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Jason Eady at 40

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Today is Jason Eady’s 40th birthday.  And what a 40 years it has been.  Jimmy Buffett famously sang about a pirate looking at 40.  Jason Eady is a troubadour looking at 40.  Jason Eady has lived a very full and interesting life thus far; and it shows in his music.   Eady has traveled the globe in search of new adventures and new songs.  He’s been through the hell of Nashville and lived to tell about it, coming out stronger on the other side.  His music has transformed from a swampy, delta-blues stomp to full-blown honky-tonk.  He’s adept at both.  A talented writer, underrated performer and country music traditionalist.  Originally from Mississippi, Jason Eady found his way to Texas in search of audiences that would embrace his original music.  After over a decade of splitting time between Fort Worth and Austin, Eady is now quintessentially Texan. He’s lived a life that a Hollywood screenwriter would envy.  Military translator turned country singer. There’s not too much he hasn’t seen and we’re all the better for it.  With a first 40 years act like that, we’re intrigued to see what lies ahead in Act II.

 

Below is one of our favorite Eady moments ever.  The time he took Greenfest 11 to the river, literally. Enjoy your day sir!

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Words of Wisdom From K Phillips

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Early morning rehearsal. I used to get up at this time to dig fence post holes in ground that is mostly rock. We’d ride four wheelers, shoot rifles, pistols and shotguns and do some back-breaking work. Digging a hole or a trench, in west or central Texas is some of the hardest work I’ve ever done. However, it’s rewarding. At the end of the day you see the work you have put in. You make something. Even if it’s a dang hole in the ground. You can take a picture of it when you are done. When you’re having a beer later, (I guarantee you will want a beer when you’re digging that hole, you may not even like beer or bars or talking to strangers) you can whip out your phone and nod at the guy next to you and say “look at this! Look, look at this hole I dug! Yes, in the ground! Yes it IS mostly rocks! And the guy sitting next to you might say, “look at this bathroom I re-did” or “look at this floor I stained.” and that’ll be that. The work was grueling but it was God’s country. Even the skinny cows looked angelic. The wind is wider there. It’s more like a breath than a blast. There are no building to squeeze between. I was often outworked by men twice my age. I can’t tell you how embarrassing it is to watch someone who is 10 years retired, (or should of Keep Reading

Ready For Primetime?

Mainstream country megastar and Miranda Lambert’s husband, Blake Shelton, hosts Saturday Night Live this weekend.  That got us to thinking.  What Texas/Red Dirt/Americana artist would make the best SNL host?  Here are a few names that came up in our discussions:

 

-Drew Kennedy.  Enough dry wit and storytelling prowess to make Steven Wright crack a smile.

-Granger Smith. Long before Earl, there was Nigel.

-Willy Braun.  The scene’s ultimate prankster would have some sly tricks up his sleeve.

-Jack Ingram. Seems like he’d be game for whatever the writers threw at him and be able to deliver.

-Doug Moreland.  Funniest person in the scene.  Already crushed The Tonight Show a decade ago.

-Mike McClure. Could go method and lend an Andy Kaufman-esque vibe to the proceedings.

-Matt Hillyer. Funny guy, would give it 100% and has some acting experience.

 

If you were Lorne Michaels and looking to cast from this scene, who would you choose?… Keep Reading

Goodbye Mr. Monahan

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When news broke recently that Casey Monahan had been forced out as the director of the Texas Music Office, a swift and massive outrcry began among those of us who support, create and cherish the arts in this state. For good reason.  Monahan has overseen an explosion of musical innovation in the 25 years he has been at his post.  Since the inception of such an office.  The reason for his ouster is hard to ascertain despite shake-ups being rather common post election cycle.  He has faithfully served administrations of both major parties and withstood wide-ranging budget cuts and office demands over his three decades in state office leadership.  This non-partisan position is responsible for a great deal of revenue within our borders.  The promotion of our music both contemporarily and historically is of great visage and importance.  Nobody has had a bigger hand in shaping the Texas Music business model into the behemoth it has become.

As the Dallas Morning News said,”No one did more to promote Texas music, from mariachi to punk to country. And no one loves Texas music more.”

News on a successor has been hard to come by.  Political rumblings have thrown out rumors but no viable names as of yet.  Whoever takes on this role will be held to a high standard.  He or she will be facing a mountain of work greater than he/she most likely anticipates.  This positions requires a person that can be patient with all audiences but push the right … Keep Reading

Two Stars at Winstar

Anticipation can hinder a concert in a heartbeat.  Waiting too long can create an unreal expectation of an event that can only falter under the weight of reality.  Luckily that was not the case on Saturday night at the Winstar Casino.  Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell both played terrific sets, each about an hour, which was not near enough time for either; however, all said and done, it was a remarkable show.

There is no doubt that Sturgill Simpson’s voice is able to attract a great number of fans who do not follow whatever-music-scene you would categorize Simpson into.  But on Saturday night, the man behind the voice showed he was much more than just a voice.  He entered the stage in blue jeans and a plain grey sweatshirt and played at a rapid pace, one song after the next, but still managed to connect with the crowd on several different occasions.  The most poignant statement of the night was almost a side comment to himself.  He said if you are going to gamble after the show, hit the wheel of fortune slot machine.  Followed by “if you are going to play, play to win…or at least that is what I found out last year.”  And play he did.

His guitar playing skills were on display as was his love of bluegrass, as he wove in and out of his own songs and old bluegrass standards.  Sometimes mention of the word bluegrass was off-putting to the crowd, but it was … Keep Reading