Better Know an Artist (Vol 5): Daniel Markham

Daniel Markham, a true rock-n-roll singer/songwriter from Denton, crafts sounds that recall sounds from all over the rock spectrum, from Nirvana to R.E.M. to Toadies and Guns N Roses, with an occasional hint of alt-country (because, Texas). Definitely, an artist I would have been all over back in my high school and college days. I think he’s going to be a bright spot on our local music scene for a while. Daniel sat down (on his birthday, no less) to answer our overly repetitive questions.

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

DM: My grandfather started playing guitar again later on in his life. I was playing the Alto Sax in band at the time, but I loved Nirvana. He taught me how to play chords. He bought me a guitar for my 12th birthday. After that, I never looked back. I never thought about making money with music, but I’m very fortunate that I get to!

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

DM: I’d just call it Rock & Roll.

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

DM: I like so many bands. R.E.M. is my favorite. I love Black Metal and Doom bands. I also like Lana Del Rey. I dunno. I love it all, I guess.

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

DM: I wrote a song called “Downhill” for a dear friend who passed away. I wanted to write a song that made him a super hero. I still love playing it.

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

DM: R.E.M., Pantera, or Buddy Holly. I think our music would fit with any of that stuff.

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

DM: I love so much music. DFW is blessed with a great music scene.

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

DM: Failure’s Fantastic Planet

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

DM: I like that there are so many great bands working hard to make great music. I kinda hate how self-congratulatory it can all be, though. I don’t know.

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

DM: Dan’s Silverleaf is my home. They’ve treated me like a king since I moved here. It’s the best sounding room. I couldn’t live without Dan’s and everyone involved with it.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

DM: Siamese, Claire Morales, Bawcomville, and Jake Paleschic

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

DM: I’m probably wearing Superman underwear most of the time.

Thanks a bunch to Daniel Markham for getting this back to me so promptly and giving some really informative answers. I feel like we really got to the heart of this emerging artist. Keep an eye out. Daniel will be performing at Sundown at Granada Theater on Dec 4. Get tickets here and check out his most recent album, Pretty Bitchin’ below, along with his recent Halloween record with Claire Morales, Harmony in Hell.

Photo Credit: Karlo X. Ramos

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Top Shows Coming to Town for 11/27/15-12/3/15

I tried to pop this out at the last second on Wednesday, but couldn’t get it finished on time. Hope everyone had a great time with their families for Thanksgiving. I still haven’t had time to update my spreadsheet recently so I’m sure I’m probably missing stuff at this point. Hopefully, I can get my spreadsheet updated again soon after the holidays. Have fun with your Christmas rush, and get out and see some shows.

1 Willie Nelson @ Billy Bob’s (Fort Worth) Sat 11/28/15

Ok, it’s gonna be pretty hard to keep Willie out of the top spot when he’s in town. He’s one of the greatest songwriters of all time, one of the most beloved Texans of all time, and possibly the one seed in that age old question “guy you’d most like to have a beer (or a joint) with”. Pure legend.

2 Muse w/ Phantogram @ American Airlines Center (Dallas) Weds 12/2/15

Some of you may have jumped ship when these Brits were Stephenie Meyer’s idols and contributed to every Twilight film. Muse is apparently true to their name for Little Miss Twilight. That being said, they’re still some of the most energetic performers you’ll see among this generation’s bands, and they still play those tracks you love from back in the day. Besides, you haven’t lived if you haven’t seen Muse play “Knights of Cydonia” live.

3 Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox @ Bomb Factory (Deep Ellum) Thurs 12/3/15

Man, I’m really stacking up my nerd points today. I kinda enjoy what Postmodern Jukebox does giving a super old school twist on modern hits. I might have tried to go to this, if I didn’t already have a busy week.

