December 21, 2012

Favorite Albums of 2012

Everybody on the blogosphere is posting their best/favorites of 2012. I decided to post what I have listened to most this year. I rarely listen to an entire album all the way through, much less over and over and these seem to have the staying power it takes to make me listen and hold on.

These aren't in any particular order because even picking 5 was hard enough, ranking them would just be impossible.

K. Phillips  American Girls

I know I just said these aren't in order, but if they were, this one would be first. In all honesty, American Girls has only left the CD player in my car long enough for me to pop one CD in, give it half a listen, and switch back to Screamin' K. Can't get enough - it's one of those albums that always has what you need to hear for any mood or situation. Every time I listen I have a new favorite song because it's just what fits the moment. If you haven't heard this album, start with "Rambler" and go from there.

Dirty River Boys Science of Flight

After listening to two EPs over and over, snatching recordings off YouTube and doing anything I could to get my hand on new DRB material, the wait for Science of Flight was well worth it. I never had any doubt in my mind that it would be amazing, but this album blew me away. I reviewed it fully here and my opinions have only grown stronger as this one has stood the test of time in my rotation in the past several months.

Turnpike Troubadours Goodbye Normal Street

I am not alone in saying this is one of the best albums of the year. It has popped up on nearly every list I have read so far and with good reason. I think this all goes without saying. I have harped on the glories of Turnpike many times before. Each album is better than the the one before, but I can still sit down and listen to every song they've ever released from start to finish and never get bored. They're music speaks for itself, but the lyrics crafted mostly by Evan Felker are a breed of their own. He can make such an ordinary situation into something special that hits home and resonates with every listener.

Six Market Blvd. Shake It Down

One of the things that has made 6MB one of my favorite bands since I discovered them almost four years ago is their diversity. Their first album, Running on Seven is one of my all-time favorites for that very reason. I was nervous that Shake it Down couldn't compete, but I have been proven wrong. It opens with the hard-hitting, bitchy "Say It," then goes to the Jimmy Buffet-esque "White Goose," to the sad, reflective "Getting Older" and then hits every nerve in between. The only thing that makes this album better is seeing the band play it live. This is one of the best bands around and you'd be silly to miss a show. I've seen them several times this year and I still can't get enough.

Shovels and Rope O' Be Joyful

This one is kind of the odd-ball of the group. But give it one listen and you'll understand why I can't put it down. It is pure fun. This duo just makes me want to stomp my feet on the front porch with some moonshine. Look them up on YouTube and watch them play. Yeah, that's two people making all that noise. If I accidentally listen to one of the songs off O' Be Joyful, you can bet I'll be listening to the whole CD on repeat for about a week before I get my fill. This is the only band on this list I haven't seen live yet but I'm thinking a road trip may be in order soon.

Honorable mentions-

Josh Weathers. Even though Big Night in the City  was released just a few months back, I can't nail it down to just one album because when I "discovered" him in April at LJT, I was listening to ALL of his music all summer long, making up for lost time I guess.

The Departed - Adventus. This one isn't on the list solely because I haven't listened to it as much as the others. Not because it isn't as good, but because it hasn't been out as long. I'm projecting that I will listen to this one as much in 2013 as I did some of the above albums in 2012.

Pistol Annies. I realize this is weird of me to be so obsessed with a girl band, but seriously... I'm obsessed. I have listened to their debut album as much, if not more, than most of the ones above, but since it technically came out in August of 2011, it doesn't qualify. I can't explain to you why I like this band so much but they speak to my soul. Spunky, twangy, sassy - they tell it like it is and make it believable (all thanks to Angaleena Presley, I do believe.)

The Trishas - High, Wide & Handsome. It took me a long time to jump on the Trishas bandwagon. I honestly think it's because I hated their outfits in the first pictures I saw of them. But with their new popularity, they have gotten significantly cuter so I gave them another shot. (Yes, I am that shallow.) Their music is kind of like the Pistol Annies but with far fewer white trash references. It's still incredibly relatable - Jamie Wilson can put any woman's feelings on paper and set them to a guitar. Combine that with Evan Felker's songwriting ("Little Sweet Cigars") and I'm hooked. 

December 18, 2012

Christmas Music That Doesn't Suck, Part 6

New Slang's Top 100 Songs of 2012

I have been way too busy this week to find the time to write anything here, but I jumped at the chance to do my first review for somewhere besides my little old website.

Click here to read New Slang's Top 100 Songs of 2012 - I reviewed #65, my favorite Lincoln Durham song, "Clementine." You'll see lots of familiar songs and probably recognize some of the reviewers as well. While you're there check out their list of Top 40 Lubbock Songs of 2012 (which was awesome) and fill out their reader's poll.

December 11, 2012

New Music Tuesday

So honestly, there is no new music today. At least not in my world. These Tuesday posts have really become a bunch of random stuff that isn't necessarily deserving of an entire post so I throw everything in one and end up rambling. I need to come up with a catchier title for these. Help?

The only new music I've found so far today is another new one from the Randy Rogers Band. I've seen lots of mixed feelings about "Fuzzy" on Twitter and Facebook (just like with the last two we heard here and here), but I think I like this one. NO, it's not 2004 Randy but guess what... people would still be bitching if all RRB music sounded like it did in 2004. You can't win 'em all.

