Favorite Tweets of 2017

My Ramblings By December 11, 2017 No Comments

The circus that is social media conveys the zeitgeist of the day and occasionally the news feed gives you a gem worth stashing away for later. With 2017 coming to a close, we are in the midst of reflecting on our favorite music and saying our final goodbyes to the musical heroes we lost (looking at you Petty, Berry, Fats, etc.). Recently the herd tendency is to lament on how much the current year sucked for various reasons. I’m not going there, each year stands on its own successes and defeats and as I age I’m finding it takes way more energy to be pissed off at the world than to embrace the good around me and bring constructive change where I can. It’s easy to tear down, it’s better to build up, love people, and sometimes look back at tense times with a sense of humor to take the edge off. In true P1 form, I’ll quote legendary sports radio and broadcaster Norm Hitzges by asking the rhetorical question, “Isn’t it fun to laugh a little?”

Here are a host stashed tweets that construct a light-hearted retrospective of 2017. Most of it is from our own Texas/Red Dirt monkeysphere and I hope it brings a smile to your face.

Going back to January…

Apparently, this guy didn’t like my glowing review of Sturgill Simpson’s performance on SNL. IMG_4037

My favorite inauguration tweet #BringingItBackToSports IMG_4062

That week where Fort Worth’s own 95.9 The Ranch tweaked their format to include mainstream artists like Bruce Springsteen, Gary Allan, and Brad Paisley? Leave it to Dalton Domino to mount a defense:

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 12.04.13 PM

Thank you, Bryon White, for such colorful sentiments:

Earlier in the year, I asked Flatland Cavalry’s Laura Jane Houle about the growth of her stalker fanbase after this picture surfaced in 2016. Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 1.45.53 PM

Probably no coincidence my chat with her is the most watched interview on the Texas Music Blog YouTube channel this year.

We’re having fun here no?
Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 12.17.18 PM

Challenge issued by Mr. Mooney, challenge answered by The Co-Write’s own Donovan Dodd:
Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 12.18.46 PM IMG_4245

Winner of “Top Smackdown by a Texas Artist” goes to Josh Abbott: IMG_0336

with honorable mention going to Rich O’Toole’s mom:

POTUS pays a visit to Texas:

I don’t think God Himself could have created more perfect Halloween costumes for these two:

A Baylor Bear asks an Aggie…

Finally, could you ask for a better way to end the year? Snow at Gruene Hall with William Clark Green sounds pretty darn perfect.


Enjoy the holiday season everyone!


Visiting yellow DOG Studios with DocFell & Co.

DocFell, Road Trips By November 13, 2017 No Comments

The studio is a place where art and tech cross paths. Taking a song birthed from raw creativity and figuring out how to best capture its essence and onto a medium, whether it be vinyl or digital bits to be streamed over the ether, is an art form in and of itself.

To most of us looking from the outside, our minds equate the recording process to a band jam session in a padded room with somebody hitting the record button to catch it all.  And while that does happen on occasion, it’s only of one of many ways the sausage is made. In reality, it’s indeed sausage, a confluence of meaty bits – instruments, vocals, effects, ambient noises all processed and combined; and if done well, it tastes pretty damn good. It’s also organic and messy, we usually never know which parts made it in one take or were meticulous combined from ten different takes. Happy accidents are mistaken for conscious brilliance and sometimes the person you think is playing on the record isn’t playing at all.

I was pretty excited to get an unsolicited invite to yellow DOG Studios to sit in with Tahlequah, Oklahoma’s own DocFell & Co. as they began production on their latest project, “Heaven, Hell or Oklahoma”.  I’ll get to the band and their album in a minute, but let’s first set the scene.

You may have heard of yellow DOG, owned by the longtime producer, engineer, and musician Dave Percefull. Dave, who started his studio in Tulsa in 1996, was right in the middle of the Texas/Red Dirt explosion. Back then he was no stranger to The Farm or The Yellow House, working with legends like Tom Skinner, Bob Childers, and even some bar recordings with Garth. In 2007 he journeyed south to Austin where he could attract a wider variety of artists and projects. And while Austin did help amass some impressive clientele, it got prohibitively expensive not only for yellow DOG, (who occupied a building in downtown on Congress) but also for the artists. Bands were devouring 30%-40% of their recording budget on food and lodging, not to mention the distractions that accompany a town like Austin that can derail projects in a hurry.

So in 2014 Percefull got out of the rat race and simplified. He and fellow resident producer Adam Odor (BadTruth podcast anyone?) found 30+ acres with Blanco River frontage just 45 minutes south in the artsy small town of Wimberley. The 100-year-old farmhouse sitting on the property was converted to a working studio with views of the river. There are complimentary bunkhouses on premises and even full-sized cabins at a neighboring guest ranch. It’s a musician’s retreat, allowing bands to save some coin and disconnect so they can put their energy towards creating the best record possible.

Percefull and Odor were successful, pulling up to the yellow DOG house feels very unassuming in that weekend Texas lakehouse kind of way. Lucy Jean, the unofficial mascot, was quick to welcome me. It was late and everyone was on the back porch around the firepit, decompressing from the day, wine flowing and philosophy commencing. Through the front door, a piano sits in the middle of what used to be the living room, now a gathering place with all sorts of vintage instruments. Your eyes scan the room, trying to take inventory of it all but eventually failing to organize it. Off the living room are the control room and one of two studio spaces; one is set up for recording drums and the other pretty much everything else.

That leads us to the purpose of my trip, to see DocFell & Co. at work on “Heaven, Hell, or Oklahoma”. Percefull is producing and engineering the project. By the time I got there, the band had already been at work for a couple of days laying down drum, vocal, and rhythm guitar tracks. My day was spent largely with Adam Miller composing and putting down bass lines. It’s a meticulous and at times mechanical process, taking what’s created by the right brain and converting it into a left brain activity. But in the end, it really doesn’t matter how it’s done if the music feeds your soul.

Obviously, it’s all still coming together but the album dabbles in the existential themes of life, death and beyond the grave. Talking with John Fell, several of the tracks were written just after attending funerals, which sounds morbid but it’s those types of events that often get us thinking about the big picture. There are other songs inspired by family members, like “Mean Marie”, loosely based on tales about his grandmother-in-law and “Radio is Dead”, inspired by his son. Fell also pays tribute to Willie Nelson with his song “Three Chords”, but my favorite track thus far is “Beulah Land”. It’s inspired by an old pilgrim hymnal about heaven and marches along as if you are approaching the Pearly Gates.  As with their previous albums, Scissor Tail and Dust Bowl Heart, Fell and the band intend to stay true to their established folk-country sound. However, I expect Percefull will likely add a touch of 70’s Waylon Jennings to give the project a voice of its own.

Overall, it was really cool to watch it all happen and I even got in a little jam session with Adam, Kyle Brown (guitar), and Phillip Tijerina (yellow DOG Studios, 2nd engineer).

Expect “Heaven, Hell, or Oklahoma” to hit during the first half of 2018. For more on DocFell & Co. check the usual outlets:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/docfellmusic/

Twitter – @drfeljo

Website: www.docfellmusic.com

yellow DOG Studios website: www.yellowdogstudios.com