In early 2017 the Astros were beginning a remarkable run. Polish Pete and the Polka I Hardly Know Her Band were set on watching every game from spring training on. Knowing the strengths of The ASTROS’ fearless, fun-loving leader JOSE ALTUVE, this was to be the Astros’ year! As the season progressed, the excitement level in Houston rose to an all-time high. Polish Pete crafted THE ALTUVE POLKA while watching his favorite Astro play baseball with such joy and enthusiasm. The band went directly into the studio to record and video the now infamous hit single THE ALTUVE POLKA. It was released via YouTube during the Astros historic playoff run and quickly spread across the internet and local Houston media amassing over a quarter of a million views through the various websites. The single was certified a hit when, after seeing the video again on the MLB Network, JOSE ALTUVE exclaimed on national TV, “I LOVE IT!”
The Astros organization was so thrilled by the power and positivity of THE ALTUVE POLKA they invited Polish Pete to sit behind home plate for the now legendary World Series game 5, where he sat next to Larry King. Larry revealed that although he was a Dodger fan, he loved THE ALTUVE POLKA.
Polish Pete got word through the organization that some of the Astros were feeling a little left out by not having a song about them. Polish Pete loves the Astros so much, he wrote another song entitled, I LOVE THOSE HOUSTON ASTROS. This follow-up smash names all the members of the Houston Astros World Series Championship team and was released in the middle of the World Series to give the rest of the team that lift they needed to complete the victory and brings the World Series Championship Trophy home to Houston.
When the Astros caught the final out of game seven to win the World Series, the call was made to Polish Pete and the Polka, I Hardly Know Her Band to lead the World Series Championship Parade through the streets of downtown Houston. A float was built for Polish Pete, complete with a gigantic Astros baseball and booming PA system, to spread cheer throughout the city with the two hit songs, THE ALTUVE POLKA and I LOVE THOSE HOUSTON ASTROS. Nolan Ryan, Reid Ryan, Jeff Luhnow, and Jim Crane, along with their families, all joined Polish Pete on the Polka Float to ride through the streets of downtown Houston. One million Astros loving polka fans lined the streets to sing along with THE ALTUVE POLKA and I LOVE THOSE HOUSTON ASTROS, as Polish Pete and The Houston Astros rolled by.
A limited pressing of these two legendary songs is now available on Collectors Orange 45rpm, with THE ALTUVE POLKA on side A and I LOVE THOSE HOUSTON ASTROS on side B. The release date for the single is MLB Astros Opening Day Thursday, March 29th 2:05 PM to coincide with the first ASTROS pitch of the 2018 season. Polish Pete and the Polka, I Hardly Know Her Band, right alongside the returning Astros Championship Team are together again, set to make another magical run towards back to back World Series Championships for Houston! Go STROS ! Go POLKA!
According to The New York Times, Wade Bowen is “…an earnest and direct singer who wrings feeling from a small vocal gestures and whose songwriting…is graceful, with a twists like small sighs.”
“Texas-based troubadour Wade Bowen returns on February 9th with his long-awaited new album, Solid Ground. Working with friend and producer Keith Gattis, Solid Ground features eleven tracks that exemplify the varied musical soundscapes that are the Lone Star State. From the roots-rocking opener “Couldn’t Make You Love Me” to the Gattis-penned Tex-Mex seasoned tale of lost love “Day of the Dead,” the bittersweet harmonica and keys accented “Acuna” and the nostalgic “So Long 6th Street” the melodies and stories on Solid Ground carry you throughout Texas, imparting an auditory guide of the singer-songwriter’s beloved home state.