You'll have to go to iTunes and pay a buck-twenty-nine to hear the whole thing before the world ends next Friday, or else you'll just have to chance it and wait till their whole record Trouble comes out in January.

Also, I keep forgetting to post about this album. I don't know how many Jason Isbell fans there are in my little circle, but I am a HUGE fan and his new live album is incredible. I wish him and his fiance Amanda Shires would come to Lubbock. I think it would be a HUGE show.

And finally, I've been posting non-sucky Christmas music every day. Just songs I come across by artists I like or versions of songs that I can actually stand to listen to.

Christmas Music That Doesn't Suck.

Christmas Music That Doesn't Suck, Part 4

December 7, 2012

Christmas Music That Doesn't Suck, Part 2

Dolly Shine - "Pretty Flowers"

Wednesday night I got to see a band for the first time - Dolly Shine. I had heard of them before in the past year or so and listened to a little music but it wasn't until I heard them on the Texas Red Dirt Road Show with Justin Frazell a few weeks ago that I realized how much I liked this band. They were awesome live too. Very true blue Texas Country, with a fiddle and everything. They mixed Honky-tonk with Southern Rock and reminded me a little of Kyle Bennett, Rob Baird and old Ragweed. I recognized a few of their songs from TXRDR and they did some awesome covers. (I know I talk about covers a lot, but I LOVE good covers). They played "Hurricane" (Leon Everette/Band of Heathens) and Lucero's "Slow Dancing" - two of my favorite bands... I'm sold.

I think Dolly Shine is headed places! Word on the street is they just recorded a new record and William Clark Green and some of the Six Market Blvd. guys contributed to it. I don't know when it will be out but I can't wait. In the meantime check out their self-titled EP on iTunes.

Pretty song... I think I remember him saying he wrote it with Clayton Landua from 6MB.

And here's another one just for kicks.

December 6, 2012

Christmas Music That Doesn't Suck, Part 1

Throwback Thursday - George Jones

Here's another throwback courtesy of my friend JNJ!

Some people call him The Possum, others called him No Show Jones.  But everyone called him the best in the business.  George Jones is a legend, but all he ever wanted to be was a singer.  Raised in Vidor, Texas, his career has span 50 years, boasting a remarkable 143 top 40 hits.  One of those hits, "He Stopped Loving her Today" is considered by most to be the greatest country song to date.  What made George the best was how he would take a song and gave it everything he had inside him.  A line from one of his songs, "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes", says, "who's gonna give their heart and soul to get to me and you?" That's what George did. Gave his heart and soul in every song. And that voice……the one Waylon sang about in his song "It's Alright."  He sang, "If we all sang like we wanted to we'd all sound like George Jones".

Here are a couple of videos of George spanning the years.  Watch, enjoy, and ask yourself, who really is gonna fill their shoes.  Brantley Gilbert?

Watch the music video for this one here. I didn't post it because it is kinda hokey and takes a long time to get to the song, but it's still worth watching.

He had numerous hits with his then wife, Tammy Wynette, so I have to include this as a tribute to Tammy:

And finally, the best ever...

December 4, 2012

New Music Tuesday

*Rambling ahead.*
 You've been warned. But stick around. It's worth it.

There's not a whole lot going on in my little bubble of music. Evidently there's new Wiz Khalifa, Ke$ha and Florida Georgia Line music out today... don't ask me why I know this... but I don't care.

What I DO know is that this week sucks. My immune system is compromised and my allergies are starting to kick my ass. I have to go to a funeral in Dallas this weekend and next week is finals week/Hallie starts her new job while keeping her old one for a few weeks. Yes, I'm being dramatic. Moving on.

Life is good. I saw Six Market Blvd. AND the Damn Quails this past weekend and they both rocked. Two of my favorite bands in any form - live, recorded, acoustic - always a great time. I'm not going to review them because I feel like I've done that several times already. All I will say is I can.not.wait for a new album from the Damn Quails. Saturday night was the second or third time I've heard some of their new songs and their next project is going to be awesome.

Anyway... the only new music I could find today (not that I actually looked real hard) is from No Justice. I've never been a superfan of theirs, but I've never not liked a song of theirs either. If that makes sense. I've listened to it a few times on Spotify this morning and I like it all so far. There's a new, different version of "Red Dress" that's a little more laid back and simple than the original. They also re-did "Don't Walk Away" and I think I like the new version better. There's a girl singing on this one and I don't know who it is, but it's a really pretty song.

Check it out.

Also, I just found this on the tweeter. Some free music from Joe Pug. It's probably not for everybody, but, hey! it's free music. I don't think it's included in this EP, but go get his song "Speak Plainly, Diana" both the rock and the slow versions. You're welcome.

Annnnd finally. Let's talk about Christmas music. 'Tis the season, y'all.

I don't really care for Christmas music. I mean, I like it if I'm in the right mood, which happens for approximately 15 minutes on Christmas day and you better believe I have a playlist standing ready for when those 15 minutes attack. But I'm not the girl that listens to it from Thanksgiving day till New Years.

