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GRAND OLD GRIZZLY – SATURDAY, 9/22/18 @ 1:00PM

“If rock ‘n’ roll ain’t killin you, you probably ain’t doin it right!” These words echo above the din as I try to digest the lyrical feast that is Grand Old Grizzly’s latest work, Pure Country Pyrite. The Houston band’s third studio album is a jailbreak of western Americana wisdom and gulf coast grit.

Lead vocalist and lyricist Will Thomas sings and writes songs the way gym rats workout, the way I breathe air: because he HAS to. There’s no other way. It’s merely a convenience that, according to Thomas himself, he “has some weird s#&@ to say that no one else is saying.

“The band formed in Houston in 2012. Thomas linked up with Guitarist Paul Beebe, bassist Mark Riddell and Drummer Chris Lewis. After recording an album in Beebe’s closet they decided to take these songs Thomas had written and start playing them live. Grand Old Grizzly was formed. They were soon nominated by the Houston Press as Houston’s Best New Band and its Best Country/Americana act. Their second record, CosmoNada, charted in the Top 100 on the national Americana charts, and the band has performed shows with a bevy of nationally touring acts, including Leon Russell, Blackberry Smoke, James McMurtry, Cody Canada and The Departed, Mike and The Moonpies, Roger Clyne, Rodney Crowell, Red Shahan, and Soulhat, to name just a few. They’ve been featured on a compilation in Texas Music Magazine and Chris Gray of Houston Press calls the sophomore release “one of the finest slices of Americana” cut by a Houston act in quite a while.

Chris Lewis left the band after the second album. Houston drumming virtuoso Isaias Gil took over drumming duties and the lineup has remained static since. The boys next stepped into Edgewater Studios with producer Derek Hames and engineer John Shelton to capture the band in a new light. The brand new songs, some road tested, some born in the studio, all served well in capturing a fresh perspective for the band.

The songs on Pure Country Pyrite explore themes both poignant (“Awkward” takes a look behind the curtain of a relationship that’s outlasted its shelf life) and peculiar (“Gundowners” sardonically explores the tale of a pair of murderous rampaging lovers on a crime spree). There’s salty barroom rock ‘n’ roll in “Papa Was a Radio” and touching heartbreak in “Sunlight.” At the end of it all, Grand Old Grizzly always does a great job leaving the listener wanting more. This is a record that will make you want to catch the band live, hoping to learn the stories behind the songs. But it’s also a road trip record filled with songs to sing along with.

Dripping with irony and humorous wit, Grand Old Grizzly is a band on the cusp.

RACHEL STACY & JEFFERSON THOMAS – THURSDAY, 9/13/18 @ 5:30PM

RACHEL STACY

Based in Dallas, Texas, but plays all over the globe, Rachel Stacy is a super energetic, passionate and unforgettable singer, songwriter, musician and entertainer with a “never give up attitude.” Her talent, personality, and drive is so infectious, she is hard to deny. A violinist since she was 6 years old, her music is a mix of rock, southern rock, blues, soul, and country. On top of her strong presence and songwriting, Rachel is unique, genuine and hard working. Add her killer vocals & fiddle to any tune, and you have Rachel’s signature sound!

Rachel has had the privilege of sharing the stage with a variety of artists such as ZZ TopGeorge Thorogood, Kentucky Headhunters, Willie NelsonShooter JenningsMerle HaggardJoe Diffie, Johnny Lee, Jesse James Dupree from JackylDierks BentleyRay Wylie Hubbard, Keith Anderson, Rick Springfield, Oakridge Boys, Alice in ChainsTrace Adkins, and many others.

Rachel is a dynamic performer. Her strong, soulful, raspy voice, gives her the freedom to deliver crowd roaring performances. Her live show is full of energy, passion, attitude and a serious devotion to her fans. She is a true entertainer.

Rachel has been compared to many of the greats; Etta JamesJanis JoplinTina TurnerMelissa EtheridgeTanya TuckerKoko TaylorSusan TedeschiLoretta LynnLacy J Dalton, and many others. No matter who she is compared to, with her range of influences, Rachel Stacy is unique in her own way and never fails to deliver.

 

JEFFERSON THOMAS

One word can be used to describe Jefferson Thomas’ music: American. It is quite literally a “melting pot” – of the places he’s been and the things he’s seen, heard and felt.

Jefferson started out in his father’s footsteps as a guitarist in his teens, playing professionally all around the US, doing country, blues, and rock, yet always keeping his mind and his ear open to any music he hadn’t yet encountered.

He discovered vintage R&B and soul as the lead vocalist in a nine-piece horn band in college, and a thousand gigs later had refined the “blue-eyed soul” vocal style that sits atop his rich amalgam of retro fingerstyle-guitar, alt-pop, and indie rock.

