Music News – Oct 15, 2020

It was so much fun working on the concert calendar this week. The last time we had this many live shows to list was in March, so it is encouraging to see live music slowly coming back. Many really good shows are happening this week, starting tonight at Freiheit Country Store. They have Shane Smith & the Saints followed on Friday by Blue Water Highway. Gruene Hall has a double shot of Asleep at the Wheel and Midnight River Choir will take the stage at Happy Cow Bar & Grill on Friday night. Krause’s Café has Brett Cline tonight and Yesenia McNett on Friday with her band, the Groove Doctors. Local bars were able to reopen this week if they follow the CDC guidelines so that means live music will continue to increase. That’s good news to our local musicians since most of them haven’t been able to earn any money for the past six months. So, if you feel safe and if you attend any of the local shows, please tip the bands if you can afford it. These folks can use our help right now.

Eddie Van Halen passes away

In the spring of 1978, I was working in Victoria and after work I’d listen to 99.5 KISS on my way home.  It was a 100,000-watt station in San Antonio that broadcast on the AM dial because FM radio hadn’t caught on yet. On this day, just as I got in my truck, a song came on with a blistering guitar solo, then went straight into a remake of the Kinks classic hit, You Really Got Me. When the song was over, the DJ said the solo was called Eruption and the song was You Really Got Me by a new band called Van Halen. The band consisted of Eddie Van Halen on guitar, his brother Alex on drums, Michael Anthony on bass and David Lee Roth on vocals. The DJ mentioned that they would be coming to San Antonio in November opening for Black Sabbath. A co-worker bought tickets and invited me to go. A few weeks after hearing the song, I bought the album. It was hard to believe all of this sound was coming from just one guy. He called his guitar Frankenstrat, because it was a combination of a Fender Stratocaster and a Gibson Les Paul. He took a Fender body and chiseled out the inside so he could install Gibson pickups in it. He was able to get a sound from this guitar that no other musician had ever accomplished. In addition to being an incredibly fast player, he often used the fingers on his right hand to tap the strings on the neck while his left hand formed the chords. He didn’t invent this technique but he perfected it and it became his signature style. At the November concert, Van Halen blew the headlining Black Sabbath off the stage. I saw them several more times, in 1980 and 1984 then a few times when Sammy Hagar replaced original vocalist David Lee Roth. Eddie was widely regarded as one of the greatest guitar players of all time. When the news came that he had passed away last week after a long battle with cancer, it was tough to digest. Eddie was 65 years old and for the last five years of his life, was unable to tour because of his health. A stadium tour in 2019 with the original four members of the band was scrapped due to his ongoing battle with cancer. As news of his death spread among the music world, tributes poured in from around the world. He influenced thousands of guitar players and his music will live on forever. His son Wolfgang and his brother Alex plan on going through the thousands of tapes stored in Eddie’s studio to see if there is anything to release. Hopefully they can locate more songs in the vault so we can continue to enjoy his music for years to come.

Gary P. Nunn Plays Eden Hill Benefit

A night in old New Braunfels presents Gary P. Nunn & the Boys in the Bunkhouse Band tonight at 7pm for a special benefit show. The concert will be held at Stars & Stripes Drive In with proceeds going to Eden Hill Communities. Nunn is an iconic performer with many classic Texas country songs to his credit, including ‘What I Like About Texas,’ ‘Guadalupe Days,’ and ‘London Homesick Blues.’ General admission tickets include dinner and an autographed poster. Premium tickets include dinner, autographed poster, event t-shirt and premium parking. For ticket information and more details about the event, see their website at EdenHill.org/concert.

Cadillac Drive bring classic rock to the Phoenix Saloon

When local classic rock band Cadillac Drive played a show back in February at the Phoenix Saloon, little did they know a worldwide pandemic was coming. By March, Covid 19 reared its ugly head and the world changed forever. In just a matter of weeks, everything closed and we were confined to our homes.  Bars across America were forced to close which meant no live music for many of our local bands. Cadillac Drive is a three-piece power trio along the lines of Cream or the James Gang. They are made up of Larry Norman on vocals and guitar, Steven Vee on bass and keyboards and Robert Berrara on drums and vocals. Their set list is a fun one that includes all your favorite classic rock by artists like Def Leppard, Eddie Money, Journey and many more. It’s only fitting they play the first show on the Phoenix stage now that they have re-opened since it was the last stage they were on seven months ago. Governor Abbott has allowed bars to reopen so hopefully that’s a sign that we are slowly getting closer to normal. The music gets started about 8pm so come out and enjoy some fantastic classic rock.

AC/DC Releases New Album

When Australian rock band AC/DC wrapped up their world tour in 2016, it seemed as though they were done forever. Original rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young was in the final stages of dementia and was unable to tour. His nephew Steve took his place on the 2016 tour and Malcolm passed away in 2017. Vocalist Brian Johnson was having hearing issues and had to leave the tour. Guns N Roses vocalist Axl Rose stepped in and sang on the final 23 shows. Bassist Cliff Williams announced his retirement and drummer Phil Rudd was arrested on drug possession charges. Lead guitarist Angus Young was the only member left standing that could possibly carry on. After Malcolm’s funeral, Angus got the band together at his home in Sydney and let them listen to some guitar riffs his late brother had recorded. He knew he wanted to record one more album to honor his brother but he needed their help. Over the course of 2017, Brian got help to fix his hearing problem from an experimental device, Rudd got his legal matters fixed and Williams came back from retirement. In August of 2018 they met at Warehouse Studios in Vancouver with producer Brendan O’Brien. Angus had sifted through over 100 tapes from the vaults and came prepared with a dozen solid song ideas. They were all in the typical AC/DC sound with titles like ‘Demon Fire,’ ‘Witch’s Spell,’ ‘Money Shot’ and ‘Shot In The Dark,’ which is the first single and video. The new album, titled Power Up, is scheduled for release on November 13 in several deluxe configurations of CD and vinyl, including one box set that lights up in bright red colors. A world tour was planned to kick off this year but was cancelled once the pandemic hit. The band were able to get in one full day of rehearsals and according to Johnson it was amazing. “It felt like we were kids again,” he recalled. Even though the tour is on hold, they wanted to get the album out so their loyal fans would have something to look forward to. I agree, a good dose of hard rock is just what the world needs right now.

Live Streaming & Live Music Calendar

Below is a list of live and streaming shows you can attend or watch online. Events are listed alphabetically. To watch these shows, log onto their Facebook pages. If you do not see your favorite artist on this list, check out their website or Facebook page to see what they are doing. Please tip the musicians if you can afford to at their live or streaming shows.

Adobe Verde  (1724 Hunter Road, 830-629-0777)

Fri – JJ Garrett – 6:30pm

Sat – Bru’s Tunes – 6:30pm

 

Band of Heathens (Americana) – Tuesday night Supper Club – Tuesdays at 7:30pm

 

Billy’s Ice  (1193 Loop 337, 830-692-8169)

Tonight – Shane Kelly – 8:30pm

Fri – Clint Taft & the Buckwild Band – 9pm

Sat – Bill Ayers – 9pm

Sun – Lucas Taylor – 7pm

Wed – Rio Tripiano – 8:30pm

 

Blue Water Highway (Americana) – Thursday nights – 7pm

 

Brett Cline (Pop/Rock) – Facebook Concerts at BCMusic Live – Thursdays at 7pm

 

Brookshire Brothers (18275 FM 306, Canyon Lake 830-935-3130)

Fri – Kim & Her Bad Habits – 6pm

Sat – Lefty & Friends – 6pm

 

Carolyn Wonderland (Blues/Rock) – Live from Wonderland – Wednesdays at 8pm

 

Cody Canada (Americana) – Facebook Concerts – Check Facebook Page for Times

 

Cheatham Street Warehouse (119 Cheatham Street, San Marcos, 512-353-3777)

Fri – Dallas Burrow – 8pm

Sat – Kasey Thornton – 8pm

 

Dam Red Barn (16520 S. Access Rd, Canyon Lake  830-964-3276)

Sat – Jason Custer Band – 8:30pm

 

Devil’s Backbone Tavern (4041 FM 32, Fisher, TX)

Tonight – Turn Up Jam – 8pm

 

Downtown Social Club (386 W. San Antonio, 830-214-6650)

Tonight – Mike Atkins & Jake Koenig – 7pm

Sat – An Evening of Prince w/ Marshall Charloff – 8pm

 

Drew Kennedy (Folk/Americana) – Live in the Backyard – Wednesdays at 8pm

 

Freiheit Country Store (2157 FM 1101, 830-625-9400)

Tonight – Low Flying Birds / Shane Smith & the Saints – 7pm

Fri – Blue Water Highway – 8pm

Sat – Clever Name Band/ Back in Black – 8pm

Sun – Trey Rose – 1pm / Bubba Westly – 4:30pm

Tue – Tyler McCollum – 6pm / Mario Flores – 8pm

Wed – Zack Walther – 7:30pm

 

Garth Brooks (Country) – Inside Studio G – Facebook Concert – Mondays at 7pm

 

Grapevine in Gruene   (1612 Hunter Rd  830-606-0093)

Tonight – Colton’s Kin – 5pm

Fri – Bret Graham – 5pm

Sat – Slim Bawb – Noon / Bret Graham – 4pm

 

Gristmill River Grill (1287 Gruene Road, 830-625-0684)
Tonight – Johnny McGowan – 6:30pm

Wed – Eric Middleton – 6:30pm

 

Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Rd   830-606-1281)

Tonight – Chris Beall – 6pm

Fri – Asleep at the Wheel – 7pm

Sat – Andrea Magee Band – 1pm / Asleep at the Wheel – 8pm

Sun – Linda Gail Lewis – 12:30pm / Dallas Moore Band – 6pm

Mon – Bret Graham –  6pm

Tue – Tony Taylor, Austin Gilliam & Lucas Taylor – 6pm

Wed – The Georges – 6pm

 

Happy Cow (9103 FM 1102, Hunter, TX. 512-667-7510)

Fri – Midnight River Choir – 8:30pm

Sat – Dacota Deaver Band – 8:30pm

 

Krause’s Café (148 Castell, 830-632-5076)

Tonight – Brett Cline Trio – 6pm

Fri – Yesenia McNett & the Groove Doctors – 6:30pm

Sat – Dirty River Jazz Band – 6pm

Sun – The GR8 Band – 6pm

Wed – Yodel Blitz – 6pm

 

Luckenbach Dance Hall (412 Town Loop, Luckenbach  830-997-3224)

Tonight – Dan West – 5pm

Fri – Hayden Whittington – 1pm / Jake McLain – 4pm / Lee Mathis/Dallas Moore – 8pm

Sat – Almost Patsy Cline – 1pm / Bonnie Lang – 7pm

Sun – Chris Saucedo – 1pm / Jake Martin – 5pm

 

