February 28 2021

Caprock Music

Texas music has always held a special place inside of my soul. The music from and about my home state has always brought out special feelings and memories from somewhere deep inside of myself. More recently, I have refined my musical taste not only about Texas but from West Texas.

Songwriters like Charlie Stout, Cleto Cordero, John Baumann, and even Charlie Robison have written and sang about this unforgiving, rugged and rocky desert I have called home for most all of my life.

Recently I ran across a Lubbock based group, Mason and the Gin Line. In December of last year the band released their debut E.P. Caprock Composition.

The group has been influenced by country, rock and even thrash metal music, and are catalogued in the Texas Country or Red Dirt genre. The lead singer of the group, Mason Server, simply calls the groups style of music Caprock.

Mason Server and Blaze Butler first met up when Mason was in college and Blaze was finishing high school. Through playing gigs in and around music the two met Russell Jones. These three unique musicians spent the early parts of 2020, the year of the pandemic, to come together as a band. As they learned each other’s styles and sounds and began to write and record new music, this new Caprock Composition was born.

My favorite by Mason and the Gin Line thus far is “Pipeliner.” The song makes reference to my home, Odessa Texas, and other towns around the oilfields of the Permian Basin. Towns like Ozona and St. Lawrence are mentioned in the song.

In the article, Keep An Eye Out For Mason & The Gin Line | Whiskey Riff Whiskey Riff says this about Mason and the Gin Line:

their “West Texas country and rock & roll” style is phenomenal.

Whiskey Riff

I agree, what this group is doing through music and their way to tell a story within the lyrics of a song is praise worthy.  

Follow them on Spotify, iTunes, and Facebook, and Twitter. Mason and The Gin Line is a group that I will be following from here on out.

Multiple great musicians have come from the caprock area of Texas. These Lubbock sounds are so amazing to me. I am blessed to live near such a great hub for Texas country music. Looking forward to catching Mason Server and his Gin Line down the road. I cannot wait to hear what the band comes up with next.

Pancho.

February 24 2021

Like Texas Rain

Texas Rain was an album released in 2001. The album was subtitled the Hill Country Recordings. In the late 1980’s Texas singer/ songwriter Townes Van Zandt began re- recording his classic compositions. He envisioned a box set of music he would call NEWOLOGY. Of these recordings, 12 resurfaced in Texas Rain. The album is essentially a series of duets with the legendary Townes, and an all-star lineup of country and folk musicians. The Texas Rain album featured Freddy Fender, Emmylou Harris, Kathy Mattea, James McMurtry, Augie Myers, Willie Nelson, Rubin Ramos & The Texas Revolution, Kimmie Rhodes, Calvin Russell, Doug Sahm, Jerry Jeff Walker, John Inmon and the Chromatics.

“I was just tapped on the shoulder from above and told to write these songs, as opposed to wanting to be a success in the music business.”

Townes Van Zandt

Texas Rain” is also a new single by Rockwall, Texas native Graycie York. Her, “Texas Rain” has risen to the #22 spot in Texas Music Pickers most streamed Texas/ Red Dirt singles this week.

The song is something of a breakup song. A song about being unable to put up with someone, even though you love them and how hard it is to be without them because you love them so much. The musical element of the song is not twangy country music yet it is more a rock and up beat tempo.

Graycie York has been singing and performing most all of her life. Information I obtained from her webpage indicates she recalled singing in the backseat at the age of two.

She has a great voice and she has ambition and hope to become somebody in the music industry soon. I believe in her and her music. The weather in West Texas is constantly changing. There is nothing like a Texas rain storm to cool the air and settle the dusty landscape. Often after a rain the beauty of the driest and the most rough terrain is revealed. I find this beauty in Graycie York’s music.

“My dream has always been to just do music…I’m trying to be as humble as I can, because that’s how I was raised…Things are happening really fast.”

Graycie York

Like Texas Rain

Pancho.

February 23 2021

Remember The Alamo

Into the eve of February, 23rd Santa Anna’s Army began to arrive in San Antonio de Bexár. Prompted by their arrival, members of the Texan Army began to enter the Alamo, a building once a place of worship and refuge, was now heavily fortified. 

At the start of the siege, there were 18 serviceable cannons and approximately 150 men inside the Alamo.  When the Mexican Army arrived, a meeting was called by one Commanders, James Bowie, adventurer and known for knife fighting. Ever heard of a Bowie Knife? Bowie sent the chief engineer of the garrison, Green B. Jameson, to meet with the Mexican officials. During the meeting Santa Anna ordered his terms as surrender at discretion, meaning he had the sole decision of the Texan’s fate.

The second Alamo Commander, a 26-year-old William B. Travis answered for the Texan’s.  His answer came in the form a cannon shot from the 18-pounder cannon. 

