To hear Curtis Grimes sing is to take a trip through the heart of country music. A Texas native, Curtis was raised on a steady diet of George Strait and Alan Jackson, and he possesses the everyman charm of both his heroes, along with a refreshingly mature voice that—in an era of country raps and pop beats—truly stands out.
“Strait is a big inspiration and who I aspire to be. But I’m also a fan of strong voices like Chris Young and Clay Walker,” says Curtis, “I’ve always liked the traditional sound. I became a singer because I can relate to those heartache songs. But I also like to have a good time, and when I get onstage, it’s go time.”
Which Curtis has proved time and again in front of massive audiences. When he was still playing bars in Austin, he won a contest to open for Kenny Chesney at Kenny’s local arena show, and followed up that milestone by competing in front of Blake Shelton and his coaches on the debut season of NBC’s hit singing series The Voice. A member of Team Cee Lo, Curtis won over viewers and lasted an impressive eight weeks on the show.
“To be a singer, opening for Kenny Chesney at that time was the pinnacle. That experience justified my decision to pursue music,” says Curtis. “And The Voice opened the door and got us playing outside of Texas.”
“Sam Riggs wears a legacy of honest country, makes good rock, writes lyrics that matter and straps on a stage presence second to none.” — Ray Wylie Hubbard
Receiving a hand up in this business of music from the likes of Ray Wylie Hubbard is no small accomplishment, and that mentorship – and sometimes harsh instruction – was not lost on Sam Riggs, who has had the fortunate opportunity to meander through Wylie’s cerebral countryside over the last few years. At the time of their meeting, Riggs was already a commercially-viable songwriter with an impressive root system, having sprung from his family’s musical genes; but he was still feeding off the unripe fruits of his youth. Through the songwriting school of Hubbard, he learned the time-honored virtue of patience and the aptitude for turning the rough and tumble falls to the ground into a steady, recovered gait.
“He opened my eyes to songwriting, and I could see the idiot I had been and the idiot I was going to be, and he helped me to navigate that. He taught me what it really is to be a songwriter.”
True to her Texas honky-tonk roots, Sunny Sweeney has never been a singer of what you’d call “soft” country songs — the kind you might turn to for easy comfort and or quiet Sunday afternoons with the family. Hell, you can tell just by the titles of her first two albums — Heartbreaker’s Hall of Fame and Concrete — that she reaches straight for the hard stuff. So when this woman sees fit to name her third album Provoked, you better believe she’s not about to start playing coy now. No, this is where the real hurtin’ starts, and Sweeney’s showing no mercy … least of all to herself.
“I’ve been through a lot in the last few years, good and bad, and this record is me for the first time actually coming to grips with the mistakes that I’ve made,” says Sweeney. “And I have made a lot of mistakes. I was hell-bent that this album was going to tell that story.”
Striking a chord on a grand scale, native Texan Breelan Angel landed on the country music scene in true Lone Star fashion; launching independent label, MisBhavin’ Records, she released three singles (all of which have impacted the MusicRow Country Breakout Chart), and released her debut album, “Dirty Little Secrets,” to much critical acclaim on June 24th.
Breelan’s anthemic debut, “It’s My Turn,” sealed her spot as “One To Watch” (CMA Close-up) and, hot on its heels, she wasted no time in getting her sophomore effort, “Halfway To Wasted,” out to fans and radio. Celebrating as it soared to the Top 40 (MusicRow) and Top 50 (Billboard Indicator) spots on national charts, the heartfelt and emotionally charged tune earned the praises of critics and fans alike (Robert K. Oermann of MusicRow recognized it with a “Discovery Award” honor). Breelan’s third radio single, “Double Standards,” is quickening its pace as it climbs the charts.
Armed with Texas-gal determination, and a “steel magnolia” personality, Breelan has carved a niche and discovered her true style for both songwriting and performing. Teaming up with hit songwriters in Nashville she has collaborated with A-list luminaries such as Clay Mills (“Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “Fall”), Rachel Thibodeau (“Good Directions,” “Love Don’t Run”), Shane Stevens (“American Honey”), Bernie Nelson (“Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind”), Marty Dodson (“Must Be Doin’ Something Right”), Larry Weiss (“Rhinestone Cowboy”), Greg Barnhill (“Walkaway Joe”) and many others.
Showcasing a wide range of talents, Breelan recorded “Dirty Little Secrets” with Emmy-award winner Ray Barnette (Billy Dean). Leaving no experience untouched, she shows off a fiery take on love and life providing a fresh sound in a scene where good girls are flaunting independence, living unrehearsed and unplanned. Staying true to her style, “Double Standards,” continues this theme with an up-tempo beat and a tongue-in-cheek delivery that tackles the stereotypical boundaries women must live up to in love, life and business in today’s society.
As a performer, Breelan has played some of the finest venues including Houston’s House of Blues, Firehouse Saloon, Hard Rock Café, and Mucky Duck. She has also played Stafford Centre (Stafford), Rowdy Buck’s (Crosby), Freiheit Country Store (New Braunfels), The Chute (Baytown), Wormy Dog (Oklahoma City), Island View Casino (Gulfport, Miss.), and The National Underground (Nashville). Special events include Crosby Fair & Rodeo, Lone Star Rally, Galveston County Fair, Whiskey & Wine, Girls With Guitars and Pinktober with KILT and Farmer’s Branch Liberty Fest. Debut performances in 2014 at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo World’s Championship BBQ Cook-off, and on the famed stage of Nashville’s Bluebird Café, have allowed Breelan to achieve many of the goals she has set for herself.