4 Azealia Banks @ House of Blues (Dallas) Sat 11/28/15

Not sure this Harlem raised rapper has really lived up to the hype. Who knows, maybe she’ll start a new Twitter beef during the show, or maybe Ms. Erykah Badu will come settle their Twitter beef on stage. That could be entertaining.

5 Jingle Ball @ American Airlines Center (Dallas) Tues 12/2/15

I guess at some point, I have to reference this s— show that’s probably the hottest ticket in town. One Direction, Calvin Harris, Demi Lovato, 5 Seconds of Summer, Ellie Goulding, Zedd, Shawn Mendes, Tove Lo, Charlie Puth, DNCE will have your tween daughters totally losing their s—. Make sure to pack some headphones.

6 Big K.R.I.T. w/ BJ the Chicago Kid @ the Bomb Factory (Deep Ellum) Fri 11/27/15

(K)ritically acclaimed Mississippi raper, Big K.R.I.T. makes a stop in the big D.

7 Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat w/ Charley Crockett @ the Kessler (Oak Cliff) Sat 11/28/15

One of the greatest living guitarists, Jim Suhler (George Thorogood & the Destroyers), takes the stage, following an opening set by one of my favorite cats, Charley Crockett.

8 Jennifer Nettles w/ Brandy Clark & Ryan Kinder @ House of Blues (Dallas) Thurs 12/3/15

Best known as the frontwoman for Sugarland, Jennifer Nettles returns to Dallas with talented Country songwriters, Brandy Clark & Ryan Kinder.

9 the Band of Heathens w/ Wesley Geiger @ Granada Theater (Lower Greenville) Fri 11/27/15

One of Austin’s most revered rock and roll bands makes the trek up 35 to Granada. Wesley Geiger opens.

10 Dead Flowers w/ Goodnight Ned, Hell Texas & the Van Sanchez @ Three Links (Deep Ellum) Sat 11/28/15

This is a pretty sweet lineup of local favorites. Check it out if you’re in that neck of the woods.

Also in town this week:
Fri 11/27/15
Cole Swindell w/ Adam Sanders @ Billy Bob’s
Blue October @ South Side Ballroom
the Hendersons w/ Matt Tedder and Special Guest Lou Quaid @ the Grotto
Soundclash: Pablo and the Hemphill 7 w/ Darth Vato and Sally Majestic @ Lola’s
Possessed By Paul James w/ Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs
Koe Wetzel & the Konvicts w/ Melissa Ratley @ Shipping & Receiving
King Bucks w/ the Honky Tonkers @ Adair’s
Dalton Domino w/ Austin Meade @ Magnolia
Cody Culberson @ Live Oak Roof Top
Bill Kirchen @ Live Oak
JB & the Moonshine Band w/ Curtis Grimes @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill
Denton Comedy Collective @ Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio
Stage Fright: Bar Band Does the Band @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Monte Montgomery @ the Kessler
the Tonemasters @ Keys Lounge
Bobby Sessions w/ the High Standard Family & Justus @ Trees
the Chris Milyo Band @ Scat Jazz Lounge

Sat 11/28/15
Vodeo w/ Arenda Light @ Shipping & Receiving
Spoonfed Tribe @ Trees
Rock Lottery @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
These Machines are Winning w/ True Widow & Megafauna @ Granada Theater
Mike McClure Band @ Sundown at Granada
ZUMA (Big Mike Does Neil Young) @ Magnolia
Tejas Brothers @ Live Oak
Acacia Strain w/ Counterparts @ Gas Monkey BnG
Sleepin’ Rattlers w/ the Honky Tonkers @ Adair’s
Texas Flood (SRV Tribute) @ Keys Lounge
Larry Braggs @ Scat Jazz Lounge

Sun 11/29/15
Kenny Uptain @ Live Oak Roof Top
Jeezy w/ Trapboy Freddy @ Gas Monkey Live!
D.R.I. w/ Protest, Exploder, & Chemicaust @ Trees
Standard Transmission @ Lola’s
Parkway Drive @ House of Blues
Carmen’s…Everyone Can Sing With the Band @ Adair’s
TC Fambro @ Magnolia
Black Dog Jazz Jam @ Scat Jazz Lounge

