A Gruene Hall tradition, now in its 21st year, where hipsters, oldsters, suits, locals and drifters mix it up to start their weekend rite (pun intended!) This quintessential Friday happy hour celebrates the warmer weather with great beer prices, prize giveaways and the best in Texas tunes broadcast live by KNBT 92.1 FM Radio New Braunfels. There’s even a very special guest interview each week. Some that have stopped by for a chat have included Ray Benson, Steve Earle, Delbert McClinton, Radney Foster, Hayes Carll and Ray Wylie Hubbard. Good times!
Authenticity. Self-reliance. Hard work. Camaraderie. Gratitude. These are the qualities Zane Williams sings about in his rootsy anthem “Texas Like That”–the title track of his 5th studio album–and so it comes as no surprise that these are also the qualities on which his rapidly-growing career is built. Zane has earned a reputation for releasing albums on which every song is worth listening to over and over, and “Texas Like That” is no exception to that rule. Zane is an anomaly in today’s country music….a modern-day “throwback” who is equal parts bar-room entertainer and introspective poet. What makes Zane Williams stand out is his songs… Like mini movies, they pull you in, tell you a story, make you laugh, and remind you of life’s deepest truths. Zane wrote all eleven songs on his latest album, and while they cover a broad range of sonic and lyrical territory, his unique voice runs through them like a thread that ties them all together.
The Band of Heathens: Americana stalwarts The Band of Heathens recently went into their hometown studio in Austin, TX deciding to record their own version of the classic Ray Charles album, A Message From The People. In a time where the downtrodden need a voice again, the Heathens have delivered the message paying homage to one of the most important voices in American song history. Trevor went to an obscure and out-of-print Ray Charles album that he had ripped from vinyl to mp3 to listen to on the road, A Message From The People…how appropriate. Some of us were vaguely familiar with the context of this record — that it was released in the early 70’s (April ’72) during a time of great social upheaval in America. Breaking the ensuing silence, Gordy turned around and said, “What if we covered this album? People really need to hear these songs again.” The idea was hatched right then and there. In December 2017, they were working as a backing band on a variety of projects for other artists being produced by Gordy. The sessions took place at the Finishing School, a studio built by close friend, producer, and musical collaborator, George Reiff, who tragically succumbed cancer in May ’17 after a 10-month fight. Feeling confident that what they had accomplished was going to be worthy of a release, they unanimously agreed that it would be dedicated to the memory of George and that proceeds would go to a charitable organization that focused on social justice. Going forward, their hope is that their performance of these songs has sufficient merit to carry the listener to the musical feeling that they strived to infuse in these recordings — a spirit of brotherhood, hope and understanding, liberty, and justice for all.
The Texas Gentlemen: Sometimes authenticity can sneak up on you. The first sounds you hear on The Texas Gentlemen’s debut studio album, TX Jelly, is that of a band slowly coming together. Touching on blues, soul, folk, country, rock, and gospel, TX Jelly is real, raw, and righteous. Recently named one of “10 New Country Artists You Need To Know” by Rolling Stone Country, The Texas Gentlemen is an ever-evolving cast of characters based around the core sextet of Beau Bedford, Nik Lee, Daniel Creamer, Matt McDonald, Ryan Ake, and Scott Lee. Bedford originally assembled the Gents as an all-purpose backing band for singer-songwriters such as Leon Bridges and Nikki Lane. The Lone Star-bred collective has quickly become the go-to group of players, continuing to back an incredible array of artists including George Strait, Ed Sheeran, Shakey Graves, Shawn Mendes, Matthew Logan Vasquez of Delta Spirit, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ray Benson, Joe Ely (who described them as “the best backing band I have ever played with. Seriously.”), and many more. Last year, they were they were joined by iconic troubadour Kris Kristofferson at the Newport Folk Festival for what Rolling Stone Magazine called one of the festival’s “most exciting sets.” The Texas Gentlemen have released a remix of Depeche Mode’s “Cover Me” adding a gritty, funky vibe to the acclaimed electronic band’s new single from their recent album, Spirit. Of the remix, the Gents’ bandleader and producer, Beau Bedford, offers, “It was an honor to get Depeche Mode’s tracks and David Gahan’s vocals set up on tape and to have the opportunity to play new music as a band to DM’s ‘Cover Me.’