After failing to scrounge up some Texas Mardi Gras tickets, I decided to head to my favorite saloon…The Wormy Dog to check out Aaron Watson. I have been meaning to catch one of his full length show’s. Last time I saw Watson, he opened for Big & Rich, so called “next big act” Lo Cash Cowboys (what a joke) and halfway through the show all the Aaron Watson fans had cleared out. I’m not sure if that’s because they loved Aaron Watson and he had already played or if they didn’t like bad music. Probably both.
Aaron Watson is one of those guys that oozing with Texas music talent. His music is honky-tonk through and through and with his eighth album Angels and Outlaws under his own independent label, Big Label Records, I knew his set would be solid. With honky-tonk songs like “Love Makin’ Song”, “3rd Gear and 17″ and crowd favorite “Reckless” Aaron Watson kept the ground in it from start to finish.
If you have a chance to see Aaron Watson go do it! There is no absence of steel guitars and fiddling in this show, just the way country music should be. I’m glad I brought my dancing boots for this one. Whether it was one of his infamous honky-tonk, steel guitar driven songs that make you want to just dance and twirl the night away or a slow dance with “Off The Record” or his top 10 song on the Texas Music Charts: Top 50 Songs of 2008 album “Hearts Are Breaking Across Texas”, Aaron Watson knows how to put on a show. Not only did he take requests from fans, but like every good country singer/song writer he has a song about his granddad “Barbed Wire Halo“, my personal favorite.
Well, I need to run to store and pick up some more Coke for my whiskey since, here in this small town, everything shuts down at 11p.m. So, I’m signing off to ride into the sunset once again till next time.
As much as Oklahoman’s pride themselves in saying how Red Dirt music is what ever you want to label it, as long as the can call it their own, I’m still surprised how many people aren’t sure what to label Hays Carll. I decided to pop in his new album Trouble In Mind and review it for you. If you could look back at some of the revolutionaries in music you find that they were always pushing the envelope.
Trouble in Mind pushes the boundaries of what most of us would consider “traditional” country music, but no one complained when Willie, Waylon, or Cash did it. Maybe some complained at first but the wild of today’s country singers still pay homage to them. Hayes Carll followx in their footsteps painting a picture via song, which is what a good songwriter should be able to do. The opening track, written by Carll and a legend himself in the red dirt/Texas music scene, Wylie Hubbard, “Drunken Poet’s Dream” sets the mood for the whole album. In “Bad Liver And A Broken Heart” Carll paints a picture of any 20 something man’s battling everyday struggles with love and life and even pay’s homage to Oklahoma. “Faulkner Street”makes you want to gather up your old buddies and hit the town for a good time and some trouble.
Trouble In Mind is a solid album. My favorite tracks are “Wild As A Turkey”, “Don’t Let Me Fall”, and “Knockin’ Over Whiskeys”. If you are offended by some of the songs on this album just wait for the final cut “She Left Me for Jesus”. The title alone is sure to offend.
Trouble in Mind is Americana at its best… wait did I just try and put label on something? Blender Magazine ranked it 33 on their Top Albums of 2008 and SPIN Magazine says it’s “the tastiest, perched between stadium rockabilly and Dylan-worship folk rock.” Funny thing, but Bob Dylan is one of Carll’s idols.
WHEW! I don’t know if I’m going to be able to follow up this album review so go buy Trouble In Mind by Hayes Carll and thank me later.
My name is Tony “The Rooster” Brown and I am the creator and co-host of Red Dirt: Live. What is Red Dirt: Live you ask? Red Dirt: Live highlights Red Dirt artists both known and upcoming in the Red Dirt/Texas music scene. Each episode will profile a specific band providing viewers with an in depth background into each band, featuring interviews as well as showcase live performances shot exclusively for the show at Oklahoma’s Red Dirt destination, The Wormy Dog Saloon.
Now that I have gotten that out of the way I’ll give you a little background on myself and why I like this genre of music so much. My love of Red Dirt/Texas music started back in 1999 with frequent trips to Stillwater, Oklahoma, the birth place of Red Dirt music. My idols have always been Waylon Jennings, Willie, Cash, the outlaws of country music. They had their own way of doing country music which was totally against the Nashville-way, much like these guys in the Red Dirt/Texas music scene, their lyrics and almost rock-n-roll style is profoundly unique.
My grandfather actually enjoyed Red Dirt more than the new pop-country songs that were out there which meant a lot to me growing up because I idolized him as a musician. Working for 93.3 KKNG got me even more involved with the Red Dirt/Texas music scene. I became friends with a lot of the artists and realized how down to earth they were, just like me. When I hear the lyrics, it’s like I’m back home in my one horse town, backroadin’ and livin’ free.
I’ll be using this blog to post interviews from the road and keeping you up to date with albums of the week, upcoming shows and my big trip to CMT in Nashville and let you all know what’s going on and with Red Dirt: Live and the music and musicians of the Red Dirt/Texas music scene.