Featured Artist Of The Week – Brian Burns

Bio:

Brian Burns has, for many years, been regarded as one of Texas’ top performing songwriters, his work having been covered by a number of legendary artists. But over the past few years, Brian has emerged as one of his state’s most powerful and engaging performers. His songs explore both the poignant and the humorous sides of humanity, drawing out the things we’ve all felt and wish we could have said. The warmth, wit, and eclecticism of his performances captivate audiences night after night.

Brian grew up in Central Texas listening to the western ballads of Marty Robbins and the “progressive country” music of Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Early on, he developed an appreciation for musical depth, along with a knack for “the story”. As his passion for music grew, he began to explore a variety of styles ranging from pop to reggae. At age 16, Brian hit the road on a musical journey that would eventually find him sharing stages with some of America’s top performers.

Brian’s Texas roots remained an integral force in his life and work. After his first million-or-so miles of rough road and half-a-lifetime of impressive musical accomplishments – yet not much to show for it, Brian planted those roots firmly back in Lone Star soil. “Music’s not a choice I made, I believe the choice made me,” declared Brian in the title cut of his debut solo album, “Highways, Heartaches, and Honky-Tonks”, a 1997 work which summarized his musical mission up to that point. His second album, 1999’s “Angels & Outlaws”, produced the venomous, yet humorous Texan anthem, “Welcome To Texas (Now Don’t Forget To Go Back Home)” which dominated FM heavy rotation lists in the nation’s largest country music markets for many months. But “Angels & Outlaws” also met critical acclaim and enlightened a discriminating listening audience to a more intellectual and introspective side of Brian Burns.

Brian’s 2001 release, “The Eagle & The Snake: Songs Of The Texians”, presented an epic collection of classic, contemporary, and original ballads based on the history, folklore, and culture of Texas. “The Eagle & The Snake” was heralded by reviewers as a masterpiece shortly after its release, and went on to become an established Texas classic. The album’s first single, “I’ve Been Everywhere (In Texas)” spread like wildfire throughout Texas and achieved unprecedented success, charting nationally for five weeks on R&R (Radio & Records). The single, “Evangelina” remains in the Top 10 of the Texas Music Chart.

Nothing ignites a young mind’s historical interest more effectively (and infectiously) than songs and stories that bring past events stirringly back to life. Over the summer of 2003 Brian adapted “The Eagle & The Snake: Songs Of The Texians” into an educational program for 4th and 7th-grade students of Texas history. This program has become the state’s premier educational presentation for K-12 Social Studies curriculum enhancement, taking Brian’s musical and storytelling talents into elementary and intermediate schools throughout Texas.

Brian’s latest album release, “Heavy Weather”, introduces a collection of 12 new Brian Burns compositions and 4 exciting new cover songs. Ranging from the historical ballads that have become integral to Brian’s work to substantive country, folk, pop, and Celtic styles, “Heavy Weather” is all about thunderstorms, shipwrecks, hurricanes, heartaches… all the storms of life… and no one tells the story like Brian Burns.

More and more people are discovering Brian Burns, “The Last True Texas Troubador”, an artist who, for many years, was considered one of Texas’ best-kept secrets. The Terry Awards, a long-standing institution recognizing excellence and accomplishment in Texas music, has presented Brian its “Top Solo Artist” award. Rockzilla.net, a popular online electronic community dedicated to Texas Music, voted Brian “Texas Artist of The Year” for two consecutive years. Brian performs an average of 300 shows a year including solo performances and songwriter shows with some of the country’s top performing singer/songwriters

Interview:

TRD: Who do you consider your influences?

BB: My influences range from Marty Robbins to Rush… Merle Haggard, Jimmy

Webb, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Waylon Jennings… Too many to list.

 

TRD: What was your first Gig?

BB: My first gig was playing drums at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor in Waco, TX when

I was in my early teens.

 

TRD: What groups or singers do you listen to now?

BB: It varies from week to week.  This week, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Bruce

Springsteen, Al Stewart, Trout Fishing In America.

 

TRD:  What is your favorite venue you have performed at? Why?

BB: Favorite venue also varies from year to year.  Right now, I’d say maybe

The Silver K Café in Johnson City; great atmosphere, fine listening room.

 

TRD: If you could perform only 1 more show, anywhere in the world, where would you want to play? Why?

BB: My own beer joint; I’d build it, open it, play my last gig there, retire

– then book other artists I enjoy.

 

TRD:  What is your favorite song you have recorded? Why?

BB: My favorite is always something recent, so on my current CD, “Border

Radio”, it’s a song called “Rainin’ In Juarez”.

 

TRD: When you’re not performing what do you like to do with your spare time?

BB: When I’m not performing, I’m buying and restoring pinball machines.

 

TRD: If you could perform with any other artist, who would you like to share the stage with? Why?

BB: I’d be afraid to perform with any of my heroes that I haven’t met,

because I’ve met some of them and have been highly disappointed.

Discography:

  • Highways, Heartaches, & Honky-Tonks (1997)
  • Angels & Outlaws (1999)
  • The Eagle & The Snake: Songs Of The Texians (2001)
  • Heavy Weather (2004)
  • Border Radio (2006)

 

 

Tour:

Go to http://www.brianburnsmusic.com/schedule.htm to see Brian’s full schedule!

 

Enjoy! And check back next week when our featured artist is Deana Carter

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Published in: on October 26, 2007 at 4:22 am  Comments (4)  

Featured Artist of the Week – Bailey

Bio:

Bailey’s radio success as an independent artist has been sensational to say the very least. Her sophomore released album on BEG Records has already gone on to claim her two top 10 hits, “Boys in Boots” & “Space”! Her newest release “Catch Me Falling” already looks like another chart topper as it continues to climb the charts.

Bailey has been really busy the last 24 months with all that she has accomplished. She started off last year with a bang when she won $10,000.00 dollars in the American Idol Internet contest where her fans voted for her during the online contest. She kicked 2007 off with a bang by winning Music Row’s Break-Out Country Artist of the Year at Country Radio Seminar 2007 in Nashville, TN in February of this year.

