Friday, September 4, 2020

September Music Shines Through These Unusual Times...



Hey Folks, As we heard into September, out of summer and into the fall there is gradually more great live music coming to New Braunfels. So let's get to it,  I have had requests to continue a listing of 'Live Music Streams' here on this blog, to accommodate that, I am including this link to a really wonderful guide to all types of music streams from local stuff to nation wide! https://www.songkick.com/live-stream-concerts . I think you will find it up to date and chock full of everything you could want in live streams. Now as for some REAL LIVE MUSIC, here are my picks for must see shows... here, IN NEW BRAUNFELS!

Freiheit Country Store continues to be the leader these days with regard to bringing some real quality music to town during these strange times, but others are slowly waking up, and I will try and find them all for you. Sam Riggs will kick things off this Saturday at Freiheit.
"The only thing standing between you and what you want in life is air and opportunity. Take a deep breath and go get it."
His father’s words made a huge impression on Sam Riggs, and the Texas singer/songwriter is a relentless adventurer, a guy who pursues music, flying and mountain climbing with equal amounts of passion. They’re all unpredictable activities that require some level of risk for an adrenaline-infused reward, the same payoff he gets from Love & Panic, an album that explores the highs and lows of the ultimate gamble: romantic relationships.
The project also lays bare the musical identity of Riggs, as he draws more extensively from the rock edge of his country-based foundation.
Love & Panic is kind of an unfiltered, in-your-face record that came from that mindset of ‘This is me, like it or not,’” Riggs says.
There is indeed much to like. The seven-track album employs searing guitar licks and crisp drum tracks while borrowing from the muscular stance of some of his strongest rock influences: Blink-182, My Chemical Romance, I See Starsand Metallica. That’s balanced against contemporary country song structure and instrumentation, a heavy take on the unwavering attitudes espoused by Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean and Hank Williams Jr.
Traditionalists might shudder at the mix, but Riggs is merely exploring and asserting his influences in the same way that Patsy Cline mixed the country and traditional pop she heard as a young woman, or the same way that Charlie Daniels blended country and rock.
“I grew up with George Jones and Three Doors Down at the same time,” Riggs says with a shrug. “So many people did.”
Those foundations ring throughout Love & Panic. Aided by producer Andy Sheridan (Ben Rector, Hunter Hayes), Riggs grounds the project in dark textures and power chords that would make any arena-rock band proud. But he casts romance with all the mystery, treachery and possibility that informed one of the Possum’s classic honky-tonk romps. It’s that mix of fire and fragility that makes Love & Panic such a forward-moving package.
“Love and panic, I think, are two of the emotions that we experience most often in life, but they're most often joined together,” he suggests. “Love stirs up all kinds of deep emotions in the heart, but when you find something that you fall desperately in love with, you have this panic situation to get your shit together so you don't lose it.”
Riggs fell in love with music, thanks to the inspiration of both parents in a divided family in Florida. His mother put Sam and his older brother, Mike, to sleep at nights by singing folk and country songs while playing guitar. His father took Sam to his first Garth Brooks concert, an event that fed the thrill-seeker in young Riggs but also demonstrated the connective possibilities inherent on a live stage.
“That is the place where I feel closest to my true purpose in life,” Riggs says. “Music is great, but it doesn't mean a whole lot if it never gets heard and it doesn't affect people. Concerts are a way I connect with people. A live show is a way for people to feel special, to have those moments of joy and excitement and happiness. It's a losing-yourself-in-the-heat-of-the-moment type thing.”
Riggs took up the guitar early, though he moved into drums by high school. That snap of strong percussion is a core tenet in Love & Panic – “You can't have a great record without great drums and bass, in my personal opinion,” Riggs insists – and much of that viewpoint was cultivated in his teens. He played the drum kit in his room at home, and he ended up in the drum line in school, an experience that challenged his go-it-alone spirit.
“I got kicked off drum line in high school,” he recalls. “High school marching band was this weird, messed-up Revenge of the Nerds-hierarchy-gone-South thing. I didn't do well with it.”
But he didn’t give up music. Instead, Riggs moved to Texas, a state where freewheeling musical styles and experimental genre mashups are routinely celebrated. He self-released his first two albums, then partnered with independent firms for his third and fourth releases, including Breathless, which went to No. 12 on the Billboard Top Country Albums charts.
A number of his singles hit the upper levels of the Texas charts, including the ultra-country “Hold On And Let Go,” the thumping concert re-creation “High On A Country Song” and his vulnerable “Second Hand Smoke.” To top it off, Riggs picked up the Texas Regional Radio Award in 2016 for Top New Male Vocalist.
As he toured behind Breathless, Riggs also started exploring his daredevil edge again. A hike with his brother through the beautiful-but-challenging Zion Narrows in Utah’s Zion National Park rejuvenated his sense of adventure.
“I came back from that trip feeling more alive than I could remember, and more happy and healthy,” Riggs says. “It’s a medication of sorts, and I like it. So I started seeking it out more and starting climbing more.”
He tackled Argentina’s Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Southern Hemisphere (Riggs candidly admits he did not reach the top after developing a rare illness, High Altitude Cerebral Edema), and he plans to attack Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
“There's a misery and a struggle that happens on the mountain that is cleansing,” he says. “You kind of purge yourself of a lot of weakness and negativity on the mountain. And that's just become a big thing for me.”
As a result, Riggs founded the Air and Opportunity Adventure Company, a firm that oversees hikes, climbs, private flights and helicopter rides, all designed to challenge people’slimits and help them develop the tools and confidence to battle depression, anxiety and other issues.
Riggs’ extreme exploits also gave him the courage to dive into the relationship issues at the heart of Love & Panic. The scenic journey of “Until My Heart Stops Beating” captures the rush of a new physical bond, the boiling “Bulletproof Heart” highlights the power of commitment and perseverance, and the propulsive “Obsessed” embraces the danger of desire.
“I've always been a really reckless person,” he admits. “If there's a sign that says ‘Don't,’ I'm damn sure going to do it. And that's kind of childish at times but also at times, it's just living life.
“I’ve honed that a bit. I've learned how to calculate risk a lot more effectively, and I think that that comes with being loved by people and also having people in your life that you love very much. Some of the things that I did, I was seeking feeling. I was seeking some sort of dynamic emotion in my life.”
“Story Of You And Me” uses Riggs’ wide-ranging musical influences to explore the nostalgic elements in a long-lostrelationship. Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City,” Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind,” Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight,” Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Tuesday’s Gone” and even Lucinda Williams’ Car Wheels on a Gravel Road establish both the bygone state of the romance and some of the tent poles of Riggs’artistic persona.
“Music is probably the strongest form of memory because it's one of the only things that's been known to bring people with Alzheimer's back from the point of no return, even for a moment,” Riggs observes. “Everybody in the world has that one song – probably more than one song – that takes them back to a time in their life that they'll never forget. That's kind of where the idea for the song came from.”
People never forget their foundational relationships or their most influential outings. That’s part of the reason that Love & Panic exists. It explores an unforgettable part of life, inspired by Riggs’ unquenchable willingness to challenge himself. And it furthers his undeniable desire to connect with the world through music.
“I don't play music to be famous,” he says. “I play music and I write songs because it comes naturally to me and it feels good to express emotion that way. But also because there's a torch to be carried.”
Sam has really started stirring the Texas music scene up, and I think this show will be packed.



