Tag Archives: Willie Nelson

You should be listening to the Randy Rogers Band!

The Randy Rogers Band is a country band that hales from the great state of Texas.  Yes, I realize that this Texas kick I’m on is stretching in to its second week and, well, I don’t care. Their debut album was a live album recorded at a bar in San Marcos, Texas in 2000.  By 2002 they had signed with an independent label and released their first studio album Like It Used To Be

Rand Rogers Band Discography:

  • Live at the Cheatum Street Warehouse (2000)
  • Like It Used To Be (2002)
  • Rollercoaster (2004)
  • Live at Billy Bob’s Texas (2005)
  • Just a Matter of Time (2006)
  • The Randy Rogers Band (2008)
  • Burning the Day (Set to release Aug. 2010)

They have come a long way since the bar scene of San Marcos.  They have opened for artists such as the Eagles, Willie Nelson, Gary Allan, and Dierks Bentley.  Their music fits the college scene with its good time party vibe but also digs a little deeper with each new release.  It is an interesting fusion of country and a rugged swagger that comes across as the musical love child of Waylon Jennings and Steve Earle.

Top 5 Rand Rogers Band Songs:

  • Tommy Jackson (Like It Used To Be)
  • Love Must Follow You Around (Rollercoaster)
  • This Is Goodbye (Randy Rogers Band)
  • Wicked Ways (Randy Rogers Band)
  • Somebody Take Me Home (Rollercoaster)

Rogers is the main songwriter in the band Kenny Chesney covered “Somebody Take Me Home” on his album The Road and the Radio.  Through constant touring and a record release schedule of about every two years, the band has built a solid fan base and Rolling Stone magazine listed them as a Top 10 Must See Artist in the summer of 2007.

Check out the Randy Rogers Band at www.randyrogersband.com

 Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Lucinda Williams!

Lucinda William’s is everyone’s collaborating darling who released her first album Ramblin’ in 1978.  In her thirty plus years in the music business, she has released nine studio albums.  Some might consider her a bit methodical or even a perfectionist based on the span of years between album releases.  She started out in the country genre that was occasionally tinged with the blues. 

She is a genre shifting chanteuse who has been nominated for ten Grammys in the following musical categories: 

  • Americana
  • Rock
  • Country
  • Folk
  • Pop

Williams received early critical recognition and the respect of her musical peers, but it took considerably longer for her to raise public awareness.  This was due, in large part, to her renowned fastidiousness and the sporadic release of her albums.  The pendulum swung with the release of her 1998 album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.  She has received three Grammy’s.

Lucinda Williams Discography:

  • Ramblin’
  • Happy Woman Blues
  • Lucinda Williams
  • Sweet Old World
  • Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
  • Essence
  • World Without Tears
  • West
  • Little Honey

Williams is a prolific songwriter whose music has been covered by Tom Petty, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Emmylou Harris. In addition to covering her songs, many artist have saught her out to record with them.  She has an unbelievable list of guest appearances.  Below are just a few of the over sixty artists that Williams has collaborated or guest appeared on their album. 

Willie Nelson Steve Earle Elvis Costello
North Mississippi All Stars Flogging Molly M. Ward
Graham Parker John Prine Ray Wylie Hubbard

Top five Lucinda Williams Songs:

  1. Are You Alright (West)
  2. Right In Time (Car Wheels on a Gravel Road)
  3. Real Love (Little Honey)
  4. Get Right with God (Essence)
  5. Still I Long for Your Kiss (Car Wheels on a Gravel Road)

Check out Lucinda Williams at www.lucindawilliams.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oPgZoXZ1Z0

www.youtube.com/watch?v=10rdtk6Vixw&feature=related

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiKk9PCcTgY

Great music awaits!


Concerts

We hear a song, purchase/download some music; it raises our awareness of the band and then we become a fan.  The concert is the culmination of our musical inclinations.  It is the holy grail of the musical experience.  At least, in our mind, it is. 

The concert is the musical equivalent of craps (the game of chance, not Jack in the Box 2 for $1 greasy tacos passing through your bowels)

Some nights go like this:

You purchase your ticket with the expectation that it will be musical bliss and a night to remember.  You get there, fight the crowd, listen to the mediocre, at best, opening act, and wait impatiently for the headlining show.   After what seems like an eternity, out stumbles the drunk/high lead singer, forgets the words to your favorite song, becomes enraged at the crowds displeasure and walks of the stage giving you the double fisted one finger salute. 