My sister, on the other hand... I'm pretty sure she would listen to it year round, but I know she starts regularly adding to her playlist about the week of Halloween. Not even kidding. She tried to force my family to listen to it while we decorated my mom's tree, but my dad and I won that battle with Six Market and Adventus.

But I must say, she comes up with some good music. I haven't been able to find this song anywhere that it can be purchased or downloaded, but how can you beat LeeAnn Womack, Cody Canada and Asleep at the Wheel??? Go here to listen to their version of "Mele Kalikimaka." If anyone has, or knows how to get this song - hook a sister up!

I'll keep trying to post the good Christmas music as I find it... if I can stand it.

November 28, 2012

Randy Rogers Band - "Trouble Knows My Name"

I feel like I've been really lazy lately because I've hardly posted anything at all other than the throwbacks that I don't even write... but the truth is I've been incredibly busy. Since this isn't something I pay for (school) or that pays me (my job) it gets put on the back-burner. But hopefully after Christmas I'll have a lot more free time.

I had planned on writing all about the singer-songwriter competition finale that went down Monday at the Blue Light.... but I don't remember a damn thing about it other than that the candy burns were aplenty and Erick Willis didn't win, even though he played my favorite "song with no name." I couldn't tell you a thing about the guy that won (Danny Cadra) or what his songs were like, but it's who my dad voted for so I trust his opinion. When I Googled him, all I could find was a Myspace page and I couldn't open it at work.... so there's that.

ANYWHO, I found this song today that is evidently the next single off Randy Rogers Band's next record, Trouble. I am still not sure what I think about their last single other than that it was a good song with an awesome video, but it was way too over-produced for my taste. This next one however, I am loving. I was sold at Willie Nelson. Yup, that's all it takes. See for yourself.

November 23, 2012

Galleywinter: Thanks for the Passion

I have to re-post this article from Galleywinter. It's one of the best ones I've read there in all the years I've been following them. I'm a nosey person by nature and I love picking people's brains so posts like this really fire me up.

"What person are you most thankful for turning you onto music?" is one of the questions I'd like to ask if I ever did interviews so I was thrilled to read all these answers. I wouldn't even know where to begin to answer this question so I can't imagine how hard it would be for someone who actually makes music for a living. I would probably start with my dad but there have been so many other influences in my life, especially in the past several years. 

Read for yourself what the biggest movers and shakers in this scene have to say here

November 20, 2012

Sean McConnell- Midland

I was one happy camper when I got home last Wednesday and had a package waiting on me from Lonestar music. My autographed Departed vinyl (which matches my autographed Indian Land vinyl) and the new Sean McConnell CD, Midland. I just opened that one today and started listening to it and let me just tell it, it is amazing.

I saw Sean for the first time last past weekend at the Blue Light. It was a special Sunday show and I nearly didn't go because nobody wanted to go to the bar with me on a Sunday, but I ended up meeting friends there and it was packed. I can't believe I've gone this long without seeing him live and I do regret that because he doesn't come around here very often anymore. I'll make sure to never miss a chance to see him again. Even though it was just him with his guitar and another guy on keys, there was so much energy on stage. Each song was delivered perfectly and whether I'd heard them a million times, they still sounded fresh.

I got there a little after he'd started but I think I still heard all the songs I was looking forward to. I am obsessed with his version of MJ's "Dirty Diana" and have been known to play the YouTube video of it on a loop for hours at work, so finally getting to see it live was incredible and everything I'd hoped for. Speaking of covers, he also did "Somebody That I Used To Know" and it was the least-annoying version I've heard yet.

He also played a bunch of new music from Midland, including the title track, "Novocaine," and "Kiss," two of my new favorites. Of course he played his classics like "Reckless Love," which I have a weird emotional attachment to and "Lie Baby Lie" and a ton more. I heard some songs that I had never heard before that aren't on the new CD either which I immediately had to go watch online. So now I'm obsessed with "You're Not Cool Enough to be an Asshole," (seriously, go listen to that!!) and "Praise The Lord."

Now, onto his new record, Midland. I popped it in on my way to work on Friday morning and couldn't stop listening. I made my best friend listen the whole way to and from Ruidoso this past weekend and I have hardly listened to the radio in my car since. I think I listened to every song more than once before I could skip to the next because I wanted to hear them over and over every time. My favorites right off the bat are "Kiss" (which was played on the TV show Nashville last week!) and "Different Kind of Blue." The latter is right up there on my list of happy dance songs with "Carry On" from Pat Green and "Good Times" from Charlie Robison. I have listened to both of those basically non-stop but when I can break away from them, I find the rest of the CD just as entertaining. "Midland," the title and opening track with harmonies from Wade Bowen is gorgeous. The whole album ranges from fun to sad and lonely to sexy and smooth and everything in-between. And it's every bit the classic Sean McConnell I fell in love with years ago.

You can download Midland here or buy the real-life thing (the case is gorgeous, by the way) here.

November 15, 2012

Throwback Thursday - Conway Twitty

Here's another throwback courtesy of my friend JNJ!

