When Zack Walther went to college to major in music, he had to choose an “instrument of study.” And—no accident—he chose his own voice. As a child of the 1980s he sang in the school choir and learned to play songs by ear on his brother’s upright piano, “But it was mainly the white keys,” he recalls. Then, as an afterthought, he adds, “It still is.” That piano may have been the first musical instrument he ever touched, but it certainly wasn’t the last.
By the time the ’90s rolled around, he was a teenager immersed in rock and roll and already a developing musician. That’s when he found his father’s old nylon-string classical guitar, long forgotten and stashed in the family attic. When he was 13, his folks, aware of his interest, bought him a basic electric guitar and a little Crate amp. Two years later, they surprised him on Christmas with his first quality acoustic guitar. “I played all through Christmas day,” he says. “Playing songs, learning songs, country songs, rock songs, just basic chords.” Still, he knew he was destined to be a vocalist—first and foremost.
“Singing was a natural thing for me, and it always has been because I’ve gone through college and actually been classically trained to sing.” He picked up piano and guitar on his own, and though he’s had a few lessons, considers himself self-taught. “There was always interest early on, very early, playing music and singing. And because I was the vocalist of my friends, I’ve always been the lead singer,” he says. “I can remember, at 13, 14 years old having band practice in my best friend’s garage.” High school was a whirlwind, “a lot of guys and girls creating bands.” Over the 30-year span of his musical life, he’s been in and out of bands, including, fairly recently, Zack Walther and the Cronkites, a name familiar to many aficionados of Texas music. An album—Ambition—arose out of that collaboration. In his current iteration of band names, it’s back to basics: The Zack Walther Band, a three-piece ensemble with guitar, bass and drums.
Once the seeds were planted, Walther has just kept growing musically year after year, gaining experience, covering new songs and musical genres, until he evolved into the versatile performer that he is today. He’s able to deliver anything from the Beatles to Bruce Springsteen to Leonard Cohen to a whole catalog of originals, many of which make up the tracks on albums he’s recorded over the years. As a teenager, “The alternative rock scene was huge, and that’s what we listened to mostly. But I was also raised on my dad’s LPs, the Beatles. I had a huge, strong influence from Simon & Garfunkle. That was one of my favorites growing up. In fact, the first song I ever played in front of an audience was ‘Sound of Silence.’ And I still play it today.”
The versatility that defines his performances extends to a wide range of music that’s known by the vast majority of Americans regardless of background or regional differences. It’s a genre that’s come to be known as “Americana”—music that’s rooted in the heritage of the nation, from the English and Irish music of the earliest settlers’ to the blues and jazz of the old South and the R&B of Detroit. And Walther’s voice ranges as far and wide as his song choices. In his rendering of Leonard Cohen’s anthem-like “Hallelujah,” he can reach down deep in his throat to find a guttural howl and then soar up to highs that ring like a prayer. To watch him perform is to see a musician in his prime delivering straight from the heart.
And his growth as an artist never stops, as the Zack Walther Band expands its audience. A recent original, “Mustang Wine,” is, as he puts it, “a perfect example of the direction this band is headed.” Wherever Walther and his band are going, they’re doing it at breakneck speed, and for fans of that special kind of music you can only find in Texas, they can’t wait until he gets there. – G. C. Larson
Ronnie Dean Tinsley & the Dark Horse Rodeo
Ronnie Dean Tinsley is a man of many layers and talents. A long-standing member of Houston’s music community (as lead singer of the alt-metal group The Hectic), his work as an artist, singer/ songwriter, and guitarist in the metal genre has earned him acclaim and a loyal fan-base while entrepreneurial efforts, and life as a family man, have made him a friend and mentor to many. Exploring artistry away from the industrial sounds of The Hectic, Tinsley is branching out on his own and debuting RENEGADE, a vast collection with southern color that crosses genres and boundaries. Roadhouse blues and dark tales to country ballads and grungy riff rock, this is Americana in its finest form. Flavored with a touch of everything a southern music fan could ask for, Tinsley is taking the title of RENEGADE to heart by breaking all the rules!
