Dec 26, 2013

RDBC and Friends- Best of 2013

Well, it's time for the obligatory end of the year best of the year list. I figured that since I have spent all year telling you about the music that I think you should all take notice of, that I would also give a few of my friends an avenue to tell you their top albums. A lot of what you will see here isn't going to be stuff that you would expect. These lists are for people who appreciate music, appreciate the song and the story behind it. These lists are not for people who like to simply listen to the radio.

The music was truly great this year. My list has changed countless times through the year and several times as I wrote it here. The one thing to remember, great music is out there. Go find it. Some of the most incredible music out there won't even get spins in our little scene.

There were great albums put out by some of the bigger names in our scene this year. Albums from Jason Isbell, Will Hoge, Jason Boland and Reckless Kelly were all incredible top notch efforts. But everyone knows about these albums. What we are going to do is focus on the stuff that is just as good but doesn't have the attention or notice that is so deserves. No love lost to those mentioned above, but new blood is what keeps this scene fresh and alive, and the following list is the stuff that gives the Texas/Red Dirt music scene a bright future.

Brandon RDBC

10. Joey Green - Lo 5
A solid effort from one of the purest talents in north Texas. This album should have been the one to elevate Joey to the next level. The search to find someone in the Texas scene that can write a better or more gut wrenching song about love would prove exhausting.

9. Jessey General Thompson - self titled
There must be something in the water that keeps making Oklahoma serve up these amazing rootsy singer/songwriter types. Whatever it is, Jessey has caught a serious case.

8. Green Light Pistol - The Lights Came On
Another one to classify under "you have just got to see it to believe it." GLP is a family band that takes a little of the Partridge Family and throws in elements of Mumford & Sons sprinkled with a little Flogging Molly. Wrap your head around that.

7. Lincoln Durham - Exodus of the Deemed Unrighteous 
If you haven't seen or heard Lincoln Durham, nothing I can say will even come close to describing the auditory splendor this gentleman produces. You have to experience it.



6. Dylan Stewart & The Johnny Strangers- self titled
One of a group of incredibly gifted young artists coming up in Oklahoma today. I have heard him described as a Bob Dylan of the plains.

5. William Clark Green - Rose Queen
Take the above verbiage regarding Dylan Stewart and apply here in respect to Texas. This guy has the talent to become one of the biggest names in the new generation of Texas country artists.

4. Chris King - 1983 OR Native
This guy released two of the best albums of 2013. early this year was 1983 which was his first full blown studio effort and blew away 99.7 percent of the music released this year.  Native was released later this year and included acoustic versions of songs from 1983 and a couple new tunes. Pure, good old fashioned, true country music pours from this guy's veins.

3. Javi Garcia - The Great Controversy
The baddest bad-ass of Texas rockers in the scene today. Diabolical lyrical genius. Bold sound and some of the ballsiest lyrics around.

2. John Moreland- In The Throes
Following in the footsteps of Oklahoma's John Fullbright and setting the example for a string of seriously talented Okies that will be making an impact sooner rather than later.

1. Drew Kennedy- Wide Listener
Drew is hands down one of the most gifted songwriters in Texas today. His lyrics not only tell some of the most incredible stories, but they take bring you into the life of the subject. Whether it's his story or just an old tale retold, Drew manages to make the familiar new and fresh.

Ben Ryan’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

My name is Ben Ryan, formally the Music Director at 103.1 KKCN in San Angelo and currently Tour Managing for Phil Hamilton.  Throughout my years working in this industry I've heard music that should’ve been top ten but never received recognition.  On the other hand I've also heard some music that made it top ten and left me thinking ‘How in the hell…’  That being said I've picked out my top ten favorite albums of 2013.  Agree or disagree, it’s my opinion.
Honorable Mentions: Reckless Kelly – Long Night Moon, The Statesboro Revue – Ramble On Privilege Creek, The Rusty Brothers – Revival and Clay Thrash – Clay Thrash.

10. Matt Stell – A River Through It
Matt Stell is one of those guys who have been around for a while and always putting out great tunes.  The album A River Through It is one that I feel Matt wrote from the heart.  It’s got some great up tempo songs along with some slower love songs.  He released two of the tracks to radio, Memphis On The River and Grass Looks Greener.  I really connect with this album and it makes me feel like I’m back in home in Southern Arkansas.  Being able to connect, that’s what counts right?

9.  Jason Boland & The Stragglers – Dark & Dirty Mile
Jason Boland has been one of my favorites since Nam and was actually one of the first Red Dirt artists I heard back in the day.  What I like about Jason is he stays true to his roots.  He hasn't really commercialized or polished it up, so to speak, like the other ‘heavy hitters’ or whatever you want to call them.  One thing I noticed on this album is he stepped a bit out of his norm on the song Green Screen getting a little more rockin’ and edgy.  This is real and true country music and a great follow up to Rancho Alto.  All in all it’s another great album from the Jason Boland Camp.

8.  Shane Smith & The Saints – Coast
Where did these guys come from?!  I do have to make a confession, the first time I heard them I wasn’t too sure about it.  I gave’em a few more listens and it clicked.  The first radio single from the album, Coast, is one that makes you want to get up and move around.  I tried to pick out a favorite song on this album but it was impossible.  This 13 track album has something for everybody on it and features a few guests like Aaron Watson and Ryan Engleman.  Shane has a very distinct voice and joined with the eclectic musical parts, it makes for some great tunes.  This album states Shane Smith & The Saints are here to stay.

7.  Phil Hamilton – Live At The Whiskey Girl Saloon
I know what you’re thinking ‘He works for Phil so of course he put him on the list.’  There’s a reason why I work for him now isn’t there?  I was torn on where to position this one on my top ten.  On one hand it is a live album with all his hit plus two new singles.  On the other this is Phil Hamilton, this is what you get at a show and the two new singles which I’ll get to in a minute.  Too often I’ve heard someone live and could tell there had been some tweaking in studio on the voice or session players that the band couldn’t match.  This is not the case with Phil and the guys.  I’ve known Phil for many moons and seen the roster change up but now he’s got the band that is here to stay.  When listening to Hold On Tight and Tragedy it is very apparent that each member of the band is more involved than on any of the other songs.  They are well written and music parts are second to none.  It’s all in the collaboration.

6.  Zane Williams – Overnight Success
I first heard Zane back when I worked at The Ranch in Fort Worth.  He tossed me a copy of The Right Place, his 2009 album, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  Overnight Success, the song, reflects Zane’s humor and is a tongue in cheek type of song you can’t help but sing along with.  The first time I heard it I knew it was going to be an overnight success (see what I did there).  Anyway, the rest of the album is full of love and honky tonkin’ songs written in Zane’s unique style.  When I first received this album is was in my CD player for about a month and a half, it’s that good.  This one has it all; songs that’ll make you want to dance, fall in love, cry and drink some cold beer.  I highly recommend it.

