May 9 2021

Musical Memories of Mom

Spread the love

Remember those old record clubs in the 80’s that offered vinyl for pennies on the dollar? Problem was, once you opted in you became a club member. Next thing you know you are receiving two or three albums a month and being charged full price plus shipping and handling and it was more a pain in the ass to return for a refund then to just keep the damn thing. Some of these old records, I still own today.

It was a blessing to me and my little brother growing up, that my mom had opted in on one of these Record deals. The vinyl albums she received while I was growing up influenced the music that I still appreciate today.

I have been struggling this morning to answer this question. What is my mother’s favorite song? I still have not come up with the answer in my mind. What I did come up with is that because of her, I have the taste in music that I have.

I recall a lot of Motown and country and old rock-n-roll. I remember Elvis, Willie, The Coasters, and The Four Tops. Not to mention spinning records and plugging in 8 tracks. As I look back, the voices of Diana Ross and her Supremes would channel through the speakers. Guitars and Keys and Drums would often fill our home.

My mother taught me the most basic things in life. Things like how to Two Step across a dance floor coated in saw dust. She bought me my first record player, TV, “Jam Box”, and computer. Some of the devices I still use this very day to play my song.

Mom took me to some of my very first concerts and musical productions. Together we once saw Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and the Gatlin Brothers. This lineup of what is now considered country gold performed at our local Jr college gymnasium.

I love that not only was it all about her. A fond memory of my growing up, the fact my mom showed an interest in the bands and music that I loved. I recall car travels with just the two of us and she would let me play the Deejay all the way.

Just last year, she bought my wife and I front row seats to go see one of my favorites, Robert Earl Keen.

Mom still adds to my record collection every chance she gets. Chances like birthdays and Christmas.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom! Thank you for the Music and the Memories.. Looking forward to the next one!

Pancho.

May 8 2021

Crockett/Daniels at Ector Theatre

Spread the love

Only a few short blocks from my home in Odessa, Texas is the historic Ector Theatre. This structure has laid dormant for much of my adult life. Recently the entire theatre was renovated and has reopened the doors. I have driven past this old theatre located at Texas and 5th many times, but last night was the first time, I had ever entered the building or stepped under it’s grand marque.

For Charley Crockett, it was his first time too. He was performing in Odessa for the first time since forming the Charley Crockett Band. Crockett entertained a packed audience full of the old and the young, representing many ethnic backgrounds and cultures. Just looking around at this mixed crowd, I felt connected with them. Connected not only by this Odessa, the place we all called home, but also connected by our love of music. I was pleased with the turnout to support this Up-and-Coming musician. I was more than impressed by the talent that Charley and his band displayed. Just as diverse as Charley’s fan base is his music. These songs ranged from honky tonk country, to classic oldies, rhythm and blues. Many of the songs were original pieces by Charley himself, while others were penned by the late James “Slim” Hand. More than once, Crockett and his five pieced band, pushed the limits of their guitar strings, drums and keys and really rocked the house. For me, the multi-instrumentals along with Charley’s powerful and unique voice were the best parts. There were horns, a stand-up bass, the ring of the steel guitar, and ragtime piano flavor. Much of the music flooded my ears as if straight out of an old western saloon. I enjoyed the encore performance of “Lilly My Dear,” during which Charley traded his guitar for a banjo, and the drummer picked up an accordion.

Crockett belting the lyrics of Lilly my darling, Lilly my dear, For what awful reason have you come down here? really seemed to get the crowd excited. I even noticed a few couples dancing in the aisles of the partitioned theatre seats.

My wife remarked about Crockett’s smooth moves and she could see Charley Crockett’s dedication.

“Like it or not, he is true to himself. That impresses me, especially in a world where it is too easy to lose yourself and be what everyone else thinks you ought to be,” remarked my wife, Jennifer.

