Galleywinter GREENFEST

Galleywinter GreenFest

Adam Hood's third full-length album The Shape Of Things is an arresting collection of music that celebrates the beauty of life's everyday struggles. From the captivating opener and previous single "Hell Of A Fight" to the closing fade of the autobiographical "I'll Sing About Mine," Hood captures a white-hot passion to create pure art that honors Southern culture and sets it to music.



Hood worked for two years with Carnival Music, a company headed by the CMA Award-winning Frank Liddell, to build what would become the Oct. 2011 release. Produced by Oran Thornton and Matthew Miller, The Shape Of Things is arguably one of Adam's most groundbreaking records to date. The album earned Adam his first Lonestar Music Award for Singer-Songwriter/Folk Album of The Year in April, 2012. The Lonestar Music Awards also listed Adam in four other categories including Best Male Vocal; a huge feat for any non-Texas artist. The Boston Globe named Adam among its elite "12 Musical Acts To Look For In 2012." Brian Keane took "I'll Sing About Mine" to the apex of the Texas Music Chart in summer 2011, and David Nail recorded The Shape Of Things' "Grandpa's Farm" for his own Sound Of A Million Dreams. Little Big Town also cut "Front Porch Thang" for their follow-up to The Reason Why, and premiered the track to a spirited sold-out crowd during their two-song set at Keith Urban's All For The Hall concert in April, 2012.

But it was Adam's hard work on the road throughout Texas and the Southeast that laid the foundation for his current success, as well as a chance encounter with Miranda Lambert, who became an instant fan after catching Adam's set at New Braunfels' Tavern On The Gruene in fall 2007. Miranda was traveling through town with her mother Bev when their car broke down, and while waiting for a hotel vacancy, the pair ended up at the Texas music hall where Adam was plugging 2007's Different Groove on Ray Wylie Hubbard's KNBT radio show. Impressed by Adam's stirring vocals and sharp wit, Miranda called Adam within two weeks with an invitation to perform at her birthday party where he would meet producer Frank Liddell, whose production credits include the Academy of Country Music's current Album of the Year Four The Record by Miranda and Lee Ann Womack's I Hope You Dance.

Liddell then signed Adam to his publishing company Carnival Music in January 2008. At the time, Adam was performing 300+ shows a year promoting Different Groove, and was engaged in a three-year, nationwide tour with Leon Russell. "I went everywhere with Leon," Adam recalls. "We played all kinds of cool places like the Whiskey A Go Go in Hollywood, and I learned a lot about how to entertain a crowd by myself. It was good for me too because he's kept consistent fans for 30 years."

Amid the heavy tour schedule, Adam remained based out of his hometown Opelika, AL, tearing up Interstate 65 for songwriting appointments in Nashville where he would collaborate with celebrated songwriters including Chris Stapleton and Pistol Annies' Ashley Monroe. By summer 2011, Adam landed a slot on the Country Throwdown tour, sharing the bill with the fellow Alabaman Jamey Johnson and the legendary Willie Nelson, and he sold the Adam Hood EP as a taste of what was to come.
In fall 2011, Carnival released the pulsating "Flame And Gasoline" as The Shape Of Things' lead single, which was co-written with Jason Saenz. "I always joke about how it's kind of like a redneck romance," Adam says. "You see this couple go through the push and pull and tug of war that's falling in love. They're just trying to figure it out."

The next single released "Hell Of A Fight" was written with Ashley Monroe on a rainy Nashville afternoon after they each turned new leaves in their respective careers. "Every artist asks themselves, 'What am I doing?'" Adam admits. "We wrote it while we were both coming out of bad times. But we were coming out of them. It wasn't intended to be sad. Honestly, I couldn't have picked a better opening song."

Next in the album's sequencing is the lazy and mystifying "Granpa's Farm" about a summer love between a city slicker woman and a country boy. "Tennessee Will" pays homage to all the miles Adam logged driving through Alabama to establish himself in Nashville. "On my way to Nashville, I cross the Tennessee River all the time," Adam says. "While I didn't have much to say about the Mississippi River, I wanted to create something that hit close to home as a Southerner."