Bailey has quickly become Music Row’s newest darling in country music with her heart felt vocals and her crafty written lyrics. She proved her popularity with radio listener’s in 2006 & early 2007 by pulling in 28,000 radio spins in just 12 short months at 105 monitored radio stations on Music Row in Nashville. The fans and listeners support at radio are all part of her grass roots success to date and her singles just keep climbing the charts everytime she releases one. All of this success is creating a ground swell in country music and most people are starting to sit up and take notice of this petite, green eyed, blonde haired sweet heart of country music.

HER CURRENT HITS

  • “Boys In Boots”
  • “Space”
  • “Catch Me Falling”
  • RECENT TELEVISION APPEARANCES

  • ABC Sitcom Guest Appearance “Hope & Faith”
  • Nickelodeon Promotional Appearance
  • Interview:

    TRD: Who do you consider your influences?

    B: My influences go back to Martina McBride, Le Ann Rimes, and even old rockers like Lynyrd Skynyrd.

    TRD: What was your first Gig?

    B: Wow I was 9 years old… it was Western Days in Grandfield Oklahoma.

    TRD: What groups or singers do you listen to now?

    B: I love Wade Bowen, & I really love Little Big Towns stuff it is really great vocals those kids can sing…

    TRD: What is your favorite venue you have performed at? Why?

    B: Probably when I opened for Mark Wills Why? It was the big show if you will I was in front of 10,000 fans that actually loved my music. Really was an awesome experience. After that it makes it hard to do the smaller venues but I still love to perform regardless of size its just the larger shows have so much more production….which I like.

    TRD: If you could perform only 1 more show, anywhere in the world, where would you want to play? Why?

    B: I would want to play the Grand Ole Opry, It is just history that I would like to be a part of..

    TRD: What is your favorite song you have recorded? Why?

    B: I think I would have to say Boys in Boots I wrote it about my cousins so it is pretty special.

    TRD: When you’re not performing what do you like to do with your spare time?

    B: I love to shop. What girl doesn’t!

    TRD: If you could perform with any other artist, who would you like to share the stage with? Why?

    B: Keith Urban or George Strait it is a tie.

    Discography:

    • Exit/Originals & Favorite Hits
    • Don’t Look Down

    Tour:

  • TBA
  • Enjoy! And check back next week when our featured artist is The Band Of Heathens

    Published in: on September 23, 2007 at 9:47 am  Comments (1)  

    Featured Artist of the Week – Chute Nine

    Bio:

    A lot of ground is covered in this fantastic debut from Chute Nine who have been quickly building a following around the state courtesy of their high energy live shows (ask anyone who has seen them and be prepared to listen to an enthusiastic endorsement that might last for hours). The standout track on this collection is the infectious “Mexican Dog”. It sounds like nothing on the radio, and has an unrivaled story line that goes like this; boy meets girl, girl leaves boy, but not before leaving behind a precocious dog. Then, boy finds girl, boy tells girl to take a hike and leaves the dog behind with her, boy gets last laugh. It will make you smile, and it will give you that “south of the border” feeling that will leave you wanting another cerveza! Another gem is “Texas”, a highway song about going home to the Lone Star State for the very first time, but with a twist. “Now I’m home for the first time in Texas, and I’m back where I ain’t never been”. Don’t miss the romantic “80 Acres” or the raucous “Hound Dog”. Summer’s here, and “Love and Hate – The Texas Edition” from Chute Nine is as essential as a good pair of shades and a tall, cold one! Pop it in and Enjoy! – John Moesch, Program Director, KNFM – Lonestar 92

    “Their brand of tangled tumbleweed stampedes and haunting booze-fueled love is coated with intelligent machismo that steers clear of egotistical showmanship. I used to buy [records] when I was a kid, and THIS … is exactly why I forked over my hard-earned allowance.” – Randy Ray, Jambase

    “These truly complex country boys are proud of the saddle-shaking, straight-shootin’ brand of country that they have mastered on this album.” – Alex Saumel, Marquee Magazine

    “Chute Nine . . . brings a welcome sense of rebellion to the mainstream.” – Texas Music Magazine

    “The difference between these guys and the usual bar fare is that CHUTE NINE puts on a show!….The fact is they just may save the industry.” – Clear Channel New Music Network

    “Aerosmith riding the range” – Dave Boyer, KKRZ FM

    Interview:

    TRD: Who do you consider your influences?
    CN: Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, Allman Brothers, Lynard Skynard, Lyle Lovett

    TRD: What was your first Gig?
    CN: Actually our first gig was at a family reunion in a garage! But our first paying gig was Celebrity Rodeo in Woodlawn Park, Colorado 12 years ago. For many years we mainly played the rodeo circuit.

    TRD: What groups or singers do you listen to now?
    CN: Kevin Fowler, Jack Ingram, The Sadies, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Pink Floyd, Sting

    TRD: What is your favorite venue you have performed at? Why?
    CN: Ranch Jam at The Ranch in Midland. It’s a great venue with friendly people and the fans rock! We play it every year. Also we love playing on sidewalks! Nashville, Albuquerque, wherever! We usually do it until we have enough money for dinner! Oh, and we can’t leave out playing in an elevator at the Hyatt in Houston. Yep …. we really did. It was awesome!

    TRD: If you could perform only 1 more show, anywhere in the world, where would you want to play? Why?
    CN: Tough question. We look forward to playing Gruene Hall someday soon. Performing at half time at the Super Bowl would be cool too!

    TRD: What is your favorite song you have recorded? Why?
    CN: Wow, another tough question. We like them all. “Can You Feel That” …. it’s special because we had family deployed at the time and some of us have military backgrounds …. it was very meaningful to us. “80 Acres” …. it’s about who we are and how we feel …. our families are very important to us. “Mexican Dog” … what can we say? It’s a fun song!

