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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

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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

Prayers for the Rogers and Walther Families

We are in a time of deep sadness in this music community.  Very soon after Zack Walther lost his baby Lennon to a very courageous health battle, Randy Rogers’ newborn daughter Rumer has gone to be with our Lord too.  We will be donating proceeds from GF15 to the Lifting Up Lennon campaign.  Below are two statements regarding the Rogers’ situation.  We are only posting this to spread the news that the Rogers family wishes to use this tragedy as a tool to help raise funds for children’s charities.  Our most sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the Rogers family and continue to be with the Walther family.

Publicist statement:

“Rumer Rain Rogers, daughter of Randy and Chelsea Rogers, passed away last night at Seton Memorial Hospital in Austin, Texas. Rumer died of natural causes, in her parents loving arms, just days after her birth. During this time of grieving, the family asks that individuals wishing to offer condolences make a donation to the children’s charity of their choosing.”

 

Randy’s direct statement:

“Good morning. Rumer passed away last night. She died after a week long battle with a very rare condition. She died in our arms and in no pain. She was absolutely beautiful in every way. Her brain however was very sick. I’m sure you all have many questions and we have all the answers the doctors gave us. We can share the story with you. It’s quite an extraordinary one. A memorial will be planned soon. … Keep Reading

Music’s a Garden…Dig It

Much has been made about the salad/tomato female country singer comments.  It’s a sad, brutal reality for female artists, these guys just delivered the facts coldly, directly and oddly.  The good news for fans of our kind of music is that country radio doesn’t really impact or dictate what we listen to or dig.  We don’t discriminate where it comes from or whom it comes from as long as it meets our lofty expectations.  As fans of this scene of music we long ago gave up the bastion of country radio as our sole source of discovering new music. We migrated to web and social channels years before that was common.  Word of mouth and a few tweets from people you respect are generally all it takes for you to check out an album or artist.

Texas is currently blessed with an amazing crop of talented female artists.

At the forefront of the current trends in Texas are artists that redefine what Texas music is.  What country music is for that matter.  They push forward, invent and reinvent.  Chief among these artists are:

Jamie Wilson.  Jamie’s latest record, Holidays and Wedding Rings, is the best collection of tunes that have ever surrounded her achingly beautiful vocals.  That’s truly saying something when she has a catalog of solo, Trishas and Gougers material that would make a solid career for most songwriters.  The music is a bit more lively here and the songs a bit more lived in.  This … Keep Reading

Flood Relief

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Our state and region are under seige from Mather Nature’s wrath.  After years of widespread drought, our prayers for rain have been met with an overabundance all at once.  Lives have been lost.  Homes ripped apart.  Landscapes altered.  Those left behind need help picking up the pieces.  We’ve been trying to do a good job on our social media networks of keeping the information flowing.  The best place we’ve found to stay abreast of the situation in Wimberley is via Robyn Ludwick’s FB page.  Here’s an excperpt from one of her latest updates:

I walk to the River each evening. There is no way to get access to this part of Wimberley unless you live on my street. It’s very post-Apocalyptic here. The town buzzes elsewhere with mass teams of Emergency Management, volunteer tents set up, people everywhere. Merchants open, schools still closed so families rally to center of town to hug and help their neighbors. It’s a beautiful scene really.

But here at the end of my street, it’s silent. Even the mighty river is tame again. No one in sight but an occasional uniformed search and rescue hero, climbing and circling the massive piles of trees. The power lines are finally cut and disabled, lying along the ground.

I look at the orange house across the street. But it’s not there. My modest family home up the hill is still standing. For the last 13 years we have our stay- cations at this River access and

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