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{Review} Dan Adams – Live Oaks and Lights

big_1395174689LiveOaksAndLights260Dan Adams first came on my radar a couple years ago via Adam Hood.  Adams was a fellow southeastern expat frustratingly plying his songwriting trade in Nashville.  Through meeting several folks involved in the scene down here, the Georgia native soon realized his music fit more in the Americana/Texas mold than that of the trucks and tailgates Music Row rage.   A few acoustic touring runs, some successful networking and a full stakes-pulling move of he and his family to Austin has provided the background for a wholly satisfying new album entitled Live Oaks and Lights.

Adams began piecing this record together prior to his Texas move, but the pieces came together once he was within Lone Star borders.  Much like his kindred spirit Hood, Adams’ version of country music is permeated by soul, blues and groove.  While not as gifted a vocalist as Hood, Adams proves himself equally adept at delivering self-penned emotions that connect with his audience.

Live Oaks and Lights is a formidable collection of songs and features a robust group of co-writers.  Ben Danaher shares credit on “Straight Whiskey and Bent Strings”, a honky-tonk musical journey in song form.  Brian Burke joins Hood and Adams to deliver “I Won’t Do The Right One Wrong”, a simmering love proclamation that is actually reminiscent of some of the stuff on John Mayer’s Born and Raised record.  And Blake Myers of Rosehill shows up as a co-writer on “A Little More Yesterday”.  ”Bring Enough Gun” showcases Adams’ rock side and has echoes of the great Warren Haynes both in sound and style.

All of those tracks are good, but perhaps the standout track of the bunch features the newly minted Mrs. Jason Eady, Courtney Patton on a duet called ” This Is How It Ends”.  The track was recorded in a tiny office behind the bar at Luckenbach after a Sunday afternoon guitar pull.

This album proves that Adams made a wise choice by relocating down to Texas and ingratiating himself in our scene.  He’s the latest in a line of strongly talented carpetbagging artists that actually represent the modern sound of Texas better than many natives.  Live Oaks and Lights is a solid effort that should put the name of Dan Adams on more fans minds and more venue marquees…and ultimately it’s definitely worth your time

{New Braunfels} Spotlight: Seth James

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Seth James grew up on the Moorehouse Ranch in King County near his birth place of Guthrie, TX. He was no stranger to dirt, hard work, integrity and common sense. Seth has an interesting heritage; while some people come from families with either clean or dirty backgrounds, Seth has a little of both. His mother’s side was made up of cowboys, ranchers or lawmen, and his father’s side were all outlaws or musicians. This may sound like a tough combination, in fact his parents split when he was in elementary school. The rough and rowdy upbringing in a bunkhouse on a ranch could produce a man of a variety of temperaments, but Seth is a kind, soft-spoken man with a strong work ethic, love for family and God-given musical talent that has been worked into something truly amazing. Seth went to school in Guthrie, and graduated both salutatorian and in the bottom half of his graduating class of two.

Musical influences come from many places, Seth’s came mostly from listening to the radio which he did a lot, and any exposure to live music only came from watching country or Texas Swing bands at the rodeo. Seth picked up the guitar as a child, but mostly only played in the privacy of the bunkhouse until he finally played publicly during college. Seth rode his high academic honors all the way to Texas A&M. His father played drums in a house band where Bobby Mack played from time to time, and when going to see his father play he experienced two firsts; seeing somebody play electric guitar live, and seeing Bobby Mack for the first time. Bobby’s presence and skill etched a love for the blues into Seth, and this love manifests itself when he takes the stage. Whether playing an acoustic set, playing lead guitar in a band or joining up with the likes of Bobby Mack, Rick Richards and Jimmy Hartman to do a full-on blues show, Seth clearly puts his heart and soul into what he does, and he makes it all look effortless.

While still in college, Seth played with some friends in what they called Black Rose Band, playing mostly covers of Charlie Pride, Ray Price, Haggard, Fogarty, Buddy Guy and many more. Over the years Seth wrote, played and recorded many of his own songs, played with Ray Wylie Hubbard then Cody Canada and The Departed, and of course while on this journey he married his wife Jessica and they had 2 boys together and now live in New Braunfels, TX. Jessica is still a part-time vocalist with Wade Bowen, and if you’re lucky you can catch Seth and Jessica singing together from time to time.

