Well the holidays are now upon us signaling that the year is coming to an end – and oh what a year it has been. If you would have talked to me about my expectations for the year last December, I never could have predicted such a whirlwind. If my non-Galley friends (yes, they do exist) thought I was insane before, I pretty much proved it to them this year. And now we’re approaching 2005 – the potential both scares me and excites me. All I know for sure is that I’m in for one hell of a ride – and I look forward to having y’all right there with me!
Once again people were having great times all over the state of Texas, so I’m just going to jump right in…
There was an exceptional weekend in Houston in mid-October. It started off with the Fire & Ice Cookoff which was put together in Montgomery County by Willey and Lil’ Rat featured performer was Stoney LaRue – OMG. We seriously stayed out there listening to Stoney play until 4am. He just sat up on stage and kept blessing us with the voice that only Stoney has. It was incredible. Angeledb summed it up this way:
“How much damn fun did we have last night? Stoney truly is the Reverend! I found religion last night!”
and she wasn’t the only one! And just a couple of her highlights that bear mentioning – 1. Meg asking how to flush the port-a-john and 2. Stoney yelling “earmuffs” before saying Sh#t! – funny stuff… It ranks as one of the top 5 experiences of the year – just being surrounded by your friends and having a musical experience that cannot be paralleled. Then the next day (mind you we all got home at the earliest at 5am) we got up and had to rally for Fall Fandango. Boy howdy! But we pulled it off – pre-party and all! Started out at Papa’s Icehouse for burgers and beers, and then on to one heck of a show. Pat, Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, The Lost Trailers, Brandon Rhyder, Peter Dawson, Wade Bowen, Django Walker, Honeybrowne, Kevin Fowler and Randy Rogers all within 12 hours. It shouldn’t be allowed! So much fun! By toreupjunebug’s account:
“I am not even going to pretend that I can possibly put into words how awesome yesterday was. It was my 15th show for PG this year, and Lord only knows what number overall, however, I am going to tell you this one simple fact – I do believe that what I saw and heard yesterday was probably in the top 3 shows EVER. That’s a tough one to call however – it’s true.”
I don’t think I can even add anything else to that…
Ok – fast forward to Halloween, but stay in Houston. Firehouse Saloon was by far the place to be. Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen teamed up for one heck of a Halloween Bash, and a birthday bash for me Wink Both bands were completely on that night – and I mean ON. Even Shelby, Wade’s girlfriend and lordyhelpme on the board – someone who sees more shows than any of us, posted:
“I just have to say, that Saturday was one of the best show’s I’ve seen Wade and the guys put on. They had so much fun and they were all hilarious!”
And Blamo, who made the run for the show (along with a bad-ass carved pumpkin) said:
“I really can’t put into words last night. It was just awesome. Good friends, good music and yes…probably one of the best shows this year…”
And I couldn’t agree more…
The folks in College Station got quite a treat in November as Pat Green decided to play a small show at The Tap and provided tickets for some of his most loyal fans. It was a Thursday night, but there were a ton of people that decided to make the overnight run for an experience they knew would be one of a kind – and they were not disappointed. Even Seattlegal booked a flight and flew in for the one night show – if that’s not dedication, I’m not sure what is. Her account of the show included:
“Cried during Nightmare (never heard it live before, one of my top 3); Cried during Galleywinter and DBMHA (not sure why on that one); Cried when I told Hog I had a lay over in LA and felt guilty for not going and getting Lori!!!! And pretty much peed my pants when Christy handed Pat her phone and he sang California and the Beatles song to her!”
It’s one of those times that will stay with all of us for some time to come. It’s just so much fun to see Pat in a small setting with just a little 5-piece band. And although the next day at work wasn’t the greatest thing in the world, I think we all made it through ok riding the high we got from just being at the show…
Then came the 2nd Annual Tore-up BBQ. TXAngel and TXBuckshot hosted it at their house this year, and talk about some great food, great music and great friends – just all in all a perfect combination. I think Sparks spoke for all of us when she said:
“I love all you guys so much, and I don’t honestly think I can come close to explaining what yesterday meant to me. I see so many of you like a huge extended family. And get togethers like this are like a huge family reunion. I’ve never felt such a tightness with so many people. It was good for my heart, my soul and my mind.”
It’s times like these that will get you through the tough times – because you realize how truly blessed you really are – it just kind of refocuses this whole “Galleywinter” thing
On the weekend of the 20th, doubletrouble decided to take a little road trip to El Campo to catch what they thought would be just a show with the Eli Young Band and the Randy Rogers Band, but soon turned into Survivor Island: El Campo Inn. They have one of the best accounts (pictures and all) of the experience, but to summarize – after a great show, it was POURING down rain so they all decided it would be best not to drive home, and that they would just get a hotel room. Good call. Woke up the next morning and they were flooded and stuck in El Campo. Not so good. But the brave boys of EYB made the necessary treks to the store for food, cigs, and the ever-important alcohol, so they survived. Doubletrouble summed it up by saying:
“It was definitely an interesting adventure and one that we will not soon forget. Special thanks to Mike, James, Chris, John, and Jake for being our saving grace!!! You guys are AWESOME!!!”
