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THE ORIGINAL TEXAS MUSIC MAGAZINE

December 2019

VOLUME XLVII, NUMBER 6

On Stands Now!

Buddy Magazine: The Original Texas Music Magazine Dallas Texas December 2019

In This Issue:
Andrew Jr. Boy & Kerrie LePai Jones
Cody Jinks
Allison Moorer
Record Review
Blah Blah
In Memoriam

From Nowhere: The Story of the Vaughan Brothers
NEW Documentary by Kriby Warnock

Texas Premier on December 19th 2019 at the
Famous TEXAS THEATER.

Jones’ home of the blues

Andrew Jr. Boy Jones and Kerrie LePai Jones put the stamp on their aptly named Jr. Boy and Kerrie’s Blues

By Jan Sikes, Photo by Dee Hill

Andrew Jr. Boy Jones

Andrew “Jr. Boy” Jones is a Buddy Texas Tornado of guitar (1997) and a true blues legend. From the day he hit the road with Freddie King before he was old enough to drive, to the present time, he has performed around the world with some of the top names in the business.

In 1995, along with drummer Tommy “The Thrill” Hill, bassist Felton Crews, and legendary harmonica virtuoso Charlie Musselwhite, they won the W.C. Handy award for Best Band of the Year, the highest that can be given to any blues artist.

Texas Homegrown with Maylee Thomas

Kerrie Lepai Jones cut her teeth in the blues clubs in and around Dallas. She had a dream, a passion, and she could sing like no other white female in the world of blues music. Her voice, her style, and her delivery are completely her own.

So, when this dynamic couple came together and started making music, they took it to an even higher level. Now, for the first time in their long and lucrative careers, they’ve made a duo album, Jr. Boy and Kerrie’s Blues.
We sat down in a small coffee shop in Dallas to talk about the process of making this new duo album.

The interview

“Jr. Boy wrote most of this record,” Kerrie said.
“We have a couple of collaborations - for instance, on “Don’t Mess with Me.” I just told him how I felt, and I wanted to write a song about it. I went into great detail. Then he went to pen. He interpreted what I said.”

MediaTech

“Then we had Tim Waites, our bass player who collaborated with Kerrie,” added Jones, “and helped write the music for that song.”

“So we wrote the words and he wrote the music,” Kerrie said. “But I’ve seen Jr. do this twice now, where he will sit down and write the whole record in two days. There will be all these pieces of paper everywhere and he’ll tell me, “here’s the record.” Seriously, I’m bragging, but that’s what he does.

“I have to have peace and quiet.” Jones said, “and have to let my imagination go, too. Some of it hits pretty close to home and some is pure fiction.”

Jesse Dayton: Mixed Up and Dead On By Jackie Don Loe

Jones hasn’t always been an indie artist. He’s had record deals with RCA, JSP and Rounder through his career. But he now likes the freedom to create with no boundaries or restrictions as an independent artist.

He gives the example of a song he wrote in 1973, “Blame It On Me,” and recorded in 1976 by the Creatives.

“That song was on RCA, then Sony acquired it from RCA and sold it to another record company in the UK, and they put it on their label, but they still used our original track,” explained Jones. “I had no control over what happened with that song. So we decided to put it on this album, but I wanted Kerrie to sing it, so I had to change the lyrics to fit a female singer instead of a male and I turned it into more of a blues ballad instead of a disco tune like it was first recorded.”

Leo Hull

New freedom

The point being that he now has the freedom to change the song and record it however he chooses.”

“When I wrote that song in 1973,” he recalled, “I was in a relationship that was failing, and being on the road and gone all the time, the only thing I could think of was just, “blame it on me.” It was my fault for not being there.”

It’s uncanny how songs written so many years ago can still be timely today. Any road musician can easily relate.

It has been seven years since Jones has produced new music and this duo album, Jr. Boy and Kerrie’s Blues is classic blues with a little soul and funk added in. They recorded this album in their home studio, and the quality is equal to any recorded in a big studio.

Stagecoach Ballroom in Fort Worth Texas

Kerrie said, “Jr.’s passion is music and touring and bringing his music to the masses. My passion is to sing. As a little girl, I only wanted one thing and that was to sing on big stages in front of lots of people. We’ve both had separate careers and records, but we wanted to unify, bring our talents together on one album then take it to the world. There is no place on earth I’d rather be than on stage next to this man. It’s the happiest place in the universe for me.

“So basically, we want to tour abroad and nationally again, and we needed the excitement of fresh new music.”

The musicians playing on this album have a vested interest in the making, producing and distribution of the record. Tommy Hill and Andrew Jr. Boy Jones have been making music together since 1980. Tim Waites and keybordist John Street are also accomplished players as well as friends.

There are several instrumentals on this record that showcase Jr. Boy’s phenomenal guitar mastery. It’s the kind of music you can listen to and journey wherever your mind takes you within your own world. “Blues at Sunset,” “Just Us,” and “Sunday Drive” accomplish that.

The album begins with “Blues Party,” written by Jones and Waites. Jones starts singing, “Come on over to my house/We got a party going on.” Then Kerrie comes in with the next line, “Let it all hang out/And party all night long…” The perfect duo performance.

Kerrie LePai Jones

“Road Doggin’” is a hard, honest look at the life of a traveling musician.”

Andrew said, “That’s a song Kerrie and I wrote together and it’s the truth about being on the road. Sometimes we have to get up at 5 in the morning to be at the next show. Or go to bed at 5 am and up at 6. It’s not always easy.”

