Better Know an Artist (Vol 9): Tyler Rougeux (of Whiskey Folk Ramblers)

When my wife and I first started going out to see local music, there were 4 groups we tried to see as much as possible: Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, the Burning Hotels, Telegraph Canyon and Seryn. Early on, the latter 2, we almost always saw playing together, but later in this period, they started branching off and tended to play with 2 other bands you might know now, Quaker City Night Hawks and Whiskey Folk Ramblers. Today’s guest, Tyler Rougeux is the frontman and lead songwriter for Whiskey Folk Ramblers. His current project is called Classic Cult with a few of his other talented musical friends. Tyler sat down and answered some questions for me, and what ensued is the following. His dream concert is pretty legit, although I might play it for free (but I suck, so….). Also, my wife and I just met on eHarmony. His story’s better. Anyways, here we go:

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)?

TR: When I was ten years old, I saw a bunch of bands play at a block party, and had never really noticed live music before then, and I fell into it then. I went home, begged for a guitar, ended up saving money and getting one that year. I got bored easily as a kid & music has been one of the only things to really stick with me over the years.

My Grampa and uncle used to play music every Christmas, too, and my Grampa would talk about his 9 brothers and 2 sisters, and how everyone played an instrument and they would have family hoedowns, and I was always fascinated by that.

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

TR: Well, it’s tough. That’s been a frustrating topic over the years. I would really like to say that Whiskey Folk Ramblers are a Country band, or a Rock & Roll band, or a Rockabilly band, but it’s not truly any of those things. I suppose Folk is the right category, even though we don’t sound like other folk bands, because a lot of these songs tell stories about things that middle & lower class “folks” can relate to, or just any class of people in some cases. Stories about the corrupted preacher, the true alcoholic, poverty, the old lady at the pie stand, things that are simple and can be considered folk stories.

So instead of saying we’re a Spaghetti Western, Rockabilly, Country band, it’s safe to just say we’re a Folk Rock band.

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

TR: I love artists like Tom Waits, Nick Cave, the Gun Club, the Cramps, Scott Walker, sounds of those nature, the best. However, I take influences from a wide variety of genres.

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

TR: The answer to this question is always changing. If I write something new, then I can connect to it on that honeymoon level, but there are songs WFR has played for 8 or 9 years that just never stopped being fun, or never stopped evolving, or maybe it’s got nostalgia. But to give a dated answer, my current favorite to play is a song we have not yet released, called “Firefly Lights”. It’s about going to where the Robert Johnson story took place, & a bunch of other things about growing up.

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

TR: It would be a Time Warp Johnny Cash show, and it would start in the early 2000s. He would be touring with the American Records albums, and people like Fiona Apple & Tom Petty would be there to back him up. Then, during his set, he would transform into a younger Johnny Cash, and he would do an Elvis impersonation (which you should look up on YouTube), then play a full band set of old classics. Whiskey Folk would, hypothetically, open the show and make a lot of money and have a blast.

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

TR: My mind goes blank when asked that question. THere are so many great DFW bands and beyond. I really don’t want to leave anyone out by singling out others. Just keep learning about bands an artists (Editor’s note: this is a good space to do that <end promotional plug>), new or old. But also see my answer to the next to last question below.

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

TR: I feel like there are some rules to this one. Like, it can’t be a compilation, or a Best of, things like that, but I am gonna cheat a little bit, by picking a multi-album, Orphans, by Tom Waits. But only because it’s way longer than 45 minutes and I could totally live with it.

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

TR: I’m gonna start with what I don’t like. I hate it when people shit talk the surrounding cities they don’t live in, like it’s some kind of competition or rivalry.

What I love about Dallas, Denton & Fort Worth is that they all welcome new bands, respect old bands, there are so many music venues in this area. I guess I’m just glad I don’t live some place that’s musically dried up.

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

TR: In Fort Worth, it’s Lola’s. I miss the Wreck Room. Other cities, it’s too hard to choose.

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

TR: Well, since you’re asking ME, I’m gonna go ahead and be biased, and say that everyone should check out the band, Classic Cult. it’s a band I started with some friends from Dallas.

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

TR: Little known fact: I would have never talked to my wife if we hadn’t first accidentally talked & bonded over old Chipmunks albums, randomly.

Shout out to Tyler Rougeux for being so kind as to join us. Keep an eye out for gigs with his original band, the Whiskey Folk Ramblers (Check out their most recent album, the Lonesome Underground below), and his latest project, Classic Cult.

