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Articles | Face The Music

Halfway to an Epic 2015

The past 6 months have inundated us with so many good records that it is easy to let some slip through the cracks.  By removing labels and just focusing on what is truly good in the music, you free yourself up to so many wonderful bands, songs and albums.  2015 has been deliriously great in the first half.  Can the 2nd half, anchored by a new Turnpike release, eclipse or equal the first half?  We shall see.  In the meantime, here’s our informal Top 10 records at the halfway point (in no particular order).  Also notice how none of them would be labeled “Texas/Red Dirt”…even the Randy/Wade one.

Chris Stapelton-Traveller.  Quite simply, this record is simple and extraordinary all at the same time.  Stapleton’s voice is rangy, yet always suits the songs.  Country, rock, soul, folk, “Outlaw”…this man does it all and it’s the most listenable record to be released in a number of years.

Dawes–All Your Favorite Bands.  These California folk rockers have been extremely buzzed about and championed for several years and albums, but this one feels like a masterpiece.  Lyrics that rip your heart out and melodies that raise your pulse.  A break-up record with groove.

Leon Bridges–Coming Home.  Fort Worth soul throwback has gone from twin bills with Aaron Stephens in New Braunfels to The Tonight Show in under 12 months.  Otis Redding would approve of this smooth collection and you should too.

Courtney Patton–So This Is Life.Keep Reading

RIP Tom Skinner


Sometimes you gotta have faith like a blind man standing in the middle of the road…

We should all be thankful that Tom Skinner had faith, heart, wisdom, wit and resolve to make one of the greatest impacts on this kind of music that has ever been felt.

Rest in peace Mr. Skinner

Creative Process & Consuption

I’ve been thinking a lot about the creative process in music & its execution into something that people consume. Talking about creativity and writing songs is hard. I can’t sit here & pretend that I know the reason that anyone else makes music. There are probably a thousand different reasons different people have for writing songs. I only really know why I do it & what it means to me. But I am truly curious about other people.

The main reason I write is because I need to write. Something compels me to… creative energy or whatever. But second to the fulfillment of my need to write is my concern for whether or not people like my songs. Now, notice that I didn’t say I don’t care whether people like my songs or not. I do. I actually care a lot. It’s just second on my list. And I’ll add this… I think that any artist who says they don’t care whether or not people like their music is a liar. Either that, or they’re just trying to sound cool. They might not care if a certain individual person likes their music, but they want “people” in general to like it. If an artist didn’t want people to like their music, they wouldn’t put out records or play shows. This goes doubly for artists whose full-time gig is music. Their livelihood is directly tied to people liking their music, and them finding those people.

So that makes me wonder: CanKeep Reading

MJ Americana

Michael Jackson passed away on this day in 2009.  In that time, many artists have paid tribute to the polarizing figure in very cool covers.   Here are 4 of our favorites.

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I Left Texas a Teacher, and Came Back a Real Songwriter

by: Kimberley Lewis


I can sum up my review of the Red River Songwriter’s Camp in three words,  “Start saving now!”  Seriously, it was a modern day Breakfast Club.  If you consider a 9:00 am to 4:00 am diverse group of eclectic songwriters with the backdrop of mountains of  inspiration in Red River, New Mexico to be modern day:  The chemist, the teacher, the retired fireman, the website designer, the full time musician, and the kid to name a few.  Yes, even my 11-year-old was there. What does she have to write about?  The death of her sister that will make you cry more than this North Texas rainfall flood.

Then there were the masters, the teachers who fearlessly led the first campers like we had all been friends for decades:  Walt Wilkins, Susan Gibson, Josh Grider, Kelley Mickwee, Jana Pochop, Brandy Zdan, and Drew Kennedy.  And lastly, the songwriters/artists that you haven’t heard of yet.  Mark my words, there were some that you will be writing your life’s soundtrack in the next few years.  Lucas Bevan for one.  Just saying, you heard it first here.  There were lots of crazy good writers, 18 campers total, and more talent than I imagined or could possibly explain.

The day’s classes were held in The Motherlode Saloon whose history itself contains the writing of Jerry Jeff Walker’s classic “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother” by Ray Wylie Hubbard.  Workshops included everything from creating an online presence to master classes where our … Keep Reading

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