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This Weekend: Outside The Box

This weekend on Troubadour, TX…

Meet the talented and beautiful Phoenix Hart and her adoptive parents, witness a late-night, last minute recording session of Zane Williams as he prepares a song to be heard by Faith Hill, and hear Tom Prasada-Rao’s 9/11 story of discrimination and the song it inspired on this weekend‘s episode of Troubadour, TX.

Burn the midnight oil with Zane as he tinkers with a recording of one of his songs with hopes it might be cut by Faith Hill.

blacktopGYPSY fights through sound problems and stereotypes on it's radio tour through the great state of Texas on this weekend's episode.

Catch a glimpse of Phoenix Hart's life at home and early childhood, join her at a gig in Dallas, and learn how she is building a loyal fan base through social media.

Don't sleep through Tom Prasada-Rao's performance of his romantic ballad "Sleeping Beauty" live at the 41E Studio Cafe.

Notable country music singer-songwriter Drew Womack opens a concert for The Oak Ridge Boys, and sits down with Texas Troubadour Zane Williams to talk touring, songwriting, and family.

Phoenix Hart performs her "based on a true story" song "Angels" before a reverent 41E Studio Cafe audience on this weekend's episode of Troubadour, TX.

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This Weekend: Staying True To You

This weekend on Troubadour, TX

Join Kylie Rae Harris as BE Music and Entertainment provides her with a makeover and sends her out on a photo shoot, find out how Ryan Edgar’s newly written song is received as he performs alongside Kirk Thurmond at a gig in Dallas, and meet grass-roots girl Ellis as she attempts to tackle life’s biggest questions with her music.

"King of the Jingle" Tom Faulkner shares how he found his niche within music advertising, while still fulfilling his desire to be on stage.

It's a new day and a new 'do for Kylie Rae Harris as she undergoes a makeover courtesy of BE Music and Entertainment.

Ryan Edgar performs alongside fellow Texas Troubadour Kirk Thurmond and former American Idol contestant Michael Castro at Gilley's in downtown Dallas.

Tom Faulkner plays from the heart in his moving ballad "Angelina" live at the 41E Studio Cafe.

Watch the sunrise at Kylie Rae Harris' early morning photo shoot with Golden Spiral Creative.

Get to know Ellis at her gig at Uncle Calvin's coffee house in Dallas and discover the purpose behind her music.

Don't miss out on Kylie Rae Harris' performance of her song "Sticks and Stones" live at 41E Studio Cafe on this weekend's episode of Troubadour, TX.

Artist Q&A: Tom Faulkner

#1. – What was your first paying gig:

6th grade with the Dukes, in front of girls that didn’t know whether to scream or giggle.  I suspect we were pretty bad.

#2. – First album you ever bought:

Lawrence of Arabia soundtrack

#3. – Pre-show rituals:

1. no food  2. check to make sure my finger nails didn’t break while loading equipment so I can put on fake ones if they did

#4. – Post-show ritual:

a Beer or a margarita (or two)

#5. – Five words that describe a musician:

unpredictable, rewarding, frustrating, evolving, nocturnal

#6. – Five guilty pleasures:

margaritas, naps, enchiladas, late-movies, garlic-fries

#7. – If you could meet any musician, living or dead:

Jimmy Hendrix

#8. – Best Live show you’ve ever seen:

The Neville Brothers – Tipitina’s, April 1982. When we walked out the sun was coming up.

#9. – One of the main things that inspires your music:

Landscapes, especially the big skies of the southwest and the Pacific

#10. – The moment you knew you wanted to be a professional musician:

When I saw the Beatles.

Tom Faulkner at the Dallas Meet & Greet.

Artist Q&A: Green River Ordinance

On this week’s edition of the Artist Q&A Series, we chat with GRO lead singer Josh Jenkins to discuss the release of their new album, their upcoming tour, and which of his bandmates he deems the nerdiest!

GRO: Jamey Ice, Joshua Wilkerson, Geoff Ice, Denton Hunker, and Josh Jenkins

#1 – Y’all have gotten a lot of props on the arrangements – what kind of focus was put on that during the recording process?

