Nov 24, 2015

So Long for Now...

Things have been quiet around here for RDBC for a little bit, and this post from Galleywinter today sums up most of the reason why. When platforms like these guys say something about it, things are broken. Over the past few years, I devoted most of my free time and even some time I didn't have to give in support of RDBC and other forums that I contributed to. That being said, effective now, RDBC will be on an indefinite hiatus. Maybe someday we will see a return, but until then no matter what else you do, SUPPORT THE MUSIC! 






Sep 11, 2015

JBTRR with Shane Smith

by Dan Murphy aka the Tee Shirt Evangelist

Every artist takes a different path to the stage, some paths are a little different than others. Not many paths started on the tennis courts of St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas as was the path blazed by Shane Smith, front man for Shane Smith and the Saints. The band, composed of Shane Smith lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Chase Satterwhite bass and harmony, Bryan McGrath drums, Tim Allen lead guitar and Bennett Brown Fiddle, are an assembly of musicians that simply reek of talent. 


Prior to the release of their album Geronimo Shane sat down with me after a show at Austin’s historic Hill’s Cafe and spoke about the insane path this band has traveled.
 

What’s the first song you remember hearing?
I remember as a kid riding with my Dad and listening to a lot of old Motown, probably a song that stands out would be “Unchained Melody”. At the time doing anything with music was the farthest from my mind, it wasn’t until years later that I even pursued music.

What are you listening to lately?
It’s crazy if I’m in the car driving, I won’t even have the radio on. While touring if I’m driving during the middle of the night, it’ll be dead quiet. But when I am playing something it’s been Otis Redding.

What’s your favorite album by another artist?
Ryan Bingham “Mescalito”, I enjoy Hayes Carll, Guy Clark and Ray Wylie Hubbard, and a lot of indie folk.

What songs are you the proudest of?
Right side of the ground” from our newest album Geronimo. It’s one of those songs that goes out to those looking for something, but looking in all the wrong places. That relationship you're in and it’s just not working out, but you still care for that person. There’s a line “I’ve spent time on the wrong side of the church door, I’ve held hands with the devil in more than just one town, I bet by 40 my stories make you question me, I hope by 40 I’m on the right side of the ground” I’ve always said that goes to my brother, he’s a wildcat.

Talk about your upcoming album / What can fans expect?
A sound more accurate to what we’re like live, a lot of energy and harmonies. We’re excited about it.

What has it been like venturing out and growing your fan base?
It’s been so crazy, the last couple of months have been insane. We played a festival in Idaho and it was cool how receptive this crowd was to us, I mean they’re on the opposite side of the country. From now thru October, we’re booked in 11 states. We’re excited for Medicine Stone coming up, always enjoy being around Turnpike Troubadours. In December we’ll be a part of the Red Dirt Pub Crawl in Ireland.

What’s one thing on your country bucket list you’d like to accomplish in future?
From the get go, my goal at the end of the day, was to have music, that all walks of life would enjoy. I love connecting things, blending a sound that everybody can connect with, that would be on my bucket list.

Most memorable gig so far?
Steamboat Music Fest, playing to a packed capacity show. By the 5th song in, looking around and seeing everyone really getting into the show. I love going to Steamboat, the people there love you. They’re all loud and fun.

Make sure to pick up the album Geronimo that should be available today wherever you buy music. And check out last week's post here with a preview of one of the tracks off of the album.



Sep 10, 2015

THAT'S THE SH!T THURSDAY -CHAD SULLINS & LAST CALL COALITION

When news of a pending split was released from Chad Sullins and Last Call Coalition that made the upcoming release of their last studio record a much bigger deal to fans who have followed the band over the last 7 years. Every show update and post on their Facebook page is inevitably laced with the sullen fan who still can't believe the news. So what's left for that damn band from Stillwater? That rock band that plays country music...

They have always rocked a little more than they have countried but with the first song off of their soon to be released final album Wake Up Call they show they are equally able to slow it down, ease in a little slide guitar and show their softer side.  The track, "Like I Did," which was recorded with the amazingly talented Kaitlin Butts, can maybe even be seen as their goodbye song to the fans.  I know I definitely feel the sting of this break up for a while...






Watch for info on the pre-order coming soon. If you are like me, this album can't get here fast enough.

https://www.facebook.com/chadsullinslcc/


Sep 1, 2015

Shane Smith & The Saints - Geronimo



Back in 2013 Shane Smith & the Saints made our list of top albums with their debut album Coast and we have had an eye on them since. They have seen some pretty good success and continue to win fans show after show. The band is set to release their second album Geronimo in a couple weeks and we have been lucky to get a peek at a few of the tracks off of the Sept 11th release.

