June 28, 2012

Throwback Thursday - The Road Goes On Forever

I am taking myself on vacation. Come five o'clock today, I will be hitting the road for eleven days of no alarm clocks, time clocks, to-do lists (other than my Texas Bucket List), stress or responsibilities. I am so excited. I've never gone anywhere for more than a week, but I'm still afraid I won't be able to pack in everything I want to do. I hope there's lots of concerts, good food and shopping and of course good friends in my near future.

I calculated it and I'm going to be on the road for at least 18 hours, but I don't even care because it's going to be non-stop fun and I live for road trips like this. If you're interested in my shenanigans and don't mind a whole bunch of nonsense, follow me on Twitter to see what I'm up to!

Also, if there's anything/place in or around Austin I absolutely must see/do, please let me know! 

And finally, my theme of the trip (or just life in general ;] ).

June 27, 2012

Austin Allsup - Sweet Love

I am SO not a sappy love song kind of girl. At all. But there's something about Austin Allsup's rough-gritty-whiskey voice combined with the sweet lyrics that makes me swoon. Most of his songs are that way, then you get one like Cocaine Rodeo that just makes me laugh. It would probably make most girls cringe the way love songs usually do me. The vibe of his latest album produced by Mike McClure (surprise surprise) is so unique and bluesy/rock and so easy to listen to. I have found myself turning to it when I'm driving, working, going to bed - whenever. Just good stuff. Check him out.

This one is off his first album, Cryin' Out Loud, but I promise they are all good. I planned on posting Stay Right Here off Sink or Swim since I heard it on Shayne Hollinger's Sideshow yesterday, but I couldn't find it anywhere that would let me post it. But go get it anyway!

June 26, 2012

Walt Wilkins - Just Be

I just started listening to Walt Wilkins' newest, Plenty and I got through the first song and was already in love. Galleywinter's Hogleg already reviewed it and he said it better than I could...

"The opening track “Just Be” is simply Walt Wilkins the Bob Ross of Texas Music painting another poetic picture for our listening pleasure. Walt can make sweet love to nature like no other writer I have heard. He does it again with the opening track on this record. “I’m going to sit right here under this tree. Sit right here under this tree. Just be.”

June 25, 2012

Reckless Kelly - Give It A Try

Oh Reckless Kelly. I should be banned from seeing them live for the rest of my life because I seem to always get in the most trouble at their concerts. I'm just gunna leave it at that.

But, I can't resist me some Braun brothers so I just bought tickets to Fest Out West. It's a 4-day event and that Saturday in Luckenbach just so happens to fall perfectly on the day I planned to go anyway during the 10-day vacation I'm treating myself to. That's towards the end of the trip, so let's just hope I make it that far. But if I do, let's really pray I make it out.

June 22, 2012

Two Tons of Steel - I Wanna Be Sedated

I had a little too much fun last night and was level 10 "I hope I get run over by the train on my way to work" hungover this morning. I wanted to be put in a medical-induced coma. I was dragging like none other, but on my way back to work from lunch a Two Tons of Steel song came on and it pumped me up and put me in a much better mood. I Wanna Be Sedated couldn't be more perfect for me today. This one's a toe-tapper!

Happy Friday y'all, have a good weekend!

June 21, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Cooder Graw - State Line

I am so excited for this weekend I can hardly sit still. Cooder Graw will be in town Saturday for part of their reunion tour and I can. not. wait! I'll have more to say next week but for now here's one of my favorite Cooder Graw songs, (I can't pick an absolute favorite, but this one's up there!) State Line.

P.S. - do you know how hard it is to find a good video from before the age of iPhones and YouTube?

June 20, 2012

Mike McClure Band - June 15, 2012

This past weekend I saw Mike McClure at Blue Light. I had only seen him once before at LJT but didn't pay much attention. I've been a fan of his for a few years and definitely loved the Great Divide, but I wasn't necessarily a super-fan. It wouldn't have broke my heart to miss Friday night, I really only went because my sister was going. Well all I can say now is I'm a super-fan.

It was such a different experience than any other show I've ever seen. Dressed in a t-shirt, plaid shorts and tennis shoes, McClure stood to the side of the stage rather than the middle and there was only a bass player and drummer making up the band. McClure was so goofy and you could tell he didn't take himself too seriously, him and the band were just up there to have fun. I actually asked my friends if he went to freakin clown school because he was SO nutty. I loved it. For someone that's produced as many albums for badasses like Cross Canadian Ragweed and the Damn Quails, he seems like such a fun and humble character.