Mon 11/30/15
Gary P Nunn @ Billy Bob’s
Marc Cohn @ the Kessler
10 Years w/ Spoken, Skytown Riot & Serosia @ Trees
Open Mic Night w/ Luke McGlathery @ Lola’s
Sugarfoote w/ Brian Lambert @ Adair’s Dallas
Jody Jones Songwriting Showcase @ Magnolia
the Interruptors w/ Rude King & Revolucion Oi @ Three Links

Tues 12/1/15
Through the Roots w/ Maoli @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill

Weds 12/2/15
David Bromberg Quintet @ Granada Theater
Tesseract w/ the Contortionist, Erra, & Skyharbor @ Trees
Greg Trooper @ Live Oak
Kenny Uptain @ Lola’s
Darwin Deez w/ Charly Bliss @ Three Links

Thurs 12/3/15
Pale Dian w/ Ill Smiths & Honor System @ Lola’s
Digitour Slaybells Fire @ Granada Theater
Jonny Burke @ Sundown at Granada
Juan Gabriel @ American Airlines Center
Ryan Tharp @ Magnolia

Anyways, that’s all for this week, so……

Get out there and see some shows!

Better Know an Artist (Vol 4): Charley Crockett

Charley Crockett just might be my answer to the question I always ask about favorite local acts people should be looking out for. The guy’s got an awesome throwback sound, blending all sorts of influences from his home states of Texas and Louisiana, you got country, blues, soul, cajun, gospel, a little of everything here. Add to that a cool fashion vibe, a great passion for music history and noteworthy bloodline (descendent of Davy), and you get a pretty cool cat. Anyways, Charley sat down and knocked out some answers to all my questions, and here’s what went down.

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

CC: I was always singing blues and gospel with my mother when I was a kid. I picked up guitar on the street in New Orleans when I was about 17 and started hitch hiking and hopping trains around the country. Didn’t think much about making music for a living at first. I just wanted to play all the time and that hasn’t changed.

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

CC: You could call my music Cajun, Soul, Blues, Gospel, Country, Folk, Swing, R&B, etc, but I like to think of it as Texas and Louisiana music so I don’t have to name so many genres.

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

CC: It’s difficult for me to nail down my influences to just a couple. I’ve been deeply affected by so many. T-Bone Walker, Fats Domino, Magic Sam, Elmore James, Billie Holiday, Bill Withers, Hank Sr., Loretta Lynn, the Carter Family, Chuck Berry, Etta James, Clifton Chenier, Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons, Lightnin’ Hopkins, prison work songs, and early spirituals just to name a few. I could go on and on.

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

CC: I wrote a song called Trinity River on my last record. I feel like the song wrote itself. I was sitting on a bridge over the river and it just came to me all of a sudden. It’s a tribue to the forgotten heritage of this area.

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

CC: Magic Sam!!! No one had his energy. He could sing and play guitar like no one else I’ve ever heard.

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

CC: Brennen Leigh down in Austin. She’s my favorite current country/old time artist and man can she pick that guitar! Tomar and the FCs are an amazing old school soul act I just saw for the first time down in Austin at the White Horse Saloon.

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

CC: Sonny Boy Williamson II the Chess Years Box Set

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

CC: I like how small the scene is. Towns like New York City, Nashville and Austin can be overwhelming, but Dallas/Fort Worth still has a small town feel as far as the music scene goes. So much talent, even if no one’s there to listen. I love everything about Fort Worth. My least favorite thing about Dallas is the lack of pride in Deep Ellum’s early black music heritage.

