Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Fling Music Festival 2011 - Day 2 - March 3/17 2011

This is an unofficial and incomplete guide to the 3rd Annual Spring Fling Music Festival @ Giddy Ups in South Austin. The five different blogs may - after a crazy week full of music - help you remember and reminisce. It may also enable you to keep up with some of the musicians you have enjoyed.

John Lilly - 4pm
I don't use the term "Jaw-Dropper" that often, but two years ago, John Lilly played at the first SFMF and blew me away. Only thing I knew at that point was that he won an award for writing a song ("Blue Highway") in the style of Hank Williams. But his solo-performance that night was mesmerizing, with an ease hardly ever seen, he switched from his own compositions to hillbilly, old-timey and folk tunes and let them shine as they were contemporaries, written for the 21st century and for him. I'm glad that this West Virgina native found his way back to Austin.

While I was tryin' to find a video by John, I stumbled upon this little treasure; John actually joined on "Wrong Wrong Wrong" by steel guitar ace Kayton Roberts, who played over two decades with Hank Snow.
John Lilly & Kayton Roberts

Mark Henricks - 5pm,
He's a singer/songwriter, entertaining in Austin since 2010. Besides his own compositions which you can hear in the embedded widget, he also covers Robert Earl Keen, James Taylor and Willis Alan Ramsey.

Mark Henricks on ReverbNation

Jim Ray Wyly & The Lunar Rollers - 6pm
Jim Ray Wyly can't be boxed in, he's country, he's folk, he has a blues-edge, there's some rock and a lot of Texas. After playing for several years with "Movin' Target", he decided to try to walk down some new avenues and concentrate on some of his songwriting. He's hoping to soon release a new record, actually that may be two, or three; there are always several projects going on. Tonight he will be premiere his new band the Lunar Rollers. 

Jim Ray Wyly on ReverbNation

Around the Clock - Honky Tonk

In the late 80s and early 90s Austin had quite a big Honky Tonk country music scene, Don Walser, Junior Brown, Wayne "The Train" Hancock, Justin Trevino, Rod Moag, High Noon and many others would regularly visit the place to be: "Henry's Bar & Grill" on Burnet Road. Unfortunately that mother church of local music closed on Halloween '92 and was replaced by a car-parts store. I toured with some of the cats playing tonight in Europe, where they still dig "country" and don't really care for what's released by Nashville these days.
Well a lot has changed in Austin since then, but there is still a lot of talent around that keep the traditional aspect of country music alive. Some of these bands play tonight at Spring Fling Music Festival as a loosely gathering called "Around The Clock Honky Tonk". Keep the tradition alive means songs about Whiskey, Women, Cheating, Lost Love and other Hangovers - well you get the picture, bring your dancin' boots!

Ted Roddy & The Hit Kickers - 7pm
Ted Roddy & the Talltops were actually one of the sought after bands in the 80's and 90s. Famous for his burlesque lounge shows with the Naughty Ones, or his legendary "Ted Roddy Elvis Show" (which can celebrate 1/4 century this year) or as a thought after sideman, lifted him into the "Chronicle" Austin Music Hall of Fame. Ted is the ultimate Roots musician and he will be a guest a Giddy Ups with his country outfit "The Hit Kickers"

Jim Stringer & The A.M. Band - 8pm
Jim Stringer aka Gentleman Jim is one of the most demanded sideman here in Austin. Being in the music business for several decades, he realized when he came to Austin, that there is only a certain number of people ("x") who are able of playing "your kind of music". These musicians would play with several bands, so your side(wo)men would change to the availability. So Jim came up with following fictional formula   x times your kind of music divided by availbilty = A.M. Band which simply stands for Austin Music(ians).

Li'l Mo & The Monicats - 9pm
Being a country/roots artist in New York is a tough one, but that's exactly what Li'l Mo does. Originally a member of the Twanglers, she co-founded the Harmonicats, which become Li'l Mo & The Monicats. Perks of being in New York, means that you may actually play Christie's Auction House, as the Monicats did when Roy Rogers and Dale Evans estate was on the block. Li'l Mo is also an excellent designer and kudos to her for designing the flyer for "Around The Clock - Honky Tonk".

She's rebuilding her website right now, but that's the link.

Arty Hill & The Pearl Dusters - 10pm
Arty is another adopted Austinite, even though not living in the Texas capital, he makes sure to at least come two, three times to central Texas and show the locals that country music actually can be done outside of the Lonestar state. For his three albums "Back On The Rail", "Bar of Gold" and "Montgomery On My Mind" he earned rave reviews all over the country, as being the one male country vocalist, where the bar is set.