It is very rare when two words are spoken and everyone know immediately who it is.  In this case, the two words are "Hello, Darling".  Everyone knows it's Conway, and this was his signature song.  But what most people do not know is that up until George Strait came along, Conway had the most #1 hits of all time with 55.  

Conway started out rock and roll, but moved to country in the '60s as a solo artist. He also achieved great success with Loretta Lynn in the '70s.  With one of the greatest voices in country music, he is well worth listening to and learning more about.  Enjoy!

November 14, 2012

New Music - Adventus

Obviously the whole world (or at least everybody in my bubble) is going on and on about Adventus. I have been waiting forever for this album. In fact I've been counting down the days ever since I last saw the Departed at Lubbock Music Fest. Their first album, Indian Land was good, but I think everybody was ready to hear some original material.

This one is amazing. I ordered the vinyl on Lonestar last week so I'm waiting for it to come in to really dig into it, but I also stayed up and downloaded the digital version Monday night and have been listening to it on repeat ever since. It's everything I hoped for. Since the band had slowly been releasing songs on Facebook and Twitter the past month or so, I was afraid there wasn't going much I hadn't heard on the album, but I was wrong. It's way too early to pick a favorite but I don't think it's too early to say this one will be on my regular rotation for a very long time. Every time I listen a different song becomes my favorite for the moment.

I've read a ton of review for Adventus the past few days, and most of them were incredibly positive. I am not about to sit here and review this album because I would feel like a complete idiot, but I must say this one is probably the closest to how mine would sound (in other words, I didn't need a thesaurus to understand it). This one goes more in depth on every song though.

It's just plain good stuff. I may have cried when Ragweed broke up and thought the world was ending, but everything happens for a reason and if they hadn't called it quits, the rock revival that is Adventus would have never happened. If you like rock, blues or just good music, get this now.

The first time I ever heard this song was well over a year ago, right after the band got together. I stood by myself with a crowd of only about 15 other people who knew who the hell The Departed was. I had no idea what to expect, but when Seth James sang this song, I fell in love and knew it was going to be a long ride. It's still one of my favorites.

November 9, 2012

The Cadillac Black - "Get Your Buzz On"

The first time I heard this song, I wanted to hate it so bad because it's full of typical drinking/name-dropping clich├ęs. But it gets stuck in my head and every time it comes on the radio I love it more.

I've missed The Cadillac Black the past two times they've been in Lubbock but from what I've heard they are awesome live so I hope they come back soon. In fact I had never even heard of TCB until they showed up on the JAB Fest line up. And of course I went with people who only want to see bands they know so we went after they played. I ended up hearing about it from everybody else who got there early and I've been kicking myself ever since. I've been listening a lot lately on Spotify and YouTube and they are just good old Southern rockers that I really want to party with. They remind me of the next Whiskey Myers or Blackberry Smoke.

Now doesn't that just make you want to drink whiskey?

November 8, 2012

Throwback Thursday - Glen Campbell

Here's another throwback courtesy of my friend JNJ!

Today Throwback is Glen Campbell.  Most everyone know his great hits of the 60's and 70's. but his career has span 50 years, 70 albums, grammys, a tv show, and one of the most sought-after session guitar players of his time.  He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005, and today is still one of the greatest entertainers in country music.  With classics like "Rhinestone Cowboy", "Wichita Lineman," and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix,"  he paved the way for many with his style and talent.

Read all about him and enjoy the video of "Gentle on my Mind."  This video incorporated another of my legends, Leon Russell, and along with a great song, it shows Glen's talents as a guitar genius.

Here is another video where he sings "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and "Galveston."

November 7, 2012

Rich O'Toole - "Red Wine On Your Lipstick" and my political affiliation

This video came out yesterday. I'm already a fan. Mostly because I love Rich O'Toole and red wine but also because I love lipstick. Call me 64 years old, but this West Texas girl has discovered the secret to dirt and hair getting stuck to your mouth and it's called lipstick instead of lip gloss. You're welcome.

I loved his last CD, in fact it was probably one of my most played CDs from last year and I don't think it quite wore out it's welcome before he started releasing new music, but I'm excited to hear the rest either way.

Steamy. Who wants to join me for a bottle glass of cab now?

In unrelated news... did y'all know there was a presidential election yesterday? I don't participate in social media so I had no idea! Anywho... I voted. It may or may not have counted. Long story... I'm not concerned... I did my civic duty as best as I could.

If you're wondering who I voted for... here's my opinion on politics: I'll be voting for Cody Canada in 2016. And that's all I have to say about that.

November 1, 2012

Throwback Thursday - Jerry Lee Lewis

For Throwback Thursday today, I have one word for you…….Outlaw.  And not in the traditional sense of the word.  Jerry Lee Lewis, "The Killer",  has put forth a career that has span 60 years.  This singer/songwriter/piano extraordinaire did it his way, and really didn't care what people thought of him.  From his rockabilly roots to his country years, he has placed his name beside the great ones in history.  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and Rolling Stone put his box set All Killer, No Filler in their top 500 albums of all time.  He was one of the original four of the Memphis sound, with Johnny Cash, Elvis, and Roy Orbison.  You can read up on him, from his rock and roll success in the late 50's, to his marriage to his 13 year old cousin which lead to his controversial downfall, then his resurrection into country music in the late 60's and 70's.  He has, and still is, doing things his way.

