JAN’S TOP 10 Texas Music Picks 2016

 

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Over the past year, writing for a Texas Music Magazine I’ve had the honor of interviewing many Texas artists. As a result, I got to discover great new music first-hand.

So, I’m starting a new tradition this year by listing my TOP TEN picks of new Texas Music releases for 2016. This is based solely on my personal tastes and opinions. I do hope you’ll take time to listen to the song clips and decide for yourself!

#1.  Lovers and Leavers – Hayes Carll       hayes_carll_cover

Everyone who knows me also knows I am a huge Hayes Carll Fan. But, with this new album, “Lovers and Leavers” Hayes takes his songwriting to a whole new level. Perhaps that’s what being in love does for you. Check it out here.

#2.  Latest and Greatest – Jamie Richards   latestgreatestdigitalsmall

Jamie Richards is the most solid country music artist in the business. Even though he lives in Oklahoma, his heart resides in Texas as does his music. On this album, you’ll find some of Jamie’s standards, but five new songs showcase the reason Jamie has earned the title of Master Wordsmith of Red Dirt Music. Judge for yourself.

#3.   I’m Not The Devil – Cody Jinks                     i_mnotthedevil_044cac49-b9bc-4045-acc1-0370e9138074_large

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Cody Jinks twice and each time, I fall a little more in love with the great human being he is as well as his music. On “I Ain’t The Devil,” you’ll find a mixture of what defines Cody – family, friends, God, music. Check it out

#4.   Ain’t Who I Was – Bonnie Bishop             bb-aint_who_i_was

I first got acquainted with Bonnie Bishop through a mutual friend around ten years ago. She is not only beautiful, but has a voice that cuts through. This new album shows her more soulful bluesy side. It’s her best yet and you can preview the album here

#5    Sam Colt and Jesus – Robby White            sam_colt

This album really got my attention. It is a TRUE concept album in that each song leads directly into the next, weaving a complete story. Robby kept the music simple and for a reason – he wanted the lyrics to be heard. It embodies everything that is Texas! Preview

#6     Sinner Man  –  Gus Samuelson               sinner-man-bottomland

I’ve always been a fan of Gus Samuelson’s music. However, the new Sinner Man CD holds a few surprises. Big Gus is a restlessly creative soul and brings his views and philosophy of life into his music. I love all of the tracks on this CD but if I had to choose one favorite today, it would be “In My Soul.” Here’s the link to preview.

#7     Polyester  –  John Evans                             polyester

Texas roots rocker, John Evans, released a comeback CD, the first in six years. It has been said about John’s music style that if Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Elvis Costello were to have a love child, John Evans just might be it. After listening to Polyster, I would say more like a combination of 50s rocker, Eddie Cochran and Jimi Hendrix. Here’s where you can listen

#8     Walkabout – Dolly Shine                              Walkabout

I received this CD to review and I have to tell you I was blown away! Every member of Dolly Shine contributes to the writing of their songs and are extremely talented players as well as writers. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite as I loved them all but I think “Rattlesnake” would take the favorite spot today. See what you think!

#9     Coming to a Honky Tonk Near You – Kevin Fowler   kf

Kevin Fowler has made quite a name for himself on the Texas Music scene over the years, but this new CD took him in a different direction. In an interview, Kevin told me that he was no longer chasing national radio airplay and simply recording songs that moved him in some way. There are lots of collaborations on this album and hands-down, my favorite song is “Texas Forever.” Listen here

#10    Love to Live by – Cooder Graw                     cg

Last but certainly not least on my list is a new EP from the rocking Texas band, Cooder Graw. With only six tracks, this new release packs a powerful punch. I love them all, but the title track, “Love to Live By” moved me and especially the video produced by Rock Williams. Listen to the CD here. Take a look at the Video here.

2016 was a great year for Texas Music. There were many other releases I loved, but I had to narrow it down to ten so picked from my heart.

Hope your favorite artist made my Top Ten!

 

 

 

 

 

 

True Fan! Dolly Shine

Anyone who reads my blog knows how much music is a huge part of my life. And if you don’t know, you will soon figure it out. Music is more than a Universal language to me. It represents family – a music family that I have come to love, admire and respect.

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Writing for Buddy Magazine, the original Texas music magazine, I have the opportunity to discover new artists, their music, and what makes them tick.

I love doing the CD reviews as much as I love doing book reviews for books I read and enjoy, because I get to tell potential listeners/readers my thoughts.

That being said, I was asked to review a new CD by the Texas-based group, Dolly Shine.

Wow!! That word isn’t strong enough, but it’s all I’ve got.

Walkabout

 

If the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Ray Wylie Hubbard had a love child, it would be called Dolly Shine!

High energy, raw, brilliantly delivered lyrics and musical arrangement is what you will find on Dolly Shine’s new Indie CD, Walkabout. From the first song, “Blackbird” to the last, “Old Flame,” I enjoyed this musical journey.

What a talented group of young men who all contribute to the writing and playing of their music, telling of self-discovery, heartbreak and hard truths. Wes Hall, plays the fiddle with intensity and precision. Zack McGinn is lead vocalist and writer of a large percentage of their songs. Ben Hussey plays bass and is also writer and co-writer on two songs. Jerrod Flusche (also a writer) and Josh Serrato take credit for the outstanding electric guitar work and Johnny Goodson keeps the back beat going on the drums.

I couldn’t help but hear a touch of Ray Wiley Hubbard’s rockin’ style on “Blackbird.” “Come Out Swingin’” is a song most anyone can relate to; when the old girlfriend shows up at a club and she still has a death grip on your heart. “Closing Time” delivers engaging lyrics, “I love you woman but I hate you/I can’t live with your new way of life.” “Rattlesnake” is making a splash on the music charts and with good reason. It is a toe-tapper with haunting lyrics; “Train whistle blowing, can’t you hear that lonesome sound?” Ben Hussey is co-writer on “Twist the Knife,” a lament to breaking up. Hussey’s “Anywhere Close to Fine” is a delivery of hard truth to a country rocking beat. Jerrod Flusche wrote “Snakeskin Boots” and I have to admit the lyrics and song delivery gave me goosebumps. Isaac Hoskins wrote “Hitchhikin” and holds true to its title. Randy Radicke joins Zack on an evocative “Old Flame.”

These talented writers and musicians obviously contribute equally to Dolly Shine. I give this album a big 5 Star review!!

For more on this talented group, visit: Website