No Need to be ‘Insecure’! Shane’s Video Reaches a Million Views

I’m a keen believer that an artist forgoing their surname has a direct correlation to their talent (take Usher, for example, nobody questions him) and Shane is no exception. The 24-year old recently released a video for ‘Insecure’, one of the six songs on his EP – Sad, which, using my aforementioned logic, can only be described as the justification of his lack of a surname.

Maybe I’m not telling you anything new, especially if you were one of the two million lucky people who’ve already seen this video, posted to his Facebook. But, whether you believe me or not, this triple threat – I mean, have you seen his dancing? – is unsigned (for now), and working in California to kill the time between wooing girls in churches.

The dancing, obviously, is a key part of the music video. But would you believe, Shane didn’t just follow directions, oh no. He choreographed it. That Magic Mike-esque dance sequence? All him! Incredible. There really is something for everybody in this video; a pretty girl, a pretty boy, a rebellion against conformity, a few jazzy dance moves, and even a church. What more do you want?

Now, I know, you’re thinking “triple threat? Singing, dancing, what’s his third talent?” Well, he only went and edited the video, didn’t he? The boy doesn’t need a surname with skills like that.
While the audio is his heart-wrenching love ballad, with a relatable hook, the video introduces the notion of the song being a duet. It features Shane’s female co-star professing her insecurities (I see what you did there, Shane) through lip-syncing to his voice, grinning the way I’m sure Sandy did when Danny Zuko danced for her. It perfectly captures that fear of falling for somebody, while the electrifying dancing simultaneously acts as a visual synonym for the excitement that accompanies it.

As fun to watch as the video is (believe me, I watched it more than once), definitely check out the rest of the EP, produced by Craig Williams and completely written by Shane, on Spotify or iTunes.

 

http://www.iamnotshane.com/

https://www.facebook.com/shaneniemi/

 

Written by: Megan Matthews

Original article dated June 16, 2016

Flyjack and the Underground Funk of New Day

Austin’s groovalicious, 7-piece soul ensemble Flyjack hits the motherlode with their latest album, New Day. This love letter to late 60’s and early 70’s rare groove soul and deep funk was painstakingly crafted over a 17 month span and features seven carefully curated underground classics and five Flyjack originals. If nostalgic, funky soul of ‘The Feel Good Decade’ is what you crave, Flyjack’s got you covered. Utilizing an assortment of vintage microphones, preamps, Moog synths, Wurlitzer electric pianos and other 70’s gear combined with modern recording techniques and sonics, Flyjack pays homage to underground funk while embracing new possibilities for the genre.

New Day kicks in with the jazzy title track…a racial protest cover originally recorded and released in 1973 by the Skull Snaps that fits firmly within the tension of America’s current political environment. ‘Motherlode’ is a psychedelic freak show with snarling vocals and boisterous brass from Hellfire Horns. The track also features Grupo Fantasma alum Rudy Canales on congas and a wicked solo from Golden Dawn Arkestra’s sax-a-ma-phone magician, Topaz McGarrigle. Lead singer, Buck McKinney gets superbad with ‘Soulful Proclamation’ and spreads the gospel with ‘Gossip’. ‘The Jungle’ is an infectious bluesy track guaranteed to get you swaying all the way through ‘Funky Fast Bump’. Flyjack disperses a variety of instrumentals throughout New Day and vocals take a back seat to the vibrant keys, burly harmonics and swift electronic slides of ‘Flame Thrower’ and the interstellar synths of ‘The Worm’. Flyjack keeps the party vibes rollin’ throughout the entirety of New Day and shuts it down with the celebratory instrumental ‘The Master’.

As ‘Austin’s premier purveyors of righteous rhythms,’ Flyjack adds new-age flash to the underground funk and psychedelic soul of the 70’s. New Day should appeal to fans of James Brown, King Curtis and Stevie (both Wonder and Ray Vaughan) as well as just about anyone with a little groove in their blood. New Day is one bad mutha-.

 

Catch Flyjack at The New Day Release Party on March 31 at The Blackheart located at 86 Rainey St., Austin, TX 78701 at 9:00PM.

