Mar 28, 2013

That's The Sh!t Thursday- Will Hoge

I have been a fan of Will Hoge for years. His music is honest and truthful and he can weave a story like no other. In fact, Will penned the Eli Young #1 hit song "Even If It Breaks Your Heart." His voice is unique but not gimmicky and I love the passion and energy he pours into his live shows.

Will put out an album titled Modern American Protest Music last year that has been in frequent rotation for me since the day it came out. One of my absolute favorites on that album and tops on the list of my faves from Will is the song "Jesus Came To Tennessee." Here is a live version. Hope you enjoy!



for more on Will go here

Mar 26, 2013

5Q2 (five quick questions) How Honest Are ya?

So, in the spirit of being fun and a little different RDBC is going to start a new feature. 5 Quick Questions (5Q2 for short). We will ask a series of 5 random questions to an artist that they may not ever be asked in an interview. I have a list that we are going to start with but wanted to see what questions you would ask if you had the chance. We may even use your questions in the future. So send in your questions or if you happen to be in a band and want to play along email me at reddirtbluecollar@gmail.com

Mar 14, 2013

That's The Sh!t Thursday - Eagle Eye Williamson

So, I went to a show one time and on the stage was a guitar and half of a drum set (kick drum, snare and a high hat). I had no idea that what was about to take place on that stage would be one of the absolute coolest things I had ever seen on a stage,

One man walked out. Sat at the drum set, picked up the guitar and said "I'm Eagle eye Williamson, and I'm gonna play a few songs."

An hour later I was still entranced by the soulful bluesy tones that one man was able to create. Nothing I can verbalize here will do justice to what I saw and heard that night. It truly is a must see thing.


Go check out his website and youtube the shit out of the videos he has out there. I promise you will be a fan. He just finished a new album that should be available soon and I have already placed my order. You should too.

check him out here

Mar 10, 2013

It's Our Birthday!

Today we renewed the RDBC website for the first time. That makes it officially one year that we have been online. There have been ups and down and some learning along the way. Hopefully we are better than when we started, because we know there is still a lot to learn. So many opportunities have opened up and there are big things coming in the future. Thank you to everyone who has followed along and shown your support over this first year. A special thanks to the new members who have come on board recently and made it possible for me to explore other avenues for RDBC and promoting the amazing music that motivates us all.

Brandon

Mar 7, 2013

That's The Sh!t Thursday- The Red Dirt Rangers

This week's TTST is going to be a little different. These guys here are celebrating 25 years together as a band this year. That in itself is the shit. But they also happen to be one of the earliest members of the Red Dirt music movement. The Red Dirt Rangers have been a part of the scene since before some of the current members were even born. That kind of staying power and ability to stay relevant is nothing short of amazing.

I was honored to sit and talk with RDR John Cooper last night was inspired by his passion and love for the Red Dirt scene. He firmly believes that the music The Rangers will put out this year will be the best they have done as a band. That really says a lot looking back at their history and influence on a whole generation of Oklahoma musicians.

 I will be doing a feature on the band soon to detail all of the things they have going on in the next few months. They will be kicking it off by playing a show March 8th at Willie's in Stillwater, OK where it all began. But in the mean time enjoy the music here.

check them out here





Mar 5, 2013

"Raise My Glass" Album Review


I'm choosing to blog today about an album that I can not stop listening to lately.  "Raise My Glass" is the latest CD from Micky And The Motorcars, released August 9, 2011.  "Raise My Glass" is an exquisite collection of songs that range from rollicking rockers to subtle ballads.  The songwriting on this album is superb, lead vocalist Micky Braun's voice wrapping around the lyrics like light rain falling in the Springtime.

For those of you not familiar with MMC, the band is comprised of Micky Braun (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Gary Braun (harmony and lead vocals, guitars, mandolin, harmonica), Dustin Schafer (lead guitar), Shane Vennerson (drums, percussion), and Joe Fladger (bass).  MMC is neither country nor rock, but an excellent combination of Red Dirt, Americana, and Texas music with a blend of both country and rock sounds.  Personally, I think they are more country than 90% of the "country" artists on mainstream radio and a Hell of a lot better than anything played on your local station unless you're lucky enough to live in Oklahoma or Texas.

