Jimmie Dale Gilmore Is An Alt Country Legend

Alt Country Legend Jimmie Dale Gilmore

One of the most talented and well-known Alt Country musical artists to emerge from the Austin, Texas music scene is Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Born in 1945, this Texas native has come to exemplify the good-time musical hybrid of country, rock, folk and blues that fairly defines the “Austin sound”.

Always working with top-rate musicians, Jimmie Dale Gilmore consistently presents a wide range of clean and polished songs that delve into an array of styles. His first solo album, “Fair and Square” was released in 1988.

Jimmie Dale has also been a member of the Flatlanders musical group along with Joe Ely and Butch Hancock since the 1970s. Their “More A Legend Than A Band” album, which was recorded in 1972, is widely considered a classic forerunner of the progressive country sound popularized in Austin.

It’s hard to keep your feet from tapping when you hear the upbeat rythym, rolling guitar work and excellent fiddling in “Mobile Line” from the 1993 album “Spinning Around The Sun”.

On “Black Snake Moan” and “Headed For a Fall” from 1996′s “Braver New World” CD the Jimmie Dale Gilmore lyrics, musicianship and vocals are representative of the fun karma that is associated with this artist’s music and live performances.

The release of the “Heirloom Music” CD in 2011 marked Mr Gilmore’s ninth album. Although he is known for his great songwriting skills, on “Heirloom Music”, as well as 2005′s “Come On Back” CD this Austin legend offers his own versions of classic country songs.

Fans of this artist everywhere eagerly await news of Jimmie Dale Gilmore tour dates because his shows are always very entertaining. Mr. Gilmore’s son Colin Gilmore is also a singer/songwriter who occasionally performs with his father.

The Scabs and Bob Schneider

All About The Scabs

The Scabs, or just “Scabs,” as they are known by their die-hard fan base, are an Austin based funk band headed by lead singer, Bob Schneider. The Scabs’ Austin home is at Antone’s, where they still play fairly regularly, despite not having released a new album since 2000. Past albums include Freebird, released in 1998; More Than a Feeling from 1999; and the latest album, Destroyer.

Though the band’s appearances have increased dramatically in recent years, The Scabs’ Bob Schneider still has a thriving solo career in the Austin area and beyond. While The Scabs’ keyboard player Adam Temple, guitarist Charles Rieser, saxophonist Fernie Castillo, and trombonist Rolo have all appeared infrequently with Schneider during his performances, the band’s drummer, David Robinson, and bassist, Bruce Hughes can almost always be found playing alongside him.

The next appearance that the entire band has scheduled together, though, is on January 13, 2012, which will mark its first show of the new year. The show will, of course, be at Antone’s, located on 5th street in the heart of downtown Austin. Those who are seeing a Scab’s show for the first time should be prepared for the band’s typically x-rated lyrics, making this show definitely not one for the entire family. Their act will be followed by DaHeBeGeBeeS, another local band making its start in the area.

The Scabs are known for taking requests during their shows and being more than happy to meet and greet with fans after the show and between sets. Whether you’re a long time fan or a curious newbie, you’ll definitely want to make it out to Antone’s to experience the crazy blend of funk and horns that creates the unique auditory experience that defines The Scabs.

Lou Ann Barton: Steve Vaughan’s Muse

Lou Ann Barton: Steve Vaughan’s Muse Continues To Perform

Lou Ann Barton is a legend on the local Austin scene and in Texas generally. Although she has never achieved mainstream success in the broader entertainment world, Lou Ann Barton is renowned among Texas roots music fans for her soulful vocals and powerful stage presence. Details about Barton’s life are rare, as evidenced by the paltry Lou Ann Barton Wiki page. Although blessed with a powerful voice, Barton is known for showing restraint and good taste, using her vocals to support rather than dominate any given song. Free music photos from the 1970s partly show her legendary stage presence, which was informed by her refined appearance and powerful vocals. Barton is perhaps known best for playing with Stevie Ray Vaughan in the Triple Threat Revue.

