December 30, 2011

Suds-n-Sounds and other weekend shenanigans

*Originally posted July 11, 2011*

This weekend was, as usual for me, chock-full of places to be and people to see. It was the weekend of a family reunion, a friend's wedding shower and the huge party/concert Suds-n-Sounds in Nazareth that I wouldn't miss for the world. I was wondering how on earth we were going to pack it all into one weekend, but of course, I found a way! It was interesting, but I didn't really walk away with any crazy and hilarious stories to tell like I usually do after weekend like this. I guess that's a good thing?

I kicked off the weekend by going out to my Great-Aunt and Uncle's house Friday night for a much-dreaded family supper for the beginning of the reunion. There was going to be cousins there that I hadn't seen in about 12 years and I wasn't really looking forward to catching up with them. Based on their Christmas cards we receive each year, I didn't think we could possibly have that much in common to talk about. I mean, we weren't even facebook friends! Soon enough though, my sister and I got shoved into the kids table with them and we got them talking. 

It didn't take long for me to pin them as major city-slickers when I asked them what kind of music they like... because that's the first thing I ask anyone I know nothing about.

Boy cousin - "Indie, Rock, Rap, you know, stuff like that."
Me - "Do yall ever listen to Texas Country?"
Girl cousin - "Umm, well like I know who Jason Aldean is."

By that time we were getting really tired of being in the house with all the decrepit people and were looking for something to do that was more our speed. The rest of the family was drinking wine, beer and mixed drinks, so I started dropping lines here and there, rather than just saying "So, do yall drink??" with thier parents sitting right there. I eventually got the gist that they do and it was about that time we remembered our town had just gone wet.

So, we loaded up and headed into town and we bought about 6 bottles of the fancy stuff, aka Boone's Farm, and some Four Lokos for the boy who is too tough for fancy wine.
As soon as we got back to the house out in the country, we laid down my tailgate and blasted some Texas Music on the radio and showed these city kids how it's done. I'm sure they've never drank Boone's Farm out in the country in the bed of a pickup, but now they can say they have. They think they're all sorts of cultured from living in the city, but this weekend they attended their first county roping and ate their first Allsups burrito. They are now officially cultured by my standards.

The next morning we had to go to a wedding shower, then had lunch for the boring-est part of the reunion. When that was all said and done my sister and I and two of her friends headed up to Nazareth, Texas for Suds and Sounds. I met several new people and got to catch up with lots of friends I hadn't seen in a long time. Some of them were from high school, and some of them were from college and it was good to see all of them. For the majority of the night I hung out with were a few of my new friends from Munday and we danced, played beer pong with strangers and made fun of lots of people who had a little too much fun. I finally get to mark the Hogg Maulies and Eleven Hundred Springs (or 'leven Hunrd Sprangs' as I was accused of calling them) off my band bucket list. We finally decided to get some "sleep" when the sun started coming up around 5am but we woke up maybe an hour later to take the tent down and head home.

All in all it was a great weekend and, needless to say, I spent Sunday taking plenty of naps and rehydrating in the pool. This is what summer is all about!

Playlist: Oklahoma Roadtrip

*Originally posted June 28, 2011*

This Thursday, my best friend from college is making the drive up all the way from her hometown south of San Antonio to Lubbock to SEEE MEE!!! Okay, that's not her entire reason for coming. On Saturday, the two of us will be making a road trip up to Oklahoma to pick up her new baby. And by baby, I mean puppy. And by puppy, I mean toy yorkie!! She has yet to name the little fella but I am so excited that she is getting a dog to come live with us in the apartment we'll be getting in the fall.

So, in true road trip spirit, we must have a great playlist to get us through the miles.

Every summer I make a new playlist with "summery" songs and every time I go on a road trip I like to make a list of tunes that will get us in the mood. Last time I drove to Oklahoma, I had just gotten the last Cross Canadian Ragweed show in Chicago so it was the perfect time to listen to the whole thing start to finish.

For our trip coming up with Forth of July weekend, I have put together a list of songs that will get us in the Oklahoma spirit. Here it is!