And as a bonus, here’s that video of Johnny Cash impersonating Elvis Presley:


Better Know an Artist (Vol 8): Jake Robison

Jake Robison is a talented songwriter from Fort Worth with a sound that screams Fort Worth. Mostly folk, but occasionally tripping into more traditional country music, his debut album, Como Mansion, released in December, is calm and lovely take on alt-country. Jake sat down and took the time to answer these questions that I didn’t take the time to come up with specifically for this interview.

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)?

JR: I joined a couple of bands playing as a sideman for several years when I moved to Fort Worth after high school – that really helped me cut my teeth as a performing musician and times. Somewhere around late 2012, after the last band I was in dismantled, I started writing and performing as a solo artist. With the support and encouragement of a lot of local musicians, I started growing little by little and finally cut an album of my own last year. I can’t say that I do this for a living as I work full time at a motorcycle dealership to support my family. I’m a father who writes songs in the spare bedroom about experiences I have had or have experienced through people I have met. My wife is extremely supportive and now that the record has released, I look forward to playing more live shows again, getting back out there, and taking it all day by day. I would love to somehow find a way to write music for other people or get involved with placing songs on television, movies, etc, along with performing live, so that I could always be close to home.

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

JR: I never know how to answer that question, but I guess the standard reply is typically “folk” or “singer-songwriter” stuff.

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

JR: I fell in love with music after hearing the Beatles, so they probably get credit for starting to listen to music differently than I did before that. My main influences though, would be John Prine, Jackson Browne, Ryan Adams, Wilco, and a ton more Americana/Singer-songwriter types – I really just love music that makes me feel something – and that is a pretty broad scope.

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

JR: That is a hard question as I have emotional ties to a lot of my tunes and typically I love the most recent one that I ahve written. All in all though, I would probably say “Blue & Trains” as I wrote it about my wife when we were dating when I felt like I had finally found someone who understood me….and put up with my antics. When I sing that song live, I tend to connect more frequently than with other tunes.

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

JR: 100%, it would be John Prine. I would love to have the opportunity to hang out with him and my father would be even more excited as he showed me a lot about writing through Prine’s albums as a kid…even if I didn’t understand what he was showing me at the time.

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

JR: I don’t know how “new” all of them are but there are tons of local guys and gals from Fort Worth who are amazing musicians and writers. It’s crazy to me how much talent is right here in town and from neighboring cities. Jacob Furr and I have become good friends in recent years and I love what he does. Thomas Flynn is one of my favorite writers and was one of the original people who encouraged me to take a stab at serious songwriting – he is busy behind soundboards a lot these days, but when he performs, it’s greatness. I know I will miss people  and regret it later so I hate to even attempt to make a list of everyone – they all know who they are as I try my best to support them anytime I can by going to their shows or reaching out to let them know I dig what they are doing.

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

JR: This is almost impossible to answer, but if I must, I’d say the white album [Beatles]. I’ve love that record since I was a kid.

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

JR: I don’t think I have a least favorite thing – from the music venues to the musicians, everyone is extremely supportive of each other – I love it.

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

JR: My heart lives at Magnolia Motor Lounge – they have supported me since day one, the sound is always great, the staff is awesome, and you can typically find musical gold there seven days a week. That being said, I really think all the music venues are very supportive and offer a great place to perform and listen.

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

JR: I recently discovered Garrett Owen and was blown away – super nice guy as well. Taylor Tatsch turned me onto him as he recorded his record at Taylor’s studio after I did — I’ve heard it…and when it releases, I expect great things for him. He has mastered his craft as a player and performer and it’s awesome to see live — go see him next time you can.

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

JR: Some people in Fort Worth remember me as a comedy musician. I did a duo thing for a while with a buddy at comedy clubs and such and then after that I played a lot of open mics around Fort Worth because I loved being on stage and making people laugh. I even took a stab at stand-up comedy for a bit. Every once in a while, someone will request a “funny song” at a show, but I typically decline…those usually only come out at late night jams with friends…which probably means I’ve stayed up a bit too late.

Shout out to Jake Robison for wasting time with me. Everybody should go check out his record, Como Mansion, which I’ve conveniently attached below. It’s pretty great. Also, get out and catch Jake at a show in support of the album. He’ll be performing at Magnolia Motor Lounge for their Holiday Hangover Recovery event on New Year’s Day.




Top Shows Coming to Town for 12/18/15-12/24/15

So, more holiday shows, and several artists from Texas and neighboring states in this slow season for concerts. So here goes…

1 Josh Groban @ Music Hall at Fair Park (Dallas) Tues 12/22/15

Josh Groban brings his majestic voice to class up the joint this week. I’m assuming there will be Christmas songs to be heard.