This band formed in 1976 and was quite a live favorite. Unfortunately, two strong personalities can rarely last long together in a band. Barton departed the group in 1979, whereupon the it transformed into the famous Double Trouble band. In 2001, Barton appeared on Austin City Limits as a guest of Double Trouble, producing more outstanding performance for free music video watchers. As one of the Stevie Vaughan’s few living former band members, Barton is part of a select group of blues legends. Fans of blues should seek out free music videos that feature this soulful Texas musician.

Over the years, Barton has also worked with Glenn Frey and Jimmy Vaughan. These collaborations have produced excellent clips for free music video watchers. Sadly, Lou Ann Barton has not released many albums over the years. This has inspired many of her fans to collect rare tracks into free music albums that are available online. Although national Lou Ann Barton music tour dates are far and few between, she regularly performs in Texas to rapturous crowds.

Slaid Cleaves Review of Songs and Albums

Slaid Cleaves – Best Song of the Year

Growing up in Maine, Slaid Cleaves moved back to Texas where he writes songs, creates albums, and travels around. Living near the Horseshoe Lounge, he was missing the courage to walk into the legendary saloon.

Stories about the lounge and curiosity finally got the better of him. He wrote an ode to the beer joint and he released it on his CD entitled, “Break Out”. With the introduction of this album, Slaid went from an Austin singer and songwriter, hoping to get another gig at the local bar joint, playing open mics and playing a sound man at the Cactus Café to Americana chart-busting national touring performer. In 2001, Austin named Cleaves’ title track the Best Song of the Year.

Cleaves and childhood buddy Rod Picott wrote the title track which landed them the award. A true country man, the acoustic guitar performed ballads makes any heart soar and the upbeat traction of his other tracks makes you wonder why he hadn’t become a superstar years before.

New York Times dubbed Cleaves “One of the finest songwriters from Texas”, which sums it all up for his fans.

Sorrow & Smoke is a dream come true for the artist. It reinvents the sultry, sexy, acoustic guitar sounds of country-folk. Michael O’Connor, lead guitarist of legendary proportions sends the track of “the Shoe” into orbit and down again with a soft landing with Cleaves beautiful soft voice.

True to country form, the yodeling talents of Cleaves are heard in the Don Wasler tribute on the album. “Rolling Stone From Texas” and “Texas Top Hand” both lend hand in the creation of true respect of his mentor and hero, Wasler. A worthy wordsmith, Cleaves gives all he has in terms of emotion and delivery in his Sorrow & Smoke appropriately titled album. Cleaves falls into the category of poet and you can hear it come through with the words he weaves throughout each hit. He’s a worthy opponent to greats such as Willie Nelson, John Denver, with a touch of Kenney Chesney thrown in. His sounds, lyrics and voice should land him in a good position in the country music charts and on stage with the greats, as he collects another award in the Austin Music Award ceremonies or the Country Music Awards as well.

The experience one receives while listening to the captivating songs of Cleaves is one that intrigues the mind, soothes the soul, and is reminiscent of personal experiences. Travel down the pathway of memories with Slaid Cleaves – either with the acoustical guitar notes or the band back up rhythm that smoothes and rounds the perfect evening.

Slaid Cleaves creates an addiction with the only fix another album.

Bad Livers Do it Their Way in Austin Texas

The Bad Livers remain a legend

For the Bad Livers, the clubs in the Austin TX music scene in the 1990s proved to be very fertile ground. Bands with eclectic music styles like Bad Livers tended to do well and Bad Livers did an amazing job capitalizing on this.

Bad Livers originally began in 1990 as a trio. Their fan base enjoy their mongrelized music selection and were delighted that selections from Iggy Pop, Mississippi John Hurt, and the Carter Family could be heard all in once session of live music in Austin.

The Bad Livers use of instrumentation was an exception to the norm within the pop and rock realm. Austin TX live music would never be the same once lead singer Danny Barnes picked up his banjo in unison with Mark Rubin, a master bass and tuba player, and Bobby Grant who reigned on the guitar, mandolin as well as the tenor banjo. The band picked up Grant to replace Ralph White, an avid fiddle player who dabbled with the Mexican accordion.

