RARWRITER PUBLISHING GROUP PRESENTS

CREATIVE CULTURE JOURNAL

at www.RARWRITER.com      

--------------------"The best source on the web for what's real in arts and entertainment" ---------------------------

Volume 1-2016

MUSIC    BOOKS    FINE ARTS   FILM   THE WORLD

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Use this link to add your email address to the RARWRITER Publishing Group mailing list for updates on activities associated with the Creative Culture and Revolution Culture journals, and other RARWRITER Publishing Group interests.

 

ABOUT RAR: For those of you new to this site, "RAR" is Rick Alan Rice, the publisher of the RARWRITER Publishing Group websites. Use this link to visit the RAR music page, which features original music compositions and other.

Use this link to visit Rick Alan Rice's publications page, which features excerpts from novels and other.

RARADIO

(Click here)

Currently on RARadio:

"On to the Next One" by Jacqueline Van Bierk

"I See You Tiger" by Via Tania

"Lost the Plot" by Amoureux"

Bright Eyes, Black Soul" by The Lovers Key

"Cool Thing" by Sassparilla

"These Halls I Dwell" by Michael Butler

"St. Francis"by Tom Russell & Gretchen Peters, performance by Gretchen Peters and Barry Walsh; 

"Who Do You Love?"by Elizabeth Kay; 

"Rebirth"by Caterpillars; 

"Monica's Frock" by Signel-Z; 

"Natural Disasters" by Corey Landis; 

"1,000 Leather Tassels" by The Blank Tapes; 

"We Are All Stone" and "Those Machines" by Outer Minds; 

"Another Dream" by MMOSS; "Susannah" by Woolen Kits; 

Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and other dead celebrities / news by A SECRET PARTY;

"I Miss the Day" by My Secret Island,  

"Carriers of Light" by Brendan James;

"The Last Time" by Model Stranger;

"Last Call" by Jay;

"Darkness" by Leonard Cohen; 

"Sweetbread" by Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep You" fromActress off the Chronicle movie soundtrack; 

"Goodbye to Love" from October Dawn; 

Trouble in Mind 2011 label sampler; 

Black Box Revelation Live on Minnesota Public Radio;

Apteka "Striking Violet"; 

Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get Along";

Dana deChaby's progressive rock

 

_______

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Rick Alan Rice (RAR) Literature Page

ATWOOD - "A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliverance" -AVAILABLE NOW FOR KINDLE (INCLUDING KINDLE COMPUTER APPS) FROM AMAZON.COM. Use this link.

CCJ Publisher Rick Alan Rice dissects the building of America in a trilogy of novels collectively calledATWOOD. Book One explores the development of the American West through the lens of public policy, land planning, municipal development, and governance as it played out in one of the new counties of Kansas in the latter half of the 19th Century. The novel focuses on the religious and cultural traditions that imbued the American Midwest with a special character that continues to have a profound effect on American politics to this day. Book One creates an understanding about America's cultural foundations that is further explored in books two and three that further trace the historical-cultural-spiritual development of one isolated county on the Great Plains that stands as an icon in the development of a certain brand of American character. That's the serious stuff viewed from high altitude. The story itself gets down and dirty with the supernatural, which in ATWOOD - A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliveranceis the outfall of misfires in human interactions, from the monumental to the sublime. The book features the epic poem "The Toiler" as well as artwork by New Mexico artist Richard Padilla.

Elmore Leonard Meets Larry McMurtry

Western Crime Novel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am offering another novel through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service. Cooksin is the story of a criminal syndicate that sets its sights on a ranching/farming community in Weld County, Colorado, 1950. The perpetrators of the criminal enterprise steal farm equipment, slaughter cattle, and rob the personal property of individuals whose assets have been inventoried in advance and distributed through a vast system of illegal commerce.

It is a ripping good yarn, filled with suspense and intrigue. This was designed intentionally to pay homage to the type of creative works being produced in 1950, when the story is set. Richard Padilla has done his usually brilliant work in capturing the look and feel of a certain type of crime fiction being produced in that era. The whole thing has the feel of those black & white films you see on Turner Movie Classics, and the writing will remind you a little of Elmore Leonard, whose earliest works were westerns. Use this link.

 

EXPLORE THE KINDLE BOOK LIBRARY

If you have not explored the books available from Amazon.com's Kindle Publishing division you would do yourself a favor to do so. You will find classic literature there, as well as tons of privately published books of every kind. A lot of it is awful, like a lot of traditionally published books are awful, but some are truly classics. You can get the entire collection of Shakespeare's works for two bucks.

You do not need to buy a Kindle to take advantage of this low-cost library. Use this link to go to an Amazon.com page from which you can download for free a Kindle App for your computer, tablet, or phone.