Next up, on Friday Sept. 11th is the ever entertaining Aaron Watson. The end of 2019 saw the release of his latest album...Red Bandana “The symbolism of the bandana for me is like the American working-class heart: hustle, grit ... hard work. Anywhere you find those things, you find that red bandana. It's old-school but it's also timeless.”
Old-school but timeless: That’s how Aaron Watson characterizes his bold new full-length collection, Red Bandana, but he could also be describing himself. As a singer-songwriter, husband, father of three, and self-made musical success, the 41-year-old Texan has forged a slow and steady path to country stardom by both honoring tradition and embracing the unknown. He’s more comfortable than most walking the line.
Red Bandana not only reacquaints fans with an artist serious about song craft and sonic diversity; it also marks a career milestone for Watson. Twenty years after he released his debut studio album, 1999’s Singer/Songwriter, he’s found an imaginative way to commemorate his two-decade journey. The new record comprises 20 songs he wrote by himself, with tracks and musical moods that hit on every era of his life.
At Red Bandana’s heart is a couple of tunes that give the album its title. First,“Riding With Red” elevates the lessons and the example offered by older, wiser cowboys. The real-life inspiration for the touching ballad? Texas cowboy poet Red Steagall, whom Watson considers a friend and mentor.
“My boys love Red. They just gravitate towards him; he's a legend,”Watson says.“And in the song, you think that Red's passed away. But I wanted to write from that perspective so that people who have cowboys like that in their life will, after hearing that song, go hug them and know, ‘I don't need to take that person for granted.’”
Imagining the loss of such a large presence, “Riding With Red” seamlessly transitions into Red Bandana’s title track, an elegiac cowboy poetry benediction sure to leave a lump in anyone’s throat.
You’ll find equal parts sadness, joy, nostalgia, hope, familial love, and strength throughout the new album. That was the design of Watson, who wrote the bulk of the songs during reflective mornings on the ranch in Buffalo Gap, Texas on his beat-up first guitar bought from a pawn shop.
Some of the sounds that set a tone or help tie Red Bandana’s tracks together were captured right there among the comforts of home and family. Consider the first thing you hear on the album —ambient chimes that lead into the mission-statement opener, “Ghost of Guy Clark.” Watson actually recorded the sounds of wind chimes handed down to him by both his grandmothers.
“I recorded their wind chimes in the closet at my house, and that's how the record starts off,” Watson says.“Because there's just an eeriness, a lonesome feeling when you hear those wind chimes.”
The eeriness is well-placed: “Ghost of Guy Clark” is a lyrical dream sequence in which Watson encounters and receives songwriting advice from a late legend. The song’s message is important enough that he follows it with a cathartic instrumental track, just to let the words sink in a little longer. And once the horn-tinged “El Comienzo Del Viaje” settles you, here come the driving beat and hard-lived lyrical message of “Dark Horse.”
It’s an ideal way to begin a new chapter following a period of greater awareness and chart success. The Underdog, Vaquero, and the hit country single “Outta Style” put a lot of new eyes and ears on Watson, from Texas and beyond. Yet the grassroots success didn’t translate to any traditional label deals, so he did what he does best: He worked harder and doubled down on his efforts.
“I wanted to show the industry that I'm like a one-man wrecking machine,” Watson says.“That I own my label, I own my publishing, I wrote all my songs. That country music is my only option. I have no Plan B; this is all I've got. So, for me, everything is on the line.”
Don’t mistake his urgency with a willingness to cut musical corners. Watson is flexing his songwriting muscles more than ever before, delivering thoughtful lyrical concepts through the filters and the styles that have captured his musical imagination over the years. “More than being known as an artist, I want to be known as a songwriter. I think that's the greatest title. All my heroes are songwriters.”
Those heroes are saluted substantially in many tracks on Red Bandana: “Country Radio” touches on a romance and nostalgia for simpler, sway-worthy childhood musical memories. “Legends” evokes the full-throated glory of Waylon Jennings with its irresistible hook of a line, “Just like my heroes/I’m as free as the wind.” “Am I Amarillo” would fit right into an’80s George Strait record. And you get visions of Johnny Cash when you hear the train sounds (recorded by Watson at his ranch) and the darker lyrical themes on “Trying Like the Devil.”
Of that last one, Watson says it might surprise some of his fans to know that he often faces and wrestles with personal demons. He’s felt misunderstood at times whenever he’s been portrayed as an infallible family man, nothing more.
“I can't handle the pressure of people thinking that I have it all together,” Watson says. “I want to be that guy that I'm like, ‘I'm screwed up, but I keep trying.’ And the first time I sang [‘Trying Like the Devil’]to my wife she was like, ‘Wow. Guess you're just going to air the dirty laundry.’ And I said, ‘It's what you got to do, girl.’”
Emotional truth defines any Aaron Watson record, but its especially urgent and raw in unexpected spots on Red Bandana. The record ends with a simple tribute to those who lost their lives in the 2017 Route 91 Harvest festival shooting in Las Vegas(“58”), but shades of the same grief and empathy for humanity help to fuel the up-tempo, Tom-Petty-style anthem, “Old Friend.” Petty passed away a day after the tragedy in Las Vegas.
In his grief following the two events, Watson came to a realization:“Music is so healing and music is that one thing we share in common. And that's where I wrote ‘Old Friend.’I wanted it to have a Tom Petty vibe about it, but that song is about being kind to your neighbor and treating others the way that you want to be treated. You know, the golden rule.”
Watson fit so many ideas and sounds into one record seamlessly with the help of a new-to-him producer, rising Nashville starJordan Lehning. An expert arranger who has assisted the likes of Rodney Crowell and Kacey Musgraves, Lehning was able to help Watson balance the stunning, emotional songswith less serious moments that could serve as a kind of country-radio gateway. After all the heartstrings pulled in “Blood Brothers” and “Home Sweet Home,” there are sexy toe-tappers like first single “Kiss That Girl Goodbye,”“Burn Em Down,” and “Shake a Heartache” to lighten the mood. For advice and approval on the commercial appeal of a song, Watson turns to his precocious youngest child. “When my daughter likes a song and she forces me to put it on an album, what am I supposed to do? My hands are tied. I have no control over my wife or my daughter. I do as I'm told.”
Armed with 20 new songs, Watson feels more than ready to get out on the road and incorporate Red Bandana into his historically high-energy live concert dynamic. Even before the official tour begins, Watson says he’s already been having too much fun on stage.
“Our show right now is not even a fraction of what it's going to be, but I swear, we start, we're having fun, I look down at the clock and we've been playing for 75 minutes,” he says. “There's been shows where I'm exhausted, but the second I hit that stage and I see people are excited for me, oh man. That's the greatest high. Those fans are the reason I’m here and keep showing up night after night.”