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

CC: It’s a tie for me. The Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff and the Freeman in Deep Ellum. Both venues have magical energy and are doing so much to support the local music community.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

CC: Vincent Neil Emerson and Kirk Thurmond are two of my favorite local song writers. Pay attention to Alexis Sanchez. He’s a truly gifted guitar player. My favorite local band right now is the Terence Bradfrod Quartet. Mike Morgan is a real deal old school Blues man.

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

CC: I had such a bad stutter I could hardly speak until I was 10.

Much love to the man, Charley Crockett. He’s such a passionate soul with deep respect for the rich history of music’s past. Keep an eye out for him. There are big things ahead. You can catch Charley at the Kessler on Sat, Nov 28, opening for Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat. Check out his latest release A Stolen Jewel below and keep an eye out for his new record In the Night, which should be out by the end of the year.

Photo credit: Daniel Driensky @dd_danieldriensky

Top Shows Coming to Town for 11/20/15-11/26/15

I didn’t update the calendar this week, so I hope I’m not missing anything major. Got some more venues I need to add next time I do update. Again, if I missed your show, let me know, I’m happy to add it. Anyways, here we go. I had Gwar on the list for a second, but with no more Oderus Urungus, so…..

1 Metric w/ Sarah Jaffe & Hibou @ Bomb Factory (Deep Ellum) Fri 11/20/15

Emily Haines and the Toronto indie darlings are headed your way, after a recent pass through opening for Imagine Dragons.

2 GZA @ Trees (Deep Ellum) Fri 11/20/15

Gary Grice, AKA GZA, AKA the Genius, AKA the mastermind behind the Wu Tang Clan.

3 Bone, Thugs n Harmony @ Bomb Factory (Deep Ellum) Sat 11/21/15

And while we’re on the subject of throwback hip hop groups….

4 JD McPherson w/ Parker Millsap @ Granada Theater (Lower Greenville) Fri 11/20/15

JD McPherson is an old soul from Oklahoma. His latest album, Let the Good Times Roll, takes cues from Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and dozens of other old school touchstones of rock n’ roll.

5 Rhett Miller @ Gas Monkey Live (Dallas) Sat 11/21/15

I believe this is the Old 97’s frontman’s annual fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis.

6 Mark Kozelek @ Sons of Hermann Hall (Deep Ellum) Sat 11/21/15

Sun Kil Moon vocalist and guy that Run the Jewels hate, Mark Kozelek, everyone.

7 Blue Healer w/ Jacob Furr @ Sundown at Granada (Lower Greenville) Fri 11/20/15

Blue Healer is a pretty great emerging band out of Austin (members formerly of Sons of Fathers). They were just in Fort Worth supporting Heartless Bastards, but now they’re back for a headlining show on the roof with local favorite, Jacob Furr.

8 the Stone Foxes w/ Vodeo @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth) Sun 11/22/15

The Stone Foxes are a pretty rockin’ bluesy band out of San Francisco. Locals Vodeo (formerly Shake the Moon), who you may be knowing better soon (wink), lend support.

9 James Bay @ House of Blues (Dallas) Mon 11/23/15

the 25 year old British singer swept to popularity with his single “Hold Back the River”, although I thought his commercially successful record, released in March, was kind of disappointing.

10 the Orange w/ Jetta in the Ghost Tree and Moon Waves  @ the Kessler (Oak Cliff) Weds 11/25/15

Quaker City Night Hawks @ Lola’s (Fort Worth) Weds 11/25/15

I’m going with a tie between these 2 great local shows on Wednesday. I guess you should just catch the one near you.