Well, I think we tried not to try too hard. It’s really funny when you say it, but I think in the past, when you are approaching a song, there’s a formula you can write songs to – verse, chorus, bridge, outro – which works for so many great songs but on this record we just didn’t want to be limited  to that…We wanted to listen to the songs and feel where the song wanted to go. We just try to be open minded to that stuff because a lot of it is trial and error. We didn’t try to limit ourselves on this record, where I think in the past we would have stuck to a regiment of what a song should be, and if we ventured outside of that we were kind of hesitant to go there.

#2 – What makes Under Fire different than all the other records y’all have done?

We’ve learned so much through this whole process—being on a label, leaving a label. Maturity wise, where we are at, it feels like a very accurate place of where we are in life. I don’t think we set out to make a different record than everything else. I think we just set out to not hold back, say what we wanted to say, to explore the adventures. I think sometimes the fear can kind of keep you from doing that. One thing that we’ve learned just from being in music and doing this for a long time is that we really wanted the adventures. So I think this record for us is so dynamic. We have taken some steps in different directions  and I think it shows. Hopefully it allows the album to have a fluidity to it that doesn’t feel like everything song is the same, or like we are trying to stick to some kind of format.We just wanted to make a record that was adventurous, and was honest. Hopefully it all works together.

#3 – One music blogger commented that y’all are “accessible to a wide audience”. How do y’all accomplish that, and is it something you are cognizant of when making a record?

I think it’s probably a two-fold thing. When you write, you want to be truthful, because I think when you are the most honest, people believe it. When you try to contrive something it just doesn’t have the same effect. But on the same token, you have to have music that is listenable, be  aware of your audience, of the climate of music and what’s out there, what people are listening to. And for us, we want to create something that is very honest and true, and say something that means something for us, but also be aware of the audience we have now, and the audience we want to captivate. And to do that you have to have some accessibility. As artists, our goal is to reach as many people as possible. We’d love to reach thousands of people on a daily basis, and so it does play a part in making decisions on what songs make the record and how we approach songs as well.

Josh Jenkins, Lead-singer of GRO

#4 – A couple years ago, Joshua described the band’s sound as, “Zac Efron & Edward Cullen playing catch in the front yard”.  Is that still relevant?

I don’t even know if I ever heard him say that [laughs]. We started out as a blues/rock band and it transitioned into more of a pop rock thing, which was our last record. I think we all grew up in Texas and we all grew up around “rootsy” music—Denton grew up listening to jazz and I grew up singing country music, and Jamey and Geoff grew up writing blues. Our last record we were very influenced by Matchbox 20, and we wanted to make a record that was very Matchbox 20, Third Eye Blind. Nothing wrong with that. We love those records and that’s still part of who we are, but its not the full picture of who we are. I think we are far beyond and steps away from the Zac Efron and Edward Cullen playing catch in the front yard. If Bono and Willie Nelson were playing catch, I’d say we are somewhere in the middle of that.

#5 – Love the new music video “Heart of Me” – why did you choose to release a music video of that song specificially?

Well I think it works because while at the same time we wanted to be adventurous, we didn’t want to abandon our style, or the fans that had purchased our stuff and come to our shows and grown to love GRO. We wanted to make sure that there is enough on this record for them. And so with “Heart of Me” we wanted to kind of lead with that song as far as getting the video out, to kind of say GRO is releasing a new record, get the word out. And that song felt like a good bridge between Out of My Hands and Under Fire.

#6- I’m sure you guys love to eat. Any special foods you like while on tour?

We try to be healthy. There’s not many options when you are traveling. For me, gas stations are a great source for enjoyment, because you never know what you are going to get.  I always tend to like the little fried taquitos, or Cheetos are always good. And beef jerky is a must. Denton likes honey buns but he’s trying to stay away from those [laughs].

#7- How would you describe your clothing style?