2 Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue @ South Side Ballroom (Dallas) Sat 12/19/15

An emerging New Orleans powerhouse, Troy Andrews, has really taken off the last few years. Also, he has the distinction of being Asa’s first concert, when he played Concerts in the Garden a couple years back.

3 Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ Myerson Symphony Center (Dallas) Tues 12/22/15 and Weds 12/23/15

From an emerging New Orleans powerhouse to the city’s musical stalwarts, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will be spending a couple nights at the Meyerson this week, you know in case Groban didn’t class up your week enough.

4 Drowning Pool w/ Adakain, Dead Scene Believers, Mothership, and Alison Red @ Trees (Deep Ellum) Fri 12/18/15

Forget all this classy stuff. Let the bodies hit the frickin’ floor with the Dallas legends, Drowning Pool.

5 Mingo Fishtrap @ the Kessler (Oak Cliff) Sat 12/19/15

These Austin (by way of Denton) boys play Soul infused Funk with a lot of energy while they do it.

6 Cody Canada & the Departed @ Shipping and Receiving (Fort Worth) Sat 12/19/15

The “Canadian” part of Red Dirt legends, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Cody Canada comes through with his new band.

7 Dirty River Boys @ Granada (Lower Greenville) Sat 12/19/15

These cats from El Paso put on a super-fun live show. A little bit of anything, they’re a multi-genre, multi-instrumental powerhouse.

8 Mannheim Steamroller @ Verizon Theatre (Grand Prairie) Sun 12/20/15
Trans Siberian Orchestra @ American Airlines Center (Dallas) Sun 12/20/15

Well, since you’d have to pick one, I’m just gonna put these together. Do you like your gimmicky Christmas music synth or guitars?

9 Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis @ the Kessler (Oak Cliff) Fri 12/18/15

Jeff Liles is killin’ it this week. Texas’s favorite husband and wife duo play their annual Holiday show at the Kessler.

10 Salim Nourallah w/ Billy Harvey & Alex Dezen @ Sons of Hermann Hall (Deep Ellum) Sat 12/19/15

Fresh off one of the best local records of the year, Salim Nourallah’s playing one of Deep Ellum’s most historic spaces.

Also in town this week:
Fri 12/18/15
Son of Stan (DJ Set) w/ Blue, the Misfit, Color TV, Sudie & the Misteries @ Club Dada
Doug Burr w/ Dove Hunter @ Harvest House
Steel Panther @ House of Blues
Randy Rogers @ Billy Bob’s
Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat w/ Bnois King Quartet @ Sons of Hermann Hall
Alexandria Rhea @ Dreamy Life Records Happy Hour
Roaming Soldiers @ Gas Monkey Bar n Grill
Mountain Sprout w/ Bad Mountain, Panther City Pickers & the Blondettes @ Shipping & Receiving
Big Tasty and the Moonshiners @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
the Dangits w/ Bad Blonde, West Side Drunk Punks & Hello Lover @ Lola’s
Zac Wilkerson @ Magnolia Motor Lounge
Red Admirals w/ Caliche Burnout, Satellite Dream & Invisible Signal @ the Grotto
the English Beat @ Granada Theater
Moreland & Arbuckle Buggaboo @ Sundown at Granada
the Ten Tenors @ Verizon Theatre
Hal Ketchum @ Live Oak
Roar Shack w/ Fun Button, Animal Spirit, & Off World @ Rubber Gloves
the Holler Time w/ George Hughen of Black Oak Arkansas @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Sun Over Sea w/ Blue Jay Soul @ the Foundry

Sat 12/19/15
Charley Crockett @ Revolver Brewery
the O’s w/ the Phantom Shakers @ Sundown at Granada
Randy Rogers @ Billy Bob’s
Oh Whitney @ Lola’s
Maajr w/ Lowin @ the Foundry
Colin Boyd @ Live Oak Lounge
Twas the Night: David J Pierce & His Holiday Orchestra @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Mike and the Moonpies w/ Charlie Shafter & the Gnomes @ Magnolia Motor Lounge
Welch Family @ Live Oak Music Hall
Holiday Hoedown: the Shady Rest Band w/ Bomber Spur, Armadillo Creek & Western Skies @ the Grotto
Aaron Watson @ House of Blues
Broken Gold w/ Party Static & Hate Your Friends @ Rubber Gloves
Mushroomhead @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill
Reinventing Jude @ Harvest House
Here Holy Spain @ Double Wide

Sun 12/20/15
Classic Cult w/ Mantra Love & Siamese @ Three Links
Kenny Uptain @ Live Oak Lounge
TC Fambro @ Magnolia
Raised Right Men w/ AM Ramblers, Brent Best, Isaac Hoskins and Glass Mountain & Kim Nall and the Fringe @ Dan’s Silver Leaf