Kerrie laughed. “You meet up with your co-workers at truck stops, getting gas. And sometimes we get to the gig and not even have time to check into our rooms, just do a quick wardrobe change and hit the stage. But I love being on the road.”

“The World’s Gone Crazy” is a great example of how a song can touch what’s going on in the landscape of a sensitive and volatile world without jabbing at or offending anyone. And in this day and time, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Kerrie’s incredible vocals are showcased on “Do You Ever Think About Me.” It is one of those universal songs that everyone is going to find some piece in it to relate to.
“I think God gave me that one because it just flowed,” Andrew shared.

“She Shed” is a fun song and anyone who has seen the Allstate Insurance commercial will immediately relate to.
Andrew laughed when I mentioned “Old Joker.”

“I had to write that song as a stab at myself. I’m not getting any younger and it helps to sort of make a joke of it,” he allowed.

“Mr. Slick” is a “cautionary tale…” sung as only Kerrie can.
The line swap between Kerrie and Andrew on “Good Life,” is seamless with perfected soulful harmony.”

The album concludes with “Don’t Mess With Me.” Kerrie delivers the lyrics from a deeply personal perspective. As a white woman singing the blues, she’s often been criticized. That is, until they hear her sing. So, this song is an in-your-face reply.

As an accomplished guitarist, Andrew Jr. Boy Jones prefers playing Gibson guitars, and an all-time favorite is a Gibson Les Paul. However, he also enjoys playing a German-made Harley Benton guitar. When he won the W.C. Handy award for Best Band of the Year in ’95, Gibson gifted him a guitar. He was nominated for Best for Best New Blues Artist in ’98. He prefers Fender amps.

“I don’t pay much attention to brands of guitars or price. What I look for is a sound that fits me. And I may find that on the cheapest guitar in the store,” said Andrew. He recalls a story about Albert Collins. “We were playing a show in San Diego with Musselwhite, and Albert Collins was on the show. I told him that I was stealing a guitar lick from him and he said, “That’s alright boy, it ain’t goin’ to sound like me,” And that’s because everyone has their own style.”

So, in closing, some final words about how Andrew Jr. Boy Jones and Kerrie Lepai Jones make their two careers blend seamlessly. Having been in the listening audience, I caught that certain magic that happens when they stand side-by-side and share their passion and deep love of music.

Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth Texas

Jr. said, “Kerrie allows me to go back to my first love and that’s just playing guitar and getting into the music with the guys. You talk about a high. There’s nothing like it.”

Kerrie said, “Jr. has toured the world over and over again. He’s had a rich life and this record is another engine to ride down the road a little farther. He is a star in his own right. He’s been holding a guitar for 63 years. I consider it a privilege and honor to have the opportunity to play music at a high level with such a talented artist, musician, producer and songwriter. But at the same time, it feels good to be able to stand sturdy next to it and be able to deliver. I don’t feel less than him. We are equal partners.”

Jr. Boy and Kerrie’s Blues is available for streaming and download and will soon be available as a physical CD. For more on the Dallas King and Queen of the Blues and their tour schedule, visit jonesbluesband.com.

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Breaking all the rules

Cody Jinks released two new Cds

By Jan Sikes

Going for broke - Shane Smith By Jan Sikes

Cody Jinks is indisputably one of the biggest independent artists in the world of Texas music. But now he’s done something unheard of, especially from an indie artist. Without a label backing him, he has released two back-to-back albums. On October 11, he released After the Fire, which debuted as the #1 Album on the all-genre iTunes chart worldwide. Then to everyone’s surprise, on October 18, he released The Wanting, which also landed at #1. Ambitious would be one word to describe Cody’s endeavor, but aggressive might be another.

Without a label backing him, he has released two back-to-back albums. On October 11, he released After the Fire, which debuted as the #1 Album on the all-genre iTunes chart worldwide. Then to everyone’s surprise, on October 18, he released The Wanting, which also landed at #1. Ambitious would be one word to describe Cody’s endeavor, but aggressive might be another.

Jinks’ approach to supporting these two albums has relied heavily on social media. And it’s working.

The Goat

In a recent podcast interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Jinks stated, “A lot of thought went into the decision to put two records out basically at the same time, as an independent artist, and just see if we could hit number one with them and we proved it can be done.”

Each album has a theme. “The Wanting is about the road life and going deeper into your art,” Jinks explained, “while After The Fire is more about the home life, the settling and coming down period.”

Both albums feature collaborations with some of the best songwriters around: Jamie Richards, Casper McWade, Ward Davis, Tennessee Jet, Josh Morningstar, Paul Cauthen, David Banning, Greg Walker and Jinks’ wife, Rebecca.

It is impossible to pick a favorite album, as I love them both. Each one speaks for itself with a different voice.

After The Fire

The title track talks about a man’s lows and how rejuvenation and restoration come “After The Fire.”
Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel “Ain’t A Train.” The fiddle work on this song is filled with fire and passion.

Chasers Lounge New Years Eve with Bon Squad

“Yesterday Again,” was one of my favorites. It’s all about turning back the hands of time and reliving yesterday when things were good.

“Tell ‘Em What It’s Like,” reads like a letter. A woman who is at home while her man is always on the road can pretend everything’s fine and smile. But, Jinks says, “go ahead and tell ‘em what it’s really like…”

Another fantastic track on this album, “William and Wanda” co-written with his wife, Rebecca, is a true story.

As Cody posted on Facebook, “This song is about my grandfather and grandmother. It’s the first full song Rebecca and I have written together. We are so proud of it; it’s celebrating a 60-year love story told by two people building their own legacy.”