Max & Heather Stallings (Americana) – We Ain’t Drinking Alone – Wednesdays at 7pm

 

Old River City Café (2771 FM 725   830-620-1900)

Wed – Monte Good – 5:30pm

 

Phoenix Saloon (193 W San Antonio, 830-643-1400)

Sat – Cadillac Drive – 8pm

 

Pour Haus  (343 W San Antonio, 830-214-6033)

Tonight – Myles Smith & Friends – 8:30pm

Fri – Marc Monaco & Strayhearts – 8:30pm

Sat – Dirty White Horse – 9:30pm

Sun – The Vagabonds – 8:30pm

 

Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102, 512-392-3132)

Tonight – Mike Ethan Messick & Friends – 7pm

Fri – The Homebodies – 7pm

Sat – Cactus Flats – 7pm

 

River Road Ice House (1791 Hueco Springs Loop  830-626-1335)

Sat – Landon Bullard & Mostly Sober – 8pm

 

Rudy’s BBQ (844 Loop 337, 830-609-3337)

Tonight – Tyler Cannon – 6pm

 

Sequestered Songwriters (Various Genres) – Weekly Tribute Show – Mondays at 6pm

 

Shelley King (Blues / Rock) – Soul O Show – Sundays at 2pm

 

Todd Snider (Americana) – Live from East Nashville – Sundays at 11am

 

Wade Bowen (Americana) – Wade’s World – Check his Facebook page for times

 

Watering Hole  (1390 McQueeney Rd  830-625-0045)

Fri – 3 Man Front – 8:30pm

Sat – Jeremy Egg Band – 9pm

 

Walt & Tina Wilkins (Americana) – Front Porch Session – Thursdays 8pm

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NB Magazine – November

The music scene in New Braunfels is one of the best in America, second only to Austin, and I often challenge that statement. There are many reasons for this and if you have been following this series for the past ten months, you have learned some of the events that made it happen. However, the most important reason is that our city is an appealing place to live. Being centrally located on the I-35 corridor makes it accessible to major cities. There are also several world class recording studios within a 50-mile radius, which makes recording music convenient. You must also have a good group of musicians, and New Braunfels has a lot of them. In fact, we have so many living here, I wasn’t able to list them all in the limited space we have.

When I started listing them, I went through the contact list in my phone. After writing down over seventy names, I realized it may be a daunting task. I don’t personally know every musician in town, but I’m fortunate to say that I know most of them. When I moved here in 1996, Bret Graham was the first musician I met. He was playing a solo gig at the Gruene River Grill, which at that time was called Gruene Mansion Inn Restaurant. I bought his cassette titled ‘1997’ and we became friends that day. I met Zack Walther next and was blown away by his vocals, easily some of the best I had heard. We have been good friends ever since. His old drummer, Chris Compton, still lives here and is now a drum teacher. Zack’s current drummer, Matt Briggs, is also a music instructor and owns Beagles Nest Recording Studio. Keyboardist and singer Michael Atkins often plays with Zack at his local gigs.

Like many local music fans, I was here to see Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen and Cody Canada get their music careers started. They each built a fanbase that has remained loyal for over two decades. When Cody relocated from Oklahoma to New Braunfels, bassist Jeremy Plato moved here too, and they are still playing together today. Jason Boland also moved here from Oklahoma with his band the Stragglers. Geoffrey Hill, Randy’s guitar player, occasionally does solo acoustic shows around town. When I met Stewart Mann, his two guitar players were Todd Laningham and Will Knaak. Today Todd plays for Wade Bowen and Will is with the rock band Blue October. Garrett Mann plays guitar for his brother Stewart now. Bleu Edmonson was around in the early days and still lives here. So was Terry Cavanaugh, suppling our polka music year-round, and during Wurstfest.

As more music venues started opening, musicians began moving to town. In a short time, I saw Austin Gilliam, Jordan Minor, Mike Ethan Messick, Tony Taylor, Javi Garcia, Jackson Parten, Monty ‘Guitar’ Tyler, Scott Wiggins, Bruce Weldy, Jay Eric, Bruce Schwarz, Howard Yeargen and Slim Bawb. I would see these guys playing at Tavern in the Gruene, Riley’s Tavern or the Phoenix Saloon. Before long, a batch of younger guys and gals turned up on the scene. I was encouraged by the talent of Kori Free, Alli Mattice, Jay Wimberley, Anthony Wright, Shawn Hart, Tyler Cannon, Andrae Blissett, Jade Marie Patek, Aaron Stephens, Lucas Taylor, Dallas Burrow, Austin Garrett and Kyle and Keegan Reed.

Paul McLaughlin once played with Jimmy Buffett, plus a lot of other music stars and fronted the local band Grapes of Wrath for years. These days you might see him sitting in with singer Sarah McSweeney at various local venues. Powerhouse singer Yesenia McNett fronts several bands and has a voice that can stop a freight train. Brian Duckworth was there at the beginning of Robert Earl Keen’s career and now owns a local fiddle shop. Richie Allbright, Drew Kennedy, Josh & Kristi Grider, Monte Good, Season Ammons, Jason George and Joel Hofmann are all working musicians that call New Braunfels home.

Brett Cline and Jamie Cameron front several high-quality bands in town and can often be heard at Krause’s Café, Pour Haus, Phoenix Saloon, the Sidecar and Pale Horse Sky Bar. Guitarist Rio Tripiano plays in Copper Chief, plus does side gigs with pal Eric Middleton, who is the lead vocalist for Midnight River Choir. Seth James, wife Jessica Murray and keyboardist pal Steve Littleton have a fantastic band that can cover any thing from classic rock to Texas blues, as well as some of Seth’s original tunes. Dennis Peek and Tommy Thompson have a cool rock band called Phantom 46. They have been on hiatus for awhile but hopefully they will return to the local stages soon. Another local classic rock band is Knotty Grove that includes Steven Vee and Josh Holden. Both bands often share members, sometimes guitarist Mark Tokach joins in and can be seen and heard at the Phoenix Saloon or the Watering Hole. Many of our local musicians have day jobs, like Pete and Sean Williams, but they are just as passionate about music as anyone.

As you can see, our city has a long list of musicians, way more than I could list here. They play as much as possible; they do benefits in town when asked, they support each other and have each other’s back. One local musician told me he’s never seen a music scene as supportive as ours. In some cities, the scene is very splintered and competitive. Just another reason everyone wants to move here and enjoy what we have. Like the sign says, if you lived here, you’d be home now.

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Music News – Oct. 8, 2020

It is a sad week for live music because we should be enjoying the Gruene Music & Wine Festival tonight. Every October for the past three decades we got ready for this event. When the air turned cool and the leaves started falling, we knew it was almost time. Each year the festival seemed to get bigger and better. On Thursday night it would kick off with a major artist like Clint Black, Marshall Tucker Band, or the Bacon Brothers. Friday night meant an acoustic set by someone like Pat Green or Joe Ely, then the guitar auction followed by a full band set. Saturday featured live music under the outdoor tents, and another major artist headlining at Gruene Hall. Things wrapped up on Sunday with more outdoor music, wine and beer tasting and a full schedule of live music inside the hall. It’s true, you never really miss something until its gone. We are all missing live music, its what makes our town such a special place to live. I can’t wait to attend a live concert again, without a mask or any distancing, but until then, we will do whatever it takes to get through this.

Downtown venues welcome live music back to their stages

With Krause’s Café, the Pour Haus and Downtown Social now open, live music is slowly returning to our downtown venues. The Phoenix Saloon is open again, being one of the last bars to open under the revised TABC laws. Bars are forced to abide by very stringent rules while operating as a restaurant. The Phoenix plans on bringing back live music once they get things running smoothly, which is tough after being forced to close for so long. The Brauntex Theatre had their last show on Friday March 13 featuring the Boxtops. The next week they were closed due the Covid pandemic. All shows were quickly rescheduled for later this year since everyone thought things would be back to normal by July. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and shows were moved again into 2021. Since the theatre is a non-profit venue, the news was tough to handle. Today tickets will go on-sale for Neal McCoy and Herman’s Hermits, with both shows scheduled for January. They are in constant contact with local and state authorities, plus they are monitoring what other theatres across Texas are doing. All they can do is plan for the future and hope people will come back next year. Rest assured, once they reopen, patron safety will be the main priority. I can’t wait until our beautiful downtown is back in full force again. It was tough seeing all the dark buildings when we drove down San Antonio Street.

Remembering Mac Davis & Helen Reddy

Last week the music world lost two extremely talented artists, Mac Davis, and Helen Reddy. Davis was born in Lubbock, Texas in 1942 and lived there until he graduated from high school. His parents divorced so he followed his mother to Atlanta because she had family there. He started a rock band called The Zots but broke up the band to take a job with Nancy Sinatra’s company. He started writing songs and had success when Elvis recorded In the Ghetto and A Little Less Conversation. He wrote Watching Scotty Grow for Bobby Goldsboro and I Believe in Music for Kenny Rogers. He signed a record deal with Columbia Records in 1970 and started recording his own songs. He had huge hits with songs like Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me, Stop and Smell the Roses, Hard to be Humble and Texas in my Rearview Mirror. He enjoyed a long successful career as a singer, TV show host and actor. He passed away in Nashville at 78 years old due to complications after heart surgery. Helen Reddy passed away on September 29, the same day that Mac Davis died, and she was also 78 years old. For some reason I thought Helen was from Canada, then I realized I had her mixed up with Anne Murray. Helen was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1941. She passed away less than a month from her 79th birthday on October 25. Her mother was a singer and actor at a local theatre and her dad was a sergeant in the Australian Army. Because her parents had a chaotic relationship, Helen went to live with her aunt Helen, who she was named after. Since they shared the same name, she gave her aunt the nickname of Nelli. It was Aunt Nelli who encouraged her to be a singer. Helen married young, had a daughter, got a divorce, remarried, and moved to Los Angeles within a 4-year period. Her new husband, Jeff Wald, got her a deal with Capitol Records and she released her first hit single, I Believe in Music, written ironically by Mac Davis. Her hit song in 1972, I Am Woman, won a Grammy and was the first Number 1 hit by an Australian. It also became an anthem for the women’s movement of the 70’s, which Helen was a member of. She enjoyed a long and successful career and retired from performing in 2002. She moved back home to Australia, then to Los Angeles after she was diagnosed with dementia. She spent her final days at the Samuel Goldwyn Center, a memory care facility in Los Angeles.

Todd Snider to Play Entire Albums starting Sunday Oct 11

I’ve often written about Todd Snider’s weekly live stream program that he broadcasts from a studio in East Nashville. Each week he throws caution to the wind and randomly plays any song that comes to mind. Starting this Sunday, Todd has decided on a unique idea. He intends to perform all 13 of his studio albums in their entirety. On Sunday he will play his 1994 debut album, Songs from the Daily Planet, from start to finish. He will talk about the songs and tell the stories behind each one. Todd is a master storyteller and his sense of humor is off the charts. On October 18 he will perform his second album, Step Right Up followed by Viva Satellite on Sunday October 25. He will continue performing entire albums until the end of December and like everyone, hope to be back on the road in January 2021.

