Facebook Twitter RSS

Articles | Brad’s Corner

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

{Bradís 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

{Brad's Corner} June 2014: Musical Gateways

{Bradís 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‚Äôs one of the reasons this website even exists!¬† It‚Äôs 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

{Brad's Corner} Brad’s Corner-May 2014: Summer Songs

{Bradís Corner}

My first memories of having an actual summer revolve around my post-kindergarten summer.  Prior to that, as a toddler, every day is like summer.  But, after actually putting in the grind of a schoolyear for the first time, I was actually loving this thing called summer break.  I mean coloring within the lines and cutting out new shapes can be stressful for a 5 year old.

Both of my parents worked, so that left my summer itinerary up to my older sister. ¬†This meant plopping me in front of MTV for hours on end and plying me with health foods like Dr. Pepper and pop tarts. Or running up to West Pool for some mischief. ¬†If I wasn’t outside running amok, I was inside mesmerized by music on television. ¬†My eardrums were slammed and eyeballs were crammed with tunes from Duran Duran, Tears For Fears, Huey Lewis, David Lee Roth, Twisted Sister and Prince. ¬†Even if they were songs I’d heard previously in a different setting, something about summer made them resonate harder.

This was my first exposure to the summer song phenomenon.… Keep Reading

{Brad's Corner} April 2014-What’s Old Is New Again

{Bradís Corner}

New albums from established artists. ¬†For a great majority of acts they arrive with varying degrees of half-hearted fanfare. ¬†When an artist is particularly hot they can release just about anything and it will sell. ¬†Once they begin to slide down the other side of Mt. Relevance, they must work doubly hard to get just half the attention they did previously. ¬†Their ticket sales may remain sky high, but sales of their new album often flatline. ¬†The masses want to hear what they know. ¬†They’re not interested in “here’s something from our new album”.

That is the constant scenario in music released outside the Americana/Texas scene. ¬†The Texas/Oklahoma region actually craves new music. ¬†We’re on the flip side of that…for the most part. ¬†It’s still hard to get people to buy in to any post-Canonball era Pat Green. ¬† (Or the Load/Re-Load era of Metallica for that matter which still only has me and Josh Grider as champions.)

So, why do some artists thrive and others stagnate?

It’s a tricky equation with a simple answer. ¬†Country music is founded on the strength of songs. ¬†If the song’s good enough it won’t matter if there’s a fourth runner-up beauty contest contestant belting it out or a hardcore troubadour. ¬†The songs are what people connect to. ¬†If the quality of the new stuff isn’t up to par with the expectations of the audience you’re in for trouble.

It’s the reason why Turnpike Troubadours have become so huge despite playing by their own … Keep Reading

{Brad's Corner} March 2014: Primary Endorsements

{Bradís Corner}

The most recent Texas Primary Election was held yesterday.  Hotly contested races all over the state were being decided at the polls.  The winners of those contests will move on to face candidates from their diametrically opposed party in the fall General Election.  On this busy election week, I was inundated by two things.

1. Terribly produced political ads from all across the spectrum that seemed as if they were written and produced for SNL, Chappelle’s Show, Key and Peele or The Daily Show.

2. Social media endorsements for Kevin Fowler’s new record How Country Are Ya?

In the midst of the first inundation, the ads were peppered with endorsements from various public figures, PAC’s, boards, entities etc. ¬†These endorsements don’t come cheap and they usually have some sort of quid pro quo attached. They are also usually easily identifiable as valid ¬†or laughable. ¬† Whatever the case may be, somebody has done something for them. ¬†Money has changed hands and/or promises have been made.

When it comes to the second onslaught of inundation; Fowler’s record getting so much push from his peers despite it being rather dreadful, can simply be chalked up to Fowler being a generally nice, hard-working guy with a track record of helping other artists. It’s the way of this music scene right, wrong or indiferent to blindly support things even when it doesn’t make good sense to do so.

Being a good guy with longevity in the scene should not make Fowler immune to criticism or … Keep Reading