“One Good Decision” is a traditional country two-stepping tune. Co-written with Paul Cauthen, “Dreamed With One,” is a poignant story performed by Jinks and his acoustic guitar.
“Someone To You,” is an admission of the value of love. “I’d rather be a no one/If I ain’t someone to you…”

The final track on After The Fire is a rousing instrumental in the spirit of Western Swing.

The Wanting

The Wanting is a gritty, honest and thought-provoking album. From the first song to the last, there is a thread that weaves them all together.

Jimmy Wallace Guitars

“Same Kind of Crazy As Me,” the first single released to radio is steadily climbing toward the number one spot on the Texas Regional Radio Charts.

“Never Alone Always Lonely” is another tune Jinks wrote with Rebecca.

“Never alone, always lonely/Easy to find seldom seen…” says it all.

“Whiskey,” written by Jamie Richards and Casper McWade, is a plea. “Whiskey, won’t you help me make it through this one…”

“Where Even Angels Fear to Fly,” is a testimony about breaking loose and taking chances.

My pick from this album is “Which One I Feed.” The lyrics dig deep into the soul of our human make-up. “There’s a black and a white wolf in me/And I live and I die by which one I feed…”

There are times when you’ve got to have “A Bite of Something Sweet.” Reconnecting with friends and family fills a need that nothing else can.

Another easy favorite, “Wounded Mind,” reveals a level of honesty seldom seen. Full of lyrical contrasts, the album ends with “The Raven and The Dove.”

These two albums are Cody Jinks’ best work to date. He took a gamble and won in a big way. It’s hard to imagine what’s next.

In the meantime, he’s touring from one side of the country to the other, with a rigorous schedule. For more, visit codyjinks.com. He will perform in Waco at the Extraco Events Center on December 14.

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Blood writer: Allison Moore

By Jan Sikes

Going for broke - Shane Smith By Jan Sikes

Imgine being fourteen years old and through the thin barrier of the living room wall, hearing the gunshots that took both your mother’s and father’s lives. But go beyond that and imagine that it was your father who first took your mother’s life, then his own. That’s how Allison Moorer’s “Blood A Memoir” begins.

Thirty-three years after the horrific event that ended her family, as she knew it, she has found the courage to write about it. Not that she hasn’t addressed it in songs all these many years, because she has. Both she and her sister, Shelby Lynne, have had successful careers as singer/songwriters.

Allison takes the reader through the painful details of her childhood: an alcoholic abusive father, a co-dependent mother who struggled at times to get away, and the one thing that always bound them together — music.

Dave Anderson Band New Years Eve Bash

It is not without great emotion that Allison describes scenes in her book of her father beating her sister, pummeling her with his fists like she was a grown man instead of a 17-year-old barely 100 pound girl; scenes where she and her sister watched out the window as he kicked their mother in the yard; and scenes where he beat and abused animals.

Despite all that, she describes redeeming qualities. She paints a picture of a man who lived two different lives. There was the one he held out to the public: the Marine, an educator, a parole officer, a farmer as well as a wannabe songwriter. She muses that perhaps he always felt like a failure in some way or another, and maybe that’s why he drank. She writes of the ever-present avocado green insulated mug with the white rim, always full of Jim Beam and water as if the mug had a life of its own with one purpose, and that was to keep her daddy drunk.’

And then she switches gears and talks about the four of them - herself, Shelby, her mother and father, all singing together and recording on tape. Her mother had grown up in a musical family and her talent far exceeded that of her father’s. At one point, Allison wonders if maybe that’s what made him so mad.

Going for broke - Shane Smith By Jan Sikes

Throughout the book, she seeks ways to lay it all to rest once and for all, from the tragedy of a hot August day in Alabama when she no longer had a family, and what moving past it looks like now.

Allison is gifted, not only with an amazing singing voice, but also with the ability to put words together in such a way that it is like looking at a fine piece of art. Richly written sentences like, “The sounds of our voices take me home and to all that means. Ghosts come in, but they sway and smile, sometimes they sing along right into my ear and are happy for a minute. I am warm and connected. They slip back out through a crack under the door, leaving silence in their place.”

Allison goes back and forth throughout the book, connecting the dots, trying to make sense of a past she can’t change and how to come to grips with the now and the future. Through her own son, who is autistic, she finds hope and encouragement. Even though he is non-verbal, she sees in him a more solid grip on life than most verbal adults ever achieve.

Along with the book, “Blood,” Allison wrote and recorded an album. In a recent show at the Sons of Hermann Hall, she alternated between reading from and talking about the book, to singing songs like “The Rock and the Hill,” in honor of her mother’s resilience, “Nightlight,” “All I Wanted,” and “Cold, Cold Earth.”

KNON Benefit Rock N' Rebuild

To say the performance along with the book is charged with emotion is an understatement. Still, “Blood” leaves the reader and listener with a renewed hope for Allison Moorer and her sister. She is not only finding her way but also healing as she goes. Writing “Blood” took her leaps and bounds along in that process.

Allison Moorer is currently on tour with the book and new music and you can find more on her website at allisonmoorer.com

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Record Review

Bonnie Bishop
The Walk
Thirty Tigers Records

By Jan Sikes

Bonnie Bishop The Walk By Jan Sikes

The Walk is singer/songwriter, Bonnie Bishop’s eighth album. Produced by Grammy-winner, Steve Jordan, the music connects listeners to the Texas vocal powerhouse in an intimate and personal way.

