Official Greenfest ’06 Recap
The planning for the fifth installment of Galleywinter’s annual GreenFest party began during the waning moments of last year’s event. We knew we wanted to focus on exciting, up and coming bands with a twist of veteran flavor. Year 5 found us back at the River Road Icehouse in New Braunfels and with a stunning array of talent willing to share the musical wares we had envisioned in our planning process.
Friday Night – Wade Bowen
As in years past, the GreenFest weekend began in earnest with a Friday night pre-party, or even two. Although, we did not sponsor an official kickoff festivity we were well represented at two fantastic shows. Most of us ended up at Wade Bowen’s Lost Hotel CD Release Party at Saengerhalle in New Braunfels. This was a tremendous event that the Wade Bowen camp had been planning for some time. They had originally scheduled the CD Release event for the same night as GreenFest. However, once Wade found this out he graciously and gladly moved the date up to Friday, so that, all his fans could enjoy both parties. The unabashed highlight of the event was the world premiere of the “God Bless This Town” video. The video was a grand production showcasing the band’s humorous side. In the video, Matt Miller channels Angus Young with his wardrobe, Brooks Robinson finally finds a use for his long hair and Hollywood will be calling Matt Powell any day now due to his comedic pratfall. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing this on CMT and GAC very soon, as it deserves major airplay. It was really cool to hear the new songs and see Jessica Murray-Walker singing backup with the band. Her husband, blues guitar slinger Seth James strode onstage to the delight of the crowd and took some turns riffing with Matt Powell. The show had a really good turnout of early GreenFest arrivals from all over the country. Saengerhalle is always a good time and it was especially fun reuniting with everyone and hearing Wade’s new tunes. It was an extremely loud and rockin’ show, must’ve been on 11. Wade’s new album is an amazing effort that we believe will push him into the next echelon of music.
Nee Nee & Tank
Friday Night – Brandon Rhyder
The other event a number of Galleywinter members attended was Brandon Rhyder’s show at the legendary Cheatham Street Warehouse. This historic venue spawned George Strait, Todd Snider, Randy Rogers Band among others and never disappoints in providing a top-notch environment to take in a show. This night was no exception as Brandon Rhyder had a really good crowd who braved the cold to hear him and his band showcase his thoughtful style. Brandon and his band gave everyone a taste of what they were going to enjoy at GreenFest the next day. After the show, a number of people made the short drive down from San Marcos to New Braunfels to meet up with the rest of us at Taco Cabana/Holiday Inn.
Keith Davis, Brandon Rhyder, Chris Grady
Around 1AM we all descended on Taco Cabana. This could’ve been titled “When Galleywinter Attacks” as we all ate inside instead of going the drive through route. It was loud and crazy in there as we all devoured some of the best late night/early morning drunken cuisine around. The weather was getting colder and nastier but it wasn’t going to stop our party. Sorry for partyin’ Taco C.
Saturday – Django CD Release
Saturday started early in the afternoon for a number of people as they headed to the Gristmill for lunch before catching Django Walker’s CD Release, 6 Trips Around the World, In-Store Party at the Lonestarmusic.com Store in Gruene. All who attended gave a glowing report and said that it was a fun event. Reportedly, Django was in a playful mood and had a lot of fun with the crowd. He told some new stories and gave all the dirt about the new tunes. Django has been a part of each GreenFest in some way, and with the release of his awesome new album, he has insured that he will be around for future GreenFest’s as well!
GreenFest – The early show
By the time the in-store was over, it was time for everyone to start getting ready to head to River Road Icehouse. This year’s GreenFest was kicked off with a pre-show song swap featuring three amazing singer/songwriters: Drew Kennedy, Ryan James and Keith Davis. This marks Keith’s second consecutive GreenFest song swap appearance. His new album, Sideman Blues, is a solid debut that should make Brandon Rhyder’s lead guitarist a star in his own right. Keith has a smooth voice and style that is like warm bourbon on a cold day. A very timeless feel. Josh Grider was to have been included in this set but he was a casualty to weather having played in New Mexico the night before. Drew Kennedy and Ryan James are two favorites of Galleywinter, and have been for quite some time. Drew is at home at River Road Icehouse as he used to perform there once a week with Peter Dawson. And he owned the acoustic stage. Drew was recently signed to Sustain Records (also home to Wade Bowen), and has a new album coming out for them later this year. Drew showcased songs new and old much to the delight of the crowd. He dedicated one of the new tunes to all his friends from Galleywinter and thanked them for their support in his career thusfar and for their continued support in the future. His wry humor and good nature came across and he made many new fans. Ryan James is one of the brightest new stars in our scene. He is relatively new but is rapidly gaining fans with his thoughtful and heartfelt songwriting. He was the most familiar of the voices onstage and had many audience members asking for requests from his album Back To the Wind and singing along. Ryan and Drew had to split pretty soon after their set for gigs in Waco and Kerrville respectively. We had hoped they’d get to hang out and party with us all night but a musician’s call to the stage is never quite satisfied. The pre-show was a huge success and many thanks to the artists who performed and all of those who got there early enough to enjoy it.
