Texas blues guitarist James Henry has been called “Houston’s best kept secret” for years. After being a sideman and band member of groups for over two decades, Henry steps out on his own with the 2014 release of his aptly titled debut album, Live Album, on Molken Music. Live Album is a blisteringly intense blues guitar smackdown, recorded at the For the Community Festival 7 at Last Concert Café in Houston, TX (2/22/14). Backing James is rhythm section Thurman Robinson on bass and Mike Morris (of C.J. Chenier fame) on drums.

James got his start at the age of 17 when he met and was mentored by Houston music legend Jerry Lightfoot and eventually started playing with him. James also began playing the regional blues circuit with Pearl Murray, beginning in 1993. James then formed the band Shadowcasters, who were mainstays on the blues scene from 1993 to 2010 and ultimately released one album, It Takes Time, in 2002.

James also currently plays guitar for bandleader Steve Krase, filling the guitar spot for the past ten years. As a result, James took home the 2012 “Houston’s Best Guitarist” award in Houston Press. Through his association with Krase, James has also become the live guitarist for national blues singer Trudy Lynn. As if all of this isn’t enough to keep James busy, he’s also the guitarist in the reformed version of Texas psychedelic band, The Golden Dawn, led by George Kinney. (Their lone album was released by International Artists in 1968.)

As part of these bands listed above, James has opened for many major artists over the last 20 years, including: Bobby “Blue” Bland, Ian Moore, Delbert McClinton, Jerry Lacroix, Nick Gravenites, Chris Duarte, Johnny Winter, Pat Travers, Ray Price, Johnny Lee, and Roy Head.
James is also a current member of the avant-garde ambient guitar group Xenuphobe, alongside Ty Tabor (of King’s X) and Wally Farkas (former guitarist of Galactic Cowboys).

James Henry’s Live Album is now available on randomly-mixed color vinyl LPs and comes with a free download card containing links for the entire album in both CD-res WAV files and 320 kbps MP3 files, album artwork, and exclusive, bonus ambient track.

7HORSE – TUESDAY, 8/12 @ 5:30PM

Blues-Rock-Cosmic Country-infused-Duo with edge, passion, and soul –Son House/Keith Richards/Black Keys meets a next door neighbor of the Ramones high on Led Zeppelin.

7Horse began as a hypothetical: What if, longtime band mates Joie Calio and Phil Leavitt thought, we bury our musical past and see if we can discover rock ’n’ roll’s Ground Zero?

That question having been explored in bold fashion on their 2011 debut “Let the 7Horse Run,” the blues duo returns with an even deeper sense of purpose on the follow-up, “Songs for a Voodoo Wedding” (due June 10). The larger question: What if the mission were not to locate rock ’n’ roll’s chewy center, but to find and channel their own personal identities?


If there’s a performer today that embodies the oft-applied moniker of “songwriter’s songwriter” it’s Houston favorite, Matt Harlan. With songs that are already well known in many circles Harlan’s studio work is just beginning to make its mark with his debut studio release, “Tips & Compliments”.

Matt’s songwriting has been getting some recognition lately with his album debuting at #1 on the Euro Americana Charts, awards from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Billboard World Songwriting Contest, American Songwriter Magazine, the Wildflower Arts & Music Festival, Snowbird Mountain Music Festival and as a Regional New Folk winner at Kerrville.

You can also catch Matt featured alongside Texas music legends Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Nanci Griffith and others in the recent documentary, For the Sake of the Song.


Revered roots music troubadour Seth Walker recently took up residency in New Orleans. Upon his relocation the Big Easy, the North Carolina-native completed a trifecta for time spent living in hallowed southern music cities. His journey began in Austin where he fast became a staple of the Texas blues scene. He’d later relocate to Nashville to absorb its rich songwriting history. Clearly, however, it is the influence of his current home in NOLA that inspired the gospel-soaked fervor and gritty guitar burn at the core of his latest album, Sky Still Blue. Abetted by producer Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers), Walker revels in the devil-on-my-trail grizzle and longing blue notes that make songs like ‘Trouble,’ ‘High Wire’ and ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’ resonate so convincingly. Yet, as Walker’s fans have come to expect, there s always a sweet melody, a turn of phrase wrapped in a wink-and-a-smile or an undeniable pop hook close at hand. Sky Still Blue is a masterful work conveyed through Walker’s expressive, soul-burnished voice, agile guitar artistry and impeccable southern songwriting, all of which have garnered him a reputation as one of the most acclaimed modern roots artists in the country over the last decade.