The album opens with “Love Revolution,” written by Bishop and Gabe Dixon. It is a song of hope, inspiration, and action delivered in Bishop’s soulful style. “Are you stumbling underneath your cross/It don’t come easy on your own/Put your hand in mine, you’ll never be alone…”

Another collaboration with Dixon, “Keep on Movin’” is honest and universally relatable. “When the wind on the mountain’s blowing strong/best not to tarry too long…”

The title track, “The Walk,” was penned by Bishop and Emery Dobyns. These lyrics reach deep into the soul of life and nods to those who pass by on our journey. There was something about this track that took me back to the days of The Mamas and the Papas, but with a distinctive Bonnie Bishop edge.

“Every Happiness Under the Sun” carries the message of hope and inspiration forward. “Here’s to another day/Here’s to the music I play/Here’s to loving everyone/And every happiness under the sun…”

Bishop’s courage and raw vulnerability are shown through the lyrics on “I Don’t Like to Be Alone.” She confesses that she’s been uncomfortable in her own skin and preferred to be in someone’s arms even when the love was only in her head. Accomplished guitarist, Ryan Tharp, lends a particular poignancy to this song laying down riffs that compliment Bishop’s vocals.

“Women at The Well,” is a tribute to all women who find themselves being looked down on and judged by others. It is related to the Biblical story of Mary at the well. “Ain’t it just like the devil/To throw the past up in your face/Ain’t it just like the good Lord/To Cover you in grace…”

KNON Benefit Rock N' Rebuild

The final song on this amazing album, “Song Don’t Fail Me Now,” could be a prayer of sorts. Music is the one thing in life that never wavers and never varies. It can help us through good times and bad.

I am a huge Bonnie Bishop fan, and I love every song on The Walk. Her vocals are delivered with feeling, as are the lyrics. About this album, she said, “The words are from my soul and the music keeps my feet moving.”

Bishop captures life’s contradictions and conflicts with an unapologetic approach. If you are a fan of strong women in music, you will want to add this album to your collection! You can see her at The Kessler in Dallas on December 27. For more visit bonniebishop.com.


Tommy Rebel and the Righteous
Renaissance Dude
Independent Release

By Jan Sikes

Tommy Rebel and the Righteous Renaissance Dude By Jan SikesAustin-based trio, Tommy Rebel and the Righteous, is a guitar-driven rock band founded by lead guitarist and singer/songwriter, Tommy Rebel.

Their debut album’s producer, Chris “Frenchie” Smith said, “I fell in love with the group upon hearing them the first time. They clearly have classic rock leanings, however, the spark in their music is derived from their ability to unleash freshness globally.”

This is a new band for me, and I didn’t know what to expect from Renaissance Dude, but I soon found that they deliver a hard-driving pulsating beat with in-your-face honest lyrics.

From the first song on the album to the last, it doesn’t let up.

“MajicSity” starts with some funky guitar licks and transitions into hard rock. The vocal delivery reminded me a little of Tony Joe White or Guthrie Kennard.

Rockin' Robert Tomberlin

Rebel keeps the drive moving with “Little Bit.” When baby left, she took a little bit of me, just a little bit.”

“Moving On,” is nothing about standing still, but instead about the freedom to chase the stars unrelenting. ”

Rebel slows it down a little on “Night Train,” with lots of guitar and vocal reverb. “I stare out my window/While the train rolls on/Lift my eyes to the heavens/Searching for a song/I’m on a night train…”

“Backroads,” picks up the tempo with a solid rock beat as Rebel sings about things a man thinks of on the backroads home.

Sizzling guitar and heavy bass set the mood for “No School Today.” A bass solo showcases the indisputable talent of Naer Lin, then Rebel takes over with electrifying guitar licks.

“Let the joy lift our hearts/for a new romance,” opens “Over and Under.” The struggle to leave behind an old love is often fruitless. Again, Rebel’s guitar work is stellar.

Renaissance Dude ends with “Time is Mine,” another raucous, loud and proud rock song with everything you’d expect. From Rebel’s electrifying guitar to the solid backbeat, this band has the whole heavy rock package.

This album takes the listener through a sonic journey filled with jolting guitar hooks, throbbing rhythms, great melodies and thought-provoking lyrics that touch on feelings of love, truth, freedom and acceptance.

You can find out more about this rock trio by visiting their website tommyrebelatr.com

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The Zack Walther Band
The Westerner
Independent Release

By Jan Sikes

The Zack Walther Band The Westerner By Jan Sikes“Whatever your twisted heart desires, there’s something for you all.” That is the logline inside the CD cover of Zack Walther’s new CD, The Westerner.

And it’s not a lie. There is something for everyone who picks up this album. It ranges from Country, Blues, to R&B and Rock! The versatility of this artist is impressive.’

It took Walther a year and a half to complete this album and he is quoted as saying, “This is the record I’ve been working towards my entire musical life.”

The Westerner was produced by Zack Walther and Matthew Briggs. The musicians who played on the album are some of Texas’ finest with Matthew Briggs, Mike Atkins, David Grisson, Jeff Plankenhorn, Mark L. Wilson, D. Tiger Anaya, and Tyler Cannon.

Tavern On Main Street in Richardson Texas

My personal favorite from the album is the second track, “What Kind of Man.” Bluesy and funky, the message is raw and honest. A man taking a long hard look at himself and not liking what he sees. “Woman you shattered my heart of stone…”

The first track, “DFW,” is a cut-loose and party tune. “Like birds of a feather/We flock together/Baby, tonight I’m down for whatever…”

“Payin’ for It Now,” is all about going for broke and paying for it later. A play on words, “I’m Going Out of Your Mind,” is the epitome of letting go and moving on.”

