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{Brad's Corner} October 2014: Dinosaur Cycle

{Brad�s Corner}

There’s just something about the Texas Music scene that defies logic.  It may be the staid and repetitive nature of the music the last few years or the extremely overcrowded market. Right or wrong, there is a pecking order based on who started first and not necessarily talent in many cases. Guys that have been doing it since the late 90’s, even if unoriginally and without reaching their full potential, are handed virtual lockdowns on venues and top notch musicians.  In essence, the scene is like a big high school; with several acts who should’ve graduated long ago still hanging out like Wooderson in the movie Dazed and Confused.  Texas music is like a big bubble that forces you to breathe improperly until you emancipate yourself from it.

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating. Our scene is a lot like the hair metal movement of the 80’s. It sprung out of a hardcore LA club and rock scene. It was vibrant and competitive. It was a spirited and friendly competitive environment in which the bands attempted to snag a record deal, the hottest girl in the club that night, or the best blow and/or smack from some top rate dealer. Sometimes all three in one night.

The market was flooded with wannabes, burnouts, has-beens, never-weres, talents, no talents etc. All trying to jump to the next rung.

Sound familiar?

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We’re All Gonna Miss Glen Campbell

As Glen Campbell enters the final stages of his fight with Alzheimer’s, his family has released his final recording.  A moving, poignant, emotional tune called “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”.  It’s a powerful piece of art on the same level as Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”.  When paired with Campbell’s fine 2009 cover of Jackson Browne’s “These Days” you get a sad, yet fitting self-made tribute to an artist that we will all miss.

 

Damn Good Dozen

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The Twelve Project is one of the coolest things to cross our path in quite some time.  Located in Galveston it’s one of those things that uses good music for a good cause.  Very unique.  Just read its own description:

Armed with a camera and a roll of film, 12 musicians are capturing their view of life behind the mic. In addition to performing in a TWELVE concert series running through December, each will choose one photo for public display and Artwalk auction.

We didn’t get this blurb posted in time for you to actually bid on the artwork this go around but with the backing of folks like Hayes Carll, Ian Moore, Walt Wilkins, Drew Kennedy, Jamie Wilson and more we’re pretty sure this isn’t the last the TWELVE project will be deserving your attention.  There are still two fantastic concert events upcoming.

November 20 with Walt Wilkins and Matt Harlan

December 12 with Ian Moore and Drew Kennedy

 

To find out much more information about this worthwhile and cool project (and how you can get tickets to the gigs) check this link:
http://www.twelvepeople.org/events/Keep Reading

{New Braunfels} Artist Spotlight: Smoke Wagon

smokewagonband2014Like many bands, I’ve been trying to see Smoke Wagon perform live for quite some time. I finally had the opportunity to see them last Friday at Billy D’s in Universal City. The acoustics weren’t optimal, but the sound was well balanced and filled the oddly arranged room well. Smoke Wagon plays primarily Texas Country and Red Dirt tunes from the more popular bands of the last decade, and they do this very well. With highly capable musicians in all corners and the recent addition of a clasically trained violinist turned fiddle queen, it really rounds out their sound and enables them to match the instrumentation of many bands such as Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen, Reckless Kelly, Turnpike Troubadours and more.

Smoke Wagon was formed in 2011 which involved a Craigslist post and an urge to put together a band to cover a better brand of popular music. Going back a bit, lead singer Jay Brown and bassist Dave James were already comfortable playing together as they were both founding members of the raunchy, San Antonio-based parody band “Skunkweed” since the mid-90’s. Skunkweed members Jay Brown and Leon Waddy branched out and started an additional band “The Country Fried Pickles” in 2008 which played primarily in New Braunfels and achieved some level of success. However, life eventually got a little too hectic for Jay to keep up with the demands of two bands and “real life” so he had to step down as lead singer of “The Country Fried … Keep Reading

Stevie Ray at 60

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Few artists are transcendent.  There are those that make a mark so indelible that even a tragic, untimely death can’t lessen the tight grip they have on our collective consciousness.  Such was the case with Texas guitar virtuoso Stevie Ray Vaughan.  The man cut his teeth in the dives of Dallas, helped break open the Austin scene and slummed at Cheatham Street before becoming an international superstar.  Tales of SRV’s talent and excess are commonplace and we won’t rehash them here.  Just know that he was more than the sum of those narratives.  He was a talented singer, songwriter and producer as well.  He had the artistic abilities to stretch beyond 1-4-5 blues and did so on occasion, but he always knew where home was.  He was an old soul with a Texas spirit that embodied all he did.  After beating around throughout the 70s, Stevie Ray shot to fame and infamy in the early 80s on the strength of his live shows.  He was a throwback bluesman with Hendrix-esque intensity and mystique, all in an original Texan package.  Stevie Ray Vaughan climbed mountains that seemed impossible both personally and musically.  He overcame many obstacles, including a great number of self-inflicted ones, to become the preeminent post-Hendrix guitar player.

Had Stevie Ray Vaughan lived he’d have turned 60 today.  He was robbed from us nearly 25 years ago at the age of just 35.  His life made him a legend, his death escalated that notion and his music confirms it … Keep Reading