1. Boys from Oklahoma - Cross Canadian Ragweed
2. Oklahoma Breakdown - Stoney LaRue
3. Oklahoma Girl - Eli Young Band
4. Oklahoma Sunshine - Waylon Jennings
5. When I Get Back to Oklahoma - Jason Boland
6. In Oklahoma - Cross Canadian Ragweed
7. Tulsa Time - The Boland version
8. Okie from Muskogee - Merle Haggard (I think she should name her puppy Okie!)
9. Tell Me Something Bad About Tulsa - George Strait
10. Redneck Mother - Ray Wylie Hubbard
11. Indian Outlaw - Tim McGraw
12. Stillwater - Scotch Mountain Gang

I also have to get Shelby more familiar with some Cody Canada and the Departed tunes, since we will be seeing them in August, so what better time than now to introduce her to This Is Indian Land. It's just meant to be!

--Other tracks for the road--

Forth of July - Shooter Jennings - One of my favorite songs, not only for road-tripping, July 4th weekend, but EVER.

Road Trippin' - Josh Abbott - Because.. hello.. we're roooaaaddtrippin' on a loong weekend!

Keith Urban - Put You In a Song - That's Shelby's song!

ANYTHING by Miranda Lambert.

If I had my way the entire time, we'd listen to the songs above + plenty of Steve Earle, Pat Green and Ragweed. 

Super Mash Bros - They make ya wanna drive real fast and furious, just a good time.

Any random ghetto rap or raunchy rock, just for fun.

And the opposite end of that spectrum - corny 90s country, because it reminds us of our childhood! Think: Watermelon Crawl, Sold at the Grundy Country Auction, Achy Breaky Heart, and anything Garth Brooks, Clay Walker or Shania Twain.

This all makes me excited just thinking about it!! I wish I could ride from San Antonio, to OK and back with Shelby, because I love road trips so much.

JAB Fest

*Originally posted June 20, 2011*

In September of 2007, I attended the first of many concerts at Lubbock's Lone Star Amphitheater. Headlining that night was one of my favorite bands at the time, the Randy Rogers band. I remember going with my sister, parents and two cousins. We snuck into the VIP section which had a vacant table so we could sit down and watch the performers. Opening for Rogers was Cory Morrow and before him, another guy that we had never heard of.

Somehow, my sister heard that this new kid was from Idalou, a small town outside Lubbock. When I was in high school, I hated Idalou because they beat us at every sport and usually when our best coaches left my high school, they went to coach in Idalou. However, it was exciting that a small town boy was performing on a stage with acts like Morrow and Rogers, so we sat back and enjoyed the show. I didn't know any of the songs, but little did I know, that was all about to change.

Fast-forward a few years. This past Saturday night, I watched that exact same boy sing a song called Idalou, about his hometown (that this past school year got State championships in both football and basketball). In his song, he described his town perfectly. I have driven through Idalou thousands of times on my way back and forth from my small town to Lubbock for groceries, shopping, doctor's appointments, and now, for school and work. I know exactly what he was talking about when he mentions his dad's shop, the cotton gin where farmers meet for coffee, and the "yellow flashing light that says proceed with caution because if you leave you may be forgotten."

When Lubbock radio stations first started playing "Taste," it was exciting and this new local artist, Josh Abbott, was often referred to as "that boy from Idalou." Now, he just wrapped up his first-annual JAB Fest here in Lubbock on that very stage where I saw him sing for the first time. Saturday night I watched favorite acts like southern rockers Whiskey Myers, legend Ray Wylie Hubbard, Americana icon Hayes Carll and finally, headliner the Josh Abbott Band. I am so proud of Abbott for bringing something like this back to Lubbock. West Texas doesn't really attract musicians like other areas of Texas do. This festival was something we have been needing for a while, and Mr. Josh Abbott was the perfect person to provide us with that.

Thanks to Josh Abbott so much for sticking to his roots and congratulations on the successful event (over 3,500 people went). I can't wait for the Second (and third, fourth, fifth, and 43rd) Annual JAB Fest.

What I Listen To

*Originally posted June 16, 2011*

These past two weeks, I have been driving back and forth from my hometown to work in Lubbock. It's about a 45 minute drive and while I do miss the extra hour of sleep I could get if I lived in Lubbock, I really don't mind the drive. I enjoy it, actually. It's like I get two mini road trips every day, and we all know how much I love road trips. It wakes me up and even though I'm pretty spent by the end of the day, that hour drive back home isn't too bad.