“Like it or not, he is true to himself. That impresses me, especially in a world where it is too easy to lose yourself and be what everyone else thinks you ought to be,”

Jennifer Graves Watson

As well as seeing the headliner Charley Crockett, my wife and I also got to enjoy a performance by Jesse Daniel. Daniel has been reincarnating a mellow country and “Bakersfield Sound” into the genre of Red Dirt and Texas Country music. I enjoyed watching his band and backup singers immensely.  His songs are full of heartfelt lyrics. His music sounds the way I think that country music should be. At one point during his set, Jesse Daniel sang a few verses in Spanish, which brought much joy to the audience based on their reactive cheers and whistles.  I had the honor to briefly speak to him at the merch table and was glowing to be able to shake the hand of this wonderful artist. Jesse Daniel is someone I regularly follow on social media and listen to on Spotify. I feel that he is going places and will be standing on top sooner than later.

I was more than pleased after purchasing tickets for the theatre to see Charley Crockett’s show when I learned that Jesse Daniel had been added to the bill. It would have been well worth seeing either artist play live, being able to see both of them at the same venue on the same night for me was priceless.

As a fan of music I am thankful that these artists and the many others whom I have grown to love are able to be back out on the road making their living as they entertain us.. the fan.

Pancho.

May 7 2021

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives Put on A Fabulous Show

Spread the love

Last night, the wife, Pinkie, and I ventured to the Tall City. Permian Basin PBS hosted an event in Downtown Midland, Texas to benefit Public Broadcasting along with First Responders. In an effort to host a large audience in this post pandemic time, PBS hosted at a sectioned off part of Main Street in front of their offices at the old Ritz Theatre. The street was transformed into a class A dance party.

The evening began with BBQ provided to us by the Odessa Chuck Wagon Gang. The group catered their long standard brand of Brisket and Beans and that good ol’ potato salad and peach cobbler. The tasty food stuck to our bellies and give us the energy reserves needed to dance the night away.

Scott Kirby, a folk singer/songwriter from Key West, Florida was the opening act. Kirby mixed some of his own, handwritten tunes with some Texas classic favorites like his rendition of Guy Clark’s, “LA Freeway.” I was able to shake Scott’s hand and thank him for his performance. He seemed overall a humble man for such a talented musician. He was excited to have been asked to sing his songs in front of the Country Hall of Fame main event Marty Stuart. Kirby played bass in his 20’s and then moved into a career in politics until 1988. He had just enough New England winters to suit him, so he packed up his guitar and moved to the sunny beaches of Key West.

During the event, I also was honored to say hello and shake the hand of Jody Nix. Jody Nix, an accomplished musician who has played his style of Western Swing across the Great State of Texas for over 55 years, made the drive over from Big Spring to support his old friend Marty Stuart. I related the story to my wife of the first two-steppin’ I ever did. I circled the sawdust on more than one occasion with Jody Nix style of music. Jody would play dances out at the old Midland Exhibit building and during my high school days he played for our rodeo dances.

The hot Texas sun had begun to duck behind the Tall Buildings of downtown Midland. A nice cooling breeze was blowing in at approximately 7:30pm, Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives arrived on the stage to a hootin’ hollerin’ West Texas welcome. Marty played many old favorites some dating back to his days with Johnny Cash band and his early days with Lester Flatt. The mix of country and blue grass sounds kept the dance floor full all night long. I thoroughly enjoyed watching his interaction with the crowd. He really gave us what we wanted to hear. His stage presence was natural and we knew he was having fun just doing his job making the music that we have grown up to love.

I loved how Marty allowed each of the members of his band the Superlatives to take the spotlight and perform their own solos. He was definitely in tune to each member of his band and the four some together made an amazing sound of music.

“Cousin” Kenny Vaughan long time lead guitarist for Marty brought his rockabilly style to West Texas.

Drummer Harry Stinson, who first worked professionally touring with Dottie West in the 1970’s, spent a few years with Steve Earle and the Dukes and founded his own band, Dead Reckoning before joining forces with The Fabulous Superlatives in 2002.

Original Superlative, The “Apostle” Paul Martin was back with the band at this event playing the “Bass Fiddle,” as Marty Stuart dubbed. Paul who was once the lead singer and guitarist of the country pop group Exile, joined Stuart in the makings of The Fabulous Superlatives. Paul Martin had previously been replaced by Bassist Chris Scruggs as he had moved on to pursue other interests including his own band, “Martin Family Circus.”

