Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Turnpike Troubadours at Billy Bob's Texas!

I have been loving Turnpike Troubadours more and more lately.  They were near the top of my list of bands and I HAD to see.  I was so glad to see that they were coming to Billy Bob's and I bought my ticket the day they went on sale.  That worked out fabulously because I was right at the front by the stage.  Awesomeness!  They didn't disappoint.  They are fun music and were great in concert.  I had a blast and what's always fun is when the band is obviously having a blast too.  Those musicians really work hard.  I think I would be wore out after three songs on that stage but they just kept going and played a long encore too.  Bonus Jamie Wilson of The Trisha's was a guest and sang their duet "Call a Spade a Spade".   It's always interesting to see the dynamics of a group when they perform.  The guitarist was playing for the first time with his new guitar and hugged the guy who brought it to him. 

So Billy Bob's as a venue.  I have mixed feelings.  It's huge, the world's largest honky tonk.  There is no smoking in the showroom.  There are tables with chairs.  I'm not sure that I'm a fan of the tables.  I like to be on my feet at a show sometimes.  Sometimes my feet hurt and I wish I could sit down.  Sometimes there is someone tall in front of me and I can't see.  Maybe I like to sit actually. lol.  The most annoying thing is when the other people at your table are up and down and up and down and up and down.  Still one of our neighbors felt bad about our calisthenics of letting people pass us and bought us a beer.  It's a late show.  The band didn't come on until after 10:30.  This wouldn't be such a big deal if I didn't have to work in the morning.  Oh how I would love to have a Monday through Friday job.  Late nights are part of seeing a club show.

So Turnpike Troubadours absolutely catch a show if you can. I will again say how much I love bands that you can sing along with their songs.  Long Hot Summer Day and Bosier City were both great sing a long songs. Whether you can catch a show or not absolutely listen to their music.  

Here's the set list.  I had to google search a few lyrics on songs I didn't know but I think I got it right.

  1.  Every Girl
  2. 1968 
  3. Encore:
  4. Whiskey in my Whiskey sung by the bass player
  5. (Alabama cover)
Here's a pic of me and my guy before the show. 

A music audience rant by Bo Phillips

I'm a Texas county/red dirt fan and this was posted on Bo Phillips Facebook today.  I thought it was worth sharing. 
This is one of those rants that, on the surface, will seem like a jaded musician throwing a tantrum; and some will actually make that assertion. But my firm belief is that those who are in this scene for the right reasons will not only understand my position, but also fully support it as well. There are also a multitude of musicians out there who feel the same way I do, but choose not to voice their frustration. How do I know…because they’ve said so to me. So without further ado:

I’ve always been a quality-over-quantity kinda guy. I’d much rather have one tender juicy steak, than have three boot-tough pieces of nastiness. I’d much rather have 3 truly good friends, than 300 people I can’t trust. The same goes with music. I’d much rather have 100 fans in the crowd who are there for the music, than 1000 people in the crowd who couldn’t tell you a single word from your previous song. And believe me; I’ve played to both kinds of crowds. Now don’t get me wrong, we love the hell-raising, beer chugging crowds… as long as they’re raising hell to our tunes.  

 That being said, it’s very important that we make a sharp distinction here. There’s a difference between a bar that does music, and a music venue that serves alcohol. If I’m playing a beer joint that rarely has live music, my standards and expectations of the crowd are vastly different. I don’t profess to think that EVERY set we play is going to be to music lovers. At the same time, when we play at a live music venue, those expectations change. There’s also a difference between a “gig”, and a “show”. We play several gigs a year, and when I use the word “gig”, I’m referring to the beer joint places. We do “shows” at live music venues. I think most musicians know the difference, and so I’m hoping to help those of you who might not be as knowledgeable on the subject.

 Some…no…MOST people possess the ability to completely let a song, a lyric, or a melody entirely overtake their soul. They close their eyes and let the words surround their world. Sometimes, it’s a fast song with a beat, or a lyric that makes you feel like you can run through a brick wall without a scratch. Other times, it’s that one line in the song that makes you cry because you miss your hero. To those people, music is more than just $5 at the door. It’s more than just that 75 mile trip you made to see the band. It’s about that connection you make with the music, the song, and the band. Those people, regardless of their gender, are the reason I wrote Red Dirt Girl. They come to the show early. Why? Not to meet the band, not to get the early beer special. They come early to make sure they don’t miss a thing; to make sure they can get front and center and FEEL every note, every beat, every word of every songs. This rant is not about a musician who wants a different type of crowd. It’s about that person who drives a hundred miles, pays their cover and soaks up every second, even though they have every song you’ve ever recorded and sing along with every word. It’s about the person who knew him when he was Stoney Phillips. It’s about the person who has that Live @ Roosters cd (as horrible as it was). It’s about the people who remember when Wade and Randy opened for everyone. It’s about the TRUE music fans. It’s about the people who have been offered to be put on the guest list, but say “no, it’s ok. I wanna support you guys.” What they don’t know, is that their existence at the shows is way more support than we could ever want. 

