Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016 shows



September 

18- Uncle Earl's - Baton Rouge- 3pm
22- Route 92 with Keith Blair- Youngsville, La.- 8pm
24- House Concert

October 
8- Lakeview Park Dancehall- Eunice, La.- 8pm


Friday, August 12, 2016

Songs of the ass and whatnot

              I recently heard Ray Wylie Hubbard say (I'm paraphrasing here) that there are songs that go to your butt and make it shake, and then there are songs that, if you let them, will fill your mind, heart, and soul.  Townes Van Zandt is often quoted, "there's only 2 types of songs, zippa dee do da and the blues."
       I wrote a song called Dead Horses that I think fills the heart, mind and soul if you let it.  Most of the stuff I write is pretty straight forward.  My songs generally pull up in the parking lot and go through the front door.  Dead Horses parachutes on to the roof, and sneaks in through a vent.  The recording is on our 2012 album Middle Ground.  The Moon Blues guys did a good job keeping it spacey, and Ken's guitar work is Chris Isaac like and dreamy.  I could hear a falsetto "oooohhhh" at the end, but I couldn't sing it.  Troy Richard came I and nailed it first take.  I've only played it live a couple of times.


Dead Horses

Riding dead horses
Down a trail of fire
Skeletons in the sand all around us
I'm so tired

Tangled up and torn in this bird's nest
Of barbed wire
I guess I should be thankful
I'm not a hand for hire

Riding dead horses
Across a field that meets the sea
When I reach the ocean
My sense of direction
Will come back to me

Drop my saddle in the sand
Set him free
And walk a while
Bridle in my hand reminds me
Of all our miles

Riding dead horses
Through a land
That meets the other side
Hoping that I find there
That the valley
Ain't quite as wide
As the old man back in town
Who claims he crossed it once
Said it was
I'll prove the naysay gang all wrong
Who said "he can try, but he's damned if he does"


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Periscope/Radio/Country Roots

       The other night I did a test run with the Periscope App. Within a couple of minutes I had over 50 viewers which was totally unexpected.  If you're not familiar with Periscope, it's a live stream app. So I can play a show anywhere that has wifi and prop my phone up, and you can watch the whole thing here in your phone. Looks like people use it to live stream themselves doing all kinds of weird stuff.  I'll be using it for music. I have a few ideas.  In addition to streaming upcoming gigs I may go on a "periscope tour".    This will be especially cool for people who don't live in my area.  I'll set up at some cool locations and do some busking.  I may debut the songs for the new album one night too....why the heck not?  So many tools.   I'll post on here when I get all of that rolling.
     I'm obsessed with Otis Gibbs podcast and his show on Pandora (Country Built).   This guy is determined not to let cool country music landmarks and stories fall through the cracks without being his guest first.  If you love country music, and if you want to know more about it's history and it's characters find Otis Gibbs podcast and his Pandora show. He also writes great songs and takes really cool pictures. You might hear him interviewing Johnny Cash's drummer on his podcast, or playing Webb Pierce, Hank Williams, Kitty Wells, Hank Cochran on his Pandora station with commentary from Peter Cooper and Ray Wylie Hubbard. As Dale Watson put it, the Internet killed music sales, but saved it's roots. Roots = growth.  No need to wait for an awards show or "country" radio to give you permission to like something.  Get online and find the next Chris Stapleton, and tell your friends.  This device you're holding right now saved Country music.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Oreo and Orion

       Last night I watched a documentary called Orion.  This is not to be confused with the dude I raced against in high school track they called Oreo.  They told him there were cookies at the end of the race.  By the time I got to the finish line, he had devoured an entire row of Doublestuffed.
       Jimmy Ellis (Orion) was a popular singer in the 70's and early 80's.  He sounded very similar to Elvis, but........you have to hear this for yourself.  He sounded more like Elvis than Elvis did.  They were having trouble getting his career going because of the similarities.  Folks just took him as an Elvis impersonator, which he hated. He resembled Elvis a little.  Some slimeball music industry guy had the idea to put a mask on him, and create a mystique.  They made a record and changed his name to Orion.  Then they put a mask on him.  The hope was that the curiosity and mystique would create a buzz, make people think that maybe Elvis was alive.  It worked. He started selling out huge venues, did big time interviews and sold a ton of records.  But he had to wear a damn mask.  Everywhere he went, so did the mask.  It's actually a pretty sad story.  Eerie.  I won't ruin it for you, but it's a great documentary.
     