The album kicks off with the title track.  This song flows like a fine wine and as the title suggests, "...I raise my glass to every mistake...I raise my glass every time..."  It isn't a happy song but it's the sad songs that make me the happiest.  There's something about hearing heartbreak in the singer's voice that evokes such emotion.  This song is a standout on the album.



"Far From You" is a sumptuous shuffle about not wanting to leave a lover's side that builds to a beautiful ending.  What amazes me about these songs is that they're not your typical love, leaving, drinking tunes we normally hear (as in mainstream radio).  The lyrics are far more superior and the instruments much more subdued, they do not rule the songs; more so just accompany the singer in the journey of the song.

"Longer Walk In The Rain" is a raw ode to stumbling home drunk and a relationship crumbling.  It doesn't cover any new ground but I love the way it paints a picture of the heartbreak and the character knowing that there's a storm coming.

My favorite song on this collection is "Never Been Out West."  Written by brothers Micky and Willy Braun (of Reckless Kelly), it's a lovely tune crafted about the call of the West.  "Well they say that the mountains touch the sky...far away out west of the Great Divide...and there's fertile fields and valleys down below...and I'm telling you brother we'd be fools not to go..."  The arrangements, the lyrics, this is the perfect song about dreams, longing, and despair.

A little gem is "Big Casino."  Perhaps it's because we don't get to hear Gary Braun's voice very often in lead vocals, a rare treat.  An uptempo song about gambling, bad women, and "...this miserable city of sin..." It rocks with a fantastic drum beat backing Gary's strong vocals, the kind of song you sing to at the top of your lungs with the windows rolled down.

"Odessa Snow" is a fine ballad about being drunk before noon, snow closing the roads, and a "frozen oil rig town."  The song may be about Odessa, Texas, but it very well could be Casper, Wyoming, in regards to the subject matter.  Whatever the location, it's another outstanding track from "Raise My Glass."

The album closes with "St. Lucy's Eyes," a dark, moody song that reminds me of "Hotel California."  I try to refrain from comparing the two songs but it's more of a similarity.  The two definitely do not sound the same musically.  "...Shaking off a nervous dream trying not to think of anything...I'm giving everything I've got just to scare the demons off..."  A delicious song enveloped in mystery and darkness.

If you have never heard Micky And The Motorcars, go do yourself a favor and buy this album, as well as any of their other fine releases.  Check out their website www.mickyandthemotorcars.com for all the info.  I think there are more great things to come from this band.  I just so happen to have my tickets for an upcoming MMC show, really looking forward to seeing them live.

Mar 4, 2013

Lincoln Durham - Ballad of a Prodigal Son

By:Lauren Gonzalez

 
 Lincoln Durham released this video the other day for his upcoming second cd. I remember the first time I heard his music on KNBT(92.1 out of New Braunfels, just in case you aren't aware of it).  It was different from anything I had heard before.  It wasn't like anything I typically listened to, I almost felt too uncool to even be listening to him.  It was entrancing.  His voice, the instruments, and lyrics just seemed to all go together.  When I saw videos of him playing I was shocked by the character he was.  His artsy look fits with the songs he sings.  As much as everyone was talking about him in the music scene I was reluctant to hear his first release.  It is a really weird thing I do...mostly because I like to think I have good music taste and feel like I am sheep following others if I listen or buy into all the descriptive glossy words they throw around in reviews and stories on a band or artist.  When I finally sat down and listened to The Shovel Vs. The Howling Bones I was shocked at the intricacy of the lyrics and the simple but well done production of it all.   With the preview of the video for Prodigal son it doesn't seem like that dark gritty side of him is going anywhere, anytime soon.  There are a few releases I am looking forward to in 2013.  This is one of them.  If you haven't already checked out Lincoln Durham, feel free to jump on the late band wagon I jumped on. To check out where you can see him next click here.  I will be honest this is one of the shows I am annoyed I haven't seen live yet.  My schedule just hasn't worked out.  I am hoping in 2013 that will change.  It is still early in the year, hopefully I will get to catch his show soon. 
 