Paul and his wife Jamie began singing together with their four children back in 2010. The band got it’s “Martin Family Circus” moniker from Country music hall of fame member, Vince Gill. It was enjoyed by all to see Paul once again on stage with Marty Stuart.

The music of Marty Stuart is a huge part of the sound track of my youth. This music still resonates within me today. His “Burn Me Down,” coupled with “Hillbilly Rock” have always been in the back ground of my mind. It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of this amazing event. Checking a Marty Stuart show off my Bucket List is a night I shall never forget.

I am thankful that we are in Post Pandemic and can once again interact with society at these LIVE EVENTS. After seeing Marty’s Show, I have the bug and am ready to once again begin venturing to concerts near and far.

One fan last night claimed he drove 1000 miles, From Las Vegas to West Texas, “Just to hear Stuart sing Hillbilly Rock.” After the fun and that fantastic show Marty Stuart put on last night, I just might do the same.

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives put on a Fabulous Show.

Pancho.

May 5 2021

Tweets say New Music Coming Soon

Spread the love

Twitter has once again brought me happy news! Today I learned that some of my favorites will soon have NEW MUSIC!

Mason Server of Mason and the Gin Line reported that they are planning to release a new single out by July. South Texas Tweek has been writing new tunes and is going to release a single in June. Rosmand is currently recording a brand new album and the recording process will be complete by this coming Saturday.

“We will finish recording the new album on Saturday it has been a long road to get here, a lot of learning in music and in life, I can’t wait for y’all to hear it”

Tweeted Mando Salas of Rosmand

I asked Mando where he had been recording at.

“For the first time (for releasing it to public) – I’m tracking at home!” said Salas.

I recently purchased Mando Salas’ album, Forever, on iTunes. If you don’t have it, you need to get it! There are some amazing and up beat tracks on this 2018 release. Several are sang as duets with his wife Chelsie Salas and man that girl can sing.

I also saw a tweet stating Seth Jones will be in the studio Monday working on his album and already has plans to record a second album sooner than later.

Wow dude, that’s a double take!

“This coming Monday I’m in the studio working on a pretty wild album.. A week and two days later I’ll be in the studio again working on a different and slightly less wild album.”

Seth Jones

Seth Jones song “The Last Lesson,” is currently ranked at #59 on the Texas Music Pickers charts.

I am loving what these guys are doing for country music and I hope they all just keep on climbing. Their old stuff is good and I know the new stuff is going to be even better. Keep up the good work and Keep shouting out your Texas Country roots.

Texas Country roots.

Pancho.

May 4 2021

Emerson- Learnin’ To Drown

Spread the love

Relatively new to the music scene, Texas singer/ songwriter Vincent Neil Emerson, is going to be releasing his self-titled album on June 25. This full-length album is available now for presale through Emerson’s webpage vincentneilemerson.com.

Ten of Emerson’s most personal songs were written over several months making up the content of the album. The music demos of Vincent Neil Emerson caught the attention of Country and Folk Legend Rodney Crowell.  Crowell was moved to step up and pick a team of seasoned session musicians and produce the album. I am personally looking forward to the release of this album which will be released on the LA HONDA RECORDS/ THIRTY TIGERS label.

“If he grows on the public the way he’s grown on me, it’s possible young Vincent will plant the flag of forebears firmly in the consciousness of a whole new generation”

-Rodney Crowell

Emerson hails from VanZandt county Texas. The county was named for Issac VanZandt, the third great grandfather of country music songwriter and performer Townes VanZandt. Vincent Neil Emerson gives credit to Townes as one of his biggest inspirations in music.

“To hear a guy from Fort Worth say those kind of kinds of things and make those songs was pretty eye opening.”

Vincent neil emerson

Emerson’s song writing has a touch of the traditional country sounds, much like his musical heroes Townes and Guy Clark. I only recently found out about this artist for myself, but I believe he is worthy of representing this State of Texas that I love as a valued Texas country musician. He is worth a listen and as I previously stated, I cannot wait for this new album’s release. I have a feeling that there will be more and more good ol’ Texas music where this one came from in the near future.

Pancho.

May 3 2021

Hollywood Nudies

Spread the love

If you have ever seen images of Gram Parsons or have seen the album cover art for the Flying Burrito Brothers, then you have probably seen a Nudie Suit.

