Wild Bill & the Lost Knobs, Shae Stuart & the Boot Money Band, Ragtime Willie, Tex Smith

Wild Bill & the Lost Knobs

Wild Bill has been keeping Austin weird since 2005, playing and writing for a variety of some of the most interesting underground bands in town. He now plays rowdy accoustic outlaw-indy shows with a little help from his everchanging/always rotating band, the Lost Knobs. With a commanding stage presence, Wild Bill keeps the crowd on their toes with an open-ended set that can go from cosmic country straight over to a full-on dance party from out of nowhere. Representing his roots of folk, country, and punk, Wild Bill adds humor and hip hop beats that make his music standout in a city known for unique individualism.

Shae Stuart & the Boot Money Band

Two gals, a fiddle, some boots, maybe a beer or three....

Ragtime Willie

After just five years in Austin, Webster has become a staple guitar player in the Austin live music scene. Will Webster has also emerged as a consistently creative and fearless melody maker on SongwriterWeekly. His songs are unique voiced and styled to incorporate influences of early american folk, classic country, and blues.

Tex Smith

Tex Smith was born and raised in Texas, but the roots of his sound spread far beyond his home state. He likes to say that his music “blends country, roots rock, singer-songwriter style and folk into one big flavorful pot of stew.” Indeed, it’s this eclectic mix of styles that marks his artistry across three well-received albums, including his latest, A Wayfarer’s Lament, released in late 2012. “You get a sense of real country roads when you listen to Tex Smith,” says Bill Jeffery of Austin’s Waterloo Records. “It’s Central Texas Americana at its finest.”

A music lover since he was a child, Tex has been writing and recording songs for 17 years, first as a student at the University of North Texas in the early 1990s. After school, he lived in Dallas, where he co-hosted a popular roots/Americana radio show. In 2006, Tex moved to the Hill Country outside Austin and began making music in earnest.

In the spring of 2009, Tex went into the studio at Superpop! Records in Austin recorded and co-produced the songs that would make up Tex Smith his self-titled debut . A mix of up-tempo rockers and stripped-down ballads, the songs took listeners on a journey between foolish love, the honky-tonk and commitment, raising questions about life’s deeper meanings. All were written and produced by Tex and featured players Joey Thompson and Peter Stafford of The Archibalds and Seth Gibbs (Bobby Jealousy, The Archibalds). The record would go on to receive positive response with airplay across North America, Europe, and Australia, briefly making an appearance on the Texas Roots Radio chart.

Before the album could be released, tragedy struck: Tex’s wife of almost nine years took her own life. Feeling lost and alone, he turned to music for solace. He became a regular member of Kent Finlay’s Songwriter Circle at Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, just south of Austin, where he would debut most of the songs that would make up his next two albums.

On his second co-produced album, 2010's To A Bird Singing Woe, Tex for the first time sang about the pain and sadness of losing his best friend and kindred spirit. Tracks such as “The Little Things” and “Goodbye Songs” reflected both the depth of his grief and the glimmers of hope, redemption and gratitude that appeared in the midst of it. A tribute record of sorts: to his forsaken love, but more importantly to anyone that’s ever lost someone close. Also recorded at Superpop!, the record features the players from his debut release and adds a rhythm section of friends Jake Erwin playing upright bass (Hot Club of Cowtown) and Pete Coatney on drums (Jack Ingram, Deadman). As an added bonus, Texas singer-songwriter HalleyAnna Finlay makes a guest appearance on the duet “Come On.”

December 2012’s A Wayfarer’s Lament picks up sonically and thematically right where the last one left off, featuring many of the same players as his previous releases , as well as a guest performance by Ramsay Midwood. As co-producer once again, Tex was able to experiment with tone and texture, but the sound remains heavy in its country and roots-rock influence. “Smith’s sound is equal parts Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, and Ramsay Midwood through a Sun Records filter” writes Linc Leifeste of TEXAS MUSIC MAGAZINE. Lyrically, it’s a lamentation to the greater good regarding the human journey. A humble, spiritual record, it offers a glimpse of the peace Tex has achieved following three years of loss and heartache.
For Tex Smith, music has been the pathway to recovery. “I try to write about the journey,” he says. “Music has helped me through so much, brought so much joy in my life. I want to try to just give a little back.” Wayfarer’s completes a trilogy of sorts, chronicling ones struggle to carry on. A Wayfarer’s Lament “takes the listener beyond trite lost-love laments of pedestrian songwriters and into a heartfelt room of wreckage and recovery,” wrote Diana Hendricks of REAL SOUTH magazine.

Tex continues to write, and is looking forward to going into the studio to begin work on his fourth album soon.


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