Cody Johnson Live Stream Show

If you would like to see and hear what true Texas country music sounds like, check out the Cody Johnson live stream from Lewisville, Texas that he taped on September 26. The Lewisville Western Days celebration was cancelled because of Covid, but the live music acts were allowed  to perform in front of a small group of fans. Simply go to YouTube.com and search for Cody John live in Lewisville. During Cody’s headlining set, he mentions there are about 100 fans in attendance. He still put on a fantastic show with touches of Garth Brooks energy and a healthy dose of George Strait’s cool stage presence. He dedicated his poignant ‘Doubt Me Now’ to anyone that has been critical of our first responders. He is from the small town of Huntsville and is proud of the fact his town has had no violent protests or riots. Cody is a proud American and doesn’t shy away from letting everyone know exactly where he stands. The pandemic forced him to pause his tour opening for Miranda Lambert and postpone his annual fall headlining tour. Johnson is one of the handful of Texas artist to go from playing bars to selling out the Houston Rodeo. He did it all as an independent artist, doing everything himself with no record label help. His business model is to surround himself with good people and let them do their job. He recently signed with Warner Brothers Records, but only after he was guaranteed complete control over his music. His album, Ain’t Nothin To It, was his first to be issued on the Warner’s label. My favorite song from the album is Dear Rodeo, one he wrote about saying goodbye to a rodeo career and concentrating on music full time. Reba McEntire loved the song too and recently added her vocals to it, making it a monster duet song for country radio. Cody’s shows at Whitewater Amphitheater were rescheduled to May 29 and 30, 2021. This guy is the real deal, so buy his music and see his live shows. No one can replace George Strait, but Cody is the next best thing.

Live Streaming & Live Music Calendar

Below is a list of live and streaming shows you can attend or watch online. Events are listed alphabetically. To watch these shows, log onto their Facebook pages. If you do not see your favorite artist on this list, check out their website or Facebook page to see what they are doing. Please tip the musicians if you can afford to at their live or streaming shows.

 

Adam Johnson (Blues) – Solo live concert – Thursdays at 8pm

 

Adobe Verde  (1724 Hunter Road, 830-629-0777)

Fri – Blues Like It Usta Wuz – 6:30pm

Sat – Southside Jump Band – 6:30pm

 

Band of Heathens (Americana) – Tuesday night Supper Club – Tuesdays at 7:30pm

 

Billy’s Ice  (1193 Loop 337, 830-692-8169)

Tonight – Zach Talbert – 8:30pm

Fri – Silvercloud – 9pm

Sat – Shaker Hymns – 9pm

Sun – Lucas Taylor – 7pm

Wed – Logun Timberlake – 8:30pm

 

Blue Water Highway (Americana) – Thursday nights – 7pm

 

Brett Cline (Pop/Rock) – Facebook Concerts at BCMusic Live – Thursdays at 7pm

 

Brookshire Brothers (18275 FM 306, Canyon Lake 830-935-3130)

Fri – Lance Lipinsky & the Lovers – 6pm

Sat – Anthony Wright Band – 6pm

 

Carolyn Wonderland (Blues/Rock) – Live from Wonderland – Wednesdays at 8pm

 

Cody Canada (Americana) – Facebook Concerts – Wednesdays at 8:30pm

 

Downtown Social Club (386 W. San Antonio, 830-214-6650)

Sat – Zack Walther – 8pm

 

Drew Kennedy (Folk/Americana) – Live in the Backyard – Wednesdays at 8pm

 

Freiheit Country Store (2157 FM 1101, 830-625-9400)

Tonight – Jason Boland (acoustic) – 8pm

Sun – Jerrett Zoch – 1pm / Fast Movin Trains – 4:30pm

Tue – Gunns West – 8pm

Wed – Zack Walther – 7:30pm

 

Garth Brooks (Country) – Inside Studio G – Facebook Concert – Mondays at 7pm

 

Gristmill River Grill (1287 Gruene Road, 830-625-0684)
Tonight – Jason George – 6:30pm

 

Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Rd   830-606-1281)

Tonight – Oscar Ornelas Trio – 6pm

Sat – Lucas Jagneaux Band – 1pm / Josh Abbott (acoustic) – 8pm

Sun – Bret Graham – 12:30pm / Powell Brothers – 5pm

Mon – Bret Graham – 6pm

Tue – Lance Lipinsky – 6pm

Wed – The Georges – 6pm

 

Happy Cow (9103 FM 1102, Hunter, TX. 512-667-7510)

Fri – Dirty River Boys – 8:30pm

 

Krause’s Café (148 Castell, 830-632-5076)

Tonight – Alli Mattice Band – 6pm

Fri – The Craze – 6pm

Sat – The Georges – 6pm

Wed – Off the Grid – 6pm

 

Luckenbach Dance Hall (412 Town Loop, Luckenbach  830-997-3224)

Tonight – Dan West – 5pm

Fri – Hayden Whittingdon -1pm / The Shinyribs – 8pm

Sat – Weldon Henson 1pm / Glen Collins & the Alibis – 7pm

Sun – Butch Morgan & John Whipple 1pm / Jake Martin – 5pm

 

Max & Heather Stallings (Americana) – We Ain’t Drinking Alone – Wednesdays at 7pm

 

Old River City Café (2771 FM 725   830-620-1900)

Wed – Monte Good – 5:30pm

 

Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102, 512-392-3132)

Tonight – Mary Charlotte Young  – 7pm

Fri – Mark Jungers – 7pm

Sat – Kings of Hard Luck – 7pm

 

Rudy’s BBQ (844 Loop 337, 830-609-3337)

Tonight – Zack Walther – 6pm

 

Sequestered Songwriters (Various Genres) – Weekly Tribute Show – Mondays at 6pm

 

Shelley King (Blues / Rock) – Soul O Show – Sundays at 2pm

 

Todd Snider (Americana) – Live from East Nashville – Sundays at 11am

 

Wade Bowen (Americana) – Wade’s World – Check his Facebook page for times

 

Walt & Tina Wilkins (Americana) – Front Porch Session – Thursdays 8pm

 

Zack Walther Band (Americana) – Walther Wednesdays – Wednesdays at 7pm

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Music News – Oct. 1, 2020

Someone recently asked me if there was anything positive I could think of that has happened during the pandemic lockdown. It was a tough question because being in the entertainment and music business meant the complete shutdown of everything. The music world stopped on March 13 and only a tiny fraction of things is starting to return. However, if I was forced to name a few good things, I would start with the online music shows I’ve really enjoyed. Sunday mornings watching Todd Snider’s show Live from the Purple Building in Nashville has been a life saver. Not only is he a talented songwriter, he is hilarious to watch. His sense of humor is so dry and witty, it reminds me of Robin Williams when he was doing stand-up comedy routines. I usually write this column on Monday night and during the pandemic I’ve enjoyed the Sequestered Songwriters special that starts at 6pm on Monday nights. Local artists Zack Walther, Bret Graham, Drew Kennedy, Cody Canada and Wade Bowen all have fantastic weekly live streaming shows that I try to watch. While these shows can never replace actual live concerts, they have helped feed our need for good music. The pandemic has also given me the free time to rediscover some music that I’ve forgotten about. I’ve dug out some older albums I grew up listening to, plus I’ve spent time listening to some new artists. I love to read music autobiographies and usually finish a book every week, so I’ve definitely enjoyed having more time for that. I have re-read some older books, ones I read when they were first published. Last but not least, spending more time with my wife and our new puppy has been fun. Buddy is a rescue dog that has become a major part of our family and is now spoiled rotten. We take him everywhere we go so if things ever get back to normal, he’s not going to like being left at home. Maybe after the pandemic there will be new laws in place that allow dogs in all places of business. Whichever politician makes that promise is who I’m voting for.

Mile 0 Fest Announces Lineup for 2021

The Mile 0 Fest in Key West is one of the only music festivals that are trying to salvage their event. Normally it’s held in late January to early February but due to the worldwide pandemic, they moved the dates to April 27 through May 1, 2021. The festival organizers intentionally keep attendance within manageable levels so there is no overcrowding. The artists scheduled to play are Lucinda Williams, Blackberry Smoke, Randy Rogers Band, Pat Green, Shovels & Rope, Wade Bowen, Reckless Kelly, Old 97’s, Roger Creager, Jack Ingram, Hayes Carll, Cody Canada, Stoney LaRue, Shane Smith & the Saints, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jamie Lin Wilson, Walt Wilkins and Mike & the Moonpies, just to name a few. The acts that perform at the festival are the same acts that play Gruene Hall during the year, in fact, some fans call it the hill country key west fest because of all the Texas acts on the roster. If you are in the mood for some tropical fun, check them out at Mile0Fest.com for tickets and travel information.

Rolling Stone Top 100 Albums List is Updated

Back in the early 1970’s, Rolling Stone Magazine started compiling a list of the top albums of all time. The Top 100 list always ended with the Number 1 album being Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band by the Beatles. In fact, the Beatles album held the top spot every year from 1971 to 2019. For the past 49 years, other albums came and went, but the top album always remained the same, until this year. Last month, they released their list of the 500 top albums and for the most part, it was a total joke. They added four Kanye West albums but did not include a single album by Garth Brooks. It’s common knowledge that Garth has sold more albums than any artist in the history of recorded music. More than Elvis, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, the Eagles and Michael Jackson. They had no George Strait albums in the list. Strait has 61 number one hit songs, which is 20 more than his closest competitor of Merle Haggard. The only Haggard album they included was a box set of all his hits, which isn’t even a real album, it’s a record company compilation. They only included one Johnny Cash album, Live at Folsom Prison, and a live album is simply a greatest hits collection performed live and doesn’t count. AC/DC’s masterpiece Back in Black, the biggest selling rock album of all time, barely made the top 100 list, coming in at 84. So where is Sgt Pepper in the new list? It dropped to number 24 and Marvin Gaye’s 1971 album, What’s Going On, moved into the top spot. Make no mistake, it’s a fantastic album, but in the past 40 years, it was always listed about midway in the list. This year, they moved it 200 places to name it the current best album of all time. Once again, America’s most popular music magazine shows just how out of touch they are with music. These days, they seem more interested in politics, which is just what the world needs right now, another political magazine.