What I really love about my commute is that it's my time to listen to the radio, my iPod, or new CDs and really get to listen. I am lucky enough to live in an area with some great radio stations. In the DFW, Austin and San Antonio part of Texas, decent radio stations are easier to come by, but out here in West Texas, anything worth listening to is few and far between. However, my hometown has it's own radio station,  which is sort of unusual for such a small town to have a good station. They play a mix of about 30 percent mainstream country and 70 percent Texas Country. This is the same station I did my internship with last summer, which was a blast. They have a live (or recorded-live) show with a Texas artist every Wednesday at 5, so that is the perfect time for me to catch it on my way home. I can generally listen to this station from the time I leave my driveway until I'm just a few miles out of Lubbock, which is when I switch to 105.3 True Country.

This station is 100% Texas Country/Red Dirt, with a few classic Waylon, Willie, and my boy, Steve Earle songs thrown in the mix. They also do a really great job at giving local artists some airplay and they coordinate with Lubbock's band-favorite bar, The Blue Light. I have a love/hate relationship with their DJs though. Sometimes they entertain me and other times they annoy the crap out of me. Maybe I'm just jealous because they have my dream job.

When I get to work, my day consists of sitting behind a computer in an office by myself for the majority of the day. I love my job, but I cannot stand any amount of silence, so when someone isn't in my office entertaining me, I ALWAYS have music playing. Some days, I will listen to one of the those stations online. But usually I get sick of hearing the DJs and commercials chattering while I am trying to Facebook stalk work, so I like to mix it up. Sometimes I switch it over to my Pandora playlist, find the website of whatever band I am currently obsessing over and listen to their tracks all day, or sometimes listen to the Drop on Galleywinter. If there's something specific I need to hear, I go to iTunes on my computer which has been contributed to by a few past interns and myself so it has a little bit of everything.

Needless to say, I could never make it through a single day without some red dirt!

Bands I Love: Dirty River Boys

*Originally posted June 2, 2011*

A few nights ago one of college friends texted me. Aside from being one of the funniest people I know, he is also one of the few friends I have that can hold a conversation with me about music and actually know most of the artists I bring up. He asked me if I had ever heard of the Dirty River Boys, and while I knew the name was familiar, I had to look them up to see why. My memory was quickly jogged when I saw the song Carnival Lights. I had recently heard it on the local Texas Country station in Lubbock and I had put them on my list of people to check out.

My friend had met one of the band members the other night and was given a CD. You see, my friend had the coolest summer job ever... an internship with the PBR in Colorado, and other than having to live in cold Colorado, it seems like a pretty cool job, based on the people he gets to meet (umm.. bull riders ;)). So basically he wanted to rub it in that he got to party with one of the Dirty River Boys.

Not really, I think he really wanted to talk music with someone he knew could talk the talk! The rest of our conversation went like this:

Him: Pure awesomeness. If old crow [medicine show] and turnpike [troubadours] had a baby this would be it. That baby would smoke weed, chug pendleton whiskey and play the mandolin.... simultaneously.

Then I laughed for 12 years, immediately went and bought the CD once I realized that I couldn't just go burn his, what with him being a couple states away and all, and I have been listening to them ever since. I'm hooked!

I adore the song Carnival Lights, which would come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. Pretty much anything dealing with carnivals, circuses, carnies, gypsies... for some reason always attracts me. It's just something I can't explain. Their sound is so unique and raw. And it goes beyond that, the song writing and harmonizing is phenomenal. I can't wait to see them live. They will be in town July 12, but I'm thinking I might should be a good friend and wait for my friend to move back to Lubbock so he can go see them with me.

Or I could go by myself and rub it in his face! We shall see!

JT&NL Score.

*Originally posted May 28, 2011*

What I am about to tell you about ranks higher on my totem pole than about any other accomplishment I've ever had. I may be a little dramatic, but yes, this is very high on my list.

So here's how it happened. A few weeks ago when I discovered my love of Pandora, I heard some songs by one of my favorite bands (favorite as in the creepy-stalkish way that I obsess over a few bands). Jonathen Tyler & The Northern Lights. I've learned a lot about this band and I knew they had an older CD called Hot Trottin' that they released independently before the album they have out now, Pardon Me. This previous album was taken off iTunes and is no longer being made once they signed the record deal for their current album. They re-recorded a few of the songs off Hot Trottin' for Pardon Me, but they sound a little different than the older versions. I am a huge fan of hearing the original, un-producer-man-edited, versions of songs.