The Siege of the Alamo had begun.

Upon Santa Anna’s orders a red flag was raised at the San Fernando Church. The flag signaled the General’s wishes. No quarter would be given. 

American Singer/ Songwriter/ Instrumentalist known professionally as Marty Robbins, tells the story well in song.

Remember The Alamo…

Pancho.

February 21 2021

I Can Help

American country singer/songwriter, Billy Swan, is best known for his hit song “I Can Help.” Swan is also known as a former member of Kris Kristofferson’s band. In fact the hit song was written on an organ that Kris and Rita Coolidge gave Billy and Marlu Swan as a wedding gift. Billy and Marlu would maintain a happy marriage for over thirty years, until Marlu’s passing of cancer in February of 2003. It was In a room that Marlu had repurposed as a music room in the Swan’s Nashville home, that Billy sat down at the organ and the words and music began to flow.

                              If you’ve got a problem, don’t care what it is

                              If you need a hand, I can assure you this

                             I can help, I’ve got two strong arms, I can help

                            It would sure do me good to do you good

                                                         Let me help…

“I Can Help,” was written in March of 1974 and recorded around the same time at Young’un Sound studio in Murfreesboro, TN. Producer Chip Young recalled that the song’s single release by Monument in July of that year was in order to finance a much larger composition, an album to include the song. Besides Young, the rest of the record company was in agreement that the single, “Ways of A Woman in Love,” should be the first single for the album. Young knew then and was right that the hit song was, “I Can Help.”  The song was an immediate success in the American country and pop charts. The song also reached #1 status in multiple countries including Canada, Norway, France, Germany, and Australia.

You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas

Davy Crockett

My favorite coffee cup reads, “You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas,” a quote by the American folk hero, politician, frontiersman, turned soldier Davy Crockett. I like to remember Davy Crockett as a larger than life hero. A man who would rush in to save the day, with little care or concern for himself.

That is what I most think the song “I Can Help” says to me. If you’ve got a problem, I am here for you, No Matter What. Like a valiant knight rushing in to save a damsel in distress, I Can Help! I would hope that I am thought of as that kind of guy to the people who cross my path.

                             Don’t forget me, babe, all you gotta do is call.

I have always strived to be the You know I have your back kind of person. Sometimes I do fall short in this way of thinking. Life’s experience has proven that I can do many or most anything that I put my mind to. I am a fixer and a builder. The kind of people I like to be around are the people who believe in my accomplishments and who support me and encourage me to be the best man that I can be and who truly believe that I can accomplish this or that. Even when I do not think I can do it myself. My wife has been my biggest supporter in this belief. Just yesterday when my old pickup truck died, through her encouragement I fixed it. Things like that I would have never tried to even begin to accomplish had it not been for her belief in me. I can help!  And she shows me that I have more power than I ever thought I have.

A distant relative of my hero, Davy Crockett, is Texas musician, Charley Crockett. In January of this year, he recorded his version of the Billy Swan song, “I Can Help.”

The Crockett version of the song was produced by Bruce Robison at his Texas based studio, The Next Waltz.

Charley Crockett takes the same old song and has made it his own. In the Charley way, his talent and style, coupled with a country and blues voice. Charley has an ability to pour out the trials and tribulations in his own life into a song. Charley reminds me of that valiant knight or that larger than life hero Davy Crockett who killed a bear with his own hand.

Pancho.

February 19 2021

Bridge Over Troubled Water is Always On My Mind

I guess I have loved Simon and Garfunkel since I was very young. Their songs have always held a tender place in my heart. Growing up, my dad loved the Classic Rock radio stations, and the voices of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were commonplace along the air waves on drives anywhere we went. Besides Dad, my Great Uncle Zack was a huge fan of the duo. Uncle Zack solidified my belief at a young age that Simon and Garfunkel was the best rock band that ever was.

In 1982 I was seven years old. In February of that year, Willie Nelson released his twenty-seventh studio album, Always On My Mind. The album was recognized as the Billboard Country Album of the Year thatyear. Long before I ever found Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, even though they were here long before me, there was always Willie Nelson in my mind. I would suppose that I have been a fan of Willie Nelson since the day I was born.

Willie’s, Always On My Mind album featured his cover version of Simon and Garfunkel’s hit song “Bridge over Troubled Water.”

I bet throughout my 45 years on this planet of Earth, I have heard the song more than 45 thousand times. More times than not, it was Willie Nelson’s version than Simon and Garfunkel that was spinning on the player.

