Thursday TREAT! Luckenbach – CD Review @RandyCMoore1 #NewMusic #TexasMusic

Hello, lovely blog followers. I am super excited to bring you a music treat today from my good friend, Randy C. Moore!

Randy is no newcomer. He started his music career at the age of 15. And he’s been at it ever since. Not only is he an enigmatic performer, but he’s also a talented songwriter. Now he has a new CD release that is SO good I have to share. Whatever style of music you gravitate to, you’ll find bits and pieces of it on this new album, Luckenbach!

PURCHASE LINK

The first song, which is the title track, embodies what Luckenbach, Texas is all about. It’s a step away from the rush of everyday life. “We spent too many ticktocks working the time clock, dead on our feet. And too many nights going to bed and just going to sleep….” Then he raises the question, “Do you wanna go to Luckenbach Waylon and Willie and feelin’ no pain…” It’s a toe-tapper and makes you want to get up and dance around the room!

“James Dean Dream” has a great message about allowing the rebel inside you to break free. Living your life based on a truth you believe. It’s not breaking laws and being a bad guy, but being true to your authentic self.

The third track, “A Mother’s Prayer,” goes straight to the heart. Such a heartfelt tribute to the beautiful spirit of mothers and the lifelong bond with their children.

I love the true story, “Before Elvis.” Randy’s Uncle Gene went to Hughes High School in Memphis in 1953 with Elvis Presley. This song is the heart and soul of rockabilly!

In the same rockabilly vein infused with a dose of soul, “Big Bertha” co-written with the late and great Carl Lee Perkins will get you on your feet and moving! “Big Bertha” is actually about a golf club. 🙂

The next song on this album is probably my favorite just because it’s such a heartfelt and moving story. “I’ll Save A Place” is about two brothers and their unbreakable bond. The instrumental arrangement on this one is as rich as decadent chocolate with full strings and piano added. Have a tissue handy when you listen.

“Mosey Off” is a fun song about dying. Oh, wait! Dying is supposed to be sad and morbid. Not the case with this tune. I love the mention of Texas red dirt clay and San Jacinto river mud. Just that line alone is pure visual artistry.

With a bit of sarcasm, “Undertaker” is a rocking tune about the man who claims the body after the soul is gone.

The album closes with a spiritual tune, “Jericho.” What are you going to do when the walls of Jericho tumble? “Are you gonna roll? Are you gonna run…?”

I cannot say enough about this album. Each song is fantastic. The songwriting is superb, the instrumental arrangements are varied and the vocals are smooth and spot-on. It’s a journey from beginning to end, straight from the heart and soul of Randy C. Moore.

I highly recommend that you click over and purchase your copy. Once it’s on your playlist, you’ll find yourself bringing it back up over and over again the way I do!

For a physical copy of the CD, visit Randy C. Moore’s online store

For streaming, go to Amazon ** iTunes

Thank you for helping support this dedicated and hard-working Indie Artist!!

Jan Sikes and Randy C. Moore White Elephant Saloon, Fort Worth, Texas

Me And Paul – #Nonfiction @WillieNelson #NetGalley

Anyone who knows me knows how much love I have for Willie Nelson. I’ve read every book he’s written, so when I had a chance to read his upcoming release via NetGalley I jumped at the chance.

PURCHASE LINK

Paul English was Willie’s long-time friend and drummer. For sixty-five years they shared a friendship that went beyond the bounds of friends and crossed over into brotherhood.
I loved every facet of this story, from their first meeting until Paul drew his last breath.
He was a steady force behind Willie Nelson and a fearless supporter of his talent as a songwriter and performer. He believed in Willie when Willie lost faith in himself. He understood Willie’s off-sync timing and had no trouble following him. That alone was enough to endear Paul to Willie, but as their lives intertwined and the story unfolded, it was only the beginning.
The stories shared between the pages of this book took me on a journey from Fort Worth’s rough and rowdy side to New York Times Square and all points in between. Paul had a history of, and habit of, walking just a little outside the law. But despite his shady background, he proved to be a driving force. He loved numbers and was the accountant for the band. He never hesitated to take whatever action necessary when a shifty promoter tried to stiff them.
“Paul knew everyone and everyone knew Paul,” said Willie.
Paul took on the persona of the devil, dressing in all black, wearing a black cape lined with red silk, black Stetson, and red cowboy boots. But in Willie’s words, “that persona couldn’t have been farther from the truth.’
With a heart of gold, Paul never hesitated to step in and intercede for the underdog.
So many stories are told in this book that I’d love to relate to you, but I won’t. I will simply tell you that behind every successful man, there is a true supporter. In the case of Willie Nelson, that was Paul English. Willie said they fit perfectly together like a pistol and a holster. Paul was steady while Willie could be unsteady. Paul was a genius with numbers and a sure shot with a .45. Everyone who knew him respected and admired him.
He passed away on February 11, 2020, at the age of 87. He had been Willie’s closest confidant for over sixty-five years. This book is a fitting tribute to the man, sharing the highs and lows of his life. If you follow Willie Nelson’s music, this book is a must-read for you. I highly recommend it. It is told in Willie’s easy style of communicating, simple with no frills, but filled with heart and soul.

