Thanks for the Music: 2008

“Musically speaking, what artist are you most thankful for?”

The answers were surprising, inspiring, and insightful. And, probably coolest of all…only one answer repeated!

-Brad Beheler,
Pat Green. He opened up an entire world to me that I didn’t know existed. He inspired me and countless others to pick up a guitar. He broke down walls and gave everyone a blueprint on how to be successful. And, every time I feel lost musically, he’s the artistic chicken soup for my Texas soul that welcomes me home again.

-Dub Miller
Tom Waits without whom I never would have been able to articulate that the carpet needs a haircut, the telephone’s out of cigarettes, and the piano has been drinking, not me.

-Gregg Geil,
Robert Earl Keen. We all have specific songs that are timeless in nature and can instantly transform you back to a specific period in your life. That is the power of music for which I am thankful for. Songs like the “Front Porch Song” will always bring me back to that Buick Regal or the yearly guys fishing trip of my youth.

-Drew Kennedy
Guy Clark because he paints like Picasso, but with words…and I like words more than I like paint.

-Todd Purifoy, Texas/Red Dirt Photography
Kris Kristofferson. The music is obvious, but the more I learn about the man, the more I recognize the mark he will leave. As someone who gets involved in many different things, I can’t help but admire his life experiences.

-Wade Bowen
Robert Earl Keen. I know it sounds like a cliché answer but here’s why. As I was about to graduate from high school, I was starting to develop a huge passion for music, more than I ever had. Up to that point, I was listening to so much mainstream country because I thought it was the only kind of country out there. So other than Willie and Waylon, I listened to the radio country at the time. Then I was handed a Robert Earl CD and it changed my life forever. After months of digging into his music, I learned about the singer/songwriter way of life and how success can be achieved without having to venture to Nashville. I watched him live and bought all of his albums and my life has not been the same since. I started writing songs better and eventually got the courage to get on stage and here I stand. Although he is already a legend, I don’t think he truly gets the appreciation he deserves. So, thank you REK for real music by a real artist!

-Sunny Sweeney
Loretta Lynn because she just gets it. Simple country’s really a beautiful thing. Also, it’s so cool to see her never forget where she came from.

-Mark Sanders
Ryan Adams…his music is thought provoking, uplifting, remorseful, sad and/or happy…depending on how you interpret it…that’s a rare find!

-Josh Grider
Willie Nelson. The Shotgun Willie inspires me each time I listen to it. And, the foresight he had to take his music to another level with things like Red Headed Stranger and Stardust make me push myself harder.

-Doug Moreland
Glenn Moreland, my Dad. He had a fiddle when I needed it, and gifted me with the ability to use it. Thanks Dad.

-Kris Farrow, Micky & The Motorcars
John Coltrane, because he showed me that music is more than notes and ego and melodies- it’s power, it’s sound, it’s chaos- and that music, like life, can sometimes be ugly…but that’s all part of the beauty.

-Kristen Kelly, Modern Day Drifters
Patty Griffin. Such an eclectic singer/songwriter. Emotional, elegant, emphatic. She’s absolutely amazing and you can’t help but be inspired by her. She makes me work harder trying to be half as good as she is! Timeless.

-Mike Eli, Eli Young Band
Jack Ingram and Miranda Lambert. Jack for inspiring so many songwriters like me, as well as, making music that I listen to like it’s a brand new album and everything that happened in 2002 is still relevant. Miranda for being this feisty little thing that went to Nashville and did it her way. And I thank my lucky stars everyday that she hooked EYB up with Frank Liddell.

-Britt Lloyd
The Beatles, because the rock n’ roll gods would still be disappointed in all of us…and we don’t want that!

-Kimberly Kelly
George Strait. Simplicity. He reminds you that in the middle of everything that comes out new and innovatively, you don’t have to be anything but yourself take it or leave it. There’s something to be said about somebody that just does what he does…and somehow finds his way at the top of the pack always…as so many trends come and go.

-Josh Ward
George Jones because he’s learned he can live out his miseries in a song, he sings the truth, and country music needs that right now

-Ryan “Tank” Hargrave,
Ryan Bingham for being the most honest and raw guy behind a guitar. For giving me hope that this generation won’t be excluded from true musicians that will leave their mark, not just on Texas, but on the world. And mostly for teaching me how to be changed by it all.

-Bobby Duncan
Walt Wilkins, because not only is he one of the best songwriters on the planet, he taught me more about how to be a musician in two weeks than I had learned in the previous two years.

-Shayne Hollinger, Mandatory FM
James McMurtry. For speaking his mind regardless of what others might think. Sometimes this world needs the truth that isn’t sugar-coated.

-Sarah Blincoe, Triple 8 Management
Bon Jovi. They were my first concert and favorite band as a kid.

-Jon Paul “Hogleg” Long,
Walt Wilkins. Walt is everything that represents Texas and Texas Music. When people ask me what is my favorite Walt Wilkins record I say “It’s the one I am listening to at that moment.” Walt keeps Texas music authentic and gives the music roots. You are never going to listen to Walt’s body of work and think to yourself, “I am not real sure where he was going with that.” Walt’s music is like family, it’s like home, it’s like going to church where they sell cold beer on a Saturday night. It’s a sincerity and security that is a rare find these days. Walt has done so much for the younger generations of Texas Music. He has given so many artists a lift and a direction artistically. He does all of this in a very quite little space he calls his own. I am thankful for Walter Clay Wilkins a Texas Troubadour, family man, brother and friend.

-Clair Devers,
Wade Bowen. For making one of our favorite records of the year and for being one of the biggest boosters of the Texas Music scene out there…and one of the best customers!

Brad Beheler

Raised in Waco, refined in the Hill Country, escaped from DFW. I've worked in just about every facet of the music business for 20 years. I like to write about it all. e-mail Brad Editor-in-Chief

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