Music News – Jan 7, 2021

Our New Year’s Eve celebration was very low-key this year, as I think a lot of peoples were. We tried watching some of the shows on TV that featured various musical guests helping countdown to the new year. I guess it’s a sign that I’m getting older, but their idea of good music and mine are quite different. We finally gave up and watched the fireworks that our neighbors were shooting off from their yards. Then our dog Buddy got scared of the loud noises and hid under the bed, so that put an end to that. As the old year faded away and the new one began, I had a wide range of thoughts. It’s always a mystery as to what the new year has in store. I remember feeling the same way on New Years Eve in 2019. We were looking to the future, hoping that 2020 would offer new opportunities. In a weird way, it did make everyone re-evaluate our priorities and decide what was really important in our lives. I bet if our dogs and cats could talk, they would say they loved having us home more. Well, maybe the cats didn’t like it, but the dogs certainly did.

Kody West comes to Downtown Social

Downtown Social welcomes Americana artist Kody West to their stage on Saturday night. West is a relative newcomer to the Texas music scene, having gotten his start in 2014. He began playing acoustic shows around the state and took a job as tour manager for Dalton Domino for a while. When he wasn’t on the road with Domino, he played area bars and opened for other Americana acts. He released his first EP in 2016 and continued working with Domino so he could learn the business. When he released his first album, ‘Green,’ he formed a band and hit the road, playing all around Texas. Fans immediately took note of Kody’s song lyrics, written by someone who seemed much older than his 21 years. During the pandemic, he released ‘Overgrown,’ an album destined to take Kody’s career to the next level. Unfortunately, the Covid virus put a halt to all touring and live concerts, so he was unable to promote the new album. Now, with the new year upon us, the live concerts are starting to return. The show will be CDC compliant with tables spaced at a safe distance from each other. Tickets are available at

New Albums for 2021

Many artists spent their quarantine recording new music to release this year in hopes that they can tour to promote it. Of all the acts forced off the road, Willie Nelson was the one I was most concerned about. He’s 87 years old now and has a history of breathing issues. This is probably the longest he’s been off the road since he started touring in 1965. He has a new album coming next month titled ‘That’s Life,’ and it is his second tribute to Frank Sinatra. His previous tribute was called ‘My Way’ and was released in 2018. Barry Gibb is the only surviving member of the pop group, the Bee Gees. He recorded an album in Nashville titled ‘Greenfields,’ and it features duets with many country artists including Jason Isbell, Dolly Parton, and Allison Krauss, just to name a few. Here’s a bit of trivia for you, Greenfields was a hit for the Brother’s Four in 1959 and was the first song Bruce Springsteen learned to play as a teenager. Loretta Lynn has a new album coming in March titled ‘Still Woman Enough.’ It features duets with Margo Price, Tanya Tucker, Reba McEntire, and Carrie Underwood. Newcomer Morgan Wallen will release a double album called Dangerous this week. It will contain 30 tracks, mostly all written or co-written by Morgan. The Target version of the CD will include two bonus tracks, ‘Band-aid for a Bullet Hole’ and ‘This Side of a Dust Cloud.’ You can also expect new releases soon by Edie Brickell, Ringo Starr, Alice Cooper, Foo Fighters, Sting, Greta Van Fleet, Weezer, Pentatonix and Rob Zombie.

Two more musicians pass away

Before December ended, two more musicians passed away. Though you may not recognize their names, they were well respected and loved in the music world. On December 30, Alto Reed passed away after a long battle with colon cancer. Reed was the saxophonist for Bob Seger and his playing could be heard on Seger’s hit songs Turn The Page, Mainstreet and Old Time Rock & Roll. Back in 1986, I had the chance to interview Alto after a concert in Houston. He was so open with his answers, very humble and one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. He helped Seger form the Silver Bullet Band in 1971 and had the longest tenure of any of the other Silver Bullet musicians. Bluegrass guitarist Tony Rice passed away on Christmas morning after a long battle with a rare condition known as muscle tension dysphonia. His actual cause of death was never revealed, and the family have chosen to keep the information private. Rice was born in Virginia and mastered the acoustic guitar at an early age. In 1974 he recorded a classic bluegrass album called J.D. Crowe & the New South. The group included Crowe, Rice, dobro master Jerry Douglass and a young Ricky Skaggs. Throughout his career, Rice collaborated with the best bluegrass players in America like Doyle Lawson, David Grisman, Bela Fleck and Alison Krauss, just to name a few. He is credited with influencing thousands of young guitarist in the music business.