While other nights go like this:

You show up at some little dive barbeque joint and begin to think the show has been canceled because there are only four cars in the parking lot.  You go in, order some food and a beer, take you pick of the abundantly available tables and notice two chairs on the stage and a couple of guitars.  You take a seat, sip your bear and out strolls the singer and his buddy and the play for several hours, come sit down and thank you for coming to the show and take your request and play it before the night is over.

I’ve regaled you with some stories of concerts from my past and touted the greatness of Austin City Limits Music Festival but today, I’m going to chronologically list the concerts, to the best of my recollection, I’ve attended over the years.

Year Band
1983 Quiet Riot
Interesting Facts
7th grade, first concert to attend and broke my ankle that afternoon after being chased by a large classmate who took off his belt and began swinging it at me.  I left the hospital on crutches and planned on going to concert while my mother drove along beside me screaming at me to get in the car.  Being 12 and disabled, mom won and I missed the concert.  I did, however, get the t shirt as a consolation prize from my buddy who I gave the ticket to.
1985 Def Leppard
Interesting Facts
My first official concert that I actually got to attend.  Reunion Arena in Dallas, TX.  Oddly enough, I do not remember much about the concert other than it kicked much 14 year old musical butt.
1985-1989 Tom Petty

Stevie Nicks

Elton John

Don Henley

White Snake

Tesla

The Cult

Metallica

Interesting Facts
This period was the high school years and while there are funny stories, time has blurred the lines a bit.

  • One concert I went to with a group of girls and as soon as we got to Starplex Amphitheater, they all had to go to the rest room.  So, they opened the passenger door and all took turns squatting in the parking lot under the shroud of secrecy that was the afore mentioned door.  Don’t worry ladies; your identity is safe with me.
  • Another concert had some of the above mentioned girls and on the way home we got lost and drove around through an amazing fog which we likened to the moors, a Sherlock Holmes reference at the time, and eventually made it home.  Some of attendees were really upset with the turn of events.
  • White Snake concert we bought tickets from scalpers and got totally ripped off but thought we were so cool because we were seeing White Snake.
  • Metallica was an amazing show and the first time I had seen mosh pits and thoroughly enjoyed the frantic pace of the music.  Some fans really enjoyed the show and started lighting the lawn on fire and once security came out, the fire just seemed to move to another location.

 

1989-1992 Travis Tritt

Shenandoah

Various country acts at Billy Bobs

Interesting Facts
Some of my buddies were really in to country music and I would often tag along because I had nothing else to do and wanted to make some new female acquaintances. The Shenandoah concert was particularly memorable, not because the concert was good, in fact, I never actually saw them.  I got kicked out of the bar because I was 18 and using a fake ID to buy beer.  My buddies, of course, stayed and watched the show.  The crushing event of the night was that the girl I took to the show also stayed inside and I sat alone in the back of my friend’s truck for several hours.  The night was not a total loss, because I drank all of the beer in the cooler while sitting in the parking lot of Billy Bob’s.
1993-1995 Lots of local acts in the musical mecca of Denton, TX

Rush

Interesting Facts
The Rush show stands out for two reasons:To procure the tickets for this concert, my buddy and I left Denton very, very early on a Saturday morning after a very, very, late Friday night to go to Lewisville Mall to get tickets.  We arrived way too early and drove to Braums and got a double order of biscuits and gravy.  While this might not read as funny as it was, we were way hung over and those biscuits and gravy were the magic elixir that restored our health. Night of the concert we pick up our dates, have dinner and head to Dallas.  There is mild drinking, as colleges kids are known to do, and before you know it, we are on the floor of Reunion Arena basking in the glory of Rush.  On the way home there is some conversation of the concert and the girl that I took begins to nod off a bit and then suddenly hurls into and on the door.  We stop and ask if she is ok and she looks at us as if nothing happened and denies what is clearly on her chin, clothes, seat, floor, and of course door.  We get home she gets out like nothing happened.
1995-2005 The Dave Matthews BandMetallica

Linkin Park

Beastie Boys

Pat Green

Willie Nelson

Jack Johnson

Bob Dylan

Bruce Springsteen

Beck

G. Love & Special Sauce

Merle Haggard

Tori Amos

Korn

Chevelle

Robert Earl Keen

Interesting Facts
All pretty good shows and some artist like Dave Matthews and Pat Green I’ve seen multiple times.  The one stand out concert story is this:A group of folks went to see Willie Nelson at Lone Star Park which is an outdoor horse track.  His stage was set back a bit and there were risers and bleachers that elevated the fans to better see the stage.  I am walking up, wearing loose cargo shorts and minding my own business, when I feel something moving up my leg and heading north central.  I look down and there is an older woman with her hand up my shorts grabbing my junk.  I jump up and swat at her as if she is some form of annoying insect and she looks up, smiles with what teeth she has left and says “Oh, excuse me” as if she had accidently bumped into me as were passing on a sidewalk.  She then turned and walked away as if nothing had happened.
2006-Present Pearl JamBen Harper

