Friday Dec 19: Zane Williams w/Special Guest: Cody Bryan Band

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It didn’t make any difference how Zane Williams went about writing a song, it just came out country. You might say Zane didn’t so much find country as country found him.

And that suits him just fine.

“Everything I wrote just sounded country because I was telling stories that I could relate to; that other people relate to,” he said. “I believe that’s what makes a great country song.”

You don’t have to listen to Zane’s music long to recognize he reaches deep within his soul to pour out songs like, “Pablo and Maria.” But if you listen to his, “99 Bottles,” you also know Zane likes everybody to kick up their heels and have a good time on a Friday night.

“When I moved back to Texas I knew I was going to be playing honky-tonks so I figured I needed a good beer-drinking song,” he said. “The only beer-drinking song I knew when I was growing up was ‘99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall,’ so this is my take on it.”

Zane nearly gave up songwriting the year before producing “99 Bottles.” He had moved to Nashville shortly after graduating from college and started chasing his dream to be a singer/songwriter. Nine years later, Zane was still cranking out songs, including Jason Michael Carroll’s 2010 top 15 hit, “Hurry Home.” He had other songs – award-winning songs – recognized for their craftsmanship and thoughtful ideas, but he was only scratching out a living. Time to move on, he finally decided, but then he got a second unexpected boost…

…from the real estate industry.

He enrolled in a seminar to learn how to make money through revitalizing entire neighborhoods then selling the houses. Helping people and providing a better life for his family; it sounded like something about which he could get passionate. On the conference’s final day, the presenters spoke about work that aligned with your passion. It reminded Zane of a song; one of his songs.

“I said, ‘Hey you guys want to hear a song I wrote about chasing your dreams and the difference between who you are now and who you want to be?’ I got out my guitar and sang this song for this group of 30 or 40 people, and when I got done they were like, ‘Why are you here? If you can write and sing like that, you need to go do that!’”

So he did. Zane packed his family’s belongings and moved back to Texas. The real estate conference rekindled the dream into a blaze, and he wasn’t going to doubt again. The move proved to be the best career decision to date, mostly because the simplicity of life found around family, close friends and hunting and fishing connects Zane with “what’s real in life.”

“It was wonderful to be back close to our families,” he said. “My first gig was at an open mic night, and I met a local DJ there who started playing my music that very week. I started making fans right away, and there was so much appreciation for my style of music down here in Texas, almost reverence. For the first time in my life, I started to feel the momentum building.”

The momentum has certainly picked-up. Zane has received consistent radio airplay on country stations across Texas that led to his first entry on the Texas Music Chart with “Ride With Me,” from the 2011 album with the same title. Zane is also one of the featured artists on Troubadour Texas, a television show documenting his rising career.

“I can honestly say I’m doing what I love,” Zane said. “And I’m where I need to be.”

Cody Bryan Band:

Saturday Dec 20 Bri Bagwell w/Special Guest: Shaun Michael

Bri Bagwell

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Bri Bagwell is real country music, and what country music should strive to be. She is an independent artist without a record deal, and without management. Her popularity is derived 100% by word of mouth and her raw talent. This grass roots effort is rare these days; it speaks to her infectious music and appeal.

She fell in love with music at an early age, and started playing in a band with her older brothers while just a teenager growing up in New Mexico. A couple of weeks after turning 18, she moved to Austin, TX to study at UT and begin her music career in the live music capital of the world. Late nights, rowdy Texas crowds, and being alone on stage with just a guitar shaped her onstage charismatic charm. She learned to gain a crowd’s attention with her beautiful voice, singing songs she wrote herself.

Her first CD, “Banned from Santa Fe”, released June 2011, sold through several printings, and gained traction very quickly among music fans. Bri Bagwell was the only female artist on the Texas Music Chart for a few weeks with her single, also titled “Banned from Santa Fe” and her song “Whiskey” became her 1st top 15 hit and has passed 70,000 YouTube views on the single’s video.

In 2013, Bri released her self-titled EP, which featured two brand new radio singles, “Hound Dog” and “Crazy”. Her latest radio release, “Crazy,” has been praised for its witty and relatable lyrics, and it continues to climb the Texas charts. When she’s not on tour, you can find Bri in Nashville, Tennessee, writing songs for Sony/ATV Publishing on Music Row.

In the internet age with music coming at you from every type of media, it is harder and harder for artists to get attention. Bri Bagwell is not only gaining attention, but she is also drumming up excitement; and, she does it all without a million-dollar budget.