The Nudie Suit was named for the tailor who created the Rhinestone Studded outerwear, Nudie Cohn. Cohn was born in Kiev in the Russian Empire in 1902. His birth name was, Nuta Kotlyarenko. A mispronunciation at Ellis island upon coming to America forever changed his moniker to Nudie Cohn. Cohn’s family were Ukrainian Jews. To escape the Antisemitism in Ukraine, he and his brother Julius were sent to America. At the time Cohn was only 11 years old. Nudie spent some time in his childhood traveling around the country first as a shoeshine boy then a boxer. He has been said to have had Mafia associates such as Pretty Boy Floyd. Nudie Cohn even did some hard time at Leavenworth for drug trafficking in his younger years.

In the midst of The Great Depression in 1934 Nudie Cohn married the American apparel designer and retailer Helen Barbara Kruger (also called Bobbie Nudie) after having met her at her parent’s boarding house in Minnesota. Nudie had some sense for the sewing machine as well as his father had been a boot maker back in Russia. The newlyweds moved to New York to begin their first clothing company Nudies For The Ladies. This business based in Manhattan, New York specialized in making and selling G-strings and lingerie for the showgirls who worked on Broadway.

In the early 1940’s, Cohn and Kruger relocated to California. The two continued to make custom clothing, first working out of the family garage. In 1947, Cohn persuaded musician Tex Williams to buy him a sewing machine. In return, Cohn made clothing for Williams. The country musician wearing these clothes prompted a following for Nudie. He opened a western store on the corner of Victory and Vineland and Nudies of Hollywood was born. After a success in business the family enterprise moved to a much larger facility and the company changed it’s name to Nudies Rodeo Tailors.

Porter Wagoner, whose first “Nudie,” featured rhinestones, a covered wagon and wagon wheels on the legs, said by 2006 he had accumulated 52 of the suits. The suits cost him 11,000 to 18,000 dollars apiece. His first outfit, the one with wagon wheels, had been free.

Cohn’s designs became signature looks for their owners. Elvis wore a gold one on the cover of his 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong album. Gram Parsons suit on the Gilded Palace of Sin album, was adorned with Marijuana leaves, poppy seeds and a giant cross across it’s back side. Hank Williams wore Nudie Suits as did ZZ top.

Film stars wore the Nudie Suit as well. Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Gene Autry, and Dale Evans all wore Nudies. So did Ronald Reagan who later would become the United States 40th president.

In Rock, The Nudie was popular among John Lennon and the groups America and Chicago.

Nudie Cohn died in 1984 at the age of 81. Numerous celebrities and long-time customers attended his funeral. The eulogy was delivered by Dale Evans. Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors remained open for an additional ten years under the ownership of Nudie’s widow Bobbie and granddaughter Jamie, and closed in 1994.- Wikipedia

Today these Nudie Creations are highly valued and collectable. For example, a Nudie tailored shirt once worn by Johnny Cash in 1976, sold at auction for $25,000.

I have always loved the Creations and Color that Nudie made popular among the country gold. The tassels and the rhinestones and all. Who would have ever thought that the original rhinestone cowboy was a Russian? And good thing he changed his name or perhaps I would be writing this about the Nuta suit instead.  

Pancho.

May 1 2021

Kentucky Derby Day

Spread the love

Today May 1, 2021 marks the 147th Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby an annual horse race held at the Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. This horseracing competition is a Grade I stakes race for three year old Thoroughbreds. The horses and riders travel a distance of one and one quarter miles during this race. This event is sometimes called “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.”

“The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports”

The televised event will air today on the NBC network from 2:30pm to 7:30pm Eastern Time. Traditionally the event is known for it’s Grand hats and Mint Juleps. This year the venue has stated that there are limited tickets available to catch the action live because of COVID and that along with the fancy hats, spectators will also be wearing their masks.

“Making Bets On Kentucky Derby Day”

Kentucky Derby Day reminds me of these song lyrics.