Foo Fighters

Tom Petty

Beck

G. Love & Special Sauce

Wilco

Son Volt

Drive-By Truckers

State Radio

Brett Dennen

Bruce Springsteen

B-52’s

Robert Plant & Allison Krause

Joe Purdy

Cross Canadian Ragweed

The Killers

The Tragically Hip

The Eli Young Band

Pete Yorn

Bob Schneider

James McMurtry

Kris Kristofferson

Merle Haggard

Damien RiceDonovan Frankenreiter

Arcade Fire

The Shins

Okkervil River

Mason Jennings

The Black Keys

Ray LaMontagne

Queens of the Stone Age

Bob Dylan

Willie Nelson

Van Morrison

The Toadies

The Killers

John Mayer

Steve Earle

Bjork

Iron & Wine

Walt Wilkins

The Dead Weather

The Raconteurs

Lucinda Williams

Erin Ivey

Amos Lee

Interesting Facts
The majority of these artists have been seen at the Austin City Limits Music Festival which is an annual pilgrimage for me.  Some artist I have seen both at ACL and their own headlining tour.

So, there you have it, a little stroll down concert memory lane.  Let me know about some of your favorite or at least memorable concert experiences and who is a must see when they roll through town.

Great music awaits!


50 Artists you should be listening to and own at least one album!

Ok, I thought yesterday’s blog was fun and elicited some reaction from you, the sweet , gentle reader  and a few David Cassidy fans( ITILY ladies and possibly gentlemen) and also caused a bit of a stir on facebook as well.  So, let’s go and reverse the whip.

I will attempt to continue to WOW you with my vast musical knowledge and then silently judge you if you are not impressed with my musical prowess.  Just kidding, I would never judge you or your poor musical taste. 

I do think that there are some artists that transcend genres and have universal appeal.  Others have a loyal following and then have that one album that regales the masses and they are beloved for generations.  Some of us grew up on music and we think it is greatness based solely on the nostalgia for the time and place in which we first heard it.  And then there are music purist who likes a band /artist because they respect the lineage and the impact that they had on music.

I tend to be a bit of all of the above.  There are some artists that I like because there is some form of connectivity that I really can’t explain, while others are truly a moment in time that has endeared me to an artist, and then there is the whole musical heritage piece.  I am intrigued by the evolution of music and the artists that find themselves compelled to play.  As mentioned previously in a blog, I have no musical talent.  I do not play and instrument, I do not sing close to well, and I’ve never had aspirations to do either.  I simply love to listen to music. 

As much as I have a propensity to scorn/judge, in my humble opinion, awful music, I really respect the fact that those dreadful musicians had the nerve to attempt to play, at some point get signed, and were able to release an album or at the very least a single.  When it comes down to it, I don’t judge the horrific musicians as mercilessly as I judge the faction who listens and procures the music.

So, below is a listing of artists/bands that you should be listening to and would be in any reputable music collection.  

  • Ryan Adams
  • The Band
  • The Beastie Boys
  • The Beatles
  • Beck
  • The Black Crowes
  • Jimmy Buffet (with love to Gwendolyn)
  • Johnny Cash
  • Eric Clapton
  • Credence Clearwater Revival
  • Drive-By Truckers
  • Bob Dylan
  • The Eagles
  • Steve Earle
  • Foo Fighters
  • Pat Green
  • Merle Haggard
  • Ben Harper
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Robert Earl Keen
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • John Mellencamp
  • Metallica
  • Willie Nelson
  • Nirvana
  • Pearl Jam
  • Tom Petty
  • Pink Floyd
  • The Pixies
  • Joe Purdy
  • Radiohead
  • R.E.M
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Rush
  • Paul Simon
  • Sonic Youth
  • Sound Garden
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • James Taylor
  • Traveling Wilburys
  • U2
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Wilco
  • Whiskeytown
  • The Who
  • Neil Young
  • ZZ Top

I just listed the artist and not the album or albums that you should be listening to and really own by said artist.  Also, I stopped at 50 and that took a considerable amount of restraint.

This is fundamentally meant to light the candle of thought and get you to think about your 50 artists.  If you only had 50 artists that you could listen to, who would they be?  Think of yourself as Tom Hanks in Cast Away and instead of Wilson the volleyball, you have an iPod with 50 artists and their entire catalog. 