It was the probably the most entertaining, exciting and just fun shows I've ever seen outside of LJT. It wasn't too packed, and I met up with a group of girls and we all stood at the front and acted goofy and sang along. People even backed off the stage to let couples dance between the crowd and the stage, which I've never seen before, it was just that laid back. McClure was so interactive with the crowd, from letting people strum his guitar, to calling out fans and just talking directly to us - I felt like it was a friend we've known for years up on that stage we went to support, not one of the pioneers of Red Dirt music. At one point he covered Neil Young's Rockin' in the Free World, or as I call it - the last song Ragweed ever sang - and he stuck the microphone in front of me and a few friends and let us each sing a line.

He sang a mix of old Divide songs, new stuff from 50 Billion and everything in between. No set list, just played whatever felt right. I normally hate when people yell out requests, but I found myself inclined to for the first time ever because he was actually playing lots of them.

I didn't know how much I loved this band until then but I now know I will forever be a fan and go back and see them time and time again. So much fun. I highly recommend.

Blurry. Blame the Lonestar.

Doesn't this just look fun?

(My favorite 'gypsy' song."

PS - I fixed the comment section so now anyone can comment. Thanks Daddy for pointing that out. Probably the only person who ever tried anyway!

June 19, 2012

Earl Dibbles, Jr. - The Country Boy Song

So I realized I'm about the 43rd person to post this today, but I just have to.

I first discovered Earl Dibbles, Jr. last summer. That and the rest of Granger Smith's hilarious videos helped get me through the most boring summer I'd ever experienced sitting at a desk with very little to do. I shared this gold mine with my friends and Carter even went to Halloween Bash as Earl Dibbles, Jr., made it on Rawhide and Velvet  (I drew those tattos, btw!) and ended up winning the costume contest Granger had that we didn't even know was going on until days after the party we went to.

Then here comes the song. I expected it to be just another hilarious Granger Smith video, but he went above and beyond. The song is actually recorded with a full band, is on iTunes and the video is very professional.

The funny thing about it is it sounds exactly like something that would be recorded seriously in Nashville today by somebody like Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan or Kip Moore. But this is a joke. How freakin brilliant.

Here is what everybody else is saying about it, because they all said it much better than me. I honestly hadn't thought about it this way till I read it elsewhere, I just laughed when I watched the video and moved on, so I'm not going to steal their words.

I hope Triggerman is right!

Rawhide and Velvet
Saving Country Music (Triggerman)

June 18, 2012

Cody Canada and the Departed - June 14, 2012

I'm warning you now - hold on tight, this is gunna be a long one, but I feel like it deserves it.

Let me start at the beginning. I've said it before, but my first NON-mainstream, huge arena, sit down and be still and don't get rowdy concert was a Cross Canadian Ragweed concert outside in the Depot District of Lubbock when I was maybe 13 or 14 years old. I went with my parents, sister, and cool older cousin. She (my cousin) had been to many concerts like this including several Ragweed shows. I'm not sure what my parents were thinking taking a little girl to a street concert packed with drunk college kids and stoners and most kids my age would have been terrified but no, I was mesmerized. My cousin grabbed my hand and taught me how to use my elbows and height (5'1 now) to my advantage to make my way up to the front row - a skill I have used at every concert since. At one point she even got fed up with some drunk young girls in front of us that kept getting in our way so she started lighting cigarettes and burning her purse.

I learned a lot that night, but I especially learned that Cross Canadian Ragweed was and always will be my favorite band. From that point on, I was sold on all things Texas Country/Red Dirt and begged my parents to take me to every concert held somewhere I could get in. I became the biggest Ragweed fan my age I am sure. Unfortunately they didn't come to Lubbock often, but I got to see them one more time at an indoor thing. It wasn't the same (I still claim my first concert was the best I've ever been to), but it was another experience I'll never forget. That was the last time I saw them together. They cancelled the concert they were supposed to have in Lubbock the Fall before they called it quits.