 
 
 
 

Mar 3, 2013

New Contributor

I would like to introduce myself as a new contributor to the Red Dirt - Blue Collar site. Brandon has been looking for new people to write for the site and I thought it would be a great way to introduce more people to the genre and hone my writing skills.

My name is Kelli and I grew up in Michigan and am currently residing in Casper, Wyoming. Not exactly a hotbed of Red Dirt music but nonetheless, I have a passion for this amazing music. My first introduction that I can remember to alt-country was Steve Earle in 1986. I thought his sound was so different and cool, not like most of the country coming out of Nashville. I have always loved country music, grew up obsessed with it, and thanks to the internet, I now have heard of artists I may never have otherwise due to having lived in only the North.



I have been to numerous concerts over the years, mainly at County fairs and events centers, having yet to experience a show at a Texas venue. However, last year, I was able to see Reckless Kelly and Steve Earle in concert for the first time. This year, there's a Micky & The Motorcars show coming up soon in Colorado and I plan on attending my first Braun Brothers Reunion in Challis, Idaho. You can bet I'll be blogging about these! I'm also visiting Austin for the very first time in the Spring, so I hope to have a lot to share with you about the Live Music Capital Of The World.



My favorite artists are Reckless Kelly, Micky & The Motorcars, The Departed (2 of the current members were founders of Cross Canadian Ragweed), Josh Abbott Band, Steve Earle, Radney Foster, and Jack Ingram to name a few. Outside of the alt-country realm, I dig Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, George Strait, Pistol Annies, Eli Young Band, and everyone from Martina McBride to Kid Rock. I also love much of the 80's and 90's country; after that, it started moving more in the pop direction and getting bland until I rediscovered the wonderful world of Texas/Americana/Red Dirt/Roots Rock music.



Besides being obsessed with music, I also enjoy hiking, biking, traveling, horseback riding, rodeos, reading, exercising, and spending time with my family, friends, and dog. I recently started a personal blog, over at www.gypsysoule.blogspot.com.

I look forward to blogging for Red Dirt - Blue Collar and sharing my passion for music with all of you!

Mar 1, 2013

Lonestar Music Awards - Cast Your Vote Today!

By Lauren Gonzalez

Voting begins today for the Lonestar Music Awards.  I decided to show you my choices.    Yay for you! The awards are going to take place at the Texas Music Theater in San Marcos on April 28th.  I am hoping to be in attendance but we'll see how it goes.  So here we go.  To cast your on vote go to Lonestar Music Award Ballot.  Happy voting!

 
 
The nominees for the 2013 Lone Star Music Awards are.....
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The Departed - Adventus *Lauren's Pick*
Jason Eady - AM Country Heaven
John Fullbright - From The Ground Up
Ray Wylie Hubbard - The Grifter's Hymnal
Rob Baird - I Swear It's The Truth
Turnpike Troubadours - Goodbye Normal Street
Uncle Lucius - And You Are Me
 
That was a tough one to choose but I think I dig the bluesy guitar solos on Adventus.  Turnpike was a close second for me in this category.
 
ALBUM OF THE YEAR - COUNTRY 
Aaron Watson - Real Good Time
Corb Lund - Cabin Fever
Eleven Hundred Springs - Midway
Jason Eady - AM Country Heaven *Lauren's Pick*
Josh Abbott Band - Small Town Family Dream
Roger Creager - Surrender 
Wade Bowen - The Given - This should have been nominated in the regular album of the year category...Just saying.
 