Amazon is the largest, but far from the only digital publisher. You can find similar treasure troves atNOOK Press (the Barnes & Noble site), Lulu, and others.


 

 

 

AUSTIN LINKS  

RACHEL LOY                                                                      

ADRIAN (ADRIAN AND THE SICKNESS)

 

 

OKKERVIL RIVER

www.jound.com/okkervil/main.html

OKKERVIL RIVER, fronted by the shaky cowboy Will Sheff, has been holding down a quirky corner of Texas folk-punk for a few years now. In Sheff's world, people maintain relationships through desire to commit mayhem, mostly to each other. The band's sound tends toward nicely sectioned dynamics, mostly quiet and nuanced, some almost dirgelike. (Sheff has joked that maybe the band should be called "Dirge Overkill.") It is not down stuff, though; instead, is funny and easy to listen to, even through Sheff's angst ridden vocalizing. The band may bring The Smith's to mind, not so much musically as for Sheff's Morrisey-like turn of phrase and taste for irony.

Okkervil River has been riding a two-album concept, of which their most recent release Black Sheep Boy is a part. The dark string of tunes was inspired, according to Sheff, by the 1967 Tim Hardin song "Black Sheep Boy," which Sheff says he admired for its "mysterious lyrics and darkly confident theme."

The music of Okkervil River offers similar attractions. "It's like deciphering a puzzle when you listen to their lyrics," says music critic Alison Stewart. Those lyrics are filled with macabre imagery and menacing violence, but Sheff maintains a sense of humor about it.

Of Okkervil River, MSNBC Music Writer Gregory A. Perez wrote in 2005, after naming Black Sheep Boy Album of the Year - "Ten bucks says The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy is relieved to finally drape the mantle of “The Next Neutral Milk Hotel” over Will Sheff’s deserving shoulders. Sheff somehow knits together a more compelling and accessible universe than either Meloy is able to create with his literate songcraft or NMH’s Jeff Mangum can make with his surrealist poetry."

OKKERVIL RIVER MP3S:

 

 

For Real

A Favor

Copyright © 2006-2007 Okkervil River, all rights reserved

 

Additional Okkervil River MP3s can be heard at their myspace site at www.myspace.com/okkervilriver and from their main website noted above.

Okkervil River Is: Will Sheff - vocals, guitar Scott Brackett - trumpet, keyboards Brian Cassidy - vocals, electric guitar, mandolin Jonathan Meiburg - vocals, keyboards, accordion Travis Nelsen - drums Patrick Pestorius - bass Seth Warren - electronics

BROKEN TEETH

www.brokenteeth.com

BROKEN TEETH, the long-time Austin-based screamer-rock unit that first made waves with their 1999 self-titled release, has been touring the east coast lately with their new lineup.

Gone is founding lead guitarist and co-songwriter Paul Lidel, who has given up touring in favor of a less active home life. He will continue to be a primary contributor of material to the band. 

In Lidel's place, Broken Teeth has added guitarist Dave Beeson, Lidel's "former roommate and co-instructor at a local guitar school, Beeson is a veteran Austin hard rocker who had formerly helped fuel the band Octane with current Broken Teeth bassist, Brett McCormick" (from their website). 

Jason McMaster (pictured above) is a heavyweight among hard rock vocal shredders, having earned his stripes with the death metal unit Dangerous Toys. The DT's surfaced in 1987 and quickly established themselves with their Dangerous Toys debut release and Hellacious Acres (1989). Mssr. McMaster found himself on tour with Alice Cooper, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Metal Church and the Cult.

With Broken Teeth, a wisened Jason is involved with something more like '80s arena rock than death. He's still great, able to deliver the vocals that embody hard rock. 

 

Broken Teeth is Jason McMaster (vocals), Jared Tuten (guitar), Dave Beeson (guitar), Brett McCormick (bass), and Bruce Rivers (drums).

BROKEN TEETH MP3S:

 

Broken Teeth MP3s can be heard at their myspace site at www.myspace.com/brokenteeth.

.

 

JAMES COTTON

www.jamescottonsuperharp.com

JAMES COTTON is rolling into his 63rd year in the music business. Known simply as "Cotton" to his friends, as a boy he had been a devoted listener of the "King Biscuit Time" radio show, a 15-minute variety that was heard in his native Mississippi. Featured on that show was harmonica legend Sonny Boy Williamson, who eventually became young Cotton's mentor. After he had toured as an opening act for his hero, Sonny Boy suddenly bequeathed his band to Cotton one day, somewhat literally passing on the blues-harp torch, which Cotton has been carrying ever since. He is 72 years old now. 