    TRD: When you’re not performing what do you like to do with your spare time?
    CN:

    • Glenn – Go guitar shopping
    • Stingray – Coach football & write songs
    • Jamey – Watch football or baseball
    • MacKenzie – Graphic arts & spend time with my boys
    • Mark – Play the piano & spend time outdoors

    TRD: If you could perform with any other artist, who would you like to share the stage with? Why?
    CN: A combination of Miles Davis, Lyle Lovett, Sting & Johnny Cash. Why? Because it would kick ass! They’re all outstanding artists in their own genre, however they are/were also outstanding outside their genre. They pushed the envelope even when it wasn’t well received. Of course, now we all see they were ahead of their time. They were about the “music” instead of the “music business”. We feel the same way and we play music we love. Our shows consist mostly of songs we’ve written, but also a few songs by artists we admire, as well as a rock medley.

    Discography:

    • Love and Hate: Texas Edition

    Tour:

    Sep. 27 2007 – Blaine’s – San Angelo, TX
    Sep. 28 2007 – The Bar – Midland, TX
    Sep. 29 2007 – The Bar – Midland, TX
    Enjoy! And check back next week when our featured artist is the Bailey

    Published in: on September 16, 2007 at 12:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

    Featured Artist of the Week – Ryan T. Briggs

     ryantbriggs.jpg

     Bio:

    It could have been his father taking him to the Kerrville Folk Festival year after year.  It could be tied to the mysterious ability of West Texas’ expansive skies and gusty flatlands to spawn decades of musical creativity.  Maybe it was witnessing first-hand the upheaval of thousands of lives in one of the biggest financial scandals in history.  Whatever gave Ryan T Briggs the inspiration to carve a life of playing music, those who have seen him live or heard his debut CD can agree his chances are favorable.

     
    2007 Texas Music Awards’ “Rising Star of the Year”, Ryan T Briggs has been charming audiences across Texas since college at Texas Tech.  His clean acoustic pickin’ style, alluring vocals, and fun and masterful lyrical design have kept his loyal fan base locked in, even during a 4 year absence in which he finished school and worked for The Man in Houston.  After quitting the corporate gig, spending 2 years on a music degree (South Plains College, Levelland), and building an established band in Lubbock, Briggs moved to Austin and released his debut CD, LeT iT RoLL Summer 2006.  Quickly gaining momentum with increased publicity, greater tour coverage, and rising CD sales, Ryan T Briggs & the Redneck Hippies continue touring Texas in 2007 to promote the album.  

      The album, produced by Mark Addison (Honeybrowne, Guy Forsyth, Redd Volkaert, Ian Moore), combines the best of what Briggs has to offer.  Briggs’ country and bluegrass influences, combined with Addison‘s eclectic, rock, and blues backgrounds, resulted in a CD that truly has a unique and genuine sound.  With nine original songs (of eleven tracks), it can be described as a country record with a twist of grass and a shot of blues. 

    The song subjects are varied: moving Las Vegas, Nevada to Lubbock via double wide trailer, the contradictions of being a “redneck hippie”, falling off a bridge in Austin and deciding to swim to the Gulf of Mexico, lost love, finding love, difficult neighbors, a drinking billy-goat politician, trains, soldiers, growing up, and rolling with the punches.  With instrumentation from some of Austin’s finest, including Redd Volkaert, Eddie Rivers (Asleep at the Wheel), and Warren Hood, including flattop pickin’ by Briggs, LeT iT RoLL has been received very favorably both domestically and on the international front. 

    Something about West Texas inspires folks to pick up a guitar.  Although always a singer and songwriter, when Briggs left his hometown of Katy for Lubbock in 1996, he had yet to discover he was a guitar enthusiast.  It was in the dorms his freshman year at Texas Tech that he would go to the laundry room in the middle of the night to hack out his first song, written by Robert Earl Keen.  By 1999, he was fronting his first band, The Texas Armadillos, at The Blue Light, a local honky-tonk. 

    The temporary halt to Briggs’ musicianship and growing popularity came upon college graduation in 2001.  He took a job with Arthur Andersen (Houston), where he was greeted by the biggest international accounting scandal in history with the fall of Enron Corporation.  Watching from the front row as “corporate excess” took its toll on thousands; he became disenchanted with the allure of the corporate world.  Songwriting and pickin’ once again became the centerpiece of his attention, and he soon decided to get out of accounting for a career in the music business.  

    Briggs quit his day job in 2003 and trucked back to the birthplace of his infatuation with music – West Texas.  He enrolled in the music program at South Plains College (Alma matter of his former band and many other notable artists, including Lee Ann Womack, Natalie Maines, Doug Moreland, and Dub Miller) to study music theory and surround himself with musicians once again.  “For a long time I wrote songs and ‘strummed’ my guitar, but I wanted to become a real picker,” says Briggs.  “…and I had no idea what I was going to discover that would help me the most: bluegrass.  God Bless Mark Hill (of Lubbock’s Hotfoot Toby) and [SPC instructors] Alan Munde and Joe Carr for introducing me to bluegrass!  Now I know what a flattop guitar is for.”

    Briggs spent 2 years living in Levelland, dragging his band around to almost every country music venue in Lubbock.  West Texas once again proved to be a great training ground, just as it has for countless musicians for decades.  After studying country and bluegrass, music theory, lead guitar, and flatpicking, he headed to Austin, armed with a newfound respect for musical composition. 

    Within a year, Briggs completed his first album and began putting together his new band. In March 2006, he met Joel Weinstein (Pedal Steel/Dobro), who has since become a major force, both musically and promotionally, in the rapid progression of the band. The two began playing around Austin while they worked to fill the remaining positions. By the end of 2006, Ryan and the group had a fairly respectable start for the Austin area, with 65 shows. In March 2007 they were awarded “Rising Star of the Year” at the Texas Music Awards. With album sales on the rise, a growing fan base, exposure at some of Texas’ best venues, and increasing publicity, Ryan T Briggs & the Redneck Hippies are making a mark on Texas Music.  Look for them to hit your town soon!

    Interview:

    TRD: Who do you consider your influences?

    RTB: Willie, Clapton, Townes, Haggard, Robert Earl, Kenny Rogers, Elvis,

    The Beach Boys, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight, Pat, Cash

     

    TRD: What was your first Gig?