“I tend to soak up everything around me and that’s why my interests are so varied,” Tinsley says. “I’ve had some great personal influences over the years to help me along the way, too. In my youth it was definitely my stepdad, who formed who I am as a man. It ended up being from the influence of mom’s patience and creativity, along with the traits of my biological father (who is also a musician), that I picked up the music bug.”
Spurred on by downtime in The Hectic’s schedule, Tinsley started pre-production for a solo release as Ronnie Dean Tinsley & The Dark Horse Rodeo. Revisiting a catalog 10-15 years in the making, the hard southern arrangements came easily as Tinsley began work with well-known musicians Anthony Sapp (bass), Steve Allison (drums), Brian Thomas (steel guitar, banjo, dobro), and David De la Garza (piano, organ) alongside Brian Baker of Houston’s Sound Arts as engineer/ mixer.
“As part of a band or as a solo artist, I think we all want to put something very special out there for people to hear without compromising our own musical tastes,” he states. “For me, that carries over no matter the genre. The emotion and creativity in my writing intentionally blurs the line between country and rock. I’ve only recently started exploring my ‘southern roots’ and I’m currently writing songs that those of us who like to toggle between genres will enjoy.”
Kicking things off with “Must Be Nice,” which is as southern as the day is long, this song was born from the snarky phrase uttered under one’s breath when someone shows off a new ride, fancy clothes or brags of some other coveted possession or activity. Its tongue-in-cheek delivery targets the working class and announces Tinsley’s outlaw presence.
“Everyone thinks it! I just turned it into a country song,” he jokes. “It’s quirky, funny and sarcastic and makes sense to us hard working blue collar folks. It sounds like a hard version of ‘Good ol’ Boys’ from Dukes of Hazzard with a heavy honky tonk sound that is really twangy with big choruses garnished with Texas-style banjo and pedal steel guitars.”
A look at being a product of the south, and all that goes with it, the album takes on families in the touching “Rowdy Ass Family” while “Nashville Tonight” is a biographic song about Tinsley’s father and his musical mishaps. The more alt-rock songs, like “Renegade,” the cinematic “I Ain’t Got No Halo,” and the road trip tune, “San Antonio,” bend the norms of country music while maintaining universal themes and dark dramatic moments of outlaw country swagger.
“I want this record to sound like a greatest hits collection,” he muses. “I want the listener to get the vibe that they are hearing tracks collected from different points in my career and, more importantly, my life. Ultimately, if a song makes the hair on my arms stand up, I’d want to share it with you.”
Tinsley’s influences are as varied as his talents, running the gamut of classic and modern yet always “standing out as something different from everything else in its prime.” Citing crooners Frank Sinatra and Hank Williams to the heaviness of Pantera and Alice in Chains, Tinsley recognizes the importance of mood and timing. Employing vaudeville and theater stage techniques learned from artists like Alice Cooper, Kiss, Garth Brooks and Stephen Tyler, he creates moments that have audiences mimicking signature moves and singing along.
“The right mood requires the right jam in my opinion and this is true in a live show most of all,” he states. “It’s so important that artists are engaging and commanding! I have not been successful unless I’ve put the entire audience in the palm of my hand, wrung them out and left them emotionally and physically drained and thirsty for more.”
Bringing an “out of the box” concept to the musical landscape, Tinsley’s RENEGADE is an endeavor that will feature live shows to define his role in Outlaw Country/Americana. Looking to artists like Shooter Jennings, Jamey Johnson, Aaron Lewis and Hank Williams III, Tinsley aims to travel down a newly worn path of the modern outlaw movement with alt-rock vocals and gritty southern arrangements that are all his own.
So, in true southern fashion, raise a Mason jar or beer and make a toast to breaking all the rules with RENEGADE fromRonnie Dean Tinsley & The Dark Horse Rodeo!
