January 16 2021

American Kid

Rich O’Toole’s Twitter account gives an accurate description of him, it reads Singer, Songwriter, Texan.

Yesterday this Houston native artist posted on Twitter that he had tested positive for the Coronavirus. He also posted himself in a video eating a raw onion. He was crunching the whole white raw onion as if one would eat an apple. He said he couldn’t smell it, nor taste it. Later he did the same with a Jalapeno pepper to the same effect. Of course, the pepper still got to him with it’s heating effect. Even though he couldn’t taste it, he felt the fire.

Kids, don’t try this at home…

Recent studies have proven that up to 80 percent of people who test positive for Covid have shown these symptoms of loss of taste and smell. These two signs are most likely in connection with each other as you can’t taste most foods without your sense of smell. The loss of taste and smell has become one of the primary warning signs that you should get tested for the virus if you are showing either of these symptoms.

O’Toole’s music is mostly upbeat. It fits into the Texas Country or Red Dirt genre. It is country and rock and Americana. He is a Texan and an American and that is reflected in the heart and soul of every song he plays.

The more songs I have listened to from this guy the more that I have liked his style. He has said recently that he wasn’t going to tour again until this year,(2021). If and when, things get back to normal. O’Toole has followed the recommended safe practices during this pandemic, yet he still came into contact with the rapidly spreading virus. I hope he will get well soon. I would bet he will. He has plenty more songs to write.

Back On My Bullshit.” Rich O’Toole called it his favorite song from his New York album last July in an interview with Justin Loretangely, who’s blog is called Pro Country.

The songs “American Steel,” and one of O’Toole’s singles, “American Kid” describe the kinds of things I like to do. Hit the highways to some unknown out of the way destination. During this Pandemic I have missed a lot of windshield time and the road trips that I love. To climb into my truck and turn up the music and just drive to see where I end up is probably one of my favorite pastimes. Rich O’Toole’s music will definitely be on my next road trip playlist.

I aim to catch Rich O’Toole down the backroads one of the days in the near future. I hope and pray to catch more live shows in 2021 than I ever have in the past. For now, we as fans need to do our part to support these artists by buying merchandise and music.

I long for the days of post pandemic and more music.

Pancho.

December 15 2020

ACL remaining episodes season 46

When I posted my blog last October 6th, (Quaransing) the Austin City Limits had not completed their scheduling for this year. ACL’s 46th season lineup has now been confirmed.

As reported in the Austin American Statesman the coronavirus pandemic significantly reduced the number of acts the program was able to tape.

According to Austin City Limits, A typical year at the ACL usually features around twenty tapings. This year, the show was only to do seven. Six of the tapings this year were done without a live audience present.

One problem the pandemic caused the longstanding program for PBS was that two tapings were cancelled this year when crew members tested positive for Covid-19.

The show has made do with special events and re-broadcasting older episodes and highlights of the best in order to fill in the television slots. I personally am glad the show is available. Through the years it has worked hard to promote the best music out there.

Because of the pandemic, There wasn’t a Hall of Fame ceremony at the Austin City Limits for 2020.

January 2nd the remainder of the season will kick off with ACL Hall of Fame: The first six years. The episode will feature songs from previous Hall of Famers. 2014-2019. Artists featured will include Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Roseanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Los Lobos.

January 9th– The episode will highlight the Foo Fighters 2008 and 2014 performances.

January 16th– Austin Gospel-Soul- Blues- and Folk singer Foster will split the hour with the Nashville based band War and Treaty.

January 23rd– Ray Wylie Hubbard will give his hour- long performance. The performance was originally taped on October 21st of this year. I am a huge RWH fan. I am really excited for this one! I know Ray Wylie Hubbard is going to sing his heart out and give us one hell of a show.

On 10/21 of this year Ray Wylie Hubbard leaked the band members for the performance on Twitter. Lucas + Kyle + Gurf + Bukka.

He later posted on 10/22

“For an hour or so all was alright with the world and the heavens. Being on the acl stage with Lucas, Kyle, Bukka, and Gurf will be a portion of time I’ll hold on to with great value.”

Ray Wylie Hubbard- from Twitter

Woot Woot! I can’t wait to see the show! I hope you all will mark your calendars and watch with me! It’s only 39 days until then!

January 30thThis episode will feature the best of Spoon.

February 6thA salute to Jerry Jeff Walker and Billy Joe Shaver. Walker and Shaver two of my very favorite Texas singer/songwriters. The pair died within days of each other in October. Each of them held six performances a piece on the Austin City Limits stage.  This one is another MUST WATCH.

February 13thIs the finale of season46 for Austin City Limits. The featured artist on this episode is New Orleans songwriting legend Allen Toussaint.

I hope you can all tune into PBS each week and support the music and this wonderful television program.

Thank you, Austin City Limits.

Pancho.