So when I was listening to Pandora, I hear JT&NL's songs Sunshine and She's From the Other Side, and I was thrilled to hear these songs that I'd never heard before. That's when I began my hunt for the original Hot Trottin' album. It had been removed from iTunes before I ever had a chance to purchase it so that option was out. I looked on the merch store on their website and it wasn't available there so my next option was eBay or Amazon. I figured I could find it pretty cheap somewhere since they are a somewhat unknown band and surely somebody is selling their album for the original price.


The first thing I saw when I typed my search into Amazon was this:

Seriously??? $75 for a used CD? My heart was hurting at that moment. So I decided to try eBay and what I found was just as shocking. After I did a little more searching, I found something that I really didn't believe was true at first. I found the album on sale for.... $0.01. Yup, that's right, one penny. I was timid at first but after looking into the seller a little more, evidentaly the person has stacks and stacks of random CDs and DVDs that he sells for a penny a piece. Lucky for me, the man hadn't done his research and was clueless as to how much he could get for the album. As luck would have it (I'm generally a lucky person), I looked at just the right time as the sale ended in a few days and not a single person had bid on the item. I right away put $5 on it and was outbid later that night by someone else. I strategically outbid the person the next day and just when I thought I had won it, they outbid me again less than an hour before the auction ended. I contemplated what to do, and I was driving back to Lubbock with and right when I was supposed to arrive in Lubbock is when the sale would end. So when I got to the parking lot, I sat in my pickup and risked waiting until there were about 5 seconds left in the auction, outbid the other person and ended up winning the album for a little less than $15 with shipping. Great success.

I have never felt more accomplished in my life. Not only had I strategically outbid somebody to win something in an auction, I also scored an awesome deal. Go me. I am so damn happy with the album. The original versions are so raw and pure and I was so giddy to hear these versions of songs I already know plus a few other songs that are not on the newest album.

What a good day!

Concert: Miranda Lambert

*Originally posted May 3, 2011*

I can't wait any longer! I have to blog about the Miranda Lambert concert I went to Friday night with my best friends. I can't believe I have gone this long without seeing her in concert. She is one of my favorite artists and absolutely my favorite female artist.

Friday night was the night and we sprayed on the hair spray, layered on our chunkiest, junkiest jewelry, threw on our boots, but didn't wear lip gloss.. why? Because the wind was blowing 143 mph and we had to walk across Texas to get to this thing. And West Texas girls know better than to wear lip gloss in the Spring.


I went with my two best friends, one old and one new, my sister's best friend and my sister met us there. We watched the first show, which was Josh Kelly and he was less than impressive (sorry, your a real cute kid, but you've got a long ways to go.) Then Justin Moore came on, he is such a little guy but he was pretty good live. He's a very hokey-pokey Nashville for my taste, and I definitely think Miranda could have found someone to compliment her music better but whatevs.

Finally, Miranda came out and I didn't want to sit down for two hours. I wished so bad I could have been down on the floor by the stage because there wasn't a jumbo tron and we didn't have the best seats in the world. 

What I loved about her show is the stage was bare except for her and the band, she didn't have any fancy lights or tricks, she simply walked out on the stage and began singing. She is one of the few artists that hasn't sold her soul to the Nashville execs, she is still true to herself and is all about the music. She did not let me down.

She kicked off the show with Only Prettier, which got us girls all fired up. Then went in to singing her other more well-known songs. Of course, my favorite Ran song is Kerosene. For some reason the songs I love most at concerts are when the artists play cover songs that I know. She started off a song that I didn't recognize as one of hers right off the bat so I thought she was pulling something new out. But I was pleasantly surprised when I recognized the tune.... Steve Earle's Hillbilly Highway. What a perfect combination!! Two of my favorites in one. 