Friday Sept 18th Cody Canada takes the stage at Freiheit Country Store. Now a local, Cody has been playing around this area for quite some time. I think this description sums him up best...“In the finite world of the beautiful human beings and first rate musicians, none is finer than Cody Canada.” -Robert Earl Keen Fourteen songs that blur the lines between hard-edged country, rock & roll, and all the gritty sounds in between. Cody Canada and the Departed’s new album 3, out June 29th, finds the band in a new head space, more confident than ever of who they are. The band's first record as a lean power trio, 3 shines a light on the core ingredients of The Departed’s sound. There's plenty of amplified crunch, Red Dirt twang, roadhouse-worthy guitar riffs, story-based songwriting, and the familiar rasp of Canada's voice — an instrument that's been sharpened by years of raw, redemptive shows. Working with producer Mike McClure, the band tracked their new material during breaks in an otherwise busy touring schedule, approaching the recording sessions the same way they'd approach a live show. "The idea was to get into the studio and simplify things, remaining as true to a three-piece as possible," says Canada, who pulls triple-duty as the lineup's frontman, songwriter, and lead guitarist. "If you really want to leave your mark, it's all about the songs, not how many people you can cram into the studio." It's been a quarter century since Canada kicked off his career. A road warrior and prolific songwriter, Canada was the frontman of Cross Canadian Ragweed, a wildly influential band that dominated the Red Dirt scene for more than a decade, and made music that reached far beyond the genre's borders, selling millions of albums and playing for huge audiences across the U.S. Canada formed the Departed in 2011. With 3, he nods to his former band's glory days, brewing up a sound that's inspired by outlaw country icons of the 1970s and rock bands of the 1990s. "This record sounds like Cross Canadian Ragweed between 2002 and 2006, and it goes back to the way I originally started writing songs," he says. "It's observational writing. I was inspired by the bad news on the television. The good news, too. I was inspired by falling in love all over again with my wife, by watching my kids go through life, by politics, and by the modern world." He also found inspiration in his bandmates: bass player Jeremy Plato (who's played alongside Canada for decades, beginning with Cross Canadian Ragweed's first album) and drummer Eric Hansen (a longtime friend currently celebrating his third year with the band). Also joining the Departed in the studio was McClure, an acclaimed songwriter and producer who helped oversee multiple albums for Cross Canadian Ragweed. 3 marks McClure's first collaboration with Canada since the Departed's formation. Songs like "Lipstick" — a heartland rocker, shot through with harmonica and thick harmonies — was partially written in the recording studio, with all musicians contributing to Canada's original idea. Others were written on the road, their compositions cobbled together from iPhone recordings and soundcheck jams. Also tracks like "Sam Hain" deliver a pissed-off, political punch, 3 represent the Departed's happiest album to date — a result of Cody Canada's own attitude toward his life and his band. "I'm a fan of love," he says unapologetically. "I love my wife, who I've been with for 20 years. I love my kids. I love my friends. These songs come out of the good times and the bad times, but the recurring theme of this thing is me finding my happy area. I've finally found comfort in who I am. My band's where it needs to be. I don't need to fight it." This show will sell out, so get your tickets early!