    RTB: Whistlin’ Dixie BBQ in Lubbock. I sang through a fender practice amp, and played my acoustic through another one. It was probably awful. But my friends would come out in droves (most likely for the $1 schooners), so they kept asking us back. Thank goodness for the friends who give you confidence in the beginning.

     

    TRD:  What groups or singers do you listen to now?

    RTB: I’m always still listening to the influences above. In addition, my current playlist in the truck includes Doug Moreland, Alan Munde, Buck Owens, Hank III, Bob Wills, Pizza Tapes (Garcia, Grisman, Rice)…and shall I admit this one?…Phantom of the Opera.

     

    TRD:  What is your favorite venue you have performed at? Why?

    RTB: Lately I’d have to say Armadillo Palace in Houston. That’s mainly because I’m from the Houston Area and I get to see old friends.

     

    TRD: If you could perform only 1 more show, anywhere in the world, where
    would you want to play? Why?

    RTB: I’d play Houston. I admit my first thoughts were London…or Central Park…but for my last show EVER I’d really like to see the folks that were there from the beginning out there under the lights.

     

    TRD: What is your favorite song you have recorded? Why?

    RTB: “Fly”, because it was so natural. I wrote the song during production. The lyrics, form, and chord progression for the most part did not change from the moment I wrote the song to what you hear on the CD. And I remember that the instrumentation fell in place just as easily, as though the pickers had grown up with the song.

    TRD: When you’re not performing what do you like to do with your spare time?

    RTB: I’d say about 75% of the time not performing is spent on tasks related to the performance! After that I either try to see as many friends and family that I can, or I go solo and shut off for a while.

     

    TRD: If you could perform with any other artist, who would you like to
    share the stage with? Why?

    RTB: At first I thought, “Tough question.” Then it hit me like a book…hands down, Willie…no doubt. That’s because he is the first singer I think I ever heard…it was in that 1970s van with a table in it. I knew the words to “Mommas Don’t…” before I could ask for applesauce. My Dad is a singer and player, and he’s always singing Willie. And then there’s this weird feeling that maybe he’s some long lost uncle. I don’t get star struck, and

    I think people are just people, but Willie’s got magic that I would love to feel on stage.

     

    Discography:

    • Let It Roll (2006)

    Tour:

    2007-09-08 – Swiss Alp DancehallSchulenburg, Texas
    2007-09-15
    Blue Gene’sBandera, Texas
    2007-09-21Lone Star SaloonUvalde, Texas
    2007-09-27Anderson FairHouston, Texas
    2007-10-0241st Annual Original Terlingua International Championship Chili CookoffTerlingua, Texas
    2007-10-05
    Iguana GrillAustin, Texas
    2007-10-06
    Retama ParkSchertz, Texas
    2007-10-07
    2007 Rockport SeafairRockport, Texas
    2007-10-12
    Pineywoods FairNacagdoches, Texas
    2007-10-13
    Grisby GrillHouston, Texas
    2007-10-19
    Lost-N-Found BarLuling, Texas

    Enjoy! And check back next week when our featured artist is the Chute Nine

    Published in: on September 9, 2007 at 9:59 am  Leave a Comment  

    Featured Artist of the Week – Eric Brendan

     Bio:

    Well I wasn’t born country, but I’ll die that way. If there was only one line used to aptly describe Eric Brendan that would be it. Growing up on the outskirts of Houston, Eric was exposed to a wide genre of musical influences at an early age. Everything from country to rock and hip-hop surrounded him, but the strong roots of country called him home. The down-to-earth honesty in the lyrics inspired him to pursue a dream that has now become reality. Eric‘s influences, or heroes as they are often described as by Eric, include: Waylon Jennings, Steve Earle, Guy Clark, John Prine, and Robert Earl Keen. Armed with an acoustic guitar and 3 chords, Eric began his career playing open-mic nights in and around Houston. The open-mics eventually evolved into regular acoustic performances at various bars. He continued to perform acoustically for a few years gaining new fans and friends along the way. While acoustic shows are fun, he felt there was still one more step to take he needed a band. In February of 2005, the Eric Brendan Band made their first appearance opening for Dierks Bentley, and they have been gaining momentum ever since. The debut CD of the Eric Brendan Band, Windows Down, is a compilation of songs that express honest songwriting and a wide range of emotions. All of the songs on the album, penned by Eric, are a reflection of whom he is and where he’s been. There are stories of rugged outlaws, forgotten heroes and the inspiration and guidance received from his father. Eric shares his personal hardships and triumphs and the road to becoming the man he is today. It’s a road traveled often, and by many, but Eric makes it his own. Through the album and performances by the Eric Brendan Band, you are able to share life and all of the raw emotions and experiences that come along with it. The lyrics can make you think, and the music can make you smile.

    Interview:

    TRD: Who do you consider your influences?

    EB: Robert Earl Keen, Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Johnny Cash, John Prine, Elvis, and Waylon Jennings are the pioneers that have had the most impact and influence on my songwriting.

     

    TRD: What was your first Gig?

    EB: Our first show was Feb. 10, 2005 at the Firehouse Saloon in Houston opening up for Dierks Bentley. No pressure.

     

    TRD:  What groups or singers do you listen to now?

    EB: Typically, you’ll probably find Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, John Prine or Waylon in the CD player. But, some days I’ll throw in Guns N Roses, Metallica, Dave Matthews, Black Crowes, and Velvet Revolver. I dig all kinds of music, just depends on my mood that day.

     

    TRD:  What is your favorite venue you have performed at? Why?

    EB: Gruene Hall, without a doubt. The history behind Gruene is second to none as far as live music venues in Texas. You walk in there and see all pictures of songwriters and entertainers that have performed there over the years. And to think that I had the honor and privilege of having the opportunity to perform on that hallowed stage…hell, it just don’t get much better than that.

     

    TRD: If you could perform only 1 more show, anywhere in the world, where
    would you want to play? Why?

    EB: This is a tough one, but I’d have to say the Grand Ole Opry. I’m big on tradition and history. The Opry is an icon in country music. Standing in that oak circle where sacred names and legends have stood before would be an experience that could never be duplicated.