In the course of his career he has worked with other blues legends, including Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. He was among the "old" blues artists who was discovered by the hippies in that era of the 1960s, and became associated with the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Santana, Steve Miller, Freddie King, B.B. King, and others.

Cotton curtailed his travels when he was derailed with health problems in the early '90s, but since recovering he has toured constantly with his band of loyal stalwarts: Slam Allen, guitar, vocals; Tom Holland, guitar; Charles Mack, bass; Mark Mack, drums. 

RAR Note: I like this quote from Cotton on performing - "My audience always tells me how I'm doing. If I look out there and don't like what I see, I work harder." 

 

INTRODUCTION TO HIS 1996 GRAMMY AWARD FOR BEST TRADITIONAL BLUES ALBUM - "There is a photograph of a man wearing overalls sitting on an old porch intently playing a harmonica. If you study the photograph you can feel the depth of the man's soul. The man is James Cotton. The porch is part of the commissary store on the plantation where he was born in Tunica, Mississippi. The depth of the man's soul can be heard on Deep In The Blues on Verve Records.

 

 

Cotton is often referred to as "Superharp" in his press materials.

 

JAMES COTTON MP3S:

James Cotton MP3s can be heard at their myspace site at www.myspace.com/jamescotton55.

 

BLUE OCTOBER

www.myspace.com/blueoctober

BLUE OCTOBER is touring heavily behind their Foiled (2006) release, and their tune "Into the Ocean" is getting heavy airplay nationally. (It plays constantly in our house and is driving me insane - RAR)

This is a band that has been knocking on fame's door for a few years, since landing a major label deal with Universal on the strength of their 1998 debut album, The Answers, an indie product. Universal kept them around for one release, Consent to Treatment (innuendo?), before dropping them for lackluster radio play. Blue October signed with the indie label Brando Records for their third release, History for Sale, off of which came a single, "When Calling You," that found its way onto the American Wedding soundtrack and reignited Universal's interest in the band. Blue October re-upped with the movie and theme park guys.

Blue October attributes their multi-layered sound to their affinity for such progressive rockers as  Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Flaming Lips, U2 and Coldplay.

BLUE OCTOBER is Justin Furstenfeld - vocals/guitar/piano; Ryan Delahoussaye -
violin/mandolin/keys; Jeremy Furstenfeld - drums; CB Hudson III - guitar; and 
Matt Noveskey - bass.
 Justin and Jeremy are brothers.

BLUE OCTOBER MP3S:

 

Blue October MP3s can be heard at their myspace site at www.myspace.com/blue october.

 

 

Success has not exactly come overnight for Blue October, but their momentum is building. Over the past two years they have had over 5 million views of their MySpace profile.

 

THE SECRET MACHINES

www.thesecretmachines.com

NYC-based THE SECRET MACHINES is comprised of brothers Brandon and Benjamin Curtis, and Josh Garza, all of whom hail from Dallas, Texas. Garza made the national music radar with his two-piece noise band Captain Audio, which in 1999 released an EP titled My Ear's Ringing But My Heart's OK that was well received by critics. They followed with the LP LUXURY. The Curtis brothers kept sitting in with the duo and the music began to drift toward a more standard rock sound. That said, "standard rock sound" doesn't really apply to the band's multi-layered guitar-synth sound. Josh Garza is an interesting drummer who gives the band's sound a spacious, crashy, sumptuous feel.

 

RAY WYLIE HUBBARD

www.raywylie.com

RAY WYLIE HUBBARD’S manager-wife Judy, upon accepting my invitation to join the Links community, wrote that “we especially like that your site seems to feature poets/writers.” That tells you a lot about where the wordsmith Ray Wylie is coming from. He’s a story teller.

You might recall that Ray Wylie Hubbard wrote a classic country outlaw tune called “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” which was a minor hit for Jerry Jeff Walker on his 1973 Viva Terlingua LP. To hear Ray Wylie tell it, success as a songwriter was the worst thing that ever happened to him. A member in good standing of the Cosmic Cowboy or Country Outlaw revolution that swept out of Texas in the 1970s, led by Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker, and others, Ray Wylie fell victim to the high life of drugs and alcohol, Then, in 1987, he was saved from himself by the Texas tornado Stevie Ray Vaughn. A humbled Ray Wylie writes - “Stevie told me what I needed to do for recovery,” relates Hubbard. “A lot of people remember Stevie for his guitar playing, but I remember him because he saved my life.”