“When The Show Comes to Town,” is a mood-setting “I’ve got something for you all/A night you’ll not ever forget/When the show comes to town…” kind of song.

A “Bad Girl” is hard for a man to resist.

Another easy favorite and a fan favorite, “Casualty” tells the age-old tale of love and loss.

Susan Gibson joins Walther on “Meet Me In The Middle.”

I loved the horn section and funky sound Walther brings to “Hold On I’m Coming.”

The album concludes with “Bailey’s Light.” A ghost story, it relates an incident on the banks of the Brazos River and has been a long-standing part of Walther’s live shows.

Walther states, “This is the record my fans always wanted me to make.” The album proves that Walther is equally at home performing Country, Blues, R&B and Rock, and Rodney Crowell described his voice as “one hell of a high-powered voice.”

If you love an artist that can bring versatility with every song, you’ll love The Westerner by the Zack Walther Band! For more info visit zackwaltherband.com

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The Oak Ridge Boys
Down Home Christmas
Lightning Rod Records

By Mary Jane Farmer SceneInTown.com

The Oak Ridge Boys Down Home Christmas By Mary Jane Farmer

The Oak Ridge Boys have added even more joy to the Christmas season with the recording of their latest album, Down Home Christmas.

The iconic vocal quartet includes Texas’ own Duane Allen, who was born in Cunningham, Lamar County, in the 1940s. The group’s rich renditions of the loved classics “Silent Night” and “Amazing Grace” are welcoming old friends.

It’s the newer and lesser-known songs that give this project its strength and let the four Oaks lift up their vocals to the high skies.

Sonny Collie Celebration of Life at Bucky Moonshine's

The opening song, “The Family Piano,” has such rememberable lines as “Let our love for each other fall down like snow” and “Let’s all celebrate the spirit and the birth in the sacred light of the Christmas tree.”

And the upbeat “Reindeer On The Roof” is a song any listener can’t turn away from. “Ba boom, Ba boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.” All right, in print that doesn’t look like the Shakespeare of Christmas lyrics, but it’s a given you will be singing it even when the song is over. Bass singer Richard Sterban takes the lead vocals on this.

“Hallelujah Emmanuel” is foot stomping, hand-clapping bouncy-beat of a song, packed with harmonies and reverent with the true meaning of Christmas. William Lee Golden’s rich baritone sparkles here.

“Down Home Christmas,” which Texan/Okie songwriter Mondo Saenz co-wrote, is filled with Christmas memories. “You walk into the place, Mama hands you a plate, Daddy gives a kiss sayin’ ‘It’s good to see your face’” and “Every kind of pie you’d ever want to eat, Star shining bright on the top of that tree” are truisms. “Ain’t nothing like a down home Christmas.”

Three songwriting greats—Jamey Johnson, Bill Anderson—and Buddy Cannon—joined forces to give The Oak Ridge Boys the—“South Alabama Christmas,” homey and traditional feelings abundant as the quartet’s harmonies really shine with Allen’s lead vocals. “Merry Christmas from south Alabam to you all.”

The Oak Ridge Boys Down Home Christmas By Mary Jane Farmer

Two types of music here—country and gospel—with the focus on family, fun, and faith as only the Oak Ridge Boys can bring, front and center.

This outstanding Christmas album from Lightning Rod Records is available in hard copy off the Website OakRidgeBoys.com and off of just about every streaming site out there.

The Oak Ridge Boys will be performing January 15 at the Charles W. Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts in Richardson.

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Wade Bowen
Twelve Twenty-Five
Bowen Sounds Records

By Mary Jane Farmer SceneInTown.com

Wade Bowen Twelve Twenty-Five By Mary Jane Farmer

With Wade Bowen’s unique blend of ’80s country, rockabilly, and down-home roots, his latest CD release, Twelve Twenty-Five, is destined to be played for years to come. Cheerful, hopeful, and full of the joy of the season, Twelve Twenty-Five is a mix of 12 songs, some secular, others spiritual.

It is also a tribute to the many artists who recorded many of the songs before Bowen. It is at the same time, warm, crisp, and packed jam full of tradition.

This reviewer’s favorite is the bouncy Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers song “Once Upon A Christmas,” poetry put to music about the heralded birth of Jesus. “All the world rejoiced because the King was born at last… A savior had been promised now it had come to pass…” Bowen’s voice has the depth and soul that completely compliment the lyrics.

Zoo Music Christmas Sale

Bowen does nice work covering the Taylor Swift song, “Last Christmas,” a downer of a song about lost love. “Last Christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away... I’m hiding from you, and your soul of ice…” His version of the Kenny Rogers’ song “Til The Season Comes Round Again” gives hope to anyone who may need a dollop to tide themselves over. “Let’s lift our heads high and be thankful we’re here til this time next year.”

Sometimes, it’s the memories that get us through.

There’s the classic “White Christmas,” complete with country rhythm and spiritual guitar work and made more notable by Wade’s son, Bruce, voice.

There’s “Holly Jolly Christmas” which is a duo with son Brock, and the “And one just must listen Bowen’s voice on the ubiquitous “Silent Night” which he carries off with true conviction.

Bowen is also joined on two songs by producer Sean McConnell and Cody Canada.

The CD is so remindful of Christmases at Grandma’s house, and putting out feed for the reindeer along with Santa’s cookies, and opening that stocking on December 25.

Visit the Wade Bowen's Store for all available items.