     

    TRD: What is your favorite song you have recorded? Why?

    EB: “The Soldier”. One day I was driving home and I saw a homeless veteran begging for change at a street corner. Living in Houston, this is not an unfamiliar sight. But for some reason, this particular guy had a look to him or there was something about him that just made an impression on me. My dad is a Vietnam vet and although he doesn’t like to talk about what went on over there, he has shared a few stories about his experiences and the way the country at that time received the soldiers when they returned home. So when I got home, I started writing about what I thought that guy may have been through and the struggles he was still fighting today. More often than not, most songs you hear these days in the Texas music scene consist of beer, whiskey, a river, old bars, etc. “The Soldier” was the first song that I had written that was outside the box and made me feel that I had written a song that mattered.

    TRD: When you’re not performing what do you like to do with your spare time?

    EB: Well, I’m a movieaholic. Let’s just say the DVD collection is pretty big. I also like to hit the gym on a regular basis and play sports. And recently, I’ve become a big fan of the UFC over the last year or two, so I watch that whenever I can.

     

    TRD: If you could perform with any other artist, who would you like to
    share the stage with? Why?

    EB: That’s a long and distinguished list. First, I’d have to say Willie because, hell, it’s Willie. But, I’d also have to say John Prine, Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakum, Jack White, and Sheryl Crow to name a few that come to mind.

     

    Discography:

    • Windows Down (10/18/2005)

    Tour:

    Sep 15 2007 – **In Studio** – Houston, Texas
    Sep 16 2007 – **In Studio** – Houston, Texas
    Sep 16 2007  – Schotzis (Josh Sandoval opens) – College Station, Texas
    Sep 22 2007 – **In Studio** – Houston, Texas
    Sep 30 2007  – Tut’s – FIRST Benefit – Conroe, Texas

    Enjoy! And check back next week when our featured artist is the Ryan T. Briggs

    Published in: on September 4, 2007 at 5:28 am  Leave a Comment  

    Featured Artist of the Week – Mike Ethan Messick

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     Bio:

    Over the last few years, Mike Ethan Messick has spent many days and nights on the road. Sometimes with a high-octane honky-tonk band in tow, sometimes with a like-minded friend or two, sometimes with just a guitar and a gig bag, but always in search of something meaningful to say in his songs and someone willing to listen.

    Other times he has set up shop in his home base of Bryan/College Station, TX, cranking out music and conversation with front-porch comfort whether the venue is one of the bigger dancehalls or one of the intimate patio bars or taverns where Messick’s name is most familiar. In whatever setting, his musical style usually engages and entertains the audience, leaving old friends satisfied and new ones curious about where his music comes from and, better yet, where it’s headed.

    In his best work, Messick (‘Ethan’, to his friends and family) uses honky tonk as a basis to weave in folk, rock, and blues influences, just as he uses his sense of honesty to explore humor, fiction, romance, and even touches of history and social commentary. His ambitious writing might best define his career, now and in the future. Like most art, it may not suit everyone’s taste, but his earthy vocals and personable style convince most listeners to give it a chance. In recent years, those chances have popped up almost weekly in the B/CS area as well as bars, nightclubs, music halls, parties, and festivals from Fort Worth and Dallas down through New Braunfels, San Marcos, Houston, and all the way down to Matagorda Bay with plenty of side trips and small towns along the way. Despite having bills to pay and a steady job to face in the morning, he’s remained fairly busy for an artist who has yet to release his first official recording.

    Hopefully, the events of the next year (plans include a full-length, largely acoustic debut album and possibly an electric EP culled from earlier recordings) will give Messick the chance that he craves, to find a place where his passion – writing and performing – can also become his life’s work.

     

    Interview:

    TRD: Who do you consider your influences?

    MEM: There are a ton of them, but John Prine, Steve Earle, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Billy Joe Shaver, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Gary Stewart, Dwight Yoakum, and Bruce Springsteen are some of the top ones.

     

    TRD: What was your first Gig?

    MEM: After knocking around the open mike shows around here for a year or two, I got selected to play an event called SpringFest in Bryan. I was only 20 or so at the time.

     

    TRD:  What groups or singers do you listen to now?

    MEM: Aside from the major influences, some of my newer favorites are The Gougers, Hayes Carll, John Evans, Adam Carroll, Mark Jungers, Kasey Chambers, Larry Hooper, The Bottle Rockets, Fred Eaglesmith, Ben Morris, and the Old 97s. A couple of those are actually friends of mine but I’m speaking without bias here. I’m also looking forward to when Gabe Wootton & Chad Boyd put out their first CDs, and I hope Kyle Weiters decides to do the same one of these days.

     

    TRD:  What is your favorite venue you have performed at? Why?

    MEM: Right now I’d say The Hook out at Lake Bryan. It’s a beautiful spot, always a laid-back gig, probably the closest thing Bryan/College Station has to the great river bars around San Marcos & New Braunfels. Plus the ducks occasionally attack people, and that’s as good a show as anything going on onstage.

     

    TRD: If you could perform only 1 more show, anywhere in the world, where
    would you want to play? Why?

    MEM: Here’s a Texas music cliché if there ever was one, but if I could take the main stage at Gruene Hall then that would make my career. And I’d print ’em up a black & white photo and try to talk them into framing it and sticking it up on the wall.

     

    TRD: What is your favorite song you have recorded? Why?

    MEM: I think that “Eyes of Love (The Damnedest Thing)” is maybe the best-written song on my first (and so far only) album; it’s one of those where everything just comes together nicely. The lines aren’t too obvious but they’re also not too abstract, and it’s a big-hearted song without crossing the line to just sappy.

    TRD: When you’re not performing what do you like to do with your spare time?

    MEM: What with the day job, there’s not a lot of spare time, but I like to go fishing when I can. Or jog, or watch movies, or cook something, preferably outdoors. Also I’ll go through stretches where I read a lot – Larry Brown is a big favorite – but sometimes I fall into the great American time wasters like TV and video games.

     

    TRD: If you could perform with any other artist, who would you like to
    share the stage with? Why?