Thankfully Cody Canada and the Departed came around to cheer me up. I love this band more and more every time I listen. I was obviously heartbroken when Ragweed broke up but when I first heard about the Departed, I was ecstatic. I was already a Seth James fan so I couldn't wait to see what they had up their sleeves. I got to see them last August at a festival in South Texas. It was more of a dance floor/festival situation and I don't think the people down there really knew or appreciated who this "new" band was, never mind the fact that all members are extremely talented and experienced. I had a good time and danced a lot, but pretty much stood at the front of the stage by myself, again, mesmerized. I was disappointed in the crowd though. You had your little handful of fans that were respectful, but I wanted it to be like my first Ragweed concert - packed, with tons of people crowding the stage, singing along and crowd surfing and whatever else. But I guess it made sense considering the timing.

When I heard that Cody and the boys were coming to Lubbock, I was excited, but nervous. I had read and watched interviews in which Cody said how tough Lubbock can be. In fact, his first show in Lubbock was a disaster. They received what he called the "Lubbock-stare" and it took a lot of convincing before we came around. I was worried that Lubbock fans weren't going to be understanding of the changes and wouldn't be as supportive of The Departed as they were Cross Canadian Ragweed.

When my sister and I got to the Blue Light Thursday night (after waiting out a hailstorm and haboob in her garage) we saw the bar was packed and it was still about an hour before they were supposed to play. It was such a different crowd than we are used to. We only knew a few other people there and usually when it's that packed, we know many more than that. As soon as the band started I grabbed my sister and we made our way to the front of the stage of course. The crowd was different, but there was something familiar about it. I eventually realized this is the same crowd that was at my first Ragweed concert just down the street years ago. Compared to the usual Blue Light crowd, they were more territorial of the stage area, more rowdy, more interested in the music. True, die-hard music fans that I was afraid didn't exist. These were the people who were the age I am now during Ragweed's heyday. And it was awesome. My sister even turned to me at one point and said she was having deja vu and may be fixin to start burning purses.

As far as the concert went.... well it was incredible. I don't know how I have a face anymore, because I was certain it had been melted all the way off. The atmosphere of the crowd could not have been better. They started off with Seth singing something new if I remember correctly. I love that he started the show. They played a mix of songs off This Is Indian Land, like Years In The Making, Staring Down The Sun, of course all the radio singles. Cody used a nifty little microphone that made Face on Mars and Water Your Own Yard sound really good. Bass-player and original Ragweed member Jeremy Plato sang Long Way to Nowhere. They also did several new songs from the album they are working on now. Having two lead guitars, plus the piano/keyboard is something you don't see every day yet they seemed so comfortable all packed in up on that little stage. They would just play and play a song until it just came a big jam session, but it never got old. The crowd would scream and they'd just keep going. The new songs were all SO rocking and downright badass. I looked down at the set list to figure out what one that I absolutely loved was called and it just said "WTF." Right on. I was impressed with how much of the crowd actually new the Indian Land songs and were singing every word, and not just on Skyline Radio. They also mixed in some good old Ragweed songs. I figured we might hear Dimebag and maybe one other, but they surprised me by playing that as well as Alabama, Time to Move On, and Anywhere But Here; I seriously wanted to cry during those, I never thought I'd hear them live again.

It was good to hear those old songs, but I am just so damn excited for their new album after hearing them rock out. They really seem happy and it just felt right. They finished up with Home Sweet Oklahoma, but came back for an encore which included a Buddy Holly cover, of course, All My Love, which you know us Lubbock kids just went crazy for.  Cody said "in true Lubbock fashion, I have to fuck up at least one song." I hope they got a good taste of Lubbock and will be back soon. They definitly have a fan base here and Cody even mention that when they come back, it will be to Blue Light, not that other bullshit he played last time with the old band.

Afterwards, I decided I needed a souvenir but I already I have tshirt and coozie, so in true Hallie fashion, just grabbed the set list off the stage. I nearly got in a fight with another dude who had the same idea, but if ya snooze ya lose, sorry buddy. My sister and I were just gunna go straight to the bathroom and maybe come back for a picture if the line wasn't too long, but on my way I had the perfect opportunity so I just jumped in there. I have always wanted to meet Cody Canada. And I think I could keep my composure for most people, but not this one. I was speechless, which never happens. Even if I have nothing to say, I generally say anything. Instead I just said, "uhhh, I stole your set list. Can you sign it?" He just laughed and said "whatever it takes," took a picture with me and off I went.

Funny thing is, the next morning at work I saw on Twitter an interview he'd done in Lubbock before the show and the way he described the time he passed up meeting Waylon Jennings because he was afraid he'd go all "Chris Farley" on him, which was the exact reason I just took a picture and walked off and nearly didn't even do that. Funny how that works. I guess we're all human.

