Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Last weekend's shows were really fun for completely opposite reasons.

Rowena at the Turnrow was a blast because the place just felt like a party. We got there and hardly had enough room for our gear. Our stage was in the corner by the pool tables, but it felt right and we were all in a great mood. We played two sets of our songs in full band acoustic which was a cool thing. I've played plenty of acoustic sets with Cody but this was the first time everyone was involved and it sounded great. All the songs were broken down and sounded completely different. The crowd was having as much fun as we were which made the night perfect.

 Our tiny corner at The Turn Row in Rowena. Doesn't look like it here, but a really fun show.

Uncle Dave's Roadhouse in Brownwood was great for the exact opposite reason. The place is huge! Uncle Daves is a 150 year old building with three stories. Our stage was on the 2'nd floor looking over the dance floor. They have been open for only a few weeks, but I'm positive this place will be one of the better known venues once it starts catching on. Our problem was that a local band was having a first album CD release party. They had a 3 band line up of all local talent and the local radio station broadcasting for a few hours. Needles to say, if you were a Brownwoodian (?) my money would go to the bar that had all my friends playing and partying at. We rocked out a crowd of twenty. On the plus side, every person who was there bought a CD or shirt and we got booked for hopefully a better date. I can't wait to go back to Uncle Dave's Roadhouse. Check it out if you happen to pass through Brownwood.
A view of us setting up on stage from the 3'rd story balcony at Uncle Dave's Roadhouse. Cool Place.

The waiting on the mail title thing? I bought a new harmonica mic! I've been playing with my bulletproof 60's Shure 545s and have nothing bad to say about my tone. My objection that finally got to me? It weighs a million pounds. It's a pistol grip old school metal microphone. I play with it on a mic stand because my little wrists can not handle that weight through a whole set. The solution? Spend some money! I bought a Blows Me Away custom Sm57. It's the guts of a Shure sm57 stuffed in a smaller, lighter, aluminum body with a volume control and a Quarter inch butt instead of the regular low impedance XLR end. I'll let you know how it sounds when the UPS guy hurries up and gets it to me.

 Hell Yeah!

We are taking a 2 week hiatus from shows to focus on new music and tightening up our current tunes. Can't wait to get to the studio! 1 month and 1 week until we start recording album number 2!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rowena Friday Brownwood Saturday

Well I'm back from New Orleans more tired than when I left. I need a vacation from my vacation.

Tomorrow we are hitting the road and heading down to Rowena, Texas. We will be playing at the Turnrow. Saturday night we'll be at Uncle Dave's Roadhouse in Brownwood, Texas. Never been to either places so I have little to go off of. I tried to do some google research on either place and didn't get much. They're both bars and they both don't have websites.... Should be a fun time for everyone who stumbles in.

For everyone hitting this site in their search for Rita Ballou, welcome. No this is not rawhide and velvet. You are welcome to stay and have a read. Hell, become a follower. Then you can go to her blog and do the same. Rita's Blog

Cody shared some great news with me and the rest of the band, but I'm going to hold off until I'm sure I can share the good word. Until then, have fun and go out and support live music.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Well if you've ever been to this blog you might have noticed I redesigned the site. I'm really not a huge fan of this design either but it's way better than what I had going on before.  Leave a comment let me know what ya think or do all the work for me and find a template you think would look better.

Crude Fest! Finally Midland has a worthwhile red dirt music festival.

Last weekend's shows were successful. We played our music. Friday at Woody's was fun but the crowd forgot to come. Had some old friends drop by which was great but for the most part it was a pretty slow night for our slot. It made me feel a little better when Ryan McBride, the headliner, got up on stage and it didn't get much busier. We can't blame the music then which made it a success.

Saturday night at City Limits in Stephenville was bananas. The crowd was rolling through the door in a thick stream and we made a few new fans and friends. The crowd of course, were getting there for Whiskey Myers and after watching them go through sound check earlier I understood. Go see Whiskey Myers the next time they are in your neck of the woods. Go drive to one of their shows even if they aren't in your neck of the woods. Their sound is heavy guitar southern rock and very fun to watch on stage. They reminded me strongly of The Black Crows and were really nice guys. After they got off stage and let their guitars cool off we all headed off to a fun after show party. They offered to cart us around in their van in an unfamiliar town, to an unfamiliar party, and then drove us all the way back past their hotel to drop us off at the RV in the wee hours of the morning. It was a fun night. Luckily we all get to tr and repeat the madness at this year's Crude Fest. Haven't heard of it? Look it up because it's going to be a really really great festival.

We are playing in Midland Saturday March 13'th for The Hog Pit's annual St. Patty's Day Bash. Our friends The Jackson Lee Brooks Band are opening up for us and I'm sure it will be a grand time. The green beer will flow like yellow beer and the clover will probably be of the four leafed kind. Me on the other hand, will be in New Orleans for five days celebrating my girlfriend's birthday. I win.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fort Worth Friday Stephenville Saturday

We'll be rolling into Fort Worth Friday evening to play at Woody's Tavern. We will be opening up for Ryan McBride who I have to admit I have no idea is. I'll have to click on some google and get back to you.

Saturday evening we had the choice between playing with Mark Mckinney at Wormy Dog in Oklahoma or with Whiskey Myers at City Limits in Stephenville, Tx. We went with the economical choice and are heading to Stephenville. Again, the name Whiskey Myers sounds familiar but I can't quite think of a song they play. I'm sure I'll have a slap on the forehead moment in a bit and it will all start to come together.

Fun weekend ahead. These low pressure opening gigs are a fantastic way of getting new stuff worked up. Also, having two fairly new additions to our band these shows provide us with a great litmus test on how everyone connects on stage and on the road. When we played Blaine's last weekend we had a great show and a great all around trip. I think we're getting tighter every time we run a song.

Hope to see some faces out early for our set. Come say hi and have a beer or two while supporting live music.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rita Ballou's Rawhide and Velvet is a must follow!

Ran across a blog today that is something you have to be reading. Leave this blog immediately and go check out Rawhide and Velvet. The anonymous writer Rita Ballou is dishing every grimy speck of red dirt and sarcastic satirical opinion that everyone else has wanted to say about the Texas/red dirt music scene all in one place. You'll be laughing and cussing the blasphemy all in the same paragraph.

It really is a refreshing take on a music scene that has incubated some of it's musicians to diva proportioned egos. Rita is the kid with the slingshot at the Macy's Day Parade. The posts are some great glimpses in the back cogs of the industry's gossip mill. The posts vary (sometimes within themselves) from scathing sarcasm, satire, doppleganger pictures jokes, breaking news, all the way up to the light hearted tongue and cheek sentiment of a fan giving that lead singer with the sparkly shirt on, a hard time. Things that, unless you're hanging out at every music studio and tour bus, would be very hard to be plugged into. Of course with that being said, it brings the good question of who exactly is Rita Ballou?

Personally, I don't really care to find out. The second that lid is blown the fun will stop and the ego air pumps will be back in full force. I appreciate the checks and balances that have sprung forth with the advent of this blog. Maybe some musicians out there will realize that they might be acting a little too queeny for their own flat ironed hair and five minutes before their show starts get off the bus selves.

I hope our band would never be the subject of one of her jokes but I know it will be a long long time before we get on her radar screen anyways. Me I'll just stick to what I know, writing poorly punctuated sentences about last weekend's show and what good people I got to run into.

I'll definitely be reading Rawhide and Velvet. Here's to you Ballou.

Click here to check out Rawhide and Velvet yourself.