For more info please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1789890174671859/

https://www.facebook.com/flyjackmusicATX/

Shane Henry Searches for Salvation with ‘Save Me’

LA-based Blues rocker Shane Henry searches for salvation with his blazing new track, ‘Save Me’, off his latest album, Light in the Dark. The quick, blistering track features rapid blues chords and howling vocals that soar from a deep delta boogey to West Coast pop at the chorus.“‘Save Me’ is a song of a spiritual battle about being on the run from the devil. The song certainly gives a nod to the story and music of Robert Johnson” claims Henry.

Over the course of Henry’s fifteen year career he has played alongside legends such as B.B. King, SRV’s Double Trouble, Etta James, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang and George Thorogood and the Destroyers to name just a few. In addition, many of his songs have received international exposure, courtesy of placements on NBC, CBS, Discovery Channel, Hallmark Channel, and the E! Television network, as well as through feature films, radio airplay and retail sales.

Henry’s stunning new album, Light in the Dark (due for release April 28), seals the divide between blues and pop, resulting in a sound that boasts elements of both, while also retaining a freshness, spontaneity, and yes, an instantly infectious and accessible sound that expands his boundaries as both a songwriter and a musician.

Produced in part by David Ryan Harris (John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Santana) and Justin Glasco (The Lone Bellow), Light in the Dark boasts songs that effectively reflect an upward gaze while offering hope and comfort in a world where challenges abound and confusion often reigns. A mix of the occasionally dark underbelly, some instantly accessible grooves, a host of ready refrains and fiery fretwork, it carries a persistently uplifting theme throughout. The entire album is flush with drive and determination, the result of Henry’s evolution as an artist, an advance that he’s quick to point out.

“This record reflects my development as a songwriter,” he suggests. “It defines who I am. I’ve always believed that if the artist doesn’t feel the music, then no one else will either.”

Ultimately then, his goal is simple. “I want to make a positive impact on my audience through my music,” he says. “If I can shine a little bit of light, then maybe others will find some comfort there as well.”

 

http://www.shanehenry.com/

https://www.facebook.com/shanehenrymusic/

SoCal’s Island Apollo Keeps Holding It Down

SoCal indie rockers Island Apollo have established themselves as one of LA’s hottest bands to watch. Combining a classic surf vibe with funky urban grooves, Island Apollo captures the spirit of a West Coast daydream come to life. With members from Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego, Island Apollo is authentically Southern Californian and isn’t afraid to show it.

After being named Orange County’s “Best Pop Artist” from the OC Music Awards, Island Apollo has had songs appear on FOX Sports, CBS, PBS, TeenNick, VH1, USA Network, and has even had a song appear in a commercial with 2017 Sports Illustrated cover model Kate Upton. With the release of their new single “Hold it Down”, Island Apollo demonstrates how the band has truly created a unique sound all their own.

Produced by Ric Lilavois (Saint Motel, Atlas Genius), ‘Hold It Down’ is an infectious track that features driving drums, layered vocals, upbeat guitar and synth bass riffs. Somewhere between indie, pop and rock, ‘Hold It Down’ jams the best of each genre into in anthemic rhythm you can’t help but groove with. It’s the type of track that floors you with a sucker punch and then offers you a hand up. For rock fans craving something more, Island Apollo will hold you down.

 

http://islandapollo.com/

https://www.facebook.com/IslandApollo/

Bri Bagwell and ‘Beer Pressure’ Memories

Bri Bagwell is one of the hottest young stars in Country music right now. The independent, Red Dirt Country singer rocked over 160 shows on the road last year and lists her current location as ‘all over Texas and New Mexico’. Her latest single, ‘Beer Pressure’, is currently Texas Regional Radio Report’s ‘Song of The Week’ and sits at #14 on the publication’s chart. The celebratory video produced by AJ Vallejo, features Bagwell’s witty and relatable songwriting frosted with a catchy hook most of us know all too well. ‘Beer Pressure’ is one giant party we want to attend. But, don’t let the video fool you. This charming and charismatic young lady is all about the hustle.

Track Rambler caught up with Bagwell to reminisce over some of her best ‘beer pressure’ memories. So, pop a cold one and enjoy.

TR: ‘Beer Pressure’ is an influence many of us can relate to. How did you come up with the concept for the song?