5.  Sam Riggs and The Night People – Outrun The Sun
Sam Riggs and The Night People, a fairly new crew to the Texas/Red Dirt music scene, have made an impression and have proven to be a chart topper.  Outrun The Sun is the second album from Sam and has a little more of the rockin’ guitar but still staying with his country sound.  The single, Angola’s Lament, has been making waves not only on Texas/Red Dirt radio but also on the music charts.  This album connects with people from all walks of life.  I really enjoyed listening to this one and I’m looking forward to more from Sam and the guys.

4.  Will Hoge – Never Give In
Will Hoge is one of those guys who have been hiding in the shadows to the Texas/Red Dirt fans for quite some time and I’m happy he’s finally jumping in.  Never Give In is another great album from Hoge.  He stayed true to his style with rockin’ guitar, great writing and he has one of those unique voices that you can’t get enough of.  Even with the majority of the album being upbeat musically, the lyrics are come from the heart and are believable.  I’ve heard some criticism because Chevy picked up Strong as their theme song but some people are just going to be jealous.  This is another great album from a great singer/songwriter.

3.  Drew Kennedy – Wide Listener
Do I really need to explain this one?  Drew Kennedy is one of the most genius songwriters out there today in my opinion.  Wide Listener is another one of those albums that was in my CD player for months.  It’s hard for me to put into words why I love this album so much but I’ll try.  Drew’s songs tell stories of places, people and his own life experiences.  I believe what he is singing and that’s what makes a good song great.  Along with the writing, Drew also has a very true and unique voice.  This album is good for the soul.

2.  Dolly Shine – Room To Breathe
Dolly Shine is a rather young group with a huge amount of talent.  The amount of maturity done from their first EP to this album is unreal.  Room To Breathe is a 14 track album, one of which is a jam track, full of rich and pure country music.  The title track was written and recorded with William Clark Green and Clayton Landua, it is sure strike some sort of emotion with all who hears it.  Also, they revisited one of my all-time favorite Dolly Shine tracks, Pretty Flowers, which makes me like this album that much more.  Take a listen, it is truly amazing and speaks for itself.

1.  William Clark Green – Rose Queen
If you don’t like this album then you very well could be a commie.  William Clark Green’s latest album Rose Queen is my favorite album of 2013 and for great reason.  Will has been making quite a name for himself, earning the respect from all in this Texas/Red Dirt music scene.  This album has it all from young love and rough living, struggles of the life and differences in relationships, heart break and welcoming new ones to the family and more.  There are co-writes with some respectable singer/songwriters like Brandon Adams and Brian Keane which makes for an eclectic, fun and energetic album that’ll leave you begging for more.  Rose Queen is one of those albums that you can’t pick a favorite song from because they are all that legit.  If you don’t have this one, you should.

There you have it, my top albums of 2013.  While it may not be crowded with what people call the ‘Heavy Hitters’ ‘A Listers’ or ‘Top Tier’ artists it is in fact full of truly talented singer/songwriters.  The fact that some let labels such as those listed above decide who receives the most attention baffles me.  It should be about the music.  It shouldn’t be about what your name is, which promoter you have or what label you’re on.  Let the music speak, not the politics.  That being said, thank you for reading and y’all stay classy.

Ben Ryan **********************

Lauren Gonzalez -  Hurricane Highway blogger 

With this year quickly coming to a close, it is time that we reflect on the old and look forward to the new.  While 2013 wasn't a year I care to go back through again personally, the music of 2013 gave me plenty to be happy and excited about.  So with out further ado lets reflect.  Below is (insert drumroll)  Hurricane Highway's Official Top Ten Albums of 2013.

10. Thieving Birds - Gold Coast
Good ole fashioned southern rock at its finest. This was a wonderful follow up to their first release.  Check out Graveyard Love for a soulful bluesy track. This is also a must see band to hit the stage in 2014. Much in the same way Uncle Lucius made waves in the last two years.

9. Dylan Stewart and The Johnny Strangers- self titled
A grit and groovy album.  This guy is making a name for himself in Oklahoma. Look for him to become a contender in the must see list of 2014.

8. Will Arrington - Miles Left To Go
Making a name for himself amongst the Cheatham Street Circle Miles comes out strong straight out of the gate with the lead track Coming Back Around.  It pulls no punches quickly moving into the next song Final Stand.  Other standouts on this cd are Just Another, Rain, Stay With Me Tonight, and My Old Friends.

7. John Moreland - In The Throes
This is a lyrical Gem. Simply done and understated. John is a brilliant writer. Jason Isbell recently took him out on tour.   Throes is excellently crafted.  This disk was produced in a way to take nothing away from the words.

6. Drew Kennedy - Wide Listener
Wide Listener represented a more mature and confident sound for Drew.  As a songwriter he is at his best with this disk.  The imagery combined with his voice made each song feel like a movie vignette.

5. Holly Williams - The Highway
Showcasing her awesome vocals, Holly is making her mark in 2013 with great writing as well as production.  This girl proved that she was way more than a pretty face to come along in 2013.  She is touring with Jason Isbell in 2014. What made the Highway so great was the noticeable change in production from her first disk.  The more paired down arrangements really allowed her writing and vocals to shine.

4. Shane Smith & The Saints - The Coast
This release is one of the ones I am most excited to talk about. This is another one that was good from start to finish.  Shane and his band have been touring constantly since the release.  Really looking forward to seeing them take off in 2014.   The guys have been having some regional success on Texas Radio.  They have also had some opening spots in Gruene Hall and Floore's.

3. Javi  Garcia - The Great Controversy
This is the most unapologetic rock record to come out this year.  I also believe one of the most underappreciated. One of the great characteristics of Javi and his band is the ability to do things their own way and not fit in to the traditional mode of "Texas Music". If you have the chance to see him live I strongly recommend it.

2. Jason Isbell - Southeastern
There was not a single flaw in this record.  I am still as moved by his lyrics today as I was the first day I heard it.  Jason is poised to be the greatest songwriter of our generation.  I don't know that there is a song as  truthful as Elephant out there.  It spoke to anyone who has lost a love one and had to witness that process of death.  The line "One thing that is clear to me, no one dies with dignity, we just try to ignore the elephant somehow,"  was one the most heartfelt and honest lyrics I have ever heard.

1. Courtney Patton - Triggering A Flood
Women in songwriting don't often get the credit they deserve.  Most are compared to Miranda or Taylor, as if that is ok.  This disk is on neither side of those.  What Courtney did in this cd was bring vulnerability and strength from heartbreak in her lyric in way that seems natural and compelling.

Lauren ********************

Brandon Hardin - DJ 96.5 KECO Elk City, Oklahoma

The end of every year brings forth a tsunami of top “whatever” lists.  Here are my personal Top 10 albums of 2013 in no particular order.  These are the albums that I've been hung up on, and have found difficult to lay down.

