Tag Archives: Nora Jones

2010 Year In Review Part Deaux: Texas Music You Should Be Listening To!

As the saying goes, there must be something in the water!  There is something about the Texas music scene that defies typical musical conventions.  This, of course, comes as no surprise to the millions of Texas music fans.  The variety of music that hails from the great state is as expansive as the West Texas plains.  While Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital” of the world, there are plenty of fertile musical breeding grounds in Texas. 

 Today, I will WOW you with some of the musical greatness that came from or had ties to Texas in 2010. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, it is just a few of the albums that I have had in heavy rotation over the course of the last year. 

Artist Album Observations
Old 97’s The Grand Theatre Vol. 1 Dallas band gets back to their roots and write good music without trying to be anything more than they are.  After 17 years it is good to see them comfortable in their own skin.
Spoon Transference Not as much of gloss and a lot more rock is what make this album great.  Not shying away from the darker textures, Spoon creates a less poppy album and the laxity of Transference is the strength of the album.
Reckless Kelly Somewhere In Time A fine album of cover songs to their one time mentor Pinto Bennett. 
Roky Erickson & Okkervil River True Love Cast Out All Evil Concise production shapes the sorrow of the Austin icon Roky Erickson’s life and ultimately the optimism of his return.
Court Yard Hounds Court Yard Hounds 2/3 of the Dixie Chicks show that sometimes less is more.  Jakob Dylan adds his dusky dulcet tone for a quick duet.
Alejandro Escovedo Street Songs of Love The fierceness of the guitar and the bombastic instrumentation belie the emotional elements of the lyrics. 
Arcade Fire The Suburbs Currently Canadian, Butler boys do hail from the sterile Houston suburb known as the Woodlands.  This is a great album and also made my 2010 Year in review. 
Ryan Bingham Junky Star Former rodeo star hits the big time with Golden Globe and Oscar win and a current Grammy Nomination for his work on the “Crazy Heart’ soundtrack.  His 3rd album is no fluke either.  His whisky and cigarette vocals are the perfect vehicle for his forlorn tales. 
Randy Rogers Band Burning the Day One of the hardest working bands in the state.  Over 200 dates over the past years.  Still time to record and release their 5th album.
Norah Jones …Featuring Norah Jones The list of collaborators is what makes this album genius.  You have the rap community represented with Talib Kweli Q Tip, and Outkast, the rock genre is fortified by Foo Fighters, and Ryan Adams is a genre chameleon so several are covered with his efforts.  Also, Willie Nelson adds his own brand of greatness.
Walt Wilkins Agave A true Texas troubadour.  No one does it better then Walt.  The words of a poet delivered honey sweet with a calm, familiar feel.  Need to see him live if you ever have the chance.
Tommy Alverson Texas One More Time With a twinkle in his eye, and a beer in his hand, Tommy makes music that makes you feel fine.  When Tommy sings, it feels like a warm summer night and for that moment you are carefree.  Highly recommend you see him live, you won’t regret it.
Six Market Boulevard Running On Seven I caught these boys live one Sunday afternoon at a local barbeque joint.  Nice, strong debut album.
Mike Ryan The First One Great voice, laid back attitude, and interacts with his fans.  Ballsy covers of Lenny Kravitz and Conway Twitty.  Need to see him live to fully appreciate his brand of greatness.
Bruce Robison From the Top Amazing songwriting that has made many country artists famous.  This album finds him paired with Rodney Crowell and it is an effort steeped in simplicity.  When you write as well as Bruce, you don’t need to add a lot of fluff.

 Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Texas Music!

Recently I posted a blog that featured six Texas artists and it got me to thinking about all of the great music that comes out of Texas.  In years past, when I heard the term Texas music, I immediately associated that with country music.  As I’ve gotten older and immersed myself more into the music scene, I’ve realized that Texas offers a lot to all of the musical genres. 

I grew up on the greatness of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble as well as Jimmie Vaughan’s band the Fabulous Thunderbirds.  They were two paragons of the Texas music scene who paved the way for so many other Texas musicians such as the Arc Angels.

From the country side of music, you have early pioneers such as Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.  These two college buddies have been leading the charge for over 20 years.  Based on their dedication to the craft, a whole new crop of Texas artists has emerged.  Folks such as Pat Green, Cory Morrow, Wade Bowen, and Walt Wilkins are just a few that top the list.

Austin has been dubbed the Live Music capital of the world and with good reason.  Not only are they home to one of the greatest music festivals (Austin City Limits Music Festival) they also have SXSW which is a great place to catch a litany of great musical acts.  Austin is home to musical greatness such as Spoon, Erin Ivey, James McMurtry, and Bob Schneider.

