I have been listening to Texas Country and Red Dirt a long time. I have always loved hearing songs that remind me of home. Songs that take me back to some place I have been before and places I want to go again.
Scrolling through Twitter I discovered Rosmand and Mando Salas. This band is Texas to the core. I recently watched the video on YouTube for Mando Salas song Del Rio. Mando has a one-of-a-kind voice and the way he portrays his home turf of Del Rio, Texas paints a picture. The pictures in the video itself are wonderful and for a West Texas boy like me who used to frequent the area regularly, the song really took me to a place that felt like home.
For those of you unfamiliar, Del Rio is situated along the Rio Grande River in south western Texas. This frontier town is a flourishing art community. The people of Del Rio are mostly of Hispanic descent. Del Rio is the site of an International bridge that leads across to Acuna, Mexico. The city is rich in Mexican culture. Nearby Lake Amistad offers relief from the West Texas Heat and offers multiple opportunity for watersports, camping and fishing adventure. As well as does the Rio Grande River.
Rosmand began performing live music in 2015. The bands first recorded single was “Devil’s River,” about a year after the band began. By 2018, Rosmand’s upbeat song, “How It Goes,” could be heard on Texas Radio.
Check them out on the band’s website https://www.rosmandmusic.com and give them a listen on Spotify. You can appreciate The West Texas sound like I did.
Today Nashville welcomes 56th Academy of Country Music Awards. The ACM awards show will air tonight on the CBS network at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central time.
To be quite honest, I most likely will not be watching the broadcast start to finish. Most likely I might just wait until tomorrow and catch up on the highlights. Why? Because there is so much crap that comes out of Nashville these days. The stuff playing on country radio isn’t the stuff I would call country music. In my opinion, most all of it is crap. What the hell is Bro Country? I mean c’mon people everyone likes a song about sippin’ on a cold one now and then and drivin’ in yer old pickup truck, but every damn song is starting to sound the same. I like something written that is real. With feelings and heart involved.
This isn’t something that just happened. I mean all the stories I have heard all my life about this singer or that making their way to Nashville to record that perfect song. Those are great stories, but My favorite stories are the ones where the singer made their own way. In spite of what the politics and the Nashville spectrum were doing. My favorite songs are the songs that became hits because they were genuinely great songs. Hits based on the talent of the artist and his or her own audience and following.
For example, there was Willie Nelson. Like in 1972, when he left Nashville and moved back to Texas. He was welcomed in The Lone Star State and in the clubs and bars around Austin. Willie had become dissatisfied about the music he had been making in Nashville. Dissatisfied by music labels and record producers who had “forced” him to do his music their way. No It was his damn music and he was intent on doing it any damn way he pleased. What happened was he made some really damn good country music.
Texas country music or Red Dirt country is the way that country should sound. Period.
Even Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt while writing in Nashville, never forgot their Texas roots. Steve Earle still hasn’t either. I appreciate Texas artists like Bruce Robison who began collecting music and musicians that were not mainstream. His Label, The Next Waltz is a godsend for someone like me who doesn’t like the Nashville sound anymore.
In my opinion, the only artist nominated for anything on tonight’s award show that even sounds remotely what I think country music should sound like is Chris Stapleton. Maybe I like Stapleton because he plays songs written by those good ol’ fashioned country writers. Writers like Guy and Dean Dillon.
Award shows are crap- each artist should be judged on their individualism. Why compare them to the masses? There was a time when a radio DJ could play a song that they wanted to play. I remember when I could call a radio station and request a song that I wanted to hear. I do not think they let the radio DJ choose what record to play these days. Corporate America wants to control what we are listening to. I appreciate other avenues of music and like I said earlier about not watching Nashville’s award shows, I also do not listen to Nashville’s top 40 radio. I appreciate my Sirius XM which lets me choose what genre of music I want. Most times my radio stays on outlaw or bluegrass. My other choice of music is Spotify. On Spotify, the audience is able to choose what they want to stream. Through these streams we can gain valuable insight into what the audience wants to hear. In my opinion, this isn’t how Nashville is operating these days.
If your gonna play in Texas you gotta play good music.