Our wives are pretty hip, so they come tell us what is cool and what is not.  For us, especially with this album, in all the pictures we took it was all about trying to be cohesive. We all strive too look like we work together and we all enjoy that style. And a few of us need a little more direction as far as what works together [laughs]. We try to work together as far as that goes…Denton is probably the most stylish of all of us. It comes natural to him, he’s just cool.

Fan Questions:

#8 – Is it hard to stay independent and not be on a label?

Absolutely. It has its benefits and its pitfalls. The place we are at right now, it feels great. I think when making the record it was incredible, because I can promise you the record we made would not have been like it was if we were with a label. A lot of the songs would’ve been cut and songs would’ve been shortened, and a lot of the adventurous songs we had probably wouldn’t have been embraced. And so for us it feels great to have the ability to do that, to own it, and to make your own shots. And we’ve lived by those decisions.

But where we are at as a band now, I think a label provides security, and so everything that we do now, for better or for worse, is just riskier because a label is going to say “we are going to pay for you to do this,” and if it doesn’t work it falls on them. It doesn’t fall on you. Where we are at now, if we make a decision and its doesn’t work we have to live by that, which I think is better because you make better decisions because you evaluate those decisions better. But at the same time it is kind of nice to have someone paying for everything [laughs]. So it has its benefits but also has it’s weaknesses as well.

#9 – As self-professed “nerds,” what would you say is the nerdiest thing about you?

On a nerd scale, I’d say Wilk [Joshua Wilkerson], Dee [Denton Hunker], and Geoff are by far the nerdiest. Wilk might be the nerdiest—he’s the King Nerd. And Geoff’s probably second and Dee’s probably third.

I don’t know how nerdy I am. I like sports. I’m the only guy in the band that really likes sports. I mean, I like to read non-fiction. I like to read a lot of philosophy books and stuff like that. I don’t know how nerdy I am. The guys nerd out—Geoff talks about comic books all the time…Geoff and Jamey always give me a terrible time for watching sports if we are on the road. And then I see Geoff watching anime, comic book stuff [laughs]. I’m not going to pretend that I can compete with that.

Josh Jenkins, Geoff Ice, and Joshua Wilkerson (left to right)

Green River Ordinance kicks off their Under Fire tour Thursday March 29th in Houston, TX. Click here for their full tour schedule and how to get your tickets! Check out the Troubadour, TX site Tuesday at 8 am for your chance to win tickets in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and Waco! Hint – reading this blog post will better your chances!

This Weekend: An Inexact Science

This weekend on Troubadour, TX, experience the daily routine of Grammy-award winner Rick Trevino when he’s not on tour, find out if BE Music and Entertainment believes Jackopierce has a single they can run with, travel to San Antonio, TX to meet the incomparable duo Chacho and Brance, and hear two songs with themes most every man can relate to—woman troubles—live from TTX headquarters at the 41E Studio Cafe.

Tap your feet to the beat at a Woody Russell gig in Austin this weekend on Troubadour, TX.

Sit in on an Artist Development meeting between Jackopierce and BE Music and Entertainment as they discuss what comes next for the band.

When he's not touring, Rick Trevino's day job is no walk in the park. Discover what this family man values most on this weekend's episode.

Apologies to Beyonce, but all the single ladies may want to listen carefully and take note of Chacho and Brance's song "Not a Riddle" live at the 41E Studio Cafe.

Woody Russell knows there's no proven formula for "making it" in the music industry, but he's holding out hope that Mike Blanton is the missing link in his career.

Listen to Rick Trevino's "Remember the Alimony" and get a dose of both heartache and humor live at the 41E Studio Cafe.

Guess who? For the answer, and more good laughs tune into this weekend's episode of Troubadour, TX.

 

Artist Q&A: Phoenix Hart

It’s a SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST EDITION of our Artist Q&A series!

We caught up with Texas Troubadour Phoenix Hart at the world famous film, music, and interactive festival that took place this March in Austin, TX. Hear how her “business trip” to SXSW went, get to know a few things about her you may not have guessed, and get her “inside scoop” on all things Austin!

