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{Brad's Corner} I’m Thankful…Are You?

{Brad�s Corner}

 

I’ve often said what makes the Texas/Red Dirt scene stand out in an IPod what have you done for me lately world is the genuine sincerity of everyone involved. From the fans to the artists and most of the promoters, djs, and bar owners. Recently, I have taken part in several musical benefits for various deserving causes and have been struck by several things. Whether it is a concert to raise money for the all too often occurring missing trailer full of gear or some hurricane ravaged friends of music, there has been a glut of these things over the past few months. I’ve been a part of planning and putting on more of these types of events than I could have ever imagined would be needed. And the same characters seem to pop up and volunteer each time.
This scene is genuine at all levels, and it starts with the fans. DJ, better known to most of you as San Diego on the message boards has jumped to help however she could each time we’ve had an event. And with her generous help, we’ve always been able to secure the best Pat Green raffle and auction items. From rare George’s Bar autographed schwag to t-shirts from the latest tour, she’s on top of it. Wendy, who many of you know as Bleu’s Mama, has been the first to donate the musical services of her son and limited autographed prints of various cool things like a Purifoy print circa 2004 of Bleu and Stoney acoustic. Andrew, who when not competing to be on “Daisy of Love”, has driven many miles out of his way and picked up auction items across Texas to deliver them to the right place is indicative of the dedication fans of this scene and the members of this website have. The folks over at RadioFreeTexas undertook a huge benefit day just recently planning multiple benefits with tons of artists at tons of venues across the state. Find me another media outlet willing to step up to the plate like that. It certainly won’t happen on your favorite terrestrial radio station now that the geniuses at the Wolf parted ways with Justin Frazzell.

These acts of paying it forward (or is it back?) would be impossible without the music to draw folks in. Again, each time I’ve been a part of one of these events I’m amazed at the selflessness of the many artists that participate. These events are most always held on Sunday, the typical day off for musicians as they drive home to see the family they neglect all too often to chase the dream they love. Yet, here several of them are each time for no pay or recognition just to help out some people who need help. I’ve seen the Modern Day Drifters arrive at benefit venues many hours before the actual “show” starts to load their PA in and sound check it for everyone to use. Then, run sound for all the artists all day. I’ve seen Drew Kennedy play benefits for different events in Dallas, San Antonio, New Braunfels, Waco and Austin. Jason Eady and Owen Temple have been the first people to say yes no matter the place, the cause or time. They’ve always said just tell me when to be there. Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Aaron Watson and Cory Morrow always send more schwag than we can raffle or auction off in three benefits. Everyone pitches in.

My point is that we should all be thankful to be part of such a sincere movement. This website grew out of a common love for music and has turned into a giant, dysfunctional family that mirrors the growth of the scene at large. We are all part of something that is larger than ourselves and serves a purpose.

This scene and website has plenty of flaws, but those are far outweighed by the coolest aspects it possesses. Our little music scene has played a gracious role in my life in many ways and has made me truly thankful for the following things:

