One of the few positive things that has come from our months in quarantine is having the time to rediscover things we don’t normally have time for.
Movies, books, and music has helped us deal with all the free time we suddenly have. At the start of this craziness in March, I went through my collection of books and started reading all the ones I had been meaning to but never made time for.
The same goes for music. I dug out some old albums by Willie, Waylon, Cash, Todd Snider and of course Springsteen.
Two albums from my high school days have brought back good memories. I highly recommend In Search Of A Song by Tom T. Hall and Lullaby’s, Legends and Lies by Bobby Bare. Two of the most perfect albums ever recorded, in my humble opinion. Anytime I want to be reminded of what a true singer songwriter is, I listen to these two albums. Speaking of Todd Snider, you really need to watch his Sunday morning live streams at 11 a.m. They bring a lot of happiness to these days of gloom and doom.
Duane Allen, leader and vocalist, Oak Ridge Boys
Every week I check in with various musicians to see how they are weathering these tough times. One of the first guys I called was Duane Allen, the lead vocalist of the Oak Ridge Boys.
I’ve known Duane for years and always talk to him at their annual shows at the Brauntex Theatre each January. Soon after we spoke, Duane posted his thoughts about how things are going for his group. Since they are all in their 70s, this has been a taste of what retirement will feel like.
Fans are constantly asking the group how much longer they can tour at such at hectic pace, averaging over 180 shows a year. Duane’s Facebook post addresses this subject and many more and is well worth reading. They are hoping to be back onstage in July and I certainly hope they are.
Motley Crue, Def Leppard stadium tour announce
While fans are desperately waiting for any news about the massive stadium tour by Motley Crue, Def Leppard and Poison, the bands are holding firm that the tour will happen this summer.
There’s over $100 million at stake here, so the bands aren’t wanting to cancel. They just announced that two shows, one in Cincinnati and one in Chicago, will be postponed but no new dates have been confirmed.
The longer it takes to make an official announcement, the longer the promoters get to keep the money from ticket sales in the bank and earning interest.
No refunds will be issued until new dates are announced but fans are desperate to get an official answer. The second date of the tour is scheduled for the Alamodome in San Antonio on June 21. I’ll keep you posted as things progress.
release new albums during pandemic
Releasing a new album during a worldwide pandemic can be a tricky task. People are stuck at home and eager to hear new music which can be a good thing.
However, the artists can’t go on the road to promote the new release. Reckless Kelly went in the studio last year to record a new album and ended
up with more songs than they expected. So, they did what any good band would do, they released two albums at the same time.
American Jackpot and American Girls share some similar topics but are two different albums. Each offers a slightly different view of what it means to be born in America in the 20th century.
New tunes from the Braun Brothers was long overdue since this marks their first new music since 2016’s Sunset Motel.
Unfortunately, all the CD pressing plants are closed due to the COVID-19, so the band was forced to just release the two albums by digital downloads.
Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers released their new duet album, Hold My Beer Vol. 2. It’s another fantastic collection of songs by two of our city’s most talented musicians.
Their first single and video is “Rodeo Clown,” a funny tale of losing your girl to a clown rather than the star bull rider. There’s a very cool tribute to Ben Dorcey, the world’s oldest roadie.
Waylon Jennings wrote the original song and is featured during the intro on their version. Wade and Randy are very good friends and it comes across in the songs they write and record for these projects.
Last but certainly not least, Stoney LaRue just released a new live album, Kickin’ It From The Road. For the past few years, he has been recording his live shows with the intent to release a live album.
As soon as the lockdown started, Stoney decided that this would be a good time to release the album. It includes the fan favorites like “One Chord Song” and “Oklahoma Breakdown,” but also includes some newer tunes like “Hill Country Boogaloo” and “Velvet.”
His music is best enjoyed live and since we can’t attend concerts right now, this is the next best thing.
You can show your support for these musicians during this time when they have extremely limited ways to earn a living. Go to their website and purchase merchandise directly from them, they get to keep more money that way.
Governor Abbott allows bars to open, but at only 25% capacity
At his Monday press conference Governor Abbott gave the bars permission to open tomorrow but only at a 25% capacity. Some will open and do the best they can with these restrictions. Others will wait until the capacity is higher before they can afford to open.
At the lower capacity restrictions, bars that do open will not offer live music. They will barely make enough to keep the doors open, so there’s no extra money to pay musicians to perform. On another similar note, live music venues can’t open either.
There’s simply no way to social distance inside a dancehall or theatre. Live music in our city may not return anytime soon.
Many local venues have shows scheduled for this weekend, which is the Memorial Day holiday. It’s normally a busy time for live music but at press time, it looked very slim.
Live and streaming concerts calendar
Almost every musician is doing some sort of virtual, live streaming concert. As information becomes available, I’ll list those that maintain a regular schedule for their events. Events are listed alphabetically. To watch these shows, log onto their Facebook pages. Please tip the musicians if you can afford to at PayPal or Venmo.
Adam Johnson – Solo live concert – Thursdays at 8 p.m.
Alex Meixner – Facebook Polka Time – Sundays at 1 p.m. CST.
Band of Heathens – Tuesday night Supper Club – Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.
Brett Cline – Facebook Concerts at BCMusic Live – Thursdays at 7 p.m.
Bret Graham – Monday Night Live – Mondays at 6 p.m.
Brookshire Brothers – Canyon Lake – Monte Good – Friday at 6 p.m.
Brookshire Brothers – Canyon Lake – Tony Taylor – Saturday at 6 p.m.
Carolyn Wonderland – Live from Wonderland – Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
Cody Canada – Facebook Concerts – Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m.
Drew Kennedy – Live in the Backyard – Mondays at 8 p.m.
Freiheit Country Store – Tonight – Bo Brumble & Garrett Man – 7 p.m.
Garth Brooks – Inside Studio G – Facebook Concert – Mondays at 7 p.m.
Gruene Hall – Shinyribs – Live at Gruene Hall – Sunday May 24 – 7 p.m.
Max & Heather Stallings – We Ain’t Drinking Alone – Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
Phil Hurley – South Austin Moonlighters – Facebook Concert – Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
Reckless Kelly – Music from The Mountains – Sundays at 7 p.m.
Sean McConnell – Live from His Studio – Thursdays at 7 p.m.
Sequestered Songwriters – Weekly Tribute Shows – Mondays at 6 p.m.
Todd Snider – Live from East Nashville – Sundays at 11 a.m.
Wade Bowen – Wade’s World – Fridays at 8 p.m.
Walt & Tina Wilkins – Walt Wilkins Music – Thursdays at 7 p.m.
Watering Hole Saloon – Fast Movin Trio – Friday at 8:30 p.m.
Zack Walther Band – Walther Wednesdays Live at Freiheit Country Store – 6 p.m.