Music News – Dec. 3, 2020

As our weather starts to cool down, the number of outdoor shows is also tapering off. Some venues were hosting outdoor shows so they could maintain social distancing. Tonight, over at Villa At Gruene you can catch Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist from Band of Heathens at 6pm. On Friday night at the Pour Haus enjoy the mighty Motown sounds of Soul Sessions. On Saturday night the Downtown Social will feature Giovanni & The Hired Guns at 8:30pm. Gruene Hall has the Tejano sounds of Josh Baca & the Hot Tamales on Sunday at 4:30pm. They also just announced that Casey Donahew will be at the hall on December 11. NB House Concerts are still hosting virtual on-line shows and will have Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines this Sunday at 5pm. If you feel safe, please support these shows during this crazy time. Our local musicians are still struggling to earn a living and there appears to be some lean months ahead if there is another outbreak.

Hal Ketchum Passes Away at 67 Years Old

Each time that a performer passed away, I took time to write about their life, their music and how their music touched me and the music world. Of all the musicians that have died this year, I personally knew two of them. One was Paul English, Willie Nelson’s longtime drummer and best friend. The other one was Hal Ketchum, who passed away on November 23 at 67 years old. Hal was just four years older than me and had suffered from dementia for years. While his passing was not a complete surprise, it was still a shock. I was living in Victoria in 1991 when I first heard his music. A disc jockey friend of mine gave me a copy of Hal’s second album, Past the Point of Rescue. I instantly fell in love with Hal’s voice and his songs. I became a lifelong fan. I first met Hal at Gruene Hall about 10 years ago at his merch table after a show. He was very approachable and humble. In 2014, Jimmy LaFave called me to talk about Hal’s new album, ‘I’m The Troubadour’. Jimmy was producing the album and was so excited to be working with Hal. I remember Jimmy saying, “Man, what I would give to have a voice like Hal Ketchum.” After the album was released, Hal did an acoustic show at the Brauntex Theatre. I had a chance to spend several hours with Hal and his wife Andrea. They were both the nicest people you could ever meet. Hal told many stories that day about his life growing up in Greenwich, New York, his days working as a carpenter at Gruene Hall and his crazy days in Nashville after he became a country music star. Hal had such a witty sense of humor and never took himself real serious. In 2015 Hal was back at the Brauntex to join Rodney Crowell, Zack Walther, and Seth James for a Lennon-Aid Benefit. Once again Hal entertained us with his tales from the road. This guy truly had fun being a traveling singer songwriter and lived life to the fullest. I last spoke with Hal at a July 4th show in Luckenbach. Walt Wilkins was hosting an all-day concert and Hal dropped by to hang out backstage. Hal had written a song called ‘A Polka Day’ and he sang it that day to Alex Meixner while we were hanging out by Jeff Hardwick’s chuckwagon. Sadly, Hal and Alex never got a chance to record the song together. Hal’s wife Andrea was an amazing caregiver for Hal in his final years, so keep her in your prayers. Be sure to tune in to the Sequestered Songwriters Facebook page next Monday at 6pm. They will be doing a live streaming tribute to Hal and his music. Hal Ketchum was one of us and will be greatly missed.

Musicfest Tributes Cody Canada

The Musicfest in Steamboat, Colorado is regarded as one of the best music festivals in America. This year’s festival was held in early January and it is an annual tradition to pay tribute to an artist that has impacted the Americana music scene. In previous years, they have paid tribute to Joe Ely, Robert Earl Keen, Billy Joe Shaver, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, and Townes Van Zandt. This year, Musicfest paid tribute to Cody Canada and the music of Cross Canadian Ragweed. Canada, a New Braunfels resident, formed Cross Canadian Ragweed in 1994 in Yukon, Oklahoma. They released seven studio albums and three live albums before breaking up in 2010. They played their final show at Joe’s Bar in Chicago in October 2010. Over the course of two nights, January 7 and 8, many Americana artists came together to pay tribute to Canada and his songs. The January 7 show was full band performances while acoustic versions were performed on January 8 in the ballroom of the Grand Hotel. Both nights were recorded and will be released digitally on January 8 and physical copies of CD’s on January 22. Titled ‘The Years – A Musicfest Tribute to Cody Canada and Cross Canadian Ragweed,’ it features seventeen of Cody’s most popular songs. The album starts with Parker McCollum doing Constantly and continues with Copper Chief performing Bang My Head, Read Southall on Don’t Need You and Reckless Kelly adding an original spin to Fightin For. Jamie Lin Wilson tackles 17, one of Cody’s most popular songs, and is joined on guitar by his oldest son, Dierks. Wade Bowen, Cody’s brother-in-law, performs Sick & Tired and is joined by Jamie Lin on backing vocals. The album also includes performances by Randy Rogers, Casey Donahew, Mike McClure, Bruce Robison, William Clark Green, Bri Bagwell and Jade Marie Patek. Cody joins his pal Stoney LaRue on Broken and BJ Barnham of American Aquarium closes the collection with his version of The Years. The CD is available to pre-order on