PR Photos by: Josie Drenner Photography
ABOUT JOSH FULLER
Josh Fuller: High-Octane Entertainment with a Shot of Small Town Tradition
Small towns in Texas are rich in life experiences and a unique culture that is hard to put into words. Families are close, friendships are lifelong, laughter is loud and abundant, and love is limitless. Countless country songs have been made about it and the appeal of the lifestyle never wanes. One such artist who brings this life to the forefront is singer/songwriter Josh Fuller. Fuller, who was raised on a dairy farm in New Waverly, Texas, learned the value of respect, hard work, and the benefits of a strong faith and carries those traits with him to this day. He married his high school sweetheart, is raising their two sons to be “country to the bone,” and has a band of friends who happen to be talented and hardworking to boot!
Koe Wetzel and a group of East Texas boys came together in 2011. By 2015 they had an instant hit album, Out on Parole. This album created something fans could tap their boots to or reminisce about their small hometown that never seems to change. The fiddle licks and guitar riffs combined with Wetzel’s smooth, energetic vocals bring a new sound to “Texas Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Koe Wetzel plans to release their new album Noise Complaint on August 18th. For more information check out their social media accounts.
Koe Wetzel- Vocals / Acoustic Guitar
Andres Rocha- Drums
Mason Morris- Bass / Harmony Vocal
Michael Odis Parrish- Lead Guitar.
ALL AGES SHOW
Fullscreen Live Presents: Girls Night In! This year’s all-star lineup includes Niki & Gabi, Alisha Marie, Jessie Paege, and Alyson Stoner! The 24-city tour brings together fans from across the U.S. and Canada for an evening of dance, musical performances, and an opportunity to meet their favorite stars.
*** A General Admission ticket is required to purchase a Meet & Greet or Pre-Show Party Upgrade. General Admission ticket is NOT included in the upgrade and must be purchased separately.
For any questions regarding this show please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Micky and the Motorcars, with their own band of Americana rock, bring an optimism and integrity only acquired after performing so long the only thing left to tell is the truth.
Eleven years and six albums after MMC was founded in Challis, Idaho, the band still writes more than 90 percent of its music as it defines the lives of brothers Micky Braun (vocals, acoustic guitar) Gary Braun (vocals, guit
ars, mandolin, harmonica) Joe Fladger (bass), Dustin Schafer (lead guitar) and Shane Vannerson (drums, percussion).
Micky and the Motorcars may be self-described as “a little rough around the edges,” but with its rocking sound, MMC shares real thoughts, is full of depth, and has a honest, raw emotion and energy bleeding through Micky’s heart straight out into the crowd. Anyone who has ever loved and lost or loved and drank or loved at all knows exactly where he’s coming from and what he’s talking about in a sincere, piercing way.
It’s also made Micky one of the most sought after songwriting collaborators on the scene, and consequently MMC songs have credits to brother Willy Braun, Randy Rogers, Cody Canada, former Jack Ingram bassist Robert Kearns, as well as Kevin, Dustin and Savannah Welch. Throughout its tenure, MMC’s Braun front men have been quoted repeatedly as “just wanting to play good songs.”
For Micky and Gary, whose genetic musical legacy precedes them, playing and singing is damn near the only life they’ve ever known. The boys grew up in the Western mountains, playing music with their family: older brothers (Reckless Kelly’s Willy and Cody Braun) and father (full-time musician, Muzzie Braun). The boys’ paternal grandparents were both were full-time musicians as well, and the boys watched their father play in his own Braun brother band with their uncles Billy and Gary.
For MMC’s Braun brothers, they hope to create their own legacy — of doing what feels good, what sounds right, and hoping it pays off. So far, it has. MMC has come a long way from playing for free and sleeping on random floors and couches.
Now, travelling nationwide more than 200 days year, the most rewarding thing for MMC is watching the raw emotion of the crowds. There’s an excitement, Gary says, never really knowing how everything is going to work out. But the ups and downs of the road somehow make it all worthwhile for the Motorcars, who don’t have any plans of slowing down.
