When Randy Rogers released his new album, Hellbent, he already had a string of hit albums under his belt. He could have just thrown together some songs and put out anything and his fans would have snatched it. However, that’s not how Randy rolls. Anything with his name on it will be the best he has to offer.
The first single, Crazy People, is one of the catchiest songs he’s ever released and the perfect summertime hit. My favorite track is Comal County Line, an ode to being out on the road just a bit too long and missing home.
Randy turns in a fantastic version of Guy Clark’s Hell Bent on a Heartache from Clark’s final album, My Favorite Picture of You. I was lucky enough to hear him debut We Never Made It To Mexico at his acoustic show at SeeKatz Opera House a few months ago. It’s a heartfelt tune about missed opportunities and lost love.
Wine In Her Coffee Cup is about a girl who self-medicates with liquor to keep up the façade of a perfect life. He closes the album with A Good One Coming On, a song about how fleeting life can be and how easily it can all go away in the blink of an eye.
You can hear these songs plus many more on Saturday night at Whitewater Amphitheater when the Randy Rogers Band headlines a show with William Clark Green opening. Tickets are on sale now at Whitewaterrocks.com but don’t wait to long because this show will sell out.
Hootie & the Blowfish Reunite for Tour
Back in 1994 it seemed like everywhere you looked there were ads for Hootie & the Blowfish. They were the hottest band in America for two years. I remember being backstage at a Ted Nugent concert in 1994, and he said “Hey, you’re a music guy, what the hell is a Hootie?” That’s what everyone wanted to know, what was a Hootie. As band names go, it was unique.
The band formed in the mid-’80s in Columbia, S.C., when college pals Darius Rucker and Mark Bryan formed a duo called the Wolf Brothers and played at local bars. Bassist Dean Felber and drummer Brantley Smith soon joined and a band was formed.
Several stories are told about the band’s name; the most popular is that it’s a combination of two college friends’ nicknames. Another is they would often party at their friend Hootie’s apartment and stare at his aquarium that contained several blowfish.
Regardless of the source, their debut album, Cracked Rear View, was released in 1994 and immediately hit the top of basically every chart in America. Today it has a total sales number of 21 million. Not bad for a group of college buddies that had no real musical ambitions when they first started out.
Original drummer Smith would leave the band and be replaced by Jim ‘Soni’ Sonefeld. In a cool bit of trivia, when the band played Gruene Hall on June 27, 2008, Brantley Smith rejoined the band for that single show to fill in for Sonefeld. After five albums the band went on a 10-year hiatus in 2009 but have now reformed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their debut album, Cracked Rear View. They have released a three-CD deluxe edition of the album with rare remixed versions and some live cuts. They are on tour with pals Barenaked Ladies opening the shows.
Next Thursday, June 13, they will be at the A360 Amphitheater in Austin with tickets available at Ticketmaster.com.
Sgt. Pepper Album Celebrates a Milestone
Speaking of hit albums, it was 52 years ago when the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Recorded in 1967 and released on June 2 in America, it is considered the best album in recorded history. Every time a list is compiled of the greatest albums of all time, Sgt. Pepper is always listed at Number One.
When sessions began for the album, the Beatles recorded Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever first. They were intended for the album but Capital Records insisted on releasing the songs as a double sided single. Just imagine how incredible Sgt. Pepper would be if these two songs would have been included like the band had planned.
The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and was one of the last ones to use the old 4-track recorder that had been used on every Beatles album so far. A month after the album was finished, the studio installed a brand new state-of-the-art eight-track recorder.
To celebrate the half-century mark, Capital Records has released a limited edition four-CD set that includes a remastered album plus all the studio outtakes from the four-month sessions.
Live Music in Full Swing Around Town
Now that summer is upon us, let’s check out some of the live music options for this weekend.
The Rick Cavender Band will make a rare New Braunfels appearance with a show tonight at the Brauntex Theatre.
Jerry Jeff Walker makes a triumphant return to Gruene Hall on Friday and Saturday after battling throat cancer. The Saturday show is sold out but at press time tickets were still available for the Friday show.
On Sunday, Krause’s Café will host the annual Waylon Gruene Malone Memorial Throwdown Musical Benefit starting at 3 p.m.
On Monday, stop by the Pour Haus for the super talented Tony Taylor. The Black Whale Pub is the place to be on Tuesday, and Aaron Stephens and Zack Walther’s shows each Wednesday at Freiheit Country Store are always a fun night of music.