So take some time, peruse the list and let me know who you would have added or deleted from the list or send me you complete list.

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Cross Canadian Ragweed!

Cross Canadian Ragweed is the red dirt alt/country musical quartet that hales from Yukon, Oklahoma.  The name is derived from a mixture of three of the four member’s names Grady Cross, Cody Canada, and Randy Ragsdale.  Shortly after forming in Yukon, the band moved to the hopping college town of Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

The band released its first album, Carney, in 1998 while already receiving considerable airplay on college radio.  This was due to their relentless touring of Oklahoma and Texas.  Their second release was their live album from the Wormy Dog Saloon, which is in Oklahoma and is a bar that I was kicked out of one fateful trip to Oklahoma.  Their second studio album Highway 377 was released in 2001.  All of the above mentioned albums were released on the bands independent label Underground Sound.

Cross Canadian Ragweed, also known as the Purple album, cleverly assigned, due to the purple cover, was the bands major label debut.  The album cover’s color was attribute to Randy Ragsdale’s little sister who died prior to the album’s release.

In 2004, their sixth release Soul Gravy debuted on the county charts at #4.  Their next studio album, Garage, yielded their first top 40 hit on the country charts with “Fighin For”.  It also contains a tribute song “Dimebag” for the late, great Dimebag Darrell from the cowboys from hell, Pantera!

Mission California is the bands ninth album and has two great cover songs.  “Cry Lonely” is a Chris Knight cover of and they also cover Todd Snider’s “I Believe You”.  Their tenth album Happiness and All Other Things was released in 2009 and was dedicated to Willie Nelson’s late, longtime stage manager Randall “Poodie” Locke.

Cross Canadian Ragweed Discography:

  • Carney
  • Live and Loud at the Wormy Dog Saloon
  • Highway 377
  • Live and Loud at Billy Bob’s
  • Cross Canadian Ragweed
  • Soul Gravy
  • Garage
  • Back to Tulsa – Live an Loud at Cain’s Ballroom
  • Mission California
  • Happiness and All Other Things

Top 5 Cross Canadian Ragweed Songs:

  1. Proud Souls (Caney)
  2. Breakdown (Garage)
  3. Broken (Cross Canadian Ragweed)
  4. Flowers (Soul Gravy)
  5. Jenny (Mission California)

Their sound is a nice blend of country swagger and southern rock that is evocative of band such as the Marshall Tucker Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  They tend to tour and travel with like minded folks such as Randy Rogers Band, Stoney LaRue, and Wade Bowen (who is married to Cody Canada’s sister).   

This year, Cross Canadian Ragweed will grace the hallowed grounds of Bonnaroo Music Festival!

Check out Cross Canadian Ragweed at www.crosscanadianragweed.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkFtl50kqYE

www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFVCMIyE9gw

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Reckless Kelly!

Reckless Kelly is the rocking alt/country Austin based band via Bend, Oregon, where they originally formed, but moved to Texas as quick as they could.  The band was organized and helmed by Braun brothers, Cody and Willy.  Their father happened to have a western swing band, Muzzie and the Boys, where the boys cut their early musical chops. 

Reckless Kelly’s debut “Millican” was released in 1998 and the title is a reference to Millican Oregon.  The album has one of my favorite songs “Drink Your Whiskey Down”.  In 2000 they released two albums “Acoustic: Live at Stubbs”, a great Austin barbeque joint, and “The Day”.  The live album features covers of Bob Dylan (Subterranean Homesick Blues), AC/DC (You Shook Me All Night Long), and Led Zeppelin (Whole Lotta Love).

In 2003 they switched labels and released “Under the Table and Above the Sun” on Sugar Hill Records who have had such high profile artist as Robert Earl Keen, James McMurtry, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, and Townes Van Zandt to name a few. They followed up with 2005’s “Wicked Twisted Road” which had three singles “These Tears’, “Stick Around”, and “Baby’s Got a Whole Lot More” that broke the Top 10 on the Texas Music Chart.  In 2006 the live CD/DVD “Reckless Kelly Was Here” was released

In 2008 they again switched labels (Yup Roc Records) and released “Bulletproof” which the band taking umbrage with the current sociopolitical landscape.  The single “Ragged as the Road” peaked at #1 on the Texas Music Chart. 

