From stone cold honky tonk to some of the stoutest rock you’ll ever hear, Mike Stinson writes ‘em and sings ‘em like music is a life-and-death matter. Dwight Yoakam covered Stinson’s “Late Great Golden State.” After 18 years in Los Angeles, Stinson moved to Houston, Texas four years back, and the move spurred an amazing streak of creativity, which he captured on his fourth album with legendary roots producer R.S. Field.
This one is on us!
He’s from the piney woods of East Texas, but Paul Cauthen is a citizen of America. With his forthcoming new record “Marfa Lights” set for an October release, Paul is stepping out with a bold new style that can only be called American Music. That’s because Paul is a collector of stories and sounds and in America you hear all kinds of stories and all kinds of sounds. In his youth, he learned to sing from his grandfather Jim Paul, in a little gospel church in Tyler, Texas. Paul quickly learned that he found an incredible joy in singing and playing guitar and piano. He always had his guitar handy and was never one to shy away when he was called upon to sing and play.
After high school, Paul had a run in with a law and like many young men found himself doing a stint in jail. He felt he had let his family down, especially his grandmother who had taught him to play the piano on an old upright piano that stood in the corner of the living room in a house he loved to visit. After serving his time, he needed a new start and decided to leave behind old habits to see what Colorado had to offer. There he honed his skills even further playing in bluegrass bands and jam bands.
It wasn’t long before Paul could feel Texas calling him back home. He packed up his things and landed in San Marcos, Texas where he immediately co-founded Sons of Fathers, the band that would take him on his next musical journey. Sons of Fathers found success relatively quickly, perhaps too quickly in hindsight. They played the Grand Ole Opry four times, ACL Music Fest, and Bonnaroo. In addition to this, they played countless venues and festivals across the country sharing stages and making music with some of their heroes, while making new fans all the time.
In April of 2014 the two voices of Sons of Fathers, Paul and David Beck decided to go on an “indefinite hiatus”. After this was announced, Paul found himself at his grandmother’s house with his phone off trying to avoid the constant questions. He had come full circle. He found himself sitting at that same piano in the living room of his grandmother’s house. He immediately began working on what was to become “Marfa Lights”. The record is a summary of everything that has happened to Paul Cauthen up to this point in time. All the sounds and all the stories come together to to create a record that is both unique and familiar at the same time.
The Truth Is…
In 2012, lawyer turned singer-songwriter Lainey Balagia released her debut album, Neverland. With a title inspired by her favorite book and songs inspired by little boys who won’t grow up, the 10 tracks run the gamut from emotional ballads to high energy country rock. In addition to practicing law and releasing an album, Lainey has started a new band with fellow singer-songwriters Debbie Forrest and Libby Koch. Their band, The Grievous Angels, released their debut album in July of 2013 and have received awards from the Houston Press and the Academy of Texas Music. Lainey also performs regularly with singer/songwriter Brant Croucher.
In the past 12 months, Lainey has played over a hundred gigs, both solo and with a band, including recent shows at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, Houston, TX; Goode’s Armadillo Palace, Houston, TX; House of Blues; SXSW, Austin, TX; The Firehouse Saloon, Houston, TX; Corner Café, Conroe, TX; Blanco’s, Houston, TX; The Wine Garden and the Steer Auction at The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and Belle’s Landing, West Columbia, TX; Texas Crawfish Festival, Spring, TX; Opening Bell, Dallas, TX, Landry’s, Corpus Christi, TX; Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX; Pecan Street Brewery, Johnson City, TX; Winestyles Vintage, Cypress, TX; The Parish Underground, Austin, TX; The Auslander, Fredericksburg, TX; Houston Beer Fest, Houston, TX; Hill’s Cafe, Austin, TX; Reliant Staduim, Houston, TX; and Sam Houston Raceway Park in Houston, TX.
Additionally, Lainey has received the following awards and nominations:
Winner: Best Vocal Group 2014, Texas Music Awards (With the Grievous Angels)
Nominated: Best Cover Song 2014, Texas Music Awards (for Angel From Montgomery)
Winner: Best Americana/Folk 2013, Houston Press Music Awards (With the Grievous Angels)
Nominated: Best Female Vocalist 2013, Houston Press Music Awards
Nominated: Best Local Recording 2013, Houston Press Music Awards (With the Grievous Angels)
Nominated: Best Americana Act 2012, Houston Press Music Awards (with the Grievous Angels)
For more information on The Grievous Angels, please go to www.thegrievousangels.com
For more information on Brant Croucher, please go to www.brantcroucher.com
I was born in Houston and I went to college in Denton. I “grew up” in Dallas, and learned invaluable life lessons while living in Nashville, Austin, and Wimberley. Since 1999, I’ve lived in 30 different residences; I understand the plight of the Gypsy.
