June 16 2021

Travis Roberts- New Panhandle Sounds

Last Saturday night, my friends Mason & The Gin Line paired up with this young up and coming musician at the Goldenlight Cantina in Amarillo. Next Saturday night, Travis Roberts will release his newest single on Spotify, “This Too Shall Pass.”

“Look out for this guy y’all.  Playing with Travis was a damn pleasure last night.”

Mason & The Gin Line

From what I have of heard of Travis Roberts music, and what Mason & The Gin Line reported about it via Facebook, and Twitter, it was a shame to have missed the show.

“Look out for this guy y’all.  Playing with Travis was a damn pleasure last night.” posted Mason & The Gin Line last Sunday.

The feelings were obviously mutual as Travis Roberts replied, “Mason & The Gin Line Will Rock Your Face Off- Everytime.”

Mason & The Gin Line Will Rock Your Face Off- Everytime.

Travis Roberts

This statement by Travis I can personally testify too. Seeing Mason & The Gin Line live a few weeks ago is a treasure I shall hold on to for many moons to come. I am happy to have developed a personal relationship in such a short time with such a wonderful group of men- on and off the stage. I was doubly happy today as my wife has become a fan of this band as well. She was jamming to all of their tunes just this afternoon on her own accord.

I would like to catch a Travis Roberts show soon. I am also looking forward to his newest song. I will be watching for it to drop on Saturday. Pre Save “This Too Shall Pass” now on Spotify by using this link – https://t.co/mtcspztD4i?amp=1

Here is a sample of some of Travis Roberts Stuff. I understand the damage that drinking caused in my own life. I know the battles I have faced in order to restore the wreckage of my past. Speaking from my own personal experiences and as someone who regularly attends 12 step meetings in order to maintain my own sanity and sobriety. I can totally relate to the lyrics that Travis Roberts is putting down in this song called, “Cabin Fever.”

“Cabin Fever,” was Travis Roberts debut single. This talented musician began playing and performing at a young age through his church choir.

Travis is based in Amarillo at the Top of The Texas Panhandle. Many great singer/songwriters of our time are based in this Cap-Rock country and the backdrop makes the perfect scene for a Texas Country Sound. Shout out to Travis Roberts and cheers to a long and successful career in Texas Music.

Pancho.

May 19 2021

What it was like What happened and What its like Now

Some of you have already seen and congratulated me on social media or via text and phone calls and I am eternally grateful for all of you. I am grateful today just to be alive and free and sober in mind and body. I give this credit to God and you people. I was a drunk of the hopeless variety. Honestly I do not have a problem with alcohol. If a person chooses to drink, I will defend their right to drink as much as I defend my own right to stay sober. Today I have been sober for 12 years. I never could have stayed sober 12 minutes on my own accord. The power of God working through you people is what kept me sober all these dozen years. As we say in AA I am gonna tell you a little about what I was like, what happened and what it is like now.

I was arrested for DWI for the very first time at the early age of 17 after running a stop sign. For many years I blamed that stop sign, I blamed the Trooper that pulled me over, I blamed the circumstances not myself and that was one of my first mistakes. Mind you I had taken my first drunk at the age of 13. At a friend’s apartment where I was supposed to be babysitting my friends older sisters kids I drank a case of Budweiser, I vomited and I kept on drinking. See once I start drinking, I cannot stop. It took me many years and many stop signs later to figure all that out. In total I ended up arrested 8 times for DWI before I got sober. Out of those 8 times, I had run a stop sign or stop light probably 7 of the 8 as the reasoning for being pulled over. Out of those 8 times I blamed people places and things and not my own inability to control my drinking. In those years, I caused wreckage to anyone who crossed my path. Several marriages were ruined due to my alcoholism. A relationship with my own children was severely damaged because I chose the drink over them time and time again. Even today I am working towards making that path straight again as well as working towards those amends with my parents and my baby brother. One of the things that I am most guilted even after all these years is the fact that my little brother, the one who looked up to me the most was riding with me in that truck the night I received my very first arrest. If something would have happened to him, I don’t think I could ever forgive myself.