Mon 12/21/15
Brave Combo (Christmas Show) @ Meyerson Symphony Center
Grant Bloom @ the Grotto
Jody Jones Songwriting Showcase (the last one, I think) @ Magnolia
Open Mic Night w/ Luke McGlathery @ Lola’s
Paul Slavens and Friends @ Dan’s Silver Leaf

Tues 12/22/15
Torquila Tuesdays: Quaker City Night Hawks @ Lola’s
Open Mic Night w/ Bobby Dade @ the Grotto
Cody Culberson @ Live Oak Lounge
Matt Tedder @ Magnolia Motor Lounge
J Fernandez w/ Wray @ Double Wide

Weds 12/23/15
First Class Fever w/ This Gravity, Whiskey Sour, & Anthony Abdo @ Trees
Bobby Duncan @ Live Oak Lounge
Jacob Furr @ Magnolia Motor Lounge
Song Swap Soiree #3: Andy Pickett, Nicholas Altobelli, Matthew Gray, & Cameron Matthew Ray @ Live Oak Lounge
Rock-A-Holics @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill

Thurs 12/24/15
Ryan Tharp @ Magnolia Motor Lounge

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

Get out there and see some shows!

Better Know an Artist (Vol 7): Vodeo

A recent discovery of mine, Vodeo, a Fort Worth quartet formerly known as Shake the Moon, have a sound that hearkens back to the Yacht rock sounds of Kenny Loggins and Hall and Oates. Their self-titled EP, produced by Taylor Tatsch, just dropped back in October, and it’s full of radio-ready goodness. It’s probably my favorite local EP of the year. The boys (frontman Jonathan Gehringer, bassist/vocalist Jacob Pullig, keyboardist/vocalist Drew Harakal, and drummer Jason Whorton) sat down to answer a few questions for us about whether or not they’ve invested in that first yacht yet (or maybe just the same old questions I ask everyone).

Author’s Note: Just caught these guys live, and they’re pretty much a must see, if only to hear the sick grooves that Jacob Pullig is laying down while watching the pure satisfaction that Jacob Pullig is feeling at the sick grooves he’s laying down. Pretty entertaining. High five, Jacob!

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)?

JP: We had been in several different bands over the years. Jon, Jason and I all went to the same school, but didn’t play together until later on. We joined as a band a couple years ago. We started off as just Jon, myself, and a drummer. We wrote a couple songs and played out a bit. We eventually picked up a keys/synth player along the way to smooth shit out, Drew Harakal, and my good friend of 10 years Jason Whorton when our Craigslist drummer bailed…good ole Craigslist.

JG: Second part of that question is a little tough. It’s just what we do. I personally love it because it’s a great way to express yourself. If you can connect to one person, that’s all that really matters. From the too-drunk 50-something at the club, to the shy kid in the corner, punkers, frat kids, skeezers… you’ve got to entertain. You’ve got to connect by any means necessary. (Short answer: Hanson “Mmbop”)

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

JP: Boz Skaggs, Ambrosia, Alan Parsons, Kenny Loggins, Darrell Hall and John Oates all boned and had a P-Funk baby, LOL, another thing that’s really hard to explain/describe. The term Yacht Rock keeps on being thrown around town. We don’t quite understand it. We don’t even own dinghies.

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

JW: Todd Rundgren, Curtis Mayfield, Hall and Oates, George Clinton and the P-Funk, to Harry Nilsson, Glen Campbell, Paul McCartney & Wings, could go on for about 2 days on this, really anything that comes across sincere and honest.

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

JP: Tough one, probably “Pillow Talking”. It’s a song I demoed out before conception of the band. It’s kinda one of those “Ugh, I’m fed up with growing up” songs when you look at it. “Trading pens and pencils for bayonets”, dropping out of a rat race and playing war games and being a dirt bag Lord of the Flies style, with a touch of (aye girl, eyebrow raise and wink wink) lust.

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

JW: Foreigner, summer of 1978. Duh…

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

JP: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

JG: Portugal. the Man

DH: Snarky Puppy

JW: Tame Impala

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

JG: Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti

JP: Ned Doheny’s Hard Candy

DH: Todd Rundgren’s Something/Anything

JW: the Beatles’ White Album

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

DH: Ha! I really don’t want to answer because I don’t want to make people hate me. My favorite part of the scene is how much support and response we’ve gotten from our peers on how we stand out a bit from the rest of the scene, musically. The least favorite is that the biggest market in DFW still seems to be for cover bands locally, or larger regional/national acts.

