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{Brad's Corner} August 2014: Scouting

{Bradís Corner}

A few weeks back at Greenfest, I was having a conversation with an artist who wasn’t on the bill but was just there to take in all the music. ¬†He told me “Galleywinter does it right, man. ¬†Y’all are always ahead of the curve.” This is a sentiment I heard several times throughout the weekend and have heard many times before. ¬†One time somebody compared us to the old Buzz Bin videos on MTV if you’re old enough to remember that.

Being in front of trends is a dangerous thing on the night you’re promoting a concert, but is a thrilling thing all other 364 days of the year. ¬†Heck, it’s even thrilling the night of the big show. Our community has been all about exposing, promoting and sharing music we dig since Pat Green was a newcomer. Over the course of the past 15 or 16 years we’ve seen trends, bands, styles and artists come and go.

This process is very similar to that of a pro sports scout. ¬†A grizzled baseball scout looking for that 5 tool player. ¬†A hardened football scout seeking that raw, athletic phenom. ¬†A gruff basketball scout searching for that versatile player that can fill multiple positions and hit a jump shot. ¬†And so on. We’re always simply looking for new bands (and old) that turn our ears. Are they doing something new, unique, different, original, cool?

Over the years, we’ve identified bands we thought were on the cusp and they proved us right. ¬†… Keep Reading

{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