandro Escovedo, back in 1991 at Owen’s previous and eponymous venue (Eddie’s Attic) in Decatur, Georgia. On this magical Friday night, Schneider opened with “Montgomery” from his King Kong Vol. I EP, an all-out tour de force showing an artist stripped to his core, laying it out there in all its raw emotional form.
A mainstay of the Austin, TX, music scene, Schneider is a one-man show of serious yet playful songs with references to IKEA, cocaine, witches flying to Atlanta to go clubbing, Stephen Stills, marriage, and fatherhood. An accomplished visual artist himself, his performance resembled a retrospective of his collage paintings, alternating between heartfelt acoustic folk numbers and eclectic surprises. At one point near the end of the show he even broke out a trumpet for an emotionally charged moment…… No Depression
'Hadden is pretty much my hero.'' ----Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top
''Houston's best all around rock guitarist.'' ----The Austin Chronicle
''Sayers duet with label-mate Ruthie Foster is a solid contender for any critics' ''Blues Duet of the Year'' lists. This song is brilliant.'' - ----Blueswax
Shake is a favorite at the Duck and his shows sell quickly so get your tickets soon.
Come early for dinner and enjoy and beautifully poured pint and some of the best fish and chips in Houston.
From early days growing up in the southeast Los Angeles suburb of Downey, California under the tutelage of T-Bone Walker and Big Joe Turner to their emergence as central figures in the eclectic LA punk/rock scene of the early ‘80s to their current status as internationally-renowned influences in their own right, the Blasters have spent their lives exploring and expressing the deep and diverse musical legacy that is best described by the title of their first album: American Music.
A performance by today’s Blasters––vocalist-guitarist Phil Alvin, drummer Bill Bateman, bassist John Bazz, and guitarist Keith Wyatt––reflects influences that range from George Jones and Carl Perkins to Howlin’ Wolf, James Brown and Bo Diddley. The band’s 1980 debut album American Music (Rollin’ Rock) was a powerful collection of fresh, distinctive performances that shattered the artificial boundaries between blues, rockabilly, country, R&B and rock & roll. The next three albums for Slash/Warner Bros. (The Blasters, Non-Fiction, and Hard Line) increasingly featured the unique songwriting voice of original guitarist Dave Alvin as the band’s lineup expanded to include pianist Gene Taylor plus saxophonists Steve Berlin and New Orleans legend Lee Allen (“the man who put a saxophone in rock & roll”). As the Blasters’ fame grew, they began to draw accolades from artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton and Queen, and in turn the band encouraged and supported still up-and-coming LA musical peers such as Dwight Yoakum and Los Lobos
In 1986, Dave Alvin left the band to pursue a solo career, and over the next decade a series of renowned guitarists including Billy Zoom, Michael “Hollywood Fats” Mann, Greg “Smokey” Hormel, and James Intveld filled the position. Phil Alvin simultaneously expanded his own musical efforts with the release of two acclaimed solo albums, Unsung Stories (Slash/Warner) in 1986 and County Fair 2000 (Hightone) in 1994.
In 1996, current guitarist Keith Wyatt joined the lineup and the Blasters continued touring steadily in the US and Europe before returning to the studio in 2004 to record 4-11-44 (Rainman). After the departure of drummer Jerry Angel, the band reunited with original member Bill Bateman and subsequently released their 2012 CD Fun on Saturday Night (Rip Cat). Meanwhile, the Blasters’ catalog was renewed with reissues of American Music along with two Slash/Warner compilations (Testament and The Blasters Collection) and the live recordings Trouble Bound and Going Home Live (Shout Factory).
Blasters shows have been described as “a cross between Creedence and the Clash,” with a display of passion and energy only deepened by decades of experience. For all of the ways in which the world has changed in the past few decades, one thing is still guaranteed: the Blasters play American Music.