Well, when you’re sitting back in your rose pink Cadillac

Making bets on Kentucky Derby Day

Ah, I’ll be in my basement room with a needle and a spoon

And another girl to take my pain away

These Lyrics were written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. The song was written during Keith Richards friendship with Gram Parsons. Gram’s country sound had begun to influence Richards’ songwriting. “Dead Flowers,” was first recorded by the Rolling Stones at Olympic Studios in London in April, 1970. The song appeared on the Stones’ album Sticky Fingers. It is side two’s fourth track.

According to Wikipedia, “Dead Flowers” was performed live during the album tours for Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St. in 1970–72, then once during the Black and Blue Tour in 1976. It was not played again until the Steel Wheels Tour in 1989. Live performances of the song from 1995 can be found on the Stones’ album Stripped and its 2016 edition Totally Stripped.

Townes Van Zandt

There have been several popular cover versions of the song “Dead Flowers.” My personal favorite version of the song is Townes Van Zandt’s. Towne’s included this version on his 1994 album, Roadsongs. The Townes version was used in the film, The Big Lebowski.

“And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave.”

In my own life, I have often thought and even told others, that If and when I die I would want the song “Dead Flowers” played at my funeral. I was just thinking is it because this dark sounding song hits all the deepest places in my soul?  Perhaps my reasoning and the idea came from the songs line that says, “And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave.” It is possible that It is because of the lines I mentioned previously about the Kentucky Derby. As a long time horse racing fan and a lover of “Dead Flowers,” maybe I could justify this reasoning by thinking that at least I would be remembered once a year “On Kentucky Derby Day.”

Anyway the song does move me in ways that not many other songs do. At this moment I cannot even describe the effect it has had on my life. I appreciate the songs simplicity and it’s country sound. I appreciate the influence that Gram Parsons had on so many other singers and songwriters style of music. The Stones did it first and Townes did it better. And maybe… Just maybe I will live forever in the guitar rifts and words of “Dead Flowers.”

 Pancho.

April 29 2021

Lilly

Spread the love

I am a fan of Singer/Songwriters. I am always seeking to find the original versions and voices of a song.  I was just listening to Charley Crockett’s “Lilly My Dear.

I am a big fan of Charley Crockett and have been following him a lot lately. I will soon get to catch my first live show of this artist and I am super stoked. Everything he puts out he does with such passion and pride and it all sounds like it could be one of my very favorite songs at that given moment. I always enjoy watching Charley’s music videos. I could watch them 100 times over and I still could like them again.

In looking at the song “Lilly My Dear,” from it’s track listing. The song comes from Crockett’s Welcome to Hard Times album. It was co written by of course Charley himself, also Colin Colby, Vincent Neil Emerson and Tyler Heiser.

South Texas Tweek

Wait what? Tyler Heiser.. I now know of him. I love everything about him and truly believe in what he is doing with his music. This boi has some real talent, and a heart as big as TEXAS. I know Tyler Heiser as South Texas Tweek. 50 Dollars a week is one of the South Texas Tweek’s latest singles and it was co-written with Charley Crockett. These two Texans are on my radar and I can’t wait to see what else the two will collaborate together.

Vincent Neil Emerson.

Through this experience of finding these co-creators of “Lilly My Dear” I also discovered Vincent Neil Emerson. His song “Willie Nelson’s Wall,” was a treat to find today of all days. As today is Shotgun Willie’s 88th Birthday.

Willie Hugh Nelson Born on this day April 29, 1933 in Abott Texas.

Vincent Neil Emerson is a singer/songwriter from Van Zandt County in East Texas. He has been playing classic sounding country music since his early twenties. Emerson’s debut album, Fried Chicken & Evil Women, released in September 2019 from LaHonda Records.

Colin Colby

Colin Colby is an Austin, Texas based Indie Musician who often tours with Charley Crockett. I just had to go check him out on Spotify. I can really get behind the tones of “Everyone Wants to Be Young.

I’ll just keep watching and listening to these 4 artists as they are all wonderful solo. In “Lilly My Dear,” a project they did together I think they were phenomenal.

Pancho.

April 28 2021

Billy The Kid Liked to Play Croquet

Spread the love

“Everything is fair in love and range wars….. How ‘bout a game of Croquet?”

