One The Rocks (Canyon Lake) GRAND OPENING!

Our friends at Tusk Hoss Design have partnered with a beautiful restaurant "On The Rocks" to make it a premiere music venue on Canyon Lake. Below is information for their opening weekend shows starting this Thursday night! Click the poster below for their website and more information.

Helping a Hero

photo credit: K Jessie Slaten (KGNB)
from 9/12/2014

(New Braunfels, TX)  --   On September 11th, 2001, 8th-grader Justin Lane decided to join the army.  And join he did.  Unfortunately, Justin lost his best friend, and both of his legs in Afghanistan.  Yesterday morning, hundreds turned out to attend a Welcome Home Ceremony for (retired) Specialist JP Lane.  Not because Lane was returning home, but because the organization Helping a Hero chose Lane to be the recipient of a new home in Rebecca Creek Ranch, built to his needs and requests.  Helping a Hero officials say they have helped more than 100 wounded warriors in 22 states with homes adapted to their special needs. On Thursday, George P. Bush and singer Lee Greenwood were among the dignitaries  on hand to present Lane with the keys to his new country home. Mike and Roxann Cotugno of MJ Construction Services built and designed the 2,600-square foot home where Lane will continue to recover, as he pursues a music career.

More information and event audio at

JP's YouTube channel
JP's Twitter
JP's Website

Gruene Music and Wine Festival - The Music

October 9-12

• Thursday: Uncle Lucius!
• Friday: Robert Earl Keen! (SOLD OUT)
• Saturday: Cory Morrow!

(brought to you by Gruene Hall and KNBT!)
Capacity Limited - Advance Tickets Recommended.
Tickets: $30 in advance / $40 at the door
Includes admission to Brew-n-Que on the Grapevine Grounds and 
Five Tasting Tickets (see details above).

Avoid the lines! Purchase tickets in advance and receive 
your wristbands and tasting tickets as early as 10am at Gruene Hall.
Each ticket holder must be present and provide valid ID.

Jason Boland (Acoustic)
William Clark Green
Midnight River Choir
Seth James Band
Thieving Birds
Monty Byrom
Tom Gillam Band
Zack Walther Band
and Many More!

*Lineup and Schedule Subject to Change.

Texas wine available for purchase in the beer garden.

Here's our video from 2011!

Artist Spotlight: Smoke Wagon

Like many bands, I've been trying to see Smoke Wagon perform live for quite some time. I finally had the opportunity to see them last Friday at Billy D's in Universal City. The acoustics weren't optimal, but the sound was well balanced and filled the oddly arranged room well. Smoke Wagon plays primarily Texas Country and Red Dirt tunes from the more popular bands of the last decade, and they do this very well. With highly capable musicians in all corners and the recent addition of a clasically trained violinist turned fiddle queen, it really rounds out their sound and enables them to match the instrumentation of many bands such as Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen, Reckless Kelly, Turnpike Troubadours and more.

Smoke Wagon was formed in 2011 which involved a Craigslist post and an urge to put together a band to cover a better brand of popular music. Going back a bit, lead singer Jay Brown and bassist Dave James were already comfortable playing together as they were both founding members of the raunchy, San Antonio-based parody band "Skunkweed" since the mid-90's. Skunkweed members Jay Brown and Leon Waddy branched out and started an additional band "The Country Fried Pickles" in 2008 which played primarily in New Braunfels and achieved some level of success. However, life eventually got a little too hectic for Jay to keep up with the demands of two bands and "real life" so he had to step down as lead singer of "The Country Fried Pickles". To make a long story short, "The Country Fried Pickles" hired Dave Fenley as lead singer after Jay left, renamed the band to Poor J. Brown (because it's kinda funny), Fenley went on to become a semi-finalist in Season 8 of America's Got Talent in 2013 then moved off to Nashville to further his music career and remains there currently with his wife Eden.

Back to Smoke Wagon...