BB: I had just come back from Christmas with my family down in New Mexico. My family has a way of getting you to drink a beer when you don’t want to… I guess that talent rubbed off on me as well! Ha. I put all of those reasons/excuses we get each other to drink beer into three minutes. (Your cousin just shot a deer! We have an extra bedroom so you don’t have to drive! Life is just too short!) I wrote the song in about an hour while stuck in the van on the way up to Steamboat, CO.

TR: Do you have any ‘beer pressure’ stories you care to share?

BB: One time, the band broke down on the way from NM to Texas. I had stayed behind with my family, so my dad and I drove two hours to pick them up. They were on the side of the road with an ice chest full of beer they had to walk a mile to get from a gas station. I knew that tow and van repair weren’t gonna be cheap, and the boys must’ve read that on my face. They handed me a beer, and we all just sat down and popped one open and drank them together behind the broken down van on the side of I-10. Sometimes it just makes you feel better.

TR: Other than Rebecca Creek Whisky, what might fans spot Bri Bagwell sipping on?

BB: I love Coors Light and Mexican beer of all varieties. Also, Rebecca Creek has an Enchanted Rock Peach vodka that is amazing with cranberry juice and some sprite. Anyone getting thirsty?

TR: The video shows you kicking back with a bunch of folks. Do you have a ‘best beer buddy’?

BB: Nothing beats drinking a Dos XX with my Mama and Daddy down in Las Cruces, NM on our back porch. My band (The Banned) are my favorite drinking partners on the road. They’re great guys, and my best buds. But, if you know me, I’ll drink a cold one with anyone! (There’s a song in there…)

TR: How was working with AJ Vallejo?

BB: AJ is insanely talented. Singing, guitar playing, producing records, you name it… I’ve never worked with him on a project like this, and it was everything that I expected! It was fun and it was completely me. AJ lets you be yourself, and encourages authenticity. Then he makes an amazing project that you love and had a blast making. Now we’ve recorded together, written together, and done a music video. Can’t wait to see what we come up with next!

TR: You spend a lot of time on the road touring. What do you like to do to wind down?

BB: I wouldn’t say that I ever “wind down!” I played over 160 shows last year, and when I’m not on the road, it’s gym, laundry, emails, and hustle. Haha! But I do enjoy a good glass of wine and I read a book every night before bed. That counts, right? If I had a choice, I’d be on a boat fishing in the sunshine.

TR: What’s up next for Bri Bagwell?

BB: Besides a trip to Mexico with Mark McKinney (www.mmgetaway.com) and a full show schedule every weekend for the foreseeable future, I am recording another record in a few weeks in Nashville for a release this fall. I could not be more excited about it! It’s been 2 years since my last record “When A Heart Breaks” came out, so I’m more than ready to give us all some new Bri tunes to listen to!

 

Catch Bri Bagwell and The Banned in Round Rock, TX at The Tavern on May 26th.

 

For tour dates and additional info visit:

http://www.coloredlion.com/BB/

https://www.facebook.com/bribagwell/

Grounded In Music Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Each year, art and music programs across the country are eliminated from public education in order to prioritize “academic essential” subjects such as math, reading and science. As school districts face budget shortfalls, funding for art and music often shoots to the top of the ‘cuts’ list. Slashing these programs can be detrimental to students’ self-confidence as brilliant, artistic children can fall behind when subjects that stimulate their creativity are taken away. Fortunately, Austin-based nonprofit, Grounded in Music has worked tirelessly over the past ten years to provide music-based, instructional programs to local underprivileged youths.

Launched in 2007, Grounded in Music’s (GIM) sole mission is to leverage the power of music to transform young lives by creating self-confidence, opportunity and hope through Austin’s Boys and Girls Club system. The organization works with underprivileged youth to expose kids to music starting in grade four providing music instruction, exposure to nationally known musicians, concerts, backstage passes and scholarships.

Grounded in Music is not technically a music school. Their goal is not to turn out the next ‘best’ guitarist but instead use music as a tool to create opportunity and self-confidence to transform the lives of the kids in the program.

“In 2007, we made a promise to ourselves,” states GIM Founder, Joe Stallone. “We would do whatever we needed to make the program work for three years…and we felt lucky just to make it three.”