I first heard most of these new songs at this year's Musicfest in Steamboat Springs. Almost instantly it hit me that these guys have managed to put together another set of incredible songs that were going to have no trouble finding a spot on playlists, radio rotations and the Texas charts. The high caliber story telling/songwriting that was so prevalent on Coast has made a seamless transition here.

 The band truly excels at being able to aptly weave the stories of the hard working, every day kind of people into well polished tunes that listeners can relate to whether they have lived the subject matter or not. Tunes like "Oil Town" and "New Orleans" are perfect examples of just that.

Alongside those slower story telling ballads there's a song or two that will be sure to get a crowd moving. One of the songs that stands out and be sure to fill the dance floor is the song "All I See is You." You wouldn't normally think of a love song to be that type of song but with a rocking tempo and some of the best fiddle work you will hear on an album this year they manage to tear at your heart strings and kick you in the teeth at the same time. You can get a peek at "All I See is You" below.



Shane Smith & the Saints have shown more what they are about musically and as a band here with a solid second effort. The tracks on Geronimo have proven the band more than capable of becoming a mainstay and will no doubt continue them on a quick and steady rise in the Texas scene. With great music and even better live shows, you will undoubtedly be hearing more about these guys for quite some time.

Make sure you pick up the album at any of their upcoming release shows at your favorite music spot Sept 11th.

Watch for our interview with Shane Smith coming soon.

Aug 27, 2015

JBTRR with Ben Dorcy III, "King of the Roadies"


 

Ben H. Dorcy III known by many as “Lovey”, is credited by Willie Nelson as being the first roadie, and as the “world’s oldest living roadie” by everyone else.

Ben was born on May 19, 1925 in Dallas and grew up in San Antonio where he attended Jefferson High School. He joined the Ice Capades in 1940, touring the United States and Europe for three years. In 1943 he enlisted in the US Navy, completing his service in 1946 and then it was back to the entertainment business.

Dorcy worked for John Wayne as a gardener and chauffeur and played a Tennessee volunteer in Wayne’s “The Alamo”, adding film to his resume. Always drawn to the music business, he found his way to Nashville in 1950 where he hooked up with country swing legend, Hank Thompson. He was with Ray Price when he met Willie Nelson in 1961.

I was able to sit down with Lovey and talk to this living legend and get a glimpse into what had made him the icon in the music industry that he has become.

What have you been working on lately?
Just got back from Las Vegas, Willie (Nelson) had some shows there. We were at some various clubs there.

What have you liked most on being a “Roadie”?
It’s been a good run, I started in 1950, a friend of mine took me to a Hank Thompson show. I got to meet Hank and got to know him. He hired me to help out, and worked with him for several years. I decided to move to California and came to know John Wayne while he was filming “The Alamo”, I was in that movie with him. With John I did different things, spent time as his chauffeur and just doing what needed to be done.  After while I moved back to Nashville working with Farron Young, and met Willie. It’s been good work, I’ve seen a lot, and met some good people.

Who has been the most influential on your life?
John Wayne taught me a lot, and he was a good friend and person. I’ve worked a lot of years with Willie, in that time we’ve had a lot of good talks.

What do you like to do in your spare time?  
I like to rest up at the house, and I read a lot. From time to time I like to go to lunch with friends of mine. Sometime’s I go and hang out at John T. Floores.

What has been your secret for success in your career?
Take care of yourself on the road, rest when you can. It's rough, but not for me, because I’ve done it for so long. I went to Dallas at a show, and this young kid, probably 18 or 19 asked me how I did it. I told him work hard and do it. Climb the ladder, get to the top, none of this in between crap. Just see that the guys have what they need. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you.

What has been a highlight for you in your career?
I’ve worked hard all of my life, I never thought I’d be a roadie. I started packing some gear and setting up some shows, and I liked it. I love the road and the people I work for. Being inducted into the Roadie Hall of Fame was nice, and the Hall of Fame in Banderra. They gave me a Living Legend award.

If you were president, what would be the first thing you would do?
I’d probably legalize smoke, you get in trouble for carrying it. It depends on how much you have. Eventually if they’d legalize it, and tax it, it could help the roads and schools. Me and Willie have talked about it and we have a plan.

Being around music for so long, what do you listen to?
Mostly the guys I work with, Randy (Rogers), Wade(Bowen), Cody(Canada) Kevin Fowler. The stuff they play I like.


