New Music: Charley Crockett “In the Night”

So, the record came out a few weeks back, and this single has been out for a bit now, but Charley seems to be underexposed on the global scene, so I thought I’d put this one out there for the world to wrap their ears around what we in the Metroplex have already found, the genre-bending greatness that is Charley Crockett. Cajun, Blues, Soul, Honky-Tonk and Gospel all rolled into one man.

You can check out our Better Know an Artist interview with Charley here.

Enjoy “In the Night” below.


Better Know an Artist (Vol 30): Jake Dexter

Jake Dexter is a local indie hip-hop artist with a tinge of pop and soul to it, kinda like the old school sound with poppy beats and a spoken word vocal. His newest album, Echoes, dropped last year, and his track “Who I Am” featuring Daniel Gonzales took off a bit on SoundCloud with over 100,000 plays. Jake sat down and played our little game for us, so this is how that went…..

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)?

JD: I started playing music when I was in Junior High. My dad used to run night clubs in the area and I would see the bands perform at his clubs and just fell in love with music.

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

JD: My music is like if pop music, soul music, hip hop music and funk music all had a baby. That would be my music. LOL

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

JD: Writing wise, I am heavily influenced by artists such as Bob Schneider, Matt Wertz and the Reign of Kindo, and Jason Mraz because that’s what I grow up listening to. But compassion wise, my biggest influence is Jon McLaughlin. I do a lot of piano work live and his compositions are what inspired me to push mine to their limits.

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

JD: The songs off my new album, Echoes, mean the most to me, mostly because every single song is about something or someone who has been in and or out of my life.

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

JD: If I could open up for any artist in the world, it would probably be Steve Miller or Stevie Wonder. Both of them are unbelievable artists and composers and have been consistently pushing music their whole life.

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

JD: Two of my newest favorite artists are Sleeperstar and Michael Toucher.

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

JD: Waiting for My Rocket to Come by Jason Mraz. Always gets me through the hard times.

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

JD: It’d say one of my favorite things about the DFW music scene, as an artist, is that most venues have their own sound system. Providing your own sound stinks. I am also a fan that so many people are open to the music scene, and will go to concerts randomly, just from invites. The worst thing is the parking. LOL.

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

JD: Recently my favorite venues to play at are Trees, and Wit’s End. Wit’s End especially. It’s got great sound, like Trees and some of those other venues, but at the same time, has that close knit home-y feel to it. Very comfortable. As for going to see shows, it would be the same.

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

JD: There are so many great acts in the DFW, it’s hard to just pick a few. But I would say Mitchell Ferguson, Trent Rush, Carter Davis, and Quentin Moore are a couple of great ones to look out for.

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

JD: Hmmm, one thing most people don’t know is that I’ve spent the last 5 years touring as a keyboardist for differet nationally and internationally touring country bands. My music is very hip-hop/Jazz/soul based, and I do spoken word vocals, basically the exact opposite of country music. lol. So, I’m sure some would be surprised if they knew.

Thanks to Jake Dexter for shooting us a submission. You Deep Ellum cats can catch Jake and his band at the Prophet Bar this Thursday (5/26) opening for the Louisiana Purchase, and keep an eye on for more shows.

Better Know an Artist (Vol 12): James Duffer

James Duffer is a pop/rock singer from Dallas, who, much like last week’s artist, Claire Morales, has pretty much grew up wanting to be a musician. He started at a young age, and has progressed to a pretty polished sound. The piano pop tracks that I’ve listened to reflect on inspirations like Elton John, Billy Joel, or more modern artists like Ben Folds or Tobias Jesso Jr, although his voice is a little more gruff than you might think of those other artists. All in all, I think James is a pretty intriguing package of tools that we could be hearing big things from soon. James took the time to submit to our little game unsolicited, so I’m paying it forward for him. 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)?

JD: My name is James Duffer and I’m a singer/songwriter from Dallas, TX. I write and perform my songs on piano and guitar and released my first album “Midtown Odyssey” in 2014. I first got into music at the age of 7 when I started taking piano lessons but got much deeper into music at age 11 when I started to discover rock music and my father got me my first electric guitar. From that time on, I knew all I wanted to be was a musician. Later on, I started playing percussion in school bands and began taking drum lessons and then formed my first band in high school with some friends after I gradually learned to sing. After high school, I studied music at Collin County Community College in Plano, TX. This is where I really learned and practiced a lot of my songwriting and live performance skills as well as studying recording techniques and music business. I finally released my 1st album, “Midtown Odyssey” in 2014 and graduated from Collin County Community College in 2015 with an Associate’s degree in Commercial Music, a Certificate of Music Business and an Audio Engineering Certificate. I’m currently performing regularly in DFW and Denton with my band and as a solo-acoustic act and I’ve also been performing in a heavier styled rock band called Space Ape in which I play drums and sing.