GIM 10 year anniversary photo 2 resized

Now, in its tenth year, Grounded in Music shows no signs of slowing down. “It has really been an incredible journey,” admits Stallone. “We literally started with nothing. We even wrote personal checks to pay the instructors in the first year. Within a few years, we had an amazing group of instructors, we brought kids to Stubbs, Bass Concert Hall and the Erwin Center. Amazingly enough – with the support of some really great people like Patty Griffin, Jack Ingram and Gina Fant-Sanez – we built a music studio for our kids.”

Grounded in Music has grown significantly since 2007 and now currently serves three Boys and Girls Club locations (and hopefully five by this Fall) throughout Austin including Bertha Saddler Means Young Women’s Leadership Academy, San Juan Diego and Chalmers Courts Housing Authority. The nonprofit provides services to 30 – 40 students per session and offers Fall, Spring and Summer sessions. The organization serves many more students through concerts, soundcheck programs, meet-and-greets and other strategic partnerships. GIM also provides services to other locations such as BCG-East-Booker T. Washington Housing Authority and the Meadowbrook Housing Authority, who with GIM’s partnership were able to acquire a $10,000 grant to purchase gear for their recording studio. Grounded in Music is also excited to expand its outreach in Summer 2017 with a new Studio Technology Program located in the Henry Flores Learning Center at the HACA Meadowbrook apartments.

“Grounded is offering seven teaching sessions per week where students have time individually to connect with some of Austin’s working professional musicians,” said Michael Longoria, Grounded in Music’s Program Director. “In these individual lessons kids receive positive mentorship and role models to also help anchor the children’s weekly routines. We have seen kids grow from having no previous relation to music to making it to All-Star Band students. We are serving as a feeder to middle school and high school band programs where kids will enter with previous skills acquired through time with GIM instructors.”

Stallone has witnessed the transformation in many of the program’s youths. “Kids that start with no music background literally end up cornering me and demanding that I shop them a record deal. If the kids in our program can use music to develop self-confidence and a positive outlook on life then we feel they can direct that towards anything they do in life,” states Stallone.

Grounded in Music will celebrate its 10 Year Anniversary Benefit on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 featuring The Peterson Brothers and Suzanna Choffel at the Gibson Brands Showroom located at 3601 S. Congress Ave. Suite G400, Austin, Texas 78704.

The evening will be hosted by musician/songwriter Kathy Valentine, an Austin Music Hall of Fame inductee and member of the iconic band the Go-Go’s. There will be a VIP pre-show reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. for sponsors, press and VIPs. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and music will kick off at 7:15 p.m. with a performance by the Grounded in Music students. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $45 per person and include bites and beverages, as well as a silent auction. Sponsors for the event will be announced shortly.

The benefit will help raise needed funds for the organization and event proceeds will be used to purchase musical instruments for underprivileged youth, provide education in musicianship and recording arts, teach music theory and offer music- related opportunities outside of performance.

To purchase tickets, please go to:

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-peterson-brothers-suzanna-choffel-special-gueststickets-31146634422.

For more information about Grounded in Music, please visit: http://www.groundedinmusic.net.

Q&A Terrence Spectacle and One Summer Night EP

Terrence Spectacle is already outside of Dallas’ hip-hop scene. How far the 21-year-old lyricist is able to go is strictly up to him. The Detroit born, Dallas based artist left his record label in 2016 and is now set to debut his indie sophomore EP, One Summer Night, due March 31st. The new EP finds Spectacle venturing away from his first album’s sound with electronic, sonic-infused flair and will be showcased on stage at Dallas’ Cinderblock during the One Summer Night Release Party on the same date.

Track Rambler caught up with Spectacle to hear more about the new direction he finds himself headed.

TR: One Summer Night shows a much more mature and defined Terrence Spectacle. Did you approach this EP differently than with your debut album, NuDallas?

TS: I went through a very ‘singer-songwriter’ development process with this new EP. I sat down with the guys in the band and brought in songs that I had written and choruses and a lot of ideas for full-length tracks. I just went into the studio with them to see what happens singing and rapping along-side the instrumentation and One Summer Night was the result.

TR: Was there a particular reason you wanted to record with a live band?