Here is a video of Jerry Lee in the early days, doing "Great Balls of Fire."

1st cousins to the great Mickey Gilley, here is a great example of how two boys from poor upbringing in Louisiana made it big.  If you love piano, you'll love this!

Lastly, put Jerry Lee with Willie, Merle, and Keith Richards on a bluesy "Trouble in Mind"……Amazing!

PS - Thanks to my old friend who was born in the '60s for helping me with this one.

October 31, 2012

Halloween Playlist

I absolutely adore Halloween and dressing up. I don't know if it's because I'm an attention whore or I just like pretending to be someone I'm not (although the last few years I've been a hippie, a jailbird and this year, a gypsy - not really pretending on those) but I love everything to do with this holiday.

I was bored at work today so I made this playlist. It's full of songs that are either about Halloween-ish things like ghosts and grave-digging or they're just creepy like "The Armadillo Jackal" and "Coming Down." (And of course I had to throw in the William Clark Green one because it goes with my costume.)

Enjoy it and have a fun Halloween!

October 26, 2012

The Departed - "Set It Free"

The Departed released another song from Adventus yesterday. I think it's my favorite one so far.

18 days left!!

October 22, 2012

New-to-Me-Music - Whitey Morgan and the 78's

I love being Twitter friends with music fans from all across the country. I would never run into stuff like this if it weren't for social media. I know I sound like a loser for having imaginary Internet friends, but I don't care.

Thanks to Beth at Independent Sky and Baron at Twang Nation, today I was introduced to Whitey Morgan and the 78's music. This is real honky tonk. The kind that's few and far between these days. I've been listening all day and wanted to share it. I'm a big fan already.

October 19, 2012

Red & the Vityls - "East Side River Snake"

This song from Red & the Vityls has been on the top 5 most requested on the radio here in Lubbock every day for a few weeks now. For good reason! This guy's the next big thing if you ask me. Listen to the rest of his music and get hooked here.

I love songs that tell stories like this. This "East Side River Snake" just sounds nasty.

Warning: the recommended videos after this one are of real live snakes. Don't freak out like me.

October 17, 2012

Dirty RIver Boys - "El Pescador"

Last time I saw Dirty River Boys was right after I got their new album Science of Flight. Then I said something about wishing they would do "El Pescador" live because I thought it would be a big hit. Well.... I'm not taking credit for this, but they evidently have added it to their live shows. I know this for a fact because I saw them again two weekends ago and they did it! And yes I sang every word, because I know them all. Just kidding, but my friend Carter pretended to and it was hilarious, too bad the video I took of him got lost.

Here is the video I finally tracked down on Facebook from the weekend before I saw them do this song in Lubbock.

October 12, 2012

Erick Willis - "Landslide" and a song with no name...

So, Josh Weathers and Sean McConnell had a baby.

His name is Erick Willis.

I remember the first time I saw him. It was after an acoustic Jonathan Tyler show this summer and afterwards Erick, Red Shahan, and Brandon Adams did some acoustic song-swapping and I've been hooked ever since. I've heard him on Texas Red Dirt Roads and he's getting a lot of attention in Fort Worth and across Texas recently. My friend Carter is also a big fan so when we heard he would be doing a full band show in Lubbock we knew we couldn't miss it.

And thank God we didn't. I've never seen him with a full band, and as much as I love him acoustic, this just added to it.

Erick played lots of songs I've never heard as well as all the ones we downloaded off YouTube in the past few months that TXRDR added. I'm ready for his EP which I think he told me is coming out in the next few months but I can't really remember because I was too busy checking out his tattoos.

In the middle of his set he kicked the band off stage and did a few acoustic covers. Thank goodness because that meant my friend Carter could quit screaming "LANDSLIDE!!" He covered that one first, which I recorded on my iPhone because it is amazing and I want everyone and their dog to hear it.

(If you hear somebody cussing and singing along in the background, it's not me.)

He covered a few others like Ray LaMontagne and Red Shahan's "Broke Down Dreams" and did a really cool acoustic version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Then the rest of the band came up and they did what may be my new favorite song, but when I asked him what it's called, he said it doesn't have a name yet. But I will tell you it's badass and if I could play guitar and write a song, that's what it would be. Another favorite moment was when he did a duet ("That Makes Two of Us") with Tori Vasquez who opened for him. I had never seen her before, but I had heard a lot and I was not let down. She can play that guitar and is a powerhouse.

Here's my new favorite song, "The Song with No Name."

Check him out here, on Twitter and Facebook!

October 11, 2012

Throwback Thursday - Michael Martin Murphey

This week's throwback is about a guy who you cannot put in any category.  He has span the genres: folk, rock, pop, outlaw country, & bluegrass!  Born in Dallas, he grew up on Cowboy songs, and that has been his staple throughout his 40+ year career.  An inspirational songwriter, he has written hit songs for Johnny Lee, The Monkees, Cher, Roger Miller, and many more.  He is also the author of the New Mexico state ballad, "The Land of Enchantment".   From his outlaw country days through his very popular pop country times to his most recent tributes to bluegrass, Michael has always done things his way.