It didn't get any better than that release.  I loved the Duet with Patty Loveless. Long live the old fart music!
ALBUM OF THE YEAR - AMERICANA/ROOTS 
American Aquarium - Burn. Flicker. Die.
The Departed - Adventus 
Dirty River Boys - Science Of Flight
Lincoln Durham - The Shovel Vs. The Howling Bones *Lauren's Pick*
Shovels & Rope - O' Be Joyful 
Turnpike Troubadours - Goodbye Normal Street
Uncle Lucius - And You Are Me
 
American Aquarium is really awesome and I can't wait to see them later this month.  I have heard their cd's and they are solid well put together packages.  The gritty rawness of Lincoln Durham's songs  and voice are too good not to win.
 
ALBUM OF THE YEAR - SINGER-SONGWRITER/FOLK 
Chris Knight - Little Victories 
John Fullbright - From The Ground Up
Ray Wylie Hubbard - The Grifter's Hymnal 
Sean McConnell - Midland
The Trishas - High, Wide & Handsome *Lauren's Pick*
Todd Snider - Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
Walt Wilkins - Plenty
 
This was the toughest category for me.  All of these people listed above I think highly of.  The Trisha's album though hasn't gotten old for me. Sorry boys but the girls take this award!
 
SONG OF THE YEAR
The Departed - "Prayer For The Lonely"
Jason Eady - "AM Country Heaven"
John Fullbright - "Gawd Above"
Lincoln Durham - "Clementine" *Lauren's Pick*
Ray Wylie Hubbard - "Mother Blues"
Rob Baird - "Dreams & Gasoline"
Turnpike Troubadours - "Good Lord Lorrie"
 
Man this one was tough too.  Once again I go back to the grit in Lincoln's voice singing this song.

 
LIVE ACT OF THE YEAR
 Cody Johnson Band
The Damn Quails
The Departed 
Dirty River Boys *Lauren's Pick*
Robert Earl Keen
Turnpike Troubadours 
Uncle Lucius
 
I am going with the river boys.  They put on a bad ass show. 
 
BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE - MALE
 Evan Felker - Goodbye Normal Street
Jason Eady - AM Country Heaven 
Kevin Galloway - And You Are Me
Rob Baird - I Swear It's The Truth
Sean McConnell - Midland
Seth James - Adventus*Lauren's Pick*
Wade Bowen - The Given
 
 
I just love Seth's voice...what else can I say.
 
BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE - FEMALE
 Audra Mae - Audra Mae & The Almighty Sound
Cary Ann Hearst - O' Be Joyful
Dana Falconberry - Leelanau
Elizabeth Cook - Gospel Plow
Ruthie Foster - Let It Burn
Shellee Coley - Where It Began
The Trishas - High, Wide & Handsome *Lauren's Pick*
 
The harmonies on that cd and live put them at the top on this category. 
 
EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR
 John Fullbright 
Jordan Minor 
K. Phillips
Rob Baird *Lauren's Pick
Six Market Blvd.
The Trishas 
Tyler & The Tribe
 
I really like his stuff.  Truthfully I like all these guys and gals but I have had Let Me Down Easy by Rob in my head all afternoon.  That made the decision.
 
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
 Evan Felker 
John Fullbright
Kevin Galloway
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Sean McConnell
Todd Snider
Walt Wilkins *Lauren's Pick*
 
 
Hard to choose but I am such a fan of Walt's. 
 
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
Cody Canada - The Departed
Corby Schaub
Gary Clark Jr.
John Fullbright
Jon Grossman - Uncle Lucius
Ryan Engleman - Turnpike Troubadours 
Seth James - The Departed *Lauren's Pick*
 
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Adam Odor - Adventus*Lauren's Pick*
Jason Isbell - Burn. Flicker. Die
Justin Pollard - Dandelion, Songs We Wish We'd Written II
Kevin Welch - What The Hell Is Going On?
Lloyd Maines - Surrender, Art Of Removing Wallpaper 2012
Ray Wylie Hubbard & George Reiff - Grifter's Hymnal, The Shovel Vs. The Howling Bones
Wes Sharon - From The Ground Up, Goodbye Normal Street
 
