Facebook Twitter RSS

Articles | Brad’s Corner

{Brad's Corner} March 2015: Connections

{Bradís Corner}

Aaron Watson barnstormed the national country music scene last week during CRS. ¬†His The Underdog album raced to the top of the charts and spurned many think pieces in the wake of the Gary Overton spewn ignorance. The passion and fervor displayed by his core fanbase spurred him to the top of the charts and the forefront of the ongoing “where is country music headed?” conversation.

This passionate underbelly of support comes from the fanbase Aaron has built one show at a time for well over a decade on the Texas circuit. ¬†His authenticity and genuine nature has allowed him to connect to audiences on a grander scale than many of his Texas peers. ¬†He shares his life from the stage and speaks about his wife and kids in such a reverential tone that you want to emulate what he does. ¬†He’s a God-fearing man burning the honky-tonks down. ¬†People respond to that. ¬†People respect that. ¬†People relate to that. ¬†Fans feel connected to Aaron Watson on a deep level. ¬†The type of level they could only dream of attaining with an artist on the Blake Shelton level of fame. Aaron speaks directly to them and not down to them. ¬†He shakes their hand after the show and signs anything they want signed.… Keep Reading

{Brad's Corner} January 2015: Finding Warmth

{Bradís Corner}

As a native Texan, I’m uncomfortable with cold weather. ¬†Pretty much anytime it gets below 40 I’m complaining. ¬†Although I do refrain from posting photos of my truck’s thermometer with a cool IG filter. (I’m with you in spirit and ¬†a fav/like people). ¬†We just don’t handle it well down here. ¬†We’re much more equipped to deal with 102 rather than 22. ¬†It’s different when you’re up in Steamboat experiencing it because you’re prepared for it. ¬†There’s also a secret ingredient that keeps you warm up there too. ¬†Well, two actually. ¬†Music and friends. ¬†All the material goods in the world can offer you only x-amount of solace in the face of a blizzard. ¬†Art and companionship will warm those bone-chillingly frozen bodies.

There’s something special about being part of a movement. A ¬†moment. ¬†A happening.

This takes place at festivals, concerts and gigs each year. ¬†That precise point in time when everything aligns and connects. Where thousands (or hundreds or tens) become one unified spirit. ¬†While of course this happens in all genres, we happen to be particularly fond of the manner with which it takes place under the OKOM umbrella. ¬†Sociologists refer to this as a pack or herd mentality. ¬†That’s a fancy way of saying we’re all having a good time together (at least in these instances).

Shared experiences bind us together and are the reason why I still watch sporting events live. ¬†It’s the thing left that I refuse to DVR. ¬†I must exalt and exhale … Keep Reading

{Brad's Corner} December 2014: Getting Away To Get Back

{Bradís Corner}

The holiday season is always one of reflection, even if subconsciously.  At the store the other day, I saw a giant display of shiny, new bicycles waiting for their new homes.  This definitely took me back to some of my own favorite Christmas gifts growing up and certainly my own rad BMX, Evil Kneivel days.

When I was a little kid there was nothing better than hopping on my black and gold Huffy and hoofing it around the neighborhood or up to my family’s full service gas station (back when such things existed). Along the way my imagination would take over and I would envision myself as the pilot of a big jet plane, an astronaut, a race car driver, a monster truck car crusher and more all in one trip.

As I got older, I graduated from Huffy to Mongoose to Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki. My friends, cousins and I became big time dirt bike enthusiasts and racers. And as I got further involved in these new, grand machines my imagination ran more rampant. I was Bob Hanna and Ricky Johnson and if I was dared I was the aforementioned Evil Kneivel. I can still vividly remember crisp fall afternoons spent inhaling the cold Texas air through my helmet as I flew through the air and took in the big blue skies. For those few brief seconds I would forget everything except the breathtaking awe of the skyline‚Ķtrees, roofs, whatever got in the way. Around the end of this … Keep Reading

{Brad's Corner} October 2014: Dinosaur Cycle

{Bradís Corner}

There’s just something about the Texas Music scene that defies logic.  It may be the staid and repetitive nature of the music the last few years or the extremely overcrowded market. Right or wrong, there is a pecking order based on who started first and not necessarily talent in many cases. Guys that have been doing it since the late 90’s, even if unoriginally and without reaching their full potential, are handed virtual lockdowns on venues and top notch musicians.  In essence, the scene is like a big high school; with several acts who should’ve graduated long ago still hanging out like Wooderson in the movie Dazed and Confused.  Texas music is like a big bubble that forces you to breathe improperly until you emancipate yourself from it.

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating. Our scene is a lot like the hair metal movement of the 80’s. It sprung out of a hardcore LA club and rock scene. It was vibrant and competitive. It was a spirited and friendly competitive environment in which the bands attempted to snag a record deal, the hottest girl in the club that night, or the best blow and/or smack from some top rate dealer. Sometimes all three in one night.

The market was flooded with wannabes, burnouts, has-beens, never-weres, talents, no talents etc. All trying to jump to the next rung.

Sound familiar?… Keep Reading

{Brad's Corner} September 2014: Brick and Mortar Soul

{Bradís Corner}

I live in central Texas and one of the most exciting recent developments has been the construction of the new Baylor facility McLane Stadium. ¬†Baylor fan or not, the modestly sized but aesthetically outstanding football stadium is a¬†splendid¬†point of pride for all locals who drive by it on 35. ¬†Up the road in Arlington, Jerry Jones constructed the world’s preeminent multi-event facility with AT&T Stadium. ¬†It is a true wonder of the world. Two new palatial venues at different levels in different towns to ostensibly host the same types of events. ¬†Yet, they couldn’t be more different.

Music venues can be like that too. ¬†I’ve been in new ones that click right away and new ones that falter. ¬†I’ve been in some that are over 100 years old and I wouldn’t change a thing. ¬†While other older venues need a complete renovation. ¬†I’m far from an expert, but I’ve been attached to venues in all sorts of capacities: performer, road manager, booking agent, talent buyer, concert promoter and even bartender/bouncer. ¬†What makes a nice venue isn’t the brick, wood or concrete. ¬†It’s the people. ¬†The staff. ¬†The musicians. ¬†The fans. The soul.

Our own Jon Paul “Hogleg” Long is now venturing into the venue business with a very cool space down in New Braunfels. ¬†I have all the confidence that JP’s space will be one of the coolest venues in the state. ¬†Don’t think he can’t, as he would say. ¬†He’s been around the block too and he … Keep Reading