She also played Rick Derringer's Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo, which was so fun. And went straight from Famous in a Small Town to Hal Ketchum's Small Town Saturday Night. Clever! I had heard rumors that she sings Haggard's Silver Wings in her show and I was looking forward to it and was disappointed that she didn't play that one. However, at the end of her show, Miranda brought back out Josh and Justin for a grand finale of the three of them singing the original CCR, Creedence Clearwater Revival's Travelin' Band. LOVED IT!

I really loved that Miranda told us she played her next to last show as a single lady here in Lubbock and her last show will be in her hometown. Made us feel special. She is getting married to good Mr. Blake Shelton this weekend I believe.

I can't wait to see/hear more of Miranda Lambert in the next few years and I'm sure her music career will last a long long time because is so down to earth and true to her roots.

Not bad for a stadium type concert, and definitely tops my list of inside, sit-down concerts.

Whiskey Myers, Firewater

*Originally posted April 26, 2011*

I have been excited for today for a while now, because it was the release date for not one, but TWO albums that I had been anticipating for quite some time. Both of the bands are in my top 10 (maybe even top 5, depending on my day). They are Whiskey Myers and Steve Earle. I've been a huge fan of Whiskey Myers since their first album came out and I've been long awaiting the second one. As you know, I have always been obsessed with Steve Earle and this is his first album in a few years, but one of many in the past 30 or so.

My sister and I usually divvy up who is going to buy music and then we trade songs, so it was a toss up which one I wanted to hear first, but I went with Whiskey Myers' Firewater and she is supposed to be buying I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive.

I have made so many memories to Whiskey Myers' original album, Road of Life. I have become a huge fan of them, and although I haven't gotten to see them live yet, they are on my list! They fit the bill of everything I love in a band. From song to song you are carried through their musical variety from slow and smooth ballads to jam sessions that sound like they were just rocking out in their garage and happened to have a recorder handy. They touch on every genre of music I love: southern, classic rock; country; blues.

When a band's freshman album blows me away, I get nervous about the release of a sophomore album. I am always worried that they set the bar too high the first time around. However, this was not the case with WM.

The fact that the album was produced by ex-Shooter Jennings (another favorite of mine) guitarist and songwriter, Leroy Powell, I knew it was going to be hot. Country Music News International describes Firewater as:

 "Distinctly Southern Rock-oriented, yet inventive enough to incorporate
  the band's heart-on-their sleeve Country and Blues influences."

The five-piece band, with twin guitars wowed me again with their spicy blend of music. To say I am obsessed with this album is an understatement. I can't get enough. From their single and first track on the album, Bar, Guitar and a Honky Tonk Crowd, I have been hooked. It then leads into another jammer then a more country ballad that is sure to pick a bone with anyone with southern pride. The next track, Calm Before the Storm is one of my favorites because it reminds me so much of Lynyrd Skynyrd, especially Free Bird. I love the mix of county tunes, the bluesy ballads, like Broken Window Serenade and full out rock songs like Turn It Up, and one that really sings to my soul, Different Mold. And to top it off, How Far sounds like something that would have been on my Woodstock playlist back in summer 2009 when I had a mild obsession with Jimi Hendrix and The Who. (Yeah, I just compared one band to Lynyrd Sykyrd and Jimi Hendrix, they are that good.) Song for You, in it's acoustic style and record-player crackle reminds me of the great Ryan Adams.

I think this quote from CMNI from lead singer Cody Cannon sums up everything I could say about them in far fewer words:

 “We know people are going to compare our sound to bands like Lynyrd  Skynyrd, and that’s fine, we take that as a high compliment. But when they  hear this new record, they’re gonna find out that there’s a whole lot more to  this band. We love Country music, we love Rock, we love Blues – we just  love to jam, period. It doesn’t matter to us where the music comes from, it  just matters that it’s real.”

December 29, 2011

Why I Love Music

*Originally posted April 12, 2011*

Ever since I can remember, classic rock has been part of my life. I remember the days that I didn't have a single song to my name, all I had was my parents dusty stereo that was bigger than the microwave I currently have in my apartment. We still have that old thing, and it still works most of the time. I remember it used to sit in the cabinet of the armoire in our living room and the drawer beneath it was filled with my parents old BC (before children) cassette tapes. Most of them were from the 80s, their high school days. We even had a few CDs that were probably purchased after they had my sister and I. I remember dancing around the living room non-stop to Shania Twain playing. What I remember most about it though was looking through the old songs wondering what the heck my parents were thinking listening to hair bands of the 80s. I for one was not allowed to stray from our local country station and venture into pop or rap, who did they think they were listening to rock?

