Jan 31, 2014


Shinyribs front-man Kevin Russell has been one of my favorite musicians for a
long while now. When I lived in Austin years ago I got to see him as a member of the Austin band The Gourds many times and was a huge fan from the first show. After a near 20 year run The Gourds announced a hiatus that has allowed Russell to focus more on what he has had as a side project for a few years in the band Shinyribs.

Shinyribs is pretty much the perfect embodiment of everything that I love about music. It is a group of guys that love music and have some of the most original and  most fun songs you will ever experience. Throw one hell of a live show packed with energy and Russell showing off the sweetest dance moves this side of Magic Mike and you have yourself more of a party than a concert. 

The second Shinyribs album Gulf Coast Museum was released last year and has been generating quite a bit of attention for the band down in south Texas. That album is so unique and encompasses a masterful blend of jazz/folk/rock/country stylings with just the right touch of ukulele to add the Kevin Russell funk to it. Add to that several stellar performances at this year's Musicfest in Steamboat Springs and things seem to be looking pretty good for these guys.

Check them out here ---> http://www.shinyribs.org/

Get the music here ---> Gulf Coast Museum

Jan 28, 2014


Today I thought I would give you guys a peak at an early version of one of the new songs on Chad Sullins and the Last Call Coalition's new album Wicked Spell that comes out next week Feb 4th. Not sure if they had a name for the song when they invaded a Guitar Center in Lubbock TX last year but it made the album as "Might Leave In The Fall." Check it out now and remember to get the album next Tuesday. You can use the link to the right to purchase it through Amazon.com or any other online retailer next

More news and tour dates at www.chadsullinslcc.com

Jan 24, 2014


This video came out a couple weeks ago and I missed it in my attempts to get
ready for Steamboat. It is a great new tune from Mike McClure. I know that he has been busy with a ton of people in his Boohatch Studio over in Ada, Oklahoma, does this mean there is another McClure Band album, maybe some new The Great Divide coming sometime soon. We will just have to wait and see. In the meantime, enjoy this little treat.

For more Mike McClure go here ---> http://www.mikemcclureband.com/

Jan 23, 2014

That's The Sh!t Thursday- Folk Family Revival

The most fun part of what I do here is getting to bring you stuff like this right here. The song today is from Folk Family Revival and was one of my favorites from their 2011 debut Unfolding. That entire album was very much an under appreciated work of art.

The guys are back in the studio right now and recording their sophomore effort due sometime this spring. In fact, they are still running a pledgemusic.com campaign to raise funds for the album. Find it and fund it here. You can hear more of their music on their soundcloud page here. Enjoy.

Find more on FFR here---> https://www.facebook.com/folkfamilyrevival

Jan 21, 2014

Couple 1000 Miles - New Single from Chad Sullins & the Last Call Coalition.

This song and video were released a couple weeks ago while I was at Musicfest
in Steamboat Springs. I kick myself for not posting it sooner, but it looks like people have had no problem finding it on their own. To date, in the 2 weeks that it has been released, the video has had over 10,000 views on youtube.  That is bad ass for the little band from Oklahoma. Check out the video here and check their website to find tour dates and info on the next album Wicked Spell due at the first week of February.

check them out here ---> www.chadsullinslcc.com

Jan 16, 2014

That's The Sh!t Thursday - Brandon Clark

The first RDBC That's The Shit Thursday this year is going to be setting the bar pretty high. As a fan of music, I love when an artist I have been following for a while puts out something that can catch me off guard. That is exactly what happened for me recently with Oklahoma musician Brandon Clark and his latest album titled Burn.

Released at the end of last year, Clark's album Burn is a collection of songs that refuses to be pigeonholed into any one genre. But seriously, screw labels... This thing is good.

For me, the stand out track on an album filled with amazing songs is a song titled "Skeletons." This song was written with fellow Okie and bad ass in his own right, John Moreland. It is a haunting but introspective tune reminding us all that we all have our skeletons to deal with.