“The  way you can tell if a musician is any good, is if he’s worked with Ben Dorcy.”
         Kinky Friedman

Aug 19, 2015

JBTRR with Jimmy LaFave



RDBC is going to start featuring some articles and interviews from our friend and partner in crime, Dan Murphy-AKA the Tee Shirt Evangelist, who is now down in Austin. Dan has been in and around the Texas/Oklahoma music scene as a merch guy/road warrior and booking agent for a while now and recently he came to us with an idea for a featured column to be hosted here. He plans on sitting down and get in a quick chat with anybody that will give him 10 minutes. He swung for the fences out of the gate and had a quick Q&A with one of our favorites and an icon to many, Mr. Jimmy LaFave at a show in Austin.

From Dan:

If you’ve ever read any of the history on “The Farm,” a legendary farmhouse located outside of Stillwater, Oklahoma. It was a mix between party house and part okie musician commune. The name Jimmy LaFave is often mentioned, considered to be one of the inspirations for what is now known as “Red Dirt music.” I saw that he was coming back into town, and made arrangements to sit down and talk before his show at Strange Brew in Austin.

LaFave was born in Willis Point, Texas but was raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He moved to Austin in 1986 but still keeps a huge Oklahoma connection with his work on the board with the Woody Guthrie festival.

Who inspired you to start writing and singing?

“When I was younger I played the drums and my mother later bought me a guitar that I played. I decided to sing and from life experiences I just started writing songs. Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie were some big inspirations to me.”

What music have you been listening to lately?

“People give me music all the time. Mainly a guy by the name of Lance Canales out of California that I helped with his album. Also a lady by the name of Dayna Kurtz, she doesn’t sing red dirt or anything like that, I just like her music style.”

Which state do you find more musically stimulating, Texas or Oklahoma?

“Both states have their strong points, but I would say Oklahoma. There has always been a good vibe there. There are so many Okie musicians that have come out of Oklahoma and done well over the years. Then there’s the time I spent in Stillwater."

What is your definition of “Red Dirt?”

"Steve Ripley had a band in Stillwater called Moses and on the inside cover of the album, it described the music as having 'a hue of funk, shade of sound, a basic spirit drawing on the color of the earth.' It was a blend of blues, bluegrass, folk and rock and roll. As me and Bob toured in Europe, and I got asked to describe my music, I told them to just call it “Red Dirt.”

 What are some of your best memories of “the Farm?” 

“I would have to say the time I spent with Bob Childers. We had a lot of good times song writing and singing. At the time, I was working construction with Mark Childers, Bob’s brother. He told me one day “My brother is moving back to Oklahoma, you should meet him, he plays the guitar like you,” so we met and soon became great friends. We had a lot of good times up there. One that stands out is the Annual Croquet tournament. The winner received this gawdy jacket, kinda of a Master’s jacket type. It was a lot of laughs and a lot of good music."

You leave a chat like that feeling pretty darn lucky having a chance to talk with a guy that many people consider one of the founding father of an entire music genre.


Jul 21, 2015

It's Been Too Long...

The has always been one thing I have wrestled with since starting RDBC. I am only able to update RDBC when I have spare time. Music is a part of my life every day, but I don't always have the time to devote to the page. The past few months RDBC has suffered even more so because my day to day life has been incredibly hectic. Kids, sports, a new job and a hundred other things have afforded me with little time to just kick back, turn on some music and write.

Things that have happened since I last wrote here: William Clark Green, Zane Williams, American Aquarium, Shinyribs, Uncle Lucius and Crooks have all put out amazing albums. LJT has came and went and Oklahoma lost a true Red Dirt legend with the passing of Tom Skinner.

I have still been paying attention to the music. Still taking notes as to what new stuff has caught my ear. Still catching a show when I can. But the loss of Tom Skinner has brought me back into really listening to the music lately. I had long been a fan of Skinner and his music. Always appreciated hearing the big guys in Red Dirt cover his songs, and so many of them have done so without most fans even realizing so. This post isn't really about anything new, it's just a way to shake the dust off of my blogging skills and share one of my favorite songs and honor the memory of Tom Skinner. Hope this finds you all well.