After Jay took his hiatus from being in multiple bands then joining Smoke Wagon, this nearly takes us to their current roster. Stephen Ochsner is the rhythm guitarist, backup vocalist and a lifetime musician playing piano at a young age, trumpet as a teen and later picking up the guitar. Jason Kahanek is the lead guitarist, he played saxaphone in middle school, but in 7th grade he took a guitar lesson and never looked back. Jason played in a few bands prior to Smoke Wagon, but he is now in a band that allows him to play a wide variety of styles and grab the occasional spotlight with very capable soloing. Dave James is the bassist and an over 20 year well seasoned veteran of several bands playing many styles of music all over Texas so he helps pull Smoke Wagon together into a tight, well polished unit. Brandon Neumann is the drummer, and has been playing the drums since the age of 12. Brandon has played with several bands in Austin and San Antonio before joining up with Smoke Wagon and rounding out their sound.

They finally had pulled together the right combination of musicians to pump out a sound that impressed not only fans, but music professionals as well. That is, until in January of 2013 they were playing a gig at Tavern in the Gruene in New Braunfels and a certain classically trained violinist came to the gig and watched them play. Deborah Peltier is the fiddle player, she brings a skill that almost only happens when you start playing at a very young age, which she did. Deborah started with piano then picked up the violin in the 5th grade. Aside from some time playing guitar in an all girl punk band and some coffee shop serenading, Deborah is a classical violinist who even played with the Virginia Beach Symphony Orchestra for 2 years. With so many Texas Country and Red Dirt bands including fiddle parts, Deborah was a welcome and completing piece of the puzzle.

All members of Smoke Wagon have "day jobs", so they don't give us weekly opportunities to see them play, but watch their Facebook page for upcoming gigs. Of course we will let you know when they play within 25 miles, which they do regularly because they mostly burn up the northest side of San Antonio.

Here is a video sample of Smoke Wagon from September 12, 2014 at Billy D's in Universal City:

Also found on

Randy Rogers Band 6th Annual For the Sake of the Shot Golf Tournament

Many Texas artists have chosen to use the success they've enjoyed over the years in a way to help give back to the community, and the Randy Rogers Band is no exception. Randy Rogers and his band helped organize a charity golf tournament back in 2009 at The Bandit in New Braunfels to raise money for Camp Sweeney which is a summer camp that helps kids that have diabetes learn to not only cope with and manage their disease, but learn to live life to the fullest. Each year they picked a location and date for the tournament and concert and chose a child related charity to benefit, and raised large amounts of money for that cause. This year's 6th annual event will be held at River Crossing Club in nearby Spring Branch, TX and Ambers Angels will be the target of monies raised.

Past events:
6/12/2009 - The Bandit in New Braunfels, TX
6/11/2010 - The Bandit in New Braunfels, TX
11/14/2011 - Gleannloch Pines in Spring, TX
5/14/2012 - Tapatio Springs in Boerne, TX
7/12/2013 - Canyon West in Weatherford, TX

Learn more at!

Drew Kennedy Makes a Live Recording Without Realizing

click cover to pre-order on iTunes

Drew Kennedy’s double-disc Sad Songs Happily Played offers equal measures insight (“Rose of Jericho”) and introspection (“The Last Waltz”). CMT Edge spoke with the Central Texas-based songwriter about his elegant new concert collection.

“After the second time I played this great listening series at an old post office outside of Houston, the sound guy asked if I had any suggestions,” Kennedy recalls. “I said, ‘My only suggestion is that we record it next time because this place is perfect.’ Well, I found out he actually just recorded the show.”

Sad Songs Happily Played collects material from Kennedy’s entire catalog — six albums including high watermarks Wide Listener (2013) and Fresh Water in the Salton Sea (2011) — and deftly spotlights his vibrant, between-song storytelling.

CMT Edge: Describe how the new album took shape.

Kennedy: I started thinking … the value of making a live record when you didn’t know you were making one might be pretty substantial. I grew up in the time when bootleg trading was pretty popular, and you’d get these great shows where the band didn’t know they were recording. They were just turning in their show. So I thought it was more of an honest representation of me as a musician, and I decided to go for it. I think it represents me both as I like people to hear but also...

Read more on >>

New Music: Court Nance - The Accident EP

Court Nance is a great guitarist, songwriter and singer that even though he doesn't live in New Braunfels we consider him one of our own. He currently has a long standing Monday night residency at Tavern in the Gruene with his band The Court Nance Accident. Well, somehow Court snuck a new EP out past me. I finally bought and listened to it this morning and it is GREAT!

Check out Court Nance's new EP "The Accident" NOW!

See Court live this and every Monday night at Tavern in the Gruene, and Saturday September 13 with Pardo and Reed at River Road Ice House!

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