Fast Forward a few years and it brings me to May 18th and 19th 2009. People say you always remember your first drink, and your last. I remember very clearly having been to the bar and drinking mixed drinks most likely Weller and coke and returning home to Miller Lite Beer. I was on probation for a Dwi, and I just received another DWI and this one, involved a possession charge for a small amount of cocaine. I was contemplating suicide as I laid on the floor to the room spinning. I had lost my job and was on the verge of losing another wife. I could not hold my liquor, yet I could not stop drinking the stuff. My mind and body were telling me things were true that there was no way in hell that they could even be so. Spinning on the record player on the floor beside me, was Willie Nelson’s album, Shotgun Willie. Just a side note that album is one I still have today, with it’s skips scratches and all. I listen to it and it reminds me of how I once was. I had to report to my Bail bondsman the next day. Needless to say when I showed up at the bondsman, I was still intoxicated and it went badly. Once again I was placed into custody of the county jail. Detox followed; I was on a cold concrete floor with nothing but my own thoughts. The pain and agony. The shakes and the sweats. After thirty some odd days I was sentenced to Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Luckily I was selected for a program called SAFTP. Substance Abuse Felony Treatment Program.

It was at SAFTP that I was able to sober up and begin to reflect on myself and my own behaviors. I saw how my actions had caused harm to others. I am not proud of anything I did. I regret many of the actions that my drinking caused. I only share them today perhaps to help someone understand that no matter how big the storm, there is hope. My light at the end of the tunnel was the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. These people had been right where I was and had somehow made it out of the darkness. I found God again in AA. A forgiving loving God. I realized that God had been with me even in the worst of my disease. He never gave up on me. Much of my family whom I thought had abandoned me, had never given up hope. More recently I learned about how many prayers my mama sent up to heaven on my behalf. How she had contacted clergy and seeked council on how to get me help long before I ever wanted it or thought I needed it myself. My dad could look into my eyes from my very first sip of booze and know that I had been drinking. Yet, when he would ask me, had I been drinking, I would lie and say no. When I would get pulled over after a weekend of heavy drinking and the officer asked how much I had to drink, I would say 2. Once again a bold faced lie. Not only had I lied to them, I had been lying to myself for many many years.

Today I have begun to restore those relationships with my parents and my kids. I often provide assistance and service to others without expecting anything in return. I am only a few days shy of being at the same place of employment for five years. A miracle in itself based on my past history and choices. I am happily married and faithful to the same woman for over four years we have been together. I am a husband, a father, a son , a brother,  a nephew, a cousin, a friend, and a law abiding citizen today. These are the miracles in my life. I am one of God’s biggest fans. These are the promises of sobriety coming through in my life.

Everyone is going through something and I beg you to give it a little time and effort. See your part in the situation and don’t give up to soon. Your miracle is only a moment away. It will happen when God deems it necessary. His timing and not ours. And remember everything happens for a reason.

If nobody has told you they love you today, I do.

Pancho.

May 10 2021

Ray Charles was Right

In 2003, Ray Charles was diagnosed with alcoholic liver disease and Hep-C stemming from drug use, primarily Heroin early on in his career. He was able to kick the drug habit all except occasional Marijuana after a stint in rehab in the mid 60’s, however, he found comfort and a crutch with alcohol. He never completely quit king alcohol until his death June 10, in 2004.

Besides his addictions to drugs and alcohol, Charles also confessed to being addicted to women. Ray Charles wrote in his 1978 autobiography, Brother Ray: Ray Charles’ Own Story, that he became hooked on women after losing his virginity at 12 years old to a woman about 20.

“Cigarettes and smack are the two truly addictive habits I’ve known. You might add women…My obsession centers on women—did then and does now. I can’t leave them alone,” added Ray.

Ray Charles fathered a total of 12 children with ten different women.

Ray Charles who once proclaimed, “What I do with my own body is my own business,” would later regret that statement.