Elton John Box Set and New Tour Dates

After he embarked on his three-year farewell tour, Elton John had to slam on the brakes after the Covid pandemic struck. It brought the entire entertainment industry to a complete stop and forced over 1,000 tours to be cancelled or postponed. Just last week Elton announced his rescheduled dates for the European leg. The tour will restart on September 1, 2021 in Berlin and make its way across Europe with stops in Berlin, Switzerland, France, and Norway. The American leg will kick off on January 19, 2022 with shows in Houston, Chicago, Miami, and New York, just to name a few. During his forced vacation, Elton has compiled an 8-CD box set titled Jewel Box that contains 148 songs recorded between 1965 to 2019. They include deep album cuts, rare B sides, live tracks, and previously unreleased songs. The release date will be on November 13, just in time for Christmas gifts.

Live Streaming & Live Music Calendar

Below is a list of live and streaming shows you can attend or watch online. Events are listed alphabetically. To watch these shows, log onto their Facebook pages. If you do not see your favorite artist on this list, check out their website or Facebook page to see what they are doing. Please tip the musicians if you can afford to at their live or streaming shows.

 

Adam Johnson (Blues) – Solo live concert – Thursdays at 8pm

 

Band of Heathens (Americana) – Tuesday night Supper Club – Tuesdays at 7:30pm

 

Billy’s Ice  (1193 Loop 337, 830-692-8169)

Tonight – El Saddle – 8:30pm

Fri – Jesse Stratton – 9pm

Sat – Lucas Jagneaux – 9pm

Sun – School of Rock – 4pm / Lucas Taylor – 7pm

 

Blue Water Highway (Americana) – Thursday nights – 7pm

 

Bret Graham (Country) – Honky Tonk Mondays – Mondays at 6pm

 

Brett Cline (Pop/Rock) – Facebook Concerts at BCMusic Live – Thursdays at 7pm

 

Brookshire Brothers (18275 FM 306, Canyon Lake 830-935-3130)

Fri – Monte Good – 6pm

Sat – Alli Mattice Band – 6pm

 

Carolyn Wonderland (Blues/Rock) – Live from Wonderland – Wednesdays at 8pm

 

Cody Canada (Americana) – Facebook Concerts – Wednesdays at 8:30pm

 

Downtown Social Club (386 W. San Antonio, 830-214-6650)

Sat – Michael Carubelli – 6pm

 

Drew Kennedy (Folk/Americana) – Live in the Backyard – Wednesdays at 8pm

 

Freiheit Country Store (2157 FM 1101, 830-625-9400)

Tonight – Max & Heather Stalling – 8pm

Fri – Chris Colston / Randy Rogers (Acoustic) – 6pm

Sun – Jamie Weston – 1pm / Colby Albright – 4:30pm

Tue – Tyler McCollum – 5pm / Mario Flores – 8pm

Wed – Zack Walther – 7:30pm

 

Garth Brooks (Country) – Inside Studio G – Facebook Concert – Mondays at 7pm

 

Grapevine in Gruene   (1612 Hunter Rd  830-606-0093)

Fri – Lance Lipinsky – 5pm

Sat – Sylvia Kirk – 2pm

Sun – Johnny McGowan – 1pm

 

Gristmill River Grill (1287 Gruene Road, 830-625-0684)
Tonight – Clifton Jansky – 6:30pm

Wed – TBA – 6:30pm

 

Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Rd   830-606-1281)

Tonight – Kevin Fox Band – 6pm

Fri – TBA – 6pm

Sat – Landry & Company – 1pm

Sun – Henri Herbert Band – 12:30pm / Austin Gilliam – 6pm

Mon – Bret Graham – 6pm

 

Happy Cow (9103 FM 1102, Hunter, TX. 512-667-7510)

Fri – AC & the Bad Billy’s – 8:30pm

Sat – Zak & NEM  – 8:30pm

 

Krause’s Café (148 Castell, 830-632-5076)

Tonight – Soul Ethos (Ange K, Brett Cline, Jamie Cameron – 6pm

 

Luckenbach Dance Hall (412 Town Loop, Luckenbach  830-997-3224)

Tonight – Dan West – 5pm

Fri – Wagon Aces – 8pm

Sat – Hot Attacks – 1pm / Madison Rodges – 6pm

Sun – Walt Wilkins & Friends – 1pm / Jake Martin – 5pm

 

Max & Heather Stallings (Americana) – We Ain’t Drinking Alone – Wednesdays at 7pm

 

Old River City Café (2771 FM 725   830-620-1900)

Wed – Monte Good – 5:30pm

 

Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102, 512-392-3132)

Tonight – Tyler Cannon & Manzy Lowry – 7pm

Fri – The Jonathan’s – 6pm

Sat – Amber Lucille Band – 7pm

 

Rudy’s BBQ (844 Loop 337, 830-609-3337)

Tonight – Logun Timberlake – 6pm

 

Sequestered Songwriters (Various Genres) – Weekly Tribute Show – Mondays at 6pm

 

Shelley King (Blues / Rock) – Soul O Show – Sundays at 2pm

 

Todd Snider (Americana) – Live from East Nashville – Sundays at 11am

 

Wade Bowen (Americana) – Wade’s World – Check his Facebook page for times

 

Walt & Tina Wilkins (Americana) – Front Porch Session – Thursdays 8pm

 

Zack Walther Band (Americana) – Walther Wednesdays – Wednesdays at 7pm

Posted in Columns, Music News | Comments closed

Music News – Sept 24, 2020

Over the past six months, I have spoken to over 200 musicians, dozens of music venues, booking agents, band members, bus drivers and road managers. Every single person has their own opinions about the pandemic and the vast majority of them are going through some very tough times. It is very easy to let negativity creep in, I know it has for me. One thing that has remained true from the beginning of the pandemic is Alex Meixner’s positive attitude. Not only is he a glass half full guy, he’s a glass running over guy. Easily one of the most upbeat happy people I’ve ever met. We have been friends for a long time and I’ve rarely seen him angry. We had a good conversation last night during his long van ride from Florida to Texas. He will be in town for three nights of shows at Krause’s Café starting tonight. “It’s great to be playing live music again,” said Alex. “I’m excited to come back to New Braunfels and play for our friends. I think we all need some light-hearted fun, but at the same time, doing it in a safe way.” The pandemic has been tough on Alex financially, just like it has for all musicians. “There have been some strange gigs during this time,” he explained. “I recently played a private 80th birthday party and we were in one room and the guests were in another room so we could keep the correct distance away. But, we are creative artists, so we must be creative and do our best.” Alex has a new single and video for Ja Ja Ding Dong, the hit song from Will Ferrell’s movie Eurovision. You can check out the video on his Facebook page. For the Krause shows, his band will be Tom Haller on drums, Mike Fortunato on saxophone, Paddy King on fiddle and Michael Morris on vocals and buffoonery. Local musician Brett Cline will be on hand for keyboards and maybe accordion. Alex will of course be onstage to bring excitement and mayhem as be always does. Reserve your table now before they sell out at KrausesCafe.com.

Granger Smith at Gruene Hall

As a teenager growing up in Dallas, Granger Smith got interested in music at an early age. By 14 years old he was playing guitar and writing songs. He made the leap to Nashville at the age of 19, an age most musicians are just getting their first garage band together. He signed a songwriting contract with EMI Music and started writing songs. Naturally he hoped that a big country music star would record one of his songs, but he was also writing songs for his debut album too. By 1999 he had enough songs for his first album, Waiting on Forever. It got some attention in Nashville, but his Texas fans really loved it. He released five more albums independently before signing a record deal with Thirty Tigers in 2013 and released the Dirt Road Driveway album. He switched over to Broken Bow Records in 2015 for his next three albums, including Country Things Vol. 1 scheduled for release tomorrow. The 8-song CD is the first part of a collection of songs he wrote that focuses on things money can’t buy. When Granger performs at Gruene Hall on Saturday night, you can bet he will be playing some of these new songs. Check out GrueneHall.com for tickets and information on this show.

Johnny Bush at Riley’s Tavern

Born in the Kashmere Gardens neighborhood in Houston in 1935, John Bush Shinn grew up listening to the classic country music of Bob Wills like many other young Texans. His disc jockey uncle introduced him to wide variety of other music and by 1952, young John was playing drums in a local band. Wanting to be a solo artist, he moved to San Antonio and started playing at all the area honky-tonks. One announcer accidentally introduced him as Johnny Bush instead of John Bush Shinn and the young singer realized it was a better stage name and decided to keep it. With his solo singing career stalled out, he joined Ray Price’s Cherokee Cowboys as their new drummer. Also, in the band was a young bass player named Willie Nelson. When Willie left to start his career, Bush went with him. He would open shows for Willie, then climb behind the drum kit and play in his band. With Willie’s blessing, he restarted his solo career and signed with RCA Records, the same label Willie recorded for. His first single was Whiskey River, a song he had written the previous year. He called Willie and sang it over the phone and Willie replied, ‘Johnny, that’s a hit song.’ In fact, Nelson loved the song so much, he recorded it in 1973 and has opened every show with it from then on. Just as Johnny’s career was taking off, he completely lost his voice. For the next five years, he struggled to find the reason for his vocal issues. Hundreds of doctors later, he was finally diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called spasmodic dysphonia. With treatment, he regained about 70% of his vocal range. Over the years, he’s recorded over 23 albums, including his latest, The Absolute Johnny Bush, featuring duets with pals Dale Watson, Ray Price and Reckless Kelly. In 2007, Johnny released his autobiography titled Whiskey River – the True Story of Texas Honky-Tonk. Bush is a true Texas music legend and will performing a rare show on Friday night at Riley’s Tavern. The Joel Hofmann Band will be opening the show and ticket details can be found at RileysTavern.com.

Austin City Limits Announces 46th Season Line-up

Austin City Limits is the longest running music program in America, celebrating their 46th Anniversary this October. They just announced the new season that is set to premier on October 3 with a special John Prine feature. It will combine the best of his eight appearances starting with his debut show in 1978 and concluding with his final appearance in 2018. On October 10 will be the debut for United Kingdom country soul sensation, Yola. She’s performed at Whitewater Amphitheater a few times already and is very popular in Texas. A very special tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, titled 30 Years On, will be broadcast on October 19. His final appearance on the series was filmed on October 10, 1989, so 30 years later they will broadcast his 1983 and 1989 episodes. Singer songwriter Rufus Wainwright will make his debut appearance on October 24. Asleep at the Wheel will have a 50-years of the Wheel special on Halloween night, October 31. On November 7 they will rebroadcast the John Legend & the Roots episode due to popular demand. Bonnie Raitt’s 2012 appearance will be an encore show on November 14 and during the second half of the show they will feature Austin blues guitarist Jackie Venson’s debut appearance. It will be a double-header night of female blues guitarists. Last but not least, country rockers the Mavericks will make their third ACL appearance on November 21 to showcase their first Spanish language album, En Espanol.

Live Streaming & Live Music Calendar

Below is a list of live and streaming shows you can attend or watch online. Events are listed alphabetically. To watch these shows, log onto their Facebook pages. If you do not see your favorite artist on this list, check out their website or Facebook page to see what they are doing. Please tip the musicians if you can afford to at their live or streaming shows.

