Jun 30, 2014

5Q2- 5 QUICK QUESTIONS WITH ZANE WILLIAMS

Zane Williams is one of those Texas music guys that I have been following for a while that is really starting to get the attention he deserves in the Texas music scene. His songwriting is top notch and he puts on a great live show, but when talking to the guy, he is also one of the most humble people I have met to date. But with guys like Cody Johnson and Pat Green on the list of people who have cut your songs, the guy must be doing something right.

Following the release of his album Overnight Success Zane is enjoying much success of his own these days. Each of his latest singles have charted well on the Texas Music charts and his current single "Hands of a Working Man" is currently sitting at #29 and climbing fast after only 3 weeks of radio play. You can take a listen to the newest single right here.



We recently got Zane to sit and answer our 5 Quick Questions and his answers are below. If you would like to see or learn more about Zane make sure you check out his website at http://zanewilliamsmusic.com/home

5Q2- Zane Williams


1. Would you rather have the power to be invisible or the power to read minds and why?

ZW: I'd rather be invisible.  I don't want to know people's uncensored thoughts...especially friends and family.  Yikes.  Being invisible would come in handy sometimes though.


2. When someone has bad breath do you tell them or try and ignore it?

ZW: I don't tell them because I don't want to offend them.  But I want them to tell ME, because I'm not offended by that and just want it fixed.

3. What’s something you keep telling yourself you’re going to do, but keep putting off?

ZW: Work out.  Eat right.  Practice guitar.  Return emails and phone calls.  It's amazing I ever get anything done.


4.You discover a crystal ball that can tell you the truth about ONE thing in your life– past, future, or present.  What would you want to know?

ZW: I don't want to know the future if I can't change it.  I'm comfortable in the present. There's no point in dredging up the past.  I think I would just sell that crystal ball on EBay and use the money to take my wife to Torchy's tacos.

5. List 5 things you want to do before you die.

ZW: 1.  Hold my grandbabies
2.  Play on the Grand Ole Opry
3.  Hear Garth Brooks record one of my songs
4.  See a gray-banded kingsnake in the wild
5.  Take my wife to Europe, just the two of us

Thanks to Zane for taking the time to answer a few ridiculous questions. Make sure you check out his latest album Overnight Success and request that newest single "Hands of a Working Man" at your local Texas country station.

WHISKEY MYERS- DOGWOOD OFFICIAL VIDEO

Whiskey Myers is back with another music video. This time it is the official music video for their single "Dogwood." I like what the Whiskey Myers gang does video wise. They will pop out a lyric or fan video and then do an official. In fact I posted an acoustic version of this song a couple of months ago. I am  going to include both here for you fans that, like me, appreciate seeing both the raw and finished versions of a song. Check them out below.

Acoustic


Official Video

Jun 25, 2014

The Ten Commandments of Being an Awesome Female Texas Artist - by Arwyn Benson of Calamity Janes