Band of Heathens – Sunday Morning Record
I love this album. Love this album.  While still not the absolute best of Band of Heathens, it is still one of my top ten.  At times it feels like early Elton John (think Honky Cat), while at other times it feels more like late Beatles and The Band.  There are still plenty of funky, laid back, jangly grooves underlying this musical evolution of a band that's been going through changes.  In all honesty, I have to disagree with the naysayers.  This album is great, and lives up to the title “Sunday Morning Record”, as it is best digested early in the morning or late at night when trying to escape or avoid the hectic nature of the average day to day.
Favorite Tracks: Shotgun; Miss My Life; Girl With Indigo Eyes; The Same Picture

Lincoln Durham – Exodus of the Deemed Unrighteous
It's gritty. It's dirty. It's raw. It is uniquely Lincoln Durham.  He comes at you like a prophet from the darkest pages of the Old Testament, with fire and passion.  Lincoln Durham is hands down one of the most talented artists around, and while it is easy to get caught up in the spectacle of Samsonite briefcases and cigar box guitars, it is impossible to deny the amazing craft of Lincoln Durham.
Favorite Tracks: Ballad of a Prodigal Son; Annie Departee; Exodus Waltz; Stupid Man

Quaker City Nighthawks – Honcho
For the record, Rock 'N' Roll (and Southern Rock for that matter) is not dead; you just have to know where to find it in this commercialized, corporate friendly world of music we have devolved to.  And one group of guys keeping the spirit, grit, and attitude of “real Rock” alive is Quaker City Nighthawks.  Honcho is not an album you merely press play on and sit through.  It is an all-out assault of sound.  Even when they slow things down a bit, the lyrics and music hit you like a ton of bricks. It is impossible to sit still while listening through Honcho.
Favorite Tracks: Fox in the Hen House; Crack at the Bottle; Train Rolled Home; Sweet Molly

 Sturgill Simpson – High Top Mountain
This year, more than any other year I can remember, we all were at one anothers throats over this idea of what real Country music is and is not.  And while some of us had to back pedal to make the latest Country/R&B hybrid machine seem viable in the Country music landscape, the rest of us were too busy listening to this album to even care.  Sturgill Simpson calls upon the ghost of Waylon Jennings, and holds true to the standard set in place decades ago as to what is or is not a “Country” record.  If you find yourself constantly pissing and moaning because Country Radio isn't Country anymore, buy this album and make yourself happy.  You deserve it, you defender of the Outlaw Faith you.
Favorite Tracks: Life Ain't Fair and the World is Mean; You Can Have the Crown; Poor Rambler

Jason Isbell – Southeastern
It's on everyone's top ten this year, because it is that good.  In fact, many have said it is the best Country album of 2013.  Isbell has an amazing way of accomplishing the basic job of the artist (which is taking everyday life and interpreting it for the everyday man).  He paints beautiful and sometimes tragic tapestries with words and vocals that gush forth with truth, soul, and pain.  Southeastern is a must have in everyone's collection.  It is a reminder that you don't have to have an image team or a TV show to make damn good music.
Favorite Tracks:  Cover Me Up; Elephant; Live Oak

Red Dirt Rangers – Lone Chimney
This year the Rangers have been awfully busy.  Traveling all over the U.S., and releasing this gem of an album.  I had a conversation one night in a smoky bar with a guy about the Red Dirt Rangers, and the only thing I can say now is what was said then.  They sound like the fields, hills, trees, and blue skies of Oklahoma opened up wide and bellowed out a song.  A fine mix of rock n' roll, blues, country, folk, and all things bad ass.
Favorite Tracks:  Where the Arkansas River Leaves Oklahoma; Take Life as It Comes; Lone Chimney

William Clark Green – Rose Queen
Here is another album that is making its way onto a plethora of lists, and again it's for a damn good reason.  Another heartfelt, soulful, honest album from an artist who isn't afraid to tell it how it is. But with this album, it's not all doom and gloom and heartache.  Green also takes time to have a little fun and celebrate the comical sides of love.  The arrangements are excellent. The songwriting superb.  Hats off to WCG for making one of the most “stand-out” albums of 2013.  Another one you owe it to yourself to add to your collection.
Favorite Tracks: Rose Queen; She Likes the Beatles; Dead or in Jail; Welcome to the Family


Statesboro Revue – Ramble on Privilege Creek
I love the funky vibe that radiates from this damn album. Statesboro Revue did a fantastic job mixing funk, soul, country, roots rock, and good old fashioned rock 'n roll all into one sweet honey pot. This is one you can plugin and from beginning to end have the time of your life.  Not one track is wasted, and each one unique and amazing of its own merit.  For soulful songwriting, unique vocals, and masterful arrangements add this one to your collection.
Favorite Tracks: Fade My Shade of Black; Huck Finn; Live a Little; Love Run Easy

Dylan Stewart and The Johnny Strangers – Self Titled
How do you even begin to summarize Dylan Stewart?  There had been a buzz generating for some time before this album landed on anyone's desk among artists and music connoisseurs alike.  I told a friend one time that to me, and I might be way off, Dylan sounds and writes like a future Bob Dylan/Tom Petty of the plains.  This guy came out of nowhere with an album full of songs/stories that sound as if they were written by a man well beyond Dylan's years.  If Dylan is just a tiny example of where music from Oklahoma is headed in the future, then we should all rejoice with a chorus louder than the heavenly choir. For the future of homegrown music is a bright one, and we get to be around for it.  And that's just the lyrics.  As a whole, the music on this album is beautifully arranged, and actually works to accentuate the lyrics, which is refreshing in this age of “radio friendly muzak” that merely exists to be a slight distraction in the background..  We are all sitting on the edge of our seats Mr. Stewart, ready to see where you take us next.
Favorite Tracks: The Deed; Just a Train; Turn Your Light; River of Red

Jason Boland & The Stragglers – Dark & Dirty Mile
Let's get this straight. No one gives a damn whether or not you like “old” or “new” Boland.  The beauty of music is that it allows us all to exist and evolve together in a communal moment of pain, joy, sorrow, and love.  Honestly, this is some of my all-time favorite work from Boland.  In a day and age where “mainstream” country radio “hits” are being chosen by suit and ties with dollar signs as their sole motivation, and where the lines between genres are becoming blurred and fans everywhere are saying “Dafuq?”, Boland steps out with a genuine country album.  You can hear and feel the blues inspired honky tonk.  Boland sings about life as a human being, and not some MTV reality hack that can't even do mudding right.  Once again, o ye faithful, pick this one up if you have been craving something that audibly tastes of real country, and not label manufactured fried chicken.
Favorite Tracks: Dark and Dirty Mile; Electric Bill; Ludlow; See You When I See You

Well there you have it. Four different opinions on what was the best of the best this year. I love seeing some names on each of these lists. The differences are also a sign that there is more out there to discover. 