-Randy Rogers Band for a tremendous list of things from me meeting my wife at the Billy Bob’s recording, to including me on the rollercoaster ride to the top, to the youthful enthusiasm you take on the stage each night.
-My aforementioned wife Kristin for putting up with this crazy life.
-The lifelong friends I’ve made along the way. Be it Tank, Nee Nee, or the many musicians who’s paths I’ve crossed due to this website and my love of music. I appreciate you. If I need prayers, advice or a good laugh I have a lengthy inventory of friends that can help me accomplish whatever is needed.
-JP for bringing me into this madness.
-Wade Bowen for being so sincere and dedicated that he continually inspires me to be a better man.
-Drew Kennedy for his sense of humor and humanity. He never fails to make me laugh or think. A true friend. And, hearing “Can’t Slow Down” for the thousandth time is as cool as it was the first.
-Pat Green for opening my ears and mind to a whole world I didn’t know existed. He inspired me to pick up a guitar…and JP to start a website. What more needs to be said?
-Cory Morrow for “Just Along for the Ride”
-Josh Grider for understanding and always lending an ear. And for marching to the beat of your own drummer…literally.
-Jack Ingram for showing me that intensity doesn’t have to solely exist at a rock show.
-Peter Dawson for being man enough to walk away without regret.
-Kristen Kelly for her passion and drive. The innocent stars in her eyes make me want to work harder. She’s been through more in her 27 years than most people experience in a lifetime and is stronger because of it.
-Larry Joe Taylor and John Dickson for giving us all heaven on earth for a respective week each April and January.
-Jason Boland for that voice, that songwriting and that perseverance. Hang in there bro.
-Justin Frazzell for treating me like family from the first time we communicated and exposing so many folks to our favorite artists.
-Michael and Clair Devers for giving me a literary outlet and the artists an outlet to get their tunes to the fans.
-Robert Earl Keen for Live No. 2 Diner and the blueprint.
-Chris Knight for “It Ain’t Easy Being Me”. The unofficial most covered song in this scene.
-Shayne Hollinger for expanding my musical mind and saving me from tornadoes.
-Jason Eady for his kindness and talent.
-Rusty Wier for his timeless and cosmic optimism in the face of adversity.
-Brandon Wayne Jones for always challenging me and making me think of that other side of the coin I sometimes forget.
-People like Lori and Meg who believed so much in what’s going on around here that they picked up their lives and moved to Texas to be a part of it. That freedom is truly inspiring.
-To all the folks I didn’t list…and to those who fill venues and buy albums…you keep us all going!

This is only a partial list as I could fill up page after page. I’d love to know what you are thankful for in regard to this music we all love. Hit up the comments and let me know.

MINOR CHORDS:

-I heard Pat Green’s “Trailer Park Tune” on a IPod mix the other day and thought to myself it’s been too long since I’ve seen PG play live. I’m looking forward to going to a show. I’ve wanted to go to another PG show since Tank’s “West Texas Holiday” experience at WhiteWater this summer. And, I need to add Jack Ingram to that list too. Jack was always my favorite live performer, but I haven’t seen in him since he deservedly hit the big time. It’s time to go back to church.

-We took a stand on the political hot-topic threads in General Discussion a little too late. But, as Tank said better late than never. As I’ve said before, please remember this is a music site first and foremost. When it gets to the point that politics can’t be debated without turning into children…it’s time to pull the plug on that debate…or change the channel. So, please take the venom to a political site as we’re still attempting to take Texas to the masses.

-Our new “Off the Cuff” feature is getting a great response. We hope to keep it updated every 10 days or so, and have a ton of cool people lined up and ready to contribute. Look for updates from Wade Bowen, Brandon Rhyder, Scott Matthews and many more. Maybe I can get

-This has been one of the craziest football seasons I can remember…but don’t we say that at some point every year?

-AC/DC sold over 700,000 copies of Black Ice in the first week of release. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Generation after generation will keep rediscovering great, straightforward rock n’ roll. Oblique offshoots like emo and screamo will never catch on with the mainstream. But three-chord, three minute stomps full of sex and booze innuendos will never completely go out of style. And, by the way I’m looking forward to seeing the AC/DC tour in January…and Black Ice rocks.

-If Chinese Democracy is any good, I’ll be surprised.

-Dressing up as Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson for our Halloween costume contest might just be the smartest ideas I’ve ever had. Clever and comfortable all at once.

-Is it sacrilegious that I like Def Squad’s 1997 cover of “Rapper’s Delight” more than the o.g. Sugar Hill gang version?

-Twitter is frighteningly overtaking the life of everyone I know. I hope none of you have stalkers!

-Check out Mike Farris…he’s amazing.

-This month’s recommended film: Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Combine the genius of Kevin Smith’s best work, with the zeitgeist capturing Seth Rogen, and the hotness that is Elizabeth Banks and you have a surefire winner.

-This month’s recommended album: Brandon Jenkins-Faster Than a Stone. Long an underrated member of the Texas/Red Dirt scene, this is Jenkins’ finest work. A collection of gritty and creative tunes cradled by Jenkins’ unique voice. Punchy production work in all the right places make this a must have if you’re searching for something with all the hallmarks of Red Dirt’s best with some fresh touches.

-“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.”-Mark Twain

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