Texas Regional Radio Music Awards

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The 8th Annual Texas Regional Radio Music Awards show was held in the Arlington Music Hall on March 2nd & 3rd. I had the privilege of attending on the 3rd with a Press Pass and two photographers in tow.

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“I never got in the music business to win awards,” said Male Vocalist of the Year nominee, Jamie Richards. “I just got in the music business to make music and if I win an award that’s extra. So that was it for me and I’m thrilled to be nominated.”

 

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Jan Sikes and Jamie Richards

 

I think what Jamie vocalized could be echoed by all of the nominees for these awards. Any artist who truly loves what they do shines in the crazy business of playing music.

Larry Joe Taylor produces the largest music festival in the State of Texas yearly in Stephenville. The Larry Joe Taylor (or LJT) Music Festival was up for an award as the best music festival.  I asked Larry Joe what the nomination meant to him.

He replied, “Well, this is our seventh or eighth nomination and we’ve won all of them. It’s always a pleasure to be nominated for something that we love so much and that we’ve worked so hard to create. We just hope everyone else loves the festival as much as we do. Win or lose, we still feel like we are the best festival around. This year will be our thirtieth year, so we must be doing something right.”

 

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Jan Sikes interviewing Larry Joe Taylor

 

I completely agree with Larry Joe!

And then, I had the chance to interview Sundance Head, winner of The Voice Season 6. I asked what this nomination meant to him.

 

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Jan Sikes interviewing Sundance Head

 

“Well, winning The Voice was awesome, but it’s more important to me, to be recognized by my peers back in my home state,” Sundance said. “I’ve worked really hard to gain respect in Texas radio and become part of the family. I had just really kind of got in there before The Voice. I still never had a number one on the charts until after The Voice, so I think that gave me a little boost. But, this nomination is very important to me. I love being from Texas. I respect all the musicians and artists on the radio and the way that they handle everything.”

What’s next for Sundance Head?

“We are getting ready to release our record to the nation. I just finished recording it in Nashville at Ocean Way with Buddy Cannon and Dean Dillon producing. Dean has some cuts on the record as well as Jamey Johnson, J.T. Harding, and Sean McAnally who just won songwriter of the year. This record is full of integrity and I’m hoping it will be one of the best country records to come out in the last twenty years,” Sundance explained.

When will the record be released?

“It will be landing at the end of March or first of April.”

So, we’ll have to keep an eye out for the new Sundance Head music!

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Sundance Head

All of the performers at the show did an amazing job, but the ones that blew me away were GRIT. That stands for Girls Raised in Texas. They sang acapella and the harmonies were nothing short of amazing.

Other performers of the night were Guthrie Kennard, Gus Samuelson, Sundance Head, Bradley Banning, and Jamie Richards.

 

And the winners are:

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It was a great night for me. I got to visit with lots of old friends.

 

A parting kiss.

 

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🙂 Guthrie Kennard

A HUGE Thank you to Robert Keith and Darleen McAdams for all the great photos!

 

 

Congratulations, Jamie Richards!!

Jamie Richards, one of the most consistent and best singer/songwriters in the business, celebrated another #! hit this past week!!!

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“When You Love Somebody” is not only a chart-topper, but a song with a beautiful message!

Lyrics: “When you love somebody,  when you know you’ve found the one. You can can’t remember life without her. You can imagine life alone. When you love somebody they have your heart and soul. And everyone will know when you love somebody…”

Give it a listen here and congratulate Jamie!! When You Love Somebody

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Texas Music Festivals

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Texas is a big state and the music festivals are just as big. I spent last weekend at the Outlaws and Legends music festival set on the Back Porch of Texas ranch just north of Abilene, Texas. I love this festival, which is in its 7th year of existence.

I work as a volunteer here and I work hard the entire weekend. Why? Because I love music and I love Texas music with a passion. The gate I am in charge of is the VIP and Artist gate. So, my smiling face is who greets the artists when they arrive.

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Here’s me and a very pregnant event coordinator greeting the great, Jamie Richards!

And then when the work is done, I get the best seat in the house to listen to the performers.

Jerrod Medulla always wears the ever classy pinstripe suite and his lead guitar player looks like a Wall Street business man.

And you are never too young to watch your daddy perform on stage. This is Jerrod’s wife and baby daughter.

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You never know what you’ll see at a music festival.  Yep, those are masks and Jamie Richards being the professional he is, kept on singing. The girl with the phone made me think maybe she was from the Woodstock era.

This little boy got up on stage with his pint-sized guitar and, of course, the artists loved it and signed his guitar for him.

Mike Tuck plays lead guitar for the legendary songwriter, Zane Williams.

People come from all over and much of the acreage is covered with campers from the most elaborate and fancy to a simple tent.

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And here is the man himself, Mr. Mark Powell, who owns the ranch and has built this event from the ground up.

A Drone flew over the festival site filming and there was a live video stream of each performance.

The last performer of the event was the awesome Lee Ann Womack and this was my view for her show.

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Here is a shot of the crowd on the last night. You can tell by the jackets that it had turned chilly.

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So, if you ever find yourself anywhere close to Abilene, Texas on the first weekend of April, mark your calendar to attend the best little festival in the Lone Star State, Outlaws and Legends! 

Just in case you wondered, here are the rules. 🙂 20170401_144936

Crackerjack lines!