LES MARCOTT

I want to share a song by a very talented singer and songwriter and story teller. Les Marcott knows how to spin a story through a song. Les and I happen to share a common love of the songwriter Tom Russell. I can hear Tom’s influence on Les in this particular song. “Billy The Kid Liked To Play Croquet.

Billy the Kid and Croquet is a true story folks. The second ever confirmed photo of Billy The Kid AKA William H. Bonney AKA Henry McCarty is a photo of him playing croquet with his posse, the famed Regulators of Wild West folklore. The same Regulators who fought the Lincoln County War to avenge the death of John Tunstall, the groups mentor, boss, and teacher.

Kagin’s, a San Franscisco based company, authenticated the photograph. A team spent an entire year in research. They found the exact site in which the photograph was taken by unearthing building remains in Chaves County in the State of New Mexico.

Director of a National Geographic Documentary on the find, stated,“We found those exact rock piers are still there….We found the old lumber underneath.”

The team identified Billy the Kid as well as several of the kid’s known associates. The photo was said to be taken at a wedding in the summer of 1878.

Today the original photograph is worth several million dollars. The lucky collector found it inside a cardboard box at a junk shop in Fresno, California.

It all just goes to prove you never know what you might find!

For me the highlight of the day was to find Les Marcott telling the story through his song..

There you have the truth, “Billy The Kid Liked to Play Croquet.”

Pancho.

April 25 2021

Orbison/Melson Collaborations

Spread the love

Roy Orbison described Wink, Texas as:

“football, oil fields, oil, grease, and sand”

Roy Orbison

Rock icon and Texas native Roy Orbison moved to Wink, Texas, in 1946. The move was partly due to his father’s occupation. Orbie Lee Orbison was a mechanic and an oil well driller. Wink was where Roy would spend his high school years. It was there that he formed a band called the Wink Westerners. The Westerners played country standards and popular “Big Band” tunes by the likes of Glen Miller. The Wink Westerners performed on a local West Texas radio station KERB. The band was offered 400 dollars to play a dance, and Roy Orbison realized that he could make his dreams come true by making a living in music.

Orbison left Wink to attend North Texas University in Denton, Texas. Roy had planned to study geology just in case his career in music didn’t work out. He could follow his father’s footsteps through the oil patches of Texas. Later Roy Orbison would move back to West Texas where he began attending classes at Odessa Junior College.

Joe Melson was Born in Bonham, Texas he was also an alumni of Odessa College. Melson had also studied and performed music as a teenager, growing up in Oklahoma and Chicago, Illinois. He formed a rockabilly band called the Cavaliers.

Melson first approached Roy Orbison in 1957. He played one of his original songs for Roy and his first wife Claudette, “Raindrops.” Claudette thought the song to be the most beautiful song she had ever heard. Joe Melson had admiration for the voice of Roy Orbison.

“It’s real, honest, always believable, and the emotion of the songs always ring through. That’s what made him great.”

Joe Melson

The two Texan’s paired up to begin collaborating songs together. Orbison and Melson’s creations became some of the most memorable songs of the 20th Century.

Results of their collaborations produced songs as:

“Uptown” (1960)

“Only the Lonely” (1960)

“Blue Angel” (1960)

“I’m Hurtin'” (1961)

“Running Scared” (1961)

“Blue Avenue” (1961)

“Crying” (1961)

“The Crowd” (1962)

“The Actress” (1962)

“Gigolette” (1962)

“Lana” (1962)

“Blue Bayou” (1963)

“Harlem Woman” (1972)

The song, “Only The Lonely (Know the Way I Feel),” penned by Melson and Orbison, became the first hit for Orbison. “Only The Lonely,” had begun as a Melson song he had titled “Cry.” The two songwriters had originally pitched the song to Elvis Presley. Presley declined and they decided to record the song themselves at RCA Nashville. “Only The Lonely,” peaked to number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The song hit number one in the UK. Orbison who had formed a friendship with Elvis Presley later recalled of Elvis telling how when he first heard the song, the one he had turned down, he bought boxes of the record to give out to his friends.

Texas has been making musicians since the days of the Cowboys and Corridos. The music of Texas is as diverse as the State is itself. Texas born Roy Orbison has always been a favorite of mine. Would he have become as great as he was had it not been for his collaborations with Joe Melson?

Pancho.