Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review: The Flatlanders - Cactus Theater, Lubbock, 01/29/11

Saturday night at the Cactus Theater in Lubbock featured "An Evening With the Flatlanders," and that is just what the crowd got, with close to a 2 hour performance from Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. I heard a decent amount of confusion about why advertised opener and local Brandon Adams didn't play, but word was that he was pulled fairly last minute in the interests of making the night for the Flatlanders alone.

Ely kicked off the night with the group's "Right Where I Belong," and the song progression from there followed the songwriter-in-the-round style. The night's musical backing was relatively simplistic, in that it was provided only by Ely, Gilmore, and Hancock themselves. This left Ely to do most of the guitar solos, producing a sparse, yet intimate show from the three. The setlist included all three playing a number of Butch Hancock songs as well as some of their own. Whether a result of not playing with a band or simply wanting to play more offbeat material, the band ventured into some less well known tracks, and avoided altogether standards such as "Tonight, I'm Gonna Go Downtown" and "South Wind of Summer."

Gilmore made a point of playing what he termed "a request to himself," with a cover of his son Colin Gilmore's song "The Way We Are," which also appears on the most recent Flatlanders' album. The stories between songs were as enjoyable as the music itself, including Gilmore's statement (and I paraphrase): "I don't believe in miracles, so when one happens it really freaks me out." Similar quips were found throughout the night, with a good deal of banter passed between the performers.

Surprisingly, few requests were yelled out over the course of the night, and so the artists mostly handpicked songs of their choosing. Among those selected was a cover of Townes Van Zandt's "White Freightliner Blues," a song oft-covered by the band and also performed on Gilmore's 1988 solo album Fair and Square. Although the trio said goodnight without announcing the previous song as their last, they returned for a two song encore, featuring the near mandatory "Bluebird" and "I Had My Hopes Up High." Overall, the show was a great night of music and stories from the elder statesmen of Lubbock music.

Please let the folks at the Cactus Theater know that they need to bring in more local and national acts to use the amazing space they have. It's a great space and Lubbock needs more quality live music, and possibly less musical theater.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Nathaniel Rateliff - Mile Marker session

Photo credit: John Hendrickson with

Oh man, what I would give to be in Denver right now kicking back a 5 Barrel and listening to this guy.

Easily one of the best music blogs in the country, the Denver Post's Reverb just released their Mile Marker session for Nathaniel Rateliff, featuring an acoustic session with Nathaniel and backing vocals by Julie Davis and Joseph Pope. Mile Marker is roughly Denver's equivalent of Daytrotter, except much more like Daytrotter when it was relatively new. That is, they have very few sessions up right now.

In short, they've got 4 free Nathaniel Rateliff recordings up for you, so it's probably a good time to check them out. When you go listen, check out Amazon, because they've got the full album from this band for $5, but probably just through the end of January. Rumor has it that the band has a 7" with "Shroud," "Pounds and Pounds," and "This" for sale on tour, but not yet to the masses of us who don't live on the band's tour route. I'm holding out for catching about five of his shows during SXSW though, so I can wait for now.

Mile Marker - Nathaniel Rateliff by StealThisTrack

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

West Texas area music calendar - 01/26/11

It is surprisingly hard to find reliable information about upcoming shows in West Texas. I try to check all of the usual suspects as far as venues go, but as it turns out, a lot of them are notorious for not updating Web sites. Many thanks go to those who have written me with details on shows. Please send corrections or additions as you have them.

As for Odessa & Midland, I don't know what's going on but I can't find much of anything in the way of upcoming shows. Not even bad ones. What's the deal?

2/24 - Cody Canada & the Departed - Dos Amigos
2/24 - Turnpike Troubadours - Rockin' Rodeo
3/18 - The Band Perry - Dos Amigos
3/25 - Josh Abbott - Dos Amigos
5/14 - Crude Fest - Midland - Jason Boland, Turnpike Troubadours, Josh Abbott & others

Alpine/Marfa/Big Bend
2/17 - Jason Boland - Railroad Blues
3/4 - Balmorhea - Building 98 (and that's Balmorhea the band, show in Marfa)
3/4 - Soul Track Mind - Railroad Blues
3/4-3/6 - Texas Independence Day Music Fest - Lajitas, featuring Butch Hancock, Claude Butch Morgan and many more
3/9 - Butch Hancock - Railroad Blues

4/11 - British Sea Power, A Classic Education - Padre's
4/17 - Yacht & Straight Gaze - Padre's
6/2- Fest Out West - Lajitas, featuring Reckless Kelly, Cody Canada & the Departed, Butch Hancock, Hayes Carll, The Trishas, Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen, Micky & the Motorcars, & John Evans

