Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Hard Luck Revival...

Here's some more new music for you. It's a country rockabilly band called the Hard Luck Revival. They are out of Houston, Tx and with songs like "Her Water is Broke and so am I" that real life inspiration and hard luck comes in steady and equal doses. We saw this band at the Conroe Americana Fest and since they are close by I hope I get to see them again. 

With fiddle, guitars, bass drums, mandolin and harp they put out a punked up cowboy kind of thing that sort of brings to my the old Leroi Brothers stuff from back in the 1980s. 

Front man plays a pretty 1970s style of Telecaster guitar and might be able to pick up some Elvis imitator gigs with just a few little tweaks to his shtick. 

This guy was a good country guitar player on a Tele but he whipped out what looks to be a vintage Danelectro for some killer slide playing. After the show I told him how much I liked the slide. He said "Hey I saw you dancing at the Carolyn Wonderland gig the other night." I guess that goes to show we all have things we like.  

Looks like one of their upcoming gigs in June and it's a day I work) is at Rockefellers in Houston. If you remember this is club from the 1980s  in an old bank building on Washington Street. We used to hop in the Rocket 88 at a moments notice and drive down to see bands like Chicago blues woman Koko Taylor, Arkansas blues man Son Seals, Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows, legendary flying V slinger Lonny Mack and Texas songwriter Joe Ely with Rolling Stone side man Bobby Keys on sax. That's just the ones I can remember for now. The old club closed but seems to be opened up again hosting country punk like this and some blues. 

Hard Luck aint hard to come by. It's a better gig that you might think. 

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Late Afternoon After the Rain Fishing Trip...

Some one mentioned to me this weekend "seems like the blog has slowed down some." I guess I could go into greater detail about what I'm up to. Cathy will hate that. She thinks it's too much already. I could just make up stuff. Some think I do that too. One thing I do do (I know you thought it was a family blog) is go cat fishing. What the world needs now is one more photo of Cathy holding a cat fish. Well here it is. 

It rained yesterday. Almost all day and some reported up to 5 inches. When it quit we headed to the lake. We hit up an old reliable sport  first but with the wind from the north east (I know fish bite least) it put the boat in a different position. Either the fish were not there or we just could not get a hook to them so we headed out to a new spot that we caught a few fish at last trip and it paid off. They were there. 

If you are familiar with our tactics you know we chum for cats with soured grain. They smell it and it concentrates them where we want to cast. Won't work just anywhere because the cats have to be close by on some fishy underwater structure. I think one of those structures was right behind the boat because I caught them there and it was not the spot I tossed the chum. 

We won't say who caught the most today but I think they could not see me because of the camo shirt. 

Lots of critters spotted today. Gators, big turtles, wood ducks, great blue herons and the white herons, osprey eagles, and song birds of all types. As darkness fell in the photo above my rod tip points to the far bank where something started howling.  

Cathy covers in a Mexican blanket for the after dark ride across the lake. You know how those fancy bass fishermen wear those sponsor shirts and have wraps on their boats? We are going to go for this kind of sponsorship. I think we will contact Carlos Castenada, Jimbo Mathis and the Knockdown Society and Creek Bottom Smith to see if they want a piece of this action.  

One of the kids commented on a facebook photo that "the old man is going to die in a boat, happy." I was glad happy was attached to that. Ok, there are those out there that have been there done that and made the after dark run across Big Sam with me hair flying and not looking where I going too many times. Is this what they mean? 

Final count was 40 catfish. Most were a little below average size. Still a lot of male fish. Big females not in the shallow water yet. We put 7 pounds of fillets in the freezer and fried and ate 2 pounds right out of the skillet with hot sauce as the only side dish.   

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekend Jam Session...

Got together with family and friends and sang under the carport while the rain came down Saturday night. I don't think we wrote any hit songs but you never can tell when one starts the slow climb up the charts. After all, we are in for the long haul. 

Don't worry only N/A O'Doul's served here. That way the police come a lot less often and no one is hung over when we play at Church the next day. 

Morgan is really putting it together on guitar. He's bringing some good tunes to the set list. 

There's a drummer that don't like to be named on the internets. 

What's Anne doing back there? From hand position it looks like busting a lead. She better be careful and remember what Chet Atkins said, "No money above the 5th fret." 

Rose thinks all songs are funny songs. 

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Zamora Baby Shower...

A big event was held yesterday. It was the Zamora baby shower. Billed as a couples shower all were invited but I had showered that morning so I was not a principle in those activities. Here's a few photos of every one that was there to bring gifts for the young couple and the soon to be welcomed baby boy Ezra Miguel. The theme and decorations was camping. Food was hot dogs and chili pie. 

Mamma Bear and Papa Bear. They want you to call them this from now on. 

Nice touch, a trail mix bar. I probably ate more of this than I did chili pie.  

Trouble makers. My cousins Dixie, Betty and my mom. This event was held at the old Chambers Park Rock House which was build as a public works project during the depression. Cousin Dixie said she had a baby shower here one time. 

Mary reads the card and Miguel has either a "what do we do with this" look on his face or a "I know what I'll use this for" revelation. 

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Wednesday Catfish Report...

Another blog post just so we get all fish caught this year documented. Fish were in about 3' of water, under slip corks. A few had eggs so I think big time spawning fish are yet to come. We caught 15 on a very windy day. 

Photo is because what the world needs now is one more picture of Cathy with a catfish. 


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Another Band You Should Know...

Here's another music review from the Conroe Americana Festival we recently attended . The band was the Cordovas who although the members are kind of from all over they bill themselves as a Nashville band. They were great. Good musicianship and really outstanding vocals with excellent harmonies.