This song brings me instant peace and comfort. It soothes me down deep inside of my being. I can feel every emotion in my being when I hear the lyrical genius of the verses and the acoustical music of the melodies. This is a song that even though Willie Nelson did not write, I honestly think he could have. He made the song his own and his voice and emotion shines through the sound. It is an oldie but a goodie. It is one of my very favorites, but I suppose that I could say just that about any song that Willie ever sung.

Columbia’s release of Always On My Mind with it’s pop standard sound and the direction of the album’s producer Chip Moman was a bridge that Willie Nelson needed to cross. The album changed my view of music forever by showing me that a cover song could become better than the original.

Bridge Over Troubled Water will forever be Always On My Mind.

Pancho.

February 18 2021

50 Dollars a Week- Crockett/Tweek

Attention all you Tweeks and Freaks, here is some more new music that released in Texas just before the world froze over.

This South Texas Tweek performance was co-written with Charley Crockett .“50 Dollars a Week,”  is a song about working hard for little pay.

Hard times happen, and we as humans have to overcome. When we are working hard to support our loved ones we don’t mind. I have worked my hands black more than once in my life. I have been through some hard times. This is music that I can relate to. A man should never be afraid of hard work.

Charley Crockett is used to hard times. Last May, Crockett announced the release of his new album, Welcome to Hard Times.  

Charley grew up in a trailer park in Los Fresnos way down in the southern tip of the Great State of Texas. At the age of 17 he left home and began making music. He played on the streets of New Orleans and in and around the arts and entertainment district Deep Ellum in Dallas, Texas. Crockett has worked on farms and communes. He has spent some time on the wrong side of the law including being arrested on possession charges. He has done his time, and put his troubles into his blues and americana music.

Charley began playing guitar on one his mother had purchased for him at a pawn shop.

“I taught myself how to play and started to write songs immediately, without any chord knowledge or anything. I didn’t know what key I was in for 12 years, but my ear was really good, and I could play in any key and any chord. I just didn’t know what it was.”

Charley Crockett- Via Wikipedia

In the last few years, Charley Crockett has released multiple singles and has written and/or co wrote several songs.

I like Crockett’s style and South Texas Tweek’s voice and skill as a musician accompanies Crockett’s music well.

I enjoy the new tunes coming out from these guys and I know there is a future ahead for the both of them.

Pancho.

February 15 2021

Mother Nature, come get your Arctic weather and take it home

Today is my beautiful wife’s birthday. My wife is the Pinkie to my Pancho here at PinkieandPancho.com. She told me earlier, that this would be a birthday she would not forget soon if ever.

We are experiencing a Winter Storm Warning here in the usually rather sunny, semiarid mild climate we live in. In general the Part of Texas we survive in lies in the Chihuahuan Desert. Average rainfall is somewhere around 14 inches a year. Between yesterday and the day before, we received somewhere in the amount of 4-8 inches of snowfall. I use to say that the oilfield ran 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Well, this weekend, the oilfield seems to have hung up the “closed” sign. After being sent home early on Friday, I was told to stay home from work today, and not come back till noon tomorrow Typical February weather here in the town of Odessa, Texas averages 62 degrees for the high and 36 degrees as the low. Today’s weather real time as of Seven P.M. Central Standard Time, is 14 degrees outside with a windchill factor making it feel like 6 degrees outside. How is that for Global Warming?

Our power has been on and off today, thankfully it has been on more than It has been off. We realize we are not as prepared for disaster as we could be. We are grateful to have what we need to keep us safe and healthy, but we also know we could and need to become more prepared in the near future. Some of our family members haven’t been as lucky as us as far as the ‘lectric goes. We are grateful and happy that as of now, they are safe and warm.

We realize this could have been a lot worse than it has been. At least we can learn something from the experience. We have drawn together as a couple and have shared our stories of faith and gratitude. Together, we can see areas in which we need to grow. Things to do to ensure our comforts if and when this Northern Blast of cold ever hits again!

This is all new to me. Currently, over 2 million Texans have reported power outages. What in tarnation is a “Rolling Blackout” ?  These regulated blackouts are supposed to be helping save precious energy. Is it actually helping or hurting us? I mean seriously it takes more energy to heat a cold pot than to heat a pot that is already maintaining stable heat ratio.

The party responsible for the blackout is the ERCOT. These blackouts are supposed to last 45 minutes or so.. you can call (888) 313-4747 or text OUT to 66267 if your outages last longer than this.

The snow is beautiful, for a little while. I do not know how the folks in the northern states deal with it day after day. I am not used to it. I never have been and probably never will be. There is snow in parts of Texas that almost never receive the white frozen stuff from the sky. There’s snow in places like Houston and Austin. Even the famed Luckenbach Texas Dancehall is closed due to severe weather conditions.