Jun 2, 2015

Mark Allan Atwood

 Tells RDBC about how after being Burned at the Crossroads he's Still Alive & Well

Story by D. Collin Hudson

One of the first things you're likely to notice about Mark Allan Atwood is his clearly recognizable voice.  When you hear one of his songs like "Honkytonk Blues" or "I'm Trouble" (which for my money are Texas Country classics), you know right away exactly who it is that you're listening to.  "I get asked all the time," he said, "people that I meet that don't know me through music find out what I do for a living and naturally will ask what kind of music I play."  He continued, "I usually start out by saying, 'I guess it's country.  But that really depends on your definition of country.' " 

Musicians are often placed in the peculiar position of having to use certain labels to describe their music; like naming genres or sub-genres they may fit into, or by even taking the risky step of comparing themselves to other artists.  "It's a hard question to answer," Atwood admitted.  "If I was doing Bro Country," he continued, "I could just say,  'Hey, I do Florida Georgia Line type stuff.'  But I don't have a good, all-inclusive genre that I can say 'this is what I do and this is all you all you need to know about me as an artist.'  I really don't have any round holes like that to put this square peg into." 
Atwood describes his influences as old school country from his dad, 70's hard-driving rock from his mom, and gravitating to songwriters like Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, and B.W. Stevenson as a kid, and how his music is really a mixture of all those influences.  But as far as where his interest was sparked in making his own music, he says that all came from his mother.  She began singing as a youngster, spent time performing with different bands over the years, and eventually ended up a vocal soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  "I was one of those kids that was always singing all the time,” he said.
During our interview I also realized that this outspoken renegade Texas troubadour has a musical past that I knew nothing about, and that our paths had actually crossed many years earlier.  MAA recalled his first time singing in public being in front of a packed house at Richardson North Junior High when he was in the 7th grade (the same school district I went to a few years later), how we both grew up listening to D/FW mega rock stations Q102 and even the old KZEW, that he had gotten his start playing around Lower Greenville Avenue in Dallas, where I misspent a fair amount of my youth, and additionally that he had also performed many times at some of the local venues I grew up frequenting in both Dallas (The Basement, Dallas City Limits, On The Rocks) and Austin (The Back Room).  I also learned that during that time he fronted two different hard rock bands (Wasteland and Wild Child) that I had actually seen him perform with all those years ago, and that with those two bands he had performed with real some rock heavyweights like Dokken, Great White, Kings X, Slaughter, Tesla, Vince Neil, and Zakk Wylde.  "The only difference between me and Kevin Fowler on this," (once a member of Austin metal hero outfit, Dangerous Toys) Atwood laughed, "is that I will talk about mine, he won't talk about his."
But after nearly two decades of pursuing his musical dreams, Atwood took a long break from the music business.  He told of how it was simply a case of feeling burned out and not liking some of the things that were rapidly changing in the music game, and needing to take a break; take the time to reconnect with his family and friends.  However, when he came back into the music business a few years later, he felt like some of the things that had changed by then could be positive ones for him this time around.  "When I went away in the mid to late 1990's," MAA recalled, "there was no Texas Country or Red Dirt scene to speak of outside of Stillwater or Lubbock.  A few pockets here and there, but nothing like it is now.  But when I came back in 2004 I had friends turning me on to some of this stuff and I was like 'Wow, this is perfect for me!'  I grew up on country. I love country music."  He continued, "Red Headed Stranger was the first album I ever bought with my own money.  This is the kind of music I started writing as a kid and played for years and years before I did the metal thing, which was a fun distraction for ten years, but I don't know in hindsight if I am really Texas Country or not.  That part of me is always going to come through in my work but I think because my voice is little different and because of some of my rock influences, that some people don’t think I really fit into the whole Texas Country thing."
He also shared with me that multiple Grammy Award winning producer, Adam Odor, had called him up recently to say, "It's time to make another Atwood record."  MAA explained, "The will and the desire is there, and the material is definitely there, but the backing and some other things still need to be worked out."  The singles “Loser” and “One Horse” (a duet with Bart Crow) from 2013's Alive & Well have a enjoyed a good amount of airplay since they were released and both broke well into the top 50 songs in the Texas regional radio charts.  In fact, "Crazy About Me" was the fourth consecutive single (including "Cheating Song") from Alive & Well to break into the Top 50, with three of them breaking into the Top 30. 
"Perhaps what I do is not Texas Country, or Red Dirt?" Atwood remarked, "I think it's more Americana but some of the Americana people say I'm 'too country.'  So I don't really know.  You listen to it and then you tell me.  I don't really enjoy classifying my work but apparently you have to in order to target some sort of a fan base and market that will spin your stuff, so you can attracts new fans and new listeners to your work."
MAA talked about being damn proud of the many awards he has won throughout his music career (including Texas Music Association's Rising Star Award - 2010 / My Texan Award - 2012 / Male Vocalist of the Year - 2013) and the two Mark Allan Atwood & Brimstone records he made with Adam Odor, Burned at The Crossroads and Alive & Well, and how although he is cautious of not becoming creatively complacent or stagnant that he is very comfortable making the kind of music that he makes these days.  "Now I get to make whatever kind of music that I want, and this is it."  Atwood explained,  "Some people say I'm Texas Country and some say I'm Americana, but whatever you call this music scene of ours, for me, this is it."
As far as what 2015 holds for Mark Allan Atwood he says he is super excited that this could be his best year yet.  "Atwood & Nunn (with longtime Brimstone member and creative partner, Matt Nunn) will be putting out a couple of new singles this summer," MAA said, "and we're writing more every day.  We'll also be booking some more acoustic duo type shows that we've been playing for about three or four months now, and people have been eating it up!  What we're doing," he explained, "is performing some more stripped down versions of these songs where you can really hear the vocal harmonies. Plus, Matt plays a lot of different instruments, so we're incorporating that.  We've also got some full band shows on the books complete with the screaming guitars and pounding drums." Then his tone turned more serious, "but this Atwood & Nunn format we're doing together really lends itself to presenting the songs better than anything we have ever done.  And my side project The Horsemen, with Robby White and Jeff Hopson, has taken on a life of it's own.  So far there has been a big buzz about this show.  So between Atwood & Nunn and The Horsemen," MAA happily reported, "2015 is looking like it's going to be the best year I've had, maybe ever!"