We here at RDBC hope that each of you have a happy holiday season and we can't wait to see you guys out there somewhere in 2014.

Dec 2, 2013

Spend Christmas Red Dirt Style

Tis the season for coming together with family. For sharing joy and for singing songs and for Christmas parties. Soon there will be Christmas parties one right after the other and you will have to decide which to attend. Is it worth the drive? Will anybody we know be there? Well, how about you consider this....


Now in it's 18th year, this gathering manages every year to bring together some of Oklahoma's finest musicians. This year has proven no different. Scheduled to perform are the Oklahoma Red Dirt legends the Red Dirt Rangers (who help to organize and perform), Grammy nominee John Fullbright, and the amazingly talented John Moreland. However, if years past are any indication, you can count on appearances by a number of Oklahoma's finest artists.

The Red Dirt Christmas is not only a time for friends and family to share a little music and kick off the holiday season in style though. Following the spirit of the season, it is also about giving back. They will also be donating a portion of the money raised to the Red Dirt Relief Fund which provides assistance to artists in difficult times when they may have no other resources. I promise you that you will be hard pressed to find a better time and this much talent together anywhere else this holiday season.

For more info on the event you can visit the event page on Facebook at this link

Nov 13, 2013

Chris King - Native

Texas singer /songwriter Chris King has managed a pretty damn incredible feat recently. With the release of his album Native this week, he put out his second album in the past 12 months and both are legitimate must haves. His early 2013 album 1983 was an album he told me that he considered to be his major leap into the Texas music scene. It did well and generated a good deal of buzz for him while receiving several well deserved and very good reviews.

With Native Chris has gone back to what he probably does best. Stripped it all down, and given the listener a real and raw look at the heart and sole of each song. Native features some of the songs that were on 1983 and some new - all acoustic. I  love this. Acoustic songs are how an artist really reels me in. Production and mastering can make a decent artist sound really good, but when they play acoustic there isn't that safety net of "we can fix that in mixing."

The first single from Native is the song "Homeland" and it was one of my favorite tracks from his previous release. To me it tells a sort of small town "glass houses" kind of story. You know, a "judge not lest ye be judged" tale. Or flat out, "I may not be much around here, but your mama is a drunk." Check out a great version of it below.



One of my favorites on this album is the song "Sinton." It is a ballad for the forlorn lover who has ever given everything and gotten nothing but dumped. Sometimes you just can't shake the people that effect you that deeply. Even in a way you know was way too wrong.



Each and every song on this album is an raw emotional voyage in songs purest form. A man, a voice, and a guitar. This is the type of album that true fans of great songwriting  can appreciate with no remorse.

Chris King has set a high standard for his music and seems to be striving to outdo himself with every note. With two amazing releases this year alone, he should also be seen as the buffer for where the bar is set for Texas songwriters.

For more on Chris king go here---> http://christopherck.com/

Nov 5, 2013

TYLER AND THE TRIBE - BORN

The one thing I always have to remember to do as a critic is to stay open to everything. Just like all of you, I have my preferences when it comes to music and what I do and do not like. I make no apologies about being a music snob. But I do my best to stay open minded and inform you guys about new music of all kinds that I think is worthy of note. This is one of those times that I am glad I did.

Tyler and the Tribe recently released their album Born and have put out a very solid album. There are some upbeat love songs, a few pop country rockers, and even a really good ballad or two that can be found here. The guys haven't reinvented a genre or tried to be something they aren't. What they possess is a talent for putting out well written, perfectly crafted, very catchy tunes. You can't help but tap a toe and bob your head to the songs you find on this album.

Born is a perfect example of finding what you do as a band, and perfecting it. Being a fan of the more serious subject matter songs, the gem on this album for me was "Close My Eyes." It is a love lost tale that captures the sentiment and emotion of it all very well. But give the whole album a listen and decide for yourself. If I can find a little guilty pleasure in the catchy goodness of Born, then I challenge you not to.



for more on Tyler & the Tribe go here---> http://www.tylerandthetribe.com/
and follow them along on twitter ---->  @tylernthetribe

Oct 30, 2013

New Whiskey Myers Video - Home

I have heard people say that if you want to stand out, either do something different or do something better than everyone else. Well, the guys in Whiskey Myers do both. Check out their new video for their song "Home" that premiered over on CMT.com today and see what I mean. Damn I love these guys.


For more on Whiskey Myers go here--->http://www.whiskeymyers.com/

We Need More Moreland

I have a tendency to get tunnel vision when I find music that I really connect with. This has actually happened to me several times this year. I find an album that really excites me and I proceed to listen for days or weeks on end. Then I go back to one of my favorites or something new that has captured my ear. As I sit here and type these words I'm listening to the new John Moreland album for about the 4000th time and really pissed that I haven't already done a write up on this guy.

I have been a fan of his music for a few years after discovering the Endless Oklahoma Sky album. Moreland is one of those artists that creates music that is impossible to package into a pretty little genre label but can appeal to people of all musical tastes. The ability to flawlessly morph styles from one song to the next on an album is a gift few possess these days as the radio waves continue to get bogged down with the heavy hooves of all of the one trick ponies out there.


His latest album In the Throes is another in a string of stellar efforts. It ranges from rock to gospel and most everything in between. The track "Nobody Gives a Damn About Songs Anymore" is an amazing track and possibly a bit of an introspective tale of sorts. You can feel it's pure emotion as Moreland weaves a story of hard work but utter frustration at the lack of acknowledgement and appreciation that at times can seem to run rampant for artists at times.



This is a very small sample of this guys incredible talent. Whatever else you do this week make sure you add some John Moreland to your music collection. It won't matter which album you pick up, none of them will disappoint you.

For More on John Moreland go here---> http://www.johnmoreland.net/

Oct 10, 2013

THAT'S THE SH!T THURSDAY- DIRTY RIVER BOYS


In these dark days of government shutdowns and potentially mind numbing insurance issues- keep the faith that good music will always be here to pull you through the crap.

This song from The Dirty River Boys always made me think that it could definitely be the soundtrack for the down trodden, but in a upbeat-keep your head up- kinda way. A "Letter to Whoever" is sometimes the perfect way to ease your troubles a little. Clear your mind and just keep pushing through the darkness.

This song was on their 2012 release The Science of Flight and is just one of the incredible tunes you will find on that album. The guys were also recently featured on the new CMT feature Concrete Country. Very cool indeed. Go check it out.



for  more on DRB go --> http://www.dirtyriverboys.com/



Oct 7, 2013

A Fly on the Wall in the Gypsy Cafe

This past weekend in Stillwater, OK an event called the Gypsy Cafe took place. It isn't something that you have likely heard of if you live outside of Oklahoma, or even very from from Stillwater. But I can promise you, that will change. Now in it's third year, the Gypsy Cafe event brought over 30 of the best singer/songwriters that Oklahoma has to offer together and all proceeds will benefit the Red Dirt Relief fund. The Red Dirt Relief fund has been organized to help out musicians in times of need.

