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Walt Wilkins and Tommy Alverson: A Night of Sweet Music and Barbeque

Last night was one of those night you just kind of stumble upon and realize how good life can be when you slow down a bit.  Walt Wilkins, a favorite of mine, was in town this week playing with the great Tommy Alverson.  He did a show in East Parker County on Tuesday night and then a show in North Richland Hills last night. 

I’ve mentioned Walt in several of my blogs and just can’t seem to get enough of his music.  Each show I find something that I did not see or hear before.  Last night was no different.  The show took place at the Big Barn Barbeque in North Richland Hills.  It consisted of Tommy, Walt, two guitars and songs traded between the two.  The set list was a variety of covers and original music from each.  There was plenty of good natured banter between the two as well as considerable amount of talking to and from the crowd. 

Walt’s music has a timeless feel to it with poignant lyrics about love, loss, and the varying stages of life.  His voice is comfortable and familiar with a hint of wisdom.  Walt’s honey dripped tenor is the embodiment of Texas.  Rich, smooth, with just the right amount of twang. 

Tommy Alverson is no slouch in the vocal arena and is a mighty fine guitarist.  His voice is warm and inviting with just a hint of mischief.  Promoting his new album Texas One More Time, his ninth studio album, Alverson played a few cuts from the album, as well as several fan favorites like Una Mas Cerveza”.

There was much discussion from each on how they just love to play and how much music has meant to each.  They covered songs from the likes of Merle Haggard, Bob Dylan, and an impressive show closing cover of Van Morrison’sInto the Mystic”. 

The night had two defining moments for me:

  •  When B3, the current pseudonym of my bonus child, mentioned that she hoped that Walt would play his song “Poetry”, which has covered by Pat Green on his album Wave On Wave.  After some gentle prodding and a few words of encouragement from her mother and me, B3 marched up to the stage and politely asked Mr. Wilkins if he would play Poetry for her.  He responded with a hearty “Yes I Can” and lo and behold, the next song played was “Poetry”!  The ear to ear grin that washed over her face was pure bliss.  Even better was the 6-7 minute version that he sang, talked to the crowd, and did impromptu lyrical changes.  

 

  • As the show is winding down, Tommy and Walt are talking to the group and Tommy mentions that no one can sing this next song like Walt.  Walt begins strumming his guitar and then you hear the familiar word “We were born before the wind” and off he went into a beautiful Texas style version of “Into the Mystic”.  I just sat back in awe of what Ii was witnessing.  I’m a huge Van Morrison fan and am sometimes critical of the various covers of his music.  Not this one, he absolutely nailed it, played with complete reverence, and still made it all his own.

If you ever get a chance to see either Walt Wilkins or Tommy Alverson, take the time, drive the distance, and enjoy what music can do in the span of an hour or two.

Great music awaits!


Tune In Tuesday: 6/1/10

Welcome to another addition of Tune in Tuesday!  Today’s musical choices are all from the great state of Texas.  And now, the obligatory cheesy state bravado, that’s right folks, it is Tune In Tuesday Texas style! I’m sure that was not as painful to read as it was to write. 

Step Inside This House

Lyle Lovett

Lyle Lovett is a great songwriter and has had a tremendous impact on the Texas music scene.  Step Inside This House is an album of covers written by fellow Texans.  It is one of my favorite albums that Lyle has released.  He covers songs from artist such as Robert Earl Keen, Townes Van Zandt, Steven Fromholz, and Guy Clark.  This release is a two disc album and is great from start to finish.  Lovett’s vocals add new life to the lyrics of others while staying true to their music and most importantly, himself.

Key Tracks:

Lungs, Rollin’ By, Texas Trilogy (All three songs, thus the word trilogy),

Rivertown

Walt Wilkins

Walt Wilkins is one of the greatest songwriters that you have never heard of.  His music has been covered by the likes of Pat Green and Ricky Skaggs.  Rivertown is one of his earlier solo albums and is filled with musical gems.  He has a really comforting vocal presentation and brings you into each of his songs. 

Key Tracks:

Poetry, One of those Moments, Seven Hillsides, Some Men Fall

Lost Hotel

Wade Bowen

Waco born Bowen is a Texas singer/songwriter who happens to be the brother in law of Cody Canada (Cross Canadian Ragweed).  He co-wrote Pat Green’s hit “Don’t Break My Heart Again” and has released four albums.  Lost Hotel was my introduction to Wade and is one of my favorite albums of his.  His whiskey soaked vocals add an emotional depth to his lyrics.

Key Tracks:

Resurrection, Perfect Silence, Lost Hotel, Broken Reflection (Troubadour’s Prayer)

Soul To Soul

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Not sure what I can say about this album other than it is pure greatness.  Stevie was a genius and this was just one of many ways he displayed his musical prowess.  Life Without You and Change it are in my Top 5 Greatest songs by Stevie.

Key Tracks:

Life Without You, Change It, Lookin’ Out the Window, Look At Little Sister

Carry On

Pat Green

Carry On was Green’s third self released album and one of his finest.  His cover of Walt Wilkin’s “Ruby’s Two Sad Daughters” is amazing and the rest of the tracks are just as good.  I am a huge Pat Green fan but find myself listening to more of his earlier recordings.  This album, in particular, just seems to be more authentic than some of his new releases. 

Key Tracks:

Whiskey, Carry On, Ruby’s Two Sad Daughters, Crazy, Holdin’ On

I’m Good Now

Bob Schneider

A paragon of the Austin music scene, Bob Schneider has got the musical goods.  This is his third solo album.  His funky word play, feel good vibe, and his musical fearlessness make him fun to listen to and even more entertaining to see live.  This album is one of my favorite as well as a favorite of my kids.  And really, there is nothing better than hearing the following words sung from your children when they are all under the age of 5.

I can see god on a cloud in the sky
On top of the world watching the world roll by
With a great big grin and some good cocaine
Jesus by his side in the pouring rain

And then there is another great verse that every kindergarten child should know

 I can see god In Italian shoes
With a beard and a gun and a case of the blues
Smoking a cigarette drinking coors light
With teeth so white they light up the night

It was shortly after this car ride sing along that I received my first of many Father of the Year nominations and subsequent awards.

Key Tracks:

Come With Me Tonight, God Is My Friend, Captain Kirk,

Great music awaits!