The title track helped Adam through a tumultuous time when he questioned his craft while re-acclimating himself to life off the road after years of touring heavily. "That's really the only song I'd written completely by myself," he says. "It was frustrating because I felt I had to relearn things I thought I already knew. There were some personal things going on with me, and it was a good 'head up' song. It felt like changing horses mid-stream."

Adam also pays homage to one of his favorite rock bands The Rolling Stones on "Gonna Take A Woman." "We recorded this around the time they reissued Exile On Main Street, and I dove into that record," Adam says. "The Stones are not only students of American music, but they are students of Southern music, and they nailed it. When we were going over the guitar/vocal, drummer Fred Eltringham suggested Bob Seger's 'Night Moves' for the groove. I said, 'No, 'Tumbling Dice.'" Adam's admiration for the Stones continues on "Deep Ellum Blues," which he wrote with Will Kimbrough. "You can't listen to the Stones without hearing Chuck Berry," Adam says. "Half of their covers were Chuck Berry songs. So, I wanted to write a tip of the hat to him, and Will was the perfect guy to do this with because we're both Alabama guys who come from the same musical headspace."

For "Front Porch Thang," Adam collaborated with soulful vocalist and lyricist Chris Stapleton to glorify the simplicity of falling in love to the sounds of a summer night in the country. "It was very intimidating because it's mesmerizing to watch Chris sing," Adam says. "He's so effortless. There's nothing contrived at all, and he's not trying to sing that way. It just pours out of his mouth."

Written with Mando Saenz, "Moving Mountains" gave Adam the luxury of expressing his feelings without fear of harming someone close to him, and in "Once They're Gone," Adam delivers the powerful message to take time to be with loved ones because the uncertainty of life can take them away forever in an instant.

Closing the collection is the Brian Keane-co-written track "I'll Sing About Mine," which is a look at small town living that inspires the hits on Top 40 Country radio. "Most of the songs on mainstream country radio are by the most prolific songwriters in the format," Adam says. "So, the idea behind 'I'll Sing About Mine,' was not to piss anybody off because when you set out to do that, it never works out. But there was a time when I couldn't relate to a lot of the country songs on the radio. For someone who was born and raised on country music, that was a problem for me."

Now a successful songwriter and an Alabaman with a devout Texas following, Adam says he never dreamed of being an artist. "I never realized it was possible because I'm from a small town," he says. "But I've always been the kind of guy who puts the cart before the horse, and I spent most of my 20s forcing things to happen. Honestly, that's why it's taken me so long to get here. But timing's everything."

"There has always been pop music, but country music was always the avenue out of adolescence and into the grown up world with grown up issues like responsibilities and family. Someone's got to keep it alive, to preserve that kind of sound. That was our aim with this record."

Jason Eady's extensive background in "grown up issues" is what explains why the word "poet" is so frequently associated with his name. A six-year stint in the US Air Force as a translator placed him in a slew of foreign cultures giving him a universal look into the nature of human beings and a good jumping off point for his comprehensive lyrical translations. The Mississippi native and Texas transplant has spent the last seven years in an incubation period undergoing a musical metamorphosis that has led him through lonesome delta blues, inspirational church house harmonies, poetically spun tales of Americana and into the naked and honest regions of good ole' country music.

His three previous record releases have laid an impressive foundation starting with his 2005 debut FROM UNDERNEATH THE OLD (produced by Walt Wilkins and Tim Lorsch). That was followed by his 2007 sophomore release, WILD EYED SERENADE (produced by Eady), which was tagged as the Top 50 Albums of the Year by the No Depression reader's poll and reached #14 on the Americana Music Chart. WHEN THE MONEY'S ALL GONE (produced by Kevin Welch) is the last anyone has heard from Eady, until now.

AM COUNTRY HEAVEN, Eady's fourth record release, originated as a side project with friend (and producer) Kevin Welch. The plan was to lay down some old school authentic country music out of sheer self-indulgence and as a labor of love. As the recordings got underway more and more people appeared in the studio contributing their ideas and adding their personal touches until their side project evolved into what is the highly anticipated album everyone is talking about. Eady says, "I love that old school country music so much. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of artists doing it these days. It's almost the opposite…like people are running away from it. I admit that this record is a drastic departure from anything I have done before, but this is where my heart is."