This book is set to release on September 20, 2022. And even though I’ve read it, I will have a hardcover copy on my bookshelf. It is priceless!

I had the opportunity to meet Paul and to spend time listening to him and my late husband talk on several occasions. His sense of humor and love for Willie Nelson came through in the stories he shared.

Left to Right (Rick Sikes, Paul English, Bee Spears, and Joe Dee Hicks) Abilene, Texas 2006

“make it be me” – #NewRelease @MeabhStanford #Music #Literature WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING WINNERS!

Mae Clair

Marie Sinadjan

D.L. Finn

Winners, please contacct Meabh at meabhmeabhmeabh@gmail.com to make arrangements to receive your prize!!

The artist I am introducing to you today is perhaps one of the most unusual and talented young ladies I have had the pleasure of meeting. What Meabh has done is unique and brilliant. And she is giving away a batch of goodies! I’ll let her tell you about it.

  1. About the Project: “make it be me” concept EP

“make it be me” is a concept project based on movies and novels that inspired strong emotions in me. The EP explores the effect that media has on the consumer through the lens of the characters in said media. I would say that my music is indie-pop, or alternative-pop, leaning towards the writing style of artists like Taylor Swift or Phoebe Bridgers. “make it be me” is filled with dramatic orchestration and piercing lyrics that inspect classic and modern stories, written from the perspective of well-known characters or the vantage point of an outsider swept into the deceptive magic of a universe. I immerse myself in different stories and write as if those fictional experiences are reality. 

The EP’s opening song, “Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina,” is based on the dramatic screen interpretation of the novel. I was enchanted by the way the author and directors took the mundane and inserted dramatics and pain and love into the story. I wanted to know what it would feel like to be one of those characters, who seem to live for each other, who abandon all reason in the name of love. Of course, it’s all unrealistic. But that doesn’t make it any less romantic or beautiful and she wanted to capture that feeling. The second and sixth tracks, “oh, Hyacinth, parts one and two,” revolve around the heartbreaking Greek myth of Apollo and Hyacinth. These songs are from the perspective of Apollo and follow the story of their short but intense relationship. Track three, “i can still hope” is a playful twist on the play, Romeo and Juliet Same star-crossed lovers deal, except this time, the love is unrequited on the part of who is representing Romeo’s character. The narrator, who represents Juliet, laments and self-deprecates and wishes that her Romeo would love her back.  Track four, “glory days” is a folk-pop anti-war anthem based on the point of view of Billy Pilgrim from Slaughterhouse-Five. He is such an interesting character and because I agreed with many of his ideas, this was a fun song for me to write. However, there are parts of this song that are purely Billy. So it goes… Finally, track five, “i still remember” was inspired by the novel, The Kite Runner. It is written from the perspective of Amir, the main character. It explores themes of guilt, haunting, and the desire to run away from your mistakes, even if it includes running away from the beautiful memories too.

  1. Stream/Purchase links for Méabh’s music which has been inspired by literature:

All links can be found in the following linktree: https://linktr.ee/meabhstanford

Individual links are below:

Spotify- https://open.spotify.com/album/4uZGdGu9QeUH73zg0ATb76?si=xJGTcYgJR7uA9ABsucTj0g&dl_branch=1

YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kk241_d4UpK7YRuo28pDEZDsfHR4e12E4

Apple Music- https://music.apple.com/us/album/_/1576998327?mt=1&app=music&ls=1

Bandcamp- https://meabhstanford.bandcamp.com/album/make-it-be-me

Tidal- https://listen.tidal.com/album/191317779

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/make-be-me-m%C3%A9abh-stanford/dp/B099PFQ36H/ref=sr_1_7?dchild=1&keywords=meabh+stanford&qid=1627089741&sr=8-7

  1. Website/Social Media Links: 

Website: https://www.meabhstanford.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/M%C3%A9abh-Stanford-108163631464642

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meabhstanford/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeabhStanford

4. Bio:

Méabh Stanford is a 16 year old singer-songwriter-musician from Ocean City, New Jersey. She has been in love with music since childhood and has been performing since 2016. Her musical adventure began as an infant when her parents towed her and her older brother to “Music Together” music and movement classes. As she grew, she began taking piano lessons as a young child, then moved to play the flute in the school band. Inspired by Taylor Swift, Méabh began to play the guitar and sing. Méabh’s vocal coach and mentor, Stevi Leigh, challenged her to write a song at their first lesson four years ago when Méabh was just 12 years old. Writing this first song was a groundbreaking moment and she hasn’t stopped writing since. A voracious reader and evocative storyteller, Méabh infects her sophisticated sound with semantic twists and potent metaphors. Her debut concept EP, “make it be me,” was released in July 2021 and was produced by 2x Grammy-nominated producer, Saint Luke.



Giveaways:

A t-shirt, cd, and goodie bag which would include a pin, sticker, and bookmark.

To be entered to win, leave a comment and share on social media!

#SundaySpotlight – These Fine Moments @thesefinemoments @mcguckinpr

Ten years ago, singer-songwriters Hilary Kaufmann and Robert Watts walked out of Mark Hallman’s  Congress House Studio in Austin, Texas with the five-song EP These Fine Moments, named after a line in one of their songs.