I didn't even realize it but all the great songs we hear in movies that are considered oldies but goodies, I listened to growing up all the time. My dad shares a passion and knowledge for music like me. Our time in the pickup together has always been jam out time. When I was a kid, we would always listen to the classic rock station. Every song that came on, he would quiz me about until I figured out who it was, then fill me in on anything he knows about them, or a particular time he saw them in concert. Anytime ZZ Top was on, the hint he always gave me was "these guys are as old as your grandad and still rock out every night." Many times we would be coming home from the hangar late at night after a long day at work. Every night at 9 p.m. that station played a Pink Floyd song, and it would always say "time for your Floyd fix." I can't think of how many times we would pull into the driveway of wherever we were going and we could not get out of the car until the song Free Bird was over. It is my dad's favorite song and it is his ringer on my phone. 

These days, Daddy is getting more interested in the music I listen to, which ironically, I think I love because of the music I listened to with him for so many years. It's funny because now that I am driving and have control of the radio, we tend to put it on Texas Country. We do the same thing only in reverse now. I quiz him every time a new song comes on until he guesses it. He is very good at picking out Brandon Rhyder, Jason Boland, Ragweed and always Kevin Fowler. Anytime he gets a hold of the iPod though, he still switches it to his classic favorites, and every time he boils over with happiness that I am smart enough to have it on my iPod. My raising definitely played a part in shaped my interest in music.

He also played lots of Glen Campbell, Gary Stewart and other classic country which I had an aversion to until recently when I realized it was alright.

Since coming to college, my tastes have grown and expanded into more folk, Americana and most recently bluegrass. I never thought I'd like bluegrass but a good friend of mine has shoved it down my throat enough that I've eventually decided if I can't beat 'em, might as well join 'em! 

I'm glad to be good friends with people that constantly introduce me to new music and I can sit and talk for hours on end with them about it. I've learned a lot about Willie, Waylon and the boys from a super-fun co-worker and like I said, lots of bluegrass and Americana comes from one of my best college friends. 

So that's where I developed my taste and love for music in a nutshell! But I'm sure from reading other posts you will find that's it's a lot deeper than that... because I'm such a deep person. ;)

Bands I Love: Six Market Blvd.

*Originally posted April 7, 2011*

Another music obsession I've had for quite some time now is a new band called Six Market Blvd. I first heard of them last summer when I was working at the radio station in my hometown. We had a huge stack of free CDs, and I would normally grab a handful of them from time to time and give them a listen. This one knocked me off my feet. For the guys to be so young, they have a timeless and polished sound. They only have one album out, Running On Seven. Every single song on it is amazing. Their sound varies so much from song to song and the album never gets old. Whenever I get stuck in a rut with my iPod or get sick of the radio, I can pop in their CD and just get lost in it for days. Even after months and months of wearing Running On Seven out, there is not a single song I skip over or favor more than another.

With two lead guitars, plus another guitar, bass and drums making up the band, and three of the guys singing vocals, unique harmonies are a trademark for 6MB.

To me, their sound is like a 1970s rock band, and an 80s pop band put together. They blend country, old-school Rock 'n' Roll and Americana. Some songs sound sort of like Ragweed, some haunt the likes of Pink Floyd and others have a more Honky-Tonk Gary Stewart feel. Very vintage.  I feel like these guys are going to skyrocket in the next few years.

6MB's music soulful, even in their upbeat jam, Ready to Throw, you can still feel it. It's impossible for me to pick a favorite song because I get such a different feeling with every song -- and if you know me, you know that is what I look for in music. It's gotta be REAL.

I could not be more pleased with this band. I hope I will get to see them soon and I hope they keep on rockin'. I would love to hear another album soon, but for now, this one is still entertaining me.

Here's a link to their website:

Here is a video of them performing 'Misery In Me" at Mount Vernon Studios in Lubbock.

People I Love: Merle Haggard

*Originally posted April 6, 2011*

Today, April 6, is the birthday of one of my all-time heros, Merle Haggard. The man not only is a country music legend, he also inspired so many of my favorite artists today. He broke many rules of Music Row and there is absolutely no way he would have made it in today's cut & paste fake music industry.

