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Randy Rogers Band

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.



Favorites of 2016

Charlie Stout, Flatland Cavalry, Hold My Beer and Watch This, Jack Ingram, Kaitlin Butts, Randy Rogers Band, Red Shahan, Rich O'Toole, Ryan Beaver, The Texas Music Scene, Wade Bowen By December 29, 2016 No Comments

The year of 2016 is over and for music and entertainment fans, it’s been a tough one as we’ve lost a lot of great entertainers. Let’s not try to think about it too much but instead put on our Texas music blinders for just a moment and look at all the great new music we were blessed with in 2016. We saw a lot of new talent and careers birthed this year, so many I had trouble keeping up with them all (especially you Lubbock people). It’s a good problem to have, so in no particular order here are my favorites from the year.

Favorite Albums


Red Shahan – Men and Coyotes

My introduction to Red Shahan was one of the coolest surprises of my year and if you missed the story you should check it out. Men and Coyotes impressed a lot of people, including Randy Rogers, who signed Shahan to his new management company, Big Blind Entertainment. Red’s voice coupled with the gritty mix of outlaw and blues make the record a must listen. The title track, “303” and “Black Veins Pt. 1” are my personal favorites.


HumbleFolksFlatland Cavalry – Humble Folks

Of all the Texas acts out there, I can’t think of another group who had a bigger breakout year than Flatland Cavalry. They entered 2016 as a little Lubbock secret and then shot out of a cannon and into the forefront of up and comers that everyone had to see. Humble Folks will give you a lot of mileage with fan favorites “One I Want”, “February Snow”, and “Coyote (The Ballad of Roy Johnson)”. I covered their show earlier in the year at Billy Bobs in Fort Worth.


Randy Rogers Band – Nothing Shines Like Neon

These guys keep churning out quality tunes to keep them at the top of the Texas music scene. There is never a shortage of RRB coverage on this site and I’ve covered Nothing Shines Like Neon in depth and went to two of their shows this year. “Neon Blues”, “Meet Me Tonight”, and their Texas tribute “San Antone” are stand outs that regularly make it into their set list. I’m looking forward to 2017 as these guys are heading back to the studio and we could see a new Randy Rogers Band record towards the end of the year.

Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to EarthSturgill-Simpson-A-Sailors-Guide-To-Earth1-compressed

This one is outside of the Texas bubble but with Sturgill’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth being nominated for the ultimate Grammy, Album of the Year, it rightfully belongs in the Best of 2016. Some folks think the album is the chic pick to win or that this is the music industry’s way of throwing a bone to the grass roots revolt against cookie cutter pop and country. I don’t know, if A Sailor’s Guide ends up winning, it’s well deserved. If anything, we get the “Who the F**k is Sturgill Simpson?” t-shirt out of it, so there’s that.

William Clark Green – Live At Gruene Hall

The best of William Clark Green recorded live at the most iconic dancehall in Texas. It’s that simple, that good and as a bonus you get some Jack Ingram thrown in at the end.




Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen – Watch This

Volume 2 of “Hold My Beer and Watch This” captures the magic of the live show that this dynamic duo has been trotting out for years. You get the favorites in all their acoustic greatness plus an education on the importance of Whataburger ketchup. Read my thoughts on the album here.



Ryan Beaver – Rx

Confession: I haven’t spent as much time with this album as it deserves but every time I listen to Rx I can’t help but appreciate the beauty of the writing and the polish of the production. Ryan Beaver has a heavy hitter’s voice that’s packed with emotion; but it’s natural, not contrived like he’s trying too hard. It’s just there and his single “Dark” is great example.



Artists and other ramblings I have to mention…

  • Jack Ingram’s “Midnight Motel” gives as a good look at what’s been stewing inside him for the last seven years. The spotlight clearly points to his songwriting chops on this one and I’ve summarized my thoughts here.
  • Although “Geronimo” was released in 2015, I was introduced to Shane Smith and the Saints this year. Got to see them live…the writing, the harmonies, Shane’s pidgeon-toed foot anchoring him while bouncing to the beat… it’s all good.
  • Charlie Stout, through his record “Dust and Wind” and his photography, showed us just how inspirational West Texas can be.
  • Shinyribs, brilliant and funkyI’m looking forward to their new album in 2017.
  • Kaitlin Butts, Kaitlin Butts, Kaitlin Butts – she can sing… AND drink while climbing windmills.
  • Rich O’Toole’s summer single, “American Kid” found it’s way onto my 4th of July playlist alongside his idols John Mellancamp and Bruce Springsteen. A fun song to check out.

Thanks for coming here throughout the year and interacting with me online. It’s nice to know when people read this stuff and always drop me a line if you have feedback or just want to talk music. I’m still thinking about next steps for the blog in 2017 but I have a few posts brewing and hope to interview several of our favorite artists.