 

Adam Johnson (Blues) – Solo live concert – Thursdays at 8pm

 

Adobe Verde  (1724 Hunter Road, 830-629-0777)

Fri – Don Reilly – 6:30pm

Sat – Tony Taylor – 6:30pm

 

Band of Heathens (Americana) – Tuesday night Supper Club – Tuesdays at 7:30pm

 

Billy’s Ice  (1193 Loop 337, 830-692-8169)

Tonight – Rio Tripiano – 8:30pm

Fri – John Dempsey – 9pm

Sat – Bill Ayers – 9pm

Wed – Rio Tripiano & Friends – 8:30pm

 

Blue Water Highway (Americana) – Thursday nights – 7pm

 

Bret Graham (Country) – Honky Tonk Mondays – Mondays at 6pm

 

Brett Cline (Pop/Rock) – Facebook Concerts at BCMusic Live – Thursdays at 7pm

 

Brookshire Brothers (18275 FM 306, Canyon Lake 830-935-3130)

Fri – Jess Lee – 6pm

Sat – Sarah McSweeney Trio – 6pm

 

Carolyn Wonderland (Blues/Rock) – Live from Wonderland – Wednesdays at 8pm

 

Cody Canada (Americana) – Facebook Concerts – Wednesdays at 8:30pm

 

Downtown Social Club (386 W. San Antonio, 830-214-6650)

Sat – Landon Bullard – 6pm

 

Drew Kennedy (Folk/Americana) – Live in the Backyard – Mondays at 8pm

 

Freiheit Country Store (2157 FM 1101, 830-625-9400)

Tonight – Nick Lawrence / Bri Bagwell & the Banned – 6pm

Sat – Carson Jeffrey – 6pm

Sun – Jamie Weston & Bubba Westley – 1pm

Mon – Huser Brothers – 8pm

Wed – Zack Walther – 7:30pm

 

Garth Brooks (Country) – Inside Studio G – Facebook Concert – Mondays at 7pm

 

Grapevine in Gruene   (1612 Hunter Rd  830-606-0093)

Fri – Bret Graham – 5pm

Sat – Sylvia Kirk – 2pm

Sun – TBA – 1pm

 

Gristmill River Grill (1287 Gruene Road, 830-625-0684)
Tonight – Jackson Parten – 6:30pm

Wed – Bret Graham – 6:30pm

 

Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Rd   830-606-1281)

Tonight – Adam Johnson – 6pm

Fri – Ezra Charles Band – 6pm

Sat – Flat Top Jones – 1pm / Granger Smith – 8pm

Sun – Slim Bawb – 12:30pm / Kathy Murray – 6pm

Mon – Bret Graham – 6pm

Wed – Jason George & Friends – 6pm

 

Happy Cow (9103 FM 1102, Hunter, TX. 512-667-7510)

Fri – Powell Brothers – 8:30pm

Sat – Chris Max Band – 9pm

 

Krause’s Café (148 Castell, 830-632-5076)

Tonight – Alex Meixner – 6pm

Fri – Alex Meixner – 6pm

Sat – Alex Meixner – 6pm

 

Luckenbach Dance Hall (412 Town Loop, Luckenbach  830-997-3224)

Tonight – Dan West – 5pm

Fri – Hot Texas Swing Band – 8pm

Sat – Clayton Gardner – 1pm/ David Touchton – 7pm

Sun – Jesse Stratton – 1pm / Jake Martin – 5pm

 

Max & Heather Stallings (Americana) – We Ain’t Drinking Alone – Wednesdays at 7pm

 

Old River City Café (2771 FM 725   830-620-1900)

Wed – Monte Good – 5:30pm

 

Pour Haus  (343 W San Antonio, 830-214-6033)

Tonight – Anthony Wright Band – 8:30pm

Fri – Kerosene Drifters – 8:30pm

Sat – Clever Name Band – 8:30pm

Sun – Garrett Mann & Friends –  8:30pm

Mon – Tony Taylor & Friends – 8:30pm

Tue – Open Mic Night w/ Bob Schmueckle – 8:30pm

Wed – Shawn Hart – 8:30pm

 

Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102, 512-392-3132)

Tonight – Sam Watson  – 4pm

Fri – Joel Hofmann Band / Johnny Bush – 9pm

Sat – Sophia Johnson Band – 7pm

 

Rudy’s BBQ (844 Loop 337, 830-609-3337)

Tonight – Paul Eldridge – 6pm

 

Sequestered Songwriters (Various Genres) – Weekly Tribute Show – Mondays at 6pm

 

Shelley King (Blues / Rock) – Soul O Show – Sundays at 2pm

 

Todd Snider (Americana) – Live from East Nashville – Sundays at 11am

 

Wade Bowen (Americana) – Wade’s World – Check his Facebook page for times

 

Walt & Tina Wilkins (Americana) – Front Porch Session – Thursdays 8pm

 

Zack Walther Band (Americana) – Walther Wednesdays – Wednesdays at 7pm

Posted in Columns, Music News | Comments closed

Music News – Sept. 17, 2020

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that live music was trying to make a comeback and so far, it seems to be barely hanging on. Not without its challenges though. Many venues can only allow a few fans inside and those that can be inside must always stay seated. Each week I talk to dozens of musicians and venue owners. The story is all the same. They have never faced such devastating times. It completely crippled the entire entertainment industry. The megastars will survive, it’s the middle and lower level musicians that are barely hanging on. I spoke to one very well-known Texas artist that was selling everything in his house, including his guitars, in an effort to keep his band and crew paid each month. Some artists simply can’t pay their band and crew, which forces them to find a job anywhere they can. Most don’t qualify for unemployment or the personal loans. On a more positive note, at least one music festival is trying to hold on. The Mile 0 Fest in Key West, Florida moved their dates from January to April 27 and will be announcing the line-up on September 25. I will keep you posted as more information is released. If you feel safe to do so, please support any live music shows you can. Many of these musicians haven’t earned a dime since early March and could really use some help.

Bruce Springsteen Prepares New Album for October Release

Like many other quarantined musicians, Bruce Springsteen has been using his forced downtime to finish his new album titled ‘Letter to You.’ At the end of 2019 while Bruce was riding the wave of his last solo album ‘Western Stars,’ he had a surge of creativity and continued writing more songs. The new tunes were a better fit for the E Street Band so he informed the band that they would soon be in the studio together. Then the pandemic hit and like everything else, their plans were put on hold. As weeks turned into months, Bruce decided to invite the band to his home studio housed in one end of the horse barn behind his home in Colts Neck, NJ. Bruce owns the largest horse farm in the state and his daughter Jessica is a champion equestrian. The title track is the first single and video released from the new album. It was filmed with the entire band inside the studio. There are three songs on the new album that date back to the early 70’s when Bruce was recording his first two albums. The songs are Janey Needs A Shooter, If I Was A Priest and Songs for Orphans. Of the three, Janey was the only one that has seen a previous release when Warren Zevon recorded it on his 1980 album, Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School. He changed the title to Jeannie Needs A Shooter and also revised some of the lyrics. The other two were on the original demo tape Bruce recorded at CBS Records Studio when he was trying to get a contract with the label. It will be interesting to see if these songs will sound anything like they did when he recorded them in a solo acoustic format. So far, no other songs from the album have been leaked to the public. His guitarist Nils Lofgren commented that the album contains some of Bruce’s best songs, which sets the bar pretty high. This is Bruce’s 20th studio album and will be released on October 23rd. While there will be no major tours this year, there’s hope that he and the E Street Band will be able to tour in 2021.

Tanya Tucker Releases Live Album During Pandemic

The year 2019 was an exceptionally good one for Texas native Tanya Tucker. Though she had to be convinced to let singer songwriters Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings produce her latest album, While I’m Living, she is happy about the results. It earned her a Grammy among other things and hoisted her back to the top of the country music charts. Of all the female country artists, Tucker easily has the most interesting story. A superstar at 13, she grew up fast and hard in a crazy business. It’s safe to say she rarely said no to any adventure. Her years spent dating Glen Campbell took the hard-partying lifestyle to the extreme levels. By the time she turned 30, she had experienced more things than women twice her age. By 2017, she had basically given up on releasing any new records, choosing to tour on the strength of her deep catalog of hits. When Carlile and Shooter approached her about recording some new songs they had written just for her, she was skeptical. Fortunately, she relented and followed their advice. Her tour last year to promote the new album saw her changing her nightly set list for the first time in decades. She added six songs from the album into her show, along with a cool medley of hits by Bruce Springsteen, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash. On October 16 and 17 of 2019, she played two sold out shows at the famous Troubadour Club in West Hollywood. It was the venue that launched the careers of Elton John, the Doors and Dwight Yoakam. Both nights were recorded but the October 16 show was magical, so they decided to release a live album from that night rather than combining the best of both nights. As is often the case, the new Live at the Troubadour album only includes 15 of the 21 songs she performed that night. This seems to be a common practice in the music business where rarely is the entire show released on a live album. It is scheduled for release on October 16, on the one-year anniversary of the concert. On her website, TanyaTucker.com, you can see a sample video clip from the concert so hopefully they will issue a live DVD from the show and include the entire concert.

Gruene Hall Brings Back Live Music

Last week Gruene Hall brought back live music to their main stage with Austin’s own Jack Ingram. He performed a solo acoustic show, which is how he started his career. Jack is a master storyteller and is also an award-winning songwriter. He co-wrote Miranda Lamberts huge hit, Tin Man. The hall put tables on the dance floor so a safe distance could always be maintained. Masks were required if you were moving around the hall but could be removed while you are at your table. This week, they are continuing the live music with the Chris Beall Trio tonight followed by Van Wilks on Friday night. At press time, the Henry Herbert Trio are booked for Saturday at 1pm. Keep an eye on their website and Facebook page in case they secure a major act for Saturday night. Silvercloud will handle the noon slot on Sunday and the ever-popular Bret Graham will perform on Monday night. Jason George, lead vocalist of The Georges, will play an acoustic set on Wednesday with some special guests joining him. Because of the pandemic, certain guidelines must be followed so be sure you pay attention to all the new rules. It is always best to check the venue website or Facebook page before attending a show, just to be sure you have the most current information.

Brookshire Brothers in Canyon Lake Bring Back Concert Series

Attending a live concert at a grocery store may not seem to be an enjoyable experience, but Brookshire Brothers is not your ordinary grocery store. The employee owned grocery chain has a store in Canyon Lake that started an outdoor music series a few years ago. On Friday nights they offer a steak dinner served before the music starts and on Saturday nights, they serve a catfish or BBQ dinner. Doors open to the outdoor patio area at 6pm and the music usually starts about 7pm. This Friday night they feature Steele River Band and on Saturday night it’s Sweet Nickole. Both bands play a mix of country and Americana, so there is something every age group will enjoy. The back-patio area is big enough that social distancing can be practiced. The meals are fantastic and are cooked fresh on-site. If you are planning on attending one of the shows at Brookshire Brothers, be sure to call first to be sure there have been no schedule changes. During this crazy pandemic, venues and bands are doing their best to comply with all safety guidelines which can force changes more often than normal.

