Dale Watson at The Phoenix Saloon Saturday night!


True country troubadour & keeper of the flame, Dale Watson & his band The Lone Stars perform in New Braunfels, TX at The Phoenix Saloon (193 W. San Antonio, 78130) w/special guests The Merle’s for the Phoenix’s 5th Anniversary + Johnny Cash’s Birthday this Saturday night, Saturday, February 28!  Tickets are $10 at the door for this 21+ show that begins at 9pm when the doors open.

For more information please call (830) 299-4150 or visit thephoenixsaloon.com
(Dale’s Facebook event page)

Dale’s next studio album, Call Me Insane - wrapped up primary recording in early January with Producer Lloyd Maines and will be released late this Spring via Red House Records/Ameripolitan Records (in North America).  The Trucking’ Sessions Vol 3 will be released in early 2015 via Red River (in North America).  It was already a part of The Truckin’ Trilogy - released in July of last year. Now it will become available as a stand alone mid-line release.

• 2015 marks Dale’s 20th year as a recording artist!
• Dale & His Lone Stars record a new session for Daytrotter - March 16th
• Dale will be hosting The Ameripolitan Music “Official” SXSW Showcase @ The Saxon Pub - March 18th
• Dale will be showcasing during The Atomic Music Group’s “Official” SXSW Showcase - March 19th
• Dale & His Lone Stars are taping a new segment of Texas Music Scene - March 31st
• Dale is in the cast of Angels Sing (Hallmark movie) which aired this past holiday season - angelssingmovie.com
• Dale owns two Honky Tonks in Texas, The Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin and The Big T Roadhouse in St. Hedwig (outside San Antonio)

Dale on Twitter
Dale on Facebook

2015 Wade Bowen Classic


Award winning singer/songwriter Wade Bowen will host his 17th Annual Bowen Classic celebrity golf tournament and concert benefiting the Bowen Family Foundation on May 31st and June 1st, in Bowen’s hometown of Waco, TX. Wade Bowen and family established the Bowen Family Foundation, so funds raised from his annual charity event could be shared with many different organizations in need each year.  Over the past five years, Bowen has raised over a $1,000,000 for various local organizations in need.

“I truly love having the opportunity to help those in need, which is one of the many reasons the Bowen Classic is very important to me,” said Bowen.  “I've been very privileged over the last 17 years to have such dedicated and hard working friends and family to help contribute to the success of this event and The Bowen Family Foundation. I look forward to continuing my efforts to raise money for others, while having a blast doing it!”

The 2-day event kicks off with an all-star concert on Sunday May 31st at Indian Spring Park (100 University Parks Drive between Franklin and Washington Ave.) with concert gates TBD.  The annual benefit concert has a history of hosting top tier talent each year, however it is probably best known for the 2-hour jam that concludes the concert. Fans never know who all will show up to join Bowen and his band, for one-of-a-kind musical collaborations that always make the night uniquely special.  Some of the friends who have joined Bowen in the past have included Mark Chesnutt, The Randy Rogers Band, The Josh Abbott Band, Aaron Watson, Neal McCoy, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Cody Canada of the Departed, Cody Johnson, Charlie Worsham, The Casey Donahew Band and many more of Country Music’s most talented artists.  The event continues the next morning, Monday June 1st at 11:00 AM with a two-man golf scramble at the beautiful Cottonwood Creek Golf Course (5201 Bagby, Waco, TX).

Tickets to both portions of the event go on sale Monday February 23rd at 10am at www.wadebowen.com/classic and locally at both George’s Restaurant locations.  To golf in the tournament, registration is just $225 per golfer and includes two concert tickets along with golf merchandise, lunch, awards dinner and more!  Fans interested in the concert only, can purchase tickets for $20 in advance or $25 day of show, children 12 and under get in free.  There are also a limited number of VIP concert packages available.  For additional event information, visit www.wadebowen.com/classic

We believe that Music Heals. And for the Bowen Family Foundation, our focus is on healing children and families. We seek out and support the most impactful and effective ways to connect children and families with love, support, resources and opportunities to help get them on a path to a better life.