Whether you are a fan of country, rock, soul searching ballads, or maybe even something a little punk, you can get a taste of it all here. Taking a step in a different direction and recording an album that was more a solo project than previous efforts Burn seems to bring to light some of the songs Clark has likely had hidden away that didn't quite fit his band's chemistry. One thing is for certain, Brandon has managed to pull together an eclectic mix of songs and blended them masterfully into a solid album well worth a listen. 

For more on Brandon Clark go ---> http://www.brandonclarkband.net/

Jan 10, 2014

My Musicfest 2014 Highlights

Musicfest 2014 in Steamboat Springs, CO is officially over. There were so many amazing artists and shows this year, the hardest part of this whole week was choosing which show to miss because there were just too many going down at the same time. I am just going to give you a quick rundown of the things that really made my Musicfest awesome this year.

Me & JP Long Gallywinter dude/ Lincoln Durham TM
Beyond the music, for me it was about meeting & hanging out with people that share my love of music. I finally got to meet some people I talk to on social media pretty often as well as some of the artists we have featured here on RDBC. I also got to meet and talk with one of my biggest inspirations in this crazy ongoing pursuit of mine. I am going to hit you with my highlights of this year's Musicfest. These are the things outside of the big names, playing in the big tent and the ballrooms. Some of the best music at Musicfest often gets missed because it's in the smaller venues.

Uncle Lucius... These guys continue to up the ante at Musicfest. During my first trip to Musicfest they killed it at every show they played and destroyed the crowd at the big tent with a kick in your teeth cover of Black Sabbath's War Pigs during the all-star jam. This year it was a much more simplified performance that created one of the most talked about shows of the week. Somewhere around song 4 of their performance in the big tent the power went out and they lost all of their sound equipment. Watch the video below to see what happened next.

Shinyribs... It's really hard to put a Shinyribs show into words. It really is more of an experience than a concert. Every show they had was so much fun. The unique style that they bring to the table brought a party to every stage they graced during Musicfest. Kevin Russell actually stepped off stage and lead a conga line through one of the shows while they were                                           playing.

Lincoln Durham... I have been following this guy for a while but had never got to see him live. I caught every show he had at Musicfest. Every year there is one artist that seems to generate a buzz amongst the festival goers. This year that was this guy. During one of his performances I saw several other artists not just at the show, but sitting in the floor right in front of the stage really watching and into his performance. Watch out for this guy, I promise you that he will be making                                          an impact this year.

Zac Wilkerson... The hidden gem of the Musicfest week is an everyday open mic that allows people attending the chance to get up and perform for us. It's a great way for artists not playing at the fest to showcase themselves for the crowd. One guy that made me take notice was Zac Wilkerson. This guy has a smooth and soulful but powerful voice that plays well with some great songwriting. I saw him twice at the open mic and as opener for a show with The Damn Quails this week. If he isn't at Musicfest                                             2015 as a festival artist, there is something broken                                               somewhere.

There were several other amazing performances this year and I'm not snubbing any of them by not mentioning them here. If I were to list everything that I loved about Musicfest 2014 I would be writing a novel and not a blog... That being said, Musicfest really is an incredible experience. I already pre-reserved my spot for next year so maybe I will see you there.

Shinyribs ---> http://www.shinyribs.org/

Lincoln Durham---> http://www.lincolndurham.com/

Zac Wilkerson ---> http://www.zacwilkersonmusic.com/

Jan 2, 2014

A small introduction and Willis Alan Ramsey

Howdy! And happy new year...

For those of you reading this, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Bob Simpson. I'm a Texas-based singer-songwriter with a passion for music, beer, donuts, and more music.

I’m a record collector with thousands of pieces in my library chocked full of everything from the 13th Floor Elevators to ZZ Top. I LOVE MUSIC! I love finding music I’ve never heard. It’s my bread and butter.

