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Cody Canada

Good Premonitions

Cody Canada, Dan Johnson, DocFell, Flatland Cavalry, Jeremy Plato, Johnny Chops, Randy Rogers Band, Red Dirt, Red Shahan, The Departed, The Texas Music Scene, Wade Bowen By January 22, 2018 No Comments

January’s kick off to 2018 is about over and music-wise, I’m pumped about what’s in store for the year. My personal trifecta of favorites – the Randy Rogers Band, Cody Canada and The Departed, and Wade Bowen are all putting out records this year. Past those heavy hitters, we have many a big name giving us new music in 2018. The spring in particular looks to be chock-full of great stuff to keep our ears busy. So here’s a rundown:

  • Of the aforementioned, Wade Bowen’s Solid Ground drops first (February 9th) and based on the tracks out there thus far, looks to be an homage to Texas life in both subject and sound.
  • The last word at Christmas was The Departed’s new offering is a slated for spring. In 2017 the band pared down to a three-piece outfit of Cody Canada, long time partner-in-crime Jeremy Plato (bass) and Eric Hansen (drums). I have no idea what Cody and company have in store, but I’m hoping we get a sneak peek at Mile 0 Fest.
  • The back-fence talk on the Dave Cobb produced RRB record is that it’s thick in Tom Petty influence. I know the guys in the band are pumped and let’s hope we see a single or two in the summer months. Expect the record to arrive in the fall.
  • If you were at Steamboat you got to hear William Clark Green’s new Hebert Island in its entirety, the rest will see it this spring.
  • Red Shahan finished Culberson County months ago and he we heard some of those new tunes back in July at River Jam. Can’t wait to see if Shahan follows up strong to Men and Coyotes, which as good of an initial offering as we’ve seen around here in recent years. This also hits everyone’s ears in the spring.
  • Mike and the Moon Pies Steak Night at the Prairie Rose will be a big winner this year. I can’t think of anybody who has mastered the steel heavy honky-tonk sound better than this Austin based group. The Adam Odor produced record is nostalgic and genuine, complete with boot burners, beer criers, waltzes and swing that might cause Jerry Reed and Don Williams to pay us a visit from the grave. You’ll be able to get your hands on it February 2nd.
  • Cody Jinks’ new record is out “very soon” and all we know is the cryptic title: _ _ _ _ R _
  • Johnny Chops and The Razors’ has a self-titled album arriving at the end of March. It’s the Chops’ brand of rockin’ blues he introduced us to with 2013’s Stick and Stones, but with a heavy nod to his Delta Blues influences.  We’ve got an extensive interview with Chops in the bag so you’ll be hearing all about this one in the coming weeks.
  • Dan Johnson – Hemingway. The writing and ambiance of Dan Johnson’s new project could propel him to the next level in this scene. It’s indeed a project, with a full narrative that envelopes the music. There are Quentin Tarantino-esqe scenes to the Hemingway story, giving us characters who have to make some soul-selling decisions that have lifelong repercussions on them and their loved ones. Check it out in early April.
  • American Aquarium – Things Change: BJ Barham has retooled his band after it disbanded in April last year and apparently we are going to see lots of harmonies on this new record which is slated for late spring.

Rounding out the release rumor mill, scene darlings Flatland Cavalry, 2017 phenom Koe Wetzel, and Cody Johnson all have new stuff expected to see light in 2018.

So there you go, keep in mind the list isn’t exhaustive and we’ll likely hear about many more as the year progresses. 2018 is looking good!

Quick Riffs:

    • Dierks Canada looks to have had a pretty good 2017. The oldest son of Cody and Shannon Canada continues to hone his chops on the axe and capped off 2017 playing with Ray Wylie Hubbard on the Gruene Hall stage in front of a packed house. Gruene Hall at age 12? Not bad kid.
    • I all but checked out of the NFL once the Cowboys got eliminated and I got my butt handed to me in my fantasy football playoffs. The “Minneapolis Miracle” was something to see even though I didn’t catch the replay until later in the evening after Twitter blew up. I have a love/hate relationship with SuperBowl Sunday. Love the game, the parties, and the commercials but it’s the final nail in the coffin of the holiday season. It’s the low point in the sports calendar and next to the frying heat of August, probably my least favorite time of year. To steal from Junior Miller’s Top 5/Bottom 5 – February sits behind August and July as my least favorite months. The good news is that this year I’m going to Key Westand soon after, pitchers and catcher report for spring training.
    • Speaking of Key West, Mile 0 Fest is just a couple of weeks away and I’m looking forward some beach time R&R and a ton of great music. If the OhWook! Productions team do a good job of pulling this thing off I’m thinking Steamboat could take a hit. I’m not predicting its demise, but if I’m an artist would I rather be breaking my fingers off in subzero weather or nursing margaritas on a 75-degree beach? Same goes for the festival goers. These trips aren’t cheap and if I had to budget for one festival, the argument of comfortably watching my favorite artist on a Duval street pub crawl versus freezing my junk off in a crowded tent (or worse, breaking my collarbone on a mountain) is pretty compelling.
    • In October I got to sit in on some sessions with Tahlequah based red dirt outfit, DocFell & Co. who were working on their latest album Heaven, Hell, or Oklahoma. I’ve finally heard some early mixes and it’s cool to hear Dave Percefull work his magic at the production helm. These guys haven’t bled into Texas quite yet but they may make a push with this one in 2018.
    • For Christmas, my awesome brother bought us tickets to see The Eagles and Chris Stapleton in Dallas this June. That’s a bucket list worthy show for sure.