Wrapping up things this month at Freiheit will be on Saturday Sept 19th with Jon Wolfe. Country artist Jon Wolfe is part rebel and part traditionalist -- his songs are upbeat and tuneful enough to get crowds dancing, but his allegiance to classic honky tonk styles makes him something of an outsider as the increasingly polished and slickly produced sounds of bro-country make their stand on country radio. Nevertheless, due to hard work, Wolfe made some inroads over the course of the decade, with 2015's Natural Man and 2017's Any Night in Texas appearing in the Top Ten of Billboard's Heatseekers chart. 
Born and raised in Miami, Oklahoma, a small town 90 miles from Tulsa, Wolfe's first experience with singing came in church, and while he grew up with a taste for classic pop (most notably Frank Sinatra), he was introduced to country music by his stepfather, who played bass with the house band at a local country venue. (One of the other members of the band was Joe Don Rooney, who went on to play with the group Rascal Flatts.) The tremendous success of fellow Oklahoman Garth Brooks inspired Wolfe, and as he began digging deeper into classic country, he first considered making music his career. For a spell, he lived in Chicago, working as a commodities trader -- "I was the only guy on the trading floor in cowboy boots," Wolfe once told a reporter -- but in time he made his way to Texas, regularly playing in Houston before settling in the Austin/San Marcos area. As he became a regular on the Lone Star honky tonk circuit, he was soon sharing stages with the likes of Dwight Yoakam, George Strait, Merle Haggard, and Asleep at the Wheel.
In 2005, Wolfe self-released his debut album, Almost Gone, and a 2006 show in Nashville led to a deal with the independent Midas label; he cut some material for the label, including a version of the song "She Won't Be Lonely Long," but Midas went out of business before releasing anything by Wolfe, while Clay Walker recorded "She Won't Be Lonely Long" and saw it become a hit. Despite his frustrations, Wolfe kept performing and writing songs, and he released the album It All Happened in a Honky Tonk, another self-distributed title, in 2010. The album became a regional success in the Southwest, and in 2013 it was reissued by Warner Bros.
Two years later, Wolfe returned with his third full-length release, Natural Man, another set that fused a traditional sound with contemporary energy and swagger. In 2017, Wolfe's single "Boots on a Dance Floor" rose to number one on the Texas Regional Radio Report. The tune also appeared on his fourth album, Any Night in Texas, which he released that year through his own Fool Hearted Productions label. Wolfe returned with the Feels Like Country Music EP in 2019. 


Other venues such as Billy's Ice and Pour Haus have begun free shows, and I am hearing rumblings that Gruene Hall and Krause's Cafe are set to open soon. I will update here as more information becomes available...Until next time...keep the music in your soul !!!

D.





Wednesday, August 12, 2020

August Local Music Events and More Streaming...


Hey Folks, The remainder of August looks pretty spectacular with some great live shows coming to Freiheit Country Store. So let's get to it,  I have had requests to continue a listing of 'Live Music Streams' here on this blog, to accommodate that, I am including this link to a really wonderful guide to all types of music streams from local stuff to nation wide! https://www.songkick.com/live-stream-concerts . I think you will find it up to date and chock full of everything you could want in live streams. Now as for some REAL LIVE MUSIC, here are my picks for must see shows, for the remainder of August, here, IN NEW BRAUNFELS! Randall King takes the stage at Freiheit this Thursday August 13th.

Humble beginnings, a cultivated work ethic and the influences of classic country legends, synchronized together in perfect harmony, make up singer-songwriter from the West Texas Plains, Randall King.

Growing up a fourth generation hay-hauler, many of King’s songs are written and inspired by his deep southern heritage and family roots.

King was raised listening to the rich and soulful, classic country voices of Keith Whitley, George Strait and Alan Jackson, to name a few, which helped create King’s musical style into what many have described as neo-traditional country. “Randall King remains to the heart and soul of country music, but no doubt brings his own unique brand to the genre,” says hit songwriter Mark Nesler (co-writer of “Just To See You Smile” by Tim McGraw, “You Look Good In My Shirt” by Keith Urban).

With a sound rooted in tradition and songwriting that showcases honesty, conviction and authenticity, King connects with fans on all emotional levels. “Randall King has a great voice that sounds classic, yet is fresh and as a songwriter he actually has something to say – be it something that touches your heart or something simple and fun that makes you wanna get out and raise some hell.” said multi-award-winning and critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Anthony Smith (co-writer of “Run” & “Cowboys Like Us” by George Strait).

Unlike the west Texas wind, King is a grounded and talented singer-songwriter who is sure to stay. "There’s a lot of people that want country music to come back around, and there’s a lot of people that will say you have to sell out and play radio hits to make it. I think for me I want to make my stamp as an artist with this record, that I can be me and still make an impact across the country.


This guy brings a ton of energy and some great tunes, so I say start your weekend early, grab a burger and a seat and enjoy!!

Saturday August 15th the always entertaining Curtis Grimes rolls in. With over 30 million streams on Spotify, TEN #1 singles on the Texas Country Music Chart and a #1 song on the national Power Source Christian Country Music Chart, Curtis Grimes is proving to be a force in the country music scene that can't be denied.

To hear Grimes sing is to take a trip through the heart of country music. As a Texas native, he was raised on a steady diet of Alan Jackson and George Strait. He possesses the everyman charm of both influences along with a refreshingly mature voice that truly stands out. After a childhood filled with playing baseball and eventually earning a Division I scholarship, Grimes was given the opportunity to appear on the hit reality TV show “The Voice” in 2011. Under direction of coach CeeLo Green, he ended up finishing as a coveted Top 10 finalist of Season 1.

Following success from the show, Grimes hit the ground running and released new music while performing shows across the United States. In 2014, Grimes and his hit single “Home to Me” were picked up by the salon chain “Supercuts” and placed in the mainstream spotlight. Not only was the song featured across the country, but Grimes also got to put on his acting boots and star in the national television commercial. That same year Grimes started to see his hard work pay off when he was awarded “New Male Vocalist of the Year” at the annual Texas Regional Radio Awards.

In 2018, Grimes was named “Male Vocalist of the Year” at the Texas Country Music Awards hosted by the Texas Country Music Association. He also received the honors of “Christian Country Artist of the Year” and "Christian Country Song of the Year” as well. In 2019, Grimes took home the "Entertainer of the Year" award along with the "Christian Country Song of the Year" for the second year in a row!