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

DH: I’m a huge fan of Magnolia Motor Lounge. They have a bit of a built in crowd, but they are constantly trying new things with different genres other than what they’ve been known for (Americana and Country). I have to give a shout out to Wayside Ballroom as well. It’s definitely one of my new favorites.

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

DH: Criminal Birds from Denton, TX. I know they’re gearing up to go record again, but they’ve got 2 EP’s already out that are some of the best from the DFW scene that I’ve seen in the past few years.

JP: the Hendersons from Fort Worth, TX. Nolan Robertson’s song smithing and voice are something that kinda blew me back first time I heard it. I hear (shh shh) they are working up some stuff with a prominent producer/artist out of state. You’ll def be hearing some stuff from them in the future.

JW: Leon Bridges….duh.

JG: Trái Bơ from Fort Worth, TX. They are truly one of the most interesting and melodic bands in the hometown. Their first album is full of earworms.

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

JG: I clock in about 30 hrs on average a week in Madden.

DH: I’m an ordained minister, and have officiated weddings before.

JW: I’ve recently started a podcast for fun with a buddy, called the “Primal Vision Podcast”. We talk mostly around music and entertainment.

JP: I binge watched all 11 seasons of Cheers

A big thanks to Vodeo for taking time out to give us the first full band interview in this feature. Check them out at a gig near you when you get the chance, and I guess if you’re getting married and need an officiant, give Drew a call. Check out Vodeo’s new self-titled EP below.

Top Shows Coming to Town for 12/11/15-12/17/15

So I think I’m mostly caught up again. Like I said last week, these end of year weeks are probably going to be a little thin. I think Polyphonic Spree may be the first local “band” to take the top slot (Leon’s been there a couple times).

1 Polyphonic Spree Holiday Extravaganza @ Majestic Theatre (Dallas) Sat 12/12/15

I still haven’t made it out to one of these. I bought tickets for this year, but then realized it was the same day we’re taking Asa on the North Pole Express in Grapevine, so I’m missing it again this year. The Spree generally do a holiday set and a traditional set at this show and it always features some family friendly guests. True all ages rock shows make me smile. They also take donations for the North Texas Food Bank and Toys for Tots. I’m gonna make it out one of these years.

2 Fall Out Boy w/ James Bay and George Ezra @ South Side Ballroom (Dallas) Tues 12/15/15

That one band that killed emo for all of us is in town, playing some song that’s catchy af and will be in your head the rest of the week. They’re bringing along a couple of rising stars in James Bay and George Ezra.

3 Wild Child w/ Telegraph Canyon and Criminal Birds @ Trees (Deep Ellum) Fri 12/11/15

Austin’s Wild Child are a band worthy of their considerable buzz the last few years. Their national tour brings them back through Dallas with local favorites, Telegraph Canyon and Criminal Birds.

4 Lucero @ South Side Music Hall (Dallas) Sun 12/13/15

A Southern Rock band with a bit of a cult following, Lucero makes one of their regular Dallas stops at the South Side Music Hall this week.

5 the Brian Setzer Orchestra @ Allen Event Center (Allen) Fri 12/11/15

The 2nd Holiday Show on the list this week, the former Stray Cats frontman will have you Jumpin’ and Jivin’ to the holiday hits in style.

6 Wade Bowen @ Billy Bob’s (Fort Worth) Sat 12/12/15

A little Red Dirt Country in Cowtown, because why not?

7 !!! @ Dada Dallas (Deep Ellum) Fri 12/11/15

The world’s most un-google-able band (even more so than Girls) takes the stage in Deep Ellum. The art-rockers are known for their live shows, so it should be a good one.

8 the Grotto’s 7th Anniversary Birthday Bash @ the Grotto (Fort Worth) Sat 12/12/15

The Grotto celebrates its birthday in style with several local favorites. Prophets of Rage (Rage Against the Machine tribute), the Hanna Barbarians, Mountain Kid, Vodeo and Hightower are all slated to appear and there are supposed to be “a few surprises” as well.

9 Dead Kennedys @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill (Dallas) Fri 12/11/15

Punk rock royalty, but without Jello Biafra, so they end up this far down.

10 (hed)P.E. & Alien Ant Farm @ Trees (Deep Ellum) Tues 12/15/15

Look, you guys, it’s some “meh” bands from my college days.