Also in town this week:

Fri 11/20
Gwar w/ Born of Osiris @ Gas Monkey Live (Dallas)
Possessed By Paul James @ Dan’s Silver Leaf (Denton)
Vincent Neil Emerson & the Old Souls w/ Josh Newcom @ Adair’s (Deep Ellum)
Rise & Shine (CD Release) w/ Color TV & Natural Anthem @ Three Links (Deep Ellum)
Turbid North w/ Cosmic Trigger, Mountain of Smoke, Brazos River Outlaws & Caddis @ Lola’s (Fort Worth)
David Cook w/ Andrew Ripp @ the Kessler (Oak Cliff)
Shinyribs w/ Grady Spencer @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth)
Moving Units w/ Hope Riot @ the Foundry (Dallas)
Disciple w/ KJ-52, Loftland & the Protest @ the Door (Deep Ellum)
Mayday Parade w/ Real Friends, the Wild Life, & As It Is @ House of Blues (Dallas)
Bart Crow w/ Waterloo Revival @ Billy Bob’s (Fort Worth)
JT Habersaat w/ Lisa Friedrich & Mike Weibe @ Rubber Gloves (Denton)
Gary Myrick w/ Hardcore Troubadours @ Live Oak (Fort Worth)
SoMo w/ Kirko Bangz & Jordan Bratton @ South Side Ballroom (Dallas)
Colin Boyd @ Live Oak Roof Top (Fort Worth)
the Front Bottoms @ Gas Monkey Bar n Grill (Dallas)
Tommy Emmauel @ Majestic Theatre (Dallas)
Ready Revolution w/ Jonny Gray, Victories, Lovesick Mary & Passing a Starfighter @ the Prophet Bar (Deep Ellum)
E.C. Was Here (Eric Clapton Tribute Night) @ Keys Lounge (Fort Worth)
Q and the Crew @ Scat Jazz Lounge (Fort Worth)

Sat 11/21
Vincent Neil Emerson & the Old Souls @ the Flying Saucer (Fort Worth)
Attack of the Funk Fest ft Mountain of Smoke, Spacebeach, FOGG, New Science Projects, Dome Dwellers, Moon Waves, Andy Pickett, Panic Volcanic, Vicious Firs, slumberbuzz, Hate Your Friends, the Flourescents, the Fibs, Lady Kira, Squanto, Nathan Brown & Tornup @ 1912 Club (Fort Worth)
STS9 w/ AutoErotique @ House of Blues (Dallas)
Last Comic Standing Finalists @ Verizon Theatre (Grand Prairie)
Swan Song (Led Zeppelin Tribute) w/ Crowe Showe & David George & the Roaming Soldiers @ Granada Theater (Lower Greenville)
Wayne “the Train” Hancock @ Dan’s Silver Leaf (Denton)
Jane Siberry @ the Kessler
Peter Bradley Adams @ Live Oak Music Hall (Fort Worth)
Savoy w/ A.DD+, Nite & Blue, the Misfit @ Trees (Deep Ellum)
the Holophonics w/ Rude King, Bumpin Uglies, BE LIKE MAX & Pasadena @ Three Links (Deep Ellum)
Ricki Derek & the Vegas Six @ Scat Jazz Lounge (Fort Worth)
Kip Moore w/ Michael Ray & Chris Cavanaugh @ Billy Bob’s (Fort Worth)
Peter Case @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth)
Cody Culberson @ Live Oak Roof Top (Fort Worth)
An Evening of Laughter with Leslie Jordan, Vince Martinez & Sister Helen Holy @ Majestic Theatre (Dallas)
Stereo Control @ the Foundry (Dallas)
Amaranthe w/ Butcher Babies @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill (Dallas)
Attic Ted w/ Gay Cum Daddies, Lauryn Belmore and Darcy Neal & Psychic Killers @ Rubber Gloves (Denton)
the Bodarks w/ Larry Hooper @ Adair’s Saloon (Deep Ellum)
4 Way Street (CSNY Tribute) @ Keys Lounge (Fort Worth)