    MEM: John Prine might be my first choice; the man is just a national treasure. I would just like to see what he thought of my songs, and to hear his up close. Whether or not there was an audience would be almost beside the point.

     

    Discography:

    • Bootlegger’s Turn (2006)

    Tour:

    TBA

    Enjoy! And check back next week when our featured artist is the Eric Brendan

    Published in: on August 26, 2007 at 4:42 am  Comments (1)  

    Featured Artist of the Week – Josh Fuller

    joshfuller.jpg

    Bio:

    Josh Fuller and the Pride of Texas Band are leaving their mark around this great State of Texas! Formed in early 2006, the band has worked itself into the Texas music scene, playing venues like Borski’s Tavern, Tut’s Bar and Grill, and Big Texas Saloon in Spring. They have also lent their talents to several festivals, most notably the Conroe Catfish Festival , The Chevron Houston Marathon, and the Walker County Fair and Rodeo. Mixing country, blues, southern rock, and Americana, their style is as diverse and limitless as the great state they are named after.

    Based out of Conroe Texas, Josh Fuller and the Pride of Texas Band is made up of 4 amazing musicians; Robert Mullener on bass, Bo Boyd on drums, Regan Frazier on lead guitar, and Josh Fuller on lead vocals. With musical backgrounds ranging from rock to country and everything in between, they are an awesome collaborative team. No matter what you’re in the mood for, Josh Fuller and the P.O.T. have what it takes to entertain you. With a high energy, crowd involved show that mixes their own original songs with popular covers of many genres, one thing is certain – these guys know how to make every night a Saturday Night in Texas!.

    Interview:

    TRD: Who do you consider your influences?

    JF: I consider Garth Brooks to be my biggest influence when it comes to my stage and marketing style. My writing style and singing style come from, Robert Earl Keen, Stoney LaRue, Jason Boland, Phil Pritchett, and of course Willie, Waylon and the boys and many more.

     

    TRD: What was your first Gig?

    JF: My first solo gig was at a Gas Station Parking Lot in New Waverly Texas. It was a fund raiser for some folks who lost it all in a fire.

     

    TRD:  What groups or singers do you listen to now?

    JF: I listen to XM Radio’s X-Country, if it’s played on there I listen to it. It is hard to pin down a favorite in the huge sea of talent in the Texas/Red Dirt Music Scene.

     

    TRD:  What is your favorite venue you have performed at? Why?

    JF: So far I would have to say Tumbleweed Texas here in Houston. We had the opportunity to open Jason Boland there, and received a great response from the crowd, the management, and The Stragglers. In fact the venue has now scheduled us to headline there in July.

     

    TRD: If you could perform only 1 more show, anywhere in the world, where
    would you want to play? Why?

    JF: I would love to be the band that gets to put on the official “We kicked their ass and now we’re Home show” for the all the troops when they finally get to come home. Tell me that wouldn’t be a party!

     

    TRD: What is your favorite song you have recorded? Why?

    JF: We are currently in studio recording the official Debut album, we have done a few recordings live, and I am partial to a song I wrote called “Old Whiskey”. It is a song that erases all lines of age, gender, race, and circumstance. Everyone seems to be able to relate to this song.

    TRD: When you’re not performing what do you like to do with your spare time?

    JF: I have a tremendous wife and an amazing little boy that I love to be around. I also still have a day job, but in my head I am always thinking about ways to improve the entertainment value of the show. Stage presence and an energetic show are what I strive to be the best at.

     

    TRD: If you could perform with any other artist, who would you like to
    share the stage with? Why?

    JF: I would have to say Garth Brooks. He’s From Oklahoma so it counts. He is one hell of a Stage performer. I would love to share the stage with any of the guys or gals out there in the T/RD scene; I want to learn from all of them so that I can be the best I can possibly be.

     

    Discography:

    Tour:

    • Aug 25 2007 – 9:00P – IronHorse Saloon – Onalaska, Texas
    • Sep 22 2007  – 9:00P – IronHorse Saloon – Onalaska, Texas
    • Sep 29 2007 – 9:30P – Shanahans – Montgomery, Texas
    • Nov 3 2007 –  9:30P – Shanahans – Montgomery, Texas

    Enjoy! And check back next week when our featured artist is the Mike Ethan Messick

    Published in: on August 19, 2007 at 6:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

    Featured Artist of the Week – Cory Morrow

    Bio:

    It’s been ten years since Cory Morrow released his debut CD. For Cory, those years have been full of both personal and professional accomplishments, and also some difficulties. Cory Morrow is now one of the most popular performers in Texas, having worked his way up from an unknown songwriter in 1997, to a bona-a-fide household name in Texas Music today.

    While writing songs for a new studio CD in 2006, the idea of releasing a CD of classic songs from Cory’s past came about. After tossing around the idea, Cory contacted producer Keith Gattis with the idea of doing something special to mark his tenth year as a dedicated musician. Thus, the aptly named Ten Years was born.

    “We threw around the idea of doing a greatest hits record, and I was really unsure about how that would look,” Cory explains.  “It felt a little pretentious and I didn’t want to give the fans a collection of songs they already had.   (Keith) Gattis and I talked, and we decided to rework some of the older songs. I am at a point in my career now when I know how to express what I want the sound to be. Early on, I didn’t quite have the knowledge to express to a producer what I wanted my sound to be. I put a lot of trust in Lloyd (Maines) to produce my early stuff, and he did a wonderful job, but my sound has evolved and this is record reflects where I see it going. Keith and I spent some time digging through the songs on the other albums to pick the tracks for this project, and it was the first time I had listened to them in a while. I’m proud of what we did back then, and I know there will be some fans that will wonder why we are changing the songs they love, but if they give the arrangements a chance, they might find some new favorites. I’m also sure there will be some new fans listening to this, and I hope they go back and listen to the original versions and dig where I was back then and where I am now. Basically, I just want everyone to get a chance to hear it. Getting your music out there and letting people decide for themselves is a great accomplishment.”