The Vandoliers are a new breed of Texas Bred musicians. This group, in connection with Bruce Robison’s label The Next Waltz released a new single yesterday called, “Waiting On A Train.” The song was also produced by Robison.
“VFFV,” meaning Vandoliers Forever, Forever Vandoliers is a tattoo that is proudly emblazoned on the six band members. These members are lead singer and guitarist Joshua Fleming, bassist Mark Moncrieff, drummer Guyton Sanders, fiddler Travis Curry, electric guitarist Dustin Fleming, and multi-instrumentalist Cory Graves. This Dallas/Ft. Worth blend of punk and Texas, The Vandoliers, formed in 2015. Each of these six members had already gained experience in music before joining forces in making music together.
The group released, Ameri-Kinda in 2016 and The Native in 2017. These were the bands first two albums. Both albums released on State Fair Records. The Vandoliers have been known to tour with country and blue grass superstars such as Marty Stuart and Lee Ann Womack. Until June of this year, the group will remain touring across Texas and Oklahoma. June 10th , the group is scheduled to play a show in København, Denmark.
This group is best at making raw, rough-edged roots music. The lyrics tell a story about the places they have been and the troubles they have conquered throughout the experiences and challenges they have faced in their lives. It is music that makes since to a common man like me. I can relate to, and really enjoy the way Joshua Fleming tells his stories.
Les Marcott recently wrote:
There has been so many variations of the “Train Song.” In The Vandoliers newest release that damned ol’ train is all that is keeping him from stopping her from leaving. Heartbreaking, Yet true. It could have happened to me.
If you hadn’t heard the Vandoliers, go check them out now.
At the age of 75, Rusty Young, died last Wednesday, April 14. The cause of death is said to be heart failure.
Rusty Young grew up in Colorado. At the age of 6 he had already begun playing lap steel guitar. By high school, Rusty was proficient enough to teach others to play the steel and the guitar. In 2013, Young was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.
Young is best known for his association with the Americana/rock band Poco. Poco was a band formed due to the break-up of Buffalo Springfield. Poco was born in 1968. Other founding members of Poco were Richie Furay and Jim Messina, both ex members of Buffalo Springfield. As a songwriter, Young wrote the Poco songs, “Rose of Cimarron,” and “Crazy Love.” Poco and it’s members were pioneers of the California sound which became known as “country rock.”
Country rock was popular in the 1960s and early 1970s. The pioneering musicians who began to record country flavored records had grown up listening to early country and rockabilly in the 1950’s, and were greatly influenced by the early rock & roll in the 1960’s. In some of their early recordings, The Beatles, even recorded some songs with this strong country influence. Other artists and groups in this country rock genre include The Byrds, Gram Parsons, Neil Young, Grateful Dead, Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, and Poco.
These Bands and the bands who came after them into the late 70’s greatly influenced the alternative country movement. Much of the music I prefer today comes from this sub genre.
Alternative country is defined asAlternative country, or alternative country rock (sometimes alt-country, insurgent country, or Americana) is a loosely defined subgenre of country rock, which includes acts that differ significantly in style from mainstream country music, mainstream country rock, and country pop.
The term has been used to describe country music bands and artists that are also defined as or have incorporated influences from alternative rock and cowpunk, indie rock, roots rock, bluegrass, neotraditional country, punk rock, progressive country, rockabilly, punkabilly, honky-tonk, outlaw country, folk rock, indie folk, folk revival, folk punk, hard rock, R&B, heartland rock, and Southern rock.
As I have mentioned before, my favorite kind of music contains those lyrics that I relate to. Of course, I have to enjoy the beat and the rhythm of the song. I like a song that allows my mind to get totally lost in it’s composition. Country Rock can usually do all of that for me.
I am thankful for pioneering musicians like Rusty Young who weren’t afraid to try something different.
Sittin’ here, feelin’ low with a lack of inspiration
Lookin’ for someone to solve it all
This is the first verse of the Jesse Daniel’s song “Rollin’ On.”
“Rollin’ On,” is the title track on Jesse Daniel’s second album. This album is packed full of great music. Jessie Daniel is a singer/ songwriter originally from California who now is based in Austin, Texas. His music reflects that “Bakersfield Sound.” His inspirations as a songwriter are rooted in California country and western. His music has been inspired by that “Bakersfield Sound,” similar to other California country musicians, Merle Haggard and the great Buck Owens.
