Tanya Tucker

Tanya Tucker won her first Grammy at the age of 61 after first being nominated at age 13. Publicity photo.


This year’s Grammy Awards were televised on Sunday night and Texas acts were big winners. 

At 61 years old and with 48 years in the music business, this was Tanya Tucker’s first Grammy win. She won for her new album, While I’m Livin’ and for her hit single, “Bring My Flowers Now.” 

The album was produced by Shooter Jennings and Brandi Carlile, and Tucker admits to not knowing who Brandi was before they met. 

Shooter had to convince Tanya to work with Brandi and now she’s glad she did. 

Tucker was nominated for a Grammy back in 1972 when she was 13 years old and had just released “Delta Dawn.” 

Now, four decades later she’s back at the Grammy’s and walked away with two awards. 

Another well known Texan, Willie Nelson, won a Grammy for his new song, “Ride Me Back Home.” 

Sarah Jarosz, also a Texas artist, won with her group “I’m With Her” that includes Sara Watkins and Aoife O’Donovan. 

Austin’s singer songwriter Patty Griffin won for Best Folk Album for her latest self-titled release. 

Another Austin native, Gary Clark Jr. won Best Rock Song Award for his hit single, “This Land.”

One important thing about these winners, with the exception of Clark, is that they have all played in New Braunfels recently. 

The Grammy Awards were started in 1959 by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and always represented a prestigious achievement in the music business. 

Just to be nominated for a Grammy would often boost an artist’s career and have a big affect on their record sales and artist fees. 

This year’s show has been controversial, though, after Grammy CEO Deborah Dugan accused the nominating committee of corruption. 

She accused them of favoritism and unethical practices. After her accusations went public, she was fired from her position as CEO. 

She immediately filed a lawsuit against the Academy for wrongful termination. Taylor Swift decided not to attend or perform on the show this year after she heard of Dugan’s termination. 

It will most likely take several months before both sides get their day in court. The outcome will have a huge impact on the importance of winning a Grammy Award in the future.


Many concerts coming to Texas this Year

With springtime and warmer weather just around the corner, more major tours are being announced almost daily. Just last week Bon Jovi announced his new tour with pal Bryan Adams opening the shows. Tickets are on-sale now for his concert at the AT&T Center in San Antonio on June 23. 

Jimmy Buffett is returning to San Antonio for his first concert in the Alamo City in 40 years. He will be at the AT&T Center on May 21 and tickets go on-sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. Sammy Hagar announced his 2020 tour with Whitesnake and Night Ranger as opening acts. 

They will make two Texas stops, Sept. 2 in Dallas and Sept. 3 at the Woodlands. James Taylor will hit the road this year with special guest Jackson Browne and has a May 16 stop in Houston at the Toyota Center. Pink Floyd fans will want to catch Roger Waters’ only Texas concert in Dallas on Oct. 3. A short drive to Houston on Sept. 15 will be your closest city to see Alicia Keys on her 2020 tour. Super duo Hall & Oates will set out on a summer tour with Texas stops on June 19 in Austin and June 21 at the Woodlands.      Steely Dan and Steve Winwood are touring together and will do two shows in Austin on May 26 and 27, a stop in Ft. Worth on June 13 and a show at the Woodlands on June 14. Tim McGraw will hit the road this year and has Texas stops in Austin on Aug. 6, the Woodlands on Aug. 7 and Dallas on Aug. 8. 

After 20 years together, country super group Rascal Flatts are calling it quits with a Farewell Tour that so far only has one Texas show scheduled for July 18 in Dallas. 

Rod Stewart has picked Cheap Trick to open his shows this summer. I’m not sure I follow the logic behind this decision, but you can see for yourself on Aug. 29 in Ft. Worth or Aug. 30 at the Woodlands. 

Last but not least Chicago will bring their big band experience to Texas on June 26 in Dallas and June 27 in the Woodlands with special guest Rick Springfield. Tickets for all these concerts can be purchased online at TicketMaster.com.

Junior Brown’s famous guit-steel stolen

Junior Brown has been a favorite of mine for almost 30 years and is one of the most talented guitar players in America. He invented a unique instrument called a “guit-steel” which is a combination guitar and steel guitar. 

He came up with the design in a dream back in 1985. He always played a Fender Telecaster in concert but would often switch over to steel guitar. It was a hassle moving back and forth between both instruments and one night he had a dream about both instruments melting into one. When he woke up, he got his Telecaster and his steel guitar and laid them side by side on his bed. 

He took a blanket and covered up parts of each guitar and sketched a picture of it. He took the sketch to guitar maker Michael Stevens and he built the first “guit-steel” for Brown and called it Old Yeller. A few years later after some near disastrous touring mishaps he decided he needed a backup copy just in case. So, Stevens built a second one and painted it bright red and named it Big Red. 

In October last year, Brown and wife Tanya were at a Holiday Inn in North Attleboro, Mass., when thieves broke into his rental car and stole Big Red. News traveled fast through the music world and early reports claimed it was Old Yeller that was stolen. 

A $3000 reward was issued but as of this writing, the rare guit-steel hasn’t been recovered. You can witness Brown’s amazing skill on the guit-steel when he returns to the Gruene Hall stage on Saturday night. Special guest Chandler Wilkinson IV will open the show. 

The live music scene gets busy again

Around our city, the live music is starting to pick back up after the holidays. One of the most interesting shows will be at the Sidecar Bar next door to Muck & Fuss when they welcome Little Jewford for several nights. You may remember him from his days with Kinky Friedman. 

He was Kinky’s keyboard player in his Texas Jewboys Band. He will be performing Friday, Saturday and Wednesday at the Sidecar. Devil’s Backbone Tavern has the Warren Hood Band on Saturday and Susan Gibson on Sunday. Sunny Sweeney is one of my favorite Texas singers so be sure to catch her show on Friday at Cheatham Street Warehouse. 

The Brauntex Theatre has two nights of acoustic music starting tonight with folk trio The Limelighters and Radney Foster on Friday night. Riley’s Tavern has Shelley King and Kevin Galloway on Friday night. Kevin was the lead singer for Uncle Lucius for their entire time as a band. Tom Gillam brings his talented Kosmic Messengers out to Gruene Hall for a free show next Wednesday night. 

Last but not least, Aaron Stephens continues his Tuesday night residency at the Black Whale Pub downtown.

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