2/25 - George Ducas - Belle Opry House

Big Spring
2/26 - Jody Nix - The Stampede

San Angelo
2/28 - Aaron Watson - Midnight Rodeo
3/4 - Jason Boland w/ Turnpike Troubadours - Midnight Rodeo
3/10 - Butch Hancock - Blaine's Pub
4/29 - Ray Wylie Hubbard - Angelo Food & Wine Festival

2/18 - Whiskey Folk Ramblers - Bash Riprocks
2/19 - Jason Boland - Wild West
2/19 - John Evans Band - Blue Light
2/25 - Eli Young - Wild West

3/8 - Birds & Batteries - Bash's on Main
4/2 - Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward - Blue Light
4/8 - Turnpike Troubadours - Blue Light
3/10 - Scott H. Biram - Jake's

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Flatlanders - Cactus Theater show preview

The Flatlanders continue to write the narrative to an incredibly successful music career, and perhaps among their most honorable qualities is the fact that they still return to Lubbock for shows year after year. The trio of Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock has remained a quite successful force in both their individual and collective careers, maintaining steady touring and continued artistic output. I've had the pleasure of seeing them a few times in the past decade, and the live shows are always worth it, with the in-between-song banter being as good as the music itself.

The show is Saturday night, Jan. 29th, at the Cactus Theater in Lubbock. Show time is 7:30 PM. At last check, tickets were very limited, with only single floor and scattered balcony seats available, but check with the Cactus for details.

Image credit: Steve Gullick

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hayes Carll - Tonight Show performance, 01/21/11

The Hayes Carll performance on The Tonight Show last night turned out to be a bit of a Who's Who for the Texas/Red Dirt music scene. Featured in the lineup were Travis Linville, a well respected guitarist who also does great solo work, as well as Houston-turned-Austin-rocker John Evans, on baritone guitar.

With the new album and his connection to the movie Country Strong, Hayes Carll looks to have strong prospects for a very successful 2011, and this was a great way to start.

Note: Video won't play in Google Reader, but should work fine on Windfarm itself.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The 3-1-11 on new records from Slim & DeVotchKa

Great news for us all that two stalwarts of the Denver scene will be releasing albums this spring, and on the same day, to boot.

First, Slim Cessna's Auto Club will release Unentitled on Alternative Tentacles March 1, 2011, just ahead of another appearance at SXSW. First indications of the album came from this interview with Reverb, and since then, presale pages have begun to crop up for the record. Please catch one of this band's shows if you haven't already.

For Denverites who aspire to perform with Munly, be advised of this recent announcement on his Facebook page:

It is time to introduce the next chapter of Lupercalia. The Lupercalians are looking for new band members (primarily percusionists) to present this new group of characters. Please let us know if you are interested by writing us here.

Another of Denver's more notable bands, DeVotchKa will be releasing their fifth studio album on the same day. Anti- Records has recently announced the release of 100 Lovers, which promises more of the DeVotchKa + WaveLab studios magic of previous releases.

Finally, for the Denver music fans amongst you, Westword recently published a fantastic interview with David Eugene Edwards of Wovenhand.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, Laura Gibson - Padre's Marfa 1/20

Marfa continues to amaze with its offering of the upcoming show on Thursday, Jan. 20th, at Padre's featuring The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger and Laura Gibson. If The GOASTT is a name unfamiliar to you, you are likely to be a bit more familiar with the key members, Sean Lennon, who is, yes, that Sean Lennon, and model Charlotte Kemp Muhl. An eccentric bunch, the band should fit quite well with the aesthetic of Marfa.

Check out their recent performance on Jimmy Fallon below. French horn, anyone?

Laura Gibson is an artist I am relatively unfamiliar with, but whom I have noticed along the way primarily because of her striking vocal resemblance to Denton's Bosque Brown. Her work, along with Big Bend artist Trevor Reichman should make for an amazing night of music for only $10.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Yes, that's way too many acronyms. Nonetheless, check out the Electronic Press Kit for Hayes Carll's new record, KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories). Record is out Feb. 15th, 2011.

In addition, Hayes just announced on his Facebook that he'll be playing the Tonight Show one week from tonight, on Friday, January 21st. Well deserved.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Norah jones cover of "Loretta" with Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings

Wow, how have I missed this all these years? Just found out in the latest issue of Texas Music Magazine that Norah Jones put this Townes van Zandt cover on her most recent album. With Townes' immense song catalog, I expect we have plenty more years of new artists reinterpreting his work. He remains obscure to the mainstream on a certain level as the guy who wrote "Pancho and Lefty," but he will no doubt be remembered and respected for his songwriting long after the popular artists of today are forgotten.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Justin Townes Earle on Letterman

Check out Justin Townes Earle on David Letterman tonight (01/05). He'll be making his network television debut playing the title track off of his most recent release Harlem River Blues. You can download the album on Amazon for $5 right now.

