A Midsummer Night’s Mojito

Welcome to summertime in Texas. At this point, you haven’t stopped sweating since May and the apocalyptic winter foretold by Game of Thrones is sounding more and more appealing. What you need, my friend, is the perfect summer cocktail. A cocktail that’s refreshing without being too sweet, has many variations to keep you interested, and will impress your friends when you make it at a BBQ.

What you need is a mojito.


Traditional mojitos contain simple ingredients that pack a huge punch of flavor: light rum, lime, mint, sugar, and club soda. Some recipes call for all sorts of tools and muddling, but as busy adults, we don’t always have time for all that. To remedy this, we’ve come up with a straightforward recipe that requires two simple tools: a shot glass and a mason jar.

The No Fail Mojito

1 oz. shot glass
mason jar with lid

1 oz. light rum
12 mint leaves
5 lime slices
club soda or citrus soda
1/2 oz. simple syrup*

User Guide:
Fill mason jar halfway with ice and add rum, simple syrup, lime slices (squeeze the juice in and then drop the lime slice into the jar), and mint leaves. Top with more ice. Screw on lid and shake vigorously, or until mint and limes are sufficiently agitated. Open lid and top with club soda, if you prefer a less sweet drink, or citrus soda, if you prefer a sweeter drink. Add a straw, if desired.

*Simple syrup – A 1:1 ratio of sugar and water boiled until all sugar is dissolved. Store in a squirt bottle for ultimate convenience. This can be purchased at most grocery stores if you’re not up to getting your stove dirty.

Sure, it’s not as simple as your standard rum & Coke, but I can guarantee you it’s better by a mile. The best part? Mojitos are completely customizable. Try different rums, throw in some fruit, add a splash of fruit juice or fruit nectar, go wild!

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Here are some tried-and-true variations:

Black & Blue Mojito

Add blackberries and blueberries before shaking. Top with sparkling wine instead of club soda.

Coconut Mojito

Add ½ oz of coconut cream (buy the squeezable version from Coco Real – you’ll thank yourself later) before shaking. Swap the light rum out for coconut rum.

Tropical Mojito

Add diced fresh pineapple, mango nectar, and passion fruit nectar before shaking.

For more tips and tricks to throw the best backyard BBQ, click here!


The Bar at Grand Stafford Theater

Image Sources:

Mojitos – http://bit.ly/29bZb24

Coconut Mojito – http://bit.ly/1Y94Uap

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


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: Stu Hamm

Stu Hamm has made a name for himself as one of the most prominent bassists of the past half-century due to his experimental techniques of slapping, two-handed tapping, and popping. He gained national recognition after performing alongside influential guitarists Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. While collaborating with other musicians, Stu Hamm released four critically acclaimed albums highlighting his skills in playing the electric bass as a lead instrument. He not only shaped the contemporary view of the bass guitar through his style of playing, but he also helped design a line of bass guitars with Fender through his Stu Hamm Electric Bass series, modeled after his Washburn.

To further push the change for the electric bass to stand on its own as an instrument, Stu Hamm released a series of instructional videos and began touring as one of the world’s leading bass clinicians. He later became the Director of Bass Programs at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, California and began teaching introductory courses through TrueFire.com called Bass Basics. Through multiple magazine polls and major print publications, Hamm has been voted “Best Jazz Bassist” and “Best Rock Bassist” throughout the years. While having stunned audiences across the world with his incredible talents, Hamm continues his journey by headlining a tour to play his greatest rock hits along with Kim Sehwang and Jeff Bowders.
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Stu Hamm will be performing at the Grand Stafford Theater on Monday, June 27. The show will begin at 8 with doors opening at 7. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to see this electric bass icon!

Purchase tickets here.

KEOS LoneStar Music Series Presents Walt Wilkins & Tina Mitchell Wilkins with Ben Morris & the Great American Boxcar Chorus

KEOS 89.1 FM is a popular community radio station for the Brazos Valley. Each year, they host an event called the LoneStar Music Series that celebrates community and Texas music. The concert series not only aims to unite the community together through music, but also to educate the public about Texas-based musicians, singers, and songwriters. Last year, the Lone Start Music Series featured artists Sam Baker, Carrie Elkins, and Chip Dolan. This year, they are proud to bring Walt Wilkins, Tina Mitchell Wilkins, and Ben Morris and the Great American Boxcar Chorus to the Grand Stafford Theater and we are excited to have them! Additionally, this concert will celebrate the end of KEOS’s pledge drive by giving the option for donations to be made when purchasing tickets for this event.