The first video is Michael singing "Cosmic Cowboy," which was written and recorded in the early '70s when he was a large part of the Outlaw Country scene in Austin with Willie, Waylon, Jerry Jeff, and Gary P. Nunn.

The next song is from 1982, where he achieved mainstream success with #1 hits like "Still Taking Chances."

October 10, 2012

Billy Joe Shaver IS going to live forever.

Last week I got to see a true Texas legend. Billy Joe Shaver. I didn't know I loved him so much, but I do. I left wishing I could just adopt him as my grandpa. He is a phenomenal story teller, not only in his lyrics, but in between songs too. I had no clue he wrote so many songs that I have been listening to all my life and just assumed Waylon or whoever made them famous wrote.

The crowd was small - way too small considering the legend that was on stage. But I guess in a bar where the majority of the crowd is college students, that would be expected. The crowd was a lot older than normal. Probably the most people my parents' age and older I've ever seen at Blue Light. There was only a handful of the regular crowd there which was fine by me because for the most part, the people there knew and respected Mr. Shaver. There was even a mother and daughter I met in the bathroom on vacation from Sweden. I asked them why the HELL they came to Lubbock from Sweden and they said they wanted to see Billy Joe Shaver. Badass.

He strolled on out and hopped up on stage at a time most people his age have already been in bed asleep for several hours. It amazes me that he is still going strong after all these years and the life he has lived. He said at one point his family thought he'd be the first to go, but he ended up losing his wife, son and mother in the same year. I read several biographies since seeing him last week and was reminded about what all the people in his generation have seen and lived through. If you do nothing else, read this biography, written in his own words. No wonder his songs and stories are so incredible.

Billy Joe started off telling us that he wouldn't be playing guitar too much because he's got a messed up should but said he "don't play worth a shit anyway." I should have done my research a little more because I had no idea he wrote "Honky Tonk Heros," and "Black Rose," one of my favorite Waylon songs. He also played songs that I knew from dudes like Jason Boland, Reckless Kelly, and Roger Creager.

He played everything from his oldest hits to newer stuff like "Wacko from Waco," which he told the full story beforehand and it just made me love him more. (You can read about it here.) He played "That's What She Said Last Night" TWICE because some drunk dude kept begging him to so he finally said "if I play it will you get out of my face??" This song is hilarious. A 70-something old man saying "that's what she said..." solid gold.

After writing songs for 40 years, he is still relevant with his songwriting and his first hits are still played or even covered by people of all ages every day. But he is so humble. The stories he tells about his personal life and career show a side of him that you may not expect. I saw a picture of him in the latest Texas Music magazine and he was wearing the exact same outfit he had on last week. Denim head-to-toe and even the exact same belt buckle, I swear.

I had no idea how much I would love and respect Billy Joe Shaver after this concert but as far as I'm concerned he's right up there with Willie. If you can, get out there and see him. You never know which show might be his last! (Just kidding, we all know he's going to live forever.)

ps - please ignore the weird donkey thing at the beginning of this...

October 3, 2012

Lubbock Music Fest 2012 - The Departed

This past weekend was a pretty huge deal for Lubbock. I know that Lubbock has a rich music scene and has for decades, growing legends like Buddy Holly, The Flatlanders, and many more, but I feel like state-wide, Lubbock isn't necessarily recognized as the music mecca it really is. I guess you can't compete with Austin, but the kind of music coming from West Texas is it's own breed.

So what was the big deal with last weekend? They have done it before, but it's been a few years. So I guess it was the.... reviving?.... I can't say first annual because that is wrong, there is no such thing as a "first annual" anything (my news writing professor would be so proud). Anywho - 2012 Lubbock Music Fest was last weekend. It was Thursday-Saturday and featured bands from many different genres of music, not just Texas Country/Red Dirt. I went to the Damn Quails at the Blue Light Thursday night and then The Departed played Friday night.

I have been looking forward to seeing The Departed at Lubbock Music Fest since I heard about it a few months ago. When I saw them back in June at the Blue Light, they put on an incredible show. It was the first time I heard any of their new music, but since then a little bit of it has been released with the recording of their new album, Adventus, that comes out in November, so I knew this show would be chock-full of new goodies.

Another reason I was so excited about this concert and the whole festival in general, is because Lubbock doesn't get stuff like this! Sure there's tons of music festivals all across Texas, but not within a 100-mile radius of us. I've heard rumors that "they" (I don't know who "they" is) are trying to turn this into Lubbock's version of SXSW. That's a huge task, but I'm just glad Lubbock is getting some attention.

Also, the last (or maybe second to last) time Lubbock had this festival was several years ago and Cross Canadian Ragweed played. I've written about it before, but it was my first non-arena concert and the best concert I've ever attended to date. It could/would/should have scarred me for life considering I was practically a kid in a swarm of drunk and/or stoned college students, but instead it opened my eyes to what live music is supposed to be and I haven't been the same since. I have always said that that was the concert that changed my life, so to speak, and made me realize my passion for live music at such a young age. So yeah, I was pretty damn stoked, not only when I heard that Lubbock Music Fest was coming back, but that The Departed was headlining.