Live music venues are gearing up for better times

While you may not see much activity at our local venues this month, rest assured that behind the scenes they are working hard to get shows booked. Or, in some cases, reschedule shows that were already booked but due to social distancing rules, are unable to take place. Rescheduling shows is often challenging, here’s why. Let’s say that the Oak Ridge Boys are scheduled to play the Brauntex Theatre on a Friday night. Due to their artist fee and travel expenses, they can’t drive from Nashville to Texas for just one show. So, they book shows in several cities. They may play Dallas on Thursday, New Braunfels on Friday and Galveston on Saturday and Sunday. If the Brauntex needs to reschedule the Friday show, the band may want to reschedule the Dallas and Galveston shows too. So, when a venue must reschedule a show, it can affect several other shows too. At press time, the Brauntex Theatre has concerts scheduled for March. Gruene Hall has booked Jack Ingram and Read Southall for acoustic shows in February. Whitewater Amphitheater plans their reopening for April and have a few major concert announcements coming soon. Rest assured, live music is returning, but it will take awhile to get back to normal.



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

Tonight – Daniel Pelligrini – 8:30pm

Fri – Skylar Hamilton – 8:30pm

Sat – Chris Max Band – 9:30pm

Sun – Lucas Taylor – 7pm


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

Sat – Lone Star Pickerz – 8:30pm


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

Sat – Kody West – 8:30pm


Farmer’s Market (Castell Street Downtown)

Sat – Tony Taylor – 9:30am


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

Wed – Zack Walther – 6pm


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

Tonight – Johnny McGowan & the Rugged Gents – 6pm

Fri – Chris Beall & Walt Wilkins – 6:30pm

Sat – Brian Pounds Band – 12:30pm / Van Wilks – 6:30pm

Sun – Linda Gail Lewis – 4:30pm

Mon – Bret Graham – 6pm

Tue – Tony Taylor & Friends – 6pm


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

Sat – Austin Gilliam (Full Band) – 8:30 pm


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

Tonight – Billy Staggs Duo – 6pm

Fri – Dirty River Jazz Band – 6pm

Sat – Don Lovato – 2:30pm

Sun – Gospel Brunch w/ Camille Sanders – 10am


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

Tonight – Jen & Ted Frumkin – 5pm

Fri – Hayden Whittington – 1pm / ShAnnie – 6pm

Sat – Ben Beckendorf Trio – 1pm / Squeezebox Bandits – 6pm

Sun – Stephen K Morris – 1pm / Jake Martin – 5pm


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

Sun – The Nields – 4:45pm (Virtual)


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

Sat – 3 Man Front – 8pm

Wed – Steven Vee – Noon


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

Tonight – JJ Villareal & Friends – 8:30pm

Fri – Band of Bandits – 8:30pm

Sat – Wayne Garner Band – 8:30pm

Sun – Shawn Hart & Friends – 8:30pm

Mon – Larry Martin Sweeney & Friends – 8:30pm

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

Wed – Josh Holden – 8:30pm


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

Tonight – Tyler Cannon and Manzy Lowry – 7pm

Fri – Mark Jungers – 7pm

Sat – Beth Lee & the Breakups – 8pm

Sun – Kayla Jane’s Picker Circle – 4pm


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

Sat – Hill Country Revival – 9pm


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

Tonight – Tyler Cannon – 6pm


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

Fri – Small Town Habit – 7pm


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

Sat – Chilton Vance Band – 9pm

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