Wade Bowen Classic

Cheatham Street Warehouse's George Strait Van

Last week I took and posted some pictures of a van in front of Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos. That very van carried George Strait to Nashville in 1977 when he recorded his first demo!

Here is my original post on Facebook
Here are the photos, enjoy!

Hold My Beer: Vol 1

(press release)

Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen are two artists whose individual careers are years deep. They both boast a string of acclaimed records and command large audiences nationally, but Hold My Beer: Vol. 1 grew out of the pair's decade-long, house-packing acoustic tour they started doing just for the fun of it.

Hold My Beer: Vol. 1 is a record that's part road movie, part joke book, part Western philosophy but, above all else, is the story of enduring friendship and the value of personal integrity, Saturday night dance parties and a couple of good, stiff drinks.

"It became obvious to us that we should write the story of our friendship," explains Bowen, "How we met - how we became friends." That story began 15 years ago, when Rogers dropped by one of Bowen's gigs. "I invited him back to the house to jam," Rogers explains. "Anyway, the next thing you know, we're here, 15 years later."

That sense of camaraderie comes through in each of the album's ten songs. Musically, the songs are rich and layered - big, oaky acoustic guitars, swooping fiddles and lap steel that chuckles at every punchline; that's no surprise, given that the album was produced by the legendary Lloyd Maines. "Lloyd's not only one of the most talented people on the planet, he might be one of the funniest, too," says Rogers. "He's a genius. He's smart, and he knows how to make each musician play in order to be the best version of themselves."

That "best version" comes through again and again on Hold My Beer: Vol. 1. In the rollicking album-opener "In the Next Life," Bowen and Rogers outline the story of their lives together, from that first meeting at Wade's show in San Marcos to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. They acknowledge every peak and valley along the way before concluding, "I guess that what they say is true, all you need is one good friend/ and in the next life, we wanna be ourselves again."

"'Til it Does' opens with a bright, swaying guitar line and Bowen's warm voice sighing, "I never told her that I loved her, but I do." From there, it settles slowly and sadly into its wistful, indelible chorus.

"The first time I heard it we were playing one of our acoustic shows together," Rogers recalls. "He played it, and by the time the second chorus came around, I knew the words and I was singing along. I looked at him when it was finished and said, "Did you write that? That's a damn good song. We gotta cut that."

Like so many songs on Hold My Beer: Vol. 1, "'Til It Does" is a showcase for the pair's deft and savvy skill as writers. They're able to summon strong, evocative images that convey deep meaning - avoiding cliché without ever sounding forced or labored. The songs go down smooth and smoky, like finely-aged whiskey.

They're also defined by a natural mood of exuberance. In the riled-up, boot-stomping "Lady Bug," they arc their voices up high over galloping banjo, pleading "Lady bug, lady bug, give me some good luck/four-leaf clover, come on over."

Even the album's choice of cover songs - Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard's 1983 hit "Reasons to Quit," Haggard's 1978 song "It's Been a Great Afternoon" and Joe Ely's roaring "I Had My Hopes Up High" - are effortlessly made over in Rogers and Bowen's images, and feel as much a part of their story as their originals.

"'Reasons to Quit' really sums us up," Rogers says. "We play so many dates, we're gone so much from our families, the excesses of the road, the toll it takes on our bodies ... We tried to sit down and write that song, and we realized, 'Fuck it - they already wrote it.'"

The song provides the perfect conclusion to the record. As the fiddle saws slowly in the background, Bowen and Rogers itemize all of the hardships of being on the road and working as a touring musician, before defiantly concluding - as Nelson and Haggard did all those years ago - "The reasons to quit don't outnumber all the reasons why."

It's a proud declaration from two men who have weathered a lot, but are still looking for the next party, and still ready to provide its soundtrack.

The debut album from the "duo" drops April 20 on Lilbuddy Toons.

Here's a sample track from this new collaborative masterpiece!