May 20, 2015

Mayor's Red Dirt Ball Brings Texas Acts to Southwest Oklahoma

Story by D. Collin Hudson

Each year spring is the time that kicks off many outdoor music festivals for our favorite kind of music all around Texas, Oklahoma and well beyond. But how many of these music festivals have you heard of that offer two and half days of live music for free? That's right live music fans; this Friday May 22nd kicks off the 7th Annual Mayor's Red Dirt Ball in Medicine Park, Oklahoma (thru Sunday night May 24th) and enjoying every last live music performance all Memorial Day weekend long won't cost you a thing! It's a great event in a very unique and beautiful family-friendly setting that you're sure to enjoy.

If you have never been to Medicine Park, Oklahoma then you're in for a real treat. It's the oldest tourist destination in the state and holds a lot of laid-back charm that attracts many visitors each year. It sits just on the north side of Lawton, Oklahoma very near the Ft. Sill Army Base and the big, beautiful Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. The small but scenic historic town offers a very unique staycation or daycation experience for those within the region with a cozy downtown district boasting a cobblestone walkway chock full of shopping and casual dining options. There is also a motel and several reasonably priced cobblestone rental cabins available, and even a few bed and breakfast choices for those venturing in from farther away. The Bath Lake swimming hole is right in Medicine Creek basically in the heart of the downtown district, and very close to one of the two live music stages. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife launched a very successful trout fishing program there in recent years and Lake Lawtonka is also just north of town a mile or two. But most of the action this weekend is sure to be downtown on the two live music stages!

Every year Southwest Oklahoma music fans wait all spring to find out who will be the Saturday and Sunday night RDB headlining acts, and 2015 once again doesn't disappoint! Filling this year's spots are Austin, Texas vintage country outfit Crooks taking the main stage on Saturday night (10pm to midnight) and the The Dirty River Boys from El Paso, Texas wrap up the event on Sunday night with a bang (10pm to midnight). I don't know as much about Crooks but I can tell you that The Dirty River Boys unquestionable originality could only surpassed by their well-deserved reputation for very memorable, high energy live performances.

There are no coolers allowed during the weekend long event, however, there will be lots of food and beer vendors on hand and a couple of restaurants that offer full bars. For the full line up of bands for the entire festival check the Medicine Park website here: http://medicinepark.com/RedDirtBall.php

For super cool 360 degree views of scenic points of view around Medicine Park check out the homepage of their website here: www.medicinepark.com 

 

May 12, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Evin Brady

With a smooth soulful voice that sets him apart from so many of the singer/songwriters in his home state of Oklahoma, Evin Brady is doing things his way and making great music. Evin was the winner of the March Artist Showdown and we recently talked with him and got a peek at what makes a guy raised in the red dirt sing the blues.


What made you want to get into music?