People and places are my greatest sources of inspiration.
I’ve seen the rain come down in Northern Ireland. I’ve ridden a motorcycle across the Sacred Valley in Peru. I spent entire summer drinking sangria in Spain under the guise of college credit. I’ve slept on the roof of a shanty in Hidalgo, Mexico and saw more stars than three lifetimes of a hundred people could count. I rode a bike 100 miles around Lake Tahoe in a single day, in the name of charity.
I prefer Whataburger to In and Out Burger.
I can usually blend quite well, but I rarely feel like I fit in. I have mixed feelings about this.
I’ve mowed lawns, I’ve delivered pizzas, and I’ve made lattes. I spent half a decade working in the corporate world. I’ve worked retail. I’ve hated working retail. I’ve waited tables, bartended, and pretended to be a freelance writer. I’ve been a day-laborer, worked a call center, and sold houses. I once ran a small event staffing company. I’ve even been paid to sing songs in all kinds of places.
I believe I can do almost anything for 6 months.
I taught myself how to play guitar. Some would say that explains a lot.
I have a certain affinity for college football and refer to any professional sports team in Houston as my own. I carry an abnormally large chip on my shoulder thanks to the 1993 Houston Oilers.
I’m afraid of heights, except when it comes to mountains. I’m also prone to paradox.
I have absolutely no interest in running a marathon. But I’ll cheer you on if that’s your thing.
I’ve loved more than I’ve lost.
I’ve lost as much as I’ve left.
I’m genuinely overwhelmed by the splendor of sunsets and the sheer size of the ocean. Conversely, I’m not impressed by reality stars.
I like good wine, good whiskey, and good food. And I believe good company makes all of them better.
I love to write.
I’m not cool. In my head, saying that makes me sound like maybe I am.
I have the best friends and family anyone could ever ask for. Most of the time, I remember that. When I don’t, they remind me.
In a short amount of time I’ve been fortunate to play a lot of great rooms. One day maybe I’ll feel deserving.
More than anything, I’m thankful.
About Charlie and the Regrets:
We are a Houston, Texas band playing our songs about love, loss, good times and bad. Between the four of us, we have played some of the most and least known clubs across the US and Europe. Now after broken bands, relationships, day jobs and records we have something to write about. We recorded our demonstration record in Spring 2014. It will be out this Summer and now we are getting out now to play our music for thirsty people everywhere.
Willy T.: Lap Steel
Few artists carry the power that can even compare to the deep vocals and emotional delivery Jared Blake carries to his audience every single performance. Even fewer lend that same passion to their fans, but Jared does. Being known to the world as a father of six kids, taking care of the fans too is just a normal way of life. His life isn’t separated from music, rather, a blend of family, fans, and friends who he calls “frands”.
Jared Blake grew up on watermelons and rock ‘n roll. His summer’s were spent peddling and playing. Growing up in the small town of Star City, Arkansas, Jared always had big dreams of performing on the big stage, but that didn’t stop him from taking his time growing up and learning everything he could about the business, songwriting, and playing multiple instruments. Jared would be the first one to tell you, “The second I think I know what’s going on, it all turns upside down again.” He also says that’s what keeps him writing, dreaming, working and just being himself.
That same willingness to keep going, not knowing, landed him on national television. Once again, Jared found himself on an adventure into what turned out to be the #1 rated show on NBC, “The Voice”, with Blake Shelton to guide him. So, he did what any regular ol’ country boy would do…he rocked it! He was just as happy alone with his acoustic guitar and 14-million viewers watching him sing “Not Ready To Make Nice” (Dixie Chicks) as he was performing the rock tune “Use Somebody” (Kings of Leon) in a guitar-throwing, full-out passionate display. All of his performances appeared in the charts worldwide more than 56 times and reaching as high as #16.
Jared was featured in magazines such as People and Rolling Stone, television morning shows, and radio stations syndicated across the nation. He began a national acoustic tour the last week of the show airing, promoting a single his fans picked called “Don’t Mind”. That tune won grassroots radio airplay in several areas and the ability to quickly tour with his whole band.
In June of 2012, Jared was offered a recording deal with Skiddco Music (Grammy award-winning producer, Skidd Mills) and began working on his first full album, scheduled to release summer 2013.