Here is a little more information on the exciting music you can expect to see at this event:

Walt Wilkins is a well-known singer, writer, and producer of country and blue grass music. He has impressed audiences not only as an independent artist, but with band, The Mystiqueros ,and his wife, Tina Mitchell Wilkins. Wilkins is a natural songwriter and many people are impressed with his honest and personable lyrics. Wilkin says “I write about life because I am inspired by it. There’s always something going on. We’re all tangled up with different things, when really, we all hurt and love in the same way.”

Tina Mitchell Wilkins, wife of Walt Wilkins, is an inspiring singer/songwriter and also performs with band, The Mystiqueros. Although her career began in Los Angles and Nashville performing, she has developed a great reputation in Texas and has a huge fan-base here now Her first album “Morning Glory” features original songs as well as her take on songs from other Texas and Tennessee artists. She also released solo record “Espiritu Santo Bay” in 2005. Fans describe Tina as a genuine person with a love for life which is shown through her music.

College Station-based band, Ben Morris & the Great American Boxcar Chorus, are in their early years of performing, but have already made it around Texas with over 150 gigs. Their music combines so many different elements that it’s almost difficult to put their sound into words. Some songs have more of a country bar-band feel, some have an indie/rock feel, and others are very lyrically catchy. They’ve released four records: The Other Side of Broken (2007), The Ballad of Billy Clyde (2008), Underground Railroad (2009), and There is No Fun in Funeral (2011).


The KEOS LoneStar Music Series will be at the Grand Stafford Theater on Friday, June 24th. Doors open at 7pm and the music begins at 8pm. Don’t miss out on this great community event to support a radio station we love to listen to!


You can buy tickets and make donations here.

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.

Cody Joe Hodges

Last weekend, Grand Stafford Theater was fortunate to host a great local talent – Cody Joe Hodges. Strapping a four piece band, with keys and upright bass alongside, he brings a fresh but recognizable vibe to the stage. Hodges picks a classical nylon string guitar, bringing a unique sound and a style similar to the likes of Willie Nelson to the Texas country music scene. With no lead guitar backup, Cody Joe could put most country frontmen to shame. Together the band bridges the gap between past and future generations in a way you won’t forget. Keep your ear to the ground and listen out for one of Texas’ great young artists! We hope to see you back at Grand Stafford Theater very soon!

Written by Sound Engineer, Kevin Brown


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The headliner for Thursday evening’s show will be our Musician in Residence, Kyle Cook. Cook is a Texas A&M student – and Corps Cadet – with one of the most beautiful of voices one would ever hear. His voice has the tendency to make the audience sink in their seats and stop breathing in hopes to not miss a single note. It is the passion, vulnerability, and strength behind his voice that which causes hush among crowds and beckons them to listen to his story. The passion with which he performs makes one believe the stories he tells and plants a desire to hear more. His EP “Unworthy” describes a relationship between man and God through asking questions and singing praises that boldly reveal a human heart chasing after his creator. Having known this guy for a few years now, his lyrics express the true depth of his consistent character that which is one sincerely seeking the heart of the Lord.

The Stafford is so excited to have you all experience this talented young man and hear the incredible gift he’s been given. If you haven’t bought your tickets, click here. See you Thursday at 8 PM!

Artist Spotlight: Josh Ward

Josh Ward‘s sound, in a word, is nostalgic. Thursday night, the Grand Stafford Theater will be hosting Country’s salvation with this up-and-coming Texas artist.

Josh WardWith the inspiration and influence of legends such as George Strait and Willie Nelson, Josh is likely to bring back what Country has been missing for years now – its roots. His stories reveal an obvious connection to the heritage, singing about his experiences in relationships and tilling the land. His tales about love, heartbreak, and hard work – and whiskey – are relatable and comforting, an ability that classic Country has the unique power to do. In songs such as “Sent Me You” and “Together,” Josh exposes his heart as he sings about the trials that life holds and the beauty of relationships in the midst of the hardship by describing the faith and hope that love has to offer. He is bound to swoon and captivate you with his smooth, yet gritty, twang and powerful vocals which give an unspoken validation to his stories and his background, besides the fact that he’s a seasoned outdoorsman and sponsored fisherman. Country music can untuck its shirt and finally breathe a heavy sigh of relief knowing that a musician has come to revive the spirit and energy of its origins with the sweet strum of the guitar and a voice that’s empathic to the genre’s soul.

Come out and experience this Country man’s talent, and be refreshed by his original voice and classic sound. If you’d like to check out Mr. Ward before the show, click here to listen to our exclusive Spotify playlist. And if you haven’t bought your ticket yet, click here. See y’all at 8 PM!

