July 2020: Defending the Music

“Man, that song sucks!” That was the response I got as I commandeered the state of the art Pioneer cd player in my buddy’s maroon Pontiac Grand Am to play him the brand new Foo Fighters record that had just come out. That was 25 years ago this week. My peer group was comprised of folks who loved 90’s country like Garth, 90’s hip-hop like Snoop and anything heavy metal. Pantera and Metallica were the top two favorites, but we all loved anything heavy and loud. We were also music snobs without knowing what that meant. Our conversations veered all

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Best of 2020…so far

What a year 2020 has been. All the optimism that abounded on January 1 was lost by Friday March 13. The world stopped and it hasn’t quite gotten back on track since. Throughout it all, the creators and artists have kept on keeping on in the remarkable ways only they know how. In our music scene, live shows have ground to a halt but new music releases haven’t slowed down at all. It’s been an interesting six months of releases. Below you’ll find our favorite 12 albums of the first half of the year. Several artists such as Lori McKenna,

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Kyle Nix – Lightning on the Mountain and Other Short Stories

Going solo after being in a massively successful band is one of the more difficult propositions in the music business. It has rarely been done with any measure of equal success. Projects from titans like Lennon, McCartney, Henley and Frey jump to mind. Petty delivered Full Moon Fever as a solo project, but it was merely a de facto Heartbreakers album. The most notable example from the Texas/Red Dirt scene is Johnny Chops of the Randy Rogers Band releasing a handful of fantastic rock-infused jams that have built a solid solo brand. Cody Canada’s post-Ragweed deserves consideration in this conversation

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Half in Plain Sight

I came home from kindergarten one day and told my parents that my “girlfriend” had chased me down on the playground and tried to kiss me. They laughingly asked who she was, I said “Ebbie!” They followed the conversation through by telling me we shouldn’t be doing that.  They didn’t tell me that because Ebbie was African-American.  They told me that because we were five years old. I was raised in a podunk northern suburb of Waco, Texas called Elm Mott. Heart of the Bible Belt, smack dab in the middle of central Texas.  My parents were progressive for the

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River Jam Artist Preview: The Cole Trains

Sprouting from the deserts of Arizona is an Americana powerhouse of a band co-fronted by Texan Shane Britt. Britt is joined by TJ Taylor at the forefront of the roots rock project which borrows as much from Red Dirt as it does the larger sonic sounds of Tom Petty and Foo Fighters. Speaking of the Foos, the Trains debut record, Lucky Stars, was recorded with Cody Canada at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 in Los Angeles. This is a band on the come-up that has been touched with greatness and is paying it forward. We don’t get bands from Arizona torching

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