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Everyone who knows me on any level knows how much I love music. But, even more than the melody, the WORDS draw me in. So, I thought it would be fun to list some of my favorite lines from songs that give me chills or make me turn up the radio.

There are hundreds of thousands of song lyrics and honestly to narrow it down to a few has to be from music I hear on the radio every day or music I’ve been introduced to through doing artist interviews recently. That being said, all of the lyric lines I’m listing are from current “today” artists (except for one obvious one) and most in the Texas Music Scene.

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Here we go in NO particular order.

“Took half the cops in Dallas County to put one coon-ass boy in jail…” Trudy by Charlie Daniels

“She only drinks Bloody Marys, Silver Bullet ain’t her style…” Wolfhowl by Jerrod Medulla

“I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when. I may not know where I’m going, but I SURE know where I’ve been…” Highway 87 by Hayes Carll

“I awoke in the early hours of morning, heard a song riding on the wind, felt the chill of a cold day dawning, saw the world coming to an end…” Early Hours of Mourning by Rick Sikes

“Shooting stars and whiskey bottles lay scattered across the yard and I’da stayed back home in Houston if I’d known it’d be this hard…”  Wish I hadn’t Stayed So Long by Hayes Carll

“So this is life, when you get lost in a fairy tale, when you dream big and you love well, you barely get by…” So This Is Life by Courtney Patton  **This song gets to me in a big way!** YouTube 

“Strap in those kids, give ’em a little bit of Vodka in a Cherry Coke, we’re going to Oklahoma…” Choctaw Bingo by Ray Wylie Hubbard 🙂

“Nobody cares about truth anymore. Ain’t that what songs are for…” Bad Liver and a Broken Heart by Hayes Carll

“”It’s not what you know, it’s who you know and I’ve done put my trust in two. I’ve got Sam Colt and Jesus. I’ve got nothing to fear…” Sam Colt and Jesus by Robby White

“If you want to know about limits, talk to a man of the law. If you want to know about salvation, talk to a man of the cloth. But, if you want to know about sorrow that runs deeper than time my friend, just sit right down beside him, you’ll be talking to the right man…”  Man In The Neon Moon by Jamie Richards **In addidition to the lyrics the chord progression and haunting melody grabs me**

“Walking through the front door, lonely silhouettes on old bar stools…” Man In The Neon Moon by Jamie Richards

“But beware the mouth of the dragon and the lungs of coal he keeps…” The Mountain by Shane Smith and the Saints. **This is another one that gives me chills. The harmonies are SO tight!

“Ain’t got no meat in my Frigidaire, my children’s feet they all need shoes to wear, Laid off my job I walk the streets all day, looking for work so I can make my way…” It’s Hard on a Good Man by Gus Samuelson

Truly, I could go ON and ON, but I will stop here. Hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into song lyrics that move me personally!

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie Richards – Latest and Greatest

One of my favorite things in life is listening to music. I also love writing CD reviews for new releases that tug at my heart strings.

Jamie Richards‘ newest CD release, Latest and Greatest, does just that!

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I first met Jamie Richards several years ago at a Texas music festival. The thing that impressed me about him then and now is his truth. If you listen to the lyrics to his songs, you’ll understand what I mean by that statement. Below is my review of Latest and Greatest.

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Jamie Richards stands a head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to true traditional country music. He walks his talk, and that is reflected perfectly with the release of his sixth album, Latest and Greatest.

Some of the songs on this album have been previously recorded and are fan favorites. But, five new releases are destined to keep Jamie Richards spinning on the radio. “Second Hand Smoke,” co-written with Mark Powell, was released as a single in September and debuted on radio in the top 100 at #60. It has now climbed to #8 on the Texas Regional Radio Chart. 

The words from Jamie’s song, “Real,” could be a biography from the man himself. “I live it/I breathe it/Like raising hell/ I like drinking/Like fishing/Living on a country road/Don’t believe what politicians say/Don’t think lyin’ is okay/That’s just how I feel/I like real.”

“When You Love Somebody” expresses the joy and hope life can bring when you love and are loved in return.

The message in “Sayin’ Goodbye” brought a lump to my throat. How many times have we lost someone in life and covered up the hurt and pain by staying so busy we never took the time to say goodbye?

“I’m not Drinkin’” is irony at its best. “No, I’m not drinkin’/I’m just thirsty…”

The other songs on the album have become classics for Jamie Richards.

“Last Call,” co-written with Wayd Battle, is a poignant look at a timeless lost love. Jamie puts his signature style on “Any Way You Want Me To,” co-written with Walt Wilkins.

You can hear “Never Gonna Hear it From Me,” “Whiskey Night,” and “Drive,” at most of Jamie’s live shows. The descriptive lyrics along with Jamie’s smooth voice bring the songs to life.

“She’s as Cold as the Beer She’s Drinkin’” is a ballad to the woman who has frozen her heart never to let anyone in.

“I’ll Have Another” is a shining example of Jamie’s songwriting ability and may just be the most well-written song in Texas country music today. It is nothing short of poetic genius and Jamie gives credit for the song idea to Shannon Carpenter.  “Easier by Now” speaks of lost love and Jamie ends this album with a bonus version of “Real” featuring Justin Frazell.

If you love REAL country music, this album needs to be on your playlist and under your Christmas tree!

I invite you to visit Jamie’s Website

Go to CDBaby and preview some of these songs.

Check his tour dates and catch a live show. I promise you won’t be disappointed!!