I guess that’s one way to get to know a band – LOL!
The Clubhouse Concert on November 21st was quite an experience as well – it featured 3 of the best songwriters out there today – Walt Wilkins, Brandon Rhyder and Susan Gibson. Karina went and her review afterwards included:
“it was fabulous – the crowd was perfection – very respectful and listening to each musician. Walt was feeling a bit strained on his voice – but came through beautifully. Brandon – I love his voice – just love it. And Susan impressed me as well. My highlight of course, was Walt. Seeing that man live and just talking with him brings me to a place I never want to leave.”
These Clubhouse shows are getting more and more incredible as they get bigger and bigger. So if you’re ever looking for something to do on a Sunday night (and honestly, who isn’t?!?!) head on over to the White Elephant Saloon in Ft. Worth and catch one of these shows!
Well there are only a few CD and DVD releases to highlight this time around – it seems that if an artist was going to get an album out, they did it before November. But there are still a few worthy of stocking stuffers, etc…
First of all is one of Austin’s hidden treasures, Brian Rung. He is an incredible musician and songwriter, and he finally released his sophomore album, Late for the Show on November 2nd. It features the song “Mary” which many have heard Matt Powell performing for over a year now (and it’s on Matt’s FL&J CD too!) So if you want something that is off the beaten path, but is worth every penny, go get this CD and figure out what the buzz is all about!
On November 9th, Robert Earl Keen released the #2 Live Diner DVD which features live performances of all of the old school classics that got us into REK in the first place! It’s going on my Christmas list for a few people indeed – you can’t very often go wrong when you opt for a little REK
Each year, KVET, a radio station out of Austin puts together the most amazing Christmas CD, and this year is no exception. There are 23 songs on the CD that will put you in the spirit of the holidays like nothing else can. What’s better than a little eggnog while listening to Jack Ingram, Roger Creager, Kevin Fowler, and Owen Temple (and more and more and more) belt out your favorite Christmas classics? I seriously can’t think of anything better right now (although I might switch to a better drink than eggnog). Get these while you can, because once they are gone, they’re gone – there is a limited supply each year and these CD’s are getting more and more popular!
And last, but not least, Mike McClure teamed up with The Burtschi Brothers and they are releasing a CD on December 21st titled Feeling We Used to Know. This Red Dirt team has been pumping out amazing music for years now individually, so I can only imagine what they’ve done together! A definite add to my wish list of CD’s that goes on for miles at the moment!
The tides have turned it seems – while this section in the last article focused mainly on the lives of “galleyfolk”, the past couple of months have led to some great things for our favorite artists…
We have 2 new daddies in our midst. Thomas, the clever yet crazy rhythm guitar player for F.Co. welcomed a baby boy to the world in the month of October. There are a few more babies yet to come in the F.Co. family as well over the next couple of months – I guess they wanted to form a band to take their place when they decide to retire one day down the road . Stoney LaRue and wife Kandace also celebrated the birth of their first little guy on October 28th (good birthday Wink ). Cody Jason LaRue Phillips (CJ) joined big sister Avery and everyone is doing great. Congratulations to all of you!!
For a sneak peak in what’s to come in 2005 – a few artists have albums in the mix. Bleu is in the process of recording his first live CD. I for one CANNOT wait – there is something in the live BEB experience that has yet to be captured on a studio album. There are 3 recording dates set are December 18th in Houston at the Side Car Pub, New Years Eve in Dallas at the Gypsy Tea Room, and January 15th at the legendary Gruene Hall. After the BEB wraps up the live album, they are heading to the studio for the follow-up to The Band Plays On – and the new album will be produced by none other than Jack Ingram! It’s going to be a great year for the BEB without a doubt… And speaking of Jack Ingram, he is also working on his next album due out sometime in April. So it looks like we’ll get to hear the latest and greatest from Jack and the Beat Up Ford Band too! Ryan Turner is also putting the finishing touches on his album with the help of Lloyd Maines and a few members from the Pat Green Band and the Kevin Fowler band – the mixes so far are sounding terrific! He also appeared on the 2004 KVET Christmas CD playing acoustic guitar for Kevin Fowler’s track. There are a couple more albums in the works that have people on the edge of their seats with anticipation. First of all is Galleywinter’s own Brandon Wayne Jones – a self-admitted perfectionist, we are trying to annoy him enough for him to actually let us hear everything Wink And the other is Wade Bowen who is a top contender for frequent flier miles to Nashville. He wants to make sure the album is right and everything fits like it should – my prediction is that Wade’s next release is going to be to 2005 what Rollercoaster was to 2004 – get ready boys and girls!