Update: Here's the video from the performance, featuring Jason Isbell on lead guitar.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Thrift Store Cowboys/Driftwood Singers - show preview, 1/7/11

As anyone who has seen this blog has no doubt heard me drag on about, the live music offerings in Midland/Odessa at times leave a bit to be desired, especially after one moves here after living within walking distance of multiple venues bringing in national touring acts. That said, we still get good shows here every so often.

Friday, January 7th, will feature a great lineup of local and national bands at the Pine Box in Midland, TX (510 S. Big Spring St., Midland, TX 79702). Normally a hardcore/metal venue, the Pine Box also occasionally brings in acts outside of those genres, with this show being a perfect example.

Headlining the show will be Los Angeles, CA, americana/folk touring act The Driftwood Singers. This band brings a sound from a different time, reminiscent of the type of band you might have expected to tour across West Texas during the Dust Bowl. I honestly can't find a ton of information about them, but they have gotten some attention from the well-regarded Captain's Dead blog. They also have a digital EP for sale on Bandcamp, where you can also stream most of their songs. As little rain as we've had, you could almost say they are coming back through during another dust bowl, with the primary difference being that in the first Dust Bowl people weren't still leaving their sprinklers on all night.

Second, a band that I talk about frequently, Lubbock based indie/roots band Thrift Store Cowboys will share the stage. TSC toured the country from September through November in 2010 in support of their amazing new record Light Fighter, so it's nice to be able to catch them back here in West Texas. The band hasn't played Midland/Odessa in some time, so hopefully a few folks still know who they are around here.

The line-up also features locals Jackson's Lost Cause and Asher Noel. I must admit I appreciate a show like this because I wasn't familiar with either of these artists, but am liking what I hear from them online so far. Who knew that Odessa had anything other than metal bands? I assumed it must, but I didn't really know where they were hiding out.

Jackson's Lost Cause brings a blues influenced rock to the lineup. Check out "If I Could Hide You In My Memories" on his Myspace.

Asher Noel is an act that one listens to and has an initial thought of "this guy lives in Odessa?" I mean this in a good way, because the songs are well written, but also somewhat off the beaten path with electronic sounds thrown into the mix. Definitely looking forward to hearing him perform live.

The show starts early, at 7:30 PM, so don't miss out by getting there late. Cover charge is $7, and the show is all ages. Spread the word - we need to support great local shows like this one!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

West Texas area music calendar - 1/1/11

As always, I'm glad to post updates/corrections/additional shows/details if you've got them.


1/7 - Thrift Store Cowboys, The Driftwood Singers, Jackson's Lost Cause, & Asher Noel - The Pine Box Midland
1/8 - Joe Nichols - Dos Amigos
1/15 - Wade Bowen - Dos Amigos
1/15 - Jody Nix - Stardust Club

Big Spring
1/8 - Jody Nix - The Stampede
1/29 - Jody Nix - The Stampede
2/26 - Jody Nix - The Stampede

Alpine/Marfa/Big Bend
1/14 - Del Castillo - Railroad Blues
1/20 - Ghost of the Saber Tooth Tiger, Laura Gibson, Trevor Reichman - Padre's
3/4 - Soul Track Mind - Railroad Blues
3/5 - Texas Independence Day Music Fest - Terlingua, featuring Butch Hancock (looking for more details on this)
6/2- Fest Out West - Lajitas, featuring Reckless Kelly, Cody Canada & the Departed, Butch Hancock, Hayes Carll, The Trishas, Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen, Micky & the Motorcars, & John Evans

1/8 - Granger Smith - Belle Opry House
1/15 - Bart Crow - Belle Opry House

1/15 - Del Castillo - Cactus Theater
1/15 - Josh Abbott w/ Brandon Rhyder - Wild West
1/19 - Reverend Horton Heat - Tequila Jungle
1/22 - Stoney Larue w/ Granger Smith - Wild West
1/22 - Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward - The Blue Light
1/29 - Reckless Kelly w/ Wade Bowen - Wild West
1/29 - The Flatlanders - Cactus Theater\

2/2 - Thrift Store Cowboys - The Blue Light
2/3 - Corb Lund - The Blue Light
2/5 - Rob Baird - The Blue Light
2/18 - Whiskey Folk Ramblers - Bash Riprocks
2/24 - George Ducas - Bash Riprocks

San Angelo
1/14 - Jody Nix - Stagecoach Saloon and Dancehall
1/26 - Roger Creager - Graham Central Station
1/28 - Dale Watson - Blaine's Pub
2/18 - Aaron Watson - Midnight Rodeo