Thanks for the Music 2015

This year, we  once again continue our annual November tradition of surveying people across the Texas/Red Dirt/Americana genres about a musical topic they are thankful for.  This year, we asked folks:  what song, album, artist, show or moment are you most thankful for this past year?  Not necessarily what their favorite record was, but which one were they most thankful for.  It could be a new record, or maybe an an older project they’re just now discovering (or re-discovering).  This year instead of publishing all the submissions (thanks to all who sent them in; we whittled them down to the ones we felt were most poignant or representative of the general flavor of responses we received).  As always, the answers are varied, insightful and, yes, ripe with gratitude.  Please leave the artists, songs or albums that resonated with you this past year in the comments section.

Kevin Russell, singer/songwriter/dance party enthusiast/ukelele playing brains behind Shinyribs

On Valentine’s Day 2015 at Gruene Hall- several things culminated that have made this a stand out show of the past year for me. Firstly the on-going steady rise in popularity of my band, Shinyribs brought me the opportunity to play. The traditional appeal of Gruene Hall coupled with the sex groove fun of The Ribs was a stroke of genius on the part of all involved. It seemed a natural fit. Second, I had always dreamed of playing a specially curated show wherein all things would be focused on love, lust and laughter. This was the perfect opportunity. The icing on the cake though has to be the addition of Alice Spencer and Sally Allen as back-up singers that night. This show was the fruition of all my musical dreaming and scheming over the last few years. And the Shiny Soul Singers is a final, crucial piece to the puzzle. Since then we have been evolving and growing into this large, fascinating entity. My writing and arranging are concerned mainly with this line up. All of my future musical plans revolve around this version of,”the band of my dreams.”. I truly feel like the luckiest song and dance man alive. This group of musicians are among the best people and the best players I have ever worked with. Their support, professionalism and high artistic standards are truly an inspiration for me. I am grateful every show, every song, every note for them: Keith Langford-Drums, Winfield Cheek-Keys, Jeff Brown-Bass, Tiger Anaya-Trumpet, Mark Wilson-Sax & Flute, Alice, Sally, sometimes Danny Levin-fiddle and Trey Worth who helps us all get it together. And I sincerely hope we will be able to make this music for a long time to come. And I will never forget the night all my wishes came true. Valentine’s at Gruene Hall. Who’d a-thunk? Thanks to everyone who made it happen. And all that were there to dig it.

Haley Cole, singer/songwriter

I went to see the incredible Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the legendary Preservation Hall recently and it was absolutely life-changing. It was the intimacy of the space, the acoustics, the history, the musicianship, the soulfulness, all bundled up together in the time span of about 45 minutes. Watching and meeting Charlie Gabriel was definitely the highlight of my year. My dream would be to one day be up there singing with him! I highly recommend a trip to NOLA to witness the experience that I had to everyone. It’s just one of those things you have to see live and in person, ya know? No YouTube video is going to be able to capture the real time emotion that is happening in this magical place.  I am so incredibly thankful for this memory.

Josh Grider, singer/songwriter 

As I look back on this year I have to say I am most grateful for my trip to Europe in August.  We were in Italy and France for at total of 11 days.  We played two excellent festivals had lot of time to look around and take in the sights and sounds of both countries.  We met some crazy characters and experienced things we’ll never forget.  It was incredible to play my songs so far from home and have people sing along, and really enjoy the music.  Their love of country music is real, and we got to experience it first hand.  On our trip we were able to spend three days walking the streets of Paris, and in light of all that has happened there recently I have to say I’m not only grateful that we got to visit and play, but that we travelled without incident.  Knowing how much Paris, and the world has changed in light of 11/13 I am grateful to have made our trip prior to that day.  I will go back, but I know that it will never be the same.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!  May your team win, your turkey be good, and the rest of your year play out just the way you want it to.


Drew Kennedy, singer/songwriter

Guy Clark’s “Dublin Blues” has been a favorite song of mine for a very long time. While driving to a show earlier this year it wandered its way through my speakers thanks to the shuffle feature on my iPhone. As I was listening, a favorite verse of mine hit me in an entirely new way.


I have been to Fort Worth
I have been to Spain
I have been too proud to come in out of the rain
I have seen the David
I’ve seen the Mona Lisa too
And I have heard Doc Watson play Columbus Stockade Blues

I realized that (and this is my own interpretation here) Guy wasn’t just listing great works of art, but that he was valuing each of them equally. Three works of art that are each great benchmarks in their particular mediums. The sculpture, the painting, the song. Just because my work won’t ever hang in the Louvre or rest on a pedestal in Florence doesn’t mean it can’t reach the same level of respect or reverence in my chosen line of work.