I got into music by accident... Literally, I taught myself how to play guitar when I was young by sneaking into my older brothers room and playing with a cheap Fender electric. I'm not even sure the damn thing stayed in tune. Thinking back on it now but it didn't take long before I was able to string some chords together and attempt to play Hotel California, Smoke on the Water, Stairway to Heaven and Candlebox's Far Behind.... What did you expect? I'm a child of the 90s. Anyways, I wrote my first few songs my junior year in high school after a bad car accident took baseball season away. It's kind of a double edged sword, had I not been in the car wreck I probably wouldn't be playing music for a living now but I might not have student loan debt I currently have either. I still have a scar from the car accident on my wrist. Coincidentally the scar is in the shape of a music note so I believe I'm doing exactly what I'm suppose to do!

What challenges have you faced in your career?

My biggest challenge as a touring musician has been sounding so different than other regional acts. I thoroughly enjoy song swaps and I play with all types of artists from Kansas City to Austin, Phoenix to New Orleans, but the vast majority of my musically talents friends sing country music. And that's okay with me because I love country music but when you stick a white soul singer with a falsetto in a line up with a bunch of country guys and singer songwriter types he sticks out like a sore thumb and not always in a good way. For the most part people are kind though. They either tell me how different I am and how much they enjoyed it or "they don't typically listen to my style of music but I sure do it well." ( I think that's a backhanded compliment, but I'll take it)  Sometimes folks don't like me mixing with their favorite country acts but I guess everyone is entitled to their opinions.
 In regard to your music, how would you define the word “success”?

Ahhh, labeling "success." This is probably one of the most important and yet difficult tasks for any artist. I like to consider myself a realist so I tend to keep my head out of the clouds. That doesn't mean that I don't shoot for the moon from time to time. But I definitely remind myself that the only reason I'm able to do this is because people like my singing and the songs I write and I'm very fortunate to get to do this at all!  I try to treat my music as a business as much and as often as possible. It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the music industry but if you try to make smart business decisions and grow your brand  and continue to grow as an artist as long as your content then platinum records and Grammys shouldn't matter much. But would they be nice to have? Indeed. Head out of the clouds Evin, head out of the clouds.

What is the story with your album that never was? 

In college I sold a 1967 SS Camaro to pay for my 1st record. After sweet talking my professors into letting me skip class, I spent a week in Austin TX with Texas Artist Mark McKinney and his brother Eric recording and co-producing my 1st record. The songs I chose to record were a combination of rocking party songs, love songs and one truly dark and twisted murder ballad. The record turned out just fine but by the time it was finished, I had already been experimenting with this "new sound" (new for me at least) which would in turn lead to my first album remaining unreleased.It is kind of a shame really because I was accompanied by some amazing artists. Artists like Hal Vorpahl formally of Uncle Lucius on the bass guitar and Kylie Rae Harris singing some harmonies and numerous other extremely talented musicians. To not release it was one of the hardest things I've had to decide, but my writing, vocal melodies and phasing were all changing, not by design but let's call it artist development. I love the blues, I love soul, jazz, Motown, R&B, country, and big band stuff like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett. I love Willie Nelson, I LOVE Leon Russell and my new style was beginning to reflect more blues and southern soul and less country and rock. I love all styles of music but I could not release that 1st record knowing that I was about to start singing "Southern Soul"
 Evin Brady is the embodiment of what it is I love about music. How many artists today would record a perfectly acceptable album and put in on the shelf? I don't know many guys around here that have the artistic integrity to scratch an entire project like that. In a time where so often, money rules over the music, guys like Evin, who still play the weekly Wednesday night gigs because they haven't put out a record yet can still show us that music means more than the dollar to some people.

Mar 3, 2015

Kaitlin Butts- Same Hell, Different Devil


What can you say about an artist that comes along and effortlessly forges a path of their own and makes you take notice the second they step on a stage? That is the conundrum facing ever writer who has had to put words together to try and explain to those who haven't yet experienced, the power and talent of Kaitlin Butts.

In a short time Kaitlin has managed to become one of the most promising young Oklahoma songwriters to demand their due attention. The ink was barely dry on the first pressing of the debut album Same Hell, Different Devil before the various press outlets in Oklahoma started singing her praises. With rave reviews from NewsOK and Red Dirt Nation coming the week of the album release the scene newcomer carried that momentum into a string of stellar performances opening shows for Oklahoma's Chad Sullins & the Last Call Coalition and Texas' own Wade Bowen and culminating with an incredible album release at Stillwater OK's famed Eskimo Joes.