There are few things I love more than sharing great musical moments with other musicians... particularly musicians that I can relate to, who are real,  who draw me in, and who CREATE music. These moments are heaven-sent, rare, and the very reason that music is my first love. Being "relatable" as a female artist is essential and it goes hand-in-hand with being real- about yourself, about your music, and with other females. There is a lot of insecurity in this industry- particularly in the Estrogen Ocean. Gentlemen, I can’t speak for you. I don’t have the necessary amount of Caveman blood running through my veins…and also, I have an excessive amount of hair products, nail polish, lipstick and glitter around my house that simply won’t allow for it. For those of us with boobs though, this Ocean is RIPE with sharks who are hell-bent on eating us ALIVE for the SLIGHEST perceived indiscretion- and I mean SLIGHTEST.
Hair too big? *eyeroll*
Too much makeup? “FAKE!”
Not enough makeup? “OMG UGLY TROLL!”
Too Skinny? “Does she do drugs? I’ll bet she’s a coke head! EAT A STEAK AND A ROLL!!”
Not Skinny Enough? “GROSS! Why would you EVEN? STOP EATING!”
Heaven forbid we actually play MUSIC well, and say….. enter a competition, and WIN. That’s cause for a public march to the guillotine right there. There’s something about a grown ass woman standing in front of the stage slurring/screaming “You no talent bitches! YOU SUCK” after her son’s band loses to your band in a competition. That always turns me into something my daddy affectionately referred to as his “little redneck girl” and makes me want to break my hand-crafted Tony Lama’s off in said woman’s ass.
Then… there are GLORIOUS moments, like the one I got to partake in on stage last night with 5 other female artists, singing their asses off to songs they wrote, singing back up harmony to each other’s stuff and generally being awesome to one another that restore my faith in this scene… and also inspired me to get up this morning and start this blog series: The 10 Commandments of Being an Awesome Female Texas Artist. Today’s commandment is simple and universally applicable: Don’t Be An Asshole.
Just don’t.
Men- you have it EASY. Don’t believe me? Operate a curling iron without burning every finger on both hands and turning your head into a Chia-pet. Yeahhhh….. Still not convinced? Eyelash curlers and mascara application without poking your eye out. No? Not convinced enough? Periods, childbirth and breastfeeding (BOOM baby- ALL the most terrifying things about having funbags and a uterus in one statement!)
It’s tricky to be a woman in a man’s world. I know, I know! “That comment will set women back 150 years! Blasphemy! Draw and quarter! Tar and Feather! Lynch Mob!” Well, calm your tits. I have a point to make. Our bra-burning momma’s, Rosie the Riveter Grandma’s and Suffragette Great-Grandma’s put a great deal of effort into creating the more equal world we get to live in now. While it’s still a man’s world… or at least a man’s music scene… it’s DEFINITELY the other women in the music scene who can make or break another female artist. We can be real assholes to each other.
I’ve seen it happen to good people- good artists that I know personally, and ones I don’t know. Hell, it’s happened to us! All women are judgey, hypocritical, shallow, narcissistic, jealous, fickle and possessive. Women are moody little balls of unchecked hormones running around in nature, wreaking havoc and causing mayhem.  I don’t stand apart from that statement at all.  I’m often all of those things before I even leave the house. And it’s greatly exaggerated if I leave my house without having coffee first. I’m basically a fun-sized national security concern. I’m on cup #2 this morning, so I’m back down to only a Threat Level Blue (say what you will but I liked the color coded system).  But I digress.
Ladies, on any given day, we are all those things, with a sprinkle of sunshine, a manicure, cute shoes, a little lipstick and a dab of perfume. And we use those things to the detriment of others-particularly other women who we perceive as a threat to our Crown. Sounds DUMB right? It is. That’s all before the music even starts. We can be even MORE snarky (if that’s even POSSIBLE) once the music starts! Things I’ve heard from women in the audience while other women are performing:
 “LORD! Pitchy! Pitchy!”
“Someone lied to her!”
“I’ll bet she doesn’t write her own music!”
“She wiggles so much when she sings”
“I can’t stand her voice”
“I don’t like female country singers”
It’s mean right? That movie “Mean Girls” wasn’t too far removed from the catty nature of the music scene. And that’s just what’s coming from the audience. I’ve heard some pretty shitty comments come from female musicians too! But what for?
Music is the one thing I love above everything. It’s sacred. It’s holy. It’s the place I find myself when the entire world has gone crazy. The writing, the instruments, the creative force- music is the beginning and end for me. I’m not big on talking for extended amounts of time (contrary to the massive amount of words in this blog post), but you put me in a room with other musicians of the non-asshole variety, and our musical conversation- the one that happens when the instruments are playing, and we are singing with and for each other- will be nearly endless. That happened on stage last night at Girls Night Out at Love and War in Texas, Plano. 6 ladies and 2 gentlemen on stage, 6 guitars, two percussion instruments, voices with a story that needed to be heard. My favorite part of last night was the fact that we fan-girl-ed one another after pretty much every song. It was uplifting. It was refreshing. Every person on that stage humbled my musical soul. I was the LEAST talented person on stage last night and I LOVED it!! It challenged me. It grew me. It lit me UP! That’s what I live for!
These musical moments are REALLY why we subject ourselves to the harsh scrutiny, the often mean-spirited judgment, the smoky bars, the shitty comments from other musicians fans, the drunk dude standing at the foot of the stage yelling at you to “PLAY SOME COUNTRY MUSIC!” We practice for hours, trek hundreds of miles hauling equipment that is worth more than our vehicles often for less pay than a fast food worker gets to play for half-appreciative bar owners just to experience those few glorious moments on stage where nothing and no one else matters; for that one person in the bar that you’ve noticed from the stage, who has said nothing, but comes up to you after the show and quietly tells you they love your music; for the other people on stage with you; for the healing power that music has to restore a tired soul.
That’s really what’s missing from our music scene. Admiration. Respect. Appreciation of people and their craft. Yes, there are some jerks in this business. Those are the people I DON’T go support. Those are the people I don’t spend my hard earned money on. In all seriousness- being an asshole or allowing your fans to be assholes to other musicians- with boobs or without- isn’t okay, man. It just isn’t. We all fight the same battles. We all worry the same worries. We all struggle with writers block. We all have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and things to say. WE ARE THE SAME PEOPLE. So why, then, do we treat each other so poorly? I guess this is a basic human question too.
As we ramp up for our weekend of being road dogs and stage warriors, remember what we are doing, why we do it and who we are REALLY doing it for. Now, go make some music and don’t be an asshole.