ALBUM ARTWORK OF THE YEAR
American Aquarium - Burn. Flicker. Die.
The Departed - Adventus 
The Flatlanders - Odessa Tapes
John Fullbright - From The Ground Up
Lincoln Durham - The Shovel Vs. The Howling Bones *Lauren's Pick*
Paul Thorn - What The Hell Is Going On?
Todd Snider - Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
 
FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR
Big Fest - San Marcos, TX
Greenfest - New Braunfels, TX 
KNBT Americana Jam - New Braunfels, TX 
Larry Joe Taylor Fest - Stephenville, TX 
Lone Star Jam - Austin, TX 
MusicFest - Steamboat Springs, CO
Old Settler's -Driftwood, TX 
 
MUSIC VENUE OF THE YEAR
Billy's Ice - New Braunfels, TX*Lauren's Pick* 
Cain's Ballroom - Tulsa, OK
Cheatham Street Warehouse - San Marcos, TX 
John T. Floore's Country Store - Helotes, TX 
Gruene Hall - New Braunfels, TX 
Luckenbach Dancehall - Luckenbach, TX 
Texas Music Theater - San Marcos, TX 
 
All of these venues have their own special charm but I have to go with Billy's on this category.  Always great up and coming acts there.  Always great quality music!
 
So what do you think? Agree or Disagree?

Help Make The Next Great Texas Country Album

One of the best albums in recent Texas music history was put out last year by Jason Eady. His AM Country Heaven album was a great success and made an appearance on nearly every Best of 2012 list last year. Well, Jason is ready to get back into the studio and looking to his fans to help make his next album.

I'm sure by now most all of you have seen the kickstarter campaigns being used by a lot of bands today to finance new albums. To me this is a great concept. It gives the artist the chance to do their music their way, with total creative control. You get the music as true to the vision in their head as it can possibly be. Plus, it gives you a chance to have a hand in helping create the music you love.

Most of us will buy the album and maybe a t-shirt and a sticker at some point. At that rate you will have spent around $40. Why not give that to the artist now? Take the reward package that surely contains the items you would have purchased at a show. Be a part of the process and support the music you love at its roots.

You can chip in to Jason's kickstarter here- http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1831660685/jason-eady-full-length-album-daylight-and-dark

The New Kid In Town

Hi everyone!  As Brandon told you he was going to have new writers on this blog.  I wanted to introduce myself.   My name is Lauren and I will be one of the contributors to this site.  I live in San Antonio, TX. In the last decade I have been very lucky to see some truly wonderful and talented artists.  I spend a lot of time in venues through out San Antonio, New Braunfels, and San Marcos listening to songwriters and bands of all kinds of styles and ages.  I don't write about the people involved to have any part of their glory.  I really do mean that.  This music scene has gotten so big that is hard to see everyone and everything. That is where I come in to help. What I hope to do here, is share with you some new bands and maybe some old bands that are out there.  Music choices are ultimately up to the ear of the listener. So with that said, it is up to you to decide what you think is good.  When I find something that I think needs to be talked about I will share with you what I like and I why I am so passionate about sharing it with you.  I won't tell you the bands I don't like.  Why would I want to waste my time or your time on that?  So who do I listen to you may be asking?  (if you aren't I will tell you anyway)  I can be found listening to Cross Canadian Ragweed, The Great Divide, Chris Knight, Rodney Crowell, Radney Foster, Stoney Larue, Jason Eady, Adam Hood, Folk Family Revival, Whiskeytown, The Departed, Mike McClure Band, The Trisha's, Kevin Welch, Steve Earle.  As for newer maybe not so known artists, I am listening to James Pardo and The Underestimated, Roadside Libby, Southern Strangers, Courtney Patton, Captain Legendary Band, Forest Wayne Allen, Chris King, Copper and Glass and Will Owen Gage.   This is only a sampling of what I listen to.  If I named everything I would be here all night.  I also have a blog I started recently.  You can see what I have already been writing this year at www.hurricanehighway.blogspot.com. Thanks for reading. I look forward to sharing the world of this red dirt/Texas/Oklahoma music scene with you.