For Copper Chief, a band based in Austin and New Braunfels, being on a hit TV show like USA Network’s Real Country was a huge shot in the arm for the young band. 

They hung in the competition until the end and in spite of Judge Travis Tritt supporting them, Jaida Dreyer ended up winning the show. 

Coming in second place was probably a blessing for this hard edged band because it kept their underdog status intact. 

Consisting of Mike Valliere on vocals and guitar, Rio Tripiano on lead guitar and vocals, Justin Lusk on bass and vocals and John Jammall II on drums, this four piece group paid their dues on Austin’s Sixth Street for years. 

Trapped in the cover song cycle like most young bands, they learned every popular tune they could to keep the crowds happy. 

Finally they started writing original tunes and slipping them into their sets, hoping the crowds would like their songs. 

Influenced by a diverse group of musicians from George Strait to Led Zeppelin, Copper Chief has music for everyone. 

Their 15-track debut album includes the popular radio hit Jericho, a song Mike admits is the only love song he’s ever finished and kept. 

While Jericho helped open a few doors, it’s the overall quality of their music that keeps the fans coming to their live shows. 

Onstage is where they shine and show their true colors. A rocking take on Dolly Parton’s Jolene was a favorite on the Real Country show and still is today, though they haven’t recorded a studio version yet. 

A summer tour dubbed the Wagon’s West Summer 2019 Tour will take them coast to coast, spreading their music across the heartland. 

Tonight they stop in San Antonio at Sam’s Burger Joint and tickets are still available on Sam’s website.

Koe Wetzel headline at Whitewater

When Koe Wetzel takes the stage on Saturday night at Whitewater Amphitheater I think it will be his first time to headline the venue. 

Born in Pittsburgh, Texas, Wetzel was a star athlete in school before getting interested in music. His mother was a singer and often took Koe with her to gigs. 

He was just six years old when he first sang on stage and by 12 he was playing guitar. When his interest in sports began to falter he turned to music full time.

He formed his band the Konvicts in 2012 and released his EP titled Love & Lies. In 2015, he issued his first full-length album called Out on Parole and started building a solid Texas fan-base. 

It wasn’t until the 2017 CD Noise Complaints that he moved to headline status at venues and festivals. He took two years to write and record his new album, Harold Saul High, and you can really notice the depth of his songwriting. 

The songs are very personal and the album follows his high school experiences, even down to the inclusion of between class announcements.  Song titles range from Make Believe, She Can’t Stop Crying and Ragweed, his ode to his favorite band Cross Canadian Ragweed. It’s a fitting lineup for the Saturday concert since Cody Canada and Jeremy Plato from Ragweed, now called the Departed, will be opening for Koe. If you go, get there early so you can catch the opening guest slot by Kody West, another popular Texas singer. 

All three of these bands have new music for sale so show your support by purchasing some if you like what you hear on-stage. Get your tickets today at WhitewaterRocks.com.

Ray Wylie Hubbard Plays Floores Country Store

Ray Wylie Hubbard has influenced so many young Americana artists, far too many to list here. 

He’s written songs with Eric Church, Ringo Starr and Ronnie Dunn, just to name a few. 

It seems like every few days I read about another music superstar seeking out Ray’s songwriting wisdom. Of course, this makes perfect sense considering the vast number of original songs he’s written. I’ve always been fascinated how songwriters can remember the words to all of their songs. 

I guess if you write a song it becomes implanted in your brain forever. Ray will be playing a big chunk of his songs on Saturday night at Floores Country Store with Texas rocker Jonathan Tyler opening. 

Tyler is an artist that counts Hubbard as an influence so there’s a good chance they will team up for a song or two at this show. 

Tyler has always existed on the cutting edge of outlaw country and classic rock. 

The last time I spoke with Tyler he was producing his girlfriend Nikki Lane’s new album titled Highway Queen. Hopefully both Ray and Jonathan will have new music soon. Get tickets for this show at LiveatFloores.com.

Roger Creager 

Celebrates Birthday at Gruene Hall

Roger Creager is one of the few artists that can take over Gruene Hall for four consecutive nights to celebrate his birthday in grand style.  Every year Creager throws a four-day bash at the historic venue and invites many of his friends to join in the fun. 

The party gets started next Wednesday with Dalton Domino as his special guest. 

On Thursday he welcomes Max Stalling and Deryl Dodd. These first two shows are acoustic song swap events full of stories and tunes. The full-band shows start on Friday with Broken Spokes opening followed by Chris Colton handling opening duties on Saturday night. Tickets to all four shows are available on their website at GrueneHall.com.

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