Hold My Beer: Vol. 1 track listing:
1. In the Next Life
2. I Had My Hopes Up High
3. 'Til It Does
4. Good Luck With That
5. It's Been a Great Afternoon
6. Standards
7. El Dorado
8. Hangin' Out in Bars
9. Lady Bug
10. Reasons to Quit

For information and tour dates, please visit randyandwade.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Rock & Soul Roadshow Tour

(press release)

It’s tough to beat the existential experience of seeing a genuinely outstanding artist perform.  Only thing that beats that is when two outstanding artists share the bill, and when it’s three outstanding artists sharing the bill, well, that’s a trifecta that’s going to pay off big time. Sam Riggs, Zane Williams and Mike Ryan will kick off the “Rock and Soul Roadshow” throughout Texas on March 5th, a full band tour featuring three of Texas’ finest. Each show will feature three 45-minute sets and will culminate into a group jam to end each evening.  Tickets for each event can be purchased through the venue websites or through any of the artist’s websites. The guys will all be chatting this tour up online while going down the highway so fans are invited to join the social club.  From time to time you just might be able to snag a couple of free tickets and other cool stuff so make sure to follow them on their social pages.  Dates are as follows.

3/5: Wild West (Cedar Park)    3/6: Midnight Rodeo (San Angelo)    3/7: The Silo (Abilene)

3/19: Rockin’ Rodeo (Midland)    3/20: Midnight Rodeo (Austin)  

4/16: Brewster Street (Corpus Christi)

4/17: Firehouse Saloon (Houston)   5/1: Boulevard 217 (College Station)

About the artists

With the release of his latest album “Outrun The Sun,” Austin-based artist Sam Riggs has emerged as one of the most talked about artists in the independent music scene.  In one year's time, Sam has gone from opening act across the major Midwest venues to headliner. His songwriting wizardry, his on stage star quality and his motion picture quality music videos have continued to ensnare the media’s attention on a national level including Rolling Stone Country who is about to feature Sam’s amazing rise in music. Months before the album was released, “When The Lights Go Out” commandeered the #1 spot on CMT Pure 12-Pack, a monster debut that also snagged the #2 spot on the “Top 5 Music Videos of 2013” list.  The high octane “Collide” garnered a music spot on ABC’s hit drama “Nashville” and a deluge of critical claim on the album followed from outlets like Country Weekly Magazine, Billboard’s The 615, Texas Music Magazine, and Day Trotter.  In Texasthe album produced two Top 10 hits on the Texas Music Chart, and the 6-foot plus troubadour has been featured on “Texas Music Scene TV” with 9-time Grammy winning host Ray Benson and to over 27 million viewers on "Lone Star Roads" with host Justin Frazell.

Most people recognize Zane William’s face and some of his music from the TV show “Troubadour Texas,” a national docu-reality series that transports viewers right into the thick of the day-by-day lives of working Texas musicians.  Zane was one of the first featured artists on the show, and while you may have come away thinking he is new on the scene, he isn’t, and he’s definitely no stranger in the songwriting arena. During a two-year stint as a staff writer in Nashville, Zane penned numerous award-winning songs, his biggest being the Billboard Top 20 hit “Hurry Home” recorded by Jason Michael Carroll. And in his home state of Texas penned the Texas Music Chart’s #1 hit “Ride With Me” recorded by Cody Johnson.  His much respected songwriting skills have well aided his peers, but don’t think for a minute he can’t sling it from the stage in his own right.  His previous album, “Overnight Success” garnered him critical acclaim from outlets like Country Weekly Magazine and Billboard’s The 615, and the title-track hit the Top 20 on the Texas Music Chart. His new album “Texas Like That” showcases a charismatic entertainer and prolific songwriter who penned every single one of the ten new tracks.

With the strength of an ever-expanding guitar and vocal flair, and the ability to maintain a band of skilled musicians, Mike Ryan has poured a solid foundation underneath a roofless, long-standing career.  His new album “Bad Reputation” is showing all aces, immediately hitting #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart while the single “Dancing All Around It” took the #1 spot on the Texas Music Chart and the Texas Regional Radio Chart in the fall of 2014. The album also hit #7 on the iTunes country chart.  Already an accomplished songwriter in Texas, Mike Ryan recently signed a publishing deal with Sea Gayle Music out of Nashville. He’s quickly gaining a stronghold in Texas at a young age – drawing comparisons to the early careers of Stoney LaRue, Wade Bowen, Josh Abbott and other Texas country music staples. Ryan’s second single “Wasting No More Whiskey” is currently #17 and rising on both Texas music charts.