They Played at the Red Brick Tavern in downtown Conroe. This venue had served pretty much as a listening room during the festival hosting the quieter singer songwriter solo performers. The staff did a good job of enforcing listening room rules. If you have to inquire what listening room rules are you need to go somewhere else. I have been in a couple of places the past few years that I think the performers thought they were going to be in a listening room due to the small size of the venue only to be surprised by a wine bar atmosphere. 

Note in the lower left of the above picture songwriter Eric Taylor. He played a quiet set before this band. He's a product of the 70s Houston music scene that produced Townes Van Zant, Guy Clark, Steve Earle and many others that set the pace for the current Americana crop of songwriters. We heard a few songs from Eric's set and I have seen him before. Hopefully I'll get a review of him in one day.   

I guess if I had to describe the Cordovas I would say Americana jam band Grateful Dead bluegrass country rock. They have one cd and I bought it from them at this performance. It's from 2011 and contained many of the songs they performed. Reportedly a new one is in the works and I look forward to hearing it. They are currently opening for the Turnpike Troubadours.

I much admired the drummers hat. Cathy asked me, "Do you see any girls around that hat?" I said, "well no but I bet he's got a wife, girl, something, somewhere." Cathy said "I asked do you see any girls around him while he's wearing that hat?" My belief that you should dress like you are with the band is not shaken. 

This guy, Lucca Soria was a monster on guitar and a great high harmony voice. Very pure singer. 

This guy who kind of seemed to be the main dude is Joe Firstman who gained renown, among other things as band leader form late night TV show Last Call With Carson Daly. A very talented fellow.  

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Dirty River Boys...

Here's a band we saw at the Conroe Americana Festival. They are called the Dirty River Boys. We kind of happened on them by accident. Everyone was standing around trying to figure out which band might be good to see (a really hard choice, I hate what else might have been missed) and somehow we found ourselves right in front of these guys. Might have been the best songwriting band of the weekend and later when I said "man whose idea was it to see this band?" they all said "your's!" but I can't take that credit. 

So what kind of band is this? I see string bass, drums and acoustic guitars. Well the dirty river is the Rio Grande and these guys come speeding in from the west, El Paso to be exact with the stomp and holler of an Irish punk band, the smooth rolling banjo and mandolin picking of bluegrass with a little good old honky tonk thrown in. I mean how else would you sound if you have to drive 900 miles to get to any gig. 

I'm a sucker for a toothpaste colored guitar. 

This guy wins the prize for the best string bass. 

So you ask about the songwriting. What kind of songs are these guys doing? Best I can describe it is Texas Truth. Anyone that's ever sat up late at night cupping that burning ember of whatever it was that's bothering them will know what these songs are about. Go out and get the CDs now. 

Best photo of the back of the banjo I could get. You know I have a banjo with a big old eagle cut in the back. Contrary to what you have heard it's instruments like this that will make America great again. 

Heck, even the merch guy was good. They must have had 7 different t shirts for sale. I regret I did not by one. There was a bunch of cds, maybe some are EPs and we bought the latest two. They are great albums, good production and sound. I wish I had bought all because I don't see the older stuff for sale online. Cathy bought a can cooler. 

It is amazing what passes for country music these days. Why are bands like these are not big hits I don't know. Well I do know, jeans not tight enough, too dumb for New York, too ugly for L.A. hair not swung right and so on. They can be your hit. Buy this music now.  

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Not Quite Mother's Yet But It's Not Long...

On your left is the mother of a baby boy to be named Ezra Miguel and on your right you have the mother of a baby boy now known as Gub-Gub.  

One mom and the mom's to be posing at The Frank Lloyd Wright home we toured.  

Here's the gang on the recent Chicago trip outside Katherine and Peter's home. Happy Mother's Day to my mother in law Geneva. 

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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Billy Joe Shaver...

I saw Billy Joe Shaver at the Conroe Americana Music Festival this past weekend. He was playing in the Sparkle Ice House. It looks like an old warehouse turned into an open air bar with beer iced in tubs. Not the first time I have seen Billy Joe and I hope it's not the last. There were many young up and coming bands but we got to talk about the guy who helped lead the way. You might say I have been under his influence for awhile because way back in the mid 70s when I had Waylon and David Allen Coe tapes stuck in the 8 track I did not know that they were covering Billy Joe Shaver songs. Waylon is dead. Coe don't matter anymore. Billy Joe is a dancing shaman, a guru, a movie star, and leads the spiritual way for Texas on a Saturday night. 

If you make a quick check of Billy Joe's wiki page his life is quite notable and is filled with events that we may have experienced ourselves but lacked the ability to put those highs and lows into song. Who else has been mentioned in a song by Bob Dylan, starred in movies with Robert Duvall, had a heart attack on stage, married the same woman several times, lost his guitar playing son to an overdose, saved Todd Scnider and been acquitted on the grounds of self defense for shooting a guy outside a bar?  Billy Joe man, Billy Joe.

All this comes out in performance. He fronts one of those greasy groove Texas bands that while they get billed as country it rocks out to be totally something transcending.    

Texas bar nights. It's what you do with your life. 

Note the right hand. Billy Joe worked in a lumber mill before the songwriting started paying. He cut those fingers off but to recover and teach himself to play guitar. I met people who tell me "I play the guitar but not too good." I say stop holding yourself back. 

Billy Joe is 77 years old. Looking at his web page tour schedule he has 9 gigs scheduled from June to September. They are all over the country so plan well. He's bad nation wide. 

Billy Joe says in a song "Heart of Texas is where I come from." He was born in Corsicana and has another song about "a good Christian raising and an eight grade education." I don't know a better way to describe what he brings to a performance.  

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