Behind the Curtain: The Texas Music Scene

Cody Canada, Jack Ingram, Jason Boland, Jeremy Plato, Mike McClure, Ray Benson, The Texas Music Scene By December 7, 2016 No Comments

If you haven’t seen the Texas Music Scene, you are missing out. In its 7th season, the show is hosted by the great Ray Benson of Asleep at the the Wheel and features some of the scene’s biggest names.  You get a mix of young and old, from The Turnpike Troubadours to Guy Clark. There’s also Jack Ingram’s “Acoustic Motel” segment highlighting singer/songwriters and up and comers.

We talked a bit about the show when I interviewed Todd Purifoy, one of the show’s producers. They film about once a month and you can subscribe to their mailing list and get notified of upcoming shows. Although spots are limited, you can RSVP and attend the live performance segment of the show for free. So at the end of September I cleared my calendar, booked a cheap motel and took a field trip down to San Marcos to see a live taping.

A half hour episode is made up of a handful of segments, each spotlighting an artist or band. Ray Benson, a.k.a. “Little Buddy” (he’s 6′ 7″) , introduces each segment which includes an interview followed by a performance in front of a live audience.

That night they were filming segments featuring Jeremy Plato and The Departed, Shinyribs, and special guests Jason Boland and Mike McClure. I got into town about 5pm, dropped my stuff off at the hotel and then headed to The Marc in downtown San Marcos. The building looks to be an old movie theater converted to a cool music venue. It’s two stories with a balcony that horseshoes the stage and floor below.


The artist interviews are closed to the public and were filmed earlier that day.  I got there about 6:15pm and hung out for a few minutes until the doors opened around 6:30. Once inside we were herded upstairs to the balcony bar to have a drink while the crew finished setting up and the artists did their sound checks. Soon after, all 100+ of us were called down to the floor and encouraged to get another round before the show started. The crowd filled in around the stage while the back two thirds of the floor was roped off so the production crew could do their thing. It’s really intimate because of the crowd size and I choose to be front and center; but, even if you decided to hang back you’d be four people deep tops.

The night started with Jason Boland, Cody Canada, and Mike McClure doing an acoustic song swap. They each played a couple of songs with Boland breaking out fan favorites “Somewhere Down in Texas” and “Comal County Blue.” Check out this sample of awesomeness:

*Video credit to Angela Sparks

Next up was Jeremy Plato and The Departed. Normally fronted by Cody Canada, that night The Departed was all about their new album “In Retrospect” which features Jeremy Plato at the helm singing some classic 60’s outlaw roots country. Back in October I spoke at length with Plato about the project so I encourage you to check out the interview. Here he is throwing down a little bit of Johnny Paycheck’s “A 11” plus Cody rockin’ a solo.

During filming the artists perform the same song multiple times so the production crew has multiple takes for the editing room. Most of the wide shots you see are taken from a camera attached to a large boom that extends over the crowd. In between takes the crew scurried around setting up cameras on stage to get the close ups.

Last but not least was Shinyribs. This was my first time seeing Kevin Russell and his band live and man was it a treat. Kevin is a character and he showed up dressed like a Mardi Gras gangster. He’s a showman – jovial, goofy and fun as hell to watch. That night they were breaking all new material slated for release in early 2017. The horns and saxophone add that New Orleans flavor to their sound so it’s not hard to get into a festive mood with Shinyribs. To supplement their groovy sound, Kevin has been known to bust out an awesome cover tune. That night he graced us with some Prince:

Here are a couple of other pics from that evening, special thanks to D’On Hensley for providing these images.



It will be interesting to see the final product once the show airs. I’m guessing they’ll spread the performances over several episodes even though it was all filmed in two hours.

Things wrapped around 9:00pm so I stopped for a nightcap at the legendary Cheatham Street Warehouse. They’re wasn’t much happening on a Tuesday night but you have to pay homage to Kent Finlay’s place with the number of people that have cut their teeth there.

Overall I had a great time so if you ever get a chance make the trip and check out a live show. Regardless, catch the latest episodes of The Texas Music Scene on local TV or better yet, binge watch what you can on the show’s YouTube channel.