 If we play a gig at a beer joint, sure I’ll be a lil frustrated that we’re nothing more than a jukebox with a trailer. But that’s the price of poker. That’s what they call “paying our dues.” But when we pull up to a music venue, for a show, our (most bands) expectation is that we’re gonna be surrounded by people who are there for the tunes. One of my favorite people in the world, “Mama” PJ Berry was one of those folks who would drive with her husband Ron, for HOURS to see a show. And you can bet your ass she knew EVERY word to every song we played. How’s that? Because she came to music venues and LISTENED. “Bo, you can’t expect us to just sit there and say nothing, like little drones” Why not? There are countless musicians out there who sacrifice EVERYTHING to pursue an art that isn’t subsidized by a government grant. They pour their souls into every word, in the hopes that someone out in that crowd can relate to their sadness, their elation, their pride. And yeah, it’s frustrating as hell when guys put ten thousand dollars worth of equipment into a two thousand dollar trailer, pulling it with a thousand dollar van, to split their $500 paycheck 5 ways AFTER eating, rooms, gas, and potentially broken gear. After all that, they pour over a yellow legal pad with a borrowed pen and gush their emotions, one verse at a time. For what? So a bunch of drunk dudes can ask for Wagon Wheel? 

 Music is a passion. It’s not something people do in order to make it rich. In the big scheme of things, the likelihood of financial success from music is extremely slim. Financial success for most musicians is breaking even by Sunday morning. Occasionally, there’s a little left over to buy some groceries. With any passion, you feel anger and resentment when people don’t appreciate your passion; and music is no different.

 Here are a few little nuggets of etiquette that FANS have pointed out that THEY appreciate when at shows.
• Don’t steal music on Limewire, Kazaa, etc. (those are just examples folks). A well-produced cd costs thousands and thousands of dollars to do. Every $10 cd you illegally download or share cuts into that.
• Don’t video the whole show. It’s annoying as hell to everyone behind you, not to mention illegal in most venues.
• When the songs are over, clap and raise some hell. If the song sucked, give a small courtesy clap, but really let loose if the song rocked your socks off. Silence is a musician’s worst enemy. It’s like sex, folks. You gotta let us know when we’re doing it right, or we’re just gonna blindly stab at it.
• Don’t chat on your phone right in front of the stage. If you have to take a call, mozie outside. It’s a win-win
• If you heckle the singer, chances are you’re about to get burned. We do this for a living.
• Only sing along to the songs IF YOU KNOW THE WORDS (not my rule, folks)
• When you meet the band, understand that the band truly appreciates you, but they can’t devote 30 minutes to every person.
• Asking for the artist to sing a fellow artist’s song is usually considered bad form.
• Don’t try to ask the singer a question in the middle of a song. They’re kinda busy.
• Smokers, yeah it’s a bar, but please be respectful of where your cigarette is.
• We all gotta fart, but don’t do it right there. We ALL know it was you.
• SIT DOWN (when there are chairs)
• SHUT UP (It’s impossible to learn new songs if you’re chatting while it’s being sung)
• LISTEN (don’t just hear the songs…. Feel them)
Keep in mind, these were not developed by musicians, but by OTHER FANS who truly care about this passion we have called music.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Royals by Lorde

I love this song by Lorde.  She's talented, young and beautiful.  I think we will be hearing a lot more from her.   She's from New Zealand and only 16 years old.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Texas Country Love Songs

So I am in LOVE!  Deeply in love and very, very happy!  Of course, I am superstitious enough to worry that I will jinx my relationship by being too openly happy and public about it.  Still I will tempt fate by writing a love song blog post.  This is actually my love that I lost and found again.  I just don't ever want to lose him again.  These are some of the songs that fit how I feel about my amazing guy. 

Wade Bowen "Who I Am"  I love to watch you smile.  I love to watch you dream.  I love it when you take my hand and let me know you believe in me. 