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

JD: I would describe my music as Pop/Rock. I try to write with varying styles and influences in mind to differentiate my songs from each other. I write up-tempo songs and guitar riff based rock songs, but I also write a lot of ballads and occasionally try to incorporate jazz or other influences into my writing and playing.

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

JD: I have a very wide scope of influences and musicians I’ve followed. Most of my biggest influences are from a songwriting standpoint. As a keyboard based songwriter, my biggest influences have always been Billy Joel and Elton John. I later discovered other piano based artists like Warren Zevon and Tom Waits, who influenced me greatly. Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Mark Knopfler, Bob Dylan, Steely Dan…the list goes on forever with me but these are some artists who left a major impression on me for their artistry and songwriting. I also obviously grew up on classic rock and all the great bands like Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Who, Rush, Pink Floyd, etc.

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

JD: The opening track on Midtown Odyssey, “Without Telling You Why” is one I’ve always been very proud of and never get tired of playing. “Only the Night” and “Death and Romance” I feel were both personal breakthroughs for me as a songwriter. There’s a song of mine called “Never Any Reason” which now holds a special place for me due to my sister passing away last year and the dedication of that song to her. The song that closes the album Midtown Odyssey, “This Strange Farewell” is one of my favorites because it’s also what I close my shows with most of the time and again I remember what a struggle it was to finish that song and how proud of it I was when it was done.

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

JD: That’s a tough one. I’d say either the Rolling Stones or U2 because they always have the most amazing tours and stage set-ups. It seems like it would be the thrill of a lifetime every single night to open for a band like that and you could experience things very few people get to being on the road with those bands and that scale of production. There’s so many other I’d love to open for in more realistic terms though.

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

JD: As far as local people, I’m a big fan of Charley Crockett, whom I’ve played with a couple of times around town and I read the interview you did with him. I opened for the Hey Hey’s at the Boiler Room one time and they’re awesome. Obviously, Leon Bridges is undeniably great and a major credit to DFW music.

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

JD: Another tough one, there are so many I don’t know if I can narrow it down to just one album.

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

JD: My favorite things about the DFW music scene are the indie record stores and live venues we have which support local artists such as myself as well as the vast amount of talented people performing in the area. My least favorite things about the scene (at least in Dallas) is a lack of community and support between artists and people who work within the music scene. It’s been very unorganized and chaotic and I’ve found the mentality of certain people working in the Dallas/Deep Ellum scene to be much more cut-throat and competitive than communal and supportive most of the time. Also, the support between artists, promotors, venues and publications can be very genre specific, territorial and closed off. I know this isn’t specific to just Dallas either and don’t get me wrong, I know some really great people in the Dallas music scene. I’ve obviously came into contact with both good people and bad people in my time and have been treated both very well and very badly. I just wish there was more general structure and more of a music industry presence in DFW to give artists like myself more oppurtunities to thrive and connect to create clearer objectives to reach larger scale and more diverse audiences. However, having seen some big developments in the scene since I’ve been involved, I’m hoping it’s moving that direction. I thought the 2015 Dallas Observer Music Awards was a great event for showcasing local music.

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

JD: Unfortunately, one of my favorite places, the Boiler Room, is gone, but for full band shows I love RBC in Deep Ellum. They’ve always been great to me with whatever shows I’ve done there and Geoff is one of the best FOH sound-men in Dallas. For solo acoustic shows, Opening Bell Coffee has consistently been the most supportive venue in DFW for singer/songwriters such as myself.

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

JD: My friend, Mikey Gattus’ new band, Jake Dexter and the Main Street Sound. It’s a great band with a unique blend of Pop, Rock, Hip-Hop and R&B.

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

JD: I’ve luckily somehow never broken a bone. (Editor’s note: he forgot to add “Knock on wood”, so uhh, watch out, James, karma’s coming for you)

A big thanks to James Duffer for shooting me these responses. I look forward to hearing more from this cat. He’s got some serious tools in his shed. You can catch James on Jan 26 at Opening Bell Coffee in Dallas. You can also check out his debut record, Midtown Odyssey, below.


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!