On Solid Ground, Bowen and Gattis balance grittier tracks with heart-rendering ballads, tunes which Bowen has always had the ability to craft well, and continues to do here, including the haunting, remorseful “Broken Glass,” album stand-out “7:30,” an achingly painful yet beautifully universal story, and “Anchor,” a tale of crumbling love. Solid Ground is rounded out with the jaunty bluegrass-flaired ode to love “Compass Rose,” the rollicking “Fell In Love On Whiskey,” and the Guy Clark inspired solemn and comforting shuffler “Death, Dyin’ And Deviled Eggs,” before closing out with the moody, cinematic “Calling All Demons” a track that, at almost eight minutes long, perfectly completes an album that is varied, cohesive, and yes, incredibly solid.” No Depression
Yoria is a nomadic musician who has lived in Chicago, Austin, Dallas, Brooklyn, California, Colorado and is currently based in Houston Texas. He has toured extensively in the U.S. as well as internationally, including South America and Europe. Live he combines guitar, vocals, harmonica, beats and keys using loops to create the sound of a one-man band. His style, good grace and calm demeanor can often get lost in his manic attention to detail when it comes to constructing his catchy but lyrically unique and extremely efficient songs. Yoria has been nominated numerous times in the Houston Press Music Awards and founded 12 Records, Inc. with his good friend and former Houston Rocket, Matt Maloney. His songs have been featured in the major motion pictures, National Lampoon’s Adam & Eve and Breaking Dawn and also the network hit television shows The O.C.and Felicity as well as MTV’s Laguna Beach. More recently, the video for his single, Ruff Life went viral and is approaching one million views.
Kiko Villamizar was born in Miami to Colombian parents and was taken to the Andean city of Medellin, Colombia when he was small and raised there. He learned Latin American folk music through the oral tradition of his family and then went back to Miami to study jazz after high school. Then he began traveling the Americas collecting melodies and beats that he has formed into his own unique mix. His culture, agriculture, and life stories are put into his songs as he celebrates life and Mother Earth while lamenting the violence and inequality he has seen both in Medellin and in the United States. Kiko is not only a fusion of the Andes and the Caribbean.His songs are relevant and contemporary while strongly honoring its roots.
“Adept at telling stories via tender, heartfelt folk music.” – Clint Hale – Houston Press
“Stage name is Paper Sparrow, which is perfect because there’s something delicate about each of those words…there’s a tenderness to it, but it doesn’t always float like a feather in the breeze. At times, it soars like a winged passerine.” – Jesse Sendejas Jr. – Houston Press
“As far as I’m concerned this is a quality album as a whole, rather than just a random collection of songs – very surreal, very chilled out, and very good at setting a defined mood that has already been predetermined by the songwriter. A clear sign that the music has achieved its goal!” – Rick Jamm – JamSphere
An obsession with money, an unfaithful lover, a friend’s accidental pregnancy, misogyny, loneliness, death… This is just some of the lighthearted subject matter that makeup LONER––the darkly comedic second album from songwriter/producer Caroline Rose. Armed with an arsenal of new instruments and equipment, an ever-growing sense of “ahhh fuck it,” two years of exploration, and a wicked sense of humor, Rose delivers a set of serious songs wrapped in a sprightly, angsty pop burrito. Because, as Rose puts it, “Sometimes sad songs just need a cocktail.”
LONER captures the cheeky satire, comical musings, and often jarring mood swings––sometimes goofy, sometimes emotional––that make up much of Rose’s personality. “I call it Schizodrift,” she says sipping on a martini with her pinky out. “I want to make music that sounds as manic as I feel.” Filled with catchy synth hooks, Ray Manzarek-esque Farfisa, surf guitar, depth of thought and a punk attitude, LONER captures the energy of bands like Le Tigre and The Cramps, and nods to the styles of Blondie and DEVO, the pop hooks of icons like Justin Timberlake, all the while being inspired by the artistry of Kate Bush. “I’d say this album was as much inspired by Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears as it was late 70s punk.” How did she get here? According to Rose, the transition was natural.
LONER began about three years ago. “I was 24, lonely, and realizing life might actually be as hard as people said it was. Gandalf had yet to raise his staff and part the seas for me,” she says with a straight face. “I felt a bit disillusioned with my music; it didn’t sound like my personality. I hadn’t dated in years, I was going to lose health care. I felt detached from the modern world.” So what did she do about it? “I joined Tinder. I turned 25 and rented my first real apartment and painted it bright colors. I started socializing more and little by little, weeded out all my clothes that weren’t red. I embraced my queerdom. I had a girlfriend, we traveled the country, we broke up. I discussed politics, capitalism, and Rihanna. For better or worse, I became a member of the modern world. Turns out the modern world is terrifying,” she says attempting to pluck an olive out of her glass.
