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.
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dawes brings an intimate acoustic performance to Cactus. Last time they were here, the performance was amazing. This is another one you won’t want to miss.
On the group’s sixth album, Passwords, inspiration pulls guitarist/ singer Taylor Goldsmith, drummer Griffin Goldsmith, bassist Wylie Gelber, and keyboardist Lee Pardini into their most universal, topical territory to date. This is a record about the modern world: the relationships that fill it, the politics that divide it, the small victories and big losses that give it shape. Taylor’s writing is personal at points – the result of his recent engagement, which lends a sense of gravity and self-reflection to album highlights like “Time Flies Either Way” and “I Can’t Love” – but it also zooms out, focusing not on the director himself, but on everything within the lens.
Swimwear Department’s songs are all inspired by their name.
When the band shot its 2018 Tiny Desk Contest entry in a pool, NPR’s Marissa Lorusso
called the Houston four-piece’s obsessive commitment to only writing songs about swimming
holes and shopping malls “delightfully on-brand.”
Swimwear Department’s frenetic live shows feature crowd-sourced backing vocals and dance
contests. Frontman Matt Graham dreamt of these shows when began writing for the project in
“I wanted to make music people could dance to,” says Graham, “I wanted every song to have
at least one part where everybody gets to sing. I wanted it to be fun, but uh, I never imagined
it would be this fun.”
The music features vintage beats and basslines that would be at home in Motown and
surf-rock tunes, and Jeremy Grisbee (keys) uses organ sounds reminiscent of 1960s psych
rock. Graham’s talk-singing and screams evoke early punk a la Lux Interior.
The least conventional element of the band’s sound is Ned Gayle’s over-driven bass guitar.
Gayle often pulls double duty, alternating between driving basslines and leadlines usually
reserved for a guitarist.
Swimwear Department’s debut album, Turn Over! Go Under!, is set for release in late July,
2018. The album and the live show are both peppered with moments of sincere nostalgia for
bygone summer swims and cool mall strolls. Swimwear Department reminds listeners that
everything changes, but there’s always fun to be had.
Houston Drummer, Gus Alvarado, produced the album, often says of the band, “It’s funny, but
it’s no joke.”
Check out swimweardepartment.band for sights, sounds, shows and shopping!
“Tee Vee is the mind and memories of Houston native Teresa Vicinanza. Known for her work as a singer and songwriter, Tee Vee encompasses her work as a producer and artist. She experiments with elements of synth pop, art pop, and dream pop. Tee Vee uses sampling, looping and layering, especially with vocal melodies and harmonies, to create an ethereal sound.”
Houston-based harmonica ace and bandleader Steve Krase moves outside the conventional blues boundaries on this outing, into Americana and Zydeco with guests skilled in those styles. Driving much of these proceedings is noted Houston producer Rock Romano who played bass, background vocals, wrote three of the tunes and used his favorite spot, The Red Shack, for the recording.
Although the album begins with Hank Williams’ “Settin’ the Woods on Fire” there are plenty of vintage blues selections, among them two relatively obscure tunes from Howlin’ Wolf (“Alll in the Mood” and “My Baby Walked Off”) and one from Big Walter Price (“Nobody Loves Me”). Perhaps the most startling tune here is their zydeco version of the Beverly Hillbillies TV theme, “The Ballad of Jed Clampett.” Brian Jack adds accordion, Mike V the rubboard and James Gilmer percussion. So, in one way it might be surprising for Krase to take on this style, but it is one of the core brands of music being played in Houston today, especially since the migration from so many Louisianans after Katrina.
Krase claims that he tried to keep it simple but wanted more of an edge to the music. Perhaps the guest percussionist Gilmer (from Lyle Lovett’s band) said it best, “I love this project! It’s like Magic Dick and Peter Wolf meet Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter.”
As you may know, Krase has been instrumental in sustaining Houston’s Queen of the Blues, Trudy Lynn’s career. Having recently seen Trudy’s show, with Krase and his band, it’s fair to say that Krase is a world-class harmonica player, vastly unheralded. Krase can stand on the same stage with Kim Wilson and others who carry much bigger reputations. Paired with a pro like Romano, this is a nice example of how blues can be expanded into a swinging, fun excursion while retaining every bit of its power. www.makingascene.org