But it doesn't stop there, my good friend/partner in crime, Skylar just so happened to win meet and greet passes and tickets to the show from 105.3 and I'll be damned if I didn't guilt trip her into letting me be her +1! So we went early and got to meet the band and take a few pictures. It wasn't anything phenomenal and only lasted about 10 minutes, but that's OK because the entire time I was trying not to be crazy Aunt Sue excited. I got the picture and that's what we came for anyway.

So the weather wasn't entirely desirable for an outdoor concert, but that wasn't stopping me. The crowd did kind of suck but that's because everyone thought it was cancelled. I just wore waterproof mascara and faced it. A little rain doesn't scare a few West Texas girls. It was totally worth it too because we had the full front row to ourselves and a handful of friends and devoted fans. Not that I would stand anywhere else if there had been 500 people, but it was a lot more comfortable. We watched Red and the Vityls play first (great band, check them out) then The Departed came on a little earlier than expected.

I'm so impressed that they will play in the rain to 50 people and put on as good a show as you'd expect for a packed crowd in perfect conditions. They started off with Rosalie, then they played a new one that I'm not sure what it's called, but it's amazing. Neely Yates from 105.3 told me about it at the meet and greet because they had played it in studio earlier. It's basically an in-your-face, shut-the-hell-up and quit requesting "Carney Man" and freakin move on song. I love it! They can do all the interviews in the world, but the best way to get their message out to their fans, ex-fans, and diehard-Ragweed fans is through a song and I think this one does it perfectly.

Then Seth played their new song, "Hobo," which I heard last week and already love. I tried to find it but those tricky people already took it off Soundcould. I guess they are pretty literal when they says "this week's preview." I think they played a few more new songs but I don't remember what they were. One of them I do remember Cody singing and he used that mic that makes his voice all cool... it said something like "she had flowers in her hair, she had darkness everywhere...." Yup, love it. They did a mix of old and new songs, with Cody, Seth and Jeremy taking turns. Everything new I heard I loved, and I wanted to hear more. It was all pretty rock and roll and a good change from the last album.

They even played a few Ragweed songs, the usual "Dimebag" and "Anywhere But Here," my favorite running/angry-driving song. And they wrapped up with "Skyline Radio" and "Time to Move On." I kind of think they did another encore song but if they did, I didn't write it down. I was too busy trying to help my friend Keely get a set list since her cleaning lady threw hers away.

The show was awesome. Even though it drizzled on us the entire time, it was never so bad we couldn't enjoy it. I would have stuck it out either way. If the band is willing to tolerate in the conditions and entertain you, why not let them? I've got nothing to lose. I was looking like a wet dog when it was over but I had a blast and I would do it again. I still went to Blue Light after for Rodney Parker and 50 Peso Reward, but half the people there were soaking wet too. To me the rain just added to the experience! Now I just need November 13th to get here so I can hear the rest.

This is one of my favorites Seth plays.

(Me and Skylar before and after.)

September 29, 2012

Corb Lund at the Blue Light 9/26/12

This has been one hell of a week. Every day has seemed like Friday. Probably because I've been waiting on this Friday for months. Last night I saw the Damn Quails but on the most badass show at the Blue Light and a new CD is on the horizon (next summer hopefully, still not soon enough). Their new stuff is kick-ass. Tonight the Departed is playing Lubbock Music Fest and I could not be more excited... I could go on but I'll just re-live it here next week.

I got to see Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans Wednesday night. That made for a pretty awful Thursday morning, but it was worth it. Corb showed up rocking his usual punchy cowboy hat with a green hockey jersey. That's not something you see every day in Lubbock. But then again it's not every day there's a Canadian country music superstar at Blue Light either. My friend Carter decided it would be cool to give him shit about it the jersey and I guess it got to him because when Corb hit the stage he was in a regular brown t-shirt.

Terrible picture but that's all I got.
I almost didn't go but I'm glad I did. I didn't realize how much of his music I actually knew. Cabin Fever has been in my rotation a lot here lately so I guess it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.

Favorite moments of the night:
"Cows Around" - Like the cattle breed version of Johnny Cash's "I've Been Everywhere."
"Bible on the Dash" - Recorded on the album with Hayes Carll which only makes it better.
"Time to Switch to Whiskey" - Yup, like the Kyle Bennett song. Corb actually wrote it and made it famous in Canada before most of us in Texas ever heard it. Corb's is way better and who doesn't love screaming the RYE WHISKEY RYE WHISKEY part over and over?

September 27, 2012

Throwback Thursday - King George

It feels so cliche for me to be posting a George Strait song. But I am still in mourning that the King announced his final tour yesterday. His first stop is in Lubbock in January so I'm praying my parents are quick enough to snatch up some tickets for my sister and I for Christmas. Lord knows I won't be able to afford them myself. I've seen him twice and while it's not my preferred concert environment (beer-soaked bar, front row, rowdy crowd), there's nothing like seeing a man that has been an icon for many generations singing hit songs from before I was born that are still played on the radio every day.