After leaving an indelible mark during a successful run on season three of NBC’s The Voice, and earning high praise from the likes of CeeLo Green and Blake Shelton along the way, the rest of America now knows what her fans learned long ago—Emily Earle is one of the most uniquely talented and genuine singer/songwriters to come along in quite awhile. And she has only just begun.

After cultivating her talents during three years at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Emily set out for New York City, where she further honed her one-of-a-kind style by playing Gotham’s subways and some of the city’s top venues. Influenced by a diverse array of artists such as Sheryl Crow, Joni Mitchell, and Hall & Oates, she likens her songwriting process to painting, whereby simple words are transformed into emotions by adding melodies and rhythms much the same way a drawing evolves with the addition of colors and textures.

Buoyed by her growing experience and confidence, Emily served notice that she is a rising star when she auditioned the iconic Johnny Cash song “Ring of Fire” to secure her spot on The Voice. Now living in Nashville, Emily Earle continues her musical journey every day. In addition to her national television appearances, she has also performed on stage in Las Vegas with CeeLo Green and The Muppets, toured with her uncle (legendary American singer/songwriter) Steve Earle, and has had her work featured on

Tom graduated from the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music just south of Cleveland, OH with a degree in drums/percussion. While in school, he gained attention from local newspapers and radio stations with his self-released, “Uplift EP” Upon graduation in 2011, he relocated to Nashville, TN to record with producer, Warren Whitten at the world-renown Tracking Room Studio on Music Row, as well as The Brown Owl Studio. This EP sparked Tom’s strong beginnings as a Nashville artist.

As of April 1, 2013, a new record was released, showcasing Tom’s unique style and ability to tiptoe across genre norms. It was recorded with producer, Gus Berry at Berrytown Studios in Nashville. Tom is quickly gaining attention throughout Nashville as he performs locally with many up and coming artists. Tom tours solo and also, quite a bit with other artists (i.e. Emily Earle), performing all over the U.S.


Saxophonist Woody Witt and guitarist Mike Wheeler will be playing selections from the new album Absinthe: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (Blue Bamboo). Joe LoCascio, who plays on the album with Witt, will be on hand to emcee and sign copies of the CD.

Dr. Witt is a Professor of Jazz Studies at Houston Community College Town and Country campus and an Affiliate Artist at the University of Houston Moores School of Music. Woody also serves as the entertainment director of Houston’s premiere jazz club, Cézanne. His extensive performance experience includes events with the Houston Symphony, The Temptations, Randy Brecker and Ray Charles, to name just a few.

Mike Wheeler was born in Houston Texas in 1961 and grew up listening to the western swing music that his grandfather played on guitar. He formed various pop and rock groups in his teens until finding his true path in jazz. He studied in San Antonio with Jackie King before going to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Mike later received a Bachelor of Music from the University of St.Thomas, Houston.

Well established in the Houston Music scene: Mike has worked in clubs, formed jazz groups, and played with most of the major orchestras and performance groups in the Houston area including the Houston Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with jazz artists such as Clark Terry and Joe Williams. He has also backed up many pop artists such as Willie Nelson, Charlie Pride, Andy Williams, Larry Gatlin, Jennifer Holiday, and John Denver to name a few. In addition to leading his own jazz group, he has worked on many projects, including some with alto sax great Jimmy Ford, who was one of his major musical mentors. His first CD entitled Indian Summer , which was produced by Willie Nelson, spotlights his guitar style. In addition to performing and recording, he teaches private lessons in the Houston area and is currently instructor of jazz guitar at the University of St. Thomas and the University of Houston.