When it came to writing about all of it, what followed marked the beginning of a fully formed Caroline Rose. “I needed to get more personal, more aggressive. more humorous and more sonically diverse than my older material,” referring to 2014’s slinky indie-folk-rockabilly-tinged album I Will Not Be Afraid. The record was penned over four years ago while Rose was living in a van traveling the country, and received critical acclaim from national press outlets like NPR and Rolling Stone. LONER, however, marks a significant leap forward both sonically and emotionally, unleashing a burgeoning confidence teeming with character. Asked how she’d describe the transition, Rose responds, “It just felt like a bubble inside me that had been growing and was about to pop.” In a burst of creative energy, she penned and produced a slew of songs that began circulating among labels and press, resulting in a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR Music.
Over the next year and a half, Rose “got super into production and mixing––I was working 10-hour days creating new sounds, finessing EQ, blending tones, sampling basically everything. Having an apartment [rather than living in a van] gave me the space to have more instruments than just a guitar. I started collecting synths and recording equipment and tracking my material. I signed with a label that gave me a lot of creative control and resources.” After sessions and meetings with over a dozen producers, Rose chose to co-produce alongside Paul Butler (Devendra Banhart, Michael Kiwanuka, Hurray For The Riff Raff) at Panoramic Studio in Stinson Beach, California and the studios of Butler and Rose. A multi-instrumentalist and producer herself, Rose brought to the sessions pre-recorded work the two used as a foundation off which to build, having written and arranged strings, played and recorded keys, guitar, and bass, sampled layers of found and recorded sounds, and programmed synths and drums. “The rest was a lot of experimentation in the studio, trying out different sounds and getting weird,” She adds. “Paul added a lot in that way. Neither of us are afraid to try things and throw a bunch of sounds at the wall.”
Another thing that drove Rose to pursue production more seriously was the blatant lack of gender diversity in the music industry. “I noticed over the course of all these meetings there was not a single female or nonbinary producer. Then the more I read up on why, the more I realized there actually are a lot of us, we just aren’t taken as seriously and either don’t receive or don’t demand the credit that we deserve.” In response, Rose stepped up across the board, having a hand in mixing as well as directing creative control over all aesthetics regarding the album. “I wanted to make sure everything was as me as it could possibly be.”
According to Rose, the visuals and aesthetics of LONER are an important vehicle in bringing out her personality, as well as a lot of the more sarcastic elements within the music. “I’ve gotten really interested in the visuals over the years, from producing videos and creatively crafting the images to how I express myself via what I wear.” The video for “Money,” for example, written and directed by Rose and Horatio Baltz, depicts Rose playing all of the parts––a sort of maniacal, Coen Brothers-meets-David Lynch two-minute story involving three people (perhaps the same person?) that leaves viewers asking…What just happened? Not too different a feeling after listening to LONER, in fact. And this is precisely how Caroline Rose wants you to feel.
Houston native Nathan Quick belts out his bluesy, raspy growl atop lush boogie/roadhouse guitar rhythms and soaring lead guitar. His sound draws from a vast pool of genres including classic rock and roll, blues and contemporary Americana. He is a multi Houston Press Music Awards winning singer/songwriter and looks forward to sharing his sound with you.
“The passion and electricity sorely missing in the music of many of Clay Melton’s peers is abundant in the fantastic performance of ‘Timing’s Everything,’ a new single on the upcoming 2017 album release. It’s another reason why Clay is certain to be recognized as one of this generation’s guitar heroes.” – Ritchie Adams, Editor in Chief, Red Hot Rock Magazine.
