The passing of George Jones got me thinking and reminiscing, which can be a dangerous proposition at times. The Possum’s music has been described by many pundits as timeless…this pundit included. But, what makes something…anything timeless? That’s one of those questions that begs to be answered with the trite reply of “I’m not sure…but I know when I see/hear it.”
That’s never more true than when speaking about music. Too often I’m confronted with music that is subpar and most definitely not timeless. Timeless meaning something that either sounds as good today as when you first heard it five, ten, fifteen, even twenty plus years ago. Or something that upon the notes being immediately released sweetly into your ears you realize that it is something that you’ll still be listening to in twenty years. Related to that, it also means songs that are covered in dust but could be blown off and returned to the top of the charts if they were re-released today.
For example, if Guns ‘N Roses released Appetite for Destruction today and put out “Sweet Child O’ Mine” as the first single, it would race up the charts and blow everything from Jason Aldean to Justin Beiber and every other auto-tune T-Pain influenced piece of trash that is on pop and country radio off the charts. It’s classic. It’s timeless.
How does this fit in with Texas Music? Well, what I think attracted many of us to this style of music in the first place is that it reminded us of what country music used to be. The classic stuff. Haggard, Jones, Willie, Waylon et al. We had all tuned out in the 90’s when everybody dressed like a Cavender’s ad and squeezed the soul out of country music as hard and fast as they squeezed into their Wranglers. Our support became a passionate rally to arms around guys like Pat and Cory as we rebelled against what was being forcefed to us by Clear Channel, CMT and the major labels.
Many of us discovered for the first time that there was a whole other world of music out there waiting to be scooped up and passed on to the next person. We had grand hopes for changing the game and our motto was “Nashville sucks!” Well, over a decade since Tank and JP started the blueprint for Galleywinter and after a dozen years of hard fought wins and losses on the artistic front from our heroes…what has changed? We’ve certainly made waves, and we’ve even created an entire industry/network of bands, companies and clubs that wouldn’t exist without all of us in fandom.
Yet, for all the progress, this little scene is still ours for the most part. We thought people outside of our little clique would “get it” like we did. The results are in that they clearly don’t unless some of the elements we love so much are watered down or turned down in the mix.
But, there is nothing wrong with that!
In fact, it’s a badge of honor for we the fans and the artists we love that so much can be accomplished by a strong core of dedicated and passionate artists and fans. Our guys and gals are making music we consider timeless in our own little community of Texas Music. I mean bands have been ripping off Randy Rogers Band’s Rollercoaster, Robert Earl Keen’s Live Diner No. 2 and Reckless Kelly’s Millican and many other albums/bands for many years now. Why? Because they are timeless standard bearers.
What we have built in this scene of music transcends charts and sales. We have truly built a grassroots community where everyone supports one another…or at least pays lip service to doing such a thing. The network of musicians is small and tight with familiar players drifting in and out of different bands. Bolstered by sites like Galleywinter, you see familiar faces at each gig you attend.
Galleywinter was social networking when social networking wasn’t cool. Ten years of music, memories, marriages, heartbreaks, friendships and roadtrips…all created by a common love of music and a common url.
So, now when I think about what timeless means when related to music, I have some different opinions. Yeah, it still might be remembering how awesome the Red Headed Stranger album is…but above all it is the timeless bonds created by the people of this scene…both performers and fans alike. The music of this scene will never go platinum…but I’d take what is created around here and the things that creation has created above just about anything else.
And, I’m proud of the fact that the music we all support is something I’d consider timeless. I prefer artists who are chasing longevity, integrity and respect over slapjack’s who know three chords but can’t find the truth.
-Greenfest 2013 is upon us in a couple months. Ticket info will be released TODAY! Come find some timeless memories with us this summer.
-Finally recovered from my 15th consecutive LJT. The 25th edition was what you’d expect. Sad to see the debauchery of a rowdy minority obscured the magical music of a powerful majority in some circles.
-Josh Weathers may be the baddest man walking the Texas Music ground right now. He’s not Texas COUNTRY, but he’s most definitely Texas Music in the vein of Delbert McClinton et al. It’s soulful, bluesy, rockin’ and a good time. Glad to have him back at Greenfest full band! You know it’s a killer live show when you catch Creager and Fowler saying “glad I don’t have to follow THAT!”
-Speaking of festivals…have you been to one yet? Gotten a corn dog? (That’s not a euphemism)
-Any fears of a Rangers drop-off have been alleviated thus far. Hope they can keep it up. Our boy Josh Frasier needs a ring. Hardest working man on the roster, right Bobby Duncan?
-It’s been a couple weeks now, but the tragedy in West is still forefront on my mind. I have many family and friends that were directly impacted and it’s going to be a long, hard road. Check out this song from Greenfest artist John Dempsy who was in the midst of the search and rescue efforts that fateful night. Every syllable of this tune drips with the ache of that night because he was there. Every penny from this song goes to the West cause.
–This month’s recommended album: Zane Williams-Overnight Success. You may know Zane from the Troubadour, TX tv show. But, get acquainted with his music. This collection of road-tested and world worn songs is about as real as it gets.
-“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.”-Mark Twain