"These songs on The Tom Russell Anthology 2: Gunpowder Sunsets leaves me in anticipation of whatever might be coming next from the best songwriter of my generation." Mike Regenstreiff, Montreal Gazette, Sing Out (June 2016)
"Tom Russell is Johnny Cash, Jim Harrison and Charles Bukowski rolled into one. I feel a great affinity with Tom Russell's songs, for he is writing out of the wounded heart of America."Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Poet)
"Tom Russell is an original, a brilliant songwriter with a restless curiosity and an almost violent imagination. “Blood and Candle Smoke” is vintage Russell, and the Graham Greene connection is a ‘beaut." Annie Proulx (The Shipping News, Brokeback Mountain)
"Tom Russell is the last great American voice." Ken Bruen (The Dramatist, The Cross)
"How great is Tom Russell? Isn't he the best? I'd like to quit my job and travel with him...if the money can be worked out..." David Letterman, Late Night with David Letterman
The greatest living folk-country songwriter is a man named Tom Russell...John Swenson, Rolling Stone
Tom Russell is the best songwriter of the generation following Bob Dylan...The Montreal Gazette
"The Rose of Roscrae" - Recent 2015/2016 Reviews:
The #1 Album of the Year, The Irish Post, Joe Giltrap, Dec 19. 2015.
Los Angeles Times Top Ten Albums, Dec. 2015 : Masterful songwriter Russell enlists the help of friends and peers such as Maura O'Connell and others over a staggering 52 tracks in an extraordinary piece of Americana with an expansive narrative and scope. Randy Lewis
UNCUT Magazine "Album of the Month" - June 2015: It is an epic tale, a blend of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Berthold Brecht, Cormac McCarthy and Louis L'Amour, thick with references to U.S. history, music and myth...the scope is majestic, the ambition outrageous and the music magnificent. A unique accomplishment. Peter Watts
A bravely original epic. The Guardian, UK. 4/5 stars, April 10, 2015
A game changer - it could just be the single most important Americana release of all time.Folk Radio, UK
A bold two-disc country-folk-rock opera about a young 19th-century Irish immigrant drawn to a new life as a cowboy in the west after a failed love affair. It's a sprawling beast of an album and a remarkable piece of creativity. ???? Best Country Music Albums of 2015: The Telegraph UK
“While Radney Foster is no stranger to the country charts, both on his own and with the duo Foster & Lloyd, there’s not much Music City/Nash Vegas gloss on Everything I Should Have Said.
Foster’s songs are essentially country, but are charged with crackling Louisiana flavors and wiry, rootsy-rock a la The Band. Foster’s voice has a plainspoken quality akin to that of the late Levon Helm.” –Icon Magazine
“Like the songs of [Townes] Van Zandt, Foster’s music doesn’t jump up and down, wear fancy clothes, or beat around the bush. And like Van Zandt, Foster’s always trying to find that little piece of truth.” –Charleston City Paper
Igor Yuzov was born in Germany, raised in Ukraine and studied in Russia. He grew up in the former Soviet Union, where folk music was the norm and rock'n'roll was illegal. A rebellious streak, however, led him to seek out the forbidden music. As soon as it became possible, Igor left Russia for America with his “Folk'n'Roll" band Limpopo and was personally greeted by Ronald Reagan.
In 1993, Limpopo won Ed McMahon's Star Search and their popularity began to blossom. In 1995, Igor dreamed that Elvis Presley came to him and told him to start playing rock'n'roll. Igor and his Russian friends became Red Elvises and gave street performances on Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade. As their crowds grew larger, the City of Santa Monica ordered them to discontinue their street performances.
Evolving over the years, Igor’s music has been labeled "Siberian Surf Rock” which contains humorous lyrics and grooves that forces his audience to dance. Over the past 20 years, Red Elvises have constantly toured all over the world with occasional breaks to record new music and to participate in film and television projects.
They travel around the world together while Slaid plays for fans far and wide and gets all the glory. If it wasn’t for Karen, Slaid would be carrying all he owned in a shoe box, scrounging around for a happy hour gig.