When does inspiration find any of us? For Clay Melton, it was at the tender age of eleven when he listened to Jimi Hendrix playing ‘All Along the Watchtower’ while riding in the car with his father. Clay was mesmerized by Jimi’s sound and style. So he asked his parents for a guitar, and only time would tell if music would become central to this young man’s life. Soon Clay was strapping his electric guitar and amp on his bicycle and peddling his way through the neighborhood to a family garage where he practiced with his good friend, Kyle Tomchesson. His ability with the guitar was growing faster than anyone could imagine, and after a year and a half of lessons, his teacher admitted that he couldn’t take Clay any further. Since then, Clay has taught himself, and like Hendrix and SRV, he plays by ear. By the age of thirteen, Clay was playing live in clubs all around Texas. At fifteen years old, his stage experiences as a guitarist and songwriter began to grow: The Dallas International Guitar Festival proclaimed, “Clay Melton one of the TOP 10 Guitar Players in Texas under 20 years old!” The emotional intensity of his live performances at such a young age was incredible, to say the least.
“Melton has more critical praise than artists twice his age.”- David Garrick, Free Press Houston
“This kid is a force of nature.”- Jared Lee Gosselin, Grammy Winning Producer (Macy Gray, Velvet Revolver)
“He is straight up one of the most electrifying guitarists I’ve seen in all of my 43 years.”- Kenny Pipes – Almost Austin
“This young man stands tall when it comes to talent.”- Michael Sutton, iMerica Entertainment (Motown, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder)
“Very talented – what a monster career he has ahead of him.”- KPFT 90.1 FM Houston
In October 2016, at 22 years old, Clay approached the world famous SugarHill Recording Studio where such greats as Beyonce’ and the Rolling Stones have recorded. He met with owner, Dan Workman, long-time mentor and fellow member of The Recording Academy (the Grammy’s). Dan assembled the talented team of Steve Christensen (Grammy-winning engineer), and Josh Applebee (amazing drum tech). Planning began for Burn The Ships, the first full-length album from Clay Melton, releasing Summer 2017. Dan remarks, “I’ve had the privilege of watching Clay evolve from a gifted intuitive guitarist to a complete performer and songwriter. He has managed the hardest of tasks: crafting a musical identity that lives up to the promise of a precocious talent.
Clay bares his soul through his original music. His songs are authentic to the core, and they expose his very intimate and personal vulnerabilities. Clay is not an imitation – he is unique and his music is crossing genre barriers for good reason.
At the 2016 SXSW event in Austin, Texas, Paul Heath, CEO of Radio X Brussels, met with Clay in a busy, bustling hotel lobby and the following interview took place. It was not a rehearsed monologue but rather an all-telling impromptu conversation that reveals Clay in his own words. A very interesting self portrait…
Singer-songwriter Brittany “Bee” Ardoin’s love of music was cultivated at an early age. Coming from a musical family, the Houston native was surrounded by gospel, R&B, classical and blues. From the early days in her family band to now, Bee has continually blown audiences away with her powerful stage presence and vocal range. Her talent has lead to performances on some of gospel’s biggest stages like the Stellar Awards and The Celebration of Gospel.
Her passion for music and love of performance has also lead to her work with youth. Bee began teaching at Theatre Under the Stars, Houston’s premier musical theatre and arts education company. While there, she taught musical theatre basics to various members of the Houston community. Currently, Bee works as the assistant director and music teacher for The Imagination Campus where she mentors and teaches young children the joys of the stage and musical theatre.
Having toured with the Grammy-nominated ensemble FIYA (Free In Yahweh’s Abundance), Bee has shared the stage with gospel giants like Kirk Franklin and Yolanda Adams. Bee’s work throughout the community and her experiences as a single mother have provided the motivation behind her music. Being inspired by such vocalists as CeCe Winans, Brandy and Kim Burrell, Bee’s particular blend of gospel and R&B speaks to anyone trying to find their way. Her first EP The Truth About Walking, debut on Billboard at #3 on the Heatseekers – South Central Charts and #43 on the Christian Album Charts, respectively (Feb. 10, 2018) The album is guaranteed to inspire you to keep walking, keep praying and keep trusting.
Tommy Stinson and his buddy Chip Roberts and a couple of guitars. Some laughs, some songs, a lot of fun.
Buy Tickets HERE.