The Latest Shows We've Recorded

Friday, August 31, 2007

Onion Creek Crawdaddies...See For Yourself

Playing at a benefit....doing "Far Side Of Nowhere"

St. Patty's Day at the Gingerman doing "Wagon Wheel"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

For Your Consideration....The Onion Creek Crawdaddies (Or How I Became A Fan)

A couple of months ago my wife sampled some of the tracks from the Onion Creek Crawdaddies newest record, Irons In The Fire, at Waterloo Records. She was sufficiently impressed to buy the record. I listened to it a few times and could have taken it or left it. It didn't grab me.

Fast forward two months to July when we caught the Crawdaddies at the Dive on 5th (near Whole Foods). Again, I wasn't really blown away but the show was entertaining, the beer was cold and the weather hotter than hell. Their instrumentation & arrangements were really fantastic as were their vocals but overall the show didn't grab me at the time.

Fast forward a few weeks when I got around to listening to the recording of that show from the Dive. I must've been watching a different show because the show I heard on the recording really blew me away. I mean really. Could this have been the same show my wife and I stood there and listened to? Possibly, especially given the proclivity of d-bags who were all around us chatting in a manner that more resembled yelling over the band.

We went to see the Crawdaddies again in August at the Mean Eyed Cat. I was able to pay a lot more attention to the show this time around and really enjoyed myself again. After the show, I bought their first record, Barn Burners & Bathtub Bourbon. This cd hasn't strayed from my truck's cd player yet. I love it. There's not a weak spot on the whole record.

I am awful at band comparisons mostly because I think that there's always some huge gap and something missing from said comparison. However, I'll give it a shot here but only as long as you understand that these guys are unique unto themselves and deserve a listen. If you like the instrumentation and musicianship of the Gourds absent Jimmy Smith's and Kev Russell's straight-outta-left-field lyrics and you like the harmonies of the South Austin Jug Band with a touch of Splitlip Rayfield, these guys are for you.

The moral to this story is that sometimes liking a band isn't immediate even if it should be. Sometimes it takes going to multiple shows, buying multiple records and listening to the shows again. It's what I do.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the guys in the band. Very friendly lot...

Ryan Hunter Banjo, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Brian Reed Harmonica, Drums, Vocals
Brink Melton Bass, Vocals

Jay Harward Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals

Trent Shepherd Mandolin, Fiddle, Vocals

Get out there and support these guys. Buy a record. Go to a show.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Real First Post....Danny Schmidt

(for fans on Dylan & Townes Van Zandt)

Chances are you have never heard of Danny Schmidt. Danny is an Austin-based singer songwriter. Singer/songwriter doesn't begin to describe Danny's immense talent as a songwriter. "Poet" is a much better description of what Danny does. I am convinced that had music not called him, poetry in its purest form would have and he could almost certainly make a living at it.

Danny's songs aren't simple. And they aren't obvious. You might have to dust off your musical-interpretation/appreciation hat to fully realize Danny's talent. I realize comparing anyone's songwriting to Bob Dylan's is musical sacrilege, but I think here it's fair. There's a lot of gravity to Danny's writing that manifests itself in songs that reflect human emotions and the human conditions without in any way being preachy.

"Stained Glass" is a song that people love to deconstruct and I am no exception. Here's the climax to the song where the omniscient narrator runs through a glut of situations that everyone comes across on a regular basis....

There was every fearful smile, there was every joyful tear
There was each and every choice that leads from every there to here
There was every cosy stranger and every awkward friend
And there was every perfect night that’s left initials in the sand
There was every day that filled so full the weeks would float away
And there was all those days spent wondering what to do with all those days
There was every lie that ever saved the truth from being shamed
And every secret you could ever trust a friend to hide away
There was the fortune of discovering a new face you might adore
And the thrill of coming home to find her clothes upon the floor
And the prideful immortality of children in the home
That the storm can’t grind the mountain down, it can only shift the stones
And there was everything your mouth says that your lips don’t understand
And every shape inside your head you can’t carve with your hands
And every slice of glass revealed another slice of life
Emblazened imperfections in a perfect stream of light
It all flooded through the window like rapids made of fire
And then God rode through on sunshine and sat down cause he was tired
He was tired.

Easily, one of my favorite songs. Outside of Dylan and TVZ, easily one of the deepest, most profound works in any writer's cannon. Have a listen here.

"Stained Glass" is not alone in Danny's catalog. Many others like "Esmee by The River", "Cleopatra", "Serpentine Cycle Of Money", "Make Right The Time" and "Two Guitars On The Sofa" are there to keep "Stained Glass" company.

On top of his tremendous musical acumen, Danny is one helluva guy. But, you can find out for yourself when you go out to see him somewhere, sometime soon.

Danny's Schedule:

Cactus Cafe show from June 2007:
A House Concert from 2007:
Another House Concert from 2006:

The First Post...Why We're Here

A lot of music goes unnoticed. Well, I guess it's more apt to say that MOST music goes unnoticed. Lack of press coverage, lack of radio play, lack of good terrestrial radio stations and a seeming lack of commercial viability all contribute to this situation. These are especially true of the genres of non-commercial country, folk, alt-country, americana, alt-rock and texas-music.

There are other sites, blogs and columns out there where people are covering the Texas music scene or the Austin music scene in general but these only begin to scratch the surface of what's out there. We want to throw back the storm-cellar door and wade through all the music that's waiting in the basement to be heard by you.

We're here to talk about those guys and gals who aren't being featured on galleywinter or lonestarmusic, who aren't getting the shows at Kerrville or Old Settlers and who aren't getting the big shows opening for the Old 97s or the Gourds.

We're also here to talk about live recordings. We record shows quite a bit..ranging from artists without record deals (and without actual records), playing for free in the dives of the Hill Country, all the way up to the likes of Robert Earl Keen, Todd Snider and Scott Miller. There's no dearth of live recordings out there available free and clear for everyone to listen to and download. No userid, no password and no decoder ring required. We'll talk about those recordings.

We're still working out how this will work or how often but we'll try to bang something out on a pretty regular basis.

And with that said...onto the first post....