Cory Morrow is next up on Friday August 21st. Singer/songwriter Cory Morrow was born and raised in Texas, and he's become a local legend in the Lone Star State, producing a handful of self-released albums and playing an endless string of shows from Amarillo to Corpus Christi that have made him a major attraction in the Southwest. Morrow was born in Houston on May 1, 1971, and began learning to play guitar when he was 15 on an instrument his stepfather won in a coin toss in a Mexican border town. Originally a fan of hard rock acts like ZZ Top and Led ZeppelinMorrow started writing songs while in high school, but while studying at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, he developed a taste for Lone Star singer/songwriters such as Ray Wylie Hubbard and Robert Earl Keen, and struck up a friendship will fellow aspiring songwriter Pat Green

Cory Morrow didn’t become a Texas legend by being quiet. He sings about strippers and Jesus with equal fervor. While this dichotomy may leave those on either side of the moral equator perplexed – the answer is actually very simple. Cory Morrow is beautifully and uncomfortably transparent. From the beer soaked, cocaine laden days of his early career, to today’s more sober and spiritual leg of the journey, one thing about Morrow has never changed – as goes Cory’s life, goes Cory’s songs – and that’s never been more evident than on his newest studio release “Whiskey & Pride”.
The record, which dropped in September 2018, is an aggressive blend of early Morrow sound with a current day perspective. Vintage feel from an evolving heart and mind. The title track, “Whiskey & Pride” features the age-old struggle of love versus ego and cleverly straddles the line of sermon and self-deprecation. The twist comes in the form of a mirror behind a bar that reveals the true identity of the accuser. The track, which is also the first single release, features the Texas Country-style instrumentation prevalent in Morrow’s early days, including steel guitar phenom and producer of “Whiskey & Pride”, Lloyd Maines.

“Whiskey” boasts twelve songs previously unrecorded, including two covers giving nod to mentors Rodney Crowell (Funny Feeling) and Jerry Jeff Walker (Hill Country Rain). Quite possibly, the jewel for fans is “Always and Forever”, an iconic Morrow ballad that has only appeared on live recordings. Cory is joined by the unforgettable Jamie Lin Wilson on the long awaited studio version of the classic.

“Whiskey and Pride” runs the gamut on subject matter from the daily grind (Restless, Blue Collar) to living in the moment (Breath, Let’s Take This Outside). Musically, it explores the spectrum from tender (Smile, Daisey) to raucous (One Foot, Revival), and includes spectacular moments from long time band-leader and coveted studio guitar player John Carroll. “Whiskey” seamlessly weaves its way through simple and sweet, moody and complex, and offers equal doses of introspection and fun.
If the new record, and this phase of Morrow’s career, had to be summed up in one word – the word would be “real”. As evidenced by his latest recordings, live shows, and online communication with fans, he’s not pandering, he’s simply doing what he knows. Pulling back the curtains, letting us in, and letting the chips fall where they may.

“Whiskey & Pride” is much more than a collection of songs. It’s another mile-marker in the journey of Cory Morrow. You can hear songs from this latest record as well as all of his older hits at this show, get your tickets early!



The eclectic sounds of a true Texas legend will hit the stage at Freiheit on Saturday August 29th!
The reverend Horton Heat brings his little circus to town! “I’m afraid I’m on the Willie Nelson retirement program, which means I’ll never retire,” promises Jim Heath, sounding every inch a Texan.


By day, Jim Heath is a mild-mannered musical historian well-versed in the birthing days of rock and roll. But when the sun goes down, he straps on his signature Gretsch 6120, steps up to the mic and is transformed into REVEREND HORTON HEAT, a hellfire-spewing, rock and roll dare-demon.

Jim’s tome is iconic: From recording with Lemmy Kilmister, being revered by country music legends like Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, touring with Soundgarden, ZZ Top, The Cramps, Social Distortion, White Zombie and the Sex Pistols (a young Lydon was connected to Jim’s original 1985 demo), to providing touring opps to upstarts Kyuss, Hank III, Marilyn Manson and countless others across decades on the road.

Heath and longtime confidant and slap-bass general Jimbo Wallace have polished up their 12threlease, Whole New Life, which Heath calls “the most positive material I have ever written. It focuses heavily on rock and roll but there is a human interest parallel - songs about growing up poor, vices, marriage, having children and walking the rapturous streets of America.”

Call it a new twist on an old sound, Whole New Life was recorded between Fun Guy Studios and Modern Electric in the band’s hometown of Dallas. The eleven track rumination features new sticksman Arjuna ‘RJ’ Contreras. The Texas based jazz pupil came to the bands attention from a friend’s reference in the summer of 2017, and brought a whole new backbeat to the legendary rockabilly administration. After clicking with Contreras, Heath hired a new pianist in 2018, Matt Jordan, to flesh out the sound with the pomp and power of Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. “I love playing with these guys, it truly is a whole new band, so the title fits perfectly.”

Recording the album, Heath recalled that “Back in the 1950’s, reverb chambers were really hip and I always loved their warmth. I’m all about Sam Phillips and the things he did with tape machines and tape echo. I love that kind of production value, even if it is older than me! It really sent me to this whole other headspace where I worked with a lot of vintage gear on this album - some of which I built myself for a truly unique sound - ribbon, old tube microphones, pre-amps and stuff. Additionally, a year before I started piecing this together I worked especially hard on my singing voice. Whole New Life brought out something in me where I am screaming more and making more throaty sounds. It's got some Louisiana feel to it, a bit of gruff and some Roy Orbison style in it. We tested out new tracks on our most recent tour and they are working better with the audience than any new songs we premiered since the early days of the band.”

“This tour started around 1986,” Heath chuckles dryly. REVEREND HORTON HEAT still performs nearly 200 shows annually, including their trademark Horton’s Hayride Festival in Southern California, which has expanded to an end-of-the-year jamboree under the name Horton’s Holiday Hayride. The band has also wowed sold-out crowds with their multi-city residencies across America, including performances at Coachella, Reading, Austin City Limits, Riot Fest and countless other festivals. The Texas troubadours also took a unique approach to the term ‘Special Guests’ on recent tours. Recalling the time the band opened for Jerry Lee Lewis, Heath had a vision, “The idea of playing in Jerry’s backing band would have been pretty neat. So every once in a while we’ll have a load of fun putting that aspect in our live set. In the middle of our set, we’ll have a special guest come on stage for a mini-set where REVEREND HORTON HEAT is the backing band. The first time we did it was with Lemmy Kilmister. We stopped our set midway, the road crew dragged a Marshall amp on stage, wiped the Rickenbacker clean and out came Lem. He was adamant on playing deep cuts, but I fought tooth and nail with him to do ‘Ace Of Spades.’ I told him, ‘Lemmy, we must do this song, we have to give the people want they want.’ He took a drag of his smoke, looked me square in the eye, and said ‘Never give them what they want, give them what they need!’”