That is all I have for now. I want to once again wish my Pinkie a Happy Birthday and to say this:

Mother Nature, come get your Arctic weather and take it  home… The snow is messing up my view of the sand and tumbleweeds….

Pancho.

February 14 2021

How Lucky

At midnight last night, Kaitlin Butts newest single dropped. “How Lucky am I” is out now.

Her Twitter feed yesterday read:

Five years ago today, I kissed @cletocordero on the cheek while telling a story. I’ll never forget the look on his face and him saying..”you wanna try that again?”

“How Lucky Am I” is for him & he doesn’t know I’m putting it out yet bc I blocked myself on all of his socials Lol

I suppose that the word is out today, Valentine’s 2021. Butts sings , “How Lucky am I,” for Cleto Cordero.

Just in case you didn’t already know you should. Cleto Cordero is the front man and primary songwriter of Lubbock, Texas based, Flatland Calvary. Cleto is also a member of my current favorite Texas supergroup, the Panhandlers. Cleto was raised in my hometown of Midland, Texas before moving to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech University and pursue his musical career. In my opinion, he is one of the most powerful songwriters in Texas country music today.

Cleto Cordero and Kaitlin Butts were married last October. Kaitlin is a frequent collaborator with Flatland Calvary and often can be seen with them at their live shows.

Kaitlin Butts is a Tulsa, Oklahoma native. She is a skilled and accomplished songwriter. Her music has become popular in the Texas and Red Dirt Scene in the past few years. She is someone to be watching as I know she is going to become more popular than she already is.

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”

Victor Hugo

“In spite of ourselves,

We’ll end up a’sittin’ on a rainbow,

Against all odds

Honey, we’re the big door prize.”  –  JOHN PRINE

For Pinkie and I being married couple it was our first Valentine’s Day together in matrimony. Cordero got a song for Valentine’s day. I got Body Wash and Cologne. Is Pinkie trying to tell me something? Seriously, I appreciate it just the same. I know she loves me and I know that I love her. I am glad I found someone to love and who is strong enough to put up with my doo doo on a daily basis. Being loved is the greatest gift of all. I know I have found that perfect person and I know we will go far. I hope for many more Valentine’s days that we get to spend as husband and wife.

Happy Valentine’s Day to All.

How Lucky Am I?

Pancho.

February 13 2021

BLUE WING

BLUE WING- WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY TOM RUSSELL

He had a blue wing tattooed on his shoulder

Well, it might have been a bluebird, I don’t know

but he’d get stone drunk and talk about Alaska

The salmon boats and 45 below

Well, he got that blue wing up in Walla Walla

and his cellmate there was a Little Willy John

and Willie, he was once a great blues singer

so Wing & Willie wrote him up a song

It’s cold out today. Been sleet and snow all day. Currently, it is 19 degrees outside. The West Texas winds are making it feel like 8.  Too cold for this desert rat. I am glad I’m in Texas and not in Alaska. Plenty cold here without 45 below..

I have been thinking for years about a cover up tatoo. I currently have this ugly Salamander or Lizard looking thingy on my left shoulder. It was one of those drunken nights many years ago. Hey that looks bad ass. So I did it. One of those things you regret when you get sober. I would like to get the Blue Wing on top of it. I love the chorus of the song and what the Blue Wing tattoo meant to the blues singers.

They sang, it’s dark in here, can’t see the light

but I look at this blue wing when I close my eyes

and I fly away, beyond these walls

up above the clouds, where the rain don’t fall

on a poor man’s dreams

I would like to close my eyes sometimes and just fly away. Life gets stressful. I am grateful today that I have found ways to deal with it. Writing this blog is one way and My music.. Flying high above the clouds. I love to drift away in a song.

Blue Wing” was written by Tom Russell. The song was released in 1989 on Tom’s album, Poor Man’s Dream. The song has also been covered by Dave Alvin, Thad Beckman, and many others. It is said that Johnny Cash once recorded it, but I have been unable to find the video or audio for the Cash cover.

Well, he drank his way to L.A., and that’s where he died

and no one knew his Christian name, and there was no one there to cry

but I dreamt there was a funeral; a preacher and a cheap pine box

and halfway through the sermon blue wing began to talk

He said, it’s dark in here…

I do hope Blue Wing flew away. High above the clouds. I hope he found a better place and he is still making his music on the other side.

Pancho.

February 11 2021

Your Smile Takes My Breath Away

From Facebook Memories.. My cousin’s single Your Smile Takes My Breath Away Dropped on Apple ITunes a year ago today. IF you don’t have it you need to go get it. The song is proudly living forever on my personal Wedding Playlist I created last March 4th.

Proud of my cousin and the man he is becoming.

Go check him out!

You take me to my knees with just one wink.. Your smile takes my breath away.

Pancho.