TS: It was always something my older brother encouraged me to do. He always thought it was a great idea because we had more electronic production and I always played live shows with a band. I suppose he thought it was the most lucrative idea to combine the live band together with the songs I record. He always saw that as the next level of my artistic evolution, if you will. He’s the most advanced artist I know and he’s really about artist progression.

TR: What did producer Ish D bring to the recording?

TS: Ish D played a very intricate part in creating this EP. He was able to take the strums and the chords…really just the progressions from the instruments and sort them into the electronics.

TR: Did you incorporate any Detroit influences into One Summer Night?

TS: Detroit is like my backbone. I was born and raised there and I can’t really shake some of those Detroit roots. But, that has more to do with who I am as a person. Even though I’m from Detroit and live in Dallas now, I feel as though the experiences I’ve had in these places has more of an effect on me as an artist than with the actual songs. The songs aren’t very grassroots. It’s music that transcends a city or a place from a lyrical standpoint. I feel like a lot of people couldn’t pinpoint where I was from by listening to my music. I mean, they’d probably guess I was from California.

TR: You posted an interesting comment on Twitter the other day. “I feel lost. So very, very lost, yet in the dead center of everything.” Would you care to elaborate?

TS: I caught this really weird vibe the other night. I felt as though I was doing something that wasn’t bad…but, I was being called to do something else. It has a lot to do with music. There is so much going on…so many goals and aspirations. I know that my music is bait. My art is bait. There’s so many people that want to ‘DIY’ their musicianship. And in the public eye, you’re not really successful unless you have a manager, a booking agent…more relevantly speaking, a record label behind you. I didn’t really know what that was like in the public persona until I left the record label in spring of 2016. This experience now is very different for me. I’m doing everything on my own and it feels strange. I felt very at home with the record label. I had a whole team of people that did stuff. And now I’m basically a team of one. I have Ish D who helps me create my songs. I have the guys who play with me in my band. I have Amber [LaFrance] who handles my public relations. But that’s it. That’s the extent of my reach. Everything else is on me. And that can make a person feel very drowned.

TR: Does that change how you create music?

TS: One Summer Night is listed on Apple Music as ‘singer-songwriter’ because that’s a genre we felt resonated with this project the most. Ed Sheeran is a singer-songwriter. It kind of makes you feel washed in a sense when you look at where Ed Sheeran is and you look at where I am. It doesn’t take a genius to say, ‘you know? This could be some top 40 music.’ It has to cater to a very large audience or else it can very well get smothered with the other underground indie music. I feel as though I’m in the dead-center of a lot of music. But at the same time, it’s not ‘me’ that opens the door. It’s my music. I just walk the path. I don’t really know exactly where I’m headed. I just know I have to go and if I do what I’m supposed to do, If I do what’s destined for me, I know the door is open.

 

 

Catch Terrence Spectacle at the One Summer Night Release Party on March 31st at Cinderblock. Spectacle will perform after a special DJ set by Christy Ray and performances by two female up-and-comers Devin Papillion and M3CCA. Doors open at 7 p.m. with live music starting at 8 p.m. The event is welcome to all ages and a tickets can be purchased from Spectacle’s website below for $8 tickets in advance ($10 at the door). Fans will receive a free copy of One Summer Night with a purchased ticket. Cinderblock is located at 4622 E. Grand Ave., Dallas, Texas 75223.

 

https://terrencespectacle.com/

https://www.facebook.com/terrencespectaclemusic/

Q&A: Morgan Heritage and the Inspiration Behind ‘Avrakedabra’

Avrakedabra! The Royal Family of Reggae has returned with the announcement of their 11th studio album. Grammy Award-winning, Morgan Heritage recently unveiled the name and cover art to their latest project, Avrakedabra. The album comes on the heels of the critically acclaimed, Grammy winning, Strictly Roots, and is the second project to be released on the band’s independent record label CTBC Music Group. Morgan Heritage just launched their Avrekedabra World Tour beginning at the legendary SXSW Music Festival where the band played an Official headlining set at Clearpoint ATX as part of the Digiwaxx Presents ‘The Blast Live’ Showcase on March 17th, which was also the official pre-order date for Avrakedabra.