The Gypsy Cafe is not an event as so much as it is an occasion. It provides an opportunity for those who love the music, love the scene and love those that made it what it is today all come together to remember, to relive, and to rejoice. This year's event brought a mix of well known artists and some new emerging talent giving you a glimpse of both the history and future of music in the storied red dirt music scene. It was inspiring to see guys like Mike McClure and The Red Dirt Rangers, who have been a part of the Oklahoma music scene now for the better part of two decades, sharing the stage with incredibly talented young musicians.

The event kicked off on Thursday with a private gathering of artists at The Farm. The Farm is a slightly overgrown plot of land just on the edge of town with an unsuspecting legacy of being some of the holiest red dirt in Oklahoma. Many of the artists playing at the Gypsy Cafe have been playing music on that plot of land for over 20 years. Watching the newer guys soaking in the wisdom from folks like Rick Reiley, Chuck Dunlap, and Monica Taylor and respecting the legacy of what it was they were representing there that night was refreshing. Here there were no egos.

The folks behind the Gypsy Cafe have got it right. They have managed to pull together and put on a successful event that not only benefits an amazing cause but benefits and promotes the music and a way of life that truly remains timeless and poignant.

*** Side Notes***
Several newer artists that performed at The Gypsy Cafe blew me away. I feel that the future of Oklahoma music is sitting comfortably at the feet of Dylan Stewart, Jessey General Thompson, Kaitlin Butts and Joseph Melton. Make sure you check them all out.


Check out the Red Dirt Relief fund here  http://www.reddirtrelieffund.org/

Sep 26, 2013

That's The Sh!t Thursday- Drew Kennedy

Every now and again I get lucky enough to stumble onto a pretty cool song or video out there on the interwebs. It might be a cool version of a song I've heard a million times. Or a live version of an unreleased song. This week I have been obsessed with the new Drew Kennedy CD Wide Listener. That's where this weeks video comes from.

Being up here in Oklahoma I don't often get a chance to see some of the amazing south Texas artists that make the rounds. So I stalk YouTube when something really gets me pumped. A lot of the time that is how I can tell if what I hear on the radio or on a CD comes off good done live. I really had to dig pretty deep to find very much video on Drew. And even deeper to find stuff from his new album. Because that is what I want to focus on.

Wide Listener is his 6th album and though I had heard his music and own a couple of his other CDs, this one just hit me. Drew is an amazing singer and songwriter. On this album he runs you through a gamut of emotions with intricately spun lyrics and engaging melodies. My favorite is the track "Jesus Can See You.'" It  starts simple with an acoustic and vocals and tells the story of man searching for some meaning and dealing with those who too often do not practice what they preach. At least that is my take on it. I may be wrong but I dare you to listen to this song and not be pulled in.

Anyway, back to the point. I managed to find a video of Drew performing this song in what seems to be someone's living room. Seeing it done so well in such a pure state only makes me appreciate what he does even more. Drew Kennedy is without a doubt one of the most underrated artists in Texas right now. Getcha some...




I am including one more video here. It is an introduction from Drew to you. It speaks of his music, his journey and who is is as a person and musician. This video alone is better than a lot of the music I have heard lately.




See more on Drew here---> http://www.drewkennedymusic.com/




Sep 13, 2013

Red Dirt Round up

Well is has been a busy busy week in the Red Dirt scene boys and girls. Let's jump right in.

No Justice decided that they were going to call it quits after over a decade as one of the top bands in the scene. They released a statement about it all that you can see here---> No Justice

Seth James announced via his Facebook page that he will soon be leaving the Departed. This news sucks! The Departed are putting out some of the most incredible music in any scene these days and he will be missed. I am excited though to see what the future brings for the rest of the guys. I mean, come on, it's Cody friggin Canada. They released a statement explaining it all and mostly wanted every one to know they are still on good terms and wish Seth the best in his future endeavors. See that press release here---> The Departed

Drew Kennedy released an album this week that got the whole town talking. well they should be listening. His album Wide Listener is ridiculously good. Look for a review here soon. In the mean time check him out here ---> Drew Kennedy 

Bart Crow celebrated his birthday this week and released a video for his single "Loving You's a Crime" on CMT! I love seeing all these Texas musicians getting the CMT exposure. Congrats to Bart and Happy Birthday. See the video here ---> Bart Crow

Wade Bowen put out a lyric video for his new single "Songs About Trucks" this week. I already really liked the song so a video just gave me another excuse to listen to it. You can see that video here. ---> Wade Bowen


John David Kent posted preorder info for his next album "Before The Sun Comes Up" this week, You will want to get this one for sure. You can find all the info for ordering it here. ---> JDK

Chad Sullins & The Last Call Coalition have put up a kickstarter link on their facebook page. They will be heading into the studio soon to record with Oklahoma red dirt icon Mike McClure. I can not wait to see what comes out of a project with these forces combined. Check out the bands kickstarter here. ---> Last Call Coalition

Sep 11, 2013

DEPARTING THE DEPARTED

The Departed put out a press release today giving us all some insight on Seth James' departure from the band, their future as a band, and news on Cody's live acoustic cd release. It is below.

Cody Canada Announces Band Lineup Changes + New Solo Acoustic Live Album Out This Fall
As announced on Facebook earlier this week, Cody Canada and The Departed vocalist/guitarist Seth James has confirmed that his last show with the band will be November 23 at Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, TX.
Despite that fact, fans have a lot to look forward to in the next few months. The Departed will continue to tour heavily as a four-piece band. They are also writing new songs and have plans to record a new studio album in early 2014.
"No one will be standing in Seth's place," Canada says. "There is no need to try to replace one of the best guitar players ever."
Canada also says that while the band is not planning to continue playing the songs sung by James on their recent album 'Adventus' live, he and keyboardist Steve Littleton will handle all of the lead instrument parts. Following James' departure, Canada says the band's live set will include more songs from the catalogue of his former band, Cross Canadian Ragweed. James will continue to perform at all dates leading up to his final show. See below for a list of upcoming tour dates.
While his work with The Departed will continue moving full-steam ahead, Canada has also confirmed a late November release (exact date TBA) for a new solo acoustic album titled 'Some Old, Some New, Maybe A Cover Or Two,' which was recorded live this summer at Third Coast Music in Port Aransas, TX.
As the title suggests, the acoustic album will feature songs from throughout Canada's career, including old Cross Canadian Ragweed favorites along with songs he wrote with The Departed. See below for a full track listing.

