Brewster Street Ice House presents
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pmBrewster Street Ice House
$20.00 - $25.00
This event is all ages
Ticket holders under the Age of 21 will be subject to a $3 surcharge upon entry.https://www.brewsterstreet.net/event/1460864/
"It's been five years since I've put out anything new," Roger says. "So it's five years of evolving and maybe even maturing, although it's still me." Actually, it's more of him than ever. For the first time, he's written or co-written every song on the album.
The first single, "I'm From the Beer Joint" plays to Creager's honky-tonk wildcat image informed by his live album, as he declares his preference for independent drinking establishments. "It's not going to change any lives, but it sure is fun," Creager laughs about the sing-along, before turning serious. "But who wants to listen to a whole album of that?" He's aiming for something higher.
"I hope there's a song here that penetrates your soul, too," he says, leaning forward. "There's a few that may do just that. I aimed with a shotgun. I really did try to mix it up. There's love songs [Missing You], drinking songs [the aforementioned "Beer Joint"], up-tempo dancing songs [I Love Being Lonesome], groovy little tunes [Tangle Me in You], one about a man who's screwed up and he's driving like hell through the middle of the night to get home [Driving Home]. 'I Loved You When' is my best story song yet. It doesn't even tell the whole story. It doesn't have to. It gives you just enough to know there's a history there. It's all you need to know."
The two catalysts behind the album were Lloyd Maines, the go-to producer who produced Creager's first albums, and Radney Foster, the Texas kid from Del Rio, whose songs and productions have established him as one of country music's most innovative and edgy operators. Radney teamed up with Justin Tocket, a talented producer himself, to co-produce this project. But Roger himself is the biggest catalyst of all.
The Corpus Christi native was raised on songs like Guy Clark's "Desperadoes Waiting For A Train" and Gary P. Nunn's "You Ask Me What I Like About Texas" and under the influence of Jerry Jeff Walker, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, and Jimmy Buffett, along with Willie, Waylon, Cash, Merle, and even Sinatra.
He graduated from college and spent two years in Houston working a 8-5 gig. He finally listened to his heart and moved back to College Station to pursue a life in music. Working without a paycheck was liberating. "I'd always been a slacker," Roger admits, "and I could easily see myself failing in music because I wasn't trying hard enough. So I promised myself that would be one excuse I'd never use. I just got out there and busted my hump."
In 1998, he released Having Fun, then blew open the doors two years later with I Got the Guns. The title track, a striking piece about his granddad and his family, became a staple on more than 200 radio stations programming Texas Country Music. Long Way To Mexico and Live Across Texas grew his audience beyond state lines.
Here It Is speaks to those broadening horizons. "I was in 14 countries last year," Roger says. "I want to take our music to a wider audience without compromising the integrity of the music. I'm taking some of who I am to where I'm going."
"I've always tried to make records where every song is different so I can listen to them over and over again instead of forty five minutes of essentially the same song," he says. With Here It Is, he can do just that. This go-round, he's staying on for the whole ride.
Texas country singer-songwriter Kevin Fowler took a couple of years to take stock of his artistic career, launch his own record label, then write and record How Country Are Ya? the old-fashioned way.
How Country Are Ya? – Fowler's seventh studio album and his first for Kevin Fowler Records in a joint venture with Nashville's Thirty Tigers - is the goodtiming, tradition-steeped and honky-tonk-stomping Amarillo native's return to basics effort. A year in the making, the album features 15 fresh tunes (he wrote
all of them except for the raucous instrumental "Mousturdonus") and was produced by Ken Tondre, Fowler's drummer, at Tondre's The Compound Recording Studio in Austin.
One of the most potent songs on How Country Are Ya? is "Panhandle Poorboy," a completely autobiographical piece that's clearly the centerpiece of Fowler's mindset during the creation of the disc. Simply put, he wanted to come back home.
"The last couple of records have been on Nashville record labels," Fowler said, referring to 2007's Bring It On, released on Equity Music Group, and 2011's Chippin' Away, released on Average Joe's Entertainment.
"But this one is on my own label with my buddies like we used to make records. I wanted to feel right at home, go back to the well, and not get into any outside influences. I really felt like I wanted to make music closer to all my anthems that people scream along to at shows."
Plus, How Country Are Ya? is chock full of Texas-centric collaborations. Earl Dibbles Jr., the alter-ego of Dallas-bred Granger Smith, provides the disc's nononsense intro. Amy Rankin, one half of Austin's The Rankin Twins, croons with Fowler on the emotionally evocative number "Before Somebody Gets Hurt." San Antonio's Grammy winners Los Texmaniacs crank up the South-of-the-border ambiance of "Borracho Grande." Kingwood, Texas' rebel-rouser Davin James
lends his big personality to the hilarious "Chicken Wing." And Huntsville, Texas newcomer Cody Johnson stirs straight-up country action on "Guitars and Guns."
See? Told ya Fowler threw a studio party with his good friends and turned it into a record. But of course the first single, "How Country Are Ya?," is quintessential Fowler. The song crackles with all the beer joint energy that characterizes every
creative fiber in Kevin Fowler's body.
The point behind each lyric, each guitar lick, and each twanging-rocking melody is the live show. Fowler has earned his reputation as one of the most amped-up concert performers to emerge from the modern day Texas country movement.
