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My Eagles concert review posted to Elmore

3 Jun

Elmore Magazine | The EaglesFive of the original Eagles took musicianship to the limits at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. Before a sold-out crowd, they performed hits from 12 albums and a career that spans four-plus decades. For over three hours (and two encores) Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh mesmerized their audience with nostalgic stories and songs synchronized to stunning videos of Southwest landscapes.

Selections from favorite albums, Desperado, Hotel California, and One of These Nights captivated Baby Boomers and Millennials alike, and introduced a new generation to the cross-genres from progressive country to rock. The six-time Grammy winners began their first set with early Eagles’ acoustic songs like “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” and “Tequila Sunrise” sitting on stage. After an intermission, band members stood and rocked the crowd to its feet. A boyish Walsh upstaged the show by inviting audience participation on “Life’s Been Good” and using a talk box to perform “Rocky Mountain Way.” With “Take It to the Limit,” Frey provided a moving tribute to guitarist Randy Meisner, absent from the two-year “History of the Eagles Tour” due to health issues. The final encore song, “Desperado,” closed the show on a magical note, with ethereal harmonies that will forever echo in the canyons of the mind.

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Also please see my review on Elmore magazine’s website at:

My story about Gatlin Brothers’ lifetime achievement award posted to Elmore

10 Mar

Elmore Magazine | Texas Medal Of Arts Awards  Celebrities lit up the stage at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin Feb. 25 for the Texas Medal of Arts Awards gala that honored legendary country performers The Gatlin Brothers among others.

Texas Cultural Trust provided a lifetime achievement award to The Gatlin Brothers, Larry, Steve and Rudy Gatlin for their musical career that spans nearly 60 years. Proceeds from the eighth biennial event will fund arts programs administered by the trust.

The three young Gatlin brothers began at two, four and six years old singing gospel music together on The Slim Willet Show broadcast live on KRBC-TV from Abilene and they eventually recorded 28 albums together.

Larry began his career in Nashville by writing songs recorded by country stars Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Elvis Presley to name a few. His brothers soon joined him to record two solo albums on Monument Records, The Pilgrim in 1974 and 1975’s Rain Rainbow. After receiving a Grammy award and being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, the brothers officially became a trio in 1979 to release their debut album, High Time, and signed with Columbia Records.

He later wrote 34 top 40 hits for the group including eight number ones over the course of their long career, as the Gatlin Brothers lit up marquees and packed hundreds of music halls across America before their tours halted in 1992. Currently, the Gatlin Brothers’ 60th Anniversary Tour has scheduled appearances from Nashville all the way to the West Coast by May and back through Texas before it ends in Virginia this November.

Blues, rock and pop legend Steven Haworth “Steve” Miller presented the Gatlins with their award while a montage of home videos and vintage photos displayed on a screen at the back of the stage. Images of the three brothers and their younger sister, LaDonna, dressed in western wear and cowboy hats appeared while their song famous “Swing Down Chariot” played.

The Gatlin Brothers together with their bass player Steve Smith, afterwards performed “All the Gold in California,” a number one hit that stayed on Billboard magazine’s Hot County Singles chart for ten weeks in 1979. The audience enthusiastically contributed to the familiar chorus.

Steve Gatlin said growing up in West Texas their parents taught the boys Christian values and demonstrated a strong work ethic. He attributed their music education in whole harmony structure, phrasing and enunciation, to Texas elementary schools.

   “I had wonderfully gifted choral directors – many — from elementary school through college that inspired me with all the genres of music and opened up a world to me that I didn’t know existed,” Steve said.

“The world of music has enriched my life forever. Again thank you again for honoring me and my brothers as I honor those who taught me. I now live in Tennessee, but my musical roots will always be right here in the great state of Texas.”

Rudy also thanked the Texas Cultural Trust for honoring the siblings.

“We’ve had a wonderful life. We’ve been blessed,” he said.

Mentioning fellow Texans and Country Hall of Famers Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Mickey Newbury and Roger Miller, Larry also praised his former senior high school teacher, Ann Louise Jones and English professor Dr. Charles Beatty at the University of Houston.

“Those little songs about doggies and horses that I wrote for us and we recorded, I owe to those people who engendered and fostered a love in me for words,” Larry said.

The Gatlin Brothers also performed their 1986 song, “Texas (is What Life’s All About)” that Larry composed together with Lance Legault for the Partners album.

Also recognized at the Texas Medal of Arts Awards were: T. Bone Burnett from Fort Worth, for his 40 years of experience in the music and entertainment business; Jamie Foxx from Terrell for his work as a comedian, film actor and musician; the Kilgore College Rangerettes of Kilgore for pioneering the field of dance drill teams; and Rick Lowe, of Houston for his national and international visual arts projects.

Other honorees included Dr. Pepper Snapple Group from Plano as a corporate arts patron; Margaret McDermott of Dallas as an individual arts patron; Emilio Nicolas of San Antonio, as a founding pioneer of Spanish language television in the United States; and Dan Rather from Wharton, for his more than 60 years covering major news events.