While in college he also interned in the music school’s recording studio and practically lived there while recording his first release. “I was nineteen when I put out my first CD”, says Thomas. “It’s probably still out there somewhere, which makes me feel queasy. I don’t think I even still own a copy.”

Jefferson’s live video of his song “Jacksonville from an NPR broadcast went viral and introduced him to audiences worldwide. As a result, he embarked on his first European tour and has subsequently toured overseas every year since constantly breaking new ground and growing his fan base.

Today Jefferson lives in New York City, where the culturally variegated environment further informs and affects his music. That music has always been more about what’s going on around him than the lyrics he might be working on, or which guitar he might decide to pick up. It will never lose its rootsy, American origins, but with the constant onslaught of so many different sounds, sights, smells, and languages, Jefferson’s music is constantly evolving and reinventing itself.

LOS NAHUATLATOS – SATURDAY, 9/15/18 @ 3:00PM

Los Nahuatlatos (nä wät lâ tōs) But what does it mean?

The name, Los Nahuatlatos, derives from the body of language spoken by the various tribes of the Aztecas. It loosely means “the translators”. They are a group of musicians with deep roots to their Xicano-Indigenous heritage whose mission is to create original, inspiring and innovative music on a conscious level that people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy.

Los Nahuatlatos are “an authentic voice that epitomizes a shift in la onda (the scene).” – Hector Saldaña, Express News

Self-described as “Xicano Roots Fusion,” their music is a synthesis of traditional Latino styles. From Conjunto to Reggae, Chicano Soul to Cumbia and Ska, Los Nahuatlatos don’t so much straddle the line as find the groove in between worlds.

This is the voice of a generation eagerly pushing the boundaries.

Los Nahuatlatos have been featured at the 2013 International Accordion Festival, the 32nd Annual Tejano/Conjunto Festival, and have opened for the Grammy Award winning bands Los Texmaniacs and La Santa Cecilia. Their debut album, “Tierra Sin Fin”, was released in the Spring of 2017 with their second album, “Jamás Inquieto”, set to be released this Fall.

MITCH JACOBS – SATURDAY, 9/8/18 @ 3:00PM

From somewhere between Elvis’s flashy Vegas and Johnny Cash’s earthy Arkansas comes a country boy in a little old Texas town called Houston. That’s where rural folk music, showbiz pop, and American rock and roll reached Mitch Jacobs.

So here’s a little slice of Wills, a little slice of Elvis, a dose of rock and roll, and a respectful country tip of the hat to Johnny, all in the tremolo baritone of one Mitch Jacobs from Houston, Texas—but make no mistake, he’s his own man, not an imitator.

D.T. BUFFKIN – SATURDAY, 9/15/18 @ 1:00PM

“Operating in a style affectionately dubbed ‘Honky Tonk ’n’ Roll,’ D.T. Buffkin leads a band of exceptional professionals through the lexicon of classic American music. Whether playing doo woo-inspired carhop ditties or classic country barroom bawlers, his knack for song crafting is surpassed by few and his encyclopedic knowledge of beloved American standards shines through in his learned, captivating originals.” –Paste Magazine

“Somewhere between the AM country of yesteryear, the high, lonesome willow-whine of the ferociously stoned cosmic cowboy and the horny rambunctiousness of ’70s Brit-blues-rock resides D.T. Buffkin and his ‘honky tonk ‘n’ roll.’ Whether opening for esteemed soul balladeers (Lee Fields), icons of the roadhouse and modern Chitlin’ Circuit (Dale Watson and Junior Brown) or rubbing elbows with rock ‘n’ roll royalty (Sir Douglas Quintet and Texas Tornados member, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits collaborator Augie Meyers played on Buffkin’s last record and is often spotted in his crowd) his grasp of the greatest of American music rolls on by like a boxcar on butter – never too shaky or jarring – tied together by the ‘junk-crooned’ gravel balladry of his captivating voice. Think if Ryan Adams worshipped Merle Haggard or Father John Misty abandoned his post-hipster diary entries for folk barroom integrity…or something like that.” –Rolling Stone

“There’s so much to keep you listening to this album, no matter what mood or … neighborhood you happen to be in … (D.T. Buffkin) has taken his considerable talents and his influences and forged his own sound(s) from that raw material.” –San Antonio Current

PONCE – SATURDAY, 8/18/18 @ 1:00PM

PONCÉ is a dynamic pop rock duo based in Nashville, TN consisting of twin brothers Carson and Michael Poncé. The twins efficiently cross genres; from classic, harmony-driven melodies reminiscent of Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, to modern, synth-led pop productions with melodic guitar leads evocative of The Killers and HAIM.

The brothers grew up in a musical household, both taking the required one-year of piano lessons taught by their mother before she would get Carson his much desired Ibanez electric guitar or Michael’s long sought-after Percussion Plus drum set.