I can easily say that was the best concert I've seen at Blue Light, and maybe even ever, with the exception of my first "real" concert back in the day which will always be number one in my heart. I'm so glad these boys are still rocking and have everything worked out. I hope they keep it up for a long, long time and stay happy and come back to Lubbock soon. We'll be waiting! 

[Please ignore my sweaty, flat hair and 13 year old expression.]

June 15, 2012

Pistol Annies - Takin' Pills

I accidentally watched the CMT Awards the other day. By accidentally, I mean I turned on the TV (which rarely happens) and couldn't find a single episode of Friends, Seinfeld, or My Strange Addiction. TLC is right next to CMT on my channels, so it really was an accident. And I got sucked in. It was like a train-wreck... it hurt to watch but I couldn't look away. The only thing that made it bearable was making fun of it. I nearly made it into a drinking game - drink for every male wearing  skinny jeans and for every solo cup reference - but decided I'd probably die of alcohol poisoning after the first hour.

There was a handful... no, not even a handful... a pinch of performances that didn't make me cringe. One of those was the Pistol Annies. Miranda Lambert has always been my idol as far as style, music, and her overall Texan image. But with this whole super-couple thing and Blake Shelton more or less selling out, I feel like she's teetering on the edge. Either way, she's still the closest thing to real in Nashville these days and I think this Pistol Annies project is genius. I hope she can help popularize real country because she is the hottest thing in town right now and if anyone can do it, it's gotta be her and it's gotta be now.

These girls ain't singing about the hunky-dory bubble-gum shit that other girls are. It's about drinking and burning down houses and being bad and desperate and just... real shit. I like that. Plus they are adorable. They make it cute to be a little trashy and who doesn't want to be able to pull that off? I hope they continue to grow and keep on making good music.

Here's their performance from the other night. This song reminds me of me and two of my best girlfriends. Guess which one I am.

June 14, 2012

Waylon Jennings - I've Always Been Crazy

Well what better song for Throwback Thursday than tomorrow's birthday boy, Waylon. I am SO sad I can't go to the birthday bash this weekend because of  a wedding but I guess I'll survive.

What a badass!

June 13, 2012

Eleven Hundred Springs - We're From Texas

This is not my favorite Eleven Hundred Springs song, or even close to my favorite, but I do feel like it's my theme song sometimes. I'm just feelin extra Texan today so here ya go.

June 12, 2012

Trampled By Turtles - Wait So Long

Sometimes I listen to weird shit. I blame it on my friend Carter. This definitely falls into that category.

This song popped up on my iPod today and reminded me how much I love bluegrass. I call this the seizure song. Listen to it and you'll understand why.

Then listen to this other version by Motion City Soundtrack. I can never decide which one I like better.

June 11, 2012

Willie and Lukas Nelson - Just Breathe

I can't tell you how many times I've watched this video since somebody else posted it last week. I just love it. I want to be in the backseat of that car. Hell, I'd even ride bitch.

June 8, 2012

Ross Cooper - Headcase

Fun fact: I've been a Ross Cooper fan ever since 105.3 started playing his song Headcase a while back. I just found out a couple weeks ago that I know his dad through my job and have met his brother. I absolutely adore their dad. I got to interview him last summer for a story I wrote and he is one of my favorite, most friendly and sweet people I've ever met through work.

Small world I tell ya!

Here's the video for Headcase, from Mount Vernon Studios.

Have a good weekend!

June 7, 2012

Throwback Thursday - Townes Van Zandt

“Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world, and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.” -Steve Earle

Townes Zan Zandt. Even if you don't know much about him, I guarantee you've heard his songs. Do yourself a favor and go listen, and read up about his interesting life while you're at it.

Recognize this one?

June 6, 2012

Phil Hamilton - Bad

"She can party all night and drink till four, there ain't no keepin' up with a country girl.."

I think every girl wants to have a song like this written about her. It's not your cliché "hot country girl on a truck in boots and cutoffs" song about a girl. And I don't care how hairy he is, "Philthy" Hamilton is hot. He's like sexy Jesus in a denim tuxedo with a guitar.

This isn't the best quality video but it's the best sounding one I could find even if the beginning is cut off a little.

June 5, 2012

Jonathan Tyler acoustic - 6/2/12

I feel like I talk about Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights on here a lot, which is with good reason. They are one of my very favorite bands and to be so young with two (if you're lucky enough to find the first one) albums out and another on the way, there's a lot of potential for their future.

