Artist Spotlight: Tow’rs & Seryn

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Tow’rs who originally were a group of strangers who came together from a deep love of music & storytelling have become not only a band but a family. They encourage their fans to join their family by sharing in the conversation that their music begins and grow with them as they tour the country.

Each Tow’rs song takes you on a journey. They share a piece of their heart with every song as they wander through questions that haunt them, pains that mark them, and the hope that redefines them. Blending light folk with their southwest background while also incorporating male and female voices makes for a unique sound.

‘Belly of the Deepest Love’ is my personal favorite of all the Tow’rs songs. The harmony between the varying male & female voices throughout create a soft and romantic vibe to the song. The prominent drum in the background created the folk sound to the song and during the chorus, the drums speed up making it a catchier tune.

 

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Many people know Seryn since their song, ‘We Will All Be Changed’ became regionally known as well as their high-energy live shows. Especially since they were from Denton, I heard a lot about them being in another suburb of Dallas. Denton is known for their “hipster” culture with house shows showcasing new bands every night of the week. However, since 2011, Seryn has gone through some major changes, from a move to Nashville to becoming independent.

After touring and re-establishing themselves, Seryn released their Sophomore album ‘Shadow Shows’. You can hear the growth in the band as they have become stronger through the years of being together and experiencing life. Each of them bottled up exactly how they felt at the highs and lows, and created an album. Seryn stuck with their indie-folk background fueled by Americana beats. Again, I love the harmonies between the male and female voices, and Seryn does just that. ‘Paths’ is my favorite of the new album. It makes you reevaluate your life choices- if you’re still stuck in life and waiting for a sign for you to do something then you’re not living.

 

Come check out both of these artists on Sunday, 9/18 at the Stafford! This is definitely a once in a lifetime combination  & you don’t want to miss it. Tickets are $8 in advance & $12 at the door.

Seryn and Tow’rs

 

Interview with Landon McGee of Moonbeamer

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Recently, I got the opportunity to talk to Landon McGee, one of our past musicians in residence, on his new project, Moonbeamer.

In the past, your main focus was on your solo career, what made you want to start this new collaborative band?

There’s some really good stuff about playing by yourself, mainly the flexibility. I was able to change the plan during live shows based on the crowd and I loved the intimacy of that. The flip side is that it can be really lonely and ultimately limited my creativity. I was looking to start this project for one main reason: the need for community. Music can only go so far when it is alone. The guys in Moonbeamer have different skills sets, have played in different bands, and bringing more people together has been helpful. It has made me rethink and brought out new sounds that I haven’t explored. That’s one of the biggest reasons why I made this shift, I wanted to explore new sounds that I couldn’t do alone.

Have there been any difficulties in adjusting to a new band?

It’s been a fun experience, but there has been stuff I didn’t anticipate. I have written everything up to this point for the band but teaching the songs to the other guys has been hard. Especially teaching on keyboard or drums since I don’t play them. Also, it’s been a fun process to get help to write parts that I would have never thought of. I will have written a folk song and Matt, on the drums, will come back with a samba beat that I would have never put with the song. It pushes everyone to go out of musical comfort zones. Chandler has been my main collaborator and in contrast to me, is a creative writer. I write conventionally, think about boxes and structure. This way of doing it can be bad because I can get stuck and do not have as wide of a range because I am working in lines already established. Chandler’s approach is to be vulnerable and let the music flow. We just jam together and play the music we have written. We help each other with unfinished songs or songs that just aren’t great. Sometimes I feel I missing a spark of unfettered creativity, while Chandler can find musical moments out of thin air.

As a band we have chemistry and that’s exciting because we’ve only just started.

Where did the name Moonbeamer come from?

It’s a secret.

What are your inspirations for both the sound and lyrics you write?

As a songwriter, music and lyrics come from a patchwork of places depending on what I am writing. When I am thinking about lyrics, I am usually writing about something I can connect emotionally to so I can get a center for the song.

As for the sound, we’re going for country/rock/folk vibe. We wanted to take a time machine back to a time when the genres could coexist, like The Eagles or Neil Young.

What are you most excited/nervous about performing for the first time as Moonbeamer at the Stafford?

Nervous since the first time playing the music for a paying audience, but not really worried. I am pumped to get the first run through done. It’ll be fun.

Do you have a date for the release of the album yet?

We are still tracking more songs in the studio, and about to have another round of writing. Currently undecided as what we want the final sound to be so we are still messing around with songs.

 

Come check out Landon and the rest of the guys in Moonbeamer on August 19th at the Stafford! Doors are at 7 PM and tickets are $10 online and $12 at the door.

First Friday with Jay White & the Blues Commanders and The Haberdashers

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Jay White & the Blues Commanders are no strangers to the Grand Stafford’s stage. Jay White, a seasoned veteran of the music industry has returned to his beginnings in Blues. Jay has traveled the country and played with legends, but returned to his home in Texas for the next chapter, Jay White & the Blues Commanders. Jay White teamed up with John Mills, Allen Huff, and Kevin Hall and immediately began to make soulful music. ‘Jaywalkin’ is the band’s first release with 11 original songs.

During their live set, you can feel the heart and soul that is injected into each song. Jay’s voice captivates the audience with its deep tones and spot on pitch. Dramatic electric guitar solos are a key feature in their songs, creating that traditional blues sound.

 

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The Haberdashers describe themselves as a “ragtag band of five are far more than just well-accessorized seamen (and a seawoman)”. Their spunky attitude translates over to their music. Their sound is distinguished from other folk/Americana songs by the raspy and upbeat vocals of Jaron Kucera. Combined with Emma Kate on mandolin, Patrick Hornbeck on banjo, Erik Buerkle on guitar, and Andy Mirsberger on bass, the whole band comes together to create an explosion of energy.

Their debut EP, ‘The Haberdashers’ contains 6 original songs that have been gaining attention all over.

Come check out both of these talented bands, this Friday for our FREE First Friday event! Doors open at 7 and music begins at 7:30 PM. It’s definitely a night you won’t want to miss!

Artist Spotlight: Hot Texas Swing Band

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Austin-based Hot Texas Swing Band is a swing powerhouse, dominating the Texas scene. The nine-piece comes together to combine traditional Western Swing with hints of Latin and Rock influences. From the second front man, Alex Dormont begins a song the audience is instantly captivated by his deep tone and creative lyrics.

Hot Texas Swing Band have created a name for themselves over the years, winning awards such as Top 1o Jazz Band and Top Western Swing album. Currently on their third record, each one performing better than the last. Ain’t Dead Yet, their most recent album combines 13 tracks of originals and covers. The press describes the album as “combining Western Swing, Texas dance hall and big band instrumentation with some top class vocals”. It remained on the Top 10 Western Swing Album charts in Western Way for 3 months.

The title track from the album sets the scene for the entire album. The instrumental lead-in displays the versatility of the band with each member contributing to the overall feel. Dormont’s vocals bring out the traditional Swing. However, what sets this band apart is the modernness they bring. Ain’t Dead Yet features an electric guitar and fiddle spotlights throughout the song, showcasing the rock and country influences.

Check out the rest of the album Ain’t Dead Yethere before the show.

Hot Texas Swing Band will be at the Grand Stafford Theater on Saturday, June 18th. Doors will open at 7 PM and the music begins at 8 PM. Don’t miss out on this night of swing, amazing talent, and of course dancing!

Grab your tickets here.