With over 1 million albums sold and nearly 35 years in the game, Heath and company have been delivering blood-pressure inducing scriptures to millions of fans worldwide. Call it rock and roll, psychobilly or what have you, REVEREND HORTON HEAT is often considered an early architect of the latter genre (at least on this side of the Atlantic) and occupies a peculiar place in American musical terrain.

Much more to come, I'm working on a lot of new content for September, until then, Keep the music in your hearts!!

Cheers!
D.



Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Restaurants Step Up Support of Live Music!

Hey Folks!
It's been awhile! And since I have stopped the Live Stream Listing, I have discovered that some restaurants are stepping up to the plate to help live music continue in a safe environment. This week I focus on Freiheit Country Store. Some great acts are coming to town to accompany some great food and hospitality! John Baumann takes the stage this Thursday August 6th at 8:30pm. 

“I could use a shot of confidence to get a word in edgewise, I need to see that silver lining, in those dark and stormy skies, and pray I catch that feeling that I used to know back when, back when I never knew I’d ever need a second wind,” John Baumann sings on “Second Wind,” a deep cut from his  album, Country Shade. After having a conversation with the singer-songwriter, it’s evident that he tends to look at things with a glass-half-full mentality-complemented by a deeply-ingrained dose of ambition. He is curious how time passes in its unknowable and ever-interesting way, and he’s ready for what it’s bringing next for him. 
“‘Second Wind’ is about digging deep and finding the next gear when you’ve lost interest or motivation,” John says about the track. “It’s about the times when I feel like nothing is moving forward, but ultimately really about anyone struggling to get up and get back on the horse.” 
It’s a familiar sentiment to most anyone who’s felt like they’re teetering on the precipice of taking their next step, making their next leap out into the world. John has had a busy last few years – he’s a member of The Panhandlers, with fellow Texans Josh Abbott, William Clark Green and Cleto Cordero, and signed on with The Next Waltz, the Texas-based brainchild of legendary songwriter Bruce Robison, for management. He’s also continued to prove himself as a promising songwriter within his home state and beyond its borders, with Kenny Chesney recording “Gulf Moon” for 2018’s Songs for the Saints.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Good Music STILL soothes during difficult times....Live Streaming Updates daily!

Hey Folks,

We are in some difficult times for sure, BUT, music is still some of the best medicine to heal the soul! Since ALL of our venues are temporarily shut down, my immediate reaction was... every musician I know is now instantly out of work...is live music shut down completely?  Fortunately, the answer turns out to be no!  Music, much like love, always finds a way to win!  People from all segments and genre's have started to stream LIVE music events online on various different platforms!  Some are free, some ask for tips via Paypal, etc and some are ticketed events.
I have spent quite a bit of time online watching these and they are spectacular!!  One fantastic source I found was https://cabinfevertunes.weebly.com. There is some great stuff on here and what makes it even better is that many of the acts I have never heard before.  I now have some new favorite groups to follow. Facebook, of course, is another great place to find events online. Find, like and follow your favorite bands and artists. Billboard.com has a full list of big time acts streaming live.  I am sure you will find a treasure trove of great music to watch live!  For the duration of this viral episode, I will be updating new streaming events that I find and post them here!  I hope you and your loved ones are well and stay healthy. Hopefully, with a little music, we can bring some calm to this storm in front of us!! And when we come out the other side of this, it will be more important than ever to GET OUT there and support LIVE MUSIC once again at all of your favorite venues...in New Braunfels!

Here is list of Live Stream Concerts through July 30th...This list will be updated regularly until it is no longer needed...

July 21

JAZZ
Live@National Sawdust: Joel Ross
Time: 6 p.m. ET
Link: National Sawdust

July 23

CLASSICAL
Live@National Sawdust: Brooklyn Rider
Time: 6 p.m. ET
Link: National Sawdust
EXPERIMENTAL
Fridman Gallery Solos: Diamanda Gal├ís  
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Link: Fridman Gallery

July 24

CLASSICAL
Live@National Sawdust: Cameron Carpenter
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Link: National Sawdust

July 25

ELECTRONIC
Tomorrowland Around the World
Time: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. ET
Link: Tomorrowland

July 26

ELECTRONIC
Tomorrowland Around the World
Time: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. ET
Link: Tomorrowland

July 28

JAZZ
Live@National Sawdust: Julian Lage
Time: 6 p.m. ET
Link: National Sawdust

July 30

CLASSICAL
Live@National Sawdust: Sae Hashimoto
Time: 6 p.m. ET
Link: National Sawdust
EXPERIMENTAL
Fridman Gallery Solos: Janet BiggsTime: 8 p.m. ET
Link: Fridman Gallery



Cheers, and keep the music flowing...or Streaming as it were...

  D.