As they move forward, The Departed have issued their" one hundred percent support" for James' decision. "Whatever path he chooses, we've got his back. And we know he'll have ours," the band said in a statement. "We will rock on as a four-piece playing old tunes, new tunes, our tunes, and other people's tunes. It's what we do."
"Seth will be truly missed out here. We wish him all the luck and we will be at his shows," Canada says. "You've gotta do what feels good for your own good. I love the man, no matter what band he's in."
In a statement on his Facebook page, James explains his decision to leave the band:
"After three years of great times and great music, I have decided to take a step down as a band member of the Departed. It has been an unbelievable ride and I am so grateful for the support and love along the way. My last show will be November 23 at Gruene Hall. I look forward to supporting these guys alongside you as they continue down the road."

TRACK LISTING:

'SOME OLD, SOME NEW, MAYBE A COVER OR TWO'
1. If You're Ever In Oklahoma
2. Down
3. Breakdown
4. 250,000 Things To Do
5. Ruby Ridge
6. Pay
7. 17
8. Record Exec
9. Harvest Moon
10. Bluebonnets
11. 51 Pieces
12. Constantly
13. Flowers
14. Cold Hard Fact
15. Dead Man
16. Broken
17. Brooklyn Kid
18. Damned Old Happy Times
19. Unwound


For more info on The Departed check out their website The Departed

Sep 5, 2013

No Justice Will be No More...

Oklahoma's No Justice has announced that they are hanging it up and calling it quits. On a messgae posted on their facebook page tonight the band released this statement...

Red Dirt Music Veterans No Justice Call It Quits After 12-Year Run.
Farewell Tour Concludes October 25th
Stillwater, Oklahoma-
September 6, 2013-After over a decade long reign as one of the most beloved bands in the Red Dirt music scene, Stillwater-based No Justice will extinguish their long burning flame this year. Their farewell tour is well underway and will conclude with two blockbuster shows at the Wormy Dog in Oklahoma City on Thursday, October 24th and at the Arbuckle Ballroom in Davis, Oklahoma on Friday, October 25th.
A statement from Steve Rice reads, “It has been 12 years since the creation of No Justice. Throughout this time we have shared music, laughter, tears and our hearts with each other. It has been an amazing and life changing ride that very few get to experience and we couldn't have asked for better people to share it with. On October 31, 2013 the band will be taking a hiatus from touring and recording, so that each individual can pursue separate endeavors. While some will continue to play music, others will take a different avenue. We want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your dedication to our lifelong dream and for allowing us to pour our hearts out on the stage every night in venues across the world. We can't begin to tell you how much your support has meant to us. During our last couple months, we would like to encourage you all to make it out to a show and experience No Justice one last time. We would love to see you again.”

Hatched from the Red Dirt music mecca of Stillwater, Oklahoma and adopted into the live music epicenter of Texas, No Justice cultivated a powerful brand built on unforgettable melodies, miles of solid comprehensive songwriting, and adorned with five acclaimed record releases with combined record sales topping over 100,000 units, two #1 hits and eight Top 10 singles on the Texas Music Chart. Aside from this shiny career resume, No Justice’s impressive longevity in the music business was fundamentally built on the quality and continuity of their music. From their very first record release Far From Everything (2001) down through a motley mixed catalog including No Justice (2005), the renowned live series Live At Billy Bob’s (2007), the rock infused Second Avenue (2010) and their final release America’s Son (2013), which brought the band full circle back to their roots, their unique sound powered by the soulful voice of Steve Rice will forever be emblemized throughout the Red Dirt community. Steve Rice, Armando Lopez, Cody Patton, Joey Trevino and Bryce Conway would like to “Toast” their treasured fans and friends, and thank them for ten amazing years of lifelong memories.

Here's to you...

Aug 16, 2013

Red Dirt Round-Up (yes, I know that name has been used 1.4 million times)

News in Red  Dirt Music. For those of you under rocks and who do not follow along with countless twitter and Facebook pages all day every day like I do, here is a brief run down of recent news.

Ms Rita Ballou got a new gig in radio working for the baddest ass station in Austin KOKE fm. She also launched the new version of her website http://www.rawhideandvelvet.com/ go check it out and tell her congrats. She is kicking ass.

Bart Crow is having another baby(s). Looks like the Crow's nest is expecting twins. Big Congrats to Bart and his family.

John David Kent announced the release of his next album will be pushed back a few weeks due to landing a distribution deal with Thirty tigers. very cool news and congrats to JDK. Look for his album now set for release on Oct 1st.

Wade Bowen released an awesome new song titled "Trucks" that asks for the onslaught of songs about trucks to stop for a while... Thanks the fumes are starting to get to us all I think. Check it out here TRUCKS.

CMT has finally started airing the "Concrete Country" series we told you about a few weeks ago and will feature several Texas and Oklahoma bands. The most recent version featured Stoney LaRue. As much as it pains me to say this, check out CMT for airings or head to CMT.com and click the "Concrete Country" links to see some of the video.

Be on the watch for an announcement as to who our first featured artists of the month will be and it's still open so send in your suggestions to us. We will announce it next week for the artists of the month for September.

That's all I can remember for now. I will keep better notes next week. Let me know if this series is something you guys dig in the comments.

I will leave you with this video from Brandon Rhyder. It is an acoustic version of the title song from his album out Aug 20th. I have heard it and it's a damn fine album.








Aug 14, 2013

Wade Bowen's song "Trucks" Gives You a Reason to Not Hate Nashville Today

Today I heard a song that hit the proverbial nail right on the head when making commentary on the sheer number of watered down pop filled truck songs dominating mainstream airwaves these days. The song "Trucks" from Wade Bowen is becoming a rather viral sensation as people who are tired of Nashville crap flooding the radio dial embrace and share the tune. But not so fast...

The song was actually written by Brandy Clark and proven hit-maker Shane McAnally, both of whom call Nashville home. Now whether this is the precursor to a change in the way things are run out east or not remains to be seen. What it does show us back here in TX/OK is that there just may be a glimmer of hope for Nashville. And at the very least do not write everything off that comes out of Nashville. You may just miss a gem like this one if you do.






Jul 18, 2013

That's The Sh!t Thursday- Erick Willis

This week's That's The Sh!t Thursday brings you a song from Erick Willis. This little tune here is called "Raised on Red Dirt" and is on his 2013 release titled EP Spring '13.

If you like what you hear go check out his website and his Facebook pages for more info. He is about to get back in the studio and bring to life his first full length album and he has a Kickstarter campaign that kicked off today.