After Ray Charles’ diagnosis, his words were,” If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”

The American singer/ songwriter and pianist was born Ray Charles Robinson, September 23, 1930. The Grammy award winning artist was sometimes referred to as “The Genius,” but he preferred to be called Ray or “Brother” Ray by his friends and fellow musicians.

Ray Charles pioneered the soul music genre where he mixed gospel with blues, jazz, and rhythm and blues styles of music. He was a great contributor to integrating country music and pop music where he found crossover success.

Ray Charles first number 1 hit on Billboard Hot 100 charts was, “Georgia On My Mind,” in 1960. In 1962 his album, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music topped the Billboard 200.

Rolling Stone ranked Ray Charles at Number 10 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. He ranks Number 2 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

“If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”

Ray Charles

I agree with Ray Charles’ latter statement. I know that for me, quitting drinking was the best choice. Had I continued I would have ended up dead sooner than later. I believe this 100 percent. Today I am doing more than just not drinking. I have begun to eat better, and I have began to drink more water. I have raised 3 children and I am proud to say that, as of today, I have settled on one good woman. Now I just need to work towards the rest of the plan. I have decided that I need to begin an exercise regiment and get more sunlight. I also have decided that I might go ahead and give up smoking, Someday.

Hopefully sooner than later, I will begin to take better care of myself.

Pancho.

April 13 2021

Rollin’ On

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”

AMERICAN SONGWRITER

Shooter Jennings talked on XM radio about Jessie Daniel :

“Jesse Daniel is badass…this dude’s the next one to blow up.”

SHOOTER JENNINGS

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.

Pancho.

December 31 2020

Wake Up America

As I write this, there is less than 7 hours in this 2020.

Oh what a strange and wild year this has been. First, I learned of the corona in March of this year. Only weeks after my Wedding. We traveled into New Mexico because I wanted to be wed in Lincoln County. I originally asked her to marry me at the state line between Texas and New Mexico and since we have been together New Mexico has been our home away from home. Don’t get me wrong I’ll always call myself TEXAN, but I do love the New Mexico landscape. Sandy desert and sage and cactus and rock and in a matter of minutes I can view the most lush and beautiful evergreen and the majestic snow- capped peaks.

Besides the “rona” there has been crazy times even somewhat scary times. Our economy has been unstable. The politics of this country have been insane. 2020 was an election year. I voted too. Everybody has a point of view. All have picked sides. Ok I will say it. I voted Republican. I had my reasons. And the Democrats have their own. I truly don’t care who you voted for because it was your right and your freedom. I am not here to justify or debate my own reasons. The Republican party claims that the Democrats cheated. That things are not being fair. The Democrats are blaming the Republicans for everything that has gone wrong. The way the government has handled the virus, the economy. It doesn’t really matter. What is done is done. Right now we need a solution not more pollution. Until the left and the right can see through the same pair of glasses my fear is that the struggles will continue. I am proud of my country. I served this Nation. I am not proud of the way Americans are acting today. Things have got to get better. Things WILL get better. How can they not. If they don’t we are all gonna be screwed it will not matter anyway. We will probably all end up dead or worse. In a bloody battle to the end of time. Only the strong, only the chosen will survive. Does anyone remember Earl Pitts? “WAKE UP AMERICA!”

As I write this, I have faith. Faith in our nation. Faith that the virus will become controllable. Faith in the great state of TEXAS and New Mexico. Faith in the Republicans and the Democrats. Faith that one day we will all just get along again Most importantly I have faith that GOD has a plan.

Enough of my rant….

As I write this, I have gratitude for the life I am building. I am grateful for God, Country, and my Sobriety. As of May 19, 2021, I will have 12 years sober. This New Years Eve is my 11th New Years to be sober. I am grateful for the music and the ones who make it. I am grateful for the release and the escape that music has given me from these troubled times.  As I write this, I am grateful for the friends and my family. MY FAMILY- a loving, tolerant wife. Two beautiful daughters and a son. A mom and dad who are still active and alive. Wonderful in laws. Countless cousins, aunts, and uncles. As I write this, I want to thank each of you who have taken time to read and support this blog in these trying last few months.