I’m not saying that anything I ever write will be celebrated like those three, but that realization certainly helps me focus when I’m writing. Guy makes no distinction between the “high” art of the first two and that of the third. That idea matters to me, and it serves as an ample reminder that every time I lift my pen I should be aiming for greatness. I never hit the mark, of course, but the work I’m doing isn’t just for kicks– it’s forever.

Adam Odor, basssist/producer/engineer/currently playing with Saints Analogue

It’s been a long time since I’ve watched a band play it’s first note and felt like I immediately needed to know their entire catalog.  When Houndmouth took the stage at Spotify House this SXSW, I was enamored, hooked, in-love, floored, and ready to tattoo their name on my chest.  A Motown-esque bass line kicked off their set with “Black Gold,” and until their finale of “Runaround Sue” I watched four people sing, switch instruments, break a strap (when his strap broke, the bass player ran over to the drums so he could sing his harmony part into a drum mic and continue playing until someone came on stage and fixed it), and break some hearts.  Americana, rock-n-roll, indy-rock, call it what you will, Houndmouth isn’t just a band, these four people eat, breathe, and die music.  This year I’m thankful for Houndmouth and the stories they have to tell.

Rich O’ Toole, singer/songwriter

I’m thankful for Chris Stapleton winning at The CMAs. I think his win opens the gate for more traditional and Americana Country acts getting the credit they deserve by a wider audience.  It’s a win that validates what so many have been working toward for so long and Stapleton is representative of so much to so many.

Dan Adams, singer/songwriter


I’m thankful for the way the Texas music scene wholeheartedly supports good independent music. We’ve seen it with Isbell, Stapleton, and Sturgill. We see it day in and day out with all of us who are regional indie artists based in Texas.  Texas radio pushes good local/regional music. Fans go out to festivals and venues, and share what they love with other fans to spread the word. All of this exists as a unique infrastructure to promote what is actually good – instead of what record companies spend millions trying to force feed to listeners.  It’s truly a rarity.  What happens with music here in Texas is organic and pure and I can say from experience that it doesn’t exist anywhere else.  I feel lucky and blessed to be a part of it.

Ronnie Fauss, singer/songwriter

I am thankful that Brent Best of Slobberbone/Drams fame released his long-awaited solo album, Your Dog, Champ. The songwriting is top notch and chilling.  It was worth the wait!

Brad Beheler, editor-in-chief

Music has always been a tremendous support system for me.  Good times and bad times it’s like that favorite pair of jeans.  During some really trying times this past year I leaned on it heavily.  The record that pulled me through the most was Dawes-All Your Favorite Bands.  The lyrics resonated with me like none that I can ever remember.  I know it’s only because they hit me at the time in my life they did, but they are phenomenal.  I thank God for sending that music to my heart and ears when I needed it most.  Taylor Goldsmith is a genius. I implore everyone to check out this band, starting with this album.

But somewhere along the way
I started to smile again
I don’t remember when
Somewhere along the way
Things will turn out just fine
I know it’s true this time

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

16 thoughts on “Thanks for the Music 2015

  • November 25, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Great way to start Thanksgiving Brad with these thankful artists.

    I am thankful for the Red River Songwriters group (Drew,Walt,Josh,Susan,Kelly,Brandy) for being a soundtrack of our life, and for my wife and I to call each other in the middle of an otherwise mundane day throughout the year and say “oh my god I just really listened to this song of Walt’s today that we’ve heard a hundred times but you have to hear what I just heard, Brilliant!”. And for the fact that we will plan however we have to, to make sure we get to this festival every January that they have it. It fills our souls with love and music.

  • Pingback: Thanks For You | Galleywinter

  • October 6, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    It’s an awesome paragraph in support of all the
    internet users; they will get benefit from it I am sure.

  • October 9, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Awesome issues here. I’m very glad to see your post.Thanks a lot and I’m having a look ahead to touch you.Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  • October 15, 2018 at 12:06 am

    I just want to tell you that I am just new to weblog and absolutely enjoyed this web blog. Very likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You surely have good articles. Thanks a lot for sharing your website.

  • October 17, 2018 at 12:26 am

    Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Very helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  • October 17, 2018 at 12:26 am

    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blog so i came to “return the favor”.I am trying to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  • October 17, 2018 at 12:27 am

    Hello, Neat post. There’s an issue with your website in web explorer, could check this¡K IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a good portion of folks will miss your great writing because of this problem.

  • October 17, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    I think this is one of the most vital information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But want to remark on some general things, The site style is great, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  • October 17, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  • October 22, 2018 at 12:03 am

    We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  • October 22, 2018 at 5:11 am

    hello there and thank you for your information – I have definitely picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues using this website, since I experienced to reload the site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and can damage your high-quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content. Ensure that you update this again soon..

  • October 22, 2018 at 6:19 am

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.