There is very little new talent on the Texas music scene that has the caliber of song writing and vocal talent that this guy possesses. I for one am damned excited to see a full album. You can chip in here KICKSTARTER                 


Erick Willis Facebook  Twitter  Website

Jul 9, 2013

Cole Porter Band - Devil By The Tail Album Review



The new CD  Devil By The Tail is set for release this month.  Recently I had the opportunity to get a first listen to this Mike McClure produced record.  This band might not be from Oklahoma or Texas but they easily fit in to our music landscape.  The band consists of front man Cole Porter, Harmony Vocals Kendra Edmonds, Lead guitarist Derek Compton, Bassist Chris Heifner, and Drummer Jamison Case. Devil By The Tail is a really well done disk start to finish.  What a like about this disk is that nothing feels forced from the lyrics, to the harmonies, to the guitar licks that caught my attention. Mike McClure as a producer does what he does best by capturing lightening in a bottle with each track.  One of my favorite tracks is the title track which shows a very rocking side of the band with stellar guitar work from Derek Compton and harmonies from Cole and Kendra.   The trailer song offers us a chance to hear more from Kendra who you could easily mistake as a Pistol Annie member when you hear her.  It has a conversational element between the two that almost anyone who has been in a long term relationship can relate to.  A Chapter , is definitely a catchy tune that I think could do well on radio.  It is a well crafted song about love, heartbreak, and holding on to faith.  Other standout tracks are I-44, Fly With Me, and Back's Against The Wall. The band has been making a name for themselves in their home state of Missouri but they are coming to Oklahoma quite a bit.  I would like to see them come to Texas soon.  The CD will be officially released at their July 19th show Cartoon's Oyster Bar in Missouri, however the band is playing at the Wormy Dog Saloon on Friday.  I highly recommend you download Devil By The Tail on ITunes. I don't have an exact release for the ITunes but we will let you know as soon I find out. Also be on the look out to see them in Oklahoma in the fall. They have string of dates in the area around September and October including College Days in Stillwater.

 
 
 
 

Jul 7, 2013

OPEN YOUR EARS TO THE TEAR STAINED EYE

Scour the internet. Scroll through hours of social media posts. Google search "bands that sound like"... These are things I do for hours at a time, day after day, to find great new music. Sometimes I come up with nothing. Sometimes I get lucky. Sometimes a band comes to me and makes it easy.  Finds like the one I will tell you about here make it all worth the hunt. Today I bring you an Oklahoma band soon to be demanding your attention. Once you get a listen to what the Tear Stained Eye have put together on their new self titled debut EP, they will have it.

As albums go, you really can't miss when you have the red dirt icon Mike McClure behind the scenes pushing the buttons and it shows with this solid effort from the western Oklahoma band. The guys seem to have a pretty deep understanding of the spirit of Oklahoma's storied red dirt music and it shines through here. The tracks "Backroads to Heaven" and "Dust and Tumbleweeds" would fit right in against any of your favorite Great Divide tunes. The track "Heartworn Highway" is a catchy well crafted tune that is as close to radio ready as you can get and should be a solid radio single.

The guys have been honing their craft and defining their stage presence in some of the best venues Oklahoma has to offer. Efforts that resulted in a recent win in the local portion of the Texaco Country Showdown and they will now go on to compete at the state level. Not bad for a band that has only been together in it's current form since late 2012. With members Bill Crane (vocals-rhythm guitar), Chase Evans (lead guitar), Andy Cox (bass) and Travis McKinzie (drums) the Tear Stained Eye stand poised and ready to take the scene by storm. First you... Then Oklahoma... And then???





for more on the band click here or here

Jun 18, 2013

Slaid Cleaves - Still Fighting the War

Today is new music Tuesday and one album in particular has really gotten my attention today. The new Slaid Cleaves release Still Fighting the War is out now and should be at the top of your must haves list.

With a masterful grip on lyrical intricacies, Cleaves has put together more a work of art than an album. The title song on the album is a very real take on a soldier dealing with life after war and shows a side of things not many are familiar or comfortable with.



The tracks "Rust Belt Fields" and "Welding Burns" tell the working man's tale of hard work and struggle and blistered hands with such conviction that you can't help but feel the dreariness experienced by these down trodden heroes.

Every song on this album pulls emotion from the listener like a great record should. Whether it be lost love, in love, mourning or life's journey, you feel exactly what Slaid is singing about on every track. Take a listen and try not to relate or feel for the characters in these stories in song.

For more on Slaid Cleaves go here --->http://slaidcleaves.com/




Jun 11, 2013

May the Circle be Unbroken

Monday night, May 20th,  in the midst of our central Oklahoma community grasping with the reality of what happened in Moore, I traversed to Norman for what was supposed to be an interview with those Damn Quail boys for a regional internet radio station. Unfortunately, plans fell apart due to unforeseen circumstances, but what transpired that night at the Deli was even more amazing than any first interview with a band.


The Quail’s weekly Monday night gig at The Deli in Norman has been going on for a couple of years now. It is where the band came together into the 6-8 member miracle of which we can’t get enough. The Deli is well known for incubating amazing talent, and has been doing so since local music legend Bob Moore started bringing in live music seven nights a week back in 1988. If you can sing along to Oklahoma Breakdown, in my opinion you can indirectly thank the Deli, where Mike Hosty, writer of that song has been a fixture for years.


This particular Monday, while the band was just beginning to set up, there was a  heaviness in the air due less to the infamous Deli funk and more to people trying to wrap their minds around what had just happened in Moore, swapping stories of what they saw and heard on the news, and of their own personal reactions. The Deli family was eager and relieved to hear that absent band member Gabe Marshall’s family was safe and the usual hugs that I see exchanged between old friends seemed a bit more meaningful this time.


After some chit chat at the bar with Bryon White and sax man Stephen Baker, who has himself been a regular at the Deli since 1992, I was reminded of what sets the Oklahoma music scene apart. Too often I am critical of what often feels like a lack of support for our artists here by venues, radio and fans. Regularly we hear comparisons of the Texas scene to the Oklahoma scene and we banter back and forth in frustration at what can be done to “fix” the problem. This topic was even one of my questions for the interview. Last night it occurred to me that yes, Texas has radio and venues and charts, but Oklahoma has something far more valuable; it has an interwoven, familial bond among all people in the scene. The Oklahoma music scene has a living, breathing, beating heart.


Through the course of the next three hours, what unfolded, while fairly typical at the Deli on any given night, is no less amazing each time it happens, and even more so given the tragic events of the night. Someone speculated aloud about what the turnout would be like, noting it could go either way. It went right. When the guys first started playing there were about 15 people in the bar, typical for the start of their set on Monday nights. It fills up gradually and after a few songs most of the regulars are there. This night was no different and the crowd even seemed a bit more dense than I have seen it in the past. It always amazes me the diversity that you see at the Deli for a Quail show. The Deli is on Campus Corner at OU, but you will see people aged 21 to over 60 hanging out until two in the morning simply to hear the music.


A few songs into the set, Bryon breaks out John Fullbright’s “Moving,” and through the window I see John walk up from out of view, carrying an armful of things to contribute to a collection the band is doing for the tornado victims. Ironic timing that any manager would have loved to have orchestrated. From that moment the musical blessings kept pouring out. The crowd kept growing, items for donation kept arriving, and the best version of musical chairs ensued.