Wednesday, January 8, 2020

January Brings Some Great Music to The Brauntex Theater...In New Braunfels

Hello Folks,

 Let's Kick 2020 off with a host of awesome music at The Brauntex Performing Arts Theater! The month of January looks amazing at the historic downtown landmark! First up, on Friday January 10th the legendary Peter Noone returns with Herman's Hermits. Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone is a multi-talented entertainer, who has been delighting audiences nearly all his life. He was born in Manchester, England, where he studied voice and acting at St. Bede’s College and the Manchester School of Music and Drama. As a child, he played “Stanley Fairclough” in the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street. He was also featured in the television series Knight ErrantFamily Solicitor and Monro’s Saki Stories.
At the age of fifteen, Peter achieved international fame as “Herman’s Hermits”, lead singer of the legendary Sixties pop band Herman’s Hermits. His classic hits included: “I’m Into Something Good” “Mrs. Brown, you’ve Got A Lovely Daughter”, “I’m Henry VIII, I Am”, “Silhouettes”, “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat”, “Just A Little Bit Better”, “Wonderful World”, “There’s A Kind of Hush”, “A Must To Avoid”, “Listen People”, “The End of the World” and “Dandy”. Ultimately, Herman’s Hermits sold over sixty million recordings. In all, fourteen singles and seven albums went gold. The Hermits were twice named Cashbox’s “Entertainer of the Year”.
As “Herman”, the photogenic Noone graced the cover of nearly every international publication, including Time Magazine. He performed on hundreds of top-rated television programs and appeared with such luminaries as Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin and Danny Kaye. He also starred in ABC’s musical version of The Canterville Ghost, Hallmark Hall of Fame’s presentation of the classic Pinocchio (in which he played the title role) and three highly successful feature films for M-G-M: Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely DaughterHold On! and When The Boys Meet The Girls.
Throughout the seventies, Noone performed, composed songs and produced recordings with such artists as David Bowie, Debby Boone and Graham Gouldman. His album with the Tremblers, “Twice Nightly” and his solo effort “One of The Glory Boys” were both critically and commercially successful. With characteristic zeal, Peter took on leading roles in full-scale theatrical productions of Dick WittingtonAladdin, and Sinbad The Sailor. These live stage spectaculars were mounted at major theatres throughout Great Britain and Noone was highly praised for his outstanding work.
The eighties found Peter starring on Broadway in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s production of The Pirates of Penzance. He won rave reviews for his superb portrayal of the dashing, young hero, “Frederic”. His performance was so well received, that he went on to reprise the role at the world-famous Drury Lane Theatre in London. Noone charmed audiences worldwide as he continued to play “Frederic” with both the U.S. National Touring Company and the International Touring Company of “Pirates”.
Peter’s acting career flourished with guest-starring roles in prime-time television shows such as: Married With ChildrenMy Two DadsQuantum LeapDave’s WorldEasy StreetToo Close For Comfort and Laverne and Shirley. He also starred in the Los Angeles stage premiere of Topokana Martyr’s Day and the U.S. National Tour of the smash Broadway hit Romance, Romance.
For four years, Noone served as the winsome host of VH1’s My Generation, the highest-ever-rated half hour retrospective of popular music. He also hosted the informative PBS Special The British Invasion Returns and recorded the title song for the Kirk Douglas film Diamonds. He created two unique websites (peternoone.com and hermanshermits.com) that have become so popular, the New York Daily News dubbed him the “King of The Sixties on the Internet.”
Accompanied by his band, Herman’s Hermits, Noone consistently plays to sold-out venues the world over. He has a legion of faithful fans (known as “Noonatics”) whose loyalty is unparalleled. Today’s teen girls scream just as passionately as their mothers did back in 1965, prompting VH1 to select Peter as their viewer’s choice for the “Sexiest Artist of the Year”. Most recently, Noone starred in the recurring role of “Paddington” on the CBS daytime drama, As The World Turns. His colorful performances instantly made him a favorite of the soap opera magazines and online message boards. There is no doubt that Peter Noone’s extraordinary talent, disarming wit, handsome features and compelling stage presence will bring the audience to its feet once again on Friday night! Tickets still available bye contacting www.brauntex.org
Friday January 17th, another favorite, returning for their 4th time to the Brauntex, The Oakridge Boys will bring their basket of hits and amazing vocals to downtown New Braunfels. Theirs is one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry. The four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of the Oak Ridge Boys have spawneddozens of Country hits and a Number One Pop smash, earned them Grammy, Dove, CMA, and ACM awards and garnered a host of other industry and fan accolades. Every time they step before an audience, the Oaks bring three decades of charted singles, and 50 years of tradition, to bear on a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most exciting anywhere. And each remains as enthusiastic about the process as they have ever been.

“When I go on stage, I get the same feeling I had the first time I sang with the Oak Ridge Boys,” says lead singer Duane Allen. “This is the only job I've ever wanted to have.”

“Like everyone else in the group,” adds bass singer extraordinaire Richard Sterban, “I was a fan of the Oaks before I became a member. I’m still a fan of the group today. Being in the Oak Ridge Boys is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.”

The two, along with tenor Joe Bonsall and baritone William Lee Golden, comprise one of Country's truly legendary acts. Their string of hits includes the pop chart-topper Elvira, as well as Bobbie Sue, Dream On, Thank God For Kids, American Made, I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Sometimes, Fancy Free, Gonna Take A Lot Of River and many others. They've scored 12 gold, three platinum, and one double platinum album, plus one double platinum single, and had more than a dozen national Number One singles and over 30 Top Ten hits.

The Oaks represent a tradition that extends back to World War II. The original group, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, began performing Country and Gospel music in nearby Oak Ridge where the atomic bomb was being developed. They called themselves the Oak Ridge Quartet, and they began regular Grand Ole Opry appearances in the fall of ‘45. In the mid-fifties, they were featured in Time magazine as one of the top drawing Gospel groups in the nation.

By the late ‘60s, with more than 30 members having come and gone, they had a lineup that included Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, Noel Fox, and Willie Wynn. Among the Oaks’ many acquaintances in the Gospel field were Bonsall, a streetwise Philadelphia kid who embraced Gospel music; and Sterban, who was singing in quartets and holding down a job as a men’s clothing salesman. Both admired the distinctive, highly popular Oaks.

“They were the most innovative quartet in Gospel music,” says Bonsall. “They performed Gospel with a Rock approach, had a full band, wore bell-bottom pants and grew their hair long... things unheard of at the time.”

The four became friends, and when the Oaks needed a bass and tenor in ‘72 and ’73, respectively, Sterban and Bonsall got the calls. For a while, the group remained at the pinnacle of the Gospel music circuit. It was there they refined the strengths that would soon make them an across-the-board attraction.

“We did a lot of package shows,” says Bonsall. “There was an incredible amount of competition. You had to blow people away to sell records and get invited back.”

Their Gospel sound had a distinct Pop edge to it and, although it made for excitement and crowd appeal, it also ruffled purist feathers and left promoters unsure about the Oaks’ direction. Then in 1975, the Oaks were asked to open a number of dates for Roy Clark. Clark’s manager, Jim Halsey, was impressed by their abilities.

“He came backstage and told us we were three-and-a-half minutes (meaning one hit record) away from being a major act,” says Bonsall. “He said we had one of the most dynamic stage shows he’d ever seen but that we had to start singing Country songs.”

They took his advice and the result was a breakthrough.