AM COUNTRY HEAVEN features Redd Volkaert on guitar, Earl Poole Ball on piano, Tom Lewis on drums and Kevin Smith on acoustic bass - all members of Austin's all-star team of country music players called Heybale. Combined, they have recorded and toured with artists such as Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Junior Brown, Dale Watson, Connie Smith and Johnny Bush. They're responsible for the southern swagger on this album's tunes like "AM Country Heaven" and "I'll Sure Be Glad When I'm Wrong." Add legendary pedal steel player Lloyd Maines on the soulful "Longer Walk In The Rain" and "Lying To Myself" and a special vocal appearance from the incomparable Patty Loveless on "Man On A Mountain" and Eady's rich baritone timber, and what you have is a pure honky-tonk affair in the tradition of all the great troubadours that came before him.

In addition to his own albums, his talent for prose has been embraced by his peers landing him two cuts on Micky and The Motorcars' latest record RAISE MY GLASS, one cut on Eleven Hundred Springs' forthcoming record and two co-written cuts on The Trishas' forthcoming record. Eady also co-penned The Trishas' latest single "Drive." Although the radical departure that is AM COUNTRY HEAVEN is sure to strike fans like a storm without warning, it seems that Eady is merely living up to his reputation for the element of surprise as perfectly stated by USA Today who said, "This Mississippi native's blues-rocker creeps up like gathering thunderheads."

Flatland Cavalry

Flatland Cavalry is an energetic blend of Country-Folk-Americana. Easy on the ears, Heavy on the heart.
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The Reed Brothers

Keegan Reed- Vocals, Guitar
Kyle Reed- Vocals, Guitar
Jack Aldrich- Drums
Nick Naillon- Bass
Ian Reichman- Keys

Dalton Domino

Chances are if you see them live on a Saturday night, more than likely you will wake up with your ears ringing and a hangover on Sunday morning. It's safe to say that Dalton Domino and the Front Porch Family Band puts on more of a party rather than a performance. Their music is a gritty blend of fast energetic southern rock with a hint of everything from Americana, Red Dirt and Texas Country to Delta Blues and Soul.

Dalton Domino has made a splash on the Texas Music scene. In the last couple of months Domino won the Larry Joe Taylor singer/songwriter contest to perform at Larry Joe Taylor Fest; played on the Texas Red Dirt Roads w/Justin Frazell; released his debut single "Killing Floor" which made it to number 1 on the Top 5 at 5 on the Red Dirt Rebel for a month; and started recording a full length album. Needless to say, Domino and his band have been busy.

The road to success for Domino started two years ago when he moved to Lubbock, Texas after reading about the many musicians who got their start at The Blue Light Live, including Josh Abbott, William Clark Green, and Red Shahan of Six Market Boulevard. Domino started playing Monday nights at singer songwriter night at the Blue Light and soon met up with Levi Fowler (harmonica), Michael Moad (bass), Beau Bolfing (guitar) and formed The Front Porch Family Band.

The band is not afraid to push the edge and bring a true rock feel to their music. Listeners are captivated by the edgy lyrics and you will find yourself wanting to dance along. Domino has the unique ability to make every audience member feel like, well, family. He shares the stories behind his songs and does so in a real and honest way.

Currently, Domino and FPFB are in the process of recording their first album "1806" at Mount Vernon studios with producer Jon Taylor. The Band also added a new member, Lora Markham on vocals to round out their sound. Domino released the first single, "Killing Floor" in May and the single can be found on iTunes. If the success of the song is any indication, the band has a hit on their hand. Domino and The Band are set to release the album in the Fall.

Texas Renegade

Some would call it fate. Others might chalk it up to coincidence. Either way, the story of Texas Renegade's genesis seems more than random—and their new album, "Bad Dreams and Other Things," proves the union was meant to be.

