Thursday, October 06, 2016

2017 Shows


January

7- The Redneck Country Club- Stafford, Tx.-8pm
19- Firehouse Saloon- Houston, Tx.- 9:30pm
20- Red Brick Tavern- Conroe, Tx
21- Red Dog's Bar- Egan, La. - 9pm
29- Silver slipper (Sunday brunch/full band)-10am

February
17- Silver Slipper (acoustic-solo)- Arnaudville, La.- 6:30pm
18- Hal and Mal's - Jackson, Ms.
25- Redneck Country Club- Stafford, Tx.

March
12- Silver Slipper (acoustic-solo)- Arnaudville, La.- 6:30pm

April
22- 3rd Street Songwriter's Festival- Baton Rouge, La.

May
6- Lakeview Park and Campground- Eunice, La. - 9-12pm 











Friday, August 12, 2016

Dead Horses

              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, 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 beginnings.  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 interesting enough to speak of.  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 speak to me, 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.


Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Back by popular demand- $5 footlong

       It was a Fall Friday evening in 2005.  My back was to a large window that was the only thing separating me from the heavy downtown sidewalk traffic.  To my left was Ken and his black cutaway Takamine acoustic guitar.  In front of me was a packed house of Friday night drinkers, and the room was buzzing with excited not-for-long-sober chatter.  We had just launched into Folsom Prison Blues, a Friday night firecracker that was probably being played at that same moment by 1000 bands and acoustic duos across the country.  We were hanging on the first note, letting the "boom chicka boom" roll over the room like a wave before coming in with the big pay off of a first line.  In walks a lad with glasses and a Polo shirt with the collar turned up.  He couldn't hand over his 5 bucks to the door fast enough.  He had a plan.  As he walked toward us with a big smile, he looked over my shoulder through the window and gave his friends a point, that was accompanied by what I guess he would call a "country yell."  I turned around for a sec to see several other pop collared gentlemen gathered at the window, cheering him on.  His spontaneity was paying off.  His friends were entertained at whatever it was he had planned, and it had only cost him $5.  He took his stance a couple of feet in front of me and began to do what I guess he would call a "country dance."  His friends erupted behind me in cheers and laughter.  Ken and I continued on with the Boom Chicka Boom.  I had yet to sing the first line.  My curiosity was aroused.  Pop Collar looked up at me for a reaction, but I gave none.  Feeling that he should poke inside the cage, he turned around and bent over, continuing a girating type movement.  Years later this would become known as the infamous "twerking".  There's a voice that tells us all that we shouldn't do something just before we do it.  When I drink whiskey, that voice lets loose of the reins.  I stepped up to the mic, but I did not unleash the first line.  "What would Johnny do?" I yelled, while simultaneously extending my right leg up with what the Army calls "a sense of purpose".  Unfortunately for Pop, I had not yet switched to square toe boots.  The points on those old Justins may as well have been sharpened.  Upon connection he spun around how the Army calls "quick, fast, and in a hurry."  His facial expression could only be compared to an individual who had just bit into a lemon.  He shuffled toward the door, one hand clinched on the area that had just been assaulted, and out into the night.  I looked over at Ken for a nod of approval, but the incident had not taken him away from his work.  I looked over the crowd for anyone that may have been offended or inspired, nothing.  I stepped up to the 58.  "I hear that train a coming, its rolling 'round the bend.............."