Same Hell, Different Devil serves as a showcase to this young ladies incredible songwriting skill and powerful vocal prowess. Exhibiting a maturity in her lyrics well beyond the reach of her 21 years of age, so many of the songs on this album will certainly leave listeners wondering which of the ghosts of songwriters past this girl has tapped in to.  Her vocal skills are, to me at least, reminiscent of earlier Miranda Lambert records. She is able to portray such depth and emotion on the appropriate ballads and sheer power and raw energy on tracks like the album's title track "Same Hell, Different Devil."



Recorded in the Boohatch Basement with Mike McClure, this album also enlisted some of the most talented musicians Oklahoma has to offer. The names appearing in the credits rounding out the studio performances include the likes of Jon Knudson, Jake Simpson, Alan Orebaugh, Giovanni Carnnuccio III, Jake Akins along with Grammy-award winner Lloyd Maines in the mix. There isn't much that could go wrong with that crew and the result was near perfection. This is an album that will make this young lady a significant player within the Oklahoma music scene starting right now.

For more on Kaitlin go here http://kaitlinbutts.com/

Feb 13, 2015

The Damn Quails are Making Another Album!

About damn time right? I feel like RDBC was still in diapers when Down The Hatch came out. We were still cutting our teeth on retro reviews trying to get our feet under us. Actually, the review that I did for that album was one of the first I did as a new blogger. Boy we have all come a long way since then.

We won't get into all of the issues that have delayed the making of a new album. The Quails have taken the high road and maintained a tight lip policy regarding it all and I respect that deeply. Well, legal trouble and what not be damned, it is now time to make another folkin' album.

They recently launched a kickstarter that is cruising right along towards their goal. And recently to help promote that campaign Bryon White released this little video cover of fellow hella-talented Okie songwriter John Moreland's "Nobody Gives A Damn About Songs Anymore." You can chip in to the kickstarter here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/972232555/the-damn-quails-set-to-record-a-new-album and the cover video below....


Jan 23, 2015

RDBC 3rd Anniversary!

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of the RDBC launch and what an incredible journey it's been. What started as a hobby during some down time has grown beyond my wildest expectations. I have made so many great friends, so many great opportunities and had more fun than one man should be allowed. I am thankful for all of the people that have followed along over the years. I am grateful to be a voice for the music that I believe in so passionately. But most of all I am honored that for some reason people still let me be a voice. Thanks to all of you and here is to many more years of RDBC.

Jan 22, 2015

Calamity Janes- Roots & Wings EP Review

Girls in country music don't sell. Well, excuse my language here, but that's just bullshit. Good music should always sell whether it's from a male, a female or a 3 legged set of Siamese twins. Some of my favorite artists in the Texas and Oklahoma music scene today are women. Courtney Patton, Sunny Sweeney and Kelley Mickwee have all put out great music lately and there is a large number of newer female acts rising up as well.

This is where you will find The Texas trio of sisters The Calamity Janes. Actual real life sister's Arwyn Benson, Alyssa Yancey and Courtney Childs-Mock have been making their way up the ladder in the north Texas scene pretty quickly over the last year or so. They were finalists in the 2014 Ranch Factor contest held by 95.9FM The Ranch in Ft.Worth and were just named one of the top 5 bands to watch for in 2015 by Kelly Dearmore of The Dallas Observer.

If you need further proof, allow me to introduce you to the Janes' new EP Roots & Wings. A 5 song collection of tunes that just may be one of the most auto-biographical efforts I have ever put ears on in a while. The honky tonkin' somewhat brazen lead off track "Middle Sister" with it's tale of revenge for the woman scorned by a bad man sets a pace that keeps rolling through the entirety of a really good EP. It's followed perfectly by the ode to the home state "Gone to Texas" and the first single off of the EP "One of Those Nights" which is already steadily gaining momentum and plays on Texas radio.




The back end of the album grabs your attention with an incredible remake of Oklahoma's Bo Phillips' song "Riverbed" that has some of the best harmonizing found on the album. Lastly, rounding out the album is what may be my favorite track, the funky tune "Gypsy." Another seemingly all to honest tale of the broken hearted that again features the kind harmonies only blood ties can bind.

In a short 5 song EP, I feel that the Janes have manged to put on display for us everything they've got. And it is good. Roots & Wings manages to run the spectrum of both song and emotion with a slow song here, a swinging honky tonker there, and some pretty cool other stuff in between. Look for the album when it drops February 3rd.

For more on The Calamity Janes go here http://www.thecalamityjanes.com/

Jan 20, 2015

JACKSON TILLMAN - SHOWDOWN ARTIST FEATURE

Jackson Tillman is a band that not only caught my attention late last year but also only became a band last year. That's right. When these guys were entered into the artist showdown they had only been together as a band for about 3 months.

