July 2017: Jamming the Why

More than a dozen years ago, as Galleywinter was in its infancy and the burgeoning online community was busting at the seems, plans were set in motion to have a get together to put faces with the handles and avatars.  That first event set in motion what has grown to be an established event that is part concert, part family reunion and part introduction.

There are thousands of music festivals each year.  They all share many common elements.  Large crowds. Long lines. Multiple bands. Multiple stages. Various settings.  A few bands you know. A few bands you don’t. And so on.

Our event has a few of those things, but it is truly different.  Now spread over three days, River Jam is built as a festival for true music fans.  It doesn’t strive to showcase the most popular bands necessarily, just what we feel are the best, most interesting, next big thing or most buzzed about.  There are areas for you to get away from the noise and network with like-minded music fans.  It’s not necessarily a music snob thing, it’s just a way to connect with people on your same wavelength.

Galleywinter has  always been about the people first.  The connections that bind us first online and then in life.  There have been marriages, children, friendships, business relationships and more that have all spawned from meeting people via Galleywinter.  That’s why this event is different.  Because Galleywinter is different.  There are millions of websites, but few that transcend from the virtual world to the real world in such a meaningful way.

There are bigger and more famous festivals.  There are pro festivals.  This is a for us by us DIY jam and you’re part of the crew.

Putting one of these things on is no easy task.  It is months and months of preparation, planning, marketing, and production.  Each year we try to spice up the line-up while staying true to the nature of the event.  This year we struck out on several high profile bands and artists for varying reasons.  One being American Aquarium’s tenuous situation at the time of the event booking several months back.  Another being the rapid rise of Koe Wetzel and his asking price shooting past our support budget.  These things happen.  It’s the music biz.

That being said, I think this might be our most eclectic line-up yet.  Red Shahan is as if Chris Knight listened to nothing but Skynyrd and hailed from west Texas.  He’s going to be kicking things off at the home of all this for me, Cheatham Street.  Josh Weathers is flat out the most talented musician I know.  Having him play this event full band style after the trek his life has been on the past few years is an absolute thrill.  K Phillips returns fresh off supporting Counting Crows and Rob Thomas.  Prophets and Outlaws debut with their soul throwback country stylings. Haley Cole will be delivering her potent band of passionate music with a rare full band appearance.  Austin Gilliam will be serving up the rock on the sidestage.  That’s a hell of a night.

But, there’s one more day.

Several years back, Tank and I were talking as Greenfest was winding down and someone was jamming an acoustic guitar.  Man, it’d be cool to bring back the acoustic aspect of this.  And thus Sunday acoustic day was born. A time to chill, recover, cleanse, reflect, listen.  As much Luckenbach trees as sit down and shut up. Somehting about the ambiance of waitresses shouting order names, the view of the river and the twang of a popping PA makes it unique and special. Josh Grider returns as our anchor without his running buddy Drew Kennedy who must take a year sabbatical for a Colorado wedding.  The remaining spots have been filled with songwriters of all vintages…young, old, male, female, well-known, undiscovered and so on.  It’s special…and encompasses the other aspect of things we like.  We love the rock show…but we also love the song.  For the sake of it all, we’ve got a little something for everyone.

Whether you’ve made every Greenfest or this will be your first as it’s now known as River Jam…we hope you’ll join us.  Connect. Live. Life. Music. Friends. Family.

 

MINOR CHORDS:

-There are some big shows happening around us this year, but I’m thankful it’s not Turnpike at Whitewater.  Whoever books Whitewater has it in for our event, I’m convinced.

-Doing Turntables on KNBT was a life highlight…it was a blast and I can’t wait to do it again.

-Waterparks >> Theme parks

-It’s almost football season and to fill the void I binged on the second season of Last Chance U.  Buddy Stephens is an abomination.  Brittany Wagner is an angel.

-Haven’t played guitar in so long that my callouses are gone…I need to fix that.  Great therapy.

-Haven’t played golf in two months because it’s been too dang hot…I need to fix that.  Great therapy.

-Kid Rock is running for Senate and has a chance to win.  Two years ago I would have said that’s crazy.  SCRO. #idiocracyisnow

-Rangers need to sell.

-I haven’t made it to the Gulf Coast yet this summer…I need to fix that.  Great therapy.

-This month’s recommended album: Will Hoge – Anchors.  Will Hoge is a genuine rock n’ roll songwriter from Nashville with enough rough edges to make him Americana soul.  He knows his way around a hook and a strat.  This album showcases all the best element’s of Hoge’s sound and style.  He’s long been a favorite of mine and this is one of his best.

-“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

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