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Micky & The Motorcars
Long Time Coming
Thirty Tigers Records

By Mary Jane Farmer SceneInTown.com

Micky & The Motorcars Long Time Coming By Mary Jane Farmer

It’s been out about a month now, this new record from Micky & The Motorcars called Long Time Coming. And the songs on this project will be around for a long time.

Long Time Coming is the Idaho-turned-Texans’ first recording in three years, and for this they changed up two things — they used some Nashville musicians and Gary Braun, who along with his brother Micky Braun, fronts the popular group, wrote many of the songs on this.

It was Micky who co-wrote with Courtney Patton the lead song, “Road To You,” and it says ‘I love you’ without ever saying those words. “I’m a little bit north of the heart of Texas, But I’m carryin’ yours with me.” Relatable lyrics.

This reviewer’s favorite has to be “Lions of Kandahar,” written by Gary and a first-person account of military action. It’s got a personal feel, since I have a grandson going into the U.S. Army right after Christmas. The guitar is a weeping march that gives emphasis to the stress of the deadliest battle in Afghanistan. And yet with the stress, the songs brings out the strength of the units as they fought. “Raining hell down on those men as we advance again,” “Civilian life ain’t easy after what I’ve seen and done. I still hear the choppers coming and still hear the thumping of those guns…” and the despair “When I close my eyes at night, I’m right back in the fight, with the Lions of Kandahar.”

The depth of feeling — whether the feeling is true love, despair, sadness, hope — is abundance in every lyric in every song on this project. The two best dance tunes here are probably “Road To you” and “Break My Heart,” and the others, while danceable, are extra food for the ear, the heart, and the brain.

Micky & The Motorcars will be playing January 3 at Magnolia Motor Lounge in Fort Worth.

Visit the Mickey & The Motorcars store for all available items.

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Blah Blah

41 Texas born-or-based (or raised) acts received a total of 61 GRAMMY nominations

2020 Texas GRAMMY nominations

Tanya Tucker leads the 2020 Country GRAMMY nominees with four nominations, including one for Song Of The Year.

For a list of all Texas nominees, please visit the: Texas Music Office Website

The Recording Academy will present the 61st GRAMMY Awards on Jan. 26, 2020, live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast on CBS from 7:00 pm CT.

Yolanda Adams (Houston)
Best Gospel Performance/Song for Talkin’ ‘bout Jesus (Gloria Gaynor ft. Yolanda Adams)

Chris Athens (Austin)
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for Ella Mai (with Chris "Shaggy" Ascher, Jaycen Joshua & David Pizzimenti)

Kal Banx (Dallas)
Best Rap Album for Revenge of the Dreamers III by Dreamville

Brian “Malik” Baptiste (Leander)
Best Pop Vocal Album for Thank U, Next (as a producer with Ariana Grande)
Album of the Year for Thank U, Next (as a producer, with Ariana Grande)

Beyoncé (Houston)
Best Pop Solo Performance for Spirit
Best Pop Vocal Album for The Lion King: The Gift
Best Song Written for Visual Media for Spirit (with Timothy McKenzie & Ilya Salmanzadeh)
Best Music Film for Homecoming

Black Pumas (Austin)
Best New Artist

Cardo (Fort Worth)
Best Rap Album for Championships by Meek Mill
Best Rap Album for I Am > I Was by 21 Savage

Gary Clark Jr. (Austin)
Best Contemporary Blues Album for This Land
Best Rock Performance for This Land
Best Rock Song for This Land
Best Music Video for This Land

John Congleton (Dallas)
Album Of The Year for Norman F****** Rockwell! by Lana Del Rey

Crowder (Texarkana)
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for I Know a Ghost

Ronnie Dunn (Coleman)
Best Country Duo/Group Performance for Brooks & Dunn Brand New Man

Bryan Fowler (San Antonio)
Best Gospel Performance/Song for Talkin’ ‘bout Jesus (Gloria Gaynor ft. Yolanda Adams)

Kirk Franklin (Fort Worth)
Best Gospel Performance/Song for Love Theory
Best Gospel Album for Long Live Love

Patty Griffin (Austin)
Best Folk Album for Patty Griffin

Jazzmeia Horn (Dallas)
Best Jazz Vocal Album for Love & Liberation

Intocable (Zapata)
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (including Tejano) for Percepción

Craig Hella Johnson (Austin)
Best Choral Performance for The Hope Of Loving

Sarah Jarosz (Wimberley)
Best American Roots Song for I’m With Her's Call My Name (with Aoife O'Donovan & Sara Watkins)
Best American Roots Performance for I’m With Her's Call My Name

Jonas Brothers (Dallas)
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for Sucker

Khalid (El Paso)
Record Of The Year for Talk

Jeff Hyde (Marshall)
Best Country Song for Some Of It by Eric Church
Best Country Album for Desperate Man by Eric Church

La Energia Norteña (Dallas)
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (including Tejano) for Poco A Poco

Miranda Lambert (Lindale)
Best Country Song for It All Comes Out in The Wash (with Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose)

Lizzo (Houston)
Record Of The Year for Truth Hurts
Album Of The Year for Cuz I Love You (Deluxe)
Song Of The Year for Truth Hurts
Best New Artist
Best Pop Solo Performance for Truth Hurts
Best R&B Performance for Exactly How I Feel ft. Gucci Mane
Best Traditional R&B Performance for Jerome
Best Urban Contemporary Album for Cuz I Love You

Delbert McClinton & The Self-Made Men (Lubbock)
Best Tradional Blues Album for Tall, Dark, & Handsome