Ray Wylie was reborn as a songwriter and since the late 1990s has released one LP after the next. His most recent, Snake Farm, was produced by guitarist Gurf Morlix, who has produced Lucinda Williams, Robert Earl Keen and newcomer Mary Gauthier (a Ray Wylie protégé), Inspired by a real-life visit to a real-life reptile house, Snake Farm skillfully employs literary devices and dirty deep groove music – a blend Ray Wylie references as “decadent elegance” – to tell earthy stories about love, yearning and existentialism. Before you start thinking Ray Wylie has become a dilettante, take a listen to “Screw You, We’re From Texas,” which should disabuse you of any such notion.  “We wanted this record (Snake Farm) to sound like the early Stones or Black Crowes or Guns ‘n Roses,” says Morlix.

On Snake Farm Ray Wylie is attended by harmonica great Ray Bonneville (who has worked with others on this site, including Son Piedmont), vocalist Ruthie Foster, Americana pioneer Peter Rowan, and young guitar-slinger Seth James.

Even as the 58-year old Ray Wylie has been embraced by a much younger crowd of collaborators and co-writers, it is literary figures Flannery O’Connor and Dante Alighieri (Divine Comedy), and syncretic mythology guru Joseph Campbell who most influence his later life work.

Director Tiller Russell (producer/director of the documentary Cockfight and director of the CMT series Small Town Secrets), who directed videos for two songs from Ray Wylie’s Snake Farm LP sums Ray Wylie up this way - “Ray Wylie is rock ‘n roll’s last samurai, He writes like he has the devil at his tail, the Good Lord in his heart, a saddlebag of poetry and a pistol in his boot. His songs evoke images of Sam Peckinpah, Fellini and the best of (Robert) Altman.”  

TOP: Ray Wylie Hubbard in the inner sanctum? ABOVE: On stage. BELOW: Snake Farm, released in July .

RAY WILEY HUBBARD MP3s:

 

Snake Farm - shenanigans at the reptile farm

Screw You, We're From Texas - Longhorn pride

Dallas After Midnight - white trash getting by

Copyright © 2006-2007 Ray Wylie Hubbard, all rights reserved 

 

 

Ray Wylie Hubbard is a master of songwriterly word craft, cleverly shoehorning in interesting little nuggets of observation and insight. He's for darned sure funny, but he's sensitive too, in an off-hand way. His reference in "Snake Farm" to the tattoo of the sailor-hat wearing mouse being swallowed by a reptile is a tough image to shake. I sense he could be a good actor. His vocal timing is fantastic, his delivery nuanced. He projects "real," and he is incredibly likeable.

 

WRITERS WHO ROCK

Christine Young and Melissa Mullins started hosting a showcase in Austin in 2004 that featured "Writers Who Rock," which does pretty much that.  Melissa's site at http://manmademedia.net/melissamullins/elMercado.htm provides a nice group of links to the sites of writers who have performed at their venue, including:

 

Adrian and the Sickness

 

Jerm Pollet

Rachel Loy

Aimee Bobruk

 

The Mother Truckers

 

Sarah Sample

Brian Palmer

Mo Pair

 

Suzanna Choffel

Darin Murphy

Nicole Gilbert

Taylor Davis

Ernie Ernst


Porter Davis

Tony Scalzo

 

Hilary York

Melissa Greener

The showcase is produced every Tuesday night, from 7 to 10 p.m., at the El Mercado Music Lounge, 1302 South First Street, Austin, Texas. Writers rotate through 30-minute sets, and those who would like to participate can drop off a CD at the showcase, or email it to the El Mercado (instructions provided on their site at http://manmademedia.net/melissamullins/elMercado.htm).

 

LORRIE SINGER

http://lorriesinger.com/home.asp
Former Boulderite lorrie singer is now living in the Austin, Texas with her husband, another former Boulderite, Bradley Kopp (see profile below). 

 

Lorrie's singing career in Boulder included time with a group of Texas-bound musicians that would foreshadow her future life events. "I got to sit in with Mark Hallman's band several times when he branched out on his own and played at The Blue Note back in the late 70's... also sometime around '79 or '80 went up to Idaho with Navarro when they played with Carole King up there... and got to sit in with them and actually share a mic with her onstage - wow - talk about a moment I'll never forget!!!!  What an honor!"


Lorrie had a long-running stint as one of the singing group The Girls before a 14-year stint with The 4-Nikators. Then, in 1996, she got a call from someone she had known from her time singing backup in The Fat Shadow Band for
Tish Parmaley. Another associate of the Navarro crew remembered her and called from Austin, Texas - Bradley Kopp. You can read Bradley's account of what transpired. 

 

In Austin, Lorrie is doing audio work in her own home studio, and doing voice and engineering work at The Production Block in Austin. She also sings full-time with Reunion, a 9-piece party outfit.