In the great state of Texas, we are blessed to be surrounded by the sounds we hear out of local venues, record shops, and sometimes radio. It’s unlike any other place. I spend hours of time (and money) seeking out and searching for bands and artists alike in and around Texas. Escaping the typical Kevin Fowlers and Josh Abbots is hard to do, but every now and again, I come across that one diamond in the rough. From those of our past, in the backyards of our present, and hearing the developing sounds of the future in practice spaces and bars, I cover it all to bring to you.

I’m a fan of music, first and a musician, secondly. I can’t say I know it all, but I try to learn all I can. I’ll be the first to admit - my radio dial sticks a little to the left.

Music is art. We are consistently influenced by it. It’s the soundtrack to our everyday lives. Perhaps the artists I bring to your attention can be part of that soundtrack.

Now on to the real article at hand...

An unmentionable Dallas based songwriter once said to me, “Those songs are so good, there’s no way he wrote them. Except for maybe “Muskrat Candlelight”. I think he stole those songs and murdered the guy who wrote them by throwing him into a meat grinder and then buried his remains someplace”.

Indeed “those songs” are good. So good that many artists such as America, Jimmy Buffett, and Jerry Jeff Walker made them recognizable. Even 70’s based pop group the Captain and Tenniel made one of his songs their own and went to number four on the pop charts with it.

Willis Alan Ramsey, the Birmingham born (then Dallas raised) songwriter who has had a cult following since his first and only record was released in 1972 on Leon Russell’s Shelter Recordings label, hasn’t had his proper due or joined the ranks amongst those of Texas’ more “familiar” songwriting caliber – that is unless you ask those in the caliber itself. He has been influential on a lot of newer Texas artists – William Clark Green, Josh Grider, and even the Texas Songwriter Hall of Famer Lyle Lovett who’s even had the delight to co-write with Willis and had him on a few tracks as guest vocalist on 1994’s I Love Everybody.

So if this guy is so good, how come I can’t find the album? 

Good question as the album has been out of print for more than 30 years and saw a small run of replication on CD in the 90’s at one point. In the digital age, where we can now buy our music online from retailers such as iTunes, it’s rare you can find the download of the album unless you’re into torrents or really do a hard search. Then for some of us with turntables who spend our time and hard earned money every weekend at record stores and thrift shops in search of gems like this, you’re lucky if you can find it. If you do, congratulations; you’re now the proud owner of a real piece of Texas music which is more than the frat kid who bought a copy of each Wade Bowen album at last night’s Wild West show can say.

Ramsey’s self-titled debut is the kind of record where there’s not one bad song on it. It’s a rarity in this day in age where an album has several great songs and the rest is filler leaving the listener disappointed and, well, broke. With its choice tracks, “The Ballad of Spider John”, “Muskrat Candlelight”, “Geraldine and the Honeybee”, “Satin Sheets”, “Angel Eyes”, and “Northeast Texas Women”, it’s a wonder why someone with such great material would only release one album. When asked when his second album is to be released, the only response you can get from him, “What’s wrong with the first one?”. But a second album has been a project in the works for several years now. The status is unknown as to when the project will be finished, but like many local Texas news outlets such as the Houston Chronicle who may report on how far along the project is or a release date, don’t hold your breath as he’s had his fans on our toes for awhile. 

Oh, so he’s still alive? Yes, he is still around, performing and you can catch him at Dosey Doe's in Conroe or Poor David’s Pub in Dallas or even in your own backyard (Yes, he will play your backyard).
He’s certainly left a legacy but it’ll take the average Texas music fiend to look past the trend of what it’s become to find it. If one is seeking out to find a true artist within the niche of Texas music without the facade, Willis Alan Ramsey is where it’s at. 

Here's Willis performing "Northeast Texas Women" at Poor David's Pub in Dallas.

Thanks For a Great Year

I just wanted to take time to jump on here and tell all of you thanks for supporting us this past year. We are now coming to the end of our second year and growing all the time. There are some great things in the works here at RDBC. We will be taking on a couple new staff writers, having guest writers and already have a couple of side projects in the planning stages now. Best wishes to you all for a great year ahead.