Post Malone (Grapevine)
Record Of The Year for Sunflower
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for Sunflower

Buck Meek from Big Thief (Driftwood)
Best Alternative Music Album for U.F.O.F. by Big Thief

Gene Moore (Houston)
Best Gospel Album for Tunnel Vision
Maren Morris (Arlington)
Best Country Duo/Group Performance for Common (with Brandi Carlile)

Willie Nelson (Austin)
Best Country Solo Performance for Ride Me Back Home

Tayla Parx (Dallas)
Album Of The Year for Ariana Grande Thank U, Next

Sugaray Rayford (Smith County)
Best Contemporary Blues Album for Somebody Save Me

Liz Rose (Dallas)
Best Country Song for Miranda Lambert It All Comes Out in the Wash (with Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Miranda Lambert)

Travis Scott (Houston)
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for The London by Young Thug ft. J. Cole and Travis Scott

Robert Simpson, Ken Cowan, Houston Chamber Choir (Houston)
Best Choral Performance for Durufle: Complete Choral Works

Tanya Tucker (Seminole)
Song Of The Year for Bring My Flowers Now (with Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth)
Best Country Solo Performance for Bring My Flowers Now
Best Country Song for Bring My Flowers Now (with Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth)
Best Country Album for While I’m Livin’

Chris Tomlin (Grand Saline)
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for Holy Roar

Jimmie Vaughan (Austin)
Best Traditional Blues Album for Baby, Please Come Home

J. White Did It (Dallas)
Best Rap Album for I Am > I Was by 21 Savage

Additional Notes:

Austin’s SaulPaul is a featured guest on The Love by Alphabet Rockers, nominated for Best Children’s Album.

Houston born Buck Meek was raised in Wimberley and is a member of Big Thief, nominated for Best Alternative Music Album for U.F.O.F. by Big Thief.

Dylan Meek co-wrote a song with Ommas Keith and Amine on the Spider Man Into the Spider-Verse movie which is nominated for Best Compilations Soundtrack

Lubbock’s Terry Allen and the Panhandle Mystery Band’s Pedal Steel + Four Corners, nominated for Best Album Notes by Bredan Greaves.

Blanton Alspaugh is nominated for Producer of the Year, Classical for work that includes ROCO, Robert Simpson & Houston Chamber Choir and Austin’s Craig Hella Johnson. Alspaugh was Music Director of KRTS in Houston from 1988-1995.

Bryan Fowler, former member of the San Antonio Christian rock band Abandon is nominated for his songwriting in Best Gospel Performance/Song for Talkin’ ‘bout Jesus (Gloria Gaynor ft. Yolanda Adams).

Events

Lucky PetersonLucky Peterson is celebrating a 50-year career with a new album, 50 – Just Warming up! A child prodigy of the blues, Peterson states, “My dad fed me the blues before I could walk. I played organ before I knew how to speak.” Later on, he learned to play guitar by listening to the three Kings - B.B., Albert and Freddie. Wife Tamara Trammel regularly accompanies Lucky on tour along with his faithful group, the Organization, brings in a Texas flare with her passionate vocals. Her velvety voice contrasts  perfectly with his hoarse timbre. You can spend New Year’s Eve with Lucky Peterson at Poor David’s Pub on December 31 to listen to your favorites and songs off the new CD.

Congratulations to Buddy Whittington (Texas Tornado, Class of 1990) on being named one of the 30 Top Blues Guitarists in the World by Guitar World  magazine. With over 60,000 votes cast, Buddy shares the list with such players as Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Jimmie Vaughan, Gary Clark Jr., Buddy Guy and Robben Ford. Buddy has made a name for himself, and deserves this recognition. We are blessed to have him here in our own backyard

There will be a KNON Twister Relief Benefit at Six Springs Tavern in Richardson on December 11 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. with performances by Teri Hendrix & Lloyd Maines, Jim Suhler, Simon Flory, Ally Venable (Acoustic Set) and Tony Ramey. Hosted by Sonny Boy Mark and Mark Mundy, all proceeds help relocate and rebuild your community radio station. Tickets at knon.org

The Rusty Wier singer/songwriter contest organizers are now accepting entries for the 2020 contest, being held in February and March with the finals on April 5. This year’s singer/songwriter contest is scheduled for 4 p.m. each Sunday between February 16 and April 5 at sponsoring venue Love & War in Texas in Plano. One of the major changes this year is that there is no try-out to enter the contest; instead, anyone interested is to Personal Message organizer Brett Dillon on his Facebook profile, Brett Dillon KXYI. The second major change is that, for the first time, Love & War in Texas will continue their Shiner Sunday showcases throughout the winter. Each week of the contest, the musical contestants will open the Shiner Sunday concerts, with the featured artist following them about 5 p.m. All this will be broadcast live on KHYI, 95.3 radio. Round 1 will run Feb. 16, Feb. 23, March 1, and March 87; Round 2, or the semi-finals will be on March 15 and March 29; and the finals will close it out on April 5. Even though the contest is still a couple of months away, now is the time to contact Brett Dillon, via his Facebook profile, to be included.

Singer/songwriter Jon Stork released his full-length debut, Radio Cowboy. Recorded in Houston, Radio Cowboy was produced by Travis Bishop and features eleven original tracks, ten of which were written or co-written by Stork. Other writers on the album include seasoned hitmakers Roger Brown (George Strait, Randy Travis); Byron Hill (Alabama, George Jones) and contemporaries such as Cody Johnson, Jake Worthington, and more. Drawing inspiration from his adventures on the road, Texas landscapes and lyrical wordsmiths like Townes Van Zandt and Tom Petty, Stork deftly evokes energetic honky tonk barrooms and modern day country leanings with his soulful, vocal dexterity. The result: a sound that twangs and rocks with equal measure.