Jesse Daniel’s music reflects his California upbringing as well as what happened and what it’s like now. He spent some dark times in addiction and institutions and he found happiness in a sober way of living. As of now, Daniel has been sober for over 3 years.
On Jesse’s own website the album Rollin’ On is described as an arc, from the bottomed-out lows of his darker days to the ever-escalating heights of his present. The intro to his webpage calls this album his best work to date.
American Songwriter had this to say:
“Rollin’ On is an uplifting expression of Daniel’s commitment to his sobriety, his love for California’s often underappreciated country style”
Shooter Jennings talked on XM radio about Jessie Daniel :
“Jesse Daniel is badass…this dude’s the next one to blow up.”
I agree with Shooter. After hearing some of Jesse’s music I agree that he has only begun his long lived career. If his second album is this good and enjoyable to listen to I can only imagine how much more his talent will grow once he is able to spread his wings and fly.
Wielding his Fender Telecaster Deluxe, the Jesse Daniel has been touring regularly and he often performs with artists like Shooter Jennings. He has recently tweeted that he has added more dates to play alongside Charley Crockett. At the beginning of next month, I will have the opportunity to see Jesse and Charley at a live show. I already know it is going to be an amazing time.
Who doesn’t remember “The Purple People Eater.” This novelty song was written and recorded by Sheb Wooley. The song reached #1 in the Billboard charts way back in 1958.
“The Purple People Eater,” was released by MGM in May 1958. Originally the label did not want to identify themselves with this “type” of music. Somehow an acetate of the song reached MGM offices in New York, and the young people who worked in the office began listening to and enjoying the sound. This persuaded the MGM executives to have a change of heart. Once they went ahead and released the song, they had a #1 hit.
Shelby Fredrick “Sheb” Wooley, the creator of “The Purple People Eater,” was born on this day April 10, 1921 in Erick Oklahoma. Besides recording under the moniker of “Sheb,” he also recorded music under the name of Ben Colder. As Colder, he performed the #6 country hit, “Almost Persuaded.”
Sheb’s first dabble in music was at the age of 15. He formed a country and western band called the “Plainview Melody Boys.” The band was frequently heard on the radio station KASA out of Elk City, Oklahoma.
Growing up on his parents Oklahoma farm, Sheb quickly learned his way around livestock. His experiences on horseback from and early age as well as being a working cowboy aided him into becoming an accomplished rodeo rider.
Sheb also played a cowboy in many Western Films from the 1950’s through the 1990’s. His filmography included both television and movies. On TV, Sheb, appeared in episodes of The Lone Ranger, The RangeRider and The Cisco Kid. For almost ten years, Sheb Wooley was drover Pete Nolan in the CBS western Rawhide. He made many television appearances in the weekly musical program Hee Haw.
On the big screen Sheb acted in multiple films. Some of the films he appeared in were Giant, High Noon, Rocky Mountain, Rio Bravo, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and The Outlaw Josey Wales. For nine consecutive years, Sheb Wooley won the Western Heritage Award for his work in TV and Movie Westerns.
Besides acting in Westerns Sheb Wooley played the part of Cletus Summers in the sports movie Hoosiers. Hoosiers is a film about an Indiana Basketball team that entered the State Championships.
Sheb Wooley is credited with the voice of the Wilhelm Scream. The stock recording of this distinct scream has been used in over 400 films to date. The Wilhelm Scream can even be heard in Star Wars Films and Indiana Jones movies.
Wooley was married five times in his life. His first wife was Melva Miller, whom he married in 1940. She was a cousin to Roger Miller. Sheb Wooley taught a young Roger Miller how to play chords and even gave him his first fiddle. Roger Miller would later become a successful song writer and actor himself.
Sheb Wooley passed away at the age of 82 in September 2003 after a long bout with cancer.
Well he went on his way, and then what do ya know
I saw him last night on a TV show
He was blowing it out, a-really knockin’ em dead
Playin’ rock and roll music through the horn in his head
“The Purple People Eater” – Sheb Wooley
What an interesting life that Sheb Wooley led. I will never forget this Musician, Actor, Songwriter, Rodeo Man. And the song “The Purple People Eater” will forever be stuck in my head.