Additional awards went to Charles Renfro from Houston, for his architectural design; Robert Schenkkan, from Austin, for his work as a writer for theatre, film and television; Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts in Dallas, for its arts education programs; Lawrence Wright, of Austin, for his contributions to the literary arts; Chandra Wilson from Houston, for her career in television, film and on Broadway; and Ruth Altshuler from Dallas who received the Standing Ovation award for her philanthropic and charitable contributions.

Hosted by four-time National Football Conference Champion former Cowboy quarterback Troy Aikman and seven-time Emmy Award winning veteran anchor of FOX sports, Joe Buck, the elite event included a star-studded cast of celebrities. Presenters included Steve Miller, former First Lady Laura Bush, and Asleep at the Wheel frontman, Ray Benson. Honorary chairs included Texas Governor Gregg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus. Attendees included Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and businessman H. Ross Perot who ran unsuccessfully in 1992 and 1996 for the U.S. presidency as an independent candidate.

Link to my story and photos posted on Elmore magazine’s website:

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My story and photos about the Jan. 17 show at Saxon Pub posted to Elmore magazine

30 Jan

Elmore Magazine | Folk Uke, Hector Ward & The Big Time and Guy FFolk Uke, Hector Ward and Guy Forsyth’s band, delivered an eclectic mix of folk, blues, reggae, funk, and bluegrass music in a six-hour show Jan. 17 at Saxon Pub in Austin.

Folk Uke, (the “e” is silent) formed by Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie, the daughters of iconic fathers, Willie Nelson and Arlo Guthrie, perform satirical and somewhat sensational music. Angelic voices often contradict edgy and authentic song lyrics from their self-titled release in 2005 and Reincarnation in 2011. Amy sings lead vocals and plays acoustic guitar while Cathy harmonizes and accompanies on ukulele. Favorites were “Sh*t makes the Flowers Grow,” “Knock Me Up,” and “Mother F***er.”

Hector Ward, delighted fans with a reggae-infused “Simplify,” “Whiskey Pants,” and “Taking Lightening Home,” about blues singer Sam John “Lightnin’” Hopkins. Ward fronts the Big Time band, a nine-piece Latin funk group complete with a horn section. Members included: Mark Wilson, baritone saxophone and flute player; drummer and co-songwriter Mike McGurk; and lead and rhythm guitarist Rain Cross, the son of Grammy award winning songwriter Christopher Cross. Others included cornet player Micah Shalom, trombone player, Ben Taylor, and bass player Kai Roach. Ward sang songs he co-wrote with Phil Roach: “Azucar,” “Freightline Funk,” “Nuevo Laredo” “Time Will Tell,” and “Vibro.” Newcomers included: tenor saxophone player Jennifer Nailos and percussionist David Farris. The band’s two albums include: Freightline Funk released in 2009 and Sum of All in 2011. Ward also sang the single, “Heart Full of Soul,” off the All ATX 2014: British Invasion compilation CD. An American-Cuban, Ward grew up in the little town of Damon, southwest of Houston playing football in high school and then in college at Midwestern State University and Texas State University before suffering partial paralysis in a one-car accident just outside of Houston at 19 years old.

Guy Forsyth has an unmistakable onstage energy that has fueled 25 years of touring internationally while recording 14 albums. He performed a multitude of instruments including a “singing saw,” or modified farming tool used with a violin bow to create a hauntingly instrumental version of “Over the Rainbow.” He first worked as a street musician, later as a studio session player, and then as a comic stunt man at Renaissance fairs Kansas City, MO before moving to Austin in 1990. Band members included: drummer Nina Botta, and her husband, bassist Jeff Botta, who also played on Forsyth’s 2012 The Freedom to Fail album, on the Blue Corn Music label; guitarist George Rarey, who also performs on The Pleaser, Forsyth’s new blues album to be released this April on the Lizard Disc label. The best songs of the night included “Sink ‘em Low (the Holler),” which the band sang acapella amid hand clapping and foot stomping. He also sang, “She’s Crazy Now,” an as yet unrecorded love song that features a unique third person protagonist. Lizard Discs first released his debut solo album High Temperature, CD in Hengelo, Netherlands in 1993 establishing Forsyth throughout Europe. He signed with Antone’s Records to release three more albums: Steak, Needlegun and Can You Live Without before Texas Music Group bought it and declared bankruptcy in 2010. Forsyth released Voices Inside in 2002 on his independent Small and Nimble Records followed by Love Songs For and Against in 2005, Unrepentant Schizophrenic Americana, a double live album in 2006, Calico Girl in 2008, Live at Gruene Hall in 2009 and the DVD, 300 Miles from There to Here in 2011.

 Here’s the link to my story and my photos that posted to Elmore magazine:

Here’s a gallery of my photos that I took Jan. 17 at Saxon Pub:

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