Nothing will take me back to my childhood faster than "I'm Carrying Your Love with Me" or "Check Yes or No." I can't pick a favorite. I have tried and I think it changes every time but is usually somewhere around "Blue Clear Sky" or "Run." It's impossible to pick just one, but I love this list Galleywinter put together last year. It's pretty cool to see what an impact one singer has had on so many.

ps - Sorry. This is probably the sappiest song I've ever posted but it just fits the bill too well. :)

September 25, 2012

New Music Tuesday - Mumford & Sons, Josh Weathers

Well this weekend was full of activities which I cannot possibly re-cap properly because I just felt like it was more important to have fun than pay attention. I will say that I saw Chris Knight for the first time, and other than feeling like I should have popped 10 Prozac before hand, he was really good. And I am still loving his CD that came out last week.

I also went to the second annual JAB Fest. Mostly because my roommates wanted to go and they hardly ever want to do that kind of stuff. And also so I could say I have been to every JAB Fest someday if that is ever something to brag about. I'll just leave it at that. But evidently I missed one hell of a show by some band I've never heard of (Cadillac Black), and I heard the Hogg Maulies were good too, as usual. Creager and Morrow were a blast and those were about the only bands I watched. By the time Josh Abbott came on I was over it because there were too many frat dudes and sorority girls in my bubble. (Shocker)

ANYWHO. New music this week seems kinda scarce. Maybe because I'm being lazy, or maybe because the past two weeks were chock-full.

Mumford & Sons Babel came out. I haven't really listened to it yet. Honestly, I haven't been the biggest fan before, but they are growing on me. I'm not sure if it's my aversion to English accents or my stubbornness issues accepting bands who have the whole world on their bandwagon before me. BUT, like I said, they are growing on me.

And the only other new music I have today was kind of a surprise. I don't really know if this is considered a "release" yet. I really don't even know what is going on at all. This is what I do know: I nearly wet my pants when I saw this status on Josh Weathers' Facebook page the other day:

I didn't even know he had a new CD coming out soon. So naturally I immediately purchased it. It was in my mailbox when I got home last night and has been on repeat ever since. I will try to review it soon and get the rest of the information on how you can get it if you missed your window of opportunity. And can I just say, I LOVE how he is doing it old-school, by himself, through PayPal and shipping everything himself? I've heard that he is the hardest working man in local (Fort Worth) music and I'm beginning to see why. 

Read my live review from the Blue Light here (which I still stand by my word that it was the best concert I've ever seen there).

September 21, 2012

Six Market Blvd. - "Getting Out Alive"

Yesterday morning I heard this song on the radio from one of my most favorite bands, Six Market Blvd., so I'm assuming it's safe to say it's their next single. Which is fantastic because I it's my favorite song, or at least in my top three favorites, from their album, Shake it Down. I'm ready for it to be played and requested on the radio 900 times a day. Bring it on.

These boys are in town this weekend and I hope I can catch them after JAB Fest Saturday because they are always a great time!

September 20, 2012

Jerry Jeff Walker - "Pissin' In the Wind"

I love this time of year. Everyone is back in town and there's tailgates, awesome concerts every weekend and a million opportunities to party every day. Whenever I'm feeling hungover on a weekday at work regretting having so much fun the night before, I just think about the good stories I'll have to tell. I feel sorry for the people who don't have that frame of mind!

I heard this song yesterday and realized it's pretty much the way I feel lately! But I wouldn't change it for the world.

September 19, 2012

New Music of the Week!

So much new music came out yesterday that I'm still trying to digest it all. Here's a pretty good list, I don't think I have much more to add to it.

I will tell you I didn't think I would like the new Curtis Grimes live album. I don't know why - I've always liked him, even before the Voice - but I tend to like people less for no reason with popularity. But this new album is dang good! I love that he included the Nelly song. I remember the first time I saw him live and he did this song. I thought "GOLD!" and it is. This whole album is just fun and makes me want to go dancing.

I'm also very surprised with the new Bart Crow. I've never not liked him, but he's never been my favorite either. This album is his best yet from what I've heard and I'll be listening to it a lot in the weeks to come. "Dandelion" (also the name of the album) really caught my eye ear, but just about every one of them did.

I've only listened to a few on Mike Ryan's new release Night Come Falling. I'm waiting until I get my autographed hard copy (thanks Independent Sky Music!!) I LOVE Mike Ryan and I know I will wear this one out once I get it.

Ryan Bingham is catching lots of flack for his new album Tomorrowland but so far. There's a bunch of newer, more rock sounding stuff than his die-hard fans are used to, but I dig it. There's also still a bunch of very classic Bingham tunes, so everyone should be happy. Oh and I must say, I was skeptical till I heard "Guess Who's Knockin'." (He had me at motherfucker.)

And finally, Dwight Yoakam's Three Pears. I think Yoakam is a music icon that is vastly under-appreciated by the masses. I love him, his style, his mysteriousness, his unique sound and his dance moves. So far I'm loving this new one. It's classic and makes me want to go back to the '90s when he was the only one dancing around in skinny jeans and he could actually pull it off unlike the band fairies these days. Long live Dwight!!

Go test drive these on Spotify if you want but be sure you buy what you like!