1991 was a great year for the Bad Livers. In addition to enjoying a huge measure of success at the SXSW music conference, they were in huge demand by Austin clubbers who flocked like lemmings to hear them. All the ruckus eventually led to them getting signed by a couple of labels and producing six albums.

Although Bad Livers has never officially dissolved band members independent projects have taken precedence. Barnes continued to release several albums with a similar sound to what Bad Livers used to produce while Rubin continued to remain a fixture in the Austin TX live music scene.

It’s certain that Bad Livers had a profound effect on live music in Austin. The Bad Livers remain a legend in Austin TX music today.

Connie Kirk’s Story: Austin Jazz

Connie Kirk

Connie Kirk is not your typical musician. Kirk was born and raised in Austin, TX. Her music career started very early, in the second grade to be exact. From then until college, Kirk won numerous musical competitions.

Kirk attended college at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, where she obtained a BS degree in Education and a minor in arts. Even in school, Kirk was an active part of musical events, including halftime events during football games. Kirk graduated in 1972 and pursued a serious career in music. Little did she know, she would have an amazing life as a musician.

Connie Kirk performed with many great jazz musicians, including Jimmy Martin, who used to play for the late Sammie Davis Jr.

After an amazing few years in the Houston music scene, Kirk returned to her hometown in Austin in 1975. Her intentions were to study the local music scene in the place where she grew up. Kirk knew she wanted to be the hometown hero. However, she was sidetracked by another passion of hers. Kirk joined the Peace Corp and went to serve as a volunteer teacher in Swaziland, Southeast Africa.

Due to the growing war in Africa, Kirk evacuated home to Austin and joined her first band, Taxi. Though that band eventually broke up, Kirk and Richie, the band’s front man and pianist, joined together to form a duet.

Connie Kirk went on to produce and release her first CD, “Never Met Nobody.” She wrote and composed eight out of the 10 songs on the CD.

Kirk believes that it is never too late to fulfill your dream, which is why she is still going strong in the Austin jazz scene. Look out for Connie Kirk.

DesChamps “Champ” Hood

DesChamps “Champ” Hood

Champ Hood gives the gift of life in his music, unfortunately, he lost his on November 3, 2001, at dawn. His debut solo album was released on January 20, 2002, entitled “Bon Haven”.

DesChamps “Champ” Hood was unique in the way he lived and the way he created music. It was always all about the music, in each lyric he wrote and in each note he played, whether on electric guitar, electric slide, national and acoustic guitars he carried and through his vocals. He impacted the music world, playing in Uncle Walt’s Band along with co-members Walter Hyatt, David Ball and himself. In the late seventies and early eighties, Champ Hood obtained a gig at the legendary “EmmaJoes” with Butch Hancock, David Rodriguez, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Ray Wylie Hubbard.

Hood also appeared on several albums. He worked around Austin when he wasn’t working in Austin, as a musician in Blaze Foleys’ band, Mandy Merciers’ band, Sarah Elizabeth Campbells’ band and performed a duo with David Halley. Periodically, he would tour with Lyle Lovett during the eighties and nineties.

The Texas Music Hall of Fame inducted Champ and he also brought new life back into Threadgill’s Restaurant’s ‘Singing and Supper’ entertainment. He was backed by the talents of the Threadgill Troubadours that consisted of Marvin Dykhuis, David Heath and Ron Erwin.

In the nineties, Champ became partners with Toni Price, who played with Casper Rawls, John “Mambo” Traenor, Papa Mali Rich Brotherton, Matt Giles and Scrappy Newcomb. He is missed by family members, band members and those who love the performers who want great music. Even though he has passed, his vibrant voice flows softly in his albums he has left for those who love his country ballads.

The album, “Bon Haven” is available for a collectible sound recording you won’t want to stop listening to. The soothing Champ voice and beautiful accompaniment of the band leaves the soul alive and full of life.

Tommy Hancock: Godfather of West Texas music

Godfather of West Texas Music Tommy Hancock

With the stream of talent that continues to call Texas home, the artist lineup hosts names such as Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, Roy Orbison, Bob Willis, Mac Davis, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock as just the beginning of the magnitude of legends. Giving Austin a start, however, are the musical geniuses of time past, such as Tommy X Hancock, who is known as the Godfather of West Texas music.