Randy Rogers Band "Kiss Me in the Dark"  Kiss me in the dark, roll me through the night, hold me like you'll never let me go.

Stoney LaRue "Feet Don't Touch the Ground"  We got moonlight, all night, going to pray on the next star I see tonight we never lose this thing we found. 

I wanted to share the Damn Quails "Through the Fire" but I couldn't get the youtube video to load.  Look the song up because it is awesome and sweet. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bryan John Appleby - Honey Jars

Newly discovered by me via Chris Junkin's fabulous Spotify playlists, the 35 best songs you've never heard pt. 5.  This is the wonderful Bryan John Appleby.  He has such a beautiful voice and it's a very melancholy song.  He's an instant favorite.  There are some artists that don't have to grow on you.  You hear them once and it's love. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My seven favorite albums of 2013 (so far)

When you favorite song after song on an album, you know that's going to be a favorite.  I think Kacey is just fresh and fun and so talented.  My favorite songs from this album are "It is What It Is", "Follow Your Arrow" and "Merry Go Round".

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is one of my absolute favorite bands and their new album did not disappoint.  I love the title which is from Shakespeare.  They were one of the top shows I've been to this year.  Honestly, they're one of my top shows ever.  My favorite song from this album is "Firewalker".  I also love "Hate the Taste" and "Let the Day Begin".  Also I cannot mention BRMC without mentioning how much I love Peter Hayes!  Peter Hayes, I adore you!
I just love Dawe's mellow, Americana, folky sound.  I caught a short set from them at the KXT Summer Cut.  I hope to see a whole show from them some day.  I feel like they were just finding their groove when they were cut short.  My favorite songs from this album are "Most People", "Just Beneath the Surface" and "Someone Will".  I also dig "From a Window  Seat" for the Steely Dan sound and the lyric about eating boots. 

Ah, a brand new to me band. They are Irish and fabulous.  "The John Wayne", "Harper Lee" and "Big Red Dragon" are my favorites.  I believe they were at SXSW but I don't think they've been to the DFW area yet.  I would love to catch their show. I think you can be Irish and Americana too.
Jason Isbell is such a great song writer.  I love, love, love the song "Live Oak".  My favorite lyric "There's a man who walks beside me, It is who I used to be, I wonder if she sees him and confuses him with me".  It just speaks to me when you are a changed person, a new different person but you look the same to everyone who sees you.  "Traveling Alone", "Elephant" and "Super 8" are all fun songs.
Another fabulous, I'm using the word fabulous too much.  Another awesome band from Austin, the Wheeler Brothers.  New to me but not new.  I love this album.  My favorite songs "Straight and Steady", "My Time", "You've Got A Lot of Love" and "Cigarette Smoke are some of my favorites.  I am hoping to catch their show at Queen  City Music Hall in Fort Worth. 

Vampire Weekend is just some great, chill music.  "Diane Young", "Obvious Believers" and "Step are some of my favorites. 



Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sarah Jarosz - Runaway


Sarah Jarosz - Runaway with Allison Kraus and Jerry Douglas.  A fabulous song.  The official video is blocked in my country, why? I don't know to irritate me but this is a fabulous version so it's all good.  I thought she was coming to the Kessler but maybe I already missed it.  Boo!  

Oh how I missed you!

Oh my little bloggity blog with so few readers, I've missed you.  I need a new computer or my old computer fixed.  Until then it will be few random posts.  I think I shall blow you up with lots of fabulous songs today. 

First up Red and White and Blue and Gold by Aoife (say it like eee-fuh) O'Donovan.  I just love it and it's perfect for July 4th.  It's just perfect anyway.   This is a very mellow relaxing song, a perfect chill in the afternoon summer song.

I've already shared Uncle Lucius' Keep the Wolves Away which I still think is a fabulous song but then I saw them live and realized that they have so much more to offer.  This is Pocket Full of Misery.  They are a great live band and I think everyone should catch them if they get a chance.  I really loved their cover of Help Me Make It Through the Night.  Also Kevin Galloway's beard is much more impressive now and I love the fact that all of the band members are songwriters.  That's unusual and fabulous.

Ah Della Mae!  I love discovering new music and Della Mae is a great discovery.  All female, bluegrass, listen and love!  They are from Boston and have a bit of Celtic influence too.  The song is Empire. 

Another new to me band, the Pines.  I don't know much about them other than I like this song.  The are from Minnesota (I can't say that without hearing it in Jesse the Body Ventura's voice).  Minnesota is the land of hot dish and the Pines.  The song is Cry, Cry, Crow.