    Along with the eight re-worked songs, there are two new ones including the Keith Gattis penned I Don’t Want To Get Up, which is the first single to be released from Ten Years. Spinning Around The Moon, which Cory co-wrote with Liz Rose in Nashville, also makes its debut. Also included is the first studio version of Always And Forever, which was on Cory’s Double Exposure Live CD. There has never been a studio version of the song, yet it has become one of the most requested by Cory’s fans.

    Ten Years is the second time Cory has teamed with Keith Gattis.  The pair also created the 2005 release Nothing Left To Hide. Cory and Keith have formed a brother-like bond and a solid working relationship, which has made the creation of these albums a great experience for both.

    Gattis brings the same west coast influences that formed the backbone of Nothing Left to Hide and blended them with the steady Texas music sound. The combination of Gattis’ talent as a producer and Cory’s renowned as a storyteller will once again push the genre of Texas Music to a new level. Ten Years is sure to earn Cory a new following, and at the same time allow his loyal fans to rediscover the songs they have loved for a decade.

    Cory’s new record, Ten Years, will be released April 24th on Sustain Records and will be distributed by Universal Distribution.

     

    Interview:

    TRD: Who do you consider your influences?

    CM: My influences were most definitely Willie, Waylon, Kristofferson, Cash, and Haggard. Most recently, Robert Earl Keen, Jack Ingram, Rodney Crowell, and Bob Schneider have topped the list. However, my main influences with music and writing were not country, but rock. I am a fanatical Led Zeppelin freak and love The Who, Beatles, Stones, Bob Seger, Tom Petty, and The Doors. I pretty much love any music that moves me, either emotionally or physically.

     

    TRD: What was your first Gig?

    CM: My first gig was in Fort Worth, Texas at The Johnny High Country Music Review. I borrowed my friend Pat Green’s guitar and went up there to play one of my first originals. It was pretty nerve-racking and I kept my eyes closed for the whole song. I’m just glad I didn’t pass out.

     

    TRD:  What groups or singers do you listen to now?

    CM: These days I like to listen to my buddies like Randy Rogers, Jason Boland, Adam Hood, and many others.

     

    TRD:  What is your favorite venue you have performed at? Why?

    CM: The River Road Ice House in New Braunfels, TX is my absolute favorite place to play. The stage and atmosphere are some of the best in the state. Plus I love the crowds that gather there because they always have a good time and we can always go tubing when we get too hot.

     

    TRD: If you could perform only 1 more show, anywhere in the world, where
    would you want to play? Why?

    CM: I’d like to play at The Houston Rodeo one more time. It was the biggest thrill to headline there last year and I would love another chance to show my hometown what I’m made of.

     

    TRD: What is your favorite song you have recorded? Why?

    CM: I guess it would have to be “Spinning Around The Moon” on our most recent CD, Ten Years. I just love the way it turned out and it is one of my favorite songs I’ve written. It has a very unique sound I think and it has driven me to continue searching for new sounds in my music.

     

    TRD: When you’re not performing what do you like to do with your spare time?

    CM: I like to spend time with my family and girlfriend. They live mostly in Houston and up near Fort Worth. Also, I love playing golf and jumping out of airplanes.

     

    TRD: If you could perform with any other artist, who would you like to
    share the stage with? Why?

    CM: I’d love to play with Rodney Crowell. He is just such an inspiration as a songwriter and singer. I have become an enormous fan of his work in the past few years and would be honored to get a chance to play him some of my stuff.

     

     

    Discography:

    • Double Exposure (2000)
    • Man That I’ve Been (2001)
    • Outside The Lines (2002)
    • Cory Morrow Band (2003)
    • Full Exposure (2003)
    • Nothing Left To Hide (2005)
    • Ten Years (2007)
    • Live From Austin, TX (2007)

    Tour:

    Check the concert calendar page

     

     

    Enjoy! And check back next week when our featured artist is the Josh Fuller

    Published in: on August 12, 2007 at 2:44 pm  Comments (3)  

    Featured Artist of the Week – Bo Phillips

    bophillips.jpg

    Bio:

    Bo Phillips started his musical journey at the age of 9 years old when his grandparents bought him his first guitar. Using a Mel Bay “Learn Guitar” book with three chords, Bo began teaching himself the instrument. Never having had any musical training in his life, Bo credit’s “Austin City Limits” on PBS as a guide for learning guitar. “It [PBS] was one of three stations we got on the old antenna,” Bo says. “I’d sit in front of the TV with my ‘axe’ and stare at the players left hands. Watching Willie, Waylon, and even a little Stevie Ray, helped me out immensely.”

    One of Bo‘s younger brothers, Stoney LaRue, was jealous of him getting a guitar and Stoney not. Finally after years of begging and extra chores, Stoney got a guitar as well. “I taught him a little, and on those rare occasions dad came to town, he’d show Stoney a little as well.” Stoney got the fever and devoted his life to music from that point on. Bo decided it was best for him to do something nobody in his family had ever done…go to college.

    After two years at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, Oklahoma; Bo made his way north to Stillwater, Oklahoma and got to witness several of his friends pursue music. “I remember seeing Cody Canada, Jason Boland, Stoney LaRue, and Mike McClure when they were just starting out on “The Strip” in Stillwater.” After finishing his degrees, Bo went on to be a high school agriculture teacher for six years. The bug wouldn’t quit biting though, and after six years of using his degree, he decided it was time to make the commitment… Bo decided to pursue the dream that had always been at the back of his mind… MUSIC.

    Having already played at dozens of venues across Texas and Oklahoma, Bo has received numerous invitations from club owners to play as far as Indianapolis, Chicago, and even the Big Apple. Here is a list of some of the musicians with which Bo has shared the stage:

    Wade Bowen, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Kevin Fowler, Jason Boland, Stoney LaRue, Bleu Edmondson, Micky and the Motorcars, Jackson Taylor Band, Chris LeDoux’s Western Underground, Reckless Kelly, Mike Mancy, Chris Knight, Randy Rogers Band, Asleep at the Wheel & Mike McClure to name a few.