“The title was inspired by our love of history. Being that we are students of history, we discovered this word and its various pronunciations throughout the history of time. We chose it as the title of the album because we like it and we feel it represents the new era that our career is about to enter. The meaning we will leave to the audience to choose, since we’ve discovered so many over the dispensation of time,” explained Morgan Heritage about the album title “Avrakedabra”.

The Brooklyn-based band of siblings blend Roots Reggae with Pop, Rock, Country, R&B and Hip-Hop into what they call “Rockaz” Reggae. The album, which is their best work to date, will play host to some heavyweight featured appearances. With Kabaka Pyramid and Dre Island leading the front for the younger generation, Stephen and Ziggy Marley also lend their talents to the collaborative mix. GRAMMY, Emmy, and Dove Award-winning producer Shannon Sanders guides the group’s vision behind the mixing console.

The band has produced a two-part series into the making of Avrakedabra and you can catch Part 1 below.

Track Rambler caught up with Morgan Heritage during SXSW to get a closer look at the what went into making Avrakedabra. Check out what Mr. Mojo Morgan had to say.

Avrakedabra was recorded all around the world. Were you able to incorporate specific elements of each of those locations when creating this album?

MH: We were definitely able to incorporate the energy of which ever place we were in! The vibe of the people and their culture was a great inspiration to our mind set and vibration.

A great thing about this album is that you were able to record whenever inspiration hit. Can you elaborate on some of the inspiration that went into recording this album?

MH: The inspiration of how we live on the road as a family with our band & crew knowing that while we travel the globe, we travel as one big family. A team, a unit, a force of positive vibration and we share that with whomever we encounter during our travels.

Averakedabra mixes the traditional roots sound of Morgan Heritage with a more modern appeal. Can you elaborate on the more modern aspects of this album?

MH: The modern aspect is where music is today. It’s what this generation have made their own. This is our way of relating to them without letting go of who we are and what we have created as Morgan Heritage coming from our generation’s music.

You stated this album was recorded differently to reach out to a different type of audience. What new type of audience do you hope Avrakedabra reaches?

MH: Young and old! We want to bridge the gap between an older generation and the new.

How special was it for Morgan Heritage to collaborate with Stephen and Ziggy Marley and what were they able to bring to this recording?

MH: It was a dream come true to finally have a collaboration with Ziggy & Stephen and what makes it even more special is that they are on the same song with us. What they brought to the song is what we have as a family. The oneness, the love, the unity. Together we were able to share with the world what many have long waited and hoped for.

What where you able to learn from working with Shannon Sanders?

MH: A lot of little things in production that many would normally take for granted. Simple things that you wouldn’t think would make a difference but when it’s done it makes a MAJOR difference.

How did creating Avrakedabra challenge Morgan Heritage?

MH: We didn’t realize we were being challenged until the project was done. Sounds silly but it’s true. When the project was finally done and we began to listen to it as a body of work, we were then able to see how much we’ve put into this album over the past 2 years.

Following the success of Strictly Roots, how much further do you hope Avrakedabra to exceed your own as well as your fans expectations?

MH: Well, we would love our music to continue to reach more and more people. Young & old! There’s 7 billion+ people living on this planet and it would be the greatest thing to us musically if all 7 billion+ people knew about and loved the music of Morgan Heritage!!!

 

Avrakedabra will be released on May 19th and is available now for pre-order here.

Tour Dates:

April 1st – Oranjestad, Aruba – The Flip Flop Beach Festival
April 13th – Kampala, Uganda – Lugogo Cricket Oval
April 22nd – Tobago – Tobago Jazz Festival
April 27th – Le Ferme, Martinique – Ferme Perrine
April 28th – Le Gosier, Guadaloupe – Palais Des Sports Du Gosier
April 29th – St Maarten – Carnival Village
May 3rd – Antwerp, Belgium – De Roma
May 4th – Oxford, England – O2 Academy
May 5th – Manchester, England – O2 Ritz
May 6th – Birmingham, England – O2 Academy
May 7th – London England – O2 Forum Kentish Town
May 9th – Paris, France – La Cigale
May 10th – Amsterdam, Holland – Paradiso
May 20th – Nassau, Bahamas – Thomas Robinson Stadium Carnival Grounds

http://www.morganheritagemusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/morganheritage/

The Show Ponies: How It All Goes Down LP

I’m betting Los Angeles isn’t the first place that comes to mind when describing soulful Americana jam bands. But, then again, The Show Ponies aren’t typical ol’ timey Americana. Consisting of five La-La-Land transplants, The Show Ponies are Clayton Chaney (lead vocals, bass), Andi Carder (lead vocals, banjo), Jason Harris (vocals, guitar), Philip Glenn (fiddle), and Kevin Brown (drums).