Jared Blake spent years being told he has “the voice”, lending it to voiceover work in the demo world for artists and the weekly syndicated broadcast of CT40 with Bob Kingsley. His sounds are compared to Bob Segar and Travis Tritt mixed with Chris Daughtry. There’s no doubt Jared’s voice is one of the most powerful voices to hit the country genre, and once heard it’s never forgotten. That ability has made the name stick. His shows compare to the energy and emotional roller coaster of a Guns N Roses or a Billy Joel concert. The no-frills production is enough to entertain any crowd. For that, Jared has played with artists like Lee Brice, Thompson Square, The Band Perry, John Rich, Randy Houser, Jarrod Neimann, Billy Currington, and headlined or opened for events like The Lone Star Rally, Sturgis Bike Rally, Easy Riders Rodeo, Country Delta Jam, Country USA, and much, much more.
“The joke with my road crew is that I’m like a 5-year-old,” says more-than-five-year-old Blake adding, “and I think that’s why we all keep going and laughing the whole way. There’s no one playing the ‘poor me’ card for all the hard work we do. We know everyone out there is working hard, and some guys are even fighting and dying so we can keep doing what we do, so for that alone, there’s no complaining. I couldn’t do any other job on the planet, so I owe my life to the music fans of the world!”
Jared is looking to the future of bright lights and sleepless nights “…but I’m just gonna keep writing what I know and singing what I love…with the greatest people on the planet, my frands!”
Jared Blake’s newest single released in June of 2013, titled “Countryfied”, and be on the watch as this star burns brighter. You can follow his tour or join his “frands” online at www.jaredblakemusic.com
In the business of music, many are called and many may try, but few cross the threshold of being able to say they are truly committed for the long haul. With the upcoming release of their latest studio album, Burn.Flicker.Die. American Aquarium is proving that they have graduated to that class of professional musicians that have made an undeniable commitment to their music and their fans.
American Aquarium’s six years as a band have been a fast-moving blur of rubber on road, touring coast to coast through the states and Europe. Most nights of the year are spent far from their Raleigh homes, squinting out from bright stages at a growing legion of passionate fans who’ve followed them through the release of six albums that reflect a whirlwind of too many whiskey soaked nights, nameless women in smoky bars and fast living while your youth is in full bloom. But what happens when it all stops feeling good?
Burn.Flicker.Die. is what has emerged from that scenario for this group of hard working players. After two years of writing, they journeyed to the legendary recording hub which gave birth to some of the greatest blues, country and rock records of all time: Muscle Shoals/Sheffield, AL. Recorded in eight days under the precise hand of friend/tour buddy Jason Isbell, the record is an aptly named milestone for the band, and their most painstaking effort to date. As a long-time Southern rock artisan, Isbell provided a weathered know-how in producing the record American Aquarium is proudest of. Described as a “consequence record” by vocalist BJ Barham, the band spent that week pushing out everything that’s been haunting them: working for six years, watching buzz bands peak and die, and pining for their own payoff.
“I wish my addictions didn’t mean so much/but we all can’t be born with that kind of luck,” Barham sings on the title track, capturing the fast lifestyle with images of subtle barroom horrors: Finding a high in a dingy bathroom stall, a pretty barfly from somewhere down south you won’t see again, free shots you can’t say no to. “Casualties” is a soaring, chorus-less ode to death by rock that confronts age and the band’s great fear of having made the wrong choice. They’ve watched artists ride the hype train right off the track. But that can’t be American Aquarium – they’ve been laying low too long, finding their way to the most poignant album of their careers through hard touring and waking up to realize that it’s not Saturday night anymore.
Some of the record hurts to hear, like the quiet, fine-spun “Harmless Sparks.” It sounds like the flicker of a solitary cigarette burning to its filter in the blue-black glow of a bar. Keys plink like shot glasses in the background, and you’re the last to go home. American Aquarium has been there before. But the record also looks to the end of a hard road, where there might be validation for good music, and even love. In “Jacksonville,” Barham promises someone a call if he “makes it out alive.” Taking a cue from Ryan Adams, he draws romance out of shame in “Northern Lights.” And in “Saturday Nights” and “Saint Mary’s,” he makes a subtle mockery of the dives they know too well – slick with spilled whiskey and crawling with restless women who all look the same.