Sun 11/22
the Ataris w/ Red Like Heat & Birds of Night @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill (Dallas)
Kenny Uptain @ Live Oak Roof Top (Fort Worth)
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott @ Live Oak (Fort Worth)
A Loss For Words w/ Seasons Change @ Sons of Hermann Hall (Deep Ellum)
Victor Manuelle @ House of Blues (Dallas)
Phil Vassar w/ Madison King @ the Kessler (Oak Cliff)
Carmen’s…Everyone Can Sing with the Band w/ Stefan Prigmore @ Adair’s Saloon (Deep Ellum)
Black Dog Jazz Jam @ Scat Jazz Lounge (Fort Worth)
Kim Nall w/ Western Skies @ Dan’s Silver Leaf (Denton)

Mon 11/23
the World is a Beautiful Place… w/ Foxing @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill (Dallas)
Open Mic Night w/ Luke McGlathery @ Lola’s (Fort Worth)
Jeff Satterly & Darrin Kobetich @ the Grotto (Fort Worth)
Edhoculi w/ Ex-Breathers & Gnarwhal @ Rubber Gloves (Denton)
Paul Slavens and Friends @ Dan’s Silver Leaf (Denton)
the Dirty Irv w/ Lights Out @ Adair’s Saloon (Deep Ellum)
Jody Jones Songwriting Showcase @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth

Tues 11/24
Highly Suspect @ Dada Dallas (Deep Ellum)
the Texas Gentlemen @ Lola’s Saloon (Fort Worth)
Cody Culberson @ Live Oak Roof Top (Fort Worth)
Blind Guardian w/ Grave Digger @ Gas Monkey Live (Dallas)
Tatsuya Nakatani + Michael Doneda w/ Lily Taylor, Sarah Ruth, Beth Dodds, Sam Friedland & Reece McLean @ Rubber Gloves (Denton)
E.C. Jacob and the Green Hour Residency @ Dan’s Silver Leaf (Denton)
Ronda Ray w/ the Spud & Mo Show @ Adair’s Saloon (Deep Ellum)
Matt Tedder @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth)
Like a Storm w/ From Ashes to New Stitched Up Heart @ Trees (Deep Ellum)
Straight Ahead @ Scat Jazz Lounge (Fort Worth)
CoLab Friday’s Foolery @ Three Links (Dallas)

Weds 11/25
Snarky Puppy w/ RC and the Gritz & Shaun Martin @ the Prophet Bar (Deep Ellum)
the Vanity @ House of Blues (Dallas)
Devin the Dude w/ Potluck @ Gas Monkey Live (Dallas)
Rock and Roll Over (KISS Tribute) w/ Infestation @ House of Blues (Dallas)
the Good Life @ Dada Dallas (Deep Ellum)
Mac Miller w/ Tory Lanez, Michael Christmas & Njomza @ the Bomb Factory (Deep Ellum)
Kevin Fowler @ Billy Bob’s (Fort Worth)
the Dick Beldings @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth)
Pavel Chekov w/ the Noids @ Rubber Gloves (Denton)
Uver @ Dan’s Silver Leaf (Denton)

Thurs 11/26
 Luke Wade @ Billy Bob’s (Fort Worth)
Ryan Tharp @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth)
Are You Sick of Your Family Yet? @ Rubber Gloves (Denton)
Frenchie’s Blues Destroyer @ Adair’s Saloon (Deep Ellum)

Anyways, that’s all for this week, so……

Get out there and see some shows!

Discovery of the Day (11/16)

It’s a rainy day here in North Texas, so here’s a nice relaxed, mesmerizing track from Australian singer-songwriter, Emma Louise. “Underflow” is a perfect song to listen to, while you watch the rain droplets run down your window (I mean, if you don’t have an Adele record laying around, anyway).

Emma Louise “Underflow”

Better Know an Artist (Vol 3): Kenny Uptain

Kenny Uptain is a talented songwriter from Fort Worth who’s been floating around the local scene for a while. Probably best known as the front man for the group, Foxtrot Uniform, he can currently be found in residency every Sunday on the rooftop at Live Oak Music Hall along with Quaker City Night Hawks’ Sam Anderson, and with his new neo-folk project, Chucho. Kenny took the time out of his hectic schedule to answer some questions for us that we were all dying to know the answers to (you know, the ones we ask everyone).