From Randy Weston, Roy Haynes and Wayne Shorter to Jason Moran, Robert Glasper and Esperanza Spalding, Jazz In the New Millennium profiles nearly 60 leading jazz artists who are keeping the tradition alive and well in the 21st Century. The book includes the musicians reflecting on their own music, as well as on the state of the art form 100 years after its birth, and demonstrates why jazz continues to thrive creatively despite commercial neglect and the deliberate dumbing down of popular culture.

Author Rick Mitchell has been writing about music for 40 years, and has published three books, including Whiskey River (Take My Mind): The True Story of Texas Honky Tonk (University of Texas Press, 2007). From 1989 to 1999, Mitchell covered jazz and popular music for the Houston Chronicle. From 2000 to 2013, he served as music curator and artistic director for the Houston International Festival.

Jazz In the New Millennium (160 pages, 8 x 11, paper) will be of interest to both serious and casual jazz listeners who would like to know more about the artists who make the music, as well as teachers, students and the musicians themselves. As of August 1, 2014, it will be available for sale in print and eBook formats at and The print version ($24.95) will be for sale at selected local retail outlets, including Cactus Music.


We are super pleased to welcome back hometown boys Driver Friendly to a free in-store event. Starting Friday 7/25 you can purchase the new album from Hopeless Records “Unimagined Bridges” to get a wristband to get priority autograph and poster.

On their third album, Austin, Texas’ Driver Friendly have totally nailed the totally odd combination of wildly energetic, melodic indie rock (think the Wonder Years meets a young Jimmy Eat World) and horns (think… well, horns). Tunes like “Everything Gold” are superbly catchy with just enough melody, and using a horn section that is equal parts good-time ska in its celebration and obscure second-wave emo in its longing (bonus points if the sound brings Cerberus Shoal to mind).”
3.5 out of 5 stars

“When Driver Friendly first met in high school in North Houston, Texas their friendship quickly turned from hanging out after school to writing songs in a garage and playing shows around their hometown. As the band gained momentum and a loyal fan base around the area, they took a huge step and moved to Austin, TX- the live music capital of the world- to continue pursuing their dream.

Composed of lead vocalist Tyler Welsh, guitarist and vocalist Andy Lane, bass guitarist Chris Walker, drummer Jeremi Mattern, trumpet player Juan Lopez & trombone player Andy Rector, Driver Friendly is ready to share their melodic, high energy songs with the world! The band’s fast paced anthems ‘Ghosts’ and ‘Mesidonna’ are just a small taste of what’s to come.”


Sour Bridges play browngrass. It’s like bluegrass, but a little dirtier. Based in Austin, TX, this folk-indie-bluegrass quintet formed in early 2009 and has been kicking up dust and boots ever since. With the May 2013 release of their sophomore album CATFISH CHARLIE, Sour Bridges plan to introduce their take on bluegrass to the world of Americana music.

Comprised of artists from every different corner of the country, Sour Bridges’ sound is a combination of traditional Texas folk music, Appalachian bluegrass, and classic rock ‘n roll. CATFISH CHARLIE features 15 original tunes including the debut single “J Train” (Track 4) and the unforgettable final track, “Nice and Easy” (Track 15).

Tight vocal harmonies draw comparisons to The Lumineers and The Devil Makes Three while Sour Bridges’ honest lyrics and catchy rock ‘n roll delivery set the group apart from traditional pickin’ bands. Brother guitarists Bill and Matt Pucci harmonize perfectly with bassist Jackson Ellis to create a rich, full sound on CATFISH CHARLIE that is more similar to early doo-wop than backwoods bluegrass. With the addition of Kat Wilkes on fiddle and Dalton Chamblee on drums, Sour Bridges produce a lush, full and bright sound that is infectious, familiar, and just a little bit dirty.

“Even though these talented musicians play a variety of instruments in the band, I am most impressed by their voices.” – SonicBids

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