April 2021: The Familiar Sounds of Good Times

It’s been a long and winding road to get here, but we’re finally seeing some sunshine at the end of this very dark tunnel we’ve been in for over 12 months.  Live music is back to happening in person and not just via your screen with shoddy sound.  I’ve partaken in more than a handful of socially distanced, masked shows during this “unprecedented, unparalleled, uncertain time” (insert trademark). But, this past weekend I was able to enjoy two shows in two separate towns that were just completely normal.  Masked if you wanted to be.  As spread out or as close

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Mile 0 Fest 2021: Forging Ahead in 4th Year

As we prepare to embark on our fourth journey down to the magical island hamlet known as Key West, it is with perhaps greater excitement than in any of the previous three.  This fact has nothing to do with the lineup, the change in date or any logistical matters.  It is simply a pent-up Covid response that we’re finally getting to do something normal and fun.  Kyle Carter and the gang set the bar high with their first three forays into hosting a festival.  And they have continued to be leaders throughout the pandemic.  Optimistically putting their necks on the

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Charley Crockett – 10 For Slim

The first time I ever heard James “Slim” Hand, it was just in conversation at the dusty bartop in Tokio, TX at, what else, the Tokio Store.  Tokio was one of our favorite early 00’s haunts.  Just outside of West, it was the type of building that dots the landscape of the Lone Star State that looks as likely as it is home to a good time as it is to be scheduled for demolition in the morning.  The entire structure kind of leaned to 10 o’clock.  Now, mind you, the Hand family is well known in northern McLennan County

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January 2021 – TikTok Tides

“Texas Music” and the ensuing music scene that springs from its tentacles and ensares everything from Red Dirt to folk to Americana has suffered from few credibility crises over the years. However, it has been inundated over the years by an ongoing originality crisis.  With each original act, artist, songwriter, idea there are scores of copycats. It becomes tiresome. It also causes fans to seek something fresh.  Today’s modern streaming listening options provide ample opportunities for folks to sample those fresh sounds.  Sometimes they find them from within our genre’s borders…other times it is found far beyond. I’ve experienced this

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Favorites of 2020

Avoiding all the cliches about how awful 2020 has been is difficult when compiling a list such as this. Or really just looking back at the past 12 months in any capacity. It’s unprecedented in so many respects, but particularly from the arts perspective. Concerts shut down. Venues closed. Movie theaters shuttered. Yet, as they will always do, artists found a way. And that way for musicians was to keep plugging along. Sure they couldn’t perform and play in the traditional manner, but they kept grinding. Live streams and album releases kept the music going until they could be joined

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