Hailing from Bridgeport, Texas, country music mainstay Pat Waters brings his faith based values, hard work ethic, sense of loyalty to friends and family, to his brand of music. The lanky traditionalist is truly a breath of fresh air in a world challenged daily by turmoil. Pat is a son, a husband, a father, a best friend, a Lonestar native, an ex-college football wide receiver, an inspirational role model to students all across the nation and most of all a high caliber country music artist.
Pat’s good ole’ boy tunes can line up lovers up on the dance floor with his classic honky tonkin’ style and Texas twang.This Strait laced crooner can keep you two steppin’ and boot scootin’ all night long until the cows come home.
Pat with his infectious smile, dynamic audience connection, and his oh-so-smooth rangy baritone voice is someone you don’t want to miss in today’s country music scene. He can make you raise your drinks and break out your favorite blue jeans and boots just like George Strait, and his songs are simple, fun and relatable much like Alan Jackson’s.
According to Pat, he got serious about music late in life after finishing college at the University of North Texas with a degree in marketing and a minor in international business. Although the lure of entertaining tugged at Waters, he has always been both a dreamer and a pragmatist.
“I didn’t buy my first guitar until I was 20, but I wish I had started around age 10,” Pat said. “I was an athlete, and playing sports had always been my dream. I knew to support my family in the future, I would need to finish college, and I had always wanted to own my own business. A few years after college my uncle and I partnered up, and now we own an oil field construction company and a trucking company. I had picked up guitar shortly after college, and I answered an ad in the Dallas Morning News to get my first paying gig. I played two songs at an opry house for $25. That is when I knew music was something I wanted to pursue.”
Pat started out playing at VFW’s, oprys and small clubs, wooing the hearts of country music fans throughout the Southwest. He has released nine critically-acclaimed CD’s, made Texas Music Charts and even scored a #1 hit in the European market earning him the Terry Award’s Male Vocalist of the Year Award in Texas. Waters has shared the stage with country legends such as Merle Haggard, John Conlee, Johnny Bush, Gary Stewart, Keith Whitley, Gary P. Nunn and many others.
“I try to keep my fans out on the dance floor all night long,” Pat said. “I can work the crowd and work the stage, but the one thing I can’t do is swing from the chandeliers like Garth Brooks. People always assume that being a Texan and an entertainer I like to party and go out, but one thing people might find surprising about me is that I am a homebody. I love my family and taking my sons fishing and hunting. I have never been big into alcohol, and I’m scared to death of dope because I never wanted to be a slave to it.”
Since 2001, this humanitarian has been the “National Spokesperson for America’s Drug Free Promotions”, (501c 3, a humanitarian non-profit organization) traveling to hundreds of school districts throughout the Southwest performing and visiting with youth about the dangers of illicit drugs, teen bullying, teen suicide and the abuse of alcohol. “Today’s students are our country’s future,” Pat said. “It is my aim to help steer them in the right direction using music, my own personal story and statistical facts.”
Pat’s new album “Like a Radio” hit the stores early Spring of 2015. His current single, “Crazy That Way” has been widely received and has filled the void for traditional country music and values.
Emerging from the musical Mecca that is Austin, Texas, Sam Sliva is fast becoming an outfit to be reckoned with. Their sophomore effort “…And the People Say” finds Sam and the gang striding a new plane of refinement and tightening of their sound. Sliva’s writing is becoming at once more expansive and focused as a vision. Elements ranging from reggae to folk are brought together and funneled through Sliva’s alternative Americana apparatus to produce a range of handsomely crafted songs that stretch boundaries yet sound at home with one another. Apart from the well-executed cover of Ryan Adams’s “Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight”, it has become more difficult to muster a list of artists that this new batch of songs share a kinship with. Already garnering thousands of fans through radio play, live shows, and social media outreach, “…And the People Say” is sure to expand that fan base and distinguish Sam Sliva & The Good as a unique and promising source of rock from the Lone Star State.