Reckless Kelly Discography:

  • Millican
  • Acoustic: Live at Stubbs
  • The Day
  • Under the Table and Above the Sun
  • Wicked Twisted Road
  • Reckless Kelly Was Here
  • Best of the Sugar Hill Years
  • Bulletproof
  • Somewhere In Time

Top 5 Reckless Kelly Songs: (in no particular order)

  1. Let’s Just Fall (Under the table and Above the Sun)
  2. Drink Your Whiskey Down (Millican)
  3. Baby’s Got a Whole Lot More (Wicked Twisted Road)
  4. May Peace Find You Tonight (Under the table and Above the Sun)
  5. American Blood (Bulletproof)

Their music is typical alt/country with guitars (acoustic, electric, & occasional steel), bass, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, and drums.  They have a surprising pop sensibility with catchy hooks and well crafted songs.  It is their ability to take tired themes (love, loss, redemption, etc…) and rejuvenate them with a fresh sound that is a combination of their musical prowess and the gruff, weathered vocal styling of Willy Braun.  They are known for their straight forward musical approach, the connectivity and energy of their live shows, and the fierce loyalty of their fans

Check out Reckless Kelly at www.recklesskelly.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpUXrDrUfDM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko2BRa5o_84

Great music awaits!


You should partake in Austin City Limits Music Festival!

Austin City Limits Music Festival is a three day music festival that takes place in Austin, Texas at Zilker Park and unites 65,000 people (music lovers, drunks, stoners, hippies, college kids who don’t own shirts, middle aged men and their 20 something mid life crisis, middle aged women wearing their mid life crisis, etc…) and showcases 130 bands that range from established acts, up and coming artists, and cult bands.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I am a huge fan of Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL) and have attended each year since 2005.  In addition to being a fan of the event, Austin is my favorite city in Texas and ranks in the top five in the country.  Shout out to San Francisco and Chicago as well.

Each year is special and I recall fondly my time spent with the mass of people who endure a new environmental nemesis while responding to the siren sound of the multi staged musical extravaganza.  In five wonderful years, I have seen fire (burning trailers while Pete Yorn performed and burning speaker while Bjork performed) and I’ve seen rain (thanks James Taylor), I’ve seen dust (Foo Fighters were absolutely worth the 2 weeks of brown soot seeping from my nose) and I’ve seen what some thought was mud (Eddie Vedder became one with the crowd and slid in it) but smelled a bit more pungent and was actually some animal fecal matter. 

Over the course of my attendance, I have seen some pretty amazing shows.  Listed below are just some of the high lights: 

Ben Harper Tom Petty Foo Fighters Pearl Jam
Beck Robert Plant & Allison Krause The Raconteurs Drive-By Truckers
Son Volt Donavon Frankenreiter State Radio Brett Dennen
The Dead Weather Damien Rice Cross Canadian Ragweed Arcade Fire
Amos Lee Robert Earl Keen Iron & Wine Mason Jennings
Van Morrison John Mayer Ray LaMontagne Wilco
G Love & Special Sauce The Toadies The Shins B-52’s
Slightly Stoopid Eli Young Band The Black Keys Okkervil River
Queens of the Stone Age Bjork The Killers Steve Earle
Bob Dylan Lucinda Williams The Tragically Hip Willie Nelson

Over the last few years, it has become a tradition for me and my long term, heterosexual, significant other, life partner to attend.  We eagerly anticipate the sale of the early bird tickets and the unveiling of the lineup.  She too is a huge fan of the festival and city.  Which makes the trip all the better.  While our musical tastes are similar, with the variety of acts available at the festival, we have a ritual of mapping out the days and comparing our schedules and see how close they match.  There is usually some slight difference with the day shows but most of the evening shows are fairly in-line

Last year was particularly memorable because we took our oldest children (her daughter, my son). It was my son’s first concert, he is fifteen and we share a pretty strong bond over music.  Several of his favorite bands were playing and I surprised him by waking him up early Sunday morning and driving to Austin and living vicariously through him as he excitedly took in the whole seen.  His first concert consisted of Brett Dennen, The Toadies, State Radio (his favorite), Ben Harper, and Pearl Jam.  Not a bad first concert.  As if this were not enough, he got to meet State Radio, get a picture with the band and their brand new CD “Let It Go” signed. The look on his face was priceless as he posed for a picture and the band talked to him for a few minutes.   Add to this day, Home Slice Pizza, two concert shirts, and the use of port-a-pots on the last day of a three day festival.  It was indeed a day to remember.

All this, is to say, if you have not attended ACL, I strongly suggest you take the time and attend a day or two if the thought of three days is too grueling.  I am a fan of the three days and love every minute of the music and the experience.  However, I recognize it is not for everyone and as I have gotten older I have come to realize that the recovery time is just a bit longer with each passing year.  My days include less beer, more water, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, and a chair.

So, if you have some time and disposable income, check out www.aclfestival.com.

Great music awaits!