Live Streaming & Live Music Calendar

Below is a list of live and streaming shows you can attend or watch online. Events are listed alphabetically. To watch these shows, log onto their Facebook pages. If you do not see your favorite artist on this list, check out their website or Facebook page to see what they are doing. Please tip the musicians if you can afford to at their live or streaming shows.

 

Adam Johnson (Blues) – Solo live concert – Thursdays at 8pm

 

Adobe Verde  (1724 Hunter Road, 830-629-0777)

Fri – JJ Garrett – 6:30pm

Sat – Bru’s Tunes – 6:30pm

 

Alex Meixner (Polka) – Facebook Polka Time – Sundays at 1pm CST.

 

Band of Heathens (Americana) – Tuesday night Supper Club – Tuesdays at 7:30pm

 

Billy’s Ice  (1193 Loop 337, 830-692-8169)

Tonight – Clever Name Band – 8:30pm

Fri – Genevieve Allen – 8:30pm

Sat – Hunter Road Trio / Shaker Hymns – 8:30pm

Sun – Tony Taylor – 4pm

Wed – Lady & the Tramps – 8:30pm

 

Blue Water Highway (Americana) – Thursday nights – 7pm

 

Bret Graham (Country) – Honky Tonk Mondays – Mondays at 6pm

 

Brett Cline (Pop/Rock) – Facebook Concerts at BCMusic Live – Thursdays at 7pm

 

Brookshire Brothers (18275 FM 306, Canyon Lake 830-935-3130)

Fri – Steele River Band (Country) – 6pm

Sat – Sweet Nickole (Country) – 6pm

 

Carolyn Wonderland (Blues/Rock) – Live from Wonderland – Wednesdays at 8pm

 

Cody Canada (Americana) – Facebook Concerts – Wednesdays at 8:30pm

 

Downtown Social Club (386 W. San Antonio, 830-214-6650)

Sat – Bart Crow (Americana) – 6pm

 

Drew Kennedy (Folk/Americana) – Live in the Backyard – Mondays at 8pm

 

Freiheit Country Store (2157 FM 1101, 830-625-9400)

Tonight – Mason Lively & Gunnar Latham – 7:30pm/ Giovannie & Hired Guns – 9:30pm

Fri – Austin James / Waves / Cody Canada & the Departed – 7:30pm

Sat – Clay Hollis / Jon Wolfe – 8pm

Wed – Zack Walther – 7:30pm

 

Garth Brooks (Country) – Inside Studio G – Facebook Concert – Mondays at 7pm

 

Grapevine in Gruene   (1612 Hunter Rd  830-606-0093)

Fri – Bret Graham – 5pm

Sat – Dirty River Jazz Band – 2pm

Sun – Johnny McGowan – 1pm

 

Gristmill River Grill (1287 Gruene Road, 830-625-0684)
Tonight – Jason George – 6:30pm

Wed – Bret Graham – 6:30pm

 

Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Rd   830-606-1281)

Tonight – Chris Beall Trio – 6pm

Fri – Van Wilks Trio – 6pm

Sat – Henry Herbert Trio – 1pm

Mon – Bret Graham – 6pm

Wed – Jason George & Friends – 6pm

 

Happy Cow (9103 FM 1102, Hunter, TX. 512-667-7510)

Tonight – Dave Fenley – 8:30pm

Fri – Austin Gilliam Band – 8:30pm

 

Krause’s Café (148 Castell, 830-632-5076)

Tonight – The Selfless Lovers – 7pm

Fri – Zack Walther Band – 6pm

Sun – Gospel Brunch w/ Clifton Jansky (Call for times)

 

Luckenbach Dance Hall (412 Town Loop, Luckenbach  830-997-3224)

Tonight – Dan West – 5pm

Fri – Jake McLain – 4pm / Bret Mullins Band – 7pm

Sat – The Merles – 1pm / Jake Worthington/ Randall King – 8pm

Sun – Jake Martin – 5pm

 

Max & Heather Stallings (Americana) – We Ain’t Drinking Alone – Wednesdays at 7pm

 

Old River City Café (2771 FM 725   830-620-1900)

Wed – Monte Good – 5:30pm

 

Pour Haus  (343 W San Antonio, 830-214-6033)

Tonight – Myles Smith & Friends – 8:30pm

Fri – Dirty White Horse – 8:30pm

Sat – JJ Garrett Band – 8:30pm

Sun – The Vagabonds – 8:30pm

Mon – Damon Curtis & Friends – 8:30pm

Tue – Open Mic Night w/ Bob Schmueckle – 8:30pm

Wed – Matt Kersh & Friends – 8:30pm

 

Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102, 512-392-3132)

Tonight – Mike Ethan Messick & Friends – 7pm

Fri – The Homebodies – 7pm

Sat – Chris Cuevas Project – 7pm

 

Rudy’s BBQ (844 Loop 337, 830-609-3337)

Tonight – Tyler Cannon – 6pm

 

Sequestered Songwriters (Various Genres) – Weekly Tribute Show – Mondays at 6pm

 

Shelley King (Blues / Rock) – Soul O Show – Sundays at 2pm

 

Todd Snider (Americana) – Live from East Nashville – Sundays at 11am

 

Wade Bowen (Americana) – Wade’s World – Check his Facebook page for times

 

Walt & Tina Wilkins (Americana) – Front Porch Session – Thursdays 8pm

 

Zack Walther Band (Americana) – Walther Wednesdays – Wednesdays at 7pm

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Music News – Sept. 10, 2020

Finally, we have some live music to write about and go see in person. Many bars are re-opening as restaurants and hosting live music again. Gruene Hall and Krause’s Café are open and have live music scheduled. Always call or check their websites before venturing out, just in case there are some last-minute changes to the schedule. The bars are now offering food so expect to order something to eat along with your drinks.

Aaron Watson at Freiheit, plus hospitality benefit

Freiheit Country Store will host two big events this week, starting Friday night with Texas country star Aaron Watson. This Amarillo native built his career the old-fashioned way, one dancehall at a time. Starting with his first album released in 1999, Watson has always been an independent artist, which means he never signed a major record deal. He recorded his albums, promoted them, toured constantly, and paid for everything himself. This gave Aaron complete control of his career, something few artists ever achieve. His 2015 album, The Underdog, became the first independent album to enter the Billboard Country Album charts at Number One. The follow-up album, Vaquero in 2017, also entered the charts at the top spot. For his 2019 album, Red Bandana, Watson really stretched out with his writing, causing some fans to wonder if he was changing his sound to get Nashville’s attention. They were wasting their time worrying about Aaron. If there is one thing you can count on, it’s him staying true to his roots. Those roots run deep, all the way back to a pawn shop guitar and Sunday’s singing hymns at the Church of Christ. He lucked out in his college days when a chance meeting with country star Larry Gatlin led to the young singer being mentored by Gatlin. Watson would write songs then record them on cassette and mail them to Gatlin to critique. The feedback was often brutal, but Watson never gave up. Gatlin told him to write a thousand songs, then throw them all away. “Then you will be a songwriter,” explained Gatlin. Watson has written almost every song on the fifteen albums in his catalog, a feat few singers can match. These days, Aaron sells out the Houston Rodeo and basketball arena’s, so his show at Freiheit will be much more intimate than fans normally get to see. On Saturday, Freiheit will host the Hospitality Tour featuring William Clark Green and Blue Water Highway, plus many more. The fun kicks off around 11am with plenty of things to keep folks entertained. There will be a silent auction, lots of live music and it is all to benefit workers in the hospitality industry. You can get all the information and tickets at FreiheitCountryStore.net.

Randy Rogers honors Charlie Duke

Last week our city honored Astronaut Charlie Duke with the coveted Texan of the Year award. At the ceremony held at the Civic Center, local singer Randy Rogers was a surprise guest and sang his song ‘Charlie Duke Took Country Music to the Moon.’ The song was written by Randy and Robert Earl Keen for the duet album they recorded under the fictional name, the Stryker Brothers. I had the opportunity to interview Randy right after his soundcheck and learned the story of how he met Charlie and how the idea of the song came to be. “I met Charlie at a fish fry,” explained Randy. “I knew he was going to be there, and I had read about him. I tried not to invade his space, but I went straight to him and started talking about his friendship with Merle and Dolly. Charlie explained that Bill Bailey, the DJ from KIKK-FM in Houston had made some tapes for him. When country music artists would stop by the radio station, Bill would get them to record messages for Charlie. Robert and I were already writing songs for our album and Charlie gave me copies of the tapes. I told Robert I wanted to write a song about Charlie, so we took him to lunch at McAdoo’s Seafood and interrogated him about his moon walk. Then I went to Robert’s ranch in Kerrville and we wrote the song. It’s a timeline of his life and we learned a lot about him. He is a kind and caring human being, he loves his family and his God, and he’s very humble. We tried to make the song sound like the Bakersfield music from the 60’s.” Randy admitted he was a little nervous about performing the song in front of Charlie, simply because he admired him so much and wanted it to be perfect. The people that were there all agree, Randy did a fantastic job honoring his hero.

Wade Bowen and Hayes Carll Release New Albums

Possibly the only good thing that has come from the current pandemic is the new albums that are being recorded and released. Two top Americana artists, Wade Bowen and Hayes Carll, released new albums this week. Hayes called his 10-song collection Alone Together Sessions. It features previous hits re-recorded in an acoustic format. He even includes a duet with his wife, Allison Moorer, and a duet with Ray Wylie Hubbard. Wade Bowen’s 6 track CD is titled The Waiting, which is the perfect name for these insane times. Wade gives his fans studio recordings of some rare songs he’s only performed live and throws in his version of his favorite Phil Collins song, I Wish It Would Rain Down. Both albums show the talent and versatility of these musicians and will help hold us over until things get back to normal.

New Ozzy Osbourne documentary on A&E

There is a new documentary on A&E about the incredible life of Ozzy Osbourne. They are calling it ‘The Nine Lives of Ozzy’ and it is a very fitting name. From growing up poor in Birmingham, England, to his troubled teenage years, a six-month prison sentence to joining Black Sabbath. They are considered the first heavy metal band and influenced hundreds of other groups like Metallica, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Motley Crue, just to name a few. His son Jack helped produce the documentary and there is plenty of rare unreleased video of his days with Sabbath and his solo career. It reveals his decades of drug and alcohol abuse, his long list of health problems, his near fatal ATV wreck, and his many rehab visits. It is an extremely entertaining story, even if you aren’t a fan of his music. It’s a testament to how much abuse the human body can endure. Fortunately, they use close captioning during most of Ozzy’s talking, otherwise you will never understand a single word he says.

