Jub Jam 2017 Preview with George Dunham

Jub Jam, Show Coverage By April 12, 2017 No Comments

For 23 years, George “Jub Jub” Dunham along with his co-hosts Craig “Junior” Miller and Gordon Keith (a.k.a. “The Great Gordo”) have been part of a team that redefined sports talk radio. When The Ticket (KTCK 1310 AM, 96.7 FM Dallas-Fort Worth) took to the airwaves back in 1994, “all sports” radio was in its infancy. While such stations existed in other markets, radio execs were skeptical that a format consisting of “all sports, all the time” had staying power.

The Ticket came along and well, it shattered the mold… in a way that I can only describe as an accidental stroke of genius. Rather than sticking to straight-laced sports journalism, it took an unscripted mix of guy talk, wacky on-air bits, sports news and “hot sports opinions” and built a subculture of loyal listeners, a.k.a. “P1s” (“P1” is radio jargon used to specify a station’s primary listener base, but due to its success The Ticket has pretty much hijacked the term. Simply Google “What is a P1?”).  Over the years stations across the country have tried to copy “The Little Ticket” formula but none have been able to find those intangibles that make the magic; so elusive that even the staff couldn’t write the recipe if asked.

But amidst all the in jest crotch kicking that happens between on air personalities, the station culture is one of continuously giving back to the community, hosting various charity events throughout the year – golf tournaments, softball games, the Norm-A-Thon (hosted by legendary DFW broadcaster Norm Hitzges) are some off the cuff examples.

One Ticket charity event bleeds over into our Texas music world, and that would be Jub Jam. Like a lot of us, George Dunham got hooked listening to the likes of Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen and Pat Green. Inspired, he picked up his music ambitions that had been shelved since college and started his own band, The Bird Dogs, who are putting out their third album this summer. George admits, while it’s been fun, getting solid traction with his music has been difficult. So much so that he came close to giving it up, until a chain of events in his life and community shifted his focus to a bigger picture. It was out of those reflections that Jub Jam was born.

On April 13, Jub Jam 2017 will be held at legendary Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff. The music event benefits The Senior Source and features a pretty cool lineup – Flatland Cavalry, Kylie Rae Harris, Bobby Duncan, The Bird Dogs, The Gordon Keith Band, Michael Padgett and Steve Helms.

This was a fun interview and worth checking out. We cover George’s musical journey, this year’s Jub Jam lineup and of course mix in some Ticket shtick.

Check out http://www.theticket.com for more details.


Album Review: DocFell & Co.- Dust Bowl Heart

Album Reviews, DocFell By March 27, 2017 1 Comment

Valentine’s Day saw the release of Dust Bowl Heart, the sophomore album from the Tahlequah, OK based DocFell & Co. I was introduced to them last year with their debut album Scissor Tail and dug their blend of red dirt, blues, and Texas honky tonk. Doctor John Fell (vocals/acoustic guitar) and Kyle Brown (guitar/mandolin/background vocals) anchor the music troupe that’s always been open-ended as far as who’s in the band at any given time. Like Scissor Tail, this album features a plethora of artists, most of which are Okies local to the scene or folks the duo have met at various gigs across the state. Thomas Trapp (guitar, Turnpike Troubadours) and Caitlin Cary (vocals, Whiskeytown) are two notables along with The Mastersons and Bernice Hembree.

Out of the gate the doc greets us with a haunted, phonographic filtered bit of poetry (a la Scissor Tail) before moving into the spooky up tempo shuffle, “Lonesomeville”, a fictitious town of one that’s so lonely that even the dog and the cat don’t want to stick around.

From there the record settles into Fell’s home grown takes on love and life. Overall, Dust Bowl Heart leans more heavily on Fell & Brown’s red dirt and Americana roots while easing off the rock and pedal steel sounds present on their first album. When those elements do rear their heads on tracks like “The Less I Know” and “Love Sick” they’re very subdued to pave the way for a more old time southern vibe. Throughout the album Fell invokes nostalgic metaphors and couples them with traditional folk rhythms and shuffles. The doc’s twangy voice is cutting but he doesn’t pull wild vocal gymnastics on you, the songs don’t call for it and the overall tone of the album harkens to a Sunday shindig at a rural southern rec hall. At times these guys are a banjo short of being a bluegrass outfit. Tracks like “Broken Heart” and “Dust Bowl Heart” are dance worthy while the home state homage “Oklahoma Lady” and sentimental ballad “Home on the Hill” have an air of gentleness and sincerity.

With both albums, I’ve found DocFell & Co. to be a solid change up when thrown into a Texas heavy playlist. I know the term “red dirt” has been erroneously overloaded to be a catchall for all Texas and Oklahoma music but DocFell & Co. more accurately honors the genre’s roots. Dust Bowl Heart is not big and showy; but, it grows on you over time and worth checking out.