Quickly becoming a regular on the tour circuit, Breelan’s tour schedule has included shows with some of today’s hottest acts including Joe Nichols, Easton Corbin, Chris Cagle, Kevin Fowler, Randy Rogers, Cody Johnson, and legendary artists Loretta Lynn, Don Williams, Travis Tritt and Doug Stone.
Breelan Angel is making big moves as she brings her exciting blend of music to life. Showing off originality in songwriting and performing, she blends just the amount of southern charm with modern country rock and her spirited attitude are front and center when she and her band take the stage.
Sundance Head has been singing for as long as he can remember. The son of singer Roy Head, who scored a #2 smash hit in 1965 with “Treat her Right,’. Sundance is now making his mark on the music industry, determined to hang a gold record of his own on the wall of his Porter, Texas home.
A contestant during season six of American Idol, Sundance finished in 13th place. Life following elimination from the competitive reality series has proven bitter sweet, as Sundance became the first American Idol contestant in history to score a recording contract with a major record label, Universal Motown, without finishing in the Top 12. Sundance has since moved from Universal Motown- seeking other opportunities. Proficient with several instruments, including guitar, bass guitar, and piano, Sundance is also a talented and sought-after songwriter, having written for ZZ Top, among others. With a natural penchant for singing, it is easy to find yourself swept away to another time and place by his powerful voice and lyrics, only to open your eyes and realize that the soulful voice passing through the microphone is that of a star on the rise.
Sundance’s writing is one of a kind- writing songs from his heart you will never hear a song from him that is not from personal experiences. Whether about love, heartache, or happiness you will know a Sundance Head song when you hear it.
Thirteen years can put a hell of a lot of wear and tear on even the hardiest of rock ’n’ roll bands. But don’t be fooled by all those hundreds of thousands of miles on Micky & the Motorcars’ odometer: pop the hood of Hearts From Above, the long-running Austin band’s seventh album, and you’ll find a brand-new engine, fine-tuned and good to run for at least as many more miles still ahead. And behind the wheel? Two brothers and founding members Micky Braun (lead vocals and guitar) and Gary Braun (guitar, mandolin, harmonica, and vocals) invigorated and supercharged by a transfusion of new blood from fresh recruits Dustin Schaefer (lead guitar), Joe Fladger (bass), and Bobby Paugh (drums). Micky and Gary, who by their own admission, haven’t been this fired up about playing together since they first rode south from the Whitecloud Mountains of Idaho to stake their claim to the Texas and wider Americana music scenes.
These are the qualities Zane Williams sings about in his rootsy anthem “Texas Like That”–the title track of his 5th studio album–and so it comes as no surprise that these are also the qualities on which his rapidly-growing career is built. Respected by his fans (the Zaniacs) as a down-to-earth family man, Zane is a also a charismatic entertainer on stage and a prolific songwriter who wrote all ten of the new album’s tracks. It’s a rare combination of abilities that just may make him a superstar, especially among country music fans hungry for an alternative to today’s pop and hip-hop influenced “bro country”.
First up on this collection of ten self-penned songs is the energetic “Feelin’ Free”, which combines acoustic mandolin and banjo with a driving beat and soaring three-part harmonies. The gritty groove of “Throwback” manages to sound modern and traditional at the same time, and “Summer Rain” features a soaring guitar solo section as powerful as anything you’ll hear this year on top 40 radio. It’s a delicate balance that Zane strikes–Texas authenticity with a bit of Nashville polish–but by capturing the best of both worlds he creates a sound all his own that is a refreshing change for fans of either music scene.
Zane has earned a reputation for releasing albums on which every song is worth listening to over and over, and “Texas Like That” is no exception to that rule. The album continues with the catchy and romantic “She Is”, the toe-tapping “Just Gettin’ Started”, and the fan tribute song “Here’s to You”, which is sure to liven up the honky-tonks that are his bread and butter. However the strongest tunes on the album may be the stirring ballad “Jayton and Jill”, which is the kind of heart-wrenching story song that is so sadly missing on mainstream country radio as of late, and the vulnerable and poignant “Kansas City Sunrise”.
Zane is an anomaly in today’s country music….a modern-day “throwback” who is equal parts bar-room entertainer and introspective poet. If you ask the crowd of Zaniacs at a show just what they love so much about the man and his music, they might tell you it’s his genuine smile, or the way his songs seem to come straight from the heart, or how he sings about real life in a way that real people can relate to. For all these reasons and more, they keep coming back time and time again to get lost in the music and experience together just what it means to be “Texas Like That”.
A country band based out of the coastal bend of Corpus Christi. Known for their high-energy shows and unique sound. Their music seamlessly blends together the sounds of country, rock, americana, and folk. On a given night, you can count on hearing everything from 3-part harmonies, to screaming guitar solos, some bluesy harmonica and fan-favorite, fiddle from the talented Owen Fitzsimmons. Frontman, Jake Ward, brings a lot of energy to the show and with the help of his band, they put on a show that won’t disappoint.
For more information and tour dates, visit jakewardmusic.com.