As I write this, I want to wish each of you the happiest of New Years. I hope you all can be safe and healthy this New Year’s Eve. I hope each of you can be reminded of what you can be grateful for as well.

Wake Up America,

Pancho.

December 11 2020

Stuff In My Head

On the empty packaging of some sanitary napkins that he found in a New York hotel room bathroom, Willie Nelson wrote the song, Shotgun Willie.

Well, you can’t make a record if you ain’t got nothing to say

You can’t make a record if you ain’t got nothing to say

You can’t play music if you don’t know nothing to play

Shotgun Willie was released in June 1973. In spite of poor sales, the album received good reviews and gained Nelson major recognition with younger audiences. The recording was one of the first albums of outlaw country—a new subgenre of country music and an alternative to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound, the dominant style in the genre at the time.– Wikepedia

This week, I have felt this way about my blog. I guess some would call it writer’s block. I just have called it meh…

Well you can’t write a blog if you ain’t got nothing to say

You can’t publish to your website if you ain’t got nothing to say

You won’t get  followers if you don’t feel like blogging  every day

So today, I recall some old cowboy wisdom. When you fall off the horse, climb back on and ride again.

Shotgun Willie is a sentimental song to me. It is one of the few things that I recall from the night I took my last drink of alcohol. I had the record on the turntable playing loud. I had beaten myself stupid with the bottle one more time. One more time King alcohol had won. Thanks to God and the people in AA, I have been sober since May 19th of 2009.

Never give up. Shotgun Willie reminds me of my will to try and try again.

“When I started counting my blessings my whole life turned around”-

Willie Nelson

I wrote the other day about having an “off day.” Now it seems more like it has been an “off month.” There is the writer’s block, and the lack of Christmas Spirit.

A good friend and huge inspiration in my life used to say often, “Thank God for the capacity of pain and suffering.”

I am blessed by these words today. In this rough patch I have noticed a few things about myself. I have to go through the rainy season in order to enjoy the sunny weather. My life could be a lot worse than it is. I need to stop listening to the voices in my head and start being thankful each day that I still have life. Thank God I didn’t have to take a drink at it today.

I am not saying that if you drink you are wrong. I will defend your right to drink as much as I defend my own right to stay sober. I just know that a drink isn’t the answer for me today.

I am a writer and I write about my personal thoughts and experiences. Music helps me sort out the stuff in my head so I can understand the stuff in my head.

You can’t play music if you don’t know nothing to play

Pancho.

October 26 2020

Happy Anniversary Waylon and Jessi

On October 26th of 1969 Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter were married in Phoenix, Arizona. The two instantly became the Outlaw movements “It” couple. The marriage lasted until Waylon’s death February 13, 2002.

Kris Kristofferson once described their marriage,

“A beautiful love affair.”

Kris Kristofferson

Waylon had been married three times prior to his wedding with Jessi. Waylon’s song, “This Time” had been inspired by his string of marriage and divorce.

Jessi Colter was born, Mirriam Johnson, May 25 1943 in Phoenix. Her professional name came from a story her father once told her about an associate of Jesse James, Jesse Colter.

Prior to her marriage to Waylon she had been married to guitarist Duane Eddy.

Eddy’s records were produced by Lee Hazlewood. In the late 1950’s and early 60’s Eddy was known for his “twang.” He had sold 12 million records by 1963.

After meeting Waylon, Jessi Colter pursued her career in country music. She was one of the few female artists in the genre of “outlaw country.” She released her first LP “A Country Star is Born,” In 1970

A Country Star is Born” was released on RCA. The album was produced by Waylon Jennings and Chet Atkins. The album was not successful in the country market and Jessi soon left RCA.

Jessi signed with Capitol Records and released “I’m Not Lisa” in January, 1975. This would become Colter’s first hit. The song charted Number one on the Billboard Country Chart and number four on the Billboard Pop Chart.

