July 2022 – Discovery is the Best Drug

Throughout the years, this website has prided itself on supporting music we loved, in all its various forms  Primarily roots music made or based in Texas/Oklahoma, but we’ve never shied away from hip-hop, metal, pop or whatever rows our boat.  For 20 years we’ve been chasing the dragons that make us feel that tingly feeling you first felt when you fell in love with your first song.  I’ve detailed in this space over two decades multiple times I felt that feeling.  

And there is still nothing better than discovering a cool new artist or a new song from an artist you love.  Hearing it for the first time.  Blasting it on repeat until you know the hook by heart.  It’s euphoric.  It’s what has kept us going all this time.  The first time I heard Elvis or the Beatles stirred something in me as a kid.  But it was the first time I heard Robert Earl Keen sing about his white trash Christmas and the first time I heard Pat Green sing about dreaming from the worn out wooden planks of a dancehall.  Those touched my soul and launched a movement.  I was not alone.  

By proxy those songs launched this website and community.  Dozens of careers and an entire industry launched in their wake.  That wake has brought me to hearing Cody Canada sing about wrongly rolled joints, Creager espouse the dangers of Everclear consumption, Randy Rogers kissing his lady in the dark, Wade Bowen wondering if he’d ever make it home, Koe Wetzel looking for a Taco Bell and Parker bemusing how it’s been a hell of a year.

The names and times change, but the feeling a good song places on your soul never does.  It can be an artist you’ve heard a million times or someone you’ve never heard before knocking you on your rear end with their power, emotion and cleverness.  Melodies. Lyrics. Stories.   

I’ve never had a drink or a substance or a meal that makes me feel the way a good song does.  And that feeling is one of the best things we can feel as a human being.  We’re not the average music fans down here in Texas or in this community.  We’re obsessive.  Music snobs even.  Proudly.  I’ll hear a new song by a new artist and, in lieu of old fashioned liner notes, go down the Google and YouTube wormholes soaking up all bits of knowledge about them that is available.  And I know I’m not alone.  Many of the artists we all love are the same way.

Most recently, I’ve had that experience with 49 Winchester.  A band from a tiny town in Virginia that has been knocking around for quite some time, but is finding a national following with the release of their most recent album.  I can’t get enough of their music.  I’ve only been able to see them live once.  At Mile 0 Fest 2022 in bone crushing windchills.  It was less than optimum.  But their spirit in the face of weather related adversity made me a fan for life.  And that’s the kind of story that doesn’t happen to the average music fan.

Each year at River Jam, especially on the Sunday acoustic portion, there are multiple songs and artists that stop me dead in my tracks. They figuratively knock me out. Lightning bolts in the veins. Goosebumps on the arms. Hearing a new song that is amazing is the best drug there is.

I’m not saying I’m special or advanced as a music fan.  I just care more than most.  I used to not understand why others weren’t as passionate about it all as I am.  Eventually, I learned that everybody’s got their something, mine just happens to be music.  Well, that and the Dallas Cowboys.  

I’m thankful for the songs, artists and scenes that cultivate, appreciate and support music.  I’m proud to be part of the larger community of people that feel the same way about music as I do.

Keep listening.  Keep chasing.  

MINOR CHORDS:

– Come see us at River Jam next weekend.  We’ve got some music for you.  New.  Familiar.  Loud. Acoustic.  It’s the place to be.

Fri July 8 – Adam Hood/Jade Marie Patek at Cheatham Street. TICKETS!

Sat July 9 – Shaker Hymns/Sun Valley station at Billy’s Ice. TICKETS!

Sun July 10 – 18 amazing songwriters at Lone Star Float House. Sponsored by Mile 0 Fest.

-Went a little back to basics on this year’s River Jam.  In year’s past I would make a media blitz of radio, podcasts etc.  This year, we’re going old school.  Social media. Articles on the website and word of mouth.  Come celebrate with us.

-With the chaos of the world recently, music has been a saving grace for me.  I hope it’s done the same for you.

-I saw the Elvis movie and thought it was fantastic.  The kid that plays Elvis was awesome.  Tom Hanks was a bit much and they did a nice job of hitting the broad strokes with creative liberties.

-Cody Canada released his remixed version of Soul Gravy today.  You should check that out.

-The Rangers aren’t as bad as I thought they would be, but I look forward to the day when they’re great again.

-It’s almost football season.  I know because I’m starting to see Dave Campbell’s out in the wild.

-This month’s recommended album: 49 Winchester – Fortune Favors the Bold.  As mentioned above, these dudes grabbed my attention at Mile 0, but have exploded into my consciousness upon the release of their album back in May. The songwriting is powerful.  The musicianship is aces.  The emotion brims with every lyric and vocal delivery. This band is poised for a massive blow-up.  They will be selling out larger venues in the next couple years.  Bank on it.

-”Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” – Mark Twain

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