Eventually Bryon beckons Bob Moore up to the stage and hands off his guitar. Moore starts with a great little swing number and after a couple of more tunes finishes up with one about Oklahoma marijuana legalization. Bob really requires an piece all his own, but he is a beloved fixture and father of music at the Deli and the entire crowd sings along to each song.


John Fullbright then takes Jon Knudson’s place at the keys, while Knudson moves over to fiddle and various other of his 15 instrument arsenal. He joined in on some Quail songs, then did his own “Jericho” to the delight of the crowd. No one is overly surprised or or overly excited about Fullbright playing. He is simply family and they are simply glad to see him, but never so simple as to take it for granted.


During this Deli version of musical chairs, Kierston White, Bryon’s sister, hops up next to Biggie for some background vocals and hangs out for a few songs. She is an amazing musician and songwriter on her own and brings the well known vocal depth that only sibling harmonies can produce.


The musician swap continued on when Kyle Reid took over lead and roused the crowd with a some great high energy music. He went into an appropriately moving rendition of  “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” the song from where his band draws its name. It was my first time to actually see him live; it won’t be my last.

Three amazing “extra” musicians on the Quails regular Monday night gig? No. Three incredibly talented family members, joining in the unbreakable circle of the Oklahoma Music Scene. May the circle be unbroken.

Jun 6, 2013

That's The Sh!t Thursday - Thieving Birds Gold Coast

One of my new favorite bands to make an emergence into the Texas music scene recently is The Thieving Bands. Their self titled 2011 album is still a staple on my playlist and seeing them live sealed the deal. These guys have amazing talent, great songs and awesome live shows.

They have been giving out a sneak peek at their new album  Gold Coast that comes out July 2nd. Make sure you check out the songs below from that album and go catch a show. For more on the band go here



Jun 4, 2013

Man, I really like Corn.

Ever had a real life version of don't judge a book by it's cover? I will admit that I had one recently courtesy of Charla Corn. Now I will confess that I hadn't heard more than a couple songs from Charla before this weekend's show, and while it wasn't exactly my kind of music it wasn't bad. To be honest, coming in to that show Saturday night, I had no idea what to expect from that big ol' smile and all that blonde... I will tell you now that I left impressed.

Charla has a dang good voice, that I knew already from the songs I had heard on the radio. What impressed me was her stage presence and showmanship. I have seen a lot of shows, and nothing bugs me more than an artist to just stand on stage, sing a song and strum along. Charla had tons of energy and seemed to thoroughly enjoy doing what she does on stage. Her original songs are well written and very catchy tunes. She also pulled in a couple of cover songs that proved she has a pretty decent musical pallet herself when she did songs by Chris Knight and John Prine.

The only thing I regret about that night is not knowing more of her music before the show. That is my bad, and something that has since been remedied. Her album Stella is a solid release with some great tunes. It is also now in my collection and will likely be getting a good amount of spins.

These are the things I love about music. Finding good music where I may not have expected it. Give stuff outside of your comfort zone a listen every now and then, you may just find your next favorite band. Check out Charla on her Facebook page here or her website here




May 29, 2013

CMT Coming to Texas?

CMT is starting to focus more and more on Texas and Oklahoma music these days. While they may not be playing a ton of videos on air, they do feature video premiers online at cmt.com and several TX/OK artists have filmed segments for what I can only assume is a new CMT show that may feature TX/OK bands.

It remains to be seen whether it will be a long term flirtation with bringing our beloved music to a more national audience but as they say in the biz "any press is good press" right? Hopefully the attention being brought to the TX/OK music scene will bring attention to the amazing amount of talent from the folks out here west of Nashville.

Here is a look at the latest Texas addition to the CMT library. Casey Donahew band's new video for their song "Whiskey Baby."




May 28, 2013

Will Arrington - Miles Left To Go CD Review




There seems to be a crop of young talent that is coming up in the ranks of the Texas/Red dirt music scene. The music is getting better. It's smarter, less about comparing how country they are but more about imagery and allowing the listener to gather their own ideas about the song.  One of the names that should be remembered is Will Arrington.  He recently released his new cd Miles Left To Go.  Recorded at Cheatham Street Woodshed Studio, this cd comes with strong writing and great production.  Will and his band have been regulars on Cheatham Street Warehouse's Tuesday night showcase.  Tuesday nights are famous nights in the history of Texas music at least at Cheatham Street.  Stevie Ray Vaughn and Randy Rogers got their starts there on those nights.  To listen to Miles Left To Go it comes out strong straight out of the gate with the lead track Coming Back Around.  It pulls no punches quickly moving into the next song Final Stand.  Other standouts on this cd are Just Another, Rain, Stay With Me Tonight, and My Old Friends.  To check out where you can see Will Arrington click here.  I really do think this is an artist that has potential to be something big. 



May 22, 2013

It's gonna be ok in Moore ,OK

One of the things that I love about the state of Oklahoma, is the people. In the wake of the devastation following tornadoes that ravaged the state on Sunday and Monday the outpouring of support for the communties and people that have lost so much. Numerous benefits have been organized to raise funds and donations, events already planned turned into benefits to help out, and supply runs started Monday night and are ongoing now. Musician and resident Okie Bo Phillips and Kylie Rae Harris have joined up with the folks from the Arbuckle Ballroom in Davis, OK to put on a huge benefit show that has dozens of Oklahoma and Texas bands/musicians joining the effort. A current line up includes:
- The Great Divide
- Rich O'Toole
- Mike Ryan
- No Justice
- The Damn Quails
- Red Dirt Rangers
- Phil Hamilton
- William Clark Green
- Chad Sullins and LLC
- Six Market Blvd
and many many more bands with more joining by the minute.

For info on the show go to Bo Phillips Band or The Arbuckle Ballroom facebook pages. Tickets are on sale now at this link. As always you can donate to any reputable charity organization to assist in relief efforts.

May 16, 2013

That's the Sh!t Thursday- Chad Sullins & the Last Call Coalition "Only Girl"

On the off chance that you have been under a rock somewhere and missed the release of Sullins and LCC's album Incommunicado last year you have a chance to redeem yourself a little here. They made it official this week that they are finally releasing "Only Girl" as the second single off of the album. The previous release had modest success on the Texas music charts hitting somewhere in the #60's range with little more than a grass roots campaign and word of mouth from their fans. I have already seen the buzz on Twitter and Facebook and there is no doubt the forces are joining together to push the single "Only Girl" even higher. So grab your girl because as Chad says "this song is couple's skate only..."


May 9, 2013

That's The Sh!t Thursday - Whiskey Myers

Unless I missed it, I haven't seen much talk about the release of the Whiskey Myers video for their song "Virginia." Either way, if I just missed it or it slid in under the radar, you have to see it. This is by far my favorite song on their latest album Firewater. See it here.


Check out more on Whiskey Myers here