In January, The Show Ponies released their highly anticipated sophomore studio album, How It All Goes Down. The energetic dancehall tempo of opener ‘The Time It Takes’ may be slightly misleading. This album is a folksy reflection on the end of the world. Drawing from journeys through heartache, exhaustion, and joy in their time both at home and on the road, the quintet look at doomsday through a largely hopeful lens.

Produced by Andy Freeman, How It All Goes Down samples a variety of genres with a heavy emphasis on banjo pickin’ bluegrass (‘This World Is Not My Home’) and fiddle seducing sonnets (‘Kalamazoo’ and ‘How It All Goes Down’). The country-pop ‘Folks Back Home’ is an instant crowd-pleaser while ‘Someone To Stay’ channels a folksy classic rock vibe any CCR or Fleetwood fan can appreciate. The album’s energy dips slightly towards the center where heartfelt songwriting takes over with spiritual hymn ‘Bravery Be Written‘ and airy lullaby ‘Sweetly’. Carder flexes a ferocious vocal range on the feisty ‘Shoulda Showed Him’ and exchanges indie-pop stanzas with Chaney on ‘Only Lie’.

It’s obvious each band member has brought something to the table with How It All Goes Down. The album blends an array of origins from Ozark roots and Texas twang to indie bluegrass and West Coast pop. How It All Goes Down isn’t just a jam band having a good ol’ time…It’s contemplative and immersive without ever feeling too heavy. It’s Americana for a new age.

 

Written by: Douglas Leach

Photos by: Daley Hake

Thunderous Applause for the Soul of a Musician Series with Gina Chavez and Johanna Chase

Sunday night’s Soul of a Musician Series provided the perfect remedy for a week’s worth of SXSW exhaustion with inspirational ‘fire water’ from Gina Chavez and Johanna Chase? Chavez, wrapped-up her SXSW schedule Sunday night at The Iron Cactus with her 9th show of the week while the West Coast native Chase trekked all the way in from LA for SXSW and the 133rd Soul Series show.

In its fifth year, the Soul of a Musician Series provides a forum for musicians to play music in a loving, receptive environment in order to explore the various emotional and spiritual dimensions of their music. The musicians perform one or two hand-picked original songs, then series host Rev. Merrill Wade leads an interactive discussion with the artists about the inspiration and spirituality behind those songs.

Chavez and Chase played a back-and-forth, song-swap set in which Chavez led off by debuting ‘She Persisted’. “This song’s not all that deep,” claimed Austin’s 2015 Musician of the Year before unleashing the righteous and unapologetic tune. A lack of depth is most certainly not an issue with ‘She Persisted’. It’s the sort of bold and empowering songwriting Chavez fans admire in her music.

Chase followed with ‘Gangster of Love’, a gorgeous love song with hints of spiritual vulnerability. I’m ashamed to admit, I was unfamiliar with the SOLO.B singer-songwriter prior to the Soul Series event. However, I was pleasantly surprised once she dove into the zoot suited, grass roots ‘Gangster of Love’.

The entire set consisted of 8 total songs between the ladies and concluded with a passionate duet of Chavez’s ‘Fire Water’ from 2015’s critically acclaimed Up.Rooted. The theme of the evening was “thunderous applause” and both musician deserved that and more. I’m not certain why it took 133 shows for me to check out the Soul of a Musician Series. But, I will definitely be visiting The Iron Cactus more frequently on Sunday evenings from here on out.

 

http://www.stmattsaustin.org/Music/4soul-of-a-musician-series.html

https://www.facebook.com/SoulOfAMusicianSeries/

http://ginachavez.com/

http://www.johannachase.com/