Drew Fish is a Texas country original. Living in Austin, the live music capitol of the universe, he didn’t have to go far to realize his dream. Trained on the piano and guitar at a young age, Drew found his passion to write in high school. His audience has grown exponentially since his early performances at El Arroyo and Hill’s Singer-Songwriter Night. If you don’t get your fix at one of the many venues of the Drew Fish Band, you can catch him as a frequent guest on stage with his friend, recording artist, Curtis Grimes. What makes Texas special is the unique people and unique experiences. Drew’s music captures the essence of Texas– floating down the Guadalupe River at Gruene, watching the surf roll in at South Padre, or listening to the rhythm of a windmill in Lubbock. With the musical influences of his friends, Cory Morrow, Shane Smith, and Thom Shepherd and the encouragement of Grammy Award winning producer and musician, Lloyd Maines, Drew has honed his songs into a musical experience of Texan culture.
Whether it’s the generation above him two stepping to Show Me Tonight or the younger generation who is ready for the next Three Day Weekend, audiences of all ages are not only boot scootin’ to his live music at the dancehall or singing along with his CD but enjoying his next great hit on the radio.
Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers
Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers
Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers – Musical beacons of the Southwest, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers deliver vivid lyrics, addictive guitar riffs and a full bodied rhythm section on more than a dozen studio and live albums over the past fifteen years. RCPM consistently produced nothing but uncompromised, unadulterated, pure rock and roll, building a reputation as one of the hardest working touring bands in America. Clyne’s musical career spans close to two decades including several hits with The Refreshments and penning the theme song for the TV show ‘King Of The Hill.’ He also produces his own brand of triple distilled, extremely smooth, Blue Agave tequila called Mexican Moonshine.
“Really it wasn’t just a performance, it was a PARTY!”
Dean tells it like it is. But what’s even better, he sings it like it is. His lyrics and emotion when belting out his original tunes are quite refreshing.
Austin Layne was born Austin Layne Brasher on January 27, 1990. He spent much of his life in Grand Saline, TX – which is where he claims as his hometown. Austin Layne graduated from Robert E Lee High School (Tyler, TX) in 2009. Austin then went to work in the oilfield for 6 years. During that time, he learned to play the guitar and began songwriting. In March 2014, Austin Layne played his first professional gig at The Forge in Ben Wheeler, TX and by March 2015, Austin decided to leave the oilfield to pursue his six string dream.
In January 2015, Austin Layne met his soul mate and (eventually) music manager, Brianna. The two plan to “get hitched” in the near future. They share three kids Elijah, Hallye, and Emma.
Austin has a strong passion for songwriting. 90% of his songs are from real life experiences of himself or someone close to him, such as “Start Over Monday”, “I’m A Runner”, and “Take Another”. His love for songwriting and telling stories is tremendous, and he doesn’t hold back!
Austin Layne’s first record “I’m A Runner” was released March 23, 2016.
In four short years, Curtis Grimes has been a star college baseball pitcher, chased his dream of being a singer / songwriter, played hundreds of concerts all over Texas and the southwestern United States, and performed in front of millions on television.
After a break up with his then fiance, he started playing guitar and developed an interest in songwriting, teaching himself how to play on a used guitar that he purchased at a pawn shop. Grimes then headed down I35 with plans of finishing his degree at Texas State University in San Marcos. While there he fell under the influence of the Texas Country music scene. With legendary venues so close, he was able to follow the Texas Country artists he looked up to. After playing for friends and relatives at gatherings and parties, Grimes was hooked by the entertainment bug. He started playing acoustic shows at a couple of small venues, bars, and fraternity parties. Things definitely picked up for after he won the Austin leg of Kenny Chesney’s The Next Big Star contest, getting the opportunity to open for Chesney at the Frank Erwin Center during his Poets and Pirates tour.