    The style that Bo has is not harnessed by one particular genre. He incorporates all areas of music into his life. Red Dirt seems to be the best describer of what he does. “Red Dirt is not a genre, but rather a state of mind with music,” says Bo. From old-school country, classic rock, even a little gospel every now and then, listening to Bo just once will make you wonder why it took so long to try him out.

    Interview:

    TRD: Who do you consider your influences?

    BP: I grew up listening to John Anderson and old Alabama tapes. I guess that was my first memories of music, that and of course Merle, Waylon, etc.

    TRD: What was your first Gig?

    BP: Rooster’s in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I still play a weekly acoustic gig there on Thursday nights. Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely loyal to those who help me when I’m struggling.

    TRD: What groups or singers do you listen to now?

    BP: I listen to my friends who are into music. Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, CCR, Boland, and a guy named Stoney.

    TRD: What is your favorite venue you have performed at? Why?

    BP: I’d have to say that the Snorty Horse in Springfield, MO is my favorite. Those folks are thirsty for Red Dirt music and really show their appreciation when you bring it to them.

    TRD: If you could perform only 1 more show, anywhere in the world, where would you want to play? Why?

    BP: The Tumbleweed in Stillwater. I worked there as a bouncer and bartender for 10 years. See question #2 about loyalty.

    TRD: What is your favorite song you have recorded? Why?

    BP: “Dirt Road” on my Live @ Roosters CD has gotten the most radio, but I’ve got a song called “Perfect Girl” that’ll be on my next CD that we have a blast with and is getting a lot of attention.

    TRD: When you’re not performing what do you like to do with your spare time?

    BP: During the week, I work as a technology trainer. I teach people how to use technology. I like building things and other “manly” things around the house. And who doesn’t like a cool evening with a fishing pole?

    TRD: If you could perform with any other artist, who would you like to share the stage with? Why?

    BP: There are too many great artists out there to pick only one. I really enjoy those rare occasions when Stoney and I get to play together. Our schedules usually prohibit us from meeting up very often, so it’s a treat when we do.

    Discography:

    • Live @ Roosters

    Tour:

    Enjoy! And check back next week when our featured artist is the Cory Morrow

    Published in: on August 5, 2007 at 8:41 pm  Comments (3)  

    Featured Artist of the Week – Tres Womack

    Bio:

    It’s Real Simple. You do what you love. You write and play music for the people who love to hear it. That’s what Tres Womack does. A singer songwriter doing what he loves. His debut EP Real Simple” features songs from the heart and audiences have embraced it.

    Tres has been featured on Ray Wylie Hubbard‘s radio show, Roots and Branches, Justin Frazzel’s Front Porch Show, played Antone’s (Austin & Beaumont), Gordo’s, Cheatham Street Warehouse, Big Fest, Hill’s Cafe, Texas Tavern, Waterloo Ice House, Radio Free Texas Rowdy River Float, Travis County Livestock Show and Rodeo, The White Elephant Saloon in Ft. Worth, Clubhouse Concert Series, Pappasito’s True Texas Music Series, Adair’s Saloon Dallas, Riley’s Tavern, and was a recurring feature at Jack Yoder’s Rocky Hill Ranch in Smithville, where Willie Nelson‘s former road manager loves the music and the crowds he brings out.

    If not playing acoustically, he can be found mixing it up with alt-country band, the Get-O-Cowboys. Both can be found on MySpace music.

    Tres’ music had been described as Steve Earle meets Pearl Jam. Classified as Americana, Tres covers that nicely but pushes the edge, bringing in Roots Rock and combines that with his own unique perspective.

     

    Interview:

    TRD: Who do you consider your influences?

    TW: My brothers, Tim and Drew, both amazing song-writers and musicians, Hal Ketchum, Lyle Lovett, Radney Foster, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and KISS

    TRD: What was your first Gig?

    TW: First ever gig was a junior high dance back when God’s dog was still a puppy…my first “return after 10 years off” gig was at a place called Rocky Hill Ranch, run by the legendary promoter Jack Yoder…he’d never heard of me, but at the urging of a friend agreed to “one night only” and he even put that on the flyers, which freaked me out…but, he’s given me tons of advice and more credibility than I deserve…

    TRD: What groups or singers do you listen to now?

    TW: Adam Hood, Keith Gattis, Wilco, Mike Ethan Messick, Bois D’arcs, Whiskeytown, Get-o-Cowboys, Dedringers, The Fray, and Bette Midler but not necessarily in that order.

     

    TRD: What is your favorite venue you have performed at? Why?

    TW: Antone’s in Austin, (Antone’s in Beaumont runs a close second cause they’re going to have a good time), because people go there to listen to the music…also played Riley’s Tavern, and that was a very cool place…

     

    TRD: If you could perform only 1 more show, anywhere in the world, where
    would you want to play? Why?

    TW: I would say “Austin City Limits“…it’s the pinnacle for songwriters/performers in the Americana genre.

     

    TRD: What is your favorite song you have recorded? Why?

    TW: Today its a song I wrote called “Let It Go” that’s on the new record due out this summer…its so autobiographical…the opportunities I’ve missed because of choices I’ve made…both of my grandpa’s had so much to say and offer and of course now that its too late, I wish I’d listened…there’s more to the story, so everyone should buy the CD to find out how it ends…

     

    TRD: When you’re not performing what do you like to do with your spare time?

    TW: There’s so little of it, but my wife and I like to hang out with friends and catch other artists’ live shows.

     

    TRD: If you could perform with any other artist, who would you like to
    share the stage with? Why?

    TW: I’d like to do a song swap with Billie Joe Shaver, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Radney Foster, Lyle Lovett, and Stoney LaRue…they all bring their own style to the table, no two are alike and not one of them would perform any different for one or 10,000…and that, to me, says it all…well not entirely, Stoney pulls the hot chics and that should be mentioned.

     

    Discography:

    • Real Simple – EP (1/1/2005)
    • Live @ Texas Tavern (2006)
    • Freak Show – LP (TBA)

    Tour:

    Enjoy! And check back next week when our featured artist is the Bo Phillips

    Published in: on July 29, 2007 at 4:30 pm  Leave a Comment