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Walt Wilkins’ guitar is home!

Photo: Austin PD

Photo: Austin PD

In short, Walt Wilkins owned a really cool, custom Gibson Americana that was given to him in 2006. The guitar was stolen in 2009, then 5 and a half years later it made it back to Walt’s very grateful hands. Walt was gracious enough to answer a few questions about the guitar and its journey.

Me: What’s the story on this guitar, and how did it end up in your hands?
Walt: It is a Gibson Americana model, which never went into full production by Gibson. Gibson made 3 of them for a benefit in conjunction with the public radio station in Marfa, TX. Willie played one at the show; there’s pictures of him with one of the guitars. It’s cool. The other guitar was given to Dan Rather, I don’t know why. I do know that one of my life-long friends found a way to contact Mr. Rather with a request to buy his for me after mine was stolen. His email in response was brief & definitive; not interested. The band began calling the guitar ‘Merica, because during a soundcheck somewhere I hit a big G chord through the house PA & my amp, and it sounded huge. I told the drummer Ray Rodriguez “that’s a big AMerican G chord, man.” He started calling the guitar ‘Merica. It was that goofy & simple.
note: The guitar was made from wood from an old Army Base in Marfa where Willie performed to raise money for the station (from Gibson.com)
Me: Tell me about when the guitar was taken.

Continue reading at musicofnewbraunfels.com…

{Review} RR, WB, WCG and Monster Records

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“Well, it’s not really a monster track Mike.”

Jerry Jeff Walker spoke those tongue-in-cheek words over 40 years ago as the tapes rolled on his recording “Gettin’ By”.  It was a knowing wink that while the song was simple and somewhat off the cuff, Jerry Jeff knew he was on the brink of a movement.  It may not have been a monster track, but it was part of a monster moment.  Texas Music has had a few of those throughout the past five decades.  We’re on the cusp of another one this week with the twin releases of two highly anticipated albums.  The Randy Rogers-Wade Bowen duets record Hold My Beer, Vol. 1 and William Clark Green’s Ringling Road.  The anticipation for each is for different reasons.

Ever since Pat Green and Cory  Morrow released the rollicking, Lloyd Maines produced Songs We Wish We’d Written Vol. 1 in 2001 there has been a void of that type of vibe and music in this scene.  It was a shoot from the hip, free-wheeling ride through some of their favorite tunes.  Morrow has never sounded finer and Green has never sounded like he’s having more fun than on that collection.  Into that void, 14 years later, steps Rogers and Bowen. For many years these two have taken their Hold My Beer acoustic songswap concept and made it half house party-half listening room.  This record bends more toward the party aspect.  It reeks, in the best possible way, of late 70s/early 80s country music debauchery.  This new Hold My Beer record sounds as if the ol’ Bocephus “All My Rowdy Friends” video has come to life.  That’s the vibe it has.  It’s fun, it’s honky-tonk, it’s true.  Simply, it’s country music.  After coming out of the other side of the Nashville factory and living to tell about it, Rogers and Bowen are enjoying what they have and not chasing what they don’t.  That satisfaction and relief is evident in this Maines’ produced collection.  One of the most hyped and heavily anticipated releases in this scene’s history lives up to its billing.

William Clark Green burst on the scene, as so many before him, via toiling away writing songs and singing in the bars of Lubbock.  His career built relatively slowly as it grew on the back of each album release.  His last album, Rose Queen, was a testament to being in the right place at the right time with the right songs (and producer…Rachey Loy).  Loy’s back at the wheel again and WCG has bolstered his sound by adding more guitars (Josh Serrato of 6 Market Blvd fame) and a broader scope of sounds and styles.  It’s another bevy of songs that feature a wide range of thematic elements including relationships and small-town Texas life.  Watching an artist enter their creative peak is one of the most thrilling aspects of being a music fan.  Much like athletes, musicians have career arcs and William Clark Green is poised at the top of his roller coaster.  He’s got the buzz and growing audience to soak up these new songs and sustain that peak for quite a while.

Hold My Beer, Vol. 1 and Ringling Road are different albums, but cut from the same cloth.  They come from different inspirations and points, but seek the same truth.  They’re a raw, real alternative to bros, dirt roads and sugar shakers.  Even at their most fun, they’re packed with thought.  We’ve all been craving something with a little depth, a little heart and a touch of commercial appeal without sounding slick. These records do that.  They’re not really monster albums, but they’re each as important (for different reasons) as any Texas record of the past five years.

LJT 2015 Must-Sees

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Here are a few highlights we are looking forward to.  As always, this is a formidable and very comprehensive lineup that has something for every taste and fan.  There are country acts, rock acts, folk acts, legendary acts and new acts.  Sometimes back to back.  The list below is far from comprehensive, it just includes many of the sets we won’t be missing and felt were particularly notable.

(all times approximate)

MON APR 20

8:00PM–Gary P. Nunn–T-Bird’s--The venerable singer/songwriter kicks things off for 2015 with his road-tested and proven old school Texas country jams.  If you’re starting your LJT experience on Monday and going the entire week, God Bless you.  This is the first time we can recall music starting on Monday!  There’s a party comin’ on for sure.

TUE APR 21

8:00PM–Delbert McClinton–Bud Light Stage–The legendary Texas blues howler takes to the mainstage for a set that will take place after his son Clay and prior to a set from Casey Donahew Band.  Our money is on the veteran Delbert laying it down like nobody else can.  He’s still got it…the Lone Star Blues and the goods.

WED APR 22

2:00–Cody Canada and Mike McClure–Allsups Stage–This is where things start to get greasy.  This classic Red Dirt pair’s annual acoustic shows under the small tent back in LJT’s relative infancy were always a true highlight.  It’s very cool to see them doing it once again.  Get there for this one.  There will be songs, stories, surprises … Keep Reading

{Brad's Corner} April 2015: Transferring to the Tube

{Brad�s Corner}

The way we consume media in these modern times is quite different from how we took it in as recently as five years ago.  Streaming and avenues like Apple TV and Netflix allow us to gluttonously devour television series and movies as if we were headed to Whataburger after a fast.  We don’t consume these shows quietly either.  We must blast our latest viewing habits out on all manner of social media.  Why do we do this? Because we as humans crave a connection.  We want to share our joy and love of something and feel validated.  Finding someone else who watches and enjoys the same show as you bonds you in some sort of unexplained social lockstep.  And, boy can we get passionate about these shows we watch.  Whether it’s Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Mad Men, Scandal, House of Cards or you name it…we will jump up on the highest cliff and stump for it harder than the 2016 candidates are striving for the White House.  We will beat the drums and tell people why it’s awesome and why they should watch.  We will act incredulous when someone tells us they haven’t seen it or didn’t enjoy it when they tried to watch it.

I used to see that same kind of passion about music.  But, it’s rare these days.  It’s easy to blame it on the changing fads or the death of both country music and “Texas Country”.  Yet, there has to be more to it.  I think … Keep Reading

Haggard Undercover

Merle Haggard is one of the greatest American musicians of all time.  His influence is immense and legendary. The Texas/Red Dirt scene is littered with tributes to The Hag and on the occasion of his birthday we’ve compiled a few of the best.  Hit up the comments section and let us know others that you dig.

 

 

 

 … Keep Reading