#1 – Is this your first SXSW?

I’ve been out here… I don’t even know how many years! I’ve been here at least 7 years where I’m either out here with people that are playing or doing something musically.

#2 – What were some of your favorite shows this year?

This year has been a little bit different. It’s more business this year. Usually I’ll go to South by Southwest and go through the list with people that I want to see, but this year it’s been more business. I’ve been going to parties to mingle and wasn’t able to see bands that I really wanted to see.

#3 – Any cool run-ins?

Yeah! Clarence Greenwood (Citizen Cope) was recording on our Blade Studios bus and he was like “hey come to my show later” and he was awesome. We even hung out with him at the Four Seasons later that night. It was really, really cool!

I came down here on a tour bus with Blade Studios and they have it set up like a recording studio. They were recording bands and so I was doing that with them. Also, every time there is a party we have been going to those. For instance, we did the Grammy party at The Four Seasons, which I’ve done now for the past 5 years. I love it! I’m a big fan of the Grammy’s and what they do for musicians.

#4- Austin likes to keep it weird. I saw a guy driving a boat down the road yesterday. Have you seen any strange people or anything?

Austin is awesome! I mean, this really sad, but usually I look for Leslie. They just buried him the other day, but he was Austin’s local homeless celebrity. If you as anyone here they will say that “he was the coolest, weirdest guy here.” He was who I usually looked for.

#5 – So you’ve spent a lot of time here?

Yeah! I went to school at Texas State, which is about 15 or 20 minutes from here so I definitely have spent a lot of time in Austin. I had a residency at Saxon Pub so I would be here every weekend.

#6 – What are some of your favorite Austin hangouts?

I love the Continental Club to see shows. Antone’s always has something amazing. I love to go to Lucky Lounge, which is right next to Antone’s, but they have some great bands. As far as places to eat, I love food trucks! If I see a food truck I’ll probably give it a chance! There’s this place on the eastside called Juan In A Million and you get so much food for basically nothing. So good!

#7 – Has anybody connected with you after SXSW? Did the networking pay off? 

Oh, yeah! We are setting up writes, co-writes, and I may actually be doing backing vocals on a couple of big projects. So I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

#8 – What is a normal day like for you?

I wake up and the first thing I do is check Twitter. It’s the easiest and quickest thing to do. Facebook there are normally responses or maintenance that you have to do, but with Twitter it’s easy to respond to people quicker. It’s easy to see if there is any kind of buzz. If have shows or anything, of course I am updating my shows, emails, and merch orders. If I’m not trying to promote, because I’m not trying to promote every single day, I try to just relax. Every other day I try to just share my thoughts or something I am meditating on. Just try to keep my name out there.

#9 – So you’re big into Twitter?

Actually, yeah! Within the last month I’ve gotten so sick of Facebook. I don’t know if it’s because of the timeline switch, but I don’t like looking at people’s Facebook’s anymore. I used to love scrolling down, reconnecting with my friends and getting the daily buzz. Now you have to fish around and I don’t like all of that time and effort. I don’t have that time [laughs], but if I’m following you on Twitter it’s so much easier. It helps me get off of my phone faster. I’m rarely ever in front of my laptop.

#10 – As far as songwriting goes, do you like to collaborate or write alone?

 I like collaborating! My favorite thing about it is that it gets me out of my box. A lot of artists will say the same thing because when you’re in a rut and you keep hearing the same words that you’ve been saying over and over in your head it’s frustrating. If reading books, the newspaper, or thumbing through the dictionary doesn’t get me out of a ‘word rut’ I will definitely go to somebody else. I’ll bring the idea to them to get their feedback and if they want to collaborate or play on it I love that.

#11 – If you could write with anyone, who would it be?

Ann and Nancy Wilson. I think musically they are awesome. I’ve said Sheryl Crow before, but I think I have beaten that to death. I love her to death though! If Sheryl Crow were to come up to me I would be so bug-eyed that I don’t think I’d be able to do it!

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