 

* * * * *

 

Lorrie and Bradley released a CD, Walk Tall, in 2005. The Americana recording features the works of a passel of talented Nashville and Austin songwriters, including former Boulderites Gretchen Peters and Robert McEntee, as well as Julie Miller, Greg Trooper, and Fready Steady. 

Lorrie and Bradley toured Holland last November in support of their CD.

ABOVE: Brad Kopp and Lorrie Singer on stage with bandmates at the Saxon Club for their CD release party. BELOW: Bradley on stage with two-time Grammy Award winners Sarah Fox and Joel Guzman at the Namm Show in Austin, July 2006

LORRIE SINGER/BRADLEY KOPP MP3s:

 

If I Could Just

River Don't Rise

Rachel

I Know A Goodbye 

Copyright © Lorrie Singer/Bradley Kopp, all rights reserved 

ABOVE: Bradley and Lorrie at Alice's Restaurant. ABOVE RIGHT: Songwriters in the Round at Luckenbach, Texas (Brad and Lorrie on the left). NEAR RIGHT:: Lorrie at Folk Alliance (photo by Winker) FAR RIGHT: Cambrinus Cafe in Holland

LORRIE SINGER NEWS: February 9, 2007 - Lorrie Singer scored a voice over win recently. Around the start of the year she wrote - "I just found out that a narration I did a couple of months ago is up and running online at "thinkabundancenow.com".  I think there's a link to click on to see the movie - if you have time to check it out, it's about a 5-minute long slide show." 

BRADLEY KOPP

http://BradleyKopp.com

BRADLEY KOPP is a producer/engineer /guitarist well-known to Austin musicians, as well as those in Boulder, Colorado. He played in Boulder bands in the 1970s-80s before returning to Austin and making a name for himself as a musician, producer and engineer. Bradley partners with Doc Jones at Redboot Ranch studio in Austin and produces, engineers or performs with an impressive array of artists (see below). 

Read Bradley's highly entertaining account of his career and personal life (filled with names we know) on the right.

Bradley has toured internationally and/or performed in concerts, nightclubs, television appearances, recorded with:

Support Acts

Bradley has performed in support acts for the following:

  • Bob Dylan
  • Emmy Lou Harris
  • Etta James
  • John Prine
  • Little Feat
  • Timbuk 3
  • Boz Scaggs
  • Marty Stewart
  • And many others.

Production and Engineering

Bradley has produced and/or engineered recordings for:

Television

Bradley has performed on the following television shows:

  • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
  • TNN’s Onstage
  • TNN’s Crook and Chase
  • Austin City Limits
  • Texas Connection

Bradley's professional services include:

  • Record producer
  • Recording engineer
  • Protools audio editor
  • Composer
  • Arranger
  • Guitarist
  • Bassist
  • Film score composer
  • Jingle writer
  • Sound effects editor

A little info about Redboot Ranch...

Redboot Ranch is a digital multitrack production studio featuring the Protools hard disc recording and editing system by Digidesign, long recognized as the industry standard in audio production. The studio also features Grace Design microphone preamps, Neuman, AKG, Audix, Beyer, and Shure microphones, Aphex, DBX, FMR, and Behringer, compressors, vintage Urie EQ's, and Lexicon reverbs.

Bradley's technical philosophy is to utilize vintage analog gear and tracking technique with the advanced editing and mixing techniques afforded by the nonlinear editing environment of Protools.

Bradley Kopp sent this information in an email. It makes entertaining reading on many levels, and is a treasure chest of information on both the Austin and the Boulder music scenes:

"After growing up (OK well, not really) in a small town in the panhandle of
Texas and spending a couple of years in Lubbock pretending to be a student, I
moved to Boulder on August 1, 1973. I remember the date because it was my 20th birthday. The drinking age in Texas had been lowered to 18 (a situation that proved to be temporary) and I bought my first legal six-pack before I hit the
road.

"I got a job in a ski factory where I met a couple of characters that
introduced me to the music scene in Boulder. One was Michael Wiebold, who was a
drummer from Wisconsin. The other was Dallas Shoo who was a guitarist from Kentucky. Michael introduced me to James Tuttle, who at the time was the steel
player for Navarro. Dallas took me to see this band called Firefall whose bass player was Mark Andes. Dallas is now the guitar tech for U2. Michael Wiebold also introduced me to Ben Carnes who had been the steel player in a band called Slumgullion. They had a gig at the Hungry Farmer out east on Arapahoe every Sunday and Monday night and asked me if I'd like to play with them. They called the band "The Opal City Polka Chips." I think we made 6 dollars each on Sunday and 5 on Monday, plus all the beer we could drink. That's until they found out how much beer we could drink. 