Seth and Bobby have 2 more blues shows booked at River Road Ice House on Wednesday, March 19 and 26th, and hopefully more will come in the future!

4th Annual Ultimate LJT Giveaway

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Want to have the ultimate LJT Texas Music Fest experience?

Of course you do, and for the 4th straight year, Galleywinter brings you the opportunity to win the Ultimate LJT Giveaway!

WHAT YOU COULD WIN:

Grand prize includes:
-1 pair of 4-day festival tickets!
-Special meet ‘n greet tour with Larry Joe Taylor and other artists!
-Campfire acoustic concert to be held at your campsite** featuring William Clark Green and surprise guests!

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2nd prize: 1 pair of 3 day tickets

3rd prize: 1 pair of 2 day tickets

HOW TO ENTER:

1. FOLLOW Galleywinter on Twitter (@galleywinter)

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2.  LIKE Galleywinter on Facebook (/galleyw)

-AND-

3. RSVP as attending to the Ultimate LJT Giveaway Event on Facebook

4.  Leave a comment on this article with your name, your hometown and how many years you’ve attended  LJT?  (ie. John Doe. Dallas, TX. 4).

The contest runs from March 10 to April 10 at 5PM CST.

Winners will be chosen by random drawing and notified/announced on April 11th.

*Prize does NOT include campsite reservations and winners are responsible for securing their own camping spots.

**If a winner is found to be ineligible for any reason (such as not following Galleywinter on Twitter or not RSVP’d to the Facebook event) winners will be redrawn.

***If for some reason, the winner’s campsite is found to be inadequate for the campsite concert, the show will be moved to an alternate location nearby.

 … Keep Reading

{New Braunfels} Spotlight: Tom Gillam

Tom Gillam was born in Deptford, New Jersey, and was primarily raised in Camden, New Jersey. As the son of a nuclear power plant cooling system design engineer and a stay-at-home mom and member of a 5 child household with 4 boys and 1 girl, Tom says he had a great childhood. Tom’s paternal grandfather and great uncle were musicians in the 1920′s in Schmoken, Pennsylvania, and his brother Michael has played drums with John Waite since 2010 as well as having credits as drummer for John Waite’s latest album, 2 of Tom’s albums and several other records over the years.

Tom picked up the guitar and played it through high school, but dropped it shortly after in lieu of taking vocal duties. Jumping into songwriting was a natural progression at the age of 22, and he also learned and added slide guitar to his arsenal. Tom’s primary musical ingestion was by no surprise the “So-Cal” country rock sounds of late 60′s and early 70′s bands such as Poco, The Flying Burrito Brothers, New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Byrds and others which finally manifested into bands like The Eagles. These and many others helped shape Tom’s musical tastes and stylings, but Tom has continued to branch out and enjoy MANY genres of music over the years. This diversity wasn’t limited to his musical enjoyment however, Tom even fronted a punk/new wave band in Philadelphia for awhile, and has played many different styles of music over the years in … Keep Reading

{Review} Robert Ellis – The Lights From the Chemical Plant

Do you remember when you were young and every new album you heard blew your mind?

You were probably somewhere between the ages 13-18, and you started to “discover” music that you had never heard before. Each great new album/artist that you discovered changed your idea of what music could be. Over time, these albums/artists helped you form your musical ideologies and mold you into the music fan that you are today.

It doesn’t take much thought to figure out why that “mind-blowing” feeling doesn’t happen as much as one gets older. One’s overall knowledge of music becomes vaster, and thus the possibility for an album to blow one’s mind decreases. Instead of happening once or twice a month, this feeling may only happen once or twice a year.

Although this concept can be depressing, there is a pretty strong upside: When an album does blow your mind after your taste in music has matured, you know it must be something truly special.

Robert Ellis’ The Lights From the Chemical Plant blew my mind.

I should start by saying that I saw Ellis live last month, before the album was actually released. Ellis was opening for Jason Isbell, whose Southeastern was one of my very few mind-blowing albums from 2013. Ellis’ set consisted entirely of songs from his new album (and one cover). By the end of the set, I had no clue what I had just witnessed, which I could only describe as a hipster-influenced young Willie Nelson on … Keep Reading