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Sturgill Mania

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It’s been quite some time since an artist captured the collective heartbeat of the underground country scene quite like Sturgill Simpson has done.  His rise has been historic and meteoric.  Fans of all stripes are flocking to Sturgill as some sort of country music savior.  His latest Texas run is the most recent indication of his current status.  Sell-outs at large venues at Beatles/Garth rates occurred.  Fans are traveling from far and wide to see their latest hero.  Sturgill’s easygoing attitude and calm nature about it all has only endeared him to people further.  There is a tiny hipster minority of folks waging a Sturgill backlash but they can’t stem the Sturgill tide.  Who’s coming to see what all the fuss is about this weekend?  Many of the GW crew will be at both Stubb’s shows and the Billy Bob’s gig.  See you there.  Come say hi.  As a music fan, this is livin’ the dream.

April 2 – Stubb’s – Austin, TX

April 3 – Billy Bob’s – Fort Worth, TX

April 4 – Lubbock Memorial Civic Theater – Lubbock, TX

April 5 – Stubb’s – Austin, TX Keep Reading

Lift Up Jayce Ward

Josh and Heather Ward are part of the Galleywinter family.  They’re what we like to refer to as “old-skool”.  Heather was a part of the original Tore Up From the Floor Up group that birthed this website/community.  We’ve watched Josh grow from banging around on a couple chords to becoming one of the most successful independent artists in Texas at the moment.  Recently, their young son Jayce has been beset by some medical issues.  The family has circled the wagons around their little man and due to this Josh and Heather have missed a great deal of work.  Postponed gigs equals postponed money that the family could use now.  Due to this, a GoFundMe has been set up for the family where you can learn more about Jayce’s prognosis and the family’s story.  The Texas Music Family at large, and the Galleywinter family more specifically, encourage you to consider donating to the Ward’s.  They’re good people…and they’re family.

Jayce Ward GoFundMeKeep Reading

{Brad's Corner} March 2015: Connections

{Brads Corner}

Aaron Watson barnstormed the national country music scene last week during CRS.  His The Underdog album raced to the top of the charts and spurned many think pieces in the wake of the Gary Overton spewn ignorance. The passion and fervor displayed by his core fanbase spurred him to the top of the charts and the forefront of the ongoing “where is country music headed?” conversation.

This passionate underbelly of support comes from the fanbase Aaron has built one show at a time for well over a decade on the Texas circuit.  His authenticity and genuine nature has allowed him to connect to audiences on a grander scale than many of his Texas peers.  He shares his life from the stage and speaks about his wife and kids in such a reverential tone that you want to emulate what he does.  He’s a God-fearing man burning the honky-tonks down.  People respond to that.  People respect that.  People relate to that.  Fans feel connected to Aaron Watson on a deep level.  The type of level they could only dream of attaining with an artist on the Blake Shelton level of fame. Aaron speaks directly to them and not down to them.  He shakes their hand after the show and signs anything they want signed.… Keep Reading

Kent Finlay

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Nobody respected a song more than Kent Finlay.  The first time I met him was in 1999.  He’d just recently reopened his famed Cheatham Street Warehouse and was in the process of reaffirming the atmosphere and dynamics that he’d fostered for so many years.  Weekly songwriter nights were a blend of professional and amateur.  But, each lyric, note and artist received the same bent ear from Kent.  He didn’t care who you were or what you were about as long as you respected the song.  It was always for the sake of the song.  He’d nearly driven himself bankrupt for the sake of the song.  It was all that mattered.

Watching Kent reign over CSW as a young college student first immersing myself in Texas Music on a large scale made a deep impression on me.  Being quiet at a concert had never occurred to me until Kent tutored us by example on how to be reverent during a songwriter round.  Through my expanding prism of Finlay proximity, I was able to watch Kent tutor a slew of young singer/songwriters.  Guys and gals my age.  Randy Rogers, Mark Sanders, Ryan Turner, Brandon Wayne Jones, Micah Harris, Angie McClure and many others from this time period come to mind.  We all knew his George Strait resume, but not because he told us about it.  We were witnessing how he worked first hand.  It was a magical time.  Kent always made people feel that way though.

Closing out each songwriter night with … Keep Reading

February 2015: Conflating the Good Times Balance

2015 has already gotten off to a busy start for words that end in -late.  Deflate. And, now conflate. Deflate was brought to the national consciousness via the New England Patriots alleged football tampering during the NFL Playoffs.  Conflate has arrived on the back of a Chinook helicopter piloted by Brian Williams…or something to that effect. Webster defines conflate as follows, “combining two things (ideas, stories, etc) into one”.  I was recently confronted by a message board post someone sent me that criticized Texas Country music as being just as bad as mainstream bro-country by saying:

“Texas country is just as bad, it’s the same thing that the labels put out to teens with boy bands and girly pop.  What is happening is that awesome parties, nights at the bar, or having a great time at concerts is distorting your view of the music being played.  I understand.  It’s Pavlov’s theory of conditioning.  You are equating a drunken good time in the company of good looking girls with good music, and that’s not the case.”

While I don’t necessarily wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment, I feel as though there is definitely some merit there.  There’s nothing wrong with a good time.  In fact, it’s an essential life element to enjoying a well-balanced existence.  However, there is something wrong if that’s all you’re doing.  And, music that is only about the party is destined to have a short shelf-life.  That’s why I enjoy both types of shows.  That’s why Greenfest has … Keep Reading

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