Merle sings and writes from his own life stories. His dad died when he was nine years old and he spent many years in and out of prison. My favorite song of his, Mama Tried is not something he came up with to sound like a badass. It was stuff that actually happened in his life. That is what I love about music. When people have experiences, write about them, and sing them.

Misery and Gin, The Fightin' Side of Me, Pancho and Lefty, I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink. They never get old and neither will he!

People I Love: Steve Earle

*Originally posted March 14, 2011*

Being a music lover, I from time to time go on kicks. It may be one particular artist, a certain sound that a few bands share or a genre that I don't listen to on a regular basis. Recently, I have had a rather strange music craving that could only be fed by means of Mr. Steve Earle. I have always loved his music and I recently stocked up on just about all of it. I honestly believe there isn't a bad Earle song out there. When I put it on his music, I know I will never have to hit the next button or switch to the radio because I’m bored. My favorite song by Steve Earle would have to be the classic Guitar Town, which is in my list of top 5 all-time-favorite-songs-ever-in-the-world. I also can't go wrong with I Ain't Ever Satisfied and Fearless Heart. My favorite road trip songs are State Trooper and Six Days on the Road. And another happy song has to be I Love You Too Much. (Baby baby oh baby baby OO pretty baby I love you too much... ) Of course, you can't forget, everybody's favorite line dance, Copperhead Road. His lyrics are all so brilliant and his voice is timeless. I recently found out that he has a new album coming out next month and I could not be more excited! He also has a book coming out that I will have to read. 


*Originally posted on March 7, 2011*

Since I was in 7th grade, I have had a strong attachment to Texas Country/Red Dirt music. I say it is a result of growing up with a combination of country music in the 90s and my parents classic rock. When I was at the age where most of my friends were obsessed with Britney Spears and the Spice Girls, I knew every word to my daddy's ZZ Top 'Fandango' cassette tape.

Since I began this music obsession, people like Pat Green, Randy Rogers and Stony LaRue were early favorites and since then I have been hooked and have continued to dig deeper into the genre of music. My favorite band of all time is without a doubt Cross Canadian Ragweed. Their music covers such a broad array of genres, from blues and honky-tonk to straight rock n' roll.

My world was rocked the day I saw my first Ragweed concert. I was a freshman in high school and went with my parents, sister, and cool, older cousin who had seen them live many times before. Every concert I'd been to before had been in some sort of coliseum where you have to sit down and behave and they were all so commercial and "Nashville," which is something I have grown to hate.

This concert was different. Everyone was wild, uninhibited and just rocking out. I was mesmerized by Cody Canada as I stood there among hundreds of drunk college students in the street of the Depot District of Lubbock, not quite understanding how important that moment was to the rest of my life. I climbed up on my daddy's shoulders for "Boy's From Oklahoma," a highly inappropriate song for a 14-year-old girl, but we didn't care. I was living in the now and soaking in every weed and beer scented moment while I could.
Me on my Daddy's shoulders.

I saw them again about a year and a half later and my world was rocked again. My favorite band would always and forever be Ragweed. They have brought me through happy times, sad times, wild times, fun times and everything in between. No matter what mood I am in, there is a Ragweed song to fit the bill. If I'm on a roadtrip with my friends, it's 42 Miles to Go and Nowhere, Texas. If I'm pissed off and/or driving, it's Stranglehold and Hammer Down. No matter what I'm feeling, there's a song for it.

Last summer, I went to the river with some friends from around College Station who were much more exposed to the scene than me in my small West Texas town. One of them told me that my favorite band in the entire world was breaking up.

I cried.

I never cry. But I cried then. Which was the first time in nearly a year. (Which could have had a thing or two to do with my alcohol intake earlier in the day.) I seriously cried.

Since then, I have been on MANY Ragweed binges, listening to nothing but my favorite band for days at a time. Not that this was unusual, but these times, it was more of a ritual than anything. I recently learned that the lead singer, Cody Canada is starting up a new band with another member of the band, bass player Jeremy Plato and Seth James. Cody Canada and the Departed.

*Insert birds singing and happiness*

Anyway, here is a link to my NEW favorite band. I can NOT wait to see them live SOON!