The twin’s debut EP ‘Afterglow’ was recorded at The Sound Emporium and produced by friend and fellow Nashville rocker, Marcus Garceau of Omega Swan. The album was largely written during the course of touring while opening up for the alternative folk / indie pop band PHOX in 2015.

HOWARD SCOTT – SATURDAY, 8/25/18 @ 3:00PM

Scott grew up in Compton, California. He began playing bass at a very young age under the guidance of his cousin, Jack Nelson, and in 1961 began playing guitar. A year later, he formed a group called the Creators with Harold Brown. Scott was influenced by blues artists TJ Summerville, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed and Wayne Bennett. He frequented the local blues clubs in South Los Angeles to study professionals such as Lowell Fulson, Johnny Guitar Watson, and T-Bone Walker.

Howard graduated from Compton High School in 1964. He later formed his second group, The Night Shift, with Harold Brown. In 1969, the Night Shift was performing at the Rag Doll club in North Hollywood, when Eric Burdon and Lee Oskar stopped in to hear them play. The group quickly formed Eric Burdon & War for two years (having a hit with “Spill the Wine”) before Burdon left and War began its own highly successful career in the ‘70s and stretching into the ‘80s. They were a multiplatinum-selling act and a very popular concert draw.

Howard Scott now performs regularly with Lee Oskar and Harold Brown in the Lowrider Band, as well as his own group, the Howard Scott Project.

FREDDIE STEADY KRC presents TUCSON – FRIDAY, 9/28/18 @ 5:30PM

It’s a tale of tragedy, heartbreak, desperation, love, and pursuit of the American dream, set in a time when that dream was everything. In the wild west of America in the middle 19th century, dreams were pursued, fulfilled, dashed, and altered. But always pursued. It’s how the country found its destiny gradually from the east coast to the west. From the mind of American musician Freddie Steady Krc comes the tale of Tucson, a love story set in the wild country of the developing west. The tale of a cowboy named Sonny and his undying love for Kara Lee in the face of tragedy began as a concept album originally recorded by Krc’s Shakin’ Apostles in the 1990s. Krc wrote much of the music and accompanying short story while on the road as the drummer for Jerry Jeff Walker.

But Freddie always had his own story to tell, which is why he has fronted his own bands for decades. The Apostles were his best setting for the type of music that had inspired him early on, like The Buffalo Springfield and San Francisco’s legendary Charlatans. It was the Charlatans, in fact, who inspired the ambitious venture that became Tucson, which also took great influence from Freddie’s lifetime of work in the musical melting pot of Texas, his home state. Now, twenty years after the original story became a recording, Tucson has become what it should always have been: a theatrical presentation. With the help of Dave Hargraves on guitar, Freddie will recreate these songs as a story unfolds through the narrated performance of his old friend and college classmate, John Garrison. With just three gentlemen onstage, the adventures of Sonny and Kara Lee come to life. In the face of adversity, they lived outside the lines in this paint by numbers world with the same spirit of independence that one musician named Freddie Krc has always maintained. Experience this unique theatrical concert performance as it is musically developed onstage. Hearing a song’s composer perform it live is always special. In this case, he brings it alive and takes the theater audience to old Mexico, Austin, San Francisco, and the place where dreams refuse to die, a town called Tucson.

WILD MOCCASINS – SATURDAY, 8/11/18 @ 3:00PM

Fronted by Zahira Gutierrez (vocals/keyboard) and Cody Swann (guitar/vocals), Wild Moccasins’ forthcoming third full-length serves as a new beginning for the group. Look Together tackles themes of repairing relationships, shedding insecurities, and fresh starts, with vibrant guitar and synth lines layered under Gutierrez’s soaring pop melodies. Look Together is highly pop-powered, with Ben H. Allen (Gnarls Barkley, Deerhunter, Animal Collective) at the production helm. Recorded at Atlanta’s Maze studios, Allen encouraged the group to revise their approach to the writing and recording process. The result is a diverse album that blends the signature, guitar-driven elements of Wild Moccasins’ early discography with expansive electronic and ’80s/’90s pop components. The impassioned 12-track LP began to form merely a week after the release of 2014’s 88 92, as Gutierrez and Swann’s decade-long romantic relationship dissolved. Healing proved to be a burdensome task, as Wild Moccasins were charted for two years of extensive touring. Gutierrez and Swann would spend countless hours positioned in a shared tour van, painfully staring each other down on stage and ultimately exchanging exaggerated he-said-she-said’s through songwriting. For most romantically intertwined bands, Look Together would have never happened. Dissolving the group would seem to be the logical conclusion of their romantic split, but instead, the former couple chose to reconcile their differences the only way they knew how – working towards a common musical goal.

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