In 1976 Jessi would record again at RCA along with her husband Waylon, Willie Nelson, and Tompall Glaser, on a compilation album “Wanted! The Outlaws.” The album would be the first country music album to sell over a million copies.

In 1976 Jessi would also release two more albums at Capitol. “Jessi,” and “Diamond in the Rough.”

Shooter Jennings, the couples only child was born in 1979. Shooter has been an active musician since 1996 in the outlaw country and southern rock genre.  

In 1981 Colter and her husband would release a duet album “Leather and Lace.” The albums first single, “Storms Never Last” was written by Jessi Colter. The album was certified Gold in sales.

In the early 1980’s Waylon and Jessi nearly divorced due to Waylon’s substance abuse.

“Jessi went through hell,” Waylon told People Magazine.

I’d go out and sit by the pool in the dark and think about what it was going to do to me, to my people and to my family.

Waylon Jennings

With the help of Johnny Cash, Waylon, who once had a 1500 dollar a day cocaine habit sobered up completely in 1984.

Stevie Nicks, who wrote the title track of the album, heard that Jessi and Waylon might divorce. She also released “Leather and Lace” as a duet with Don Henley that year. It peaked at number 6 on the pop chart.

Colter has released several more albums since 1981 but her popularity has faded. To date, she has 11 studio albums and 3 compilation albums. Her latest albums are “Out of The Ashes,” and “The Psalms.”

as an Amazon Associate I may recieve a small commission for your purchase

Happy Anniversary Waylon and Jessi

Pancho.

September 26 2020

Falling and Flying

Growing up in a record store in Ft Worth, Texas owned by his jazz drumming father was just the beginning for a singer- songwriter and actor Stephen Bruton.

Stephen’s father, Sumter Bruton was a highly regarded jazz musician from New Jersey. He would often tell Stephen, “If you are going to listen to music, listen to the best music.”

In my own personal reflection, this statement by Bruton’s father is a reminder of what my own Dad is always telling me.

As long as you are dreaming, dream big

Jerry Wayne “Fathead” Watson

Bruton would spend his teen years recording tracks in a makeshift home studio with musician T- Bone Burnett. He and pals like Lubbock musician Delbert McClinton would pick bluegrass by day and then soak up those soul grinding blues rifts by night on the “other side of town”.

The local clubs in Ft Worth at that time were highlighting guys like Freddie King . King’s power house voice along with a distinct guitar style soon inspired many musicians.

Stephen would soon set his sails East to Woodstock. By chance , while on his way to a gig in Manhattan he’d run into old friend Kris Kristofferson. He was offered the guitar gig in the rising stars band , launching two decades of roadwork with Kris.

Stephen would also tour with Bonnie Raitt, Christine McVie, and others.

As a studio artist, He would record with Raitt, Delbert McClinton, the Wallflowers, Ray Wiley Hubbard and too many more to list.

Stephen Bruton was inducted into the Texas Heritage song writers Hall of Fame.

Through Bruton’s long association with Kris Kristofferson, he took up acting. Appearing in films “A star is born”, “Heaven’s Gate”, and “Miss Congeniality”. He appeared alongside Kris in the movie “Convoy”. Stephen would appear on TV in a mini series titled “Amerika” and on the series, “Matlock.”

Stephen Bruton co-wrote many of the songs from the soundtrack of the movie “Crazy Heart”. He consulted Jeff Bridges and was a guitar teacher to him on the set.

Sadly , Stephen Bruton lost his battle to cancer shortly after the movie was made. “Crazy Heart”, was dedicated to this Ft Worth artists life and influential music.

My little brother turned me onto the song “Fallin’ & Flyin’ ” , not long after I sobered up. I believe the song paints a perfect picture of the insanity my life had become because of my addictions.

It’s funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’
For a little while
Funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’
For a little while

Song by Colin Farrell and Jeff Brides
Songwriters:Gary Nicholson / Stephen Bruton