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{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

{Brad's Corner} February 2014: Social Media Overload

{Bradís Corner}

This past week was a banner week for social media in Texas Music. ¬†The sensational confessions of one act were paired with the regular postings of tour dates, crowd shots, after party pics and highway lines. ¬†Fan interaction via social media is one of the largest parts of an artist’s job in the year 2014. ¬†This hyper-connection makes us feel like we know the artists better than we actually do. ¬†It connects us to the music in ways we may not have otherwise experienced.

This connectivity was at the forefront of Galleywinter’s creation all those years ago. ¬†To connect like-minded fans and artists and support a thriving a community of music lovers. ¬†This was pre-Twitter/Facebook etc. ¬†Using old school message board technology, road trips were planned, show reviews posted and people bonded. ¬†It was a great tool then and as technology has improved that tool has only strengthened.

By getting to know so much about the artists we admire, we are able to enjoy the music on deeper levels. ¬†Additionally, we are able to connect with fans across the globe that dig the same thing we do. ¬† ¬†A new act like Chris King can build a loyal following just by being a good follow on Twitter. ¬†Jason Isbell is able to add to his hip factor via displaying his wit on Twitter. ¬†On the flip side, we have a couple of my least favorite artists…ArtistData and his compadre Team _______. ¬†If I want to know when you’re touring, I’ll look … Keep Reading

{Brad's Corner} January 2014: Be About It

{Bradís Corner}

Will Hoge is a name we’ve been championing on this website for over 5 years. ¬†He’s incrementally ingrained himself in this scene over that time, reaching a Chevrolet-backed crescendo this year. ¬†Hoge is a native of Nashville, but is more rocker than honky-tonker…although he can ably pull off just about any style under the sun. ¬†During his full-band set at MusicFest this week in Steamboat, he took time to recognize his ultra-cool carpet bagger status within the Texas/Red Dirt scene by proclaiming onstage “One of the things I love most about this scene of y’alls that you’ve invited us into is that you guys don’t care about labels…you just wanna hear good music.”

He boiled the essence of this scene down into one statement. ¬†We all ended up here, be we artists or fans because we wanted good music…better music than we were experiencing. ¬†While at first you may think that good music can only come within our region’s borders, you soon begin to realize that good music, just like bad music, can come from anywhere.

While it is certainly true that our scene has just as much of the bad stuff as any other scene, the cream of our crop certainly seems to exceed other genres with regard to quality and versatility. ¬†For instance, Hoge in his Steamboat set, ranged from country to rock to soul to folk…sometimes within the same song. ¬†There were no songs about trucks, (“Strong” Chevy jokes aside), and nothing about state pride. ¬†Just raw … Keep Reading

{Brad's Corner} December 2013 – The Power of Fisher Price Memories

{Bradís Corner}

Christmas is upon us and as I was fighting with the lights and decorations in our yard recently, I saw some kids down the street playing on their bikes and jamming tunes loudly via their iPod.  It was as if the Ghost of Christmas Past had come to visit me.

I was fortunate to grow up in a neighborhood where we could play freely without worrying about much of anything. We built forts of a ‚ÄúGalleywinter‚ÄĚ type nature, rode dirt bikes, played ferocious tackle football tougher than anything we saw when we finally put the pads on, snuck peaks at our friend‚Äôs older brother‚Äôs dirty book collection, and above all else, we had fun and listened to music. Life was so simple then, and each year we aged, we made things more complicated for ourselves. How I wish I could go back, if even for a brief moment.… Keep Reading