Just this week the Randy Rogers Band got an early Christmas present when an unexpected review of Rollercoaster showed up in USA Today – and it was a great review at that! Here’s a small snip-it: “This Texas band’s guitars rock with an authority that their Nashville counterparts rarely manage, but the songs on this Radney Foster procuced disc are pure country, such as Somebody Take Me Home, in which a guy takes to sleeping on the floor when the memories in his bed crowd him out. Rogers’ voice recalls Steve Earle’s Copperhead Road era, and fiddler Brady Black’s bow slides across strings with the same unyielding force as the bulldozers flattening the landscape in They Call It The Hill Country.” Being featured in a national publication is quite an accomplishment – a definite round of applause for the RRB!!
On a sad note, The Lost Trailers lost their trailer once again Sad – some scumbag (yes, I said scumbag) in Atlanta stole it – this is the 3rd time it has happened to the guys – but they are going to persevere. Speaking to the character of the artists in this scene that we love so much, Cross Canadian Ragweed has donated one of their old trailers to the band to help them get back on their feet. The best thing we can do as fans is to get out there and show these guys that we love them, and that we appreciate their determination to provide us with one of the best live shows around! So catch the Trailers the next time they come through a town near you!!
Our interview guru Brad is still hard at work contacting artists to give us the inside scoop with his seemingly infamous 20 ?’s. Look for the next few interviews to feature Larry Joe Taylor, No Justice, Yellowbelly, Ryan Turner, Copperhead and Brandon Wayne Jones. These are always fun to read because Brad seems to ask the questions that the artists have never heard before and give us a peek into a different side of the artists we only think we know…
On the Horizon
Well as 2004 comes to a close, there is definitely not a lack of shows anywhere in the state! Looking at the upcoming calendar, if you don’t get out to see some of these artists, I can say with confidence that it’s your own dang fault!!
First of all, the Clubhouse Concerts in Ft. Worth have an exciting weekend planned with Stoney LaRue and Travis Linville on tap, and Johnny Cooper opening. The shows are held at The White Elephant (in the Stockyards) and doors open at 7pm. Dinner is included in the price of entry ($10), and you get so see the artists in one of the most intimate settings available. Don’t forget to bring your toys for the Straggler’s toy drive as well – Miss Joni and crew will make sure the guys get them before their trip to Cooks Children’s Hospital next week!
Also, the Texas Songwriter’s Showcase featuring Roger Creager, Kevin Fowler, Jack Ingram, Cory Morrow, Randy Rogers, and Billy Joe Shaver is coming to a town near you. They are playing in Dallas on December 21st at Poor David’s Pub, in Austin on December 22nd at La Zona Rosa, and in Houston on December 23rd at Verizon Theater. You don’t get the chance to get out and see these artists together very often at all, much less acoustic, so take advantage of it while you can! I know it’s going to be nothing short of extraordinary!!
Billy Bob’s is hosting a couple of Christmastime shows as well – Pat Green is pulling his annual headlining duties on December 23rd. Pat plays the joint with the experience of a veteran and the excitement of a rookie – and it is a definite must-see for any fan of the Pat Green Band. And on Christmas night, after you have stuffed yourself with ham and potatoes and opened up all of your goodies, there is still one more treat to be had – Jack Ingram and the Beat Up Ford Band. I can’t think of a better way to end Christmas that screaming “Barbie Doll” at the top of your lungs with all of your friends.
There are quite a few bands throwing parties to ring in the New Year too! At Saengerhalle in New Braunfels, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Wade Bowen and West 84, and Stoney LaRue are joining forces to throw one of the biggest parties in the state. And they have a great package deal for you as well – you can get a room, entry to the show and a ride to and from the show all included in one price – and it’s actually reasonable (imagine that!) Check it out on the Ragweed website… Randy Rogers is going to get the party going in Stephenville at City Limits (I have a feeling that with the people I know that are going, the party is going to last well into the wee hours of the morning whether the LaQuinta and Red Roof Inn like it or not). And as stated before, the Bleu Edmondson Band is recording their live CD that night in Dallas at the Gypsy Tea Room. So get out and ring in the New Year in style!!!
The year once again starts off with the party that sets the bar for the rest of the year – THE MUSIC FEST IN STEAMBOAT!! I can’t even begin to explain how much fun this trip is each year. Tons of Texans (and a few others that we allow Wink ) converge on the town of Steamboat and tear it up for 6 days straight – actually on the 6th day you see people walking around near death thanks to the 5 nights that preceded it, but that’s another story for another time… Band upon band also make the trip to provide the entertainment each day. It is an unbelievable time – if you can’t make it this year, start saving for 2006 because these things only get better with time…
Another exciting show coming up in the Dallas area is at Billy Bob’s Texas on January 21st – the Randy Rogers Band is recording their Live at Billy Bob’s CD with Wade Bowen and West 84 and Billy Joe Shaver opening up for them. So once again, if you want to be a part of recorded history, make plans to be there!
That’s it for this edition of Rewind – I hope you all have had a fabulous year – I can honestly say that it has been one of the best years of my life – and a lot of that is attributed to each of you. I wish you blessing upon blessing throughout 2005 – and I’ll see ya where the music is playin’!