Also in town this week:
Fri 12/11/15
Jacob Furr @ Live Oak Lounge
Legacy 4 @ Magnolia
Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward @ Sundown at Granada
Kim Walker-Smith @ Verizon Theatre
Dom Kennedy @ South Side Music Hall
Mike Ryan @ Billy Bob’s
the Infamists w/ the Wheel Workers, Tungsten Wake & Mammal Virus @ Lola’s
the Milk Carton Kids @ Majestic Theatre
Reckless Kelly w/ Ruby Jane @ the Kessler
the Raven Charter w/ Distant Lights, Aaron Pose, Betray the Dreamer, Sound of Sirens @ Prophet Bar
A Merry Little Christmas Show w/ Ricki Derek @ Scat Jazz Lounge
the Satans of Soft Rock w/ the Speedlights & Fishboy @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Skinny Cooks @ Harvest House
My Jerusalem @ Double Wide
Obie Trice @ the Grotto

Sat 12/12/15
the Unlikely Candidates @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill
Lee Brice, Tyler Farr, Dan + Shay, Canaan Smith, & Jamie Lynn Spears @ Verizon Theatre
Charlie Ramos @ Live Oak Lounge
Daniel Markham Does Neil Young @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Savage and the Big Beat w/ Landrest, Switchblade Razors, & Turtle Rush @ Rubber Gloves
Slimshine Brown w/ Ghosts of November, the Robot Bonfire, & Picnic, Lightning @ Lola’s
Parker McCollum w/ Blue Highway Band @ Magnolia
Ricki Derek @ Granada Theater
A Live One (Phish Tribute) @ Sundown at Granada
Mr Gnome @ Dada Dallas
Hot Club of Cowtown @ Live Oak
the Beat Dolls w/ How’s My Driving, Primo Slam, the Buzzkills & Hate Your Friends @ 1912 Club
DDFW Master of the Mic @ Trees
Raised Right Men w/ Mike Stinson @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Gary Wilson & the Blind Dates @ Double Wide

Sun 12/13/15
Animal Spirit w/ Roar Shack, Cleanup & Tornup @ the Grotto
Kenny Uptain @Live Oak Lounge
Jay B and the Zydeco Posse @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Kirk Franklin Gospel Brunch @ House of Blues
Willow James w/ Wade McGee, Patrick Kinsley & Zachariah Red @ Lola’s
TC Fambro @ Magnolia
School of Rock @ House of Blues
Bradley Hathaway w/ Least of These & the Red Door @ the Door

Mon 12/14/15
Open Mic Night with Luke McGlathery @ Lola’s
Jody Jones Songwriting Showcase @ Magnolia
Psychomagic w/ Pearl Earl & William Austin Clay @ Rubber Gloves
Bell Witch @ Double Wide

Tues 12/15/15
Torquila Tuesday: Quaker City Night Hawks @ Lola’s
Cody Culberson @ Live Oak Lounge
Matt Tedder @ Magnolia
10 String Symphony @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Rack Focus Dallas Film Competition @ Granada Theater
Linear Downfall @ Double Wide

Weds 12/16/15
Bobby Duncan @ Live Oak Lounge
Cavanaugh (Open Mike Eagle + Serengeti) & Doc Illingsworth @ Dada Dallas
Jacob Furr @ Magnolia
Chris Luther & Blake Parish @ Lola’s
Saviours & the Roller @ Three Links
Burn Halo & Black Tide @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill

Thurs 12/17/15
Greg Schroeder @ Live Oak Lounge
Lannie Flowers Band w/ Carey Wolff @ Live Oak
Boxcar Bandits @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Mike Dillon @ Sundown at Granada
Stewart Mann w/ Statesboro Revue @ Billy Bob’s
Ryan Tharp @ Magnolia
Charles Kelley w/ Maren Morris @ House of Blues
Girl in a Coma w/ Lonely Horse @ Dada Dallas

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

Get out there and see some shows!

Better Know an Artist (Vol 6): Matt Tedder

I first found out about Matt Tedder when I used to work with his sister. She’d tell me about her little brother being a musician, but then I finally got around to checking him out, and he’s a regular blues dynamo. His sound invokes all of the masters, and while he’s taken his guitar with him to Nashville to chase his dreams, he’s still born and raised in DFW and he’s currently in residency at Magnolia Motor Lounge. Here’s what Matt had to say.

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)?

MT: My dad was really into guys like Hank Williams and Merle Haggard. He used to sing a lot of songs like that around the house with an acoustic guitar. I remember being interested in music, but it wasn’t until I found an electric guitar that I became addicted. The first genre I attached to was the blues, because of guys like Freddie King, Muddy Waters, and Johnny Winter. The way they played and sang sounded so real and heartfelt, which gave me something to aspire towards. And I was set on being a musician when I first picked up the electric guitar when I was 7. It was all I wanted to do. Once high school came around, the option of college came up and I turned it down. I figured the earlier I start at this stuff full time, the better.

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

MT: Rootsy Rock N roll. Like putting blues, folk, soul and country in a blender.