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

KU: I first got into music when a kid brought a guitar to speech class when I was 15. I didn’t know how to play it, but it sounded kickass. I saved up for a Squire guitar and a little crate amp and spent countless hours in the bedroom playing blues leads. When I was 16, I got an offer to play lead guitar in the Kurt South Band all around the Fort Worth area. I haven’t left since.

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

KU: I take words very serious. I don’t need big words nor do I need the premise of the song to be serious, but I hate cheesy lines or lines that don’t fit perfectly in the allotted space. I wouldn’t know how to tell people about it to make them interested in listening. I just know I take it more serious that anything else I do, which might not be saying much.

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

KU: Willie, John Prine, Roger Miller, Townes, Blaze, Doug Sahm, Lefty Frizzell, Ernest Tubb, Waylon, ZZ Top, JJ Cale, Father John Misty. I could go on forever. I really enjoy Willie Nelson for the simple fact that if you dive into his material, your life will be changed, and it will have had nothing to do with the songs you are familiar with. He may be one of the best singer/guitar player combinations of all time. That, and he can write the fuck out of a song.

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

KU: Songs make me happy or sad or mad or whatever it is I’m feeling at the time that I write them. After the writing process is done, I tend not to dwell. It was written to get whatever feeling I had at that moment out into the world so I could be done with the feeling. I’m pretty ADD that way. So, to answer, I have no song that stands out a lot to me.

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

KU: I’d like to open for early 70’s Willie Nelson. Because I wanna get blasted with the guy that was about to knock the whole country game right the fuck out of the park.

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

KU: David Matsler, VNE, Jake Paleschic, Jacob Furr, Blue Healer, Father John Misty and a ton of shit that ain’t new.

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

KU: Doug Sahm Doug Sahm and his Band

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

KU: There seems to be no competition. Between artists, musicians, venues, bars, etc. It’s an all embracing, ever evolving crazy scene that seems to have no one holding it back. I suppose what I like least would be the amount of beards I see. They used to be unique.

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

KU: As a band, I love playing Lola’s. When you have the right bill and the sound is on, that place will melt the fucking soles of your shoes to the floor. I love the Live Oak Music Hall for a listening room, and the Chat Room is surprisingly and easily one of the raddest spots I have ever played in the area. These are all for playing. When it comes to seeing a show, I’m a Lola’s dude.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

KU: Holy shit, if DFW only knew. There’s Fort Worth cats like David Matsler, Jake Paleschic, Vincent Neil Emerson, Jacob Furr, Sam Anderson, Ben Hance, Andy Pickett, Nolan Ryan Robertson, and a shit ton of others I’m pissed to be forgetting that do shit I only wish I could do. Such great eclectic talent in Fort Worth. In the DFW scene in general, there’s Daniel Markham, Wesley Geiger, Beau Bedford and all of the dudes that have played with and as the Texas Gentlemen (Leon Bridges’ original backing band, btw). I know I’m forgetting a ton, but I’m proud to know such an eclectic and rad group of artists within an hour drive every which way.

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

KU: I’d rather people not know…

 

Much love to Kenny Uptain for taking the time to sit down with us (on his electronic device). Check out Chucho’s EP Monotonic Tailpiece below and catch them live at Lola’s with Keegan McInroe and Jacob Furr on Thursday, Nov 19. Kenny can also currently be found every Sunday on the roof top at the Live Oak from 8-11 with Sam Anderson.

Discovery of the Day (11/15)

Got a nice little chill song today, so if you’re not in smashmouth football mode today, kick back your feet and hang out with Sydney’s Caleb Jacobs (the Cathy’s), under the name Plum, and today’s Shoegaze track, “Reveal”.

Plum “Reveal”