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In Memoriam

Sonny Collie III

In Memoriam Sonny Collie IIIWaller “Sonny” Collie III died peacefully at Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center on November 1, 2019. He was 68 years old.

Sonny is survived by his wife, Cathi Collie, his son Turner Collie, his sisters Christine Collie and Carol Redwine. Sonny was a talented musician for almost 60 years, starting with a snare drum and a tiny amp in the living room of his parents’ home when he was 7, where he played “Bright Lights, Big City” with his friend, Robin Syler on electric guitar. Sonny was a multi-instrumentalist, playing bass, acoustic guitar, drums, and was a singer and songwriter. His primary love was blues and R&B, but he played all forms of music and played with many bands over his long career, beginning with Blues Circuit that played weekends at the Lantern Club in Dallas, circa 1966.

During the ’70s and ’80s in Austin, he played with Willis Alan Ramsey, B.W. Stevenson, Steven Fromholz, Evergreen (with Robert Aberg, Sonny’s favorite jazz guitarist), Rex Foster, Rick Baresford, Roky Erickson, and The Explosives (with Cam King and Freddie Steady Krc).

After returning to Dallas in 1984, Sonny became a commercial real estate agent. His claim to fame was selling Dewey Groom’s famous Longhorn Ballroom – twice! Having conquered the Dallas real estate business, Sonny retired his license and returned to the Dallas music scene, playing with Custom Made (with Steve Ritter), the Hash Brown Band, The Kathy Prather Band, The Robert Ealey Band, The Joe Jonas Band, and A Band of Brothers (with Danny Cochran), just to name a few. He played bass regularly with almost every Dallas blues man and woman, including Sam Myers, Mike Morgan, Jim Suhler, Cricket Taylor, Pat Boyack, Miss Marcy, Aaron Burton, Cheryl Arena, Dennis Cavalier, Robin Banks, Joel Foy, Randy McAllister, Texas Slim, Christian Dozzler. Sonny wrote, sang, played, and produced his CD, Flames of Delight in 1998. He was respected by so many as a great musician, a great friend, and an all-around exceptional guy.

Sonny had a brilliant mind with boundless interests and passions: music, voracious reading, politics, spirituality, motorcycles, aviation (certified private pilot and member of the Quiet Birdmen), science (physics, astronomy, biology, geology), photography, dogs (in particular his current beloved dog, Jetty), nature and the outdoors (canoeing, fishing, hunting), his community (neighborhood watch group, city council activist), his friends and family - the list is simply endless and his curiosity about the world (and beyond!) was infinite.

But most of all, Sonny loved his family and friends. His heart was huge and open and forgiving, and through his big personality and wit, he showed every day just how important we were in his life. Sonny was deeply loved and will be fiercely missed. A celebration of Sonny’s life will be held at Bucky Moonshine on Sunday, December 8, 2019.

--Cathi Collie

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“Blues Boy” Hubbard

In Memoriam Blues Boy HubbardHenry “Blues Boy” Hubbard was one of Austin’s more legendary blues musicians. Born in La Grange in 1934, he arrived in the Texas capital in the 1950s. While working as a mechanic at Bergstorm Air Force Base, he founded his band, Blues Boy Hubbard & the Jets in collaboration with local musicians – including L.P. Pearson and W.C. Clark, and black impresario Charlie Gilden (Charlie’s Playhouse, Chicken Shack), with whom he formed an enduring and productive partnership. Established as regular house musicians at Charlie’s Playhouse, Blues Boy Hubbard and The Jets decisively contributed with their music and entertainment to transform the state of race relations in Austin within the 1960s African American civil rights movement.

While still unknown to many in the international blues scene – mainly due to his discrete recording career, “Blues Boy” Hubbard became a firmly established, regional live-music institution, as well as an influential music mentor to many younger artists. His remarkable art sharply illuminated the complex intermixing of popular music, race and economics within contemporary history.

—Bio partially excerpted from “Blues Boy Hubbard: Black Music and Race Relations in East Austin,”

--Josep Pedro

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Tony Calhoun

In Memoriam Tony CalhounBass player Tony Calhoun was said to have “put the mustard on Billy Joe Shaver’s Outlaw style of country music.”

He made crowds laugh when he would take his opportunity on the mic, singing one of the verses to Billy Joe’s silly song, “That’s What She Said Last Night.”

The 65-year-old Waco native passed away November 15 in Austin due to complications from heart surgery. Calhoun played bass behind the likes of B.B. King, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Sonny Rhodes, and in the band Hot Soul On Ice before starting Tony Calhoun and the Pleasure, with Derrick Dutton on guitar and Jonathan Kutz on drums.

Playing throughout Texas and beyond for many years, Tony Calhoun and the Pleasure went on a hiatus in 2005, but reformed in 2011 to become one of the most beloved bar bands in the Waco area.

Just a week before his passing, Calhoun had celebrated the release of his latest record  Black Knight at the Waco Convention Center.

“Tony was a light to the world,” said Jeremy Lynn Woodall.  “I will miss his deep spirit and infectious bass playing, but mostly I will miss his smile and his kind heart.”

“Tony wasn’t black or white,” said Billy Joe Shaver to KWTX, “He was everybody’s friend. I’ll never forget him.”

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KNON Twister Relief at The Six Springs Tavern

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