Happy Holidays to all you fun live music lovers out there!!! We hope this edition finds everybody in good spirits, health and joy. The new year is around the corner and with all the buildup, has the possible makings for being a doozy. We met up with our Director of Growth and Development for some last minute instructions on this months column and the instructions were simple: More of the same, more good stuff and a short recap of the year in review. Easy enough — Let’s roll….
ON THE MAGIC BUS – Ever ride in one of these? They’re a hoot! Each autumn on the most beautiful weekend of the year, we take a ride on a Magic Bus full of Merry Mongers from the Land Where the Creek is Clear and escape into yesteryear at the Texas Renaissance Festival. Aside from the usual color and air, we had our first exposure to Pirate Rap, a humorously bawdy assortment of entertaining tales of the day delivered as an Irish ballad on Red Bull. Music has such an interesting way of transcending time…
AROUND THE SCENE – A handy check is seeing how well things play out during “off hours”. In that spirit, we ventured out and sampled live music offerings during the weeknights and our samples came up “incredibly” good and many of you out there. No surprise… We enjoyed an easy-on-the-ears evening at the Treehouse with Mike Flores & Patty Valencia, tossing darts and the talented Sam Hudley at Sherlock’s, top quality original Texas Country music at Cullen’s Live with the Bryan Shayne Band, and an impressive unplugged evening with Seth Candan and Clinton Ashley at Dempsey’s. An over-the-top find was catching James & Laurie Reese at the Barbed Rose Burger Bar in Alvin.
PARALLEL UNIVERSES – Last month, we witnessed a bravo worthy event when James & company pulled off their Pink Floyd Revisited at Katie’s. This month, James was accompanied with the Westside Johnny (bass) and Matt Johnson (drums) from the Might Orq and his lovely talented wife, Laurie on lead vocals. The last time we heard these two together was at Wood & Wind’s infamous Kemah Jam at T-Bone Tom’s nearly four years ago. If last month’s show didn’t earn a Jim Shortt “Bravo”, adding Laurie’s powerful vocals to the mix certainly would have. This was my first time at the Barbed Rose/Burger Bar and we found the place “cool”. The place is a combination of T-Bone Tom’s & Signature Bistro (over on the Kemah/Seabrook side of the universe) and located in Alvin which qualifies this venue as the left side of the known universe. And in both of these universes, the action tops!
BEST SOUND OF THE MONTH – The weather was Kemah perfect the other night so we swung by Crazy Al’s Swampshack and discovered Josh & Jeremy from Elevate the Sun. These guys have been playing around the San Leon & Bacliff area and turned us onto an evening of David Gilmour, Brooks & Dunn, CCR & The Who–Perfectly dialed in with crystal clear vocals, tasty acoustic padding and a full arsenal of hot lead licks from the sweetest Hot Rod Deluxe I’ve ever heard.. These guys are on my “good to go” list. Also that evening…
ON TOUR – Goes the Sheila Marshall group to Kuwait this year for a five show tour over the holidays. This is not her first trip visiting the soldiers. Sheila’s last visit was back in January 2010. “It’s a real life changer,” she explained. “These young men and women are truly heroes and I have a new found respect for their sacrifices.” When the opportunity to go back to Kuwait came up, she jumped at the chance. “Getting to perform for the troops is such an honor. We hope to show our great appreciation by bringing a bit of home to them during the holidays with our music.” Sheila is currently promoting her CD “What If I Was”. The CD and title track were produced with the help of Kyle Cook from Matchbox 20. With his guidance, she created a collection of songs that portrays who she is: sincere, passionate and fearless–We’ve heard her new material and stand by the claim. Speaking of new CDs….
SNEAK PEEK – We scored copies of mix tracks for Myrna Sanders upcoming CD. Myrna has always had a great voice presence on stage and has been busy assembling some pretty awesome talent on this project. Lyrically, the content is sincere with a to-the-point integrity that doesn’t leave the listener guessing and imparts thoughtful muse. We’re looking forward to seeing how the final mixing and mastering sauce gets basted on. Stay tuned!!!
HEART & SOUL – Is probably what happens when parents play Led Zeppelin and Etta James lullabies to their young tots. At least that’s our theory and that’s the band we caught at Jackie B’s, a new stop on the beat. When’s the last time you heard a full stack Marshall amp scream? When’s the last time you heard a tight LOUD garage band? If you’re up for it, this icehouse ready talented bunch hailing from Pasadena & LaPorte.
ANNUAL PRETHANKSGIVING SHOW – Featuring the Hunger at the Scout Bar is one of our annual traditions we enjoyed this past month. We’ve taken in a number of good shows at the Scout Bar this month including the outrageous Agro, South, Melovine, I.D.R., From Guts to Glory and a great new band from Dickinson, Soul In Tension which scored a spot on my New Band of the Year list. They’ve a fun show, a great following, high octane energy, and amongst the best live mixes we’ve heard. Year in & year out, it’s clear that more bands that play at the Scout Bar tend to move up and out to the regional level, meaning folks, it’s a good thing going…
Happy New Year and we’ll catch you out there!