Today, I am super excited to introduce this musical duo to you and let them tell you a bit of their story. Their music is fresh and creative and I haven’t found one song on their newly released album I didn’t like! Their harmony is perfection and the unique chord progressions kept me engaged! I think you’ll agree with me when you listen. But in the meantime, they have a story to share about how the Pandemic has affected their lives.

How has the pandemic affected us, both personally and as musicians?
As far as the toll on us personally, we had already quit our jobs prior to the pandemic to tour more. So when everything shut down and little was expected of us, we stayed up late, slept late, developed our culinary skills, and drank entirely too much wine and Mescal. 
Hilary re-read all of the Harry Potter Books, and I read biographies and watched documentaries. We found common ground by re-watching all of the Marvel movies, the old Star Trek, Picard, and the new Star Trek Discovery series.
But as the reality set in, we were left with a void, and asked ourselves “what are we going to do now?” 
So we opened up our garage doors and gave concerts for the neighbors, learned how to live-stream, and started recording the songs that are on our new self-titled record.
Hilary was eventually able to go back to work part-time, and now she is around other people a lot. But I’m still home all day, and it’s hard on me being by myself so much of the time.  I probably drive Hilary crazy when she is home since she’s the only one I have daily contact with. But if I’m driving her crazy, she hides it pretty well.
From a musician’s standpoint, we don’t know what’s going to be left when the pandemic plays out, or what is our role is going to be. We’ve spent years making contacts and cultivating relationships with clubs and venues around the country, and most of those are probably not coming back.
For now we’re just doing what we can, a little live-streaming and some zoom interviews to promote our record. Having more time on our hands has not automatically translated into more writing and rehearsing, so we really have to put forth an effort to be creative and to stay in shape mentally and physically.
Being musical partners and being in a relationship has actually helped us get through the pandemic and brought us closer together, I can’t imagine trying to keep a band together during these times.

**I think a lot of us can relate to Robert’s words**

And now, here’s a snippet from their new album. Please leave a comment and let them know if you enjoy it!

You can connect with Robert and Hilary here:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Spotify

YouTube

#SundaySpotlight – John ‘Pops’ Dennie – I’ve Got Something To Say @johndenniemusic

Welcome to another Sunday Spotlight! The artist in the spotlight today has something to say! He is a true-blue genuine-to-the-core man who chooses his words carefully. Then he delivers them with passion.

John Pops Dennie…honest, contemplative, sometimes…his voice is almost as thick as his big, grayish beard.” – Dallas Observer

His new album, “I’ve Got Something To Say” is timely as America trudges through a surreal 2020.

The first song on the album, “Rose Garden,” is nothing at all about the flowers and everything about the injustices of life. “We can’t feed our families on a seven dollar bill, work eighty hour weeks in conditions that kill, and we ain’t gonna live on scraps anymore…”

Since the album started out with a protest song, I thought the title track, “I’ve Got Something To Say,” would carry on that theme and to my surprise I found a great love song with a funky beat! “People say I talk too much, but I got a lot to say. When I think about your touch, I’m gonna shout it out night and day…”

“Adrift” is a poignant look at the state of affairs in America today. “I say it’s raining outside, my brother says it’s not. Sees only what he’s learned to see and he doesn’t learn a lot…He doesn’t see the fire. He doesn’t smell the smoke…”

One of the most melancholy songs I’ve ever heard, “Long Black Cadillac Train,” is a mournful refrain.

A compelling story, “Creole Lady,” is filled with powerful imagery and an easy melody. This song is the perfect example of how a writer can weave an entire story in just over four minutes. It is my #1 pick on the album. “It was a helluva day back in ’39, when they took her away to pay for her crime. Falling in love was how it all began, but she fell in love with a poor white man…”

Slowing it down, “You Can’t Hear Me” is another persuasive story song that tugged at my heartstrings.

Reminiscent, “Loving You Like Old Times,” speaks of lost love that will never be reclaimed, and it brought me to tears. “If I were a king, I would sell everything just to have you here with me again…I’d write your name across my heart in flames, if it would bring you back to me…”

“Gonna Move” is an upbeat story about a young man coming into his own.

A haunting melody, “The Pendulum Swings,” is the perfect depiction of Karma, and an addict you cannot save.

Another song that shows the versatility of this artist, “Escape From Bull Run,” takes us to a time in early American history.

The album closes with a strong statement with “Here We Are.” The lyrics say it all! “Never dreamed the likes of them would ever fall for the likes of him, oh, but but somehow, here we are…”

I cannot say enough about this album. The musical stylings run deep and wide with versatility and relevance. You’ll find everything from vintage country to rock, blues and folk. John ‘Pops’ Dennie’s twenty-four carat vocal delivery is warm and full. He is America’s conscience!

Please take a listen and pick up a copy! You will not disappointed, and at the same time, you will be supporting a music artist who is giving his heart and soul to the craft!

Follow John ‘Pops’ Dennie

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE

TWITTER

Cut out the middle man and purchase the music direct from the artist!

https://johndennie.com/