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{Review} Loco Gringo’s Lament Turns 20

by: Damon Rodgers

rwhIt seems 20th anniversaries of albums are everywhere now.   Off the top of my head, I know that Shelby Lynne, Wilco, and Todd Snider are all celebrating twenty years of something.   Of course, some of that is because of the resurgence of vinyl, which makes it a win/win for both the artist and the consumer.  I was curious about one of the albums I consider to be in the top ten of best albums ever written, and lo and behold, it was put out in 1994 – making this year the 20th anniversary.

Ray Wylie Hubbard is a great songwriter.  Undisputed.  Most known for songs like “Snake Farm”, “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother”, and “Screw You, We’re From Texas”.  He is also known for his live shows that combine wit, rock ‘n roll, blues, country and humor, often self-deprecating.

However, with the release of LOCO GRINGO’S LAMENT in 1994, he became much more than that.  He became one of the smartest men and one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard.  Each song holds up on its own, but as an album, each song bleeds into the next, culminating with the last three songs that show more than any other, the songwriting genius Ray Wylie really is.

Listen to it.  I dare you.  Listen to it and try not to feel, try not to think, try not to empathize.

Twelve songs – all linked thematically by despair, tragedy, hope, redemption and love.

“Dust of … Keep Reading

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.

 

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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

Like It Used To Be

Ten years ago in one of our first 20 Questions features, Randy Rogers talked about the stories behind some of his songs.  The tale of “Like It Used To Be” sums up how many of us were feeling in the days after 9/11.

-“Like It Used to Be” – I wrote it on my buddies couch in Ft. Worth. I used to stay there for days after we played a gig in Ft. Worth. He never complained. I really didn’t have anywhere else to go. The girl I was dating lived in Dallas and so it was closer to her than San Marcos. I wrote it during those crazy few months after 9/11 when you didn’t know what was going to happen next. I just wanted to go out and forget about the world around us.

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American Aquarium – Hard To Quit

By: Justin Dean | @TXDean23

AAquarium

It was hot. Inside and outside. The smell of Lone Star Beer and Jameson was the only thing that could mask the body odor that permeated through every single inch of surrounding air space. Yet no one cared. Not the hipster kid with the rimmed glasses and too tight pants or the guy in the cowboy hat on my opposite side that definitely wasn’t going to be getting on a horse anytime soon in his bedazzled designer jeans. Normally these guys stay miles apart and don’t even frequent the same sides of town- let alone the same bar- but this was American Aquarium on a Saturday night and no one cared.

Not many bands these days can take a demographic “label” and throw it out the window of a moving Econoline, but American Aquarium has done that. They have split the seams of the independent music world and transformed themselves from a band that played small shows in dive bars in Raleigh, NC to travelling across the country playing music for anyone who will listen.

American Aquarium put out their first two records- Antique Hearts and The Bible and the Bottle- in 2006 and 2008, respectively. They signed with Last Chance Records and put out Dances With the Lonely in 2009 and Small Town Hymns in 2010. In 2012 the band released their Live in Raleigh CD before putting out the Jason Isbell produced Burn. Flicker. Die, their most popular and praised album to date, … Keep Reading