In the past year I've seen the full band, two band-members' side project Rise and Shine, and then this past weekend I got to see just Jonathan Tyler do an acoustic show at Blue Light. I nearly didn't get to go because everyone who originally was going with my bailed, and Lord knows I can't be left alone, so I texted everyone in my phone who might possibly be going and then some who I knew probably weren't, just for good measure. I had one taker, and he was a Blue Light virgin and had never heard of JTNL. I didn't care though, a ride's a ride, and he even had a handicap parking permit so why not take advantage if he's offering??

Usually when JTNL is in town, Blue Light is packed beyond belief and such a weird mix of people, which makes for awesome energy. I didn't know what to expect with it being summer and an acoustic show,  it was the first time I've ever walked in and not instantly known at least a handful of people. Nope, didn't know a single person all night.

Red Shahan and Brandon Adams opened with an acoustic show, which was incredible, as always. Then Jonathan Tyler strutted out with nothing but his guitar, so I grabbed my friend and assumed the position at the front of the stage and told him that was completely normal behavior. JT kicked off with Young and Free, one of my favorite songs. It sounded so different without the full band but it really gave him a chance to show off his vocals, which always sound good, but were the star of the show Saturday night.

Then he pulled out the electric guitar and harmonica for Young Love and my friend turned to me and said something about how you could hardly call this acoustic because it was so rocking. He played several songs that I hadn't heard before, so I'm guessing they'll be on the new album, whenever it comes out, plus at least one cover. I figured out what it was but then I deleted the video from my phone accidentally. I liked everything I heard so I can hardly wait for the new album. I also remember he played Paint Me A Picture, She's From The Other Side, Hot Sake (which sounded so different acoustically), the prettiest version of Sunshine I've ever heard and of course Gypsy Woman.

If nothing else, that night proved to me how damn talented and gifted Jonathan Tyler is. He can front a full out rock band or just rip through an acoustic set like nobody's business, and has the voice and musicianship and lyrics combined to pull it off.

After he played, he brought Red, Brandon and a new guy I'd never heard of that sounded like Sean McConnell back up to do some more acoustic songs together. I tweeted Mr. New Slang and he told me that guy is Erick Willis and he was incredible. Him and Red had to get up in the morning and drive to the DFW to be on the Red Dirt Road Show Sunday morning, which I am pissed I didn't get to listen to.

I have lots of videos and pictures from the other night that are actually pretty good but YouTube and Apple and me are not getting along and it's nearly 5:00 so I am so over it. Maybe someday I'll have a little patience for technology, but not today. Just go listen, watch and of course buy their music.

I know I converted my friend into a JTNL (and Blue Light) fan this weekend, which is always my goal, now go preach it.

June 4, 2012

Dirty River Boys - She

I have no motivation to do anything today. Usually when I'm unmotivated at work, I blog, but I'm not even feeling that today, so this is all you're gettin, sorry. Maybe tomorrow I'll get around to talking about the amazing show I saw Saturday night. Until then, I'll be found procrastinating somehow else.

This is my favorite Dirty River Boys song, She. Skip to the one-minute mark to speed it along.

"...she's like her own f***** up version of a fairy tale, everything's backwards, she ain't no princess; she don't care what anyone thinks of her; she gonna light you like a match on fire just to watch you burn..."


June 1, 2012

Shooter Jennings - The Real Me

Shooter Jennings is such a badass.

Ok so I totally just stole this from Trailer at Farce the Music but I HAD to post it. I love this video. I love this song. It's definitely my favorite from Shooter's new CD and I think I listened to it 1.43 million times in a row until I could sing it the whole way through then tortured my sister with it when I could sing it and she had no idea what was going on. This is one of those where I would be mortified if somebody had a secret camera in my car because I just sorta go crazy when it's on.

This video is PERFECT. I honestly can't believe he would do a real video that didn't come from a Flip camera with clips of pregnant bellies and such. I am in love with the whole concept of this it and the fact that he's even acting a little bit is a miracle and just excites me. Can't get enough. I showed it to my my co-worker Jerry who is a HUGE Waylon/Shooter fan and we decided we want to go to this church. Any church where Shooter preaches has got to be good.

Check it out.

Oh yeah, and he's going to be in the area soon for his daddy's (aka my hero's) Birthday Bash with Whiskey Myers, Jackson Taylor and William Clark Green. You know where to find me June 16th.