Dallas has given us the likes of Tripping Daisy, the Old 97’s, Nora Jones, and the erratic and recently erotic Erykah Badu.

Fort Worth is responsible for The Toadies, Elizabeth Wills, and the Butthole Surfers.

Denton, a thriving musical Mecca and home to my Alma Mater has provided us with artist such as Roy Orbison, Bowling For Soup, Eli Young and the always fun polka band Brave Combo.

Houston has provided the Southern Rap community with artists such as The Ghetto Boys, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, and Chamillionaire

Texas has a killer music scene and you should be listening to Texas music in whatever form/genre you dig.

Great music awaits!


2010 Music Festivals (a partial list)!

Spring has sprung and the concert season is nigh upon us!  SXSW kicked of the festivals and the summer concert series is just weeks away.  Here is a list of the music fests that will draw a litany of artists and hordes of people.  This list highlights the main( in my humbly superior opinion) music festivals that take place in the continental U.S.  Most festivals are three days long and I’ve highlighted some of the featured (great) artists.

Festival Date Partial Line Up
Coachellawww.coachella.com Apr. 16-18
  • Jay Z
  • Them Crooked Vultures
  • Gorillaz
  • Pavement
  • Thom Yorke
  • MGMT
New Orleans Jazzwww.nojazzfest.com Apr. 23-25
  • Lionel Richie
  • Simon & Garfunkel
  • Black Crowes
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Jonny Lang
  • Darius Rucker
New Orleans Jazz Week 2www.nojazzfest.com Apr. 29-May 2
  • Pearl Jam
  • Aretha Franklin
  • B.B. King
  • Van Morrison
  • The Dead Weather
  • Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Summer Campwww.summercampfestival.com May 28-30
  • Gov’t Mule
  • Avett Brothers
  • ALO
  • Yonder Mountain String Band
  • Umphrey’s McGee
Sasquatchwww.sasquatchfestival.com May 29-31
  • Band of Horses
  • Vampire Weekend
  • The National
  • Public Enemy
  • She & Him
  • Massive Attack
Wakarusawww.wakarusa.com June 3-6
  • The Black Keys
  • Slightly Stoopid
  • Widespread Panic
  • John Butler Trio
  • Blues Traveler
  • State Radio
Bonnaroowww.bonnaroo.com June 10-13
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • Kings of Leon
  • Jay Z
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Nora Jones
  • The Flaming Lips
Lollapaloozawww.lollapalooza.com Aug. 6-8 Not yet released but always a stellar lineup
Austin City Limitswww.aclfestival.com Oct. 8-10 Not yet released but always a stellar lineup

 The cool thing about the festivals is that if one takes place geographically close to you, you might catch some really good shows on both sides of the festival dates.

If you have attended any of the above or one not listed, let me know what was great about it and who you saw.

As mentioned in previous blogs I am a ACL acolyte and would strongly recommend that if you have the time and disposable income, you need to check itout.

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Amos Lee!

Amos Lee is a Philadelphia born singer/songwriter with a soulfully smooth voice.  His self titled debut album was released in 2005 and since then, he has opened for such acts as Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, B.B. King, Paul Simon, Merle Haggard, John Prine, and an extended tour with Norah Jones.  Not a bad start for this relative new comer.

 His musical style is primarily acoustic, set to guitar, piano and a bit of percussions.  He tends to stick pretty close to the folksy soul style while occasionally bringing a little funk to the mix.  For you fans of the “ARC Angles”, Amos Lee’s latest album “Last Day at the Lodge” has Doyle Bramhall II playing guitar. 

If you watch much television, you might have heard Lee’s music on“Grey’s Anatomy”, “Studio 60”, “E.R.”, “Army Wives”, “Brothers and Sisters”, and “Six Degrees”.

Lee has a great musical DVD “Amos Lee Live from Austin TX” that has tracks from his first two albums and really showcases his talent. 

Amos Lee Discography

  • Amos Lee
  • Supply and Demand
  • Last Day at the Lodge

Top 5 Amos Lee Songs according to Butler (Albums listed to right of song):

  1. Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight (Amos Lee)
  2. Street Corner Preacher (Last Day at the Lodge)
  3. Shout Out Loud (Supply and Demand)
  4. Seen It All Before (Amos Lee)
  5. Baby I Want You (Last Day at the Lodge)

Check out Amos Lee and let me know what you think.

Amos Lee’s music is available on iTunes, some record stores and www.amoslee.com.

Also, if you have a facebook page, you can become a fan of the blog.

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#/pages/Music-you-should-be-listening-to/261897107787?ref=ts

Great music awaits!