IN MEMORY Shelby Fredrick “Sheb” Wooley (April 10, 1921 – September 16, 2003)
Always in search of something spectacular in the music world, I have stumbled across this group that call themselves the Pink Stones. This sextuplet or rather six piece band consists of songwriter and the founder Hunter Pinkston, Will Anderson, Adam Wayton, Logan Brammer, Jack Colclough, and John Neff.
Neff, the pedal steel player, was a founding member of the Drive by Truckers. Neff originally from Ohio, moved to Georgia at the age of 11. Over the course of Neff’s musical career, he has also performed and recorded with bands including The Allman Brothers Band, Phosphorescent, and Widespread Panic.
Photo from Wikipedia
Introducing The Pink Stones, the band’s debut album, released today April 9th 2021 via Normaltown Records. I have been listening to some of their stuff on the Tube and so far, I have liked the groove and vibe of everything that I have heard by them. This group is also new to Spotify and streaming them will be well worth your time. This cool classic sounding country and rock is a perfect pitch of sound and pleasing to my ears.
The group hails from Athens, Georgia. Other Athens bred bands included the Jesters and R.E.M. Athens Georgia seems to be a hub for rock, indie and soul.
The Pink Stones a modern day combination of Southern Rock and Country music deserves attention.
This old porch is a big ol’ red and white Herford bull
Standin’ under a mesquite tree…
FRONT PORCH SONG- ROBERT EARL KEEN JR./ LYLE LOVETT
I was reminded today of this great song written by Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett. In the late 70’s, while the two of them were in college, the two spent a lot of time just picking and strumming blue grass music on the front porch. Robert Earl Keen has said that he spent a lot of time just thinking of what that old porch meant to him. REK began writing the song back in those days at Texas A&M University. Where he began the song, by comparing the porch to a big Hereford bull, standing under a mesquite tree in Agua Dulce, Texas. After enlisting some help from his good buddy Lyle Lovett, the two long time pals eventually completed this masterpiece of music.
Something else that I was reminded of today that involved Mesquite Trees.. something my dad has told me all of my life I guess. An old tale says that a Mesquite tree won’t bloom until after the last freeze. Today I saw the Mesquites begin to show their leaves. Yes that is right winter is over in West Texas Folks. Time to plant the garden. It’s time to begin to plan the spring and summertime events. We will soon be wearing our shorts and flip flops again!
With the weather here in the 90’s this week, it is hard to fathom that only a few short months ago it was the coldest I can ever remember. Will gladly trade the ice for the sunshine.
A perfect evening for sitting on the porch just listening to Robert Keen.
South Texas Tweek is back on the road this week playing his newest songs, like “50 Dollars A Week,” and “Count On Me,” as well as a few of the good ol’ country songs that I grew up on. Besides playing his own tunes, I recently read on a twitter post that the Tweek also plays that 60’s and 70’s country music I like.
He plays his own version of “Drinkin’ Problem,” and he can sing in Spanish. This I have got to see sometime soon. Until then I will keep streaming his music on Spotify and YouTube. A few of his songs are now available on iTunes and yes, I own them all. I plan to keep adding to my own playlist as soon as they become available. I have enjoyed following this Texas original. He is going places in a hurry and It has been a pleasure for me to see him grow from the very beginnings of his musical career.
Last night he played in Austin at a venue called Sam’s Town Point. He says he had a great time and his fans appreciated every note he sang I am most certain. Sam’s Town is a homey event space that has been ran by the Grossman family since 1981. By it’s own web page, Sam’s Town Point claims that it once could mostly only be found by accident. That isn’t the case today. Sam’s Town Point has become one of Austin’s most happening scenes.
Tonight, South Texas Tweek will be playing Tony’s Siesta in San Antonio along with Gus Clark.
The Seattle born, Gus, plays an unmatchable mix of early jazz, jug-band, country, and blues.
Be sure to check out https://www.southtexastweek.com/store for his merchandise, he says all proceeds go to his gas and taco fund for now. I am secretly hoping for the funds to go towards more promotion and even a full length album in the near future. From the webpage you can also access his upcoming events.
So do not miss SOUTH TEXAS TWEEK- Performing in a town near you!