"It was quite a cast of characters. Ben's brother Steve (Carnes) played upright bass. Joey Conway (now of the Legendary 4-Nikators) played keyboard's and a guy we called Tommy Foodstamps played guitar and sang.

"Pretty soon other musician's started coming down to sit in. Players like Robert McEntee and Mark Hallman from Navarro came out. I met Michael Wooten during that time. It was low-key and fun. Totally not serious. I was in Boulder from '73 to '81 doing odd gigs and odd jobs. I was pretty much into the singer/songwriter thing but I was having a hard time making ends meet so I spent a couple of years woodshedding on guitar and started hiring myself out as a sideman.

"Somewhere in the late 70's I got a gig playing with The Fat Shadow Band backing up my friend Tish Parmaley. One of the background singers was Lorrie Singer. We became good friends.

"By '81 most of my friend's from Navarro moved to Austin. I came down in October of '81 and moved into "the Congress House" which was kind of a band house/rehearsal studio that Mark Hallman rented when he got to Austin. Coming home to Texas had always been kind of a charm for me. It was just easier for me to get work as a musician here. Hell, I speak the language. I took every gig that came my way. I played rock gigs, country gigs, pop gigs, you name it. 

"In the mid 80's Robert McEntee and I were doing a lot of duo gigs together. Robert was also playing guitar for Eliza Gilkyson who was looking for a keyboard player. I had a keyboard that I used for writing so I auditioned for the gig and got it. Eliza had me play guitar on one song a night to keep me happy. Meanwhile, the Congress House had evolved into a full fledged production studio and Hallman was mentoring me as an engineer. 

"I got a gig with the reformed version of Duke Jupiter, which was an east coast rock band that had experienced some MTV success with a song called "Little Lady." Through the Eliza gig and then the Duke Jupiter gig I was becoming more visible. I got a gig playing with David Halley who was an up and coming singer songwriter from Lubbock. So suddenly, I was reconnected with the Lubbock thing. Jimmie Dale Gilmore's daughter and son-in-law were David Halley fan's and told Jimmie Dale about me. When Jimmie's released his first Elektra Nonesuch CD, I got the call to do the tours promoting the CD.

"First it was me, Jimmie Dale, and, legendary Texas guitarist Jesse Taylor,
who had been a member of the original Joe Ely Band from Lubbock. We worked that record for about two and a half years in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. We toured with John Prine and, later, Bob Dylan

"After I got the Jimmie Dale Gilmore gig, my phone started ringing. Stephen Bruton had produced Jimmie's CD. He also produced Alejandro Escovedo's CD, 'Gravity' and I got the call from Al too.

"To make a living playing in Austin everyone takes every gig that comes up. I
was playing gigs with Will Sexton, who was signed to MCA when he was 16 years old. When we hooked up he was 19 and about to get his second major record deal. During that era, I was playing with Kris McKay, who had been on Arista. I was also playing with Charlie Robison who had a deal with Warner Brothers.

"OK, I need to back up a little. So I had the playing thing going on and the
engineering thing going on. Being a musician and an engineer. Moving into the
producer seat was just a logical transition. In '87, Mark Hallman got a gig
producing a CD for Iain Matthews. I met Iain when he came to the Congress House to work with Mark. Mark produced a string of solo albums for Iain and I played on most of them. At first Mark would do the tours but as his studio and
production schedule became more demanding I ended up doing the tours. We did some gigs in the states but mostly worked in Europe. 

"I'd been living alone in a small apartment in west Austin and I came across a picture of Lorrie Singer and tracked her down. This was in '96. We were both single and ended up having a long distance romance for about a year. 

"In '97, Charlie Robison lost his deal with Warner's and I decided to go back to Boulder, live with Lorrie and be closer to my dad who had been living there since '73. Lorrie and I got married in May of '97. 

"I got a call from Iain Matthews who said he was ready to make a change and asked if I'd be interest in producing his next CD. Of course I jumped at the chance and we made the record at Charles Sawtelle's studio in north Boulder. The music scene in Boulder had changed radically in the 16 years I'd been gone. I did some engineering work here and there but I really missed being in Austin. 

"In '99, I got a call from my good friend, Doc Jones, who asked if I'd like to come back down and start a studio with him so he could make a record. (Michael Wooten had been Doc's drummer when he lived in Austin.) I came down in May and we started putting the studio together. Lorrie and her daughter, Lilli, came down in August to look for a house and then we moved the family in November. 

"Since then, producing and engineering has kept me pretty busy. This year two of my production clients charted on the Americana Chart. Jeff Talmadge reached the top 20 and charted for around 3 months. The Ginn Sisters reached the top 20 as well and as far as I know are still charting. 

