A Nice…Long…Stretch…of Music!!!
Hey folks!! Let’s have a look at the next 2 weekends of music heading to New Braunfels.
Friday night brings ‘Shiny Ribs’ to Gruene Hall, Shiny Ribs is the continuation of Kevin Russell’s musical journey that began in Beaumont, TX when, at 14, he found his father’s guitar under his bed, along with a sewing machine, a billy club and a box of comic books. Luckily he chose the guitar. Following his family’s oil boom and bust migratory path he landed in Shreveport, LA where he formed his first band. Picket Line Coyotes were a Husker Du meets Elvis Costello hybrid that lived and died between the “Arklatexabamassippi” borders much like their unfortunate animal namesake. That’s what took him to Austin where The Gourds were born from those Coyote ashes. That storied band of pumpkins came to an end after 18 years of good times and hard travelin’. From that point on Russell, has been riding high on the Shinyribs river of country-soul, swamp-funk and tickle. A Shinyribs show is an exaltation of spirit. It’s a hip shaking, belly laughing, soul-singing, song-slinging, down-home house party. All styles of American music are likely to be touched on, squeezed on, kissed on by this world-class band featuring Winfield Cheek on Keyboards, Keith Langford on Drums, Jeff Brown on Bass, the Tijuana Trainwreck Horns, and The Shiny Soul Sisters – Sally Allen & Alice Spencer. Whether on his 6 string Uke or his Electric guitar or singing a cappella, Russell will entertain you like no one else. The freedom with which he moves, coupled with his incredible voice is an experience in and of itself. His original songs laced with magical-realism along with novel interpretations of popular songs old and new (George Jones, TLC, Leadbelly, T-Pain) are the true art that runs throughout. He’s Burl Ives meets Al Green; Hank, Jr. meets Teddy Pendergrass. Wendell Berry meets Chuck Berry. This band is THE most fun band I have worked with in recent times…come out and join us won’t you?
This Saturday Feb 25th The Craze will take the stage at the new Krause’s Cafe. The Craze have been around these parts for quite some time and always bring a high energy show with lots of songs you’ll remember from ‘back when’! And this new venue is OUTSTANDING. Great food, great drinks, great music…sounds like a perfect mix to me!
Then , how ’bout a nice Fat Tuesday celebration ‘New Braunfels’ Style? Alex Meixner will be putting a german twist on Mardi Gras this Tuesday at the Brauntex Theater! Alex Meixner’s performing career began at age 6 with his two sisters and father in an ethnic folk ensemble. From these early experiences through headline appearances at music festivals throughout the US; concert performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sandy Duncan and his own jazz and ethnic ensembles; as well as over 40 recordings, Meixner has developed a unique musical mix that appeals to a wide cross-section of audiences.
Meixner’s formative musical studies were on piano and piano accordion, but he quickly branched out on drums, diatonic button accordion, bass and trumpet, which is now his main instrument. This instrumental versatility is combined with a musical background that has included intense studies and performance of jazz, classical, pop, polkas and many ethnic folk music genres with some of the leading artists in the world. His talents in music and comedy were even featured on the Tonight Show on NBC in 2004. Most recently, his “Polka Freak Out” CD with Bubba Hernandez garnered a Grammy nomination in December, 2007.
Currently based in Allentown, PA, Alex is performing as a solo artist and with numerous touring ensembles. His solo programs- “Fascinating Rhythms of the World” focus on the fusion of Slavic folk music and Jazz, but also include the inflections of folk, pop and classical styles from Latin America, Africa and other sections of Europe. This music is the basis for a series of multi-cultural music education seminars and performances which are currently available through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts “Artists in Education” program.
Alex also leads or co-leads numerous musical groups including The Alex Meixner Band, Polka Freak Out and Jazz Visions. These groups perform for various public and private functions throughout North America. Alex Meixner works tirelessly to provide the perfect high energy show his fans have come to expect!
When Alex is not performing with all of these groups, he is devoted to bringing music to students through educational clinics, as well as his private teaching. Doors are at 6:30!!
Thursday March 2nd come celebrate Texas Independence Day at The Grapevine in Gruene with Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs. Free Show, Great Wines and Beer and one fantastic band!! Billy Bacon And The Forbidden Pigs were formed in 1984 in San Diego Ca. amidst the southern California roots rock craze of the ‘80’s, which included such notables as; Los Lobos, The Blasters, Rosie Flores, Mojo Nixon, The Beat farmers, and The Paladins. Like these contemporaries, the emphasis was on solid song writing and raucous live shows consisting of an eclectic and vibrant stew of American roots music including Tex Mex, R&B, Rockabilly, Pop and classic Country which brought enthusiastic crowds throughout the region.
Within a few short years “The Pigs” (as they are known to their fans) were playing the clubs, honkytonks, and festivals nationwide. They released their first single, Una mas Cerveza (a 45rpm record) on Mark Neill’s homespun San Diego label; Swingin’ Records in 1988. By 1991, with the help of friend and mentor Mojo Nixon, they landed a record deal with the Los Angeles based indie; Triple X Records.
By the early ‘90’s with two full length albums under their belt they began to tour overseas playing to Americana hungry audiences in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Canada, and Mexico, thus expanding their fan base. The Pigs were playing over 250 shows a year at this point. They were a nonstop touring band taking an occasional break to record. They have released nine albums to date which boast a list of “honorary Pigs” such as: Joe Walsh, Michael Doucet, Dave Alvin, Evan Johns, Country Dick Montana, Mojo Nixon, Buddy Blue, Chris Gaffney, Wade Preston, John “Juke” Logan and Kandye Kane.
In 1998 founder, singer/songwriter, bassist and front man, Billy Bacon (W. Seth Russell) was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, but this did not affect his ability to continue the rigorous touring schedule at first. By 2006 the condition had finally begun to worsen to the point that touring was no longer an option. The band was now only playing occasionally. Today, after several different treatments Billy is showing improvement in his condition. The band still plays from time to time in clubs and at festivals. There is no permanent line up these days. Billy draws from a sty of world class musicians from Ca., Tx., and the Midwest. There is also a new album: Billy Bacon’s “High, Wide and Handsome” released 3/16 and, adding to their list of film & television credits, the inclusion of the song, Are You Going Back There Tonight in the William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection) film: Killer Joe, starring Mathew McConaughey, which was released 7/12.
So there you have, my picks for the next 2 weeks! Get out there and enjoy ALL of the great music New Braunfels has to offer…
Until next time
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