Next blog in the series: Commandment #2: “Support… It Ain’t Just About Push- Up Bras ”

Jun 18, 2014

5Q2 -5 QUICK QUESTIONS- WITH ZACH COFFEY

Well, here we are. This will be the first installment of 5Q2 (5 Quick Questions) here on RDBC. The events that are about to take place here are mostly irrelevant but that is kinda the point. Every music blog & website seems to take things too seriously these days. Not here. What will follow is a string of the most random questions I could find in order to show a lighter side to some of your favorite artists.

Being a new feature, I wanted to make sure I chose a highly talented singer or musician who could use some exposure, and potentially waste their time with these 5 asinine questions. Zach Coffey agreed to be the guinea pig here  for some reason and did not disappoint. Zach is a fairly new guy to the scene but is seeing a tremendous amount of success with his single "I Love You Anyway." It is an incredible song that is currently sitting in the top 20 on both Texas music charts and climbing fast. Not a bad outing for a guy's debut single. The video for it is below.




Here is the 5Q2 and answers from Zach and the guys in his band.

1. Would you rather have the power to be invisible or the power to read minds and why? 
I'm sitting with my band at a brewery in New Mexico while I'm answering these questions, so you're getting a group input. We decided if we could read minds we would end up in too many fights. So, we all decided invisibility would be a better option for us. But, we don't think we can say why haha.

2. When someone has bad breath do you tell them or try and ignore it?
I ignore it. I'm a fairly nice guy, so I try to grin and bear it. Then I go talk about how bad their breath smelled. Like I said...nice guy.

3. What’s something you keep telling yourself you’re going to do, but keep putting off?
Model for Playgirl. Haha! We all decided we should lose a few LB's, but beer and Whataburger are just so good! You hear that Whataburger? Free taquitos?

4.You discover a crystal ball that can tell you the truth about ONE thing in your life– past, future, or present.  What would you want to know?
My bass player, Ian, said he would want to know what he is having for dinner haha. I don't know if I would want to know anything from a crystal ball. We are an independent artist (not completely by choice) and sometimes when we're sitting in a bad hotel room in a city we don't know anyone we want to know when it's going to "happen" for us. But, I also see us growing as a band, as writers, and as artists every day. So, I think I just want to enjoy the ride and look back at these nights with a fondness and appreciate what we have. Then we'll get on our bed and be thankful we aren't doing it anymore haha.

5. List 5 things you want to do before you die.
Scarlett Johansen, BeyoncĂ©....oh wait. (kidding) 
Here's a collective from us:
1. Dive the Great Barrier Reef
2. Go to space haha
3. Share a stage with our favorite artists
4. I want to go to every MLB stadium (I'm only at 8)
5. Honestly, and this is sappy, before I die, I want everyone I've met to be able to look at me and say "That was a good dude. He lived genuinely." There is a quote that I heard that I try and always remember at the end of the night after a long show. "Music is only as good as what's inside the person playing it".

Now that was fun. Better than I even expected. I think it's pretty cool to get a glimpse at these guys and see a side of an artist you might not usually see. That is what this feature will be all about.

Thanks for being such good sports about it guys. 

For more on Zach Coffey go HERE










Jun 11, 2014

EVIN BRADY - LONG WAY FROM HOME

 Some days there really seems to be an endless quantity of gifted singer/songwriters in Texas and Oklahoma. Just about the time I feel like I have found most of the notable guys out there, another comes along and proves me wrong. This weekend I had the good fortune to discover a gentleman named Evin Brady.

Evin is an Oklahoma guy that I had honestly not heard of before this past Sunday. He was part of a benefit in support of Chad Sullins & the Last Call Coalition and only sang 3 songs that night. But what I heard from him on Sunday night was enough to grab my ear and make me pay close attention. In a state that is filled to the brim with great country and red dirt musicians, Evin has found a sound all his own and does it well.

What I heard I can only describe as a kind of southern soul. Take a little red dirt- mix it up with some soul and r&b and spin that sound around some very well penned lyrics and you have Evin Brady. The video below is for his song "Long Way From Home" and it is one that I heard from him last Sunday. I was hooked before he was even half way through the song. Give a listen here and make sure you check him out at the links below. 