Every grizzled image of Burn.Flicker.Die is real, which comes from the band’s profound understanding of small southern town debauchery and six years of pushing their careers off the bottom rung. Like many of their musical heroes that have paved the way before them, American Aquarium can wrap the ugliest feelings in the most spirited soundscape. Sonically uplifting instrumentation and vivid, wrenching lyrics illuminate the dark side of hanging out in rock ‘n’ roll limbo, but also how the band has clawed their way out of it. Through their struggle to sustain their career and resist the temptation of fire, American Aquarium’s demons have hung around. But so have they.
Take one listen to Sam Sliva and you’ll remember why you fell in love with music to begin with. Now based in Austin, Sliva grew up in the Houston area listening to everything from Bob Marley and Led Zeppelin to George Strait and John Lee Hooker.
“I like to combine all of my influences and make one collective sound,” Sliva says, and he did just that on his most recent disc, “…And the People Say.”. Elements of reggae, country, rock, blues, R&B and folk all intertwine to create something indefinable but coherent. Although it may best fit into Adult Contemporary or Americana rock playlists, the music retains a distinct edge and bluesy swagger that marks it as characteristically Sliva.
As adept a guitarist as he is a lyricist and songwriter, Sliva admits that he’s self taught and says “It really shows through in my music.
Radio immediately took notice as introductory single from “…And the People Say,” “It Is What It Is,” initially charted at #51 on the AC charts and opened the door for Sliva to reveal more of himself and peel back the layers of his distinctive style and sound. Even before radio took hold, Sliva was already developing a following throughout Texas, Oklahoma and the Midwest and has built his fan base the old fashioned way: one show and one fan at a time.
With roughly 1200 live shows logged in over the past 6 years, Sliva thrives on the road. More recently, his touring schedule has seen him branch out from the Texas circuit to the midwest, southeast, westcoast and beyond while sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in the industry.
Sliva’s soulful vocals and ability to craft not only catchy hooks, but also vivid and memorable lyrics as well as his eclectic style and ability to meld genres puts him in good company, allowing him to sit easily in playlists next to everyone from Michael Franti to Eli Young Band to John Mayer to Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
“It’s been said before, but the only way I know how to be immortal is through music,” Sliva says. “I don’t care about making a million dollars or selling a million records. Basically, I just want to be liked and appreciated by people who know what good music is.”
Those two things don’t have to be mutually exclusive and as his last two album show, Sliva has the talent and ability to accomplish both. His reputation and following can only grow, spreading from the Midwest to both coasts, as he tours behind his next project and continues to break genre barriers for anyone who simply loves good music.
We started our group in the summer of 2008, and after having known each other through all of our other groups (Polyphonic Spree, Young Heart Attack, Slick 57, Rose County Fair, Hi-Fi Drowning, etc), it was an easy upstart and took no time jumping in head first. We both had songs that we felt needed to be played but no band to use as an outlet. Three months later, we entered the recording studio and recorded an EP which ended up being half of our first album “We Are The O’s” (2009 Idol Records).
We have since toured relentlessly all across the US, UK, Europe, and even jaunted to Hawaii, hi-fiving friends and fans alike; just trying to keep ourselves out on the road and creating new music for good people. In 2011, we recorded our second album with the Grammy award winning Stuart Sikes. Entitled “Between The Two,” we decided to play every instrument on the album and had Stuart man the helm. It was liberating and excited and brought us further than we had been before.
We hit the road again jumping back and forth across the great ponds, made music videos, bought and broke vans, bought and broke gear, ate poorly, ate well, had fun and not so much fun, met amazing people, learned a lot about life, forgot a lot of things, slept a little, bought and wore out hundreds of pairs of pants and shirts, resoled our cowboy boots countless times, played with incredible artists, performed on TV shows, talk shows, radio shows, festivals, clubs, bars, restaurants, several different countries and continents, swam in clear water, dredged through the gulf, and other countless, endless adventures to name.
We did this all as we have always, to make good music for good people.
And into the future we go with “Thunderdog”, our third studio album to be released in July 23, 2013. We decided to record the majority of the new album, at the recommendation of our great producer, Chris “Frenchie” Smith, in Tornillo, TX at the legendary Sonic Ranch Studio. It’s a state of the art, top notch studio where we could stay on site, eat on site, and record without distractions (other than the delicious Sonic Ranch “Salsa de Roja” that lead to many debates on whether or not anything would taste good without it afterwords…) We finished up the album at The Bubble in Austin, TX and look forward to getting it out the door and into everyone’s hands!
See you folks on the other side and we look forward to the ride.