December 12 2020

Another Good one Gone

Earlier this afternoon, I learned via text message from my Dad, that Charlie Pride had died. My response to my dad was what?? I had just watched Charlie Pride on the CMA awards. It has only been a month and a day ago that Charlie Pride accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association. I watched live footage of him recently as he performed with Darius Rucker. I didn’t even know he was sick! Headlines everywhere read that Pride died from complications of Covid-19. How many more artists are we destined to lose because of this virus?

Statement on behalf of CMA and representatives of Charley Pride:

Everyone affiliated with the CMA Awards followed strict testing protocols outlined by the city health department and unions. Charley was tested prior to traveling to Nashville. He was tested upon landing in Nashville, and again on show day, with all tests coming back negative. After returning to Texas following the CMA Awards, Charley again tested negative multiple times. All of us in the Country Music community are heartbroken by Charley’s passing. Out of respect for his family during their grieving period, we will not be commenting on this further.

Country Music is doing what it can to slow the spread. I even saw a television commercial recently where Texas country artists were pleading for us as fans to wear the mask and to practice social distancing. The virus is real and it is definitely out of control.

Charlie Pride was born in Sledge, Mississippi in 1934. Pride taught himself to play the guitar at the age of 14. His first guitar was a Silvertone, purchased from a Sears and Roebuck catalog. He learned songs that he heard playing on the radio. He was exposed to Blues, Country, and Gospel music.

It was Charley’s father who first inspired his love for country music. His father would tune the family radio to Nashville’s WSM-AM station in order for them to listen to the Grand Old Opry. Years later, Pride would become the first black country artist to sing at the Grand Old Opry. In 1993, Charlie Pride would officially be invited to become a member of the Opry.

Producer, Chet Akins, signed Pride to RCA Records in 1966. By the early 1970’s Pride became RCA’s, best-selling artist since Elvis.

Some RCA executives tried to hide Pride’s race. There were concerns that Charley Pride’s African heritage would cause country music fans to react adversely.

About this Pride later said :

“People didn’t care if I was pink. RCA signed me.. they knew I was colored.. They decided to put the record out and let it speak for itself.”

Charley Pride

Charley Pride’s music did speak for itself. Pride showed talent in the way that he put so much emotion into his songs. His music is memorable and has made an impact on country music. Pride has bridged the gaps in country music. He has eased racial tensions and has led many members of the black community to country music.

Besides Ray Charles and Darius Rucker, Pride has been the only African American artist to conquer the country music charts.

Besides being a standing member of the Grand Old Opry, and Earning a Lifetime Achievement Award this year, Charlie Pride has had numerous accolades for his music. From 1967-1987 Charlie Pride released 29 #1 hits. He was the CMA Top Male Vocalist and Entertainer of The Year in 1972. In 2000 Charley Pride was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame.

Charley, It has been my pleasure to be one of your fans. Thanks for making the music what it was. Thanks for becoming an inspiration to many. Your legend nor your music can ever die.

Pancho.

November 15 2020

The Midnight Cowboy

Bill Mack “The Midnight Cowboy” died due to complications of Covid-19 July 31,2020.  The radio DJ/ songwriter was 91.

Mack was born in Sherman, Texas June 4, 1929. He is best known in country music for writing the songs, “Blue,” and “Drinking Champagne.”

Bill Mack worked overnights in Ft. Worth, Texas as a radio host for many years at WBAP. Beginning in 1969, his show was called The Country Roads Show. Many sleepy-eyed truckers who were traveling during late night hours would tune in to the show as they were traveling across the Lone Star State and beyond. WBAP-AM could be heard across about half of the country. Bill earned the moniker of “The Midnight Cowboy” from one of the overnight listeners. He later renamed his show that. In more recent years, Bill’s distinctive voice could be heard on XM radio channel 171. He was a radio host on the “Open Road” channel.

Blue” was written and recorded by Bill in 1958. He first pitched the song to Patsy Cline at a show in San Antonio, Texas. He had a demo tape made with a girl in San Antonio who “sounded like Patsy.” He sent the song to Patsy in hopes of her recording it. Unfortunately, she died in a plane crash before being able to record the song.

Mack composed the song within 15 minutes. His wife at the time told him it was the best song that he had ever written.

“ I had no idea what would happen forty years later”

Bill Mack

The song which had sat in a semi dormant state re-surfaced on June 4th 1996. LeAnn Rimes was only 13 years old when she recorded it for her debut album.

The song earned LeAnn Rimes a Grammy for Country Song of the Year.

“I am for ever grateful for him. (Bill Mack) and the music he created.”

LeAnn Rimes

“We will be ‘Blue’ without you Bill.”

LeAnn Rimes- Reposted from her Twitter Account.

Drinking Champagne,” released in the mid-sixties. The song first gained national attention after reaching the country charts in 1968. The Single recorded by Cal Smith reached #35 in 1968.

Artists like Faron Young, Ray Price, Dean Martin, and Willie Nelson would also release versions of the song.