Evin Brady on Facebook here
Reverbnation  here

Jun 6, 2014

The Plight Of The Underdog - One Insider's View by Dillon Steen

Before I start this let me make it clear that I am in no way an artist, a musician, a singer, a songwriter... or anything that could even be remotely considered artistic. However I work with the folks every day and I work for them... so I see their struggles first hand.

In this business, the music business, the number one thing I see, that all of us are guilty of from time to time, is forgetting that it truly is a business.  Sure there are many out there that only play for fun... are not looking to be the next major headliner packing stadiums... but for most this is their way of life.  This is where we get into the business... the making money while also doing something you love.

While everyone starts out on bottom (well most everyone) being the underdog in this business is hard.  Buying merchandise is not cheap, putting out an album (sorry I am old enough to still call them albums) is not cheap, traveling to shows is not cheap, if you want on radio... putting out a single and hiring a promoter is not cheap, and those costs go on and on and on.... and that does not even begin to touch on the costs of equipment (the tools of the trade) and so many other things that come into play when you make music your way of life.

So does everyone start out on the same level playing field?  The answer is no. The old saying in any business is "it takes money to make money".  That holds very true in the music business.  Let me paint a picture so you can "see" what I am getting at here:  Artist A is a super talented artist, has a great band a great sound, writes awesome songs and scraped enough and saved enough to put a song out to radio and maybe hire a promoter... but that is all of the money... done. Artist B is average or ok when it comes to the talent, etc... but has investors and parents and money at their disposal any time to do all kinds of advertising, etc.  So who do you think you are going to hear on the radio first?  Now I am NOT saying this is true in all cases, nor am I saying it is the norm, but it happens... more than we would like to think or admit.

Here's another picture:  Artist A (the super one) got an offer to open a major show... problem is the show is 800 miles away, provides no rooms for the night, provides no equipment so he has to haul his own (the trailer) and it only pays $200 because it is an opening slot.  Artist B (the average one but the one with money at his disposal) gets the same offer.  Who do you think is going to be playing in that opening slot?  Again, NOT saying it is true in all cases because we know it isn't... but it happens.


Oh you want another scenario... ok...male vs. female....I don't do much booking these days since my company has expanded... but I have done it enough in the past and still do some to know this story all too well.  Female artist is superb, male artist is average... going for the same show... guess who is gonna get it most of the time?  Yep the male will.  This puzzled me for a long time until I finally had the cajones to ask a venue owner the reasoning... male singers draw the ladies to the bar...the men then follow the ladies of course... so male singer draws both men and women to the bar.  Female singer draws men to the bar... end of story. Yep, it's business folks and the venues are in business to make money... so there ya have it.  Again, not always...


Last example.... again back to radio for a second... dj has two brand new singles on his desk... one from Headline Artist A and one from Unknown Artist B.  Now don't get me wrong... I have nothing against the headliners and they have damn sure earned their place... but guess which song will get played almost without question and guess which song will have to wait although it may be just as good or better.  Again, not always...

So do you see who the Underdog here is?  Do you see how hard it is to be that underdog?  Everyone has to take time to rise to the top... everyone needs to pay their dues... I believe everyone needs to struggle just a little to appreciate what they have.  I am not saying I want anyone to be handed something they do not deserve.  I am not saying that I think those that are fortunate to have funds available to them should be looked down upon, pushed aside or anything like that.  I am not saying that those that do not have funds should be given an easier ride.  What I am saying is every one should feel like the playing field is just damn near level... we know it won't ever be all the way level... that's not reality... but close would be nice.


So ask yourself... what can I do?  Well... buy the music, go to the shows, buy a t-shirt... support the little guy/gal... don't complain about cover charges. Remember even if they don't happen to be your hometown star... they are somebody's star... even if you have never heard of them go to that show... you might be pleasantly surprised what is out there that you do not know about.  Next time you spend $150 on one concert ticket remember you could have gone to 15 concerts of one of the "underdogs" or one of the "little guys" and YOU could be part of making a whole big new star.  Ladies... go support your fellow women... go to the shows that are put on by the females in this business.... and guys follow them...and go support the males in this business too.  

Believe it or not most of the artists I know in this business treat each other as family... not separated by what sex they are... just family.  They don't separate themselves as "headliner" vs. "up and comer"... they treat each other as family. We the public, the listeners, the fans, etc... we do the separating... not them.

So let's all help them grow that family... and remember that all family members need to earn money in their business... and not have the plight of the underdog be so apparent everywhere. Some of the best music out there you may never hear or enjoy if we don't open our eyes and ears folks... the underdogs make damn pretty music too... let's give them that chance to bring it to us.