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

MT: B.B. King has to be well up there. He was the only idol of mine that I ever got to meet. It always makes me get so much more into an artist’s music when they are nice people, and he was the nicest to me. Musically, what a master? He puts so much raw emotion into every lyric and every note. Ray Charles is a huge influence because of his versatility. He put unique interpretations on all of my favorite genres of music and I always thought that was so cool. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, because of everything: simplicity, tasteful musicianship, authentic songwriting, and their longevity. They put out another record last year that I thought was golden, after 40 years of being together. And lastly, for this condensed list, the Rolling Stones, my favorite Rock N Roll band.

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

MT: “Down the Road” means a lot to me. The song itself is pretty straight forward about a restless feeling and an ambition I still feel to travel. It seems like the crowd always enjoy it when I play out too, and when that happens with a song, there’s no forgetting that one.

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

MT: I would love to open for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers or the Rolling Stones, because they are some of my favorite classic rock acts still around putting on killer shows.

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

MT: I found the London Souls online not too long ago, a rock band out of Brooklyn, and they are nothing short of amazing. Locally, I think Rise & Shine, Jonathan Tyler, and the Texas Gentleman are solid artists really keeping Rock N Roll alive on the scene.

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

MT: The first Crosby, Stills & Nash record. Musically, lyrically, and vocally, that record is flawless.

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

MT: My favorite thing about the scene is the people. They’ve always been really supportive to me and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. My least favorite thing is that it could be so much more. This city is steeped in musical tradition, from Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dallas & Fort Worth sits on a gold mine of musical history, and yet we don’t attract as many music lovers as somewhere like Nashville does. I think more people need to know about this place!

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

MT: Magnolia Motor Lounge. It has great sound and atmosphere.

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

MT: Rise & Shine, those guys rock.

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

MT: I would love to be able to dance like James Brown…

Matt Tedder is yet another young player with a passion for the history of the music he plays. He wants to follow in the footsteps of some pretty big ghosts, and I’m not sure there’s any reason to think he can’t. He’s a fabulous player who’s still quite young, so expect a long career doing what he loves. You can catch Matt every Tuesday until the end of the year at Magnolia Motor Lounge in Fort Worth.


Top Shows Coming to Town for 12/4/15-12/10/15

Alright, let’s do this. Nothing super huge this week, but there’s some cool stuff coming through anyway. It’s the holiday season, so we’ll be seeing a lot of Christmas shows and a shortage of actual tours. In case you forgot or haven’t heard, Leon Bridges will be on Saturday Night Live this weekend. Anyways, let’s get to it.

1 How the Edge Stole Christmas @ Verizon Theatre (Grand Prairie) Weds 12/9/15

Icelandic Folk-rockers Of Monsters and Men headline the annual event that includes Sublime (minus the important part), Panic! at the Disco (who will spend half the show telling you the name of the song coming up), the Neighbourhood, the Struts, and Atlas Genius (if there are posters for Atlas Genius, someone grab one for my wifey, the Geography teacher).

2 Jeff the Brotherhood/Diarrhea Planet @ Dada Dallas (Deep Ellum) Fri 12/4/15

A double headlining bill of epic proportions. This should be a rocking good time. That’s not even to mention, there are a few local faves on the bill too, Sealion, War Party and Psycho Magic. Sweeeet!

3 King Diamond w/ Exodus @ House of Blues (Dallas) Sat 12/5/15

Danish Heavy Metal legends, King Diamond, are back again after a successful run of dates in 2014.

4 Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase 2015 @ Deep Ellum Sat 12/5/15

So, this will be pretty much everyone in town playing a set in Deep Ellum. 40+ bands across 9 venues in Deep Ellum. This year’s event includes Wesley Geiger, the Outfit, TX, Ishi, LEV, Lord Byron, Yells at Eels, Rahim Quazi, Le Cure, Justin Pinckard, Pearl Earl, Charley Crockett, Oil Boom, Rat Rios, Blue, the Misfit, the Boombachs, In Memory of Man, Bad Mountain, Claire Morales, Buffalo Black, Vandoliers, the Azalea Project, Kaela Sinclair, and Party Static, amongst others.

5 Daniel Markham w/ Siamese @ Sundown at Granada (Lower Greenville) Fri 12/4/15

This might be the highest rated local show by anyone not named Leon in the history of this list. Product of a slow week, perhaps, but either way, if you’re in Dallas, and haven’t gotten a chance to catch the talented Denton rocker, you might want to get out to this. Also, I just talked to him here.