Now they did all have various backgrounds in music and with other bands but some unexpected circumstances brought them all together and every day since has been a whirlwind for the boys from southwest Oklahoma. We asked the guys to fill us in on what brought them together and asked all of the other usual questions like what made you want to get into music, biggest influences, how you came together as a band and their goals? Here is what the guys had to say.

Jackson Tillman: Shawn Gomez (guitar- harmony vocals), Jamie Chandler (Bass) and Bryan Chandler (Drums) are all family and we grew up playing music together in church around the age of 11 and started sneaking in to honky tonks around 16. Our biggest influences in music range from Keith Whitley, George Strait to our Dads who we watched play music growing up. We formed a band called Texoma with fiddle player Chris Whitten (who now plays with us again) and went on a national tour at the age of 21. Texoma disbanded in 2001 and we went our separate ways musically but were always together as family. In 2013 we all found ourselves living in Edmond Oklahoma and we formed the band Redneck Brown & The Freshwater Donkeys. We (Shawn, Jamie & Bryan) were the Freshwater Donkey side of things..lol. We had some regional success with a few chart singles and one song (When I Think About Texas) stayed on the Texas Music Charts for about 8 months.

Late in 2014 though, Redneck Brown decided to leave out for a solo career and the guys teamed up with fellow southwest Oklahoma native Jeremy Studdard (vocals) and Brent Kreuger (lead guitar) to form the new band. Studdard had been in the scene and playing music for a while himself when the guys got together as Jackson Tillman. A name paying homage to the 2 southwest Oklahoma counties were the band members grew up.

Studdard: I started singing when I was 5, my dad bought me an Elvis Presley box set for Christmas and I never stopped until I learned every song. I went to Nashville for a few years and came home when I found out I had a baby on the way. I feel that success has already been achieved on so many levels for me. I have been able to reach thousands of people with my music and have opened up for some big national acts. With Jackson Tillman the sky is the limit. We all mesh so well when it comes to writing and practice. I can't wait to see what's in store for 2015.

The guys went into the studio late last year and pumped out a pretty good EP in order to get something out there with their name on it. They hit the ground running as Jackson Tillman and aren't standing around waiting to catch their breath. Plans are in the making for the release of the first radio single and a full length debut by the end of 2015.



For more on the band go here: http://jacksontillman.com/index/

Jan 14, 2015

Cody Canada & The Departed - HippieLovePunk

About 2 years ago at a show in Wichita Falls, TX I had a chance to chat for a few minutes with Cody. ADVENTUS hadn't been out long and it was still to be seen whether fans would fully embrace the new sound and the new band. What I told Cody that night was simply this; I saw him more comfortable and having more fun on a stage than I had seen in years. The songs that he was writing and the things he was doing now, seemed to be things he had wanted to do for years but wasn't able to make happen with CCR. He thanked me, and he told me it was nice to see that people got it.

The thing with music from Cody Canada, is that it always sounds like it's from Cody Canada. The sound that so many fans had come to love over the years with CCR was so easily identified as Cody. But with most of the songs on HippieLovePunk being mostly written by Cody, the tunes have not simply picked up where CCR left us, they have catapulted us into a new realm entirely. If there are still fans out there holding on to hope of a reunion or holding back on The Departed, this album serves as proof enough that it's time to let shit go and get ready to rock.

HippieLovePunk is Cody at his best. It has all of the grit and soul of earlier tunes but with a level of maturity and musicianship that was sometimes lacking in the old days. The lead track 'Comin To Me' is a ballsy rock n roll tune in that declares it's time to give Cody his due.

'Misunderstood all these years.
Tried to calm it down but it reappears.
I won't be happy til you're bored to tears.
Running for the bus but it's grinding gears.'

Loud and clear my man.

Other tracks on the album range from the same rocking riffs in songs like 'Revolution' to the simple and almost throwback sound of 'Maker' which is a song that I can easily hear Willie Nelson doing 30 years ago. Every track on this album could be a radio single. As much as the last album was a Cody and Seth album, this new album is a total band effort. Jeremy Plato, Chris Doege, and Steve Littleton are all nearly perfect in their contributions in completing this project.

While it may be early to start saying this will be one of the best albums of the year, I don't know anyone who has heard it that would argue against it. It has already been on rotation in my playlist for months and I don't see that ending any time soon. Add it to yours and do the same.