Farm Aid to be a virtual concert

The annual Farm Aid concert has been held every year for the past 35 years, but the crazy pandemic strikes again and like every other festival, it has been cancelled. Sure, the organizers are holding a virtual streaming day of music on September 26 and calling it ‘Farm Aid at Home.’

Back on July 13, 1985 during the massive Live Aid concert in Philadelphia, Bob Dylan addressed the crowd and the TV cameras and said it would be nice if something could be done to help the American farmers. Willie Nelson was watching the broadcast from his tour bus and agreed with Dylan. Within 48 hours, he was organizing the first Farm Aid to be held on September 22, 1985 in Champaign, Illinois. He convinced John Mellencamp and Neil Young to join him as the primary leaders of the organization. A few years later they convinced Dave Matthews to join their group. For the past three decades they have raised millions of dollars for family farmers and Willie promises to not stop as long as he’s alive. Obviously, it’s a safe bet that the other acts will carry on his wishes long after Willie is gone. It is a shame that these benefits are still needed, you would think our politicians could figure out a way to save the farmers. Neither political party has done anything to fix the problem, even though they both have had presidents in the White House that promised to do so. To watch this year’s virtual concert, log on to their website at FarmAid.org. It starts at 8pm and you can see these artists; Bonnie Raitt, Boz Skaggs, Lukas Nelson and Nathaniel Rateliff, plus many more.

Live Streaming & Live Music Calendar

Below is a list of live and streaming shows you can attend or watch online. Events are listed alphabetically. To watch these shows, log onto their Facebook pages. If you do not see your favorite artist on this list, check out their website or Facebook page to see what they are doing. Please tip the musicians if you can afford to at their live or streaming shows.

 

Adam Johnson (Blues) – Solo live concert – Thursdays at 8pm

 

Alex Meixner (Polka) – Facebook Polka Time – Sundays at 1pm CST.

 

Band of Heathens (Americana) – Tuesday night Supper Club – Tuesdays at 7:30pm

 

Billy’s Ice  (1193 Loop 337, 830-692-8169)

Tonight – AJ Johnson – 8:30pm

Fri – Billie Joe – 9pm

Sat – Kin Faux – 9pm

 

Blue Water Highway (Americana) – Thursday nights – 7pm

 

Bret Graham (Country) – Honky Tonk Mondays – Mondays at 6pm

 

Brett Cline (Pop/Rock) – Facebook Concerts at BCMusic Live – Thursdays at 7pm

 

Brookshire Brothers (18275 FM 306, Canyon Lake 830-935-3130)

Fri – Staudt Brothers & No Chance Band – 6pm

Sat – Joel Hofmann Band – 6pm

 

Carolyn Wonderland (Blues/Rock) – Live from Wonderland – Wednesdays at 8pm

 

Cody Canada (Americana) – Facebook Concerts – Wednesdays at 8:30pm

 

Downtown Social Club (386 W. San Antonio, 830-214-6650)

Sat – Cody Hibbard / Casey Donahew – 8pm

 

Drew Kennedy (Folk/Americana) – Live in the Backyard – Mondays at 8pm

 

Freiheit Country Store (2157 FM 1101, 830-625-9400)

Tonight – Lady & the Tramp/ Peaches & Crème – 7:30pm

Fri – Josh Grider / Aaron Watson – 7pm

Sat – Hospitality Tour w/ William Clark Green – 11am

Wed – Zack Walther (Americana) – 7pm

 

Garth Brooks (Country) – Inside Studio G – Facebook Concert – Mondays at 7pm

 

Gristmill River Grill (1287 Gruene Road, 830-625-0684)
Tonight – Eric Middleton – 6:30pm

Wed – Bret Graham – 6:30pm

 

Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene Rd   830-606-1281)

Sat – Jason James Band (Country) – 1pm

 

Happy Cow (9103 FM 1102, Hunter, TX. 512-667-7510)

Sat – Slim Bawb & Lil’ Howard (Blues) – 7:30pm

 

Krause’s Café (148 Castell, 830-632-5076)

Fri – The Vagabonds (Rock, Country) – 6pm

Sun – Soul Sessions (R&B, Soul) – 6pm

 

Luckenbach Dance Hall (412 Town Loop, Luckenbach  830-997-3224)

Tonight – Dan West – 5pm

Fri – Hayden Whittington – 1pm / Koncrete Kings – 8pm

Sat – Butch Morgan – 1pm / Spirit Cloud – 6pm

Sun – Jarred Sterrett – 1pm / Jake Martin – 5pm

 

Max & Heather Stallings (Americana) – We Ain’t Drinking Alone – Wednesdays at 7pm

 

NB House Concerts (250 Timber Wild, 210-617-3765)

Sun – John Wort Hannam (Folk) – 5pm (Virtual)

 

Old River City Café (2771 FM 725   830-620-1900)

Wed – Monte Good – 5:30pm

 

Pour Haus  (343 W San Antonio, 830-214-6033)

Tonight – Brent Michael Wood – 8:30pm

Fri – Mark Odom Band – 8:30pm

Sat – Matt Moeller Band – 8:30pm

Sun – Shawn Hart – 8:30pm

Mon – Ben Cina & Friends – 8:30pm

Tue – Open Mic Night w/ Bob Schmueckle – 8:30pm

Wed – Andrae Blisset – 8:30pm

 

Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102, 512-392-3132)

Tonight – Glen Collins – 7pm

Fri – Mark Jungers – 7pm

Sat – Beth Lee & the Breakups – 7pm

 

Rudy’s BBQ (844 Loop 337, 830-609-3337)

Tonight – Don Reilly – 6pm

 

Sequestered Songwriters (Various Genres) – Weekly Tribute Show – Mondays at 6pm

 

Shelley King (Blues / Rock) – Soul O Show – Sundays at 2pm

 

Todd Snider (Americana) – Live from East Nashville – Sundays at 11am

 

Wade Bowen (Americana) – Wade’s World – Check his Facebook page for times

 

Walt & Tina Wilkins (Americana) – Front Porch Session – Thursdays 8pm

 

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NB Magazine – October

The New Braunfels music scene is one of the strongest in Texas. Few cities can match the number of musicians living in our area or the famous venues we have for them to perform in. This month, in part Ten of a Twelve-part history about our local music scene, I will concentrate on the music festivals that play a big part in our history. The two local festivals that are centered around Americana music are the Americana Jam in May and the Gruene Music & Wine Fest that takes place in October, with Gruene Hall hosting both events.

The Gruene Music & Wine Fest is the oldest, getting its start as a one-day festival in 1986 as a celebration of Texas and Americana music. Comal County United Way was selected as the beneficiary of the money raised at the festival. The event was an instant success and soon expanded to a four-day festival with craft beer being added a few years ago. It has become one of the biggest annual fundraisers for our local United Way. The abundance of local talent was a huge factor in making this event so successful. In the early years, there were enough local musicians to fill the entire line-up. As the years went by, the festival grew to four days and included a celebrity guitar auction, an acoustic performance with a catered meal plus outdoor stages that featured live music and wine tasting. Due to the current pandemic, this year’s festival will be a virtual one. You can find all the information at their website, GrueneMusicandWineFest.org.

On June 8, 1997, local Americana radio station KNBT joined forces with Gruene Hall to host their first KNBT Birthday Bash. It was a huge success and was a way for the station to thank their many loyal fans. The following year, they moved the event to a Sunday in May, rebranded it the Americana Music Jam and started donating money to local charities. It features live music on two stages starting at noon and going strong for the next twelve hours. In its 24 year history, hundreds of artists have graced the stage, including Bret Graham, Pat Green, Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen, Cody Canada, Robert Earl Keen, Marty Stuart, Hal Ketchum, Cory Morrow, Reckless Kelly and Hayes Carll, just to name a few. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced the Jam to be cancelled this year, but in 2021 they will be celebrating 25 years so you can bet it will be a major celebration.

There are two major music festivals that are not held in Texas, but our city has a big impact on their success. The first, and oldest, is Steamboat Music Fest, which of course, started in Steamboat, Colorado. John Dickson had the idea to combine ski trips with live music and started the event in 1985 with a few college buddies and one band. He attended college in San Marcos at Texas State and even bartended for awhile at Gruene Hall. He knew how much college kids loved to party and listen to Americana music. Combining the two proved highly successful, which prompted him to form Dickson Productions. Held in early January each year, the lineup is very similar to the two New Braunfels festivals. The pandemic forced the 2021 festival to cancel, but the January 2022 promises to be one of the best ever. At the opposite end of America there’s the Mile 0 Festival, held each year in Key West, Florida. It’s the newest festival, with 2018 being the year they officially started. The organizers deliberately keep the attendance small so that it isn’t too crowded, mainly because Key West is only about two miles wide and four miles long. The lineup consists of all your favorite Americana and Red Dirt musicians. Normally the Mile 0 Fest is held in late January but this year they are moving it to April in an effort to not cancel it.

All four of these music festivals play a huge part in the vibrant New Braunfels music scene. The Americana Jam, Gruene Music & Wine Fest and Steamboat Music Fest were started before our local music scene became so well known. Once the festivals got established, they attracted musicians from all over Texas and Oklahoma. The Steamboat Music Fest really hit its stride after John Dickson started booking local Americana and Red Dirt artists. The Mile 0 Fest simply gave these same acts somewhere tropical to go during the winter months. Over the past few years, other events have started up, like Frio Fest in Concan, Viva Big Bend Fest in Marfa and Alpine and Float Fest in San Marcos. The one thing they all have in common is the music. As the world knows, many musicians that play all these festivals live within a 45-mile radius of New Braunfels. Just one more reason our city is known as one of the best music cities in America.

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NB Magazine – Redbird Listening Room

The idea to start a listening room in New Braunfels started many years ago for local singer songwriter Dallas Burrow. A native of our city, Dallas has been a traveling musician for most of his life. I became aware of his music back in 2012 when he released his first album, Western Town. As a young troubadour, he traveled the world and lived a nomadic life in his younger days. After years of rambling and misdeeds, he finally got sober, found true love, and became a father. At the ripe age of 32, that long lonesome highway led him back home. “In my wandering days, I traveled all over the world,” explained Dallas, “and I played in a lot of different rooms. I wanted to bring some of that diversity to New Braunfels. When I was in Nashville recording my Southern Wind album, I played a songwriter showcase at the Bluebird Café, plus I was able to perform in a lot of listening rooms. I wanted to offer that same experience for our local songwriters.”

