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Tempting the Fire Marshall: Magnolia with AA

Currently, there is not a better show than American Aquarium at the Magnolia Motor Lounge in Ft. Worth. Will they outgrow the venue? No doubt. Last Saturday night they set the attendance record for the place – packing almost 500 people into a 300 person capacity room. Last year when they played the Magnolia, it seemed just as crowded as Saturday night. But the Magnolia has been fans of theirs for a long time – last show, B.J. paid homage to the owners, telling the crowd that the first time they played there, they played to a crowd of about 10 people, but the Magnolia believed in them and kept having them back.

The Magnolia got the return on their investment Saturday. Jonny Burke opened the show to the capacity crowd and most gathered around the stage to hear him sing. He pulled songs from his CD Cup Runneth Over and his self-titled EP. Jonny seems to be everywhere all of the sudden, opening up for Cody Canada, Jason Boland, Turnpike, and others. It will not be too long until he’s the one headlining packed houses.

Next up the USAq guys took the stage. About two songs in, B.J. told the crowd that it was going to be a long night if they keep singing every word back to the band, and a long night it was. There is nothing better than when a crowd, a venue, and a band all fit together perfectly for one night of great music. They played songs from all over their catalog, mixed in a John Prine cover, and closed with crowd favorites ”Ain’t going to the Bar Tonight”and “Burn, Flicker, and Die”. Songs from their new album, Wolves, were woven into their old stuff and fit perfectly. They did not play an encore and the crowd didn’t half-heartedly cheer for one like at most shows. Both the band and the crowd knew there was nothing more to be said to each other until the next time.

Greenfest 15


It’s that time again. The festival of the summer. The music family reunion. Meet up. Turn up. Greenfest 15. #gf15

WHEN: Sat July 18 & Sun July 19, 2015

WHERE: River Road Icehouse & Lone Star Float House. New Braunfels, TX


Saturday will be full bands rocking. Sunday will be some acoustic healing.  Ticket info and full line-up coming soon!

We’ll be announcing plenty of other acts along the way, but we’ll kick it off with two of our favorite new artists that will be sharing their talents with us all:

Zac Wilkerson (Saturday)



Haley Cole (Sunday)

{Review} Cody Canada & The Departed – HippieLovePunk

big_1418927923hippielovepunkfinalv260Cody Canada’s new album recently debuted all over the charts.  No 1 Amazon MP# Albums; No. 9 Billboard Country Albums; Top 5 ITunes Country and Top 40 iTunes overall.    I know it has been widely promoted and his team did a great job, but I think much of the initial success of the album was due to the influence that he and his music have had on the Red Dirt/Texas music scene.  I know that in the 90’s, Robert Earl Keen dominated the scene.  There were many others, but no one was as big as he was.  He seemed to be the biggest influence on young artists in the genre at that time.  He was blazing a trail for many to follow.

I believe Cody Canada has that kind of influence on the musicians of today.  Twitter usually blows up every release day from musicians that have friends releasing records, but nothing compared to the day HippieLovePunk was released.  Artists spanning all genres were promoting the album to their fans.  Everyone from Dierks Bentley to Sons of Bill to artists I’ve never heard of.


Because of the influence he and his music has had.

I really didn’t know what to expect out of the album or from the (new) Departed, but it is solid from start to finish.  It’s not a country record, but like most of the Americana now, it is somewhere between rock and country that can go from one to the other depending on the ear … Keep Reading

American Aquarium In the Fishbowl of Success


Without fail, every so often a band from outside the borders of Texas and Oklahoma resonate with Red Dirt music fans in a way that the homegrown talent just isn’t doing at the time. We’ve seen it happen with Lucero, Will Hoge, Sean McConnell, Adam Hood, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson and others.  Currently that band is American Aquarium.  A band heralded and certified as the ultimate road warriors has built up a loyal (and sizable…and growing) fandom in the Texas region.  On the strength of a blistering live show that was built on the back of BJ Barham’s intense songwriting, AA is connecting with a wide swath of hungry music fans.  As usual, fans down here crave realness.  Authenticity.  Grittiness.  USAq has that in spades. Their last album, Burn. Flicker. Die, was an Isbell-produced collection that solidified them in the scene and beyond. It propelled them from aimless wanderlust to the path of independent success. Their latest album (out Feb 3), Wolves, is the one that is currently elevating them to next-level status.

On the heels of a near-breakup, Wolves finds the band settling into a healthy groove both on and offstage. Marriage, sobriety and determination are clearing a new course for this pack of hungry artists.  Blazing a trail across the Texas scene like many have done before, but in their own way.  It was a slow burn at first.  Opening shows in a venue here or there.  Gradually, the band began building up its Texas following.  … Keep Reading

{Review} I Used To Not Care About Ryan Bingham


Alright, I’ve got a confession to make. Two, actually. Number one: This is probably the very first Ryan Bingham album that I’ve ever sat with, considered, and listened to front-to-back. Two: I’m at least eight Lone Star Lights into the evening, so I’m not sure if this will sound like a rant, a confession, a washing machine, or some kind of combination of the three. If so, good. If you don’t like reading rambling, you might want to go read something more structured, written by a professional. With editors. And deadlines. And no Lone Star Light. You know, the kind of stale shit that reads like a press release.

I know there’s a lot of bleeding hearts out there for Ryan Bingham, & a lot of people who laud him for a plethora of reasons that I never really got. I mean, I haven’t been in a cave. I’ve heard Bingham’s songs for several years. I dabbled with Roadhouse Sun. I never really traced back to Mescalito. I flat-out ignored Junky Star & Tomorrowland. I’m not sure if that makes me someone who’s just being honest, or if that makes me a dick for admitting it, but I just won’t say that I’ve ever been a very interested, devoted, or observant fan. Go ahead. You can chastise me if you’d like. But I’m not sure that my non-involvement in his fandom has anything to do with Ryan Bingham. I don’t know him. I don’t really know his … Keep Reading