Teri Joyce & The Tagalongs - 11pm
Where ever I went in 91/92 to go see good country music, this gal was always there, sometimes just sketching portraits of the artists playing.Well some years later I saw her performing as well and then some songs started surfacing, which were the real deal and were written by Teri Joyce. It sure took her a while to release her debut album, but she immediately hit the Freeform American Roots (FAR) chart and was able to actually place that album on top of the charts. British journalist, Duncan Warwick put it this way into Country Music People: "I've waited a long time for this record, and my unrealistically high expectations have actually been exceeded." He awarded the album a maximum five stars.

Roger Wallace - 12am (midnight)
The first time I saw Roger was at a small club in North Austin, called Buddy's, after a friend told me to check this new guy in town out. Well, four albums later, several tours overseas, two of which I was part of, Roger still writes and belts 'em out with a voice that makes him a "stylist" who is immediately recognizable. Billy Block from Western Beat Radio put this way "Roger Wallace stands hat and shoulders above the throng of would-be Texas country stars emerging from the Lone Star State." There's not more to say, just sit back, relax and listen.


See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Fling Music Festival 2011 - Day 1 - March 3/16 2011

This is an unofficial and incomplete guide to the 3rd Annual Spring Fling Music Festival @ Giddy Ups in South Austin. The five different blogs may - after a crazy week full of music - help you remember and reminisce. It may also enable you to keep up with some of the musicians you have enjoyed.

Danny Fast Fingers - 4pm
Sometimes you just can't pigeon-hole a musician into a certain genre and that's definitely the case with multi-instrumentalist Danny Fast Fingers. Originally from the Northeast of the US, Danny has crossed the US and his musical spectrum from Garage-Rock/Punk/Powerpop, Electronica to simple Singer/Songwriter with an acoustic guitar. The long journey finally brought him to Austin about five years ago, where he was ready for a musical showdown on South Congress.
Danny Fast Fingers - Showdown On SoCo

Last October (2010) Danny released his new album "Two Angels", which was produced by Oklahoma Music Hall of Famer Jamie Oldaker, a former member of Eric Clapton's band, and a founding member of The Tractors. True of being a multi-instrumentalist, Danny played 12 string acoustic, electric guitars, bass, Hammond Organ, Banjo, Pedal Steel, Electric Sitar, Harmonica, and even a Ram's Horn.
Danny Fast Fingers - Emerald Green Ravine

Love Vandals - 5pm

Not to be confused with the British outfit, with the same name, the Love Vandals is an Austin based quintet, devoted to punk, R&B, surf, pop, or anything else they consider fun to play loud. The members are James Laurance, drums; Sally Watkins, vocals; Carol Roberts, bass; Beverly Garland, vocals, keyboard and viola; Richard Roberts, guitar
Love Vandals - Memphis Train
Some great photo shots and a link to their booking agent can be found here

Jessica Shepherd - 6pm

Jessica hails from the Texas Gulf Coast, where she was born and raised, and has currently a song "Do Your Damn Job" on a 1400 rotation on many radio stations nationwide. Deeply involved into her career, Jessica Shepherd does not only sing and write her own music, but also produced her two albums "Travelingirl" and "You're Country Now" by herself. She was nominated, as best female vocalist of the year, by the Texas Music Awards and had a chance to tour internationally three times.
Visit her ReverbNation Profile and sign up onto her fanlist.

Miss Leslie & Her Juke Jointers - 7pm

The first time I heard Miss Leslie I was awestruck, there was a young woman reminding me of a young Loretta Lynn, belting out true Honky Tonk Country songs right out of the 60s, but I must have been in a time warp, as we were already in the 21st century. Well I'm not alone, Robert K. Oermann, the editor of one of the leading Country Music publications, "Music Row" put it as follow, when he review her album "Between The Whiskey And The Wine": "Holy mackerel! Miss Leslie is a barroom chanteuse from the old school. The title tune to her CD finds her bluesy ballad belting in a smoky atmosphere swirling with steel guitar. The album is a revelation. This gal is walking in the high heels of Dottie West and Patsy Cline."
Since then, Leslie has stripped down her full Honky Tonk band to a quartet and makes the experience even more intimate, joining her singing and fiddling will be Ricky Davis (pedal steel), Timmy Campbell (drs) and Ric Ramirez (b). Last summer Leslie released the album "Wrong Is What I Do Best" and I surely hope she's doing more wrongs.
On the following video, Miss Leslie is introduced by John Conquest, the editor/publisher and revealator of "3rd Coast Music" magazine, a monthly magazine dedicated to the authenticity of American Roots music in any form and shape. Founded in the late 80's, "3rd Coast Music" is one of the last surviving music magazines and is famous for his unofficial, incomplete guide to NotSXSW events every year.
Miss Leslie & Her Juke Jointers - I Can Still Feel

Miss Leslie's blogs and bio.