"In '05, Lorrie and I released a CD of songs written by our many talented writer friends. All but two songs were from ex Boulderites Gretchen Peters, Michael Woody and Robert McEntee. The other two were written by Freddie Steady KRC and Julie Miller. Freddie still lives in Austin. We play a lot of gigs together. Julie lives in Nashville where she moved with her husband Buddy Miller after they left Austin."

* * * * *

Bradley has numerous MP3 of recordings he has produced that you can listen to on his site.

 

www.trishmurphy.com

Formerly of Houston's popular brother-sister duo Trish & Darin, Trish Murphy moved to Austin to nurture a solo career and became one of the fastest rising music stars in Texas. Her discography now includes three solo albums, two of which she recorded and released on her own label. Crooked Mile was released independently in 1997. That led to a week with Lilith Fair and appearances on Mountain Stage and World Cafe. Her follow-up CD, Rubies on the Lawn (Doolittle/Mercury 1999), garnered national press, mainstream radio airplay and more international touring, including a return to the Lilith Fair in its final season. Captured, independently released in late 2001, found Trish returning to her Texas roots in a stripped-down, live acoustic setting, doing what she does best: telling stories and shooting from the hip. Her new release, Girls Get In Free, is inspired by dual divorces.

 

MARK HALLMAN

www.congresshouse.com

MARK HALLMAN became a Boulder-to-Austin transplant in 1979 after enjoying success with Navarro, which was among those bands who rode a country-rock wave that swept through Boulder in that decade. In his case, it was an association with songwriting legend Carole King, for whom Navarro became what the L.A. Express was to Joni Mitchell in the same period - the band. Navarro charted a couple songs itself: "Listen" (1977) and "Straight to the Heart" (1978). Mark spent a couple years on the payroll of CBS Songs as a publishing composer. He also backed Dan Fogelberg and Iain Matthews during that string of high profile associations and then Mark seems to have reassessed things. He traded in performing to focus on "pre-production" and recording at his Congress House studio in Austin. The audio/digital facility had been a farm house that Mark had rented as a communal home for Navarro, which he has developed into an artist development studio set on a relaxing suburban acreage. Congress House has become one of the Texas music city's favorite places places to work. It draws a progressive, forward-thinking crowd, typified by the brainy Hallman himself, that includes Ani DiFranco and Eliza Gilkyson.

Mark hasn't completely ignored his personal expression side, Hamilton Pool having produced a well received release, Return to Zero, in 1995. Mostly his multi-instrumental abilities are used these days in the studio. Mark Hallman has recorded and mixed music for artists including Shawn Colvin, Eric Johnson, Jimmie Vaughan, David Garza, Sara

Mark Hallman at the board with Canadian/Delta blues slide guitarist and singer Donna Lynn Kay, who recorded her CD Electric Blue at Congress House in Austin. Find out more about Donna Lynn Kay at www.donnalynnkay.com.

Electric Blue

NAVARRO - MICHAEL WOOTEN REMEMBERS...

I mentioned in an email exchange with Brad Elliott recently (great to hear from Brad) that Michael Wooten's profile above has become the Links on RARWRITER gold standard when it comes to profile text. I went back and looked at Mr. Wooten's email and found some equally entertaining stuff on Navarro (who are all over the page this month - see the Don Bassey stuff in the San Francisco section): Michael writes of his music career leading up to the Navarro break - "I think the first thing of interest to folks around Boulder Colorado is possibly an album I did back in early 1970 with a group called Zephyr on the Warner Brothers label. The guitar player was a quite young Jock Bartley (Tommy Bolin left the group just before to play with the James Gang or Deep Purple or someone like that, I can't remember which). Next on the list of mentionables might be backing up Chris Hillman ( the band, called "Hillman and the Hideous Mutants" or "Heroes for Hillman," included Jock, Mark Andes, Larry Burnett and Rick Roberts who had decided to call themselves "Firefall"). Prior to signing any record deals, I decided to leave to play with a group called "Navarro" ( Mark Andes was part of this at the beginning but decided to stay with Firefall ). The Navarro group was playing at the Rollinsville Stage Stop and our friend Danny Fogelberg was playing guitar with us that night and I didn't know at the time but Carole King was with him. She had been looking at the new Caribou Ranch studio. She later called and asked if we would back her up on her next recording which grew into three albums, the first with her manager Lou Adler on Ode records which ended badly when a disagreement between Carol and Lou sent her "on the street" shopping for a new label. She eventually went with Capitol Records and drug us along kicking and screaming (just kidding). Two more albums with her and two of our own followed. However the head of A&R at the time (a man by the name of Rupert Perry, who ended up becoming the President of Capitol) did not like Navarro and was quoted saying that he thought we were 'riding in to easy fame on Carol Kings skirt tail.' He pretty much shelved all our efforts and with no backing for distribution or publicity our recording carrier went down like the Titanic. During that time I was honored by an invitation from Mark Andes to work with a singer/songwritter by the name of Richard Torrance on a record for Capitol which included the charming and powerful singer Rosemary Butler ( who just happens to also be one kick-ass bass player ). The time period was 1974 to 1980. Insert a period of time floundering due to a painful divorce and you could find me in Austin Texas working with Al Kooper ( Blood, Sweat and Tears; Blues Project; Bob Dylan, etc.) An interesting fact not many know is that Al produced Lynyrd Skynyrd and wrote "Sweet Home Alabama." I think this should start a new paragraph but I failed english so here we are back in Colorado living in Telluride working clubs and skiing a LOT. Soon the realization dawned that I needed a real job in the real world. Enter Leftover Salmon..." And cut to Michael Wooten profile in the Colorado section for the rest of the story.