Tommy Hancock was raised in Lubbock. His grandmother repeatedly asked him to take up the violin, which he eventually did. Trained classically, he had no interest in music. When Hancock was sixteen years old, he joined the armed services which involved going overseas to lend a hand as a paratrooper and extend his abilities further as a member of the military police. After his service to Uncle Sam was up, he went back to Lubbock where he resolved to create a swing band.

The Roadside Playboys allowed him to scratch together a living in honky tonks around Texas. He soon became an idol in the region. During these times, he met up with a woman named Charlene, who would become his wife.

Hancock and Charlene formed a musical family, traveling around on an old school bus. They settled down after ten years on the road, making Austin their home. Known as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’, Austin was the perfect setting for the family. Charlene and Tommy Hancock were inducted into the hall of fame in 2000. Even though he is a retired musician now, Tommy enjoys dancing. Performing with two of his eight children, Conni and Traci, they created a popular dance band known as the Texana Dames. They perform regularly in Austin and across the state of Texas.

Guy Clark: Prolific Austin Singer

Guy Clark: Prolific Austin Singer and Songwriter

Widely considered one of the most talented and prolific singer/songwriters associated with the Austin, Texas music scene, Guy Clark has been producing his own brand of folk/country music since the 1960s.

Even if you’re not familiar with his name, chances are you’ve heard some of the classic songs that have been written by this talented artist.

The Guy Clark discography includes at least 18 albums, with one live album recorded in Austin, Texas. A strong network of fans worldwide regularly look forward to word of a new Guy Clark CD or Guy Clark tour dates.

On all of the Guy Clark albums a well balanced mix of songs are presented. Whether it’s a gentle ballad or a rousing up-tempo number, the capable Mr Clark and his various bandmates always sound great together. The musicians who perform and record with this artist are consistently top-notch and Mr Clark’s music is popular with fans of many genres.

Some of the most popular Guy Clark songs that have been recorded by other artists are “Oklahoma Borderline”, “The Carpenter”, “Funny Bone”, “Let Him Roll”, “She’s Crazy for Leavin’”, “Heartbroke” and “Baby I’m Yours”.

Among the artists who have recorded songs written by Guy Clark are Ricky Skaggs, Asleep at the Wheel, the Highwaymen, Jimmy Buffet and Johnny Cash.

Through the years, Mr Clark has collaborated on recordings with Vince Gill, Nanci Griffith, Emmylou Harris, Kate Campbell, Lee Roy Parnell, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell and Ramblin Jack Elliot among others.

If you’re interested in well written, melodic and accessible music that crosses the frontiers of folk and country, with just a touch of pop sensibilty thrown in sometimes, Guy Clark is definitely worth listening to.

Toni Price: Austin’s blues rock goddess

Toni Price is Austin’s blues rock goddess

There aren’t many singers who have been compared to both Patsy Cline and Bonnie Raitt. But Austin-based singer Toni Price hears that comparison nearly every time she sings. From her first album release in 1999, Price has embraced a compelling mix of influences from rock and blues to country and even old-school jazz. You won’t find many Toni Price videos and her albums sales have been modest at best. Combined with her reluctance to leave the Austin, Texas area, most people probably haven’t heard her music.

Which is a shame, since her regular Tuesday night performances at Austin’s Continental Club are legendary musical events. For more than a decade, Price has taken the stage every week to standing room only crowds. She seldom stands on stage, opting to sit perched on a stool while she belts out a mix of tunes that range from Dr. John to Billie Holiday.

Price’s longtime band suffered a huge loss when legendary Austin guitarist and fiddler Champ Hood passed away in 2010. But the singer seems to have channeled the grief from his death into an even more compelling stage performance.

At a time when most musicians want to be household names, the 41-year-old Price has an attitude about success which is retro as her sound. She concentrates on the music and on her daughter and trusts everything else will work out the way it should in the long run.

Her newest release is entitled “Cherry Sunday Orchestra,” and despite the critical raves it’s essentially only available on her web site or in a few locations in Austin. Which is the musical equivalent of discovering Picasso’s works are only available by traveling to his hometown.