6 Great White/Slaughter/LA Guns @ Bomb Factory (Deep Ellum) Fri 12/4/15

The Eagle’s Hair Metal Holiday concert brings a nice batch of has-beens, that apparently packs enough has-been power to make the list. Also featuring Dangerous Toys, Generator, and Supernova Remnant.

7 Pokey LaFarge w/ Deslondes @ the Loft (Dallas) Weds 12/9/15

Another of those old school sounding groups, I hear they’re supposed to be a lot of fun live. Also, I like the Loft.

8 Dance Gavin Dance w/ A Lot Like Birds, Dayshell and Strawberry Girls  @ Bomb Factory (Deep Ellum) Fri 12/4/15

Let’s rock the F out with Sacramento post-hardcore group, Dance Gavin Dance.

9 Marcia Ball w/ Daphne Willis @ the Kessler (Oak Cliff) Fri 12/4/15

Another week, another legendary Texas artist at the Kessler. Jeff Liles just keeps churning them out.

10 Jojo @ Dada Dallas (Deep Ellum) Sun 12/6/15

The former teen star, still just 24, is all grown up and in town playing to a sold out crowd in Deep Ellum.


Also in town this week:
Fri 12/4/15
Moonlight Native w/ Robert Cody Maxwell and the Gentlemen Vain, the Autumn City, and Vinylboss @ Lola’s
Dead Mockingbirds, ABACABA, Jesse Gage, Christian Medrano @ Shipping & Receiving
Brave Combo @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Eleven Hundred Springs @ Double Wide
Colt Ford @ Billy Bob’s
Dripping Wet w/ Goldenjoy, the Single Issues & Playlists @ Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio
Gaelic Storm @ South Side Music Hall
Sam Baker w/ Keegan McInroe @ Live Oak Music Hall
Love and Theft @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill
Colin Boyd @ Live Oak Lounge
Blindside @ the Door

Sat 12/5/15
the Beaumonts w/ the Me-Thinks & Vincent Neil Emerson @ Fred’s Texas Cafe
TobyMac w/ Britt Nicole & Colton Dixon @ Verizon Theatre
Trout Fishing in America w/ Dana Louise & the Glorious Birds @ Live Oak Music Hall
Huffer (CD Release Party) @ Lola’s
Baroness @ Double Wide
Jacob Furr @ Live Oak Lounge
the Brook Meggs Band @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Cody Johnson @ Billy Bob’s
Ghost Town w/ Danger Kids @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill
Daniel Martin Moore @ Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio
Skagg Philips @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Paul Thorn w/ the Mastersons @ the Kessler
Graham Wilkinson w/ Western Youth & Christopher Paul Stelling @ Magnolia

Sun 12/6/15
Michael W Smith & Amy Grant @ American Airlines Center
Between the Buried and Me w/ Enslaved, Intronaut, & Native Construct @ House of Blues
Kenny Uptain @ Live Oak Lounge
TC Fambro @ Magnolia
Dean Dillon w/ Courtney Patton & Jason Eady @ Live Oak Music Hall

Mon 12/7/15
Jody Jones Songwriting Showcase @ Magnolia Motor Lounge
Open Mic Night w/ Luke McGlathery @ Lola’s

Tues 12/8/15
Torquila Tuesday: Quaker City Night Hawks @ Lola’s
Matt Tedder @ Magnolia Motor Lounge
Black Dahlia Murder w/ Goatwhore, Iron Reagan, Entheos & Artificial Brian @ Trees
Garrett Wingfield Quartet @ Live Oak Music Hall
Holy Grail w/ Night Demon @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill
Cody Culberson @ Live Oak Lounge

Weds 12/9/15
Jacob Furr @ Magnolia Motor Lounge
Kaleo @ Dada Dallas
Beenzino @ Granada Theater
My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult w/ Bit Rot, Flesh Welder, & Just Another Monster @ Trees
Kamelot w/ Dragonforce @ House of Blues
Little Jack Melody Christmas Show @ Dan’s Silver Leaf
Bobby Duncan @ Live Oak Lounge

Thurs 12/10/15
Guy Forsyth & Carolyn Wonderland @ the Kessler
Kottonmouth Kings w/ C4 and Nitty Grits, Chucky Chuck, RVDPVCK @ Trees
Prophets & Outlaws @ Billy Bob’s
Ryan Tharp @ Magnolia Motor Lounge
Chris Knight @ Live Oak Music Hall
August Burns red w/ Every Time I Die, Stick to Your Guns, Polyphia, & Wage War @ House of Blues
Preston Lacy (From Jackass) @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill
A Merry Little Christmas Show w/ Ricki Derek @ Scat Jazz Lounge
Sara and the Sara Tones @ Live Oak Lounge

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

Get out there and see some shows!