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Greenfest Sunday: Kickstarting the Tip Jar at the Live Concertwindow

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In this day and age of modern music the Kickstarter method of raising funds to make records is very common.  That concept is becoming so murky that recently, as a bit, a man started a Kickstarter to fund a potato salad purchase to prove a point.  The last time I saw a story on it, he had over $40,000.

We added the Sunday portion of Greenfest five years ago.  In the early days of Greenfest we’d had a number of acoustic acts in front of the full bands on Saturday night and they always got swallowed up sonically.  There were notable exceptions such as the time Stoney LaRue headlined acoustic with the fiddle of Jeremy Watkins as his only accompaniment. For folks that have attended many Greenfests, that set still stands out and is talked about with great reverence.

We love acoustic music and songswap sets just as much as the rock show, and we wanted to give a stage to that.  But, we didn’t want it to have a stuffy listening room vibe.  Mind you, we expect that you’re quiet during the songs if you’re near the stage, but we also wanted to provide an area that would enable folks to chat and party periodically without ruining anyone’s vibe.

That led us to the Hill Country mecca of Lone Star Floathouse.  Terry Gillespie and the gang have been on board with our ideas from day one.  They are the coolest floating outfitter on River Road and have the best … Keep Reading

{Brad's Corner} July 2014: Authentic Coats From the Cold

{Brads Corner}

One of the many things that originally attracted me to this music so many years ago was the reverence paid to the forefathers of the “genre” by the young guns.  The first time I heard Walt Wilkins via Pat Green sing about Jerry Jeff and Guy Clark being coats from the cold cleverly resonated with me to my core.  Here were new artists reaching out and paying respect to the road-pavers of their cottage industry.  This doesn’t happen in a genuine fashion in other realms of music.  The faux cries about Hank and Waylon from the Nashville bro-crowd ring hollow.  But, when Cody Canada cuts a record of underground Red Dirt classics, that’s legit.  For every Aldean Lite that is pumping up Johnny Cash, there’s a Randy Rogers promoting the goodness of a Kent Finlay.

That’s not to say we haven’t had our fair share of fake callouts that stand alongside exuberant, exaggerated river trips that float atop suds of Shiner and Lone Star Beer. Thankfully, these are easily identified and castigated for what they are:  trash that is no better than the stuff I derided in the first paragraph.

I’ve said it so many times, but it bears repeating…what we all crave is authenticity.  Be yourself.  Be true.  People will respond.

In the instances I’m talking about here, pay true homage to your heroes.  Don’t do fake shoutouts in your songwriting and live shows because you think that’s what people want to hear.  When Drew Kennedy revels onstage about … Keep Reading

Why Greenfest is Different

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There are thousands of music festivals each year.  They all share many common elements.  Large crowds. Long lines. Multiple bands. Multiple stages. Various settings.  A few bands you know. A few bands you don’t. And so on.

Greenfest has a few of those things, but it is truly different.  Spread over two days, Greenfest is built as a festival for true music fans.  It doesn’t strive to showcase the most popular bands necessarily, just what we feel are the best, most interesting, next big thing or most buzzed about.  There are areas for you to get away from the noise and network with like-minded music fans.  It’s not necessarily a music snob thing, it’s just a way to connect with people on your same wavelength.

More than a dozen years ago, as Galleywinter was in its infancy and the burgeoning online community was busting at the seems, plans were set in motion to have a get together to put faces with the handles and avatars.  That first event set in motion what has grown to be an established event that is part concert, part family reunion and part introduction.

Galleywinter and Greenfest have always been about the people first.  The connections that bind us first online and then in life.  There have been marriages, children, friendships, business relationships and more that have all spawned from meeting people via Galleywinter.  That’s why Greenfest is different.  Because Galleywinter is different.  There are millions of websites, but few that transcend from the virtual … Keep Reading

DK’s Backyard Innovation

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Last night Drew Kennedy walked out in his backyard with his guitar and a cold beer.  Nothing revelatory about that per se.  Kennedy had also set up a microphone, camera, laptop and a bundle of technology that would’ve made NASA scratch their heads in amazement in the 1960’s.  Nothing particularly special about that either in this day and age.  Plenty of people Skype, FaceTime and stream content online.

No, what made this special is the manner which Drew Kennedy presented this new venture.  Instead of you coming to his gig, he was bringing his show to you.  Wherever you are on whatever device you wanted.  Tablet, laptop, phone.  Your beer.  Your couch.  Your patio.  Your recliner.  It only cost a $1 to get in and you could tip him if he did something you really dug.  He told stories.  Took requests.  Etc.  It was a typical Drew Kennedy show, yet it wasn’t.

Again.  Other artists have done this exact same thing. This one felt more natural. More intimate. More unique.  Kennedy has a knack for this.  Whether it’s writing and releasing a novel or developing his own skiing-songwriting festival, Kennedy is ahead of the curve.  This is the same way.  He’s taken a general, modern music business idea and made it his own.  The future possibilities of private remote concerts and the like is limited only by Kennedy’s imagination.  He made this avenue of musical delivery his own and has already scheduled another one for September.  If you missed last … Keep Reading

{Brad's Corner} June 2014: Musical Gateways

{Brads Corner}

It was my granddad’s record collection that introduced me to Hank Williams.  The car radio of my youth instilled a joy and passion for modern country music.  A burnout in my 9th grade homeroom taught me about Pantera.   A childhood friend’s older brother blasted my head with hair metal and AC/DC.   Life and several musician friends made me really dig into the blues.

And, a busted old cassette tape made me fall in love with Texas Music.

Texas Music is unique in the broad spectrum of musical genres for a number of reasons.  But, one of the strongest has to be the manner with which people turn each other onto new bands.  That’s one of the reasons this website even exists!  It’s a community of like-minded individuals who decided to find a place (pre-Facebook/Twitter etc) to get together and enjoy music.  There is a continual domino effect among Texas Music fans.  They discover a new band that they really dig and they pass it on to their friends and it continues down the line until a whole wave of people are aware of some new band ripping things up.… Keep Reading