Christmas Gifts For Your Music Lover

Christmas is just twenty-two days away which means there’s still time to get the music lover on your list a gift. In normal times, the market would be flooded with new albums and books for you to choose from. However, thanks to a worldwide pandemic, these are not normal times. Many artists spend the summer touring, recording new music and writing their memoirs. Obviously, none of that happened this year, but a few artists were able to record some new music and get some books published despite the obstacles. Dolly Parton released her book, Storyteller, My Life in Lyrics, just a week ago. Looking back on 60 years of songs, she picked 175 of her favorite songs and told the story behind the writing of each tune. For instance, she reveals that she wrote ‘Jolene,’ and ‘I Will Always Love You,’ on the same day. They ended up being two of her best-selling songs. Hardcover editions are about $40 while the Kindle version is under $20. Dolly will also be releasing a massive 19 DVD box set of all her favorite live performances.  There’s a new book on the songs of Bruce Springsteen that is similar to Dolly’s, except Bruce didn’t write this one. The 627-page book, titled Springsteen – All The Songs, was written by Philippe Margotin and Jean Michel Guesdon and covers almost every song Springsteen has released. It goes into great detail about the stories behind Bruce’s songs. It’s a heavy bound book that weighs about 6-lbs, so shipping prices are high and prices for the book are averaging over $40. Bestselling crime author James Patterson just completed his take on the final days of John Lennon. Lennon was murdered in 1980 by a depraved fan named Mark Chapman as he was leaving his apartment in New York. Lennon had just finished recording his come back album, Double Fantasy. Chapman quit his job as a security job and flew to New York City with a pistol hidden in his luggage. Patterson tackles the subject from a crime writers view, carefully documenting every minute of each person’s life leading up to the actual event. It was a crime that shocked the world and forever changed the way stars thought of their fans. It was Lennon’s death that prompted many celebrities to always travel with bodyguards. The hardcover and Kindle versions of Lennon – His Final Days are both in the $20 range. Rock music fans will enjoy recent autobiographies by Judas Priest front man Rob Halford and Lenny Kravitz. Both new books are in the $20 or less price range.



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

Fri – JJ Garrett – 6:30pm

Sat – Fallon Franklin – 6:30pm


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

Fri – Austin James – 8:30pm

Sat – Clever Name Band – 9:30pm

Sun – Lucas Taylor – 7pm


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

Sat – David Touchton – 8:30pm


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

Tonight – Turn Up Jam – 7:30pm


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

Sat – Giovanni & The Hired Guns – 8:30pm


Eagles Dance Hall (257 E. South St., 830-660-0437)

Sun – Travelers Orchestra – 3pm


Farmer’s Market (Castell Street Downtown)

Sat – Tony Taylor – 10am


Floores Country Store  (14492 Old Bandera Rd  210-695-8827)

Fri – St Paul & the Broken Bones – 7pm

Sat – Jody Booth / Josh Ward – 7pm


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

Tonight – Geoff Hill & Tony Taylor – 2pm

Sat – Grady Spencer & the Work – 8pm

Sun – Fast Movin Train – 4:30pm

Tue – Mario Flores – 8pm

Wed – Zack Walther Band – 6:30pm


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

Fri – Bret Graham – 4pm

Sat – Colton’s Kin – 3pm

Sun – Sylvia Kirk – 1pm


Gristmill River Grill (1287 Gruene Road, 830-625-0684)
Tonight – Live Music at the Mill – 6:30pm


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

Fri – Jason James Band – 6pm

Sat – Grouchy Like Riley – 12:30pm / Dallas Moore Trio – 6pm

Sun – Gene ‘Birdlegg’ Pittman – Noon / Josh Baca & the Hot Tamales – 4:30pm

Mon – Bret Graham – 6pm

Tue – TBA – 6pm

Wed – Bo Brumble – 6pm


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

Fri – Shaker Hymns – 8pm

Sat – Christian Sparks & the Beatnik Bandits – 8pm


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

Tonight – Michael Alanis Trio – 6pm

Fri – The Vagabonds – 6pm

Sat – Isaak Klaus – 2pm / Soul Sessions – 6:30pm

Sun – Terry Cavanagh & Alpine Express / Squeezebox Jeaux – 3pm

Wed – Walburg Boys – 6pm


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

Tonight – Stephen K. Morris – 5pm

Fri – Double Barrel – 7pm

Sat – Thomas M. Riley – 8pm

Sun – Jake Martin – 5pm


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

Sun – Terri Hendrix & Lloyd Maines – 5pm (Virtual Concert)


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

Sun – Ryan Waguespack – 10am

Wed – Monte Good – 5:30pm


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

Tonight – Tex Porter – Noon

Fri – Tony Taylor & Geoffrey Hill – Noon / Junior Nash – 5pm

Sat – Devin Baize Band – 8pm

Wed – Steven Vee – Noon


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

Fri – Soul Sessions – 8:30pm


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

Tonight – Tyler Cannon & Manzy Lowry – 7pm

Fri – The Jonathans – 7pm

Sat – Justin Trevino – 8pm

Sun – NPD Songwriter Series – 4pm


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

Tonight – Derek Krueger – 6pm


Sam’s Burger Joint (330 E Grayson St   210-223-2830)

Fri – Minglewood – Grateful Dead Tribute – 7:30pm

Sat – Q – Tribute to Queen – 7pm


Villa at Gruene (1190 Gruene Rd,   830-625-9463)

Tonight – Ed Jurdi & Gordy Quist (Band of Heathens) – 6pm

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