Consider this. Twins Tyson and Eli Carver, who were born in the Texas Hill Country town of Wimberley, moved to Durango, Colo., at age 14. That same year, Andy Bertelsen and Kasey Klepfer moved with their respective families to Wimberley. When the twins graduated high school, the lure of their hometown tugged them back—when a friend introduced them to their future bandmates, their course was set. The Carvers and Bertelsen formed Texas Renegade in 2002; Klepfer joined in 2004, and drummer Luke Ayres came on in 2007. Except for Ayres, it's the only band any of them have been in (unless you count Bertelsen's stint playing snare in his elementary-school band).

In Texas Renegade—the moniker their first guitarist bestowed on them at a high-school party—Bertelsen handles lead vocals, songwriting and guitar. Mandolinist/guitarist/backing vocalist Tyson and bassist Eli picked up their instruments at 20 and 19, respectively, after ditching fiddle lessons at age 13. Klepfer taught himself to play harmonica seven years ago, and only Ayres (drums) has played his instrument—or any instrument—consistently since childhood.

But they're hardly a batch of late-bloomers. Bertelsen's voice, which could earn him honorary Braun brother status in Reckless Kelly, carries the nuances of a practiced, yet intuitive singer. With mandolin and harp as frequent lead instruments and Tyson's harmonies, Texas Renegade creates a soulful, rootsy country-rock blend that places them squarely in the Americana realm; which is only fitting for a band whose formative influences include the Wallflowers, John Hiatt, Counting Crows, Emmylou Harris, the essential Texans and the classic rock their parents played.

"Bad Dreams and Other Things," their third album, cements their status among talents like The Band of Heathens, Jack Ingram, the aforementioned Reckless Kelly and similar artists who share deep Lone Star roots and hybrid sensibilities. And like many of those artists, they honed their skills under the tutelage of Kent Finlay at Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, where the Carvers and Bertelsen earned degrees at Texas State University. (Klepfer is a University of Texas grad; Ayres' degree is from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.)

Recorded mainly at Top Hat Recording in South Austin and produced by Austin drummer Stephen Belans (James McMurtry, Alejandro Escovedo), who helmed their last release, "After Everything," it features 12 Bertelsen-penned cuts and guest spots by keyboardist Michael Ramos (BoDeans, John Mellencamp) Dobro player Cindy Cashdollar (Van Morrison, Ryan Adams) and guitarists Gabe Rhodes, Brad Rice and John Sanchez.

Filled with smart lyrics and sweet harmonies, "Bad Dreams" stylistically encompasses everything from the harp- and guitar-driven mid-tempo rock of the first single, "Crazy," to the soulful country-rock of "Coming Home," the mournful "Comanche Moon" and the heartfelt "St. Christopher," an acoustic ballad about death that Bertelsen sings with such an ache in his voice, he leaves no doubt about its authenticity.

"Every one of my songs has some sort of story behind it," he notes. "That is to say, every single song stems from some actual event that has occurred. However, the extent can vary considerably from song to song." Rarely, he admits, does he write a song that's entirely based in reality. Which is not to say his lyrics aren't personal—or meaningful.

At least some of his inspiration has to come from being so involved in the lives of his bandmates. Bertelsen and the Carvers are also roommates, and all five swear they're having the time of their lives in the band.

"We like to think we have more fun than any other band on the scene right now," says Tyson. "People always approach us and say they really enjoy the music, but they also enjoy the fact that we are having fun onstage. We are the true definition of a band. Everyone has equal say and we are a family of guys who really care about one another and love to play music together."

Adds Eli, "We have a lot of fun together on the road and have a very laid-back vibe when we're together. Pretty much anything goes."

"Anything" includes Camp, a fluffy canine described by Tyson as "half Lhasa-apso, a quarter Chihuahua and a quarter wolf," who has traveled everywhere with the band for two years. "Some people think he has magical powers, but we just think he is the coolest dog in the world," says Tyson. Adds Eli, "People try to steal him everywhere we go. There is a very good chance he is more famous than we are."

Well, maybe for now. But once people get a chance to hear "Bad Dreams and Other Things," Camp's popularity may have to take a back seat to the bands. He'll still get to ride in his primo leather captain's chair, though—unless they graduate to a bus, in which case, he'll probably get two seats—and his own bunk.

Because, like the rest of these guys, he's a Texas Renegade!

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