Sam Riggs
Zane Williams
Mike Ryan

Kent Finlay: The Man, The Music and The Van

Photo by Jamie Maldonado, San Marcos Mercury
(note: Kent Finlay passed away early on the morning of Monday, March 2, 2015, nobody did more for songwriters or talented, up and coming local bands than Kent over the last 40 years, and he will be deeply missed)

On Monday, February 9, 2015, I stepped inside Cheatham Street Warehouse for the first time in over 4 years to see my friend Dennis Jay play an acoustic set at Cheatham Street owner Kent Finlay's annual 29th birthday. One note about the night, Kent was not on hand because of ongoing medical issues related to a long battle with cancer, but he was watching a video feed. The place hadn't changed much, from what I hear it never really has. I truly love Cheatham Street, Kent Finlay and everything that this place stands for, but sadly I don't have a ton of free time to venture over to San Marcos to catch shows, visit Kent's Wednesday songwriter circle or watch Dustin Welch work with veterans on Monday evenings teaching them to play guitar and write songs, or any of the other incredibly cool things they have going on over there. It's sad but true, when I have the time to catch a live show, I typically stay in New Braunfels since we have so many choices within our city limits on any day of the week or weekend. Cheatham Street Warehouse has one thing however, that New Braunfels does not, it has Kent Finlay. Kent has been supporting and helping songwriters of all skill levels at his warehouse on the tracks since 1974. There were times when Kent wasn't around because of other responsibilities including his own band "High Cotton Express", but for the largest part of the last 40 years Kent Finlay has been nurturing young talent and helping launch careers.

One of the earliest and possibly most impressive careers that started at Cheatham Street, was when a young George Strait auditioned to fill an open lead singer position in a band called "Stoney Ridge" that was playing weekly at Cheatham Street back in 1975. Needless to say he got the job, and they debuted as "Ace In The Hole Band" on October 13, 1975 where they continued to play regular Wednesday nights at Cheatham Street Warehouse for nearly two years until the crowds that came to see them would no longer fit in the building. In 1977 Kent and George loaded up in the yellow Dodge van pictured above (click photo to see more) and headed to Nashville to record a demo, and the rest they say is history.

Other notable artists that cut (or sharpened) their teeth at Cheatham Street Warehouse with guidance from Kent Finlay include Stevie Ray Vaughan, James McMurtry, Hal Ketchum, Al Barlow, Will Sexton, Charlie Sexton, Justin Trevino, John Arthur Martinez, Todd Snider, Terri Hendrix, Randy Rogers and many, many more!

I am linking to some sites below. One is a Q&A with Kent around the time of his birthday in 2013 by Brad Rollins of the San Marcos Mercury; it's a GREAT resource for lots of trivia about the history of the songwriting in the Texas Hill Country which of course has spread like wildfire into New Braunfels and left behind a wonderful community that embraces live music and supports and nurtures a growing songwriter population, and it hasn't stopped growing. The other is the "history" page on Cheatham Street Warehouse's website. They both have lots of great history on Kent, Cheatham Street and many of the careers he launched.

I leave you with this... Support live music, support the songwriters and go see them and quietly listen to them play their songs. You never know who might be the next Dean Dillon or even the next George Strait.

- Q&A: Kent Finlay on the birth of San Marcos Music by Brad Rollins, San Marcos Mercury.
- Cheatham Street Warehouse: History
- "Kent Finlay, Dreamer" - autobiography by Jenni Finlay & Brian T. Atkinson
- A little about Kent's medical struggles, which are still ongoing to this day
- Photos of the yellow Dodge van

picker-uppers of the van photos:
- CMT.com
- TheBOOT.com
- CountryMusicNation.com
- Houston Chronicle (chron.com)


Ray Wylie Hubbard: New record + Rolling Stone article

(from Rolling Stone)

When your most famous song is titled "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother," it's fair to say you've carved out an against-the-grain career. And at age 68, Ray Wylie Hubbard is still kicking up dust — the Texas singer-songwriter announced a new album today. Titled The Ruffian's Misfortune, the record will be released on April 7th.

Read more on RollingStone.com!

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