Artist Spotlight: Ryan Scott Travis, Colin Leonard, & Kyle Cook

Ryan Scott Travis. Only a name such as this can carry the weight of the raw talent that this young man bears. His voice tolls like somber bells with clarity and boldness heard through his strong vocals and gritty sound.

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His southern origins reveal themselves through his light twang and the lap slide guitar picking that mixes beautifully with the folky sound of the cello. It paints pictures of countryside landscapes and smells of cedar traced with nostalgia. His lyrics offer honesty and easiness to the ears of his growing audience with words that present insight on the simplicity of life that are parallel with the understanding of hardship. His focus remains on what good there is to be seen, learned, and understood aside the reality of suffering. It has been said that his sound is a mixture of Guy Clark and The Eagles, but I would also like to note that Travis has a similar affect as Jack Johnson. Just as Johnson puts you at ease, lifts your spirits, and touches on the human experience, as does Ryan Scott Travis, only on a different coast. With his journey having only just begun, – his first EP “Beauty Learns a Thing” released in 2014 – Travis has a promising road ahead as he frontiers the soundscape of country-folk with his latest full length release “The Guadalupe Breakdown”. We are very excited to host this up and coming musician and hope you will love him as much as we do.

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Supporting our friend Ryan Scott Travis is none other than Colin Leonard, front man of Atlas Youth. We have seen Leonard’s incredible work as a duo but Wednesday evening we will see the magic in his singularity. With an eerie and smooth vocal, he tells stories in a confessional fashion, similar to Noah Gundersen. It is in Leonard’s choice to sing songs from the heart that leave him in vulnerable positions. Yet in this leap of faith, this vulnerability earns him the trust of listeners thus securing loyal followers. This power to harness the rare quality of relating to listeners by way of transparency is a gift that only a few have mastered – one of them being Taylor Swift. We love having this young man on our stage and are continually refreshed by the grace of his voice. Check out his EP “Valleys” in 2014 here.

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The opener for Wednesday evening will be our Musician in Residence, Kyle Cook. Kyle is a Texas A&M student and Corps Cadet with the sweetest of voices you’ll ever hear. He has a tendency to make you sink in your chair and stop breathing with the sound of his voice, in hopes to not miss a single note. The passion with which he performs makes you believe the stories he tells and desire to hear more. His EP “Unworthy” describes a relationship between man and God through asking questions and singing praises that boldly reveal a human heart chasing after his creator. We’re pumped to have you all experience this talented young man.

Come along and bring your friends Wednesday evening at 8 PM to enjoy the solemn weather from inside. Get your tickets here and check out their exclusive Grand Stafford Spotify playlist here.

First Friday with The Rotisserie Chickens & Aaron Stephens


The Rotisserie Chickens bring the funk to every stage they take. This ska band from Dallas is made up of six confident musicians from backgrounds ranging in rock metal, indie folk, and the marching band. With Michael Grover on vocals, Bradley Hastings on trumpet, Alek Walker on guitar, Colin Holmes on bass, Graham Houpt on trombone, and Derrick Fickle on drums, this crew truly gets down in the most eclectic form. Ska, celebrating the upbeat combination of Caribbean mento and American blues and jazz, is the kind of music you bounce, jump, and dance to; and even then, The Rotisserie Chickens exceed this joyful expectation. While experiencing their performance, childlike reactions to jump and sing and to smile stupidly well up from your most primal motor functions causing you to realize the power that music has upon the mind, body, and soul – speaking on behalf of a friend, of course. Either way, The Rotisserie Chickens will spunk up your night and leave you feeling affirmed in your inner, vibrant youth. Check out their album “Hung Out to Dry” (2015) here.

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Aaron Stephens is a soul, singer/songwriter creating from a transparent heart. His music is nostalgic for a simpler time yet carries the reality of today’s struggles. With his first full length album “Hard Times Straight Lines” debuting in 2014, he has initiated a legacy to carry him throughout his career by way of his sweetly aged sound and modern take on the human soul. Stephens is one of a kind, a rare jewel, and has worked very, very hard and sacrificed much to achieve all that he has done, and this can be heard in his music. I have found him to be a beautifully weathered sojourner, having trekked through the peaks and valleys that life allots, eager to learn and know so that he may express his wisdom through story telling and song. Basically, Aaron Stephens is the music you want to listen to on vinyl while drinking coffee and contemplating the meaning of life – in the most non-emo way, of course.

So, to prepare your souls for a night of funk and story telling, click here to listen to a sneak preview of our FREE First Friday show on our exclusive Spotify playlist. The doors open at 7 PM and show begins at 7:30 PM, you’re guaranteed to dig it.