Monday, July 11, 2016

Hindsights

       I listened to a Jay Leno interview today.  I've heard several over the years.  He's very proud of the hard knocks he took coming up through the ranks as a stand up comedian.  Most celebrities speak fondly of their humble beginning.  They never talk about the great venues they earned their way to.  They never mention the plush green rooms with all of the amenities.  They always talk of living on a friend's sofa, the piece of shit car they used to have, or the time they stole a can of broth from the 7-11 so they wouldn't starve, and Apu chased them down the street.  They always speak highly of the struggle.  It makes me wonder if the big time isn't what they thought it would be, or just not that interesting.  This reminds me of a Facebook post I published after a gig on July 4, 2015:

Top 5 happenings at last nights gig:
1.- guy walks up to make a request, falls down and knocks over my PA.
2.- somebody sets off fireworks in the bar.
3.- guy about to get into a fight takes his shirt off. Everyone starts laughing at him, including the other fightee.
4.- guy tries to steal my Willie Nelson picture. "Hides" it in the back of MY truck.
5.- girl requests Brantly Gilbert. 👎

Thursday, July 07, 2016

A guy named Friday.

     As we rolled up to an old joint with a new name and new owner, the band and I were optimistic.  A new gig!  Maybe this could turn into something steady.  Maybe we will pack the house.  There will be girls and everyone will love us and we'll get a record deal and live happily ever after.  We were greeted in the parking lot by a bearded gentleman with a chemically induced jovial nature.  "Hi!" he said.  "I'm Friday."  I waited for someone else to laugh or ask him to repeat his name, but everyone acted as if this were a normal introduction so I went along with it.  I grabbed my guitar case, a monitor, and the kick drum and walked into the usual closed bar smell of a household chemical and cigarette smoke combo.  The night went about as well as many, many other nights have gone playing original music.  The small crowd of locals could not have cared less about my depiction of a lonesome heartbroken young man traveling in the back of a bus from New York City to his hometown in vein, or a horse named Whiskey Brown.  I was scanning the song list mid-set, searching for anything that might help connect our 4 piece band to this house of curmudgeons.  In an attempt to keep his timing and fingers warm, Ken began to lay down Slash's opening riff from Sweet Child of Mine.  All of the asses rose from their bar stools.  Fists filled the air.  7 cheering people sounded like 700.  "oh shit", I said to myself.  Because 5 seconds later, Ken finished the riff and we broke into Indian Joe.  I don't know if they were booing Indian Joe, or the fact that we had robbed them of getting their rocks off by hearing a bar band belt out a song that they hear 7 times a day on classic rock radio at work, and once on their Klipsch speakers before they go to bed.  (the difference between bar bands and original bands, singers and songwriters, clubs, bars, venues, and listening rooms, and the IQ of those involved in all is subject for a later post.  I'm for all of the above).  But we trudged on.  We finished the set, struggled to get paid, loaded our gear, and headed down the road.  The ride home was quiet.  In my head, I could hear my band asking me "why didn't we just play the damn guns n roses song?  Why do you insist on making this hard by playing original music?  Why don't you just do the image thing and pretend to be a country star at the local level?  We'd make a lot more money!"  But no one said a word until we were safely on I-10.  "Hi".  Ken said.  "I'm Friday."  The van erupted with laughter.  I knew that second that I was in this battle with the right guys.