From a life-saving heart surgery, a brand new album and now a world tour, Charley Crockett is the definition of a musician who is living his life one melody at a time. The Texas native just released a brand new album The Valley(And Other Biographical Tunes) which centers around his early life and tries to capture the essence of what it was like growing up in a rural part of Texas. In the process of recording this new album, Crockett had to undergo two critical heart surgeries, but he did not let that stop him from doing what he loved. He finished recording his album just one week before his surgery. Now fully recovered from his surgeries, Charley is on a massive world tour sharing his new album to those who will come and listen. However, as he’s traveling the world he doesn’t forget his roots. Charley says “One thing I believe about music is, you have to know where you come from” which he displays in some of the heart touching songs on his new album. Charley Crockett will be at The Grand Stafford Theater on October 23rd to share his new album with everyone who will take the time to listen to the stories of a man who is taking life one melody at a time. Crockett is the embodiment of what it’s like to be a true musician so come out to the show and hear what he has to share with us!
With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, there’s only a few days left to lock in your plans for the evening. The Grand Stafford will be hosting A Very Odd New Year’s Eve Party- a stacked lineup full of local favorites including Odd Folks, The Rotisserie Chickens, and more. A night of great music and celebration, the Stafford will be the place to be in the BCS area to ring in 2017!
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Odd Folks live a few times here in the Bryan/College Station area. With each show, Odd Folks brings an energetic magnetism to the stage. They don’t shy away from getting the audience involved and make sure you feel like a part of the show. It’s inviting and invigorating all at once with a fresh feel every time. Their punk edge is distinctive yet accessible, and their catchy hooks pull you into their sound. Their debut EP, Monica, is a testament to their songwriting and musical talents and is available for purchase here for $5.
The Rotisserie Chickens
The Rotisserie Chickens are a six piece punk/ska band from Allen, Texas who don’t take themselves too seriously. Their feel good music is infectious and bound to put a smile on your face. Currently working on their second full length studio album, The Chickens are headed back to the BCS area to help ring in the New Year! Their first album, Hung Out To Dry, can be found here. In the meantime, check out their music video for “Can’t Quit Life” that was filmed at the Stafford back in August!
Doors at 8pm/Music at 9pm
Tickets are $10 online and $12 at the door.
Ticket includes appetizers and a champagne toast at midnight.
Get your tickets here!
See you there!
With Judah & the Lion coming to the Grand Stafford in a few days, I wanted to take some time to write about my experience witnessing the band live a few years ago. Regarded as one of Nashville’s most genre bending bands, the folk-hop group is four releases deep into their promising career. Their debut album ‘Kids These Days’ brought the band it’s recognition, charting as high as number 4 on the Billboard Folk charts.
With the band’s second full-length album, ‘Folk Hop N Roll’, it is clear to see exactly where the members influences overlap. Frontman Judah Akers, along with drummer Spencer Cross, mandolin player Brian McDonald, and banjo wiz Nate Zuercher, have created a wide ranging sound, with fuzz bass, hip-hop percussion, distorted banjo riffs, and super sized melodies, all put together into one great album.
In the summer of 2014, I was working at a Christian Summer Camp called Laity Lodge Youth Camp as a camp counselor. The camp is set on the Frio River deep in the hill country of Texas, Southwest of San Antonio and Kerville. Before campers arrive, the staff spends a week getting trained and getting the chance to know each other. At the end of the week, the camp directors surprised the entire 350 member staff with a private concert in our pavilion on the camp grounds. That summer, they had scored Judah & the Lion for the show.
Prior to the concert, I had never heard of the band before, because they were just on the verge of their up and becoming breakthrough. Several of my friends on staff had heard of them and had a lot of good things to say about the band, with a lot of comparisons to Mumford and Sons, but more upbeat and faster paced. I had never gone into a concert before where I had no idea what the performer sounded like, didn’t know any of the songs, or really what to expect at all.
Let met tell you, I was blown away. Set against the backdrop of the river canyon wall, Judah & the Lion put on my favorite live performance I have ever seen. The concert was phenomenal, with an abundance of catchy songs that had me singing and dancing along after hearing the chorus only one time! Songs like ‘Kickin’ da Leaves’, and ‘Rich Kids’ proved to me just why the band was rising up the charts so fast.
What really sold me and made the experience one of kind was the band’s crowd interaction. At camp, one of the running jokes is to play Creed or Nickleback whenever the chance arises. The band had just performed a cover of Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself” that sent the entire camp staff into a frenzy and awe. We began chanting for them to perform a Creed Cover or a Nickleback cover. Low and behold, they did, and Judah Akers, the lead singer, did a spot on replication of vocals to ‘With Arms Wide Open’ and ‘Photograph’. Those performances blew the roof off of the pavilion and sent the entire staff and I into a state of pure hype and joy. This all culminated into a rap battle with one of the camp counselors and the band.