In 1990 George Strait took “Drinking Champagne” to #4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.

Strait’s version was the second single from his album Livin’ it Up.

Bill Mack said that the words of the song just sort of came to him. It was easy for him to write the song he said.

Mack was inducted into the Texas Country music Hall of Fame in 1999.

The world will miss Bill Mack, but His music will live on.

So I’ll keep drinking champagne, feeling no pain ‘till early morning.

Pancho.

October 14 2020

Nasal Swab

I experienced something today, that I hope I never will again. It is something that I never heard of until my 45th year of life. A Covid-19 swab test. Seriously, they took a Q- Tip that is about a mile long and shoved it up my nose holes, behind my eye holes, and teased the worms that were eating my brains.

No it wasn’t quite that bad, but it could have been. Lets just say very uncomfortable.

The Corona Virus is real people!!

A coworker had become exposed, outside of work and in turn, I felt exposed. There was some real fear and stress going on in my little corner of the world today until I was able to get tested.

 I was negative for the virus. Thank God for small miracles!

I described the experience to Pinkie, like when you see ants on tv and all of a sudden you start to feel them crawling over you. Once I heard that this coworker and friend had a positive outcome on his Covid swab, I instantly began feeling feverish. My brain told me that I needed to cough and sneeze and that I was going to die of this dreadful virus. My temperature was only a 97.9. My sniffles were most likely due to allergies, and the change of the seasons here in West Texas. In fact I have had allergies at this time of year for most all of my 45 years on this planet.

I am going to recommit to the masks, which I have been laid back about. And wash my hands and use sanitizer.

If you are sick don’t go out. That simple. It isn’t something we can avoid as the spread is world wide, but we should not purposely endanger others with our lack of care and concern. I would never forgive myself if I gave someone a deadly virus. All I could think about was whether or not I had given it to Pinkie, or my parents, or inlaws or anyone else for that matter.

Just for fun, here’s a video by British folk singer/ songwriter Ralph McTell on the subject of proper PPE

Ralph McTell is an English singer-songwriter and acoustic guitar player who has been an influential figure on the UK folk music scene since the 1960s. McTell is best known for his song “Streets of London”, which has been covered by over two hundred artists around the world, and for his tale of Irish emigration, “From Clare to Here”.

Wikepedia

I am grateful that so far no one in my immediate circle has suffered long term effects or death from this deadly virus. I have fear as I watch the numbers infected increase daily.

This is scary times and we all need to take a moment to stop and pray for our country our planet and it’s leaders.

Wear your Mask

Wash Your Hands Frequently

Practice Social Distancing

I hope you who are reading this are safe and practicing safety. Take this bug seriously.. It kills.

Pancho.

September 20 2020

The World Needs More RWH

I recently received a copy of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s newest creation the album CO-STARRING for my 45th birthday from the in-laws. There’s not a bad song on this album, and yes, it’s a real live album (vinyl record and all) CO-STARRING, released July 10 2020 by Big Machine records gets its name from an impressive lineup of stardom including Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, and country great Ronnie Dunn.

Ray Wylie Hubbard is a Poet. Ray Wylie told Pete Gile and Carley Evans on the “Troubadour” a podcast that he was featured on, that his father an English Teacher who preferred reading him The Raven over the Three Little Pigs, taught him that lyrics were important. Ray went on to speak of learning to fingerpick at age 42. This is when his musical career began to change direction for the better.  “I was able to mix deep heart felt lyrics with a deep groove of blues.”, Ray says.

 Ray who is now in his seventies, got sober at age 41 along with the help of the late blues artist Stevie Ray Vaughan. One of the first things that drew me to this new album was a video for the song “Bad Trick.” The song inspired by Ray Wylie’s wife Judy after he had come home from a gig that didn’t go so well, is Co-Starred by Ringo Starr originally a Beatle and Joe Walsh of Eagles fame, both of whom are also sober. Ringo helped select the lineup for this chart-topping sound. The song also features Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes and bassist Don Was.

 The video was created by Brent Carpenter and most of the artists who appear on the video were not anywhere near each other while the actual filming was being done. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak that we have all been experiencing.

Ray is ready to get back on the road and hopes the virus will soon pass. I hope he can begin a tour someday soon myself. I have his name on my personal bucket list as someone I want to see live in concert.

My mom knew Ray Wylie Hubbard from her youth. She said “He was just this guy we (my mom’s cousin Deb and her) hung out with in Red River. He was just called Ray then.”

RWH grew up in Oak Cliff, a neighborhood in Dallas County.  It was there he created his first band. Three Faces West. They eventually ended up in Red River, New Mexico working odd jobs by day and playing their folk music by night. It was in Red River that Ray wrote his first big song “Redneck Mother”

Ray is among my personal top five favorite songwriters. He includes two of my favorites in his own favorites list (Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark). I would encourage radio stations everywhere to play More Ray Wylie Hubbard. The world needs more poetry and less political B.S.

Pancho