“Those who came to Country music with or after the New Traditionalists of the mid-eighties cannot possibly imagine the impact the Oaks had in 1977, when they lit up the sky from horizon to horizon with Y’All Come Back Saloon,” wrote Billboard’s Ed Morris. He added “... the vocal intensity the group brought to it instantly enriched and enlivened the perilously staid Country format. These guys were exciting.” Within a year, Paul Simon tapped them to sing backup for his hit Slip Slidin’ Away, and they went on to record with George Jones, Brenda Lee, Johnny Cash, Roy Rogers, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bill Monroe, Ray Charles and others. In 2007, they recorded with the son of an old friend. Shooter Jennings, the son of Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, invited the Oaks to perform Slow Train, a song on his sophomore CD.

Their career has spanned not only decades, but also formats. They have appeared before five presidents. They produced one of the first Country music videos (Easy, in 1977, although not released in the U.S., it reached the 3 slot in Australia). They participated in the first American popular music headline tour in the USSR. And they have become one of the most enduringly successful touring groups anywhere. They still performing some 150 dates each year at major theaters, fairs and festivals across the U.S. and Canada.

They did it with a consistently upbeat musical approach and terrific business savvy.

“We always look for songs that have lasting value and that are uplifting,” says Allen, who has co-produced the Oaks’ last seven studio albums. “You don’t hear us singing ‘cheating’ or ‘drinking’ songs, but ‘loving’ songs, because we think that will last. We also don‘t put music in categories, except for ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ When we get through with it, it’s probably going to sound like an Oak Ridge Boys song no matter what it is.”

They proved their business acumen in any number of ways, including such steps as declining the chance to sit on the couch during their many appearances on the Tonight Show.

“We said, ‘If you‘re going to give us four minutes on the couch with Johnny, we’d rather have four minutes to give you another song that lets people know what got us here,’” says Allen. “We didn’t get here talking; we got here singing.”

They also proved themselves to be capable and tireless advocates of charitable and civic causes, serving as spokesmen and/or board members of fundraisers for the Boy Scouts of America, the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse (now known as Prevent Child Abuse America), Feed The Children, the National Anthem Project and many more.

The group’s first personnel change in many years occurred in 1987 when Steve Sanders, who had been playing guitar in the Oaks Band, replaced William Lee as the baritone singer. Late in ‘95, Steve resigned from the Oaks and exactly one minute after midnight on New Year’s Eve, Duane, Joe and Richard surprised a packed house at the Holiday Star Theatre in Merrillville, Indiana, by welcoming William Lee on stage and back into the group. The hit makers were finally together again!

The Oaks’ high-energy stage show remains the heart and soul of what they do, and they refine it several times a year, striving to keep it fresh well into the future.

“We‘re not willing to rest on our laurels,” Golden says. “That gets boring. As a group, we do things constantly to challenge ourselves, to try to do something different or better than the last time we did it.”

“I feel like I can do what I do on stage just as good now as I could 20 years ago,” says Bonsall. “I plan to be rockin’ my tail off out there as long as I’m healthy. The people who come out, who bring their families to see us, deserve everything I’ve got.”

“We’ve experienced a lot of longevity,” adds Sterban. “I think the reason is the love we have for what we do—the desire, the longing to actually get up there and do it. We love to sing together... to harmonize together. It’s what our lives are all about.” I have worked with these guys on several occasions and 
every time, the amaze me...go get some of the few remaining tickets for this one, it WILL sell out.

The Limeliters will take the stage on January 30th. The Limeliters launched their career in 1959 at San Francisco’s famous “Hungry i”…and before long, founding members Alex Hassilev, Lou Gottlieb and Glenn Yarbrough emerged as one of the dominant voices of the early 1960’s folk music scene. For three years they were the musical representatives for Coca-Cola, and their rendition of the jingle “Things Go Better with Coke” became a national hit. A string of best selling albums for RCA Records and frequent appearances on every major TV show quickly made them a household name.

Time Magazine summed up their appeal with the following memorable quote: “If the button down scrubbed looking Kingston Trio are the undergraduates of big-time folk singing, The Limeliters are the faculty.”

In the ensuing years, the lineup of the group has featured several spectacularly talented new members, but The Limeliters have never deviated from the integrity of the fabulous sound that they pioneered. With their energy and enthusiasm undiminished, current members Andy Corwin, Daniel Boling and Steve Brooks remain as exciting an act as the genre has produced. Now more than ever, the surging vocals, thrilling harmony, and whacked out sense of humor of this unique trio continue to earn them their title as…The “Slightly” Fabulous Limeliters!

Rounding out the month of January at the Brauntex, One of my personal favorites...Radney Foster will perform. The position that Radney Foster enjoys in the country music landscape is remarkable. For 30 years, Radney has thrived as a songwriter, recording artist, live performer and producer. His songs, solo and recorded by other artists, have topped the country, Americana, and AAA charts alike. At the same time, he’s earned the respect of his peers and a devoted audience as intent on listening as they are eager to dance. Radney grew up in two worlds: herding cattle on horseback at his grandfather’s East Texas ranch in the summer and hunkering over a transistor radio in his West Texas hometown, listening to border radio that played country to conjunto. That hybrid of influences may be why Radney has always been tough to categorize. His first success was with the seminal country/cowpunk duo Foster & Lloyd, whose first single, Crazy Over You, went straight to number one. His subsequent solo albums told tales through a honky-tonk lens and yielded enduring hits, Just Call Me Lonesome and Nobody Wins. Considered an elder statesman of Texas singer/songwriters, Radney has written and produced songs for Randy Rogers, Jack Ingram, Kacey Musgraves, Wade Bowen, Josh Abbott, Pat Green, Cory Morrow and many others. His songs are regularly mined by superstar acts like Keith Urban (Raining on Sunday, I’m In), Sara Evans (Real Fine Place, Revival) and the Dixie Chicks (Godspeed). Radney has performed with Charley Pride and Asleep at the Wheel and performed at the Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC, during President Obama's inaugural festivities. Just to give you a little taste of this mans songwriting, I'll just wrap this up with a little video...Until Next Time...CHEERS!