Mike Stinson - 8pm

I love repeat offenders, meaning people that show up for another edition of the Spring Fling Music Festival. Mike Stinson graced the stage of Giddy Ups, two years ago and now he's back. Originally labelled as the “uncrowned king of the L.A. neo-honky tonkers” by Billboard, Jesse now calls Houston home. His impressive songwriting, led to both Dwight Yoakam and Billy Bob Thornton recording his contemporary classic “The Late Great Golden State”. His music has also made inroads in Hollywood: Stinson’s songs have been heard on the soundtracks to the hit TV shows "Mad Men", "Weeds", and "Cold Case", and in the feature comedy "National Lampoon’s Adam and Eve".
This is the title track of his last album, which - produced by Jesse Dayton - was recorded at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studios.
Mike Stinson - The Jukebox In Your Heart

Mike Stinson's website

Fond Kiser - 9pm
He was introduced to me by singer/songwriter Scott Wayne, who said, that he's the real deal. And if the accolades like that come from fellow musicians you better pay attention. And no, I couldn't have said it any better, I had to steal this line out of his biography: "What gives the real excitement is Fond’s murderous lyrics and story line twists which chronicles an introspective autobiography born of neurotic suffering, corrupt corporate politics, and shallow tragic romance." Humorous guy as he is, he created a badge for the badge-rsvp-free-to-the-public event at Giddy Ups - that's Fond for you! Just give a listen to his songs "I Wanna Go To Fallujah" or "Mini Mart Girl", and you know you want to hear more. Fond Kiser plays regularly in and around Austin, you can find him on any night of the week either at Giddy Ups, Poodie's Hilltop, the Nutty Brown Cafe or...
Fond Kiser - Gipsy Soul

You find Fond on ReverbNation

A.J. Downing & Buick 6 - 10pm
"A.J. Downing reminds me of a modern day Hank [Williams] or Woody [Guthrie], writing and singing those soulful songs, not so much because he wants to, but because he has to . . . because it is his mission in life", so spoke the legendary owner of the Cheatham Street Warehouse, Kent Finlay.
Crisscrossing America, trying to make a living, fleeing the Meth scene in California, meeting Steve Earle in Nashville, founding a family, climbing the ladder (electrical as in job) and finally realizing after four kids, that music still should or have to be done, A.J. moved to central Texas, where he lives with his wife Carrie and his kids. Newly inspired he started making music again, and just released a second album.
Right in time for the Spring Fling Music Festival, A.J. made his debut album "River of Life" available as a free download, just click on the "Like" button and join his mailing list and voila! Then you actually should buy his new album "Way Back Home".
I'm sure you can relate to song like "Ode To Carrie Underwood" or the contemporary reflection on facebook.

A.J. Downing on ReverbNation or on his website

Christy Hays & Her Sunday Best - 11pm

Christy Hays and Her Sunday Best may well be the "next thing" coming out of Austin. After a stint in the Alsakan wilderness (in forestry) Christy decided that shew wanted to go back to her musical roots, spent time in Memphis, Nashville (where she recorded her debut, self-titled album) and finally landed in Austin, where you often can find her playing the "Honky Tonk Happy Hour" on a Sunday afternoon at Uncle Billy's Brew&Que. She is currently working with Roy Taylor, Jr. (Patty Griffin) on preproductions for a next record.

In this well-produced video, Christy tries to explain what exactly her style of music is:

Christy Hays on ReverbNation

2-Bit Palomino - 12am (midnight)

Even though being a relatively young band, 2-Bit Palomino from Houston, got already nominated as "Best Group or Duo of the Year" and Andi Renfree as "Best Female Vocalist" for the Texas Music Awards, even though their debut album was just released last October.
Peter aka "Ren" and Andi are known as a duo, simply using their last name “The Renfrees”. For 2-Bit Palomino they joined forces with another established singer/songwriters, Bill Ward, who may be known to Kerverts as a regular at the Kerville Folk Festival.
If you think you may have heard the song "Buffalo Grass" before you are absolutely right. Chris LeDoux recorded this song on his album "Horsepower". It was written by 2-Bit Palomino member Andrea (Andi) Crimmins-Renfree with the help of Willie McCulloch and Clay Canfield.
2-Bit Palomino - Buffalo Grass

For more info on 2-Bit Palomino either visit their website or ReverbNation.

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Fling Music Festival @ Giddy Ups - Schedule

For more info: or