 

JUNIOR BROWN

www.juniorbrown.com

Junior Brown is one of country music’s most talented and enigmatic personalities. How many people know that “Junior” once played (until 1979) with Boulder’s alt-country outfit Dusty Drapes and the Dusters? In fact, to hear former Duster Teddy Carr tell it, the guy we know today as Junior Brown established his entire persona under the tutelage of the Dusters.

I would encourage you to go to http://www.westword.com/issues/2001-03-22/music2.html to read a Westword article on the Dusty Drapes band, which is refreshing for its candor and its cattiness. Seems that Steve Swenson (Dusty Drapes) and Carr didn’t think too highly of the young baritone “Jamison Brown,” who they supposedly picked up as a hitchhiker while crossing New Mexico on their way home to Boulder from a gig in Arizona. The story goes that Carr, who had played the rock clubs of Arizona, recognized the hitchhiker as “Jamison Brown” and pulled over to give him a ride. (Who in their right mind hitchhikes across New Mexico?!? And who would pick up such a person?) On the ride home, Brown expressed an interest in the open guitar slot in the band and Swenson offered him the job with the understanding that he would need to cut his hair and beard and “cowboy up.” As everyone knows, Dusty Drapes and the Dusters was a faux-country unit of talented rock/country-rock vets who came up with a gimmick that in some ways was a precursor of modern alternative country, or was at least theatrical. They portrayed clean-cut, cowboy hat wearing country boys who happened to play sizzling arrangements of songs about living “high.” The bit went over big with the college kids and Dusty Drapes rode their act to a contract with Columbia Records, but then lost out to a similar Columbia act signed about the same time, Asleep at the Wheel. Both were high octane swing bands, but when it came time for the Dusters to cut their LP the producer Columbia hired for the sessions messed unsuccessfully with their sound and Columbia dumped them. Junior Brown came along after this devastating blow, when the hardened cowboys weren't too inclined to put up with whiners. Brown was supposedly given the name “Junior” by Swenson and Carr because it sounded country and suited Brown’s personality. Says Carr – “It was because he was a big baby."

Big baby or not, it is Junior Brown, fronting his band Highway Patrol, who has gone on to become a country star. Junior found himself as a feature player in the mid-1980s with the creation of his "guit-steel," a combo lap steel and Telecaster that he designed so he could move rapidly between the two instruments within a single song. And he does this like a magic trick, sallying back and forth from chicken pickin' guitar parts to mind-bending slide steel. Junior is a special player, to put it mildly. That first guit-steel he built is on display in the Country Music Hall of Fame

Junior's website was undergoing construction when last I checked and only his touring schedule was available. To find out a little more about him you might go to his label's site at www.curb.com and then to his Artist page.

No one could have guessed, when Junior Brown was with Dusty Drapes and the Dusters in the late '70s, that he would one day become a Gap icon.

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Steve Conn recorded music for the intro of Junior Brown's video for his hit "My Wife Thinks Your Dead."

 

RAR NOTE ON PHOTO ABOVE: The press photo of Junior waiting along the side of a road takes on special significance given the account of his meeting the Dusters while hitchhiking across New Mexico. Junior Brown's is a complicated story. Bios conflict on what state he was born in.  He has never publicly acknowledged having ever played in Colorado, though the musical and photographic record is clear. Some have speculated that Junior didn't want to jeopardize his chances with the Austin music community, of which he so much wanted to be a part, by being associated with the less legit Colorado scene. 
In the 1980s, Junior Brown not only made himself legendary among alternative country people, he found himself as a song writer and singer, opening up a whole other side of his career. His songs are smart and funny, and his rich baritone has become an honored thing in the world of modern country.

 

 

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