The rules at a listening room are simple, you come to listen, not to talk. Cell phones are silenced, and chatty patrons are asked to leave if they continue talking. It’s a place where the songs take center stage, where fans can really hear the lyrics and the stories behind each song. “I wanted to fill a void in our local music scene,” said Dallas. “New Braunfels has a lot of great venues, but not many that are intimate listening rooms. It’s often tough to get a good seat where you can relax and enjoy the music. People who appreciate good songwriters can come, get comfortable and take in an intimate acoustic performance.”

Dallas had the idea and his mother, Carolyn Lehmann, had the building. As the owner of Direct Texas, she had a vacant home on her property. It was once owned in the 1930’s by Louise Henne Smith. It was sold in the 60’s to two men who ran it as R & M Plumbing. They sold it to James Bligh in 1980 and he ran Interstate Motors on the property until Carolyn purchased it in 2014. It had been boarded up for about 30 years, so it needed a lot of work. First, they had the pier and beam foundation leveled, then an engineer helped design the support beams to allow some of the inside walls to be removed. Local carpenters used reclaimed wood on the interior walls and ceiling, giving the building a beautiful historic look. Dallas and Carolyn had the vision to see past what the old building was and what it could become.

Once the renovation was complete, it was time to give it a name. “We had discussed some different bird names to pay homage to the Bluebird Café in Nashville,” explained Dallas. “We thought of mockingbird, even thunderbird but there’s an old legend about when you see a cardinal, it represents an ancestor visiting you from the afterlife. While we were considering names, we started seeing more cardinals around the building, so it seemed like the universe was trying to tell us something. Once they settled on a name, they commissioned local artist Sarah Heinbaugh to paint the beautiful Redbird mural on the front wall.

“It’s funny, we may be the only music venue that was helped by the pandemic,” Dallas is telling me. “As a performer, I had just started hitting my stride. I had released my record last fall. I was opening shows for my friend Charlie Crockett and I was planning on being on the road during this time. If there’s a silver lining of the pandemic, it’s that it grounded me here in town which gave me time to work on this building. I’ve had the past 6 months to be here and personally help see this project to completion. We picked up the old theatre seats from some resale shops and the church pews we got from a family at Canyon Lake. The furniture in the green room is from my grandmother’s house. It was used in the movie, The Newton Boys. The way the room is laid out, there’s multiple seating opportunities. The capacity is about 80 people, but we are thinking 60 is comfortable. Since we aren’t a bar and don’t sell alcohol, we can legally open now, but we want to be responsible, so we are taking our time to do things right.”

A few weeks ago, Dallas hosted his first songwriter’s night at the Redbird. It was a private gathering of his favorite local songwriters, inspired by his mentor Kent Finlay’s Songwriter’s Circle at Cheatham Street Warehouse. It included Al Barlow, Lucas Taylor, Chad Boyd, David Lee, Bree Jarvis, Colin Fox, and Sterling Finlay, just to name a few. Sterling brought a special gift for Dallas that insured Kent’s blessing on the new venue.

Dallas is currently recording a new album at Bruce Robison’s studio near Lockhart and hopes to have it completed soon. He has also started filming an interview series called “The Redbird Music Hour: Supper and Songs with your host Dallas Burrow”. With the help from local videographer Donnie Aronson, from Johnny Bender Productions, they film a segment on a local musician or songwriter. Dallas describes the process, “I sit down at a local restaurant with a songwriter or musician and eat a meal and get to know them. I learn where they came from and how they got into the music business. This helps promote a local restaurant and lets us get to know the artist. Then we return to the Redbird, trade songs, and tell the stories behind the songs. We have two episodes in the can, and we are pitching it to Austin Music TV. We are also creating a YouTube channel and posting it on our website.”

Soon I predict the Redbird Listening Room will join the ranks of other famous venues like Anderson Fair in Houston, the Old Quarter in Galveston, the Bugle Boy in La Grange and the Bluebird Café in Nashville. It is located at 1260 South Business 35 and you can check out their website at RedbirdListeningRoom.com for more information on this true Texas treasure.

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Music News – Sept 3, 2020

For the first time in months, though it seems like years, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel for live music. With the way this year is going, the light may be an oncoming train. However, like we Texans do, we figure out a way to overcome all obstacles and make the best of a bad situation. When the bars were forced to close for the second time on June 26, it crippled their ability to earn a living. Without a firm timeline to reopen, bar owners had to get creative. Several modified their TABC permits to allow them to reopen as a restaurant and start serving food along with drinks. So far, Billy’s Ice, the Pour Haus, Pale Horse Drinkery and Riley’s Tavern are in this group. The good news is that with their reopening comes the return of live music to these venues. Billy’s Ice started their live music last week, with Riley’s and Pour Haus starting this week. Not all their live music schedules were available at press time but should be posted on their websites within the next few days. If you feel safe venturing out in public, all these local venues could use your support.

Zack Walther Brings Live Music Back to Rudy’s BBQ

In addition to offering great food, Rudy’s BBQ also has live music on Thursday afternoons featuring many of our local artists. The music is free, but tips are always appreciated. Like all restaurants in Texas, Rudy’s was hit hard by the pandemic and was forced to close for a while. When they reopened, it was only for 50% occupancy, which as we all know is extremely hard to make a profit. Obviously, their live music series had to be put on hold but now there is some good news for a change. Starting tonight, the live music returns with Zack Walther at 6pm. The remaining weeks in September will feature Don Reilly, Tyler Cannon and Paul Eldridge. If you don’t feel like writing these names down or putting the schedule in your phone, no worries, you can find the list right here each Thursday in our concert calendar. So, head on out to Rudy’s BBQ tonight, enjoy some tasty vittles and listen to some great music from Zack Walther.

Live Nation Cancels Bryan Adams Concert

Live Nation, the biggest concert promoter in the world, announced a return to live music with a show featuring Bryan Adams to be held in Dusseldorf, Germany on Friday, September 4. Over 12,000 tickets were sold for the concert in the new Merkur Spiel Arena when they went on-sale just three weeks ago. Since the Covid 19 virus started overseas before spreading to America, Live Nation thought things would get back to normal there before here. Things seemed to be going as planned, Adams and his band had shipped their gear to Germany from his home in Canada. Unfortunately, a sudden spike in cases in Germany caused the concert to be postponed to a later date. Live Nation and its partner Ticketmaster have lost billions in unsold ticket revenue and cancelled concerts this year. They are very anxious for live concerts to resume and seem to be testing the water at every opportunity. The same goes for major music cities like Austin and Nashville. They both have huge support groups that are trying to get more government funds to help hold them over until live concerts return.

Rolling Stones Re-Issue Goats Head Soup

In August 1973, the Rolling Stones released their 13th album in America, and they titled it Goats Head Soup. They are no strangers to weird album titles and this one is named for a popular dish served in Jamaica where the album was recorded. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had both been jailed in England on drug possession charges and were banned from traveling to many major countries. Jamaica welcomed them with open arms so in November 1972 they flew to Kingston to begin recording at Dynamic Sounds Studio. It would be the second full album recorded with new guitarist Mick Taylor, who had replaced founding member Brian Jones in 1969. The songwriting team of Jagger and Richards wrote all ten songs which included the hits Angie, Heartbreaker, Dancing with Mr. D and Star Star. Today, they released a deluxe version of the album that includes several studio outtakes like All the Rage, Criss Cross and Scarlet with special guest Jimmy Page. A bonus CD includes a concert recorded on October 17, 1973 at the Forest National Arena in Brussels, Belgium. It was their first concert that featured live versions of the four hits from the album. The album is available as a 2-CD set, a 3-CD/1-DVD set or a special vinyl box set.

Live Streaming & Live Music Calendar

After the venue and bar shutdown, 99% of all live concerts were cancelled. Below is a list of live streaming shows you can watch until live concerts return. Events are listed alphabetically. To watch these shows, log onto their Facebook pages. If you do not see your favorite artist on this list, check out their website or Facebook page to see what they are doing. Please tip the musicians if you can afford to at PayPal or Venmo.

 

Adam Johnson (Blues) – Solo live concert – Thursdays at 8pm

 

Alex Meixner (Polka) – Facebook Polka Time – Sundays at 1pm CST.

 

Band of Heathens (Americana) – Tuesday night Supper Club – Tuesdays at 7:30pm

 

Billy’s Ice  (1193 Loop 337, 830-692-8169)

Tonight – Shane Kelley (Americana) – 8:30pm

Fri – Hunter Rd Trio / The Lawless (Americana) – 9pm

Sat – Joel Hofmann Band (Country) – 9pm

Sun – Lucas Taylor (Rock) – 4pm

 

Blue Water Highway (Americana) – Thursday nights – 7pm

 

Bret Graham (Country) – Honky Tonk Mondays – Mondays at 6pm

 

Brett Cline (Pop/Rock) – Facebook Concerts at BCMusic Live – Thursdays at 7pm

 

Carolyn Wonderland (Blues/Rock) – Live from Wonderland – Wednesdays at 8pm

 

Cody Canada (Americana) – Facebook Concerts – Wednesdays at 8:30pm

 

Drew Kennedy (Folk/Americana) – Live in the Backyard – Mondays at 8pm

 

Freiheit Country Store (2157 FM 1101, 830-625-9400)

Tonight – Chad Prather (Comedy) – 6pm

Fri – Jon Stork (Americana) – 8:30pm

Sat – Sam Riggs (Americana) – 8:30pm

Wed – Zack Walther (Americana) – 7pm

 

Garth Brooks (Country) – Inside Studio G – Facebook Concert – Mondays at 7pm

 

Gristmill River Grill (1287 Gruene Road, 830-625-0684)
Tonight – Johnny McGowan (Country) – 6:30pm

Wed – Bret Graham (Country) – 6:30pm

 

Koozie’s Icehouse (8511 River Rd, 830-964 – 4443)

Sat – Derek Chennault & the Native Guns (Americana) – 8pm

 

Max & Heather Stallings (Americana) – We Ain’t Drinking Alone – Wednesdays at 7pm

 

Riley’s Tavern (8894 FM 1102, 512-392-3132)

Tonight – Tyler Cannon & Manzy Lowry (Americana) – 7pm

Fri – The Jonathans (Americana) – 7pm

Sat – Shane Kelley Band (Americana) – 7pm

 

Rudy’s BBQ (844 Loop 337, 830-609-3337)

Tonight – Zack Walther (Americana) – 6pm

 

Sequestered Songwriters (Various Genres) – Weekly Tribute Show – Mondays at 6pm

 

Shelley King (Blues / Rock) – Soul O Show – Sundays at 2pm

 

Todd Snider (Americana) – Live from East Nashville – Sundays at 11am

 

Wade Bowen (Americana) – Wade’s World – Check his Facebook page for times

 

Walt & Tina Wilkins (Americana) – Front Porch Session – Thursdays 8pm

 

Zack Walther Band (Americana) – Walther Wednesdays – Wednesdays at 7pm

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