The Damn Quails are a musical group that thrive on the spontaneity of live performance and the ethereal connection between players that happens on stage. Their performances are a living, ever-changing experience that captivates crowds of all ages from all walks of life.
Their inimitable sound has been described as Americana-Folk-Rock-Country-Blues music, and yet, it is still developing and changing. Mason spearheads the songwriting, but the relationship and inspiration of every member of the band is evident in the results. While individual players alternate taking the spotlight in certain songs, the performance as a whole would not be what it is without the dedicated collaboration that unites the foursome.
Cameran and his band, Guardrail Damage Ahead, are touring extensively and his new album “Happy To Beer” released in June 2013 including the tracks “Thrown”, which reached #70 on the Texas Regional Radio Report, “Happy To Beer”, which remained on the Texas charts for 24 weeks and reached #19 on the TexNet50 music chart, and the new single “Reckless In Texas” which will be released in August 2013! Look for the new album on iTunes.com/camerannelson and www.cdbaby.com/camerannelson . For a hard copy visit www.mytexasmusic.org/camerannelson
If you added all the miles Cameran has lived in Texas since being born in Haskell, Texas, to living south of Kingsville, East of Rockwall, west of Lubbock and now living in the hill country, Cameran is from 1,815 miles of Texas! Cameran, with his high-energy Texas sound and energetic live show, has shared the stage with acts such as Roger Creager, Randy Rogers Band, Kevin Fowler, Jack Ingram, Cody Johnson, Reckless Kelly, Gary P. Nunn, Mickey and The Motorcars, and has shows booked this summer with Kyle Park, and Eli Young. In early 2013, Cameran was nominated for 3 Texas Music Awards, Male Vocalist, Rising Star, and Record of the Year.
“Getting on stage and playing is just that!” says Cameran about his show. “The work is over and we get to cut loose and have some fun!”
With a commanding yet natural stage presence and a voice full of gravelly emotion, he has the ability to hold the crowd in the palm of his hand; a trait no doubt instilled in him by his musical background. Cameran spent a few years selling merchandise for the late great Gary Stewart. While working for Gary, Cameran was able to see how the “King of Honky Tonk” kept a crowd entertained, and also learned how to play a few of Gary’s hits from Gary himself. At the age of thirteen, Cameran began playing bass in his dad’s country band and built on this foundation by furthering his education at South Plains College, where he studied voice and guitar.
Pulling from a deep well of life experiences, he writes songs that strike universal chords. He knows all too well about loss, after losing his best friend and guitar player in a car accident at the age of 17. Delivering a love song is as natural as the love for his wife and three children. He’s not afraid to get a little “wild and reckless” as well, as his newest single, “Reckless in Texas” can attest. “I’m so grateful to be able to do this. I love getting to share our show and songs with new audiences,” says Cameran.
Not many just-turned 15-year olds are invited on stage by a legendary group like the Oak Ridge Boys to sing acapella. The captivated audience in Galveston’s prestigious Opry sat enraptured… then came thunderous applause and a standing ovation for Mary Sarah’s rendition of the 1961 Connie Frances hit, “Where the Boys Are,” a song that most artists of her tender age would not even attempt, much less, know.
At 12, Mary Sarah toured the U.S. for 6 months as a featured lead vocalist and dancer in KidzBop®, a Razor & Tie Records and Vee Corporation production, produced by Michael Anderson in Los Angeles. This was an 18-song rock concert from Kidz Bop albums, which to date have racked up 7 Gold albums, with “kid-friendly” cover versions of hits. The experience from performing in front of 4-6,000 kids per show defined her stage presence and earned her national and global popularity.
After the Kidz Bop tour, Mary Sarah returned to Texas and began performing in local and regional Opry Theatres, Town Squares and Charity fundraisers.
Like many top country artists, Mary Sarah’s first performances were in church at age 8. One advantage of living in Texas is the presence of hundreds of country radio stations and numerous regional Opry Theaters and Mary Sarah has performed in almost all of them multiple times, paying tribute to her heroes – the legends of country music.
The ISC, Inc. (International Songwriting Competition) Founder/Director, Candice Avery, has placed Mary Sarah in the Top-Ten, TEEN CATEGORY, for her self-penned song “A New Crush,” which was chosen from 15,000 entrants, making this an extraordinary achievement.
Mary Sarah has also been awarded by Musicati Inventor/Co-developer, Troy Stacy, a $50,000 promotion package servicing 20,000 digital juke boxes throughout North America, beginning April 1, 2011 for her first CD titled, CRAZY GOOD, recorded at age 14.