For those that have experienced Fowler onstage, then you know he brings unbridled musical muscle to the platform. Backed by his trusty band he's a dynamo – cracking jokes, hitting high notes, strumming his guitar and putting each of his fans in two-stepping mode.
"From day one I realized I couldn't control what radio played and what video channels played, but the one thing I could control every night was the live show,"Fowler said. "The musicians want to be there, the fans want to be there and I want to be there. People can listen to the CDs at home. But if they come to the
shows they are ready to have a good time for an hour-and-a-half, forget about their problems and forget about work on Monday."
Pretty much any city in Texas belongs to Fowler, but he will immediately point out that he is quickly growing in Oklahoma and throughout the Midwest, all the way up to Chicago.
"I get a big kick out of seeing the way it has spread now across the country. It's really cool how we've come so far. I remember a time when Texas country music didn't have as long a reach."
Enter social media. Fowler boasts more than 270,000 Facebook likes and 34,000-plus cool Twitter followers. But, most importantly, the percentage of those people who engage Kevin online is higher than nearly any country artist anywhere. For an independent artist like him, that's crucial to career growth and
sustainment. He knows full well that social media puts bodies in concert seats and creates an imperative rapport with his fans. It is the technological age way for artists to connect with admirers.
"Social media is the biggest part," Fowler said. "Social media is king. It has impacted my career as significantly as radio. Twenty years ago the only tool you really had was Kinkos to make flyers. This is the biggest piece of the puzzle especially for us now since we don't have a lot of radio airplay. I can reach my
target audience big time now."
But naturally even the fiercest honky-tonker needs a little down time. Or should we say outdoors time? Fowler comes from a long line of hunters and fishermen. And if you ask him how often he gets to the hunting grounds and the fishing hole he quickly replies, "Anytime I can!"
How thick is the hunting and fishing blood coursing through Fowler's veins? You could say it's totally innate.
"I was born in May and in September of that year I went on my first hunting trip. My dad was a huge bowhunter. I still go bowhunting. That is what we did as a family. We also went on fishing trips every spring break. That made me who I am. It was camping in Colorado, bow hunting in the fall and fishing every spring break. Now it's all about the camaraderie of friends, getting away, and the freedom of the outdoors."
"I would have never in a million years thought the Texas music scene would grow to what it is now," a proud Fowler said. "I was lucky enough to have been there since the inception. I feel proud to have played a part in establishing the scene,in making it what it is. We fought a lot of battles and kicked a lot of doors down.We broke those barriers down back then. And now we are having fun spreading it town by town outside of Texas, just the way we did inside the home state."
Reflection brought Kevin Fowler full circle.
During this time, Stalling discovered the Three Teardrops Tavern and Dallas community radio station KNON. These outlets exposed a musical heritage to which Stalling had been nearly oblivious. Inspired by artists like Townes Van Zandt, Robert Earl Keen, Guy Clark, Lyle Lovett, and Jerry Jeff Walker, Stalling started writing songs, recording albums, and eventually touring with a full band to back him. In June 2008, Stalling joined musical greats Kris Kristofferson, Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, Selena, Guy Clark and many others when he received a star on the South Texas Music Walk of Fame in Corpus Christi.
Stalling's style is modern with a vintage feel. With Jeff Howe on drums and percussion, Bryce Clarke on nylon-string guitar, electric guitar and mandolin, and Jason Steinsultz swapping between stand-up and electric bass, Stalling creates a dynamic live show that's smart, charming and as listenable as it is danceable. Stalling and troupe are equally at home on a huge concert stage in front of thousands or playing an acoustic set for a hundred. Attendance numbers at shows have continued to rise. "I chalk it up to the strength of the songs and the strength of my band", comments Max.
Despite playing the same circuit as many household names in Texas country, grouping Stalling with them would be premature. His unique voice and amusingly clever song lyrics pull him in a different direction - a direction most obviously evident in his newest record Home to You.
Stalling has put together an elite team for his newest project, including recording heavyweight and Grammy winner Lloyd Maines. Maines has been instrumental in developing the sounds of some of the best artists in music and has worked with industry giants including the Dixie Chicks, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Bruce Robison. Band members Steinsultz, Howe and Clark are featured prominently on the recordings as well as Stalling's wife Heather. "I'm very proud of the life that everyone has given these songs," says Max. "They poured their hearts and souls into this project and I think people will be wowed by what they can do."
Home to You may be the best and most well rounded collection of songs that Stalling has released to date. The opening track is an unexpected tune borrowed from Austin music fixture Bob Schneider, which Stalling makes his own by staying true to his rootsy, Americana vibe which is evident throughout the entire album. Next, we hear fan favorite "I Aint Drinking Alone" and a surprising revisited version of a previous Stalling track. With songs about love, love lost, and the road, the album is a perfect candidate for the repeat button on any music player. The collection wraps up with, "The Fantasy Dinner," which is a light-hearted, story song that captures Stalling's creative mind in a way that will keep the listener intrigued and singing along by the second chorus. Matched with master musicianship and production, this album will keep your foot tapping, heart pounding, and dancing shoes worn.
Home to You will be available August 17, 2010, following four previous studio projects (Topaz City, 2008; Comfort In the Curves, 1997; Wide Afternoon, 2000; One of the Ways, 2002) and two live releases (Sell-Out, 2006; Live From The Granada CD/DVD 2009). Home to You is being self-released on the Blind Nello Records label.
Brewster Street Ice House
1724 North Tanchua St
Corpus Christi, TX, 78401