Keith Davis, Ryan James, Drew Kennedy
Our first act on the main stage was musical prodigy Ashlee Rose. She is a star in the making, with a voice and stage presence that defies her age (16). Her act was the one all the artists in the audience were talking about when it was over. They were in awe of her talent and songwriting ability at such a young age. When she remarked that the song she had just performed was written when she was 12, several jaws hit the floor in disbelief. But, it is a fact. Ashlee has a very powerful voice that literally grabs your attention and won’t let go. She covered Guns ‘N Roses and Sheryl Crow along with her original tunes. Throughout the night she performed at the acoustic stage during band breaks on the main stage. At one point she sang with Susan Gibson on one of Susan’s tunes “Cloud 9”. We’re honored and blessed to have had her share her gift with us.
Susan Gibson & Ashlee Rose
The Mike Mancy Band
The Mike Mancy Band are road warriors. The night before GreenFest they had performed in Oklahoma, in the middle of the worst weather our region was facing. The drummer, Kelly Test, had flown from Nashville to Oklahoma after performing with Bonnie Bishop at CRS in Nashville. He arrived just in time to play their Friday night show, catch a bit of shut-eye and hop in the van. Despite a late night, they hit the road at 8AM and headed to New Braunfels. It took them ten hours through ice, sleet, rain and all kinds of traffic hazards to reach the venue, but once they did they rocked the house. Mike has assembled a ringer crew of professional musicians. His backline of Kelly Test and Royce Tompkins may just be the strongest in the business. The enthusiasm they brought to the stage kicked off the full band section of our event in a very cool way. The crowd really got into the extended solos by the band members, as well as, the single “Let It Roll”. Nobody has a better time onstage than these guys, and in turn they helped us to all have a good time.
Mike Mancy & Royce Tompkins of the Mike Mancy Band
Tank, Elaine & Doc
Walt and Tina Wilkins
The next act on the main stage was supposed to be Ryan Turner, however, we made some slight last minute adjustments to allow Walt and Tina Wilkins to perform. We had to do this because Walt was a bit under the weather, had lost his voice and would be unable to sing during Brandon Rhyder’s set. Therefore, he was going to play guitar while his wife sang. Showing his true spirit, grit and professionalism, Walt hopped onstage with Brandon Rhyder’s guitar and backed his lovely bride on two tunes. The boisterous, rowdy crowd was at it’s most attentive during these two songs, and rightfully so. When the Wilkins’ are in the house you feel an air of greatness, and we were all better for having them perform, if even briefly.
Walt & Tina
Meg & Brad
Ryan Turner is the hottest name in our scene at the moment. Galleywinter has been a big supporter of Ryan for several years. Now, that he has finally released his first album the rest of the scene is catching on fast. This set marked his second consecutive GreenFest appearance and the first with his full band. They justified their fast rising star with a blistering and entertaining set that many said was their favorite of the night. The band mixed in covers of Charlie Robison and Ryan Adams along with originals from their Rolling Up My Sleeves album. Many of the musicians in the crowd were amazed by the tightness of Ryan’s presentation and of just how smoothly he directs the band and guides the crowd through a show. “Julie’s Gonna Dance” had several people spilling their beers and shuffling across the floor. It will not surprise any of us to see Ryan accepting CMA’s and Grammy’s in just a few years. He’s on the fast track to widespread acclaim and we’re happy to have been on his bandwagon from the get-go.
Tank & Nichols
Mr. & Mrs. ToreUp 2005!
At this point in the show, all four admins (Hog, Tank, Doc & Brad) were joined onstage by last year’s Tore Up Award Winners: Nee Nee and Blam-O to present the awards to this year’s recipients. As always, ladies went first and Tank proudly presented the award to HayJay who was speechless for once! Hogleg gave an emotional presentation to Stu for the male side of this year’s awards. Both received autographed Ibanez guitars signed by many of the greatest artists in our scene. The winners were determined by the votes of the Galleywinter community and are very well deserved. These two are some of the biggest music fans you’ll ever encounter. They rack up thousands of miles, spend countless dollars on gas, and do whatever it takes to get to as many shows as possible in towns all over the state and beyond. Giving these awards away is probably the best part of GreenFest.
Heather–Ms. ToreUp 2005
Stu–Mr. ToreUp 2005
To close out the show, Brandon Rhyder’s band assembled onstage to present a magical set of music that had the raucous crowd focused and dancing. Brandon’s band is a wonderful accompaniment to his booming and powerful voice. His latest album Conviction is a triumph in songwriting and production. It was produced by Walt Wilkins and was recreated magnificently onstage. “Freeze Frame Time” seemed to do just that as the whole bar seemed to be in slow-motion as everyone stopped what they were doing to participate in this moment of greatness. The night got blurry for many of the evening attendees at this point as we closed out the night in style.
JP & Melinda
Another One Down!
The night wrapped up with another late night crashing of Taco Cabana for many and another after-party at the Holiday Inn. Several parties were going on in different rooms and levels of the hotel. Most everyone continued to drink whether they wanted to or not. Some people crashed before they could hit the bed and others drank till sunrise. The Mike Mancy and Ryan Turner crew’s partied with us till the wee hours of the morning when the cops finally showed up to tell us we were being too loud. It was a great night, and was tremendously successful despite Mother Nature’s attempts to shut us down.
Partyin’ on the stage
Craig & Bama
Many thanks to River Road Icehouse, Alan Beavers, all the musicians who attended on their nights off, and all of YOU who attended. You’re the reason we throw this party and the reason we’ll keep throwing this party. It’s intended as a way for you to connect with new friends and reunite with old. Make plans now to attend in ’07….until next year….
Elaine & Heather crashed out