It’s safe to say that no other concert experience I can ever have will come even close to the craziness and spontaneity that Judah and the Lion exuded that night. I know I can’t wait to experience the band perform at the Stafford in a few days, and you can be sure to find me front and center enjoying what is sure to be a fantastic show.
Judah & the Lion is set to take the Stafford stage live, on November 3rd. Tickets are still on sale for $15 in advance and $17 at the door. The doors open at 8:00pm and the music starts at 9:00pm. Special meet and greet options as well as early entrant and an acoustic performance pre-show options are available here.
We’ll see y’all there!
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.
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.
Sean McConnell, a distinctive songwriter who has honed his craft, is an artist on the verge of a mainstream breakthrough. Coming as no surprise to his devoted fans, his recently released self titled album has him primed for the big leagues. The album is chock-full of grass-root, vividly written, and effortlessly catchy songs that are sure to get the audience dancing and singing along.
His love for music and songwriting comes from his parents who have been his musical influences for as long as he can remember. His mom was a singer and his dad was a guitar player and songwriter. They would play in coffeehouses and bring him along with them. By the age of ten he had picked up the guitar and began writing his own songs.
He released his first album “Faces” in the 2000, when he was just 15 years old. Since, he has released over 5 other albums and EPs that have garnered him the devoted fan base he has now. His latest release of his self titled album, has a different feel to it though. It’s a record full of personal stories that are honest and understated in writing.
I really like how distinct Sean McConnell is as an artist. He has his own unique sound and style of writing that is really hard to come by these days. After listening to a few of his songs, I felt like I knew him personally, which speaks to how genuine and honest he is with his songwriting. Songs such as “Holy Days” and “Bottom of the Sea”, which both have attention grabbing opening verses that have a very anthem like sound, are definitely some of my favorites and he has made a fan out of me.
Joining Sean McConnell on September 16th, will be Country-Americana artist, Ryan Scott Travis. Fresh off the release of his debut album “The Guadalupe Breakdown” back in December of 2015, Travis is drawing comparisons to artists like the Eagles and Guy Clark.
Rearing from the Texas Hill Country, Travis has a timeless sound and a unique take on vintage country that is sure to have you tapping your feet along in approval.
You can see these two up-and-coming artists live at the Grand Stafford Theater on September 16th. Doors open at 7:00pm and the show starts at 8:00pm. Get your tickets now here for only $12 or $15 at the door.
Matt Wertz, self-made singer/songwriter, is an artist you can’t help but admire as he strives to push himself out of his comfort zone. His love for music started to flourish in his college years and his ambitions ended up pushing him to Nashville post-graduation where his fan base began to grow. He went from performing at Young Life camps with only one album under his belt, to touring with huge artists such as Jason Mraz, Ben Rector, Maroon 5, Parachute, and Gavin Degraw.
What I thought was especially interesting about Matt, is that after over a decade of producing albums with a sort of acoustic but pop feel, he decides to mix it up. He quotes that, “I realized I’d been making records in the same geographic area, and I wanted to get away from that comfort zone. I personally was needing a fresh approach….L.A. is very much about what’s happening now. I wanted to see how my music fit into that space.”
After several months writing songs in L.A., Matt is proud to bring his fans his new album “Gun Shy”. In this album he mixes the pop sounds he’s used to with his prior work, to synthesized R&B beats that bring a sound that sounds both old and nostalgic at the same time. This album will grab your attention both physically with the dance beat rhythms and emotionally with his lyrics that speak of love and new possibility.
Joining Matt Wertz on September 14th, will be young electronic/pop artist, CAPPA. Also calling Nashville her home, CAPPA has been making music since 2009 with her first album, “You Never Got Me”. A couple years later she started moving from just pop to a slightly more electronic pop sound with “My Heart is Beating Again”.
Like Matt, she has moved in a new direction with the release of her new debut EP out last spring. Fan favorite was the song, “Hush” feat. Almighty Chief. If you like girl powerhouse acts such as HAIM, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Halsey, then you’re going to love CAPPA!
You can look forward to the release of her newest EP, “Queen of Hearts” available on Sept. 16th.
Also on tour with Matt Wertz is pop singer/songwriter Aaron Krause. Aaron is not only a talented singer but a multi-instrumentalist and producer, as well.
His most recent EP, “Jade” has the synth-pop style of artists like M83 and The Weeknd and his new single “Thinking Bout You” comes out September 23rd.
Aaron quotes, “I love music that’s so vivid, you can almost see things when you listen. Music that takes you somewhere. Music that can really move you.”
You can see these three emerging artists live at the Grand Stafford Theater on September 14th. Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm. Get your tickets now here for only $16.
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.
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.
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 Yet, here 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.
Grand Stafford Theater is bringing you some good ole’ country this Saturday with musical acts Gary P. Nunn and Jonny Gray.
Born in Oklahoma, Gary P. Nunn found his heart’s true home in the Lone Star State after his family moved to West Texas when he was in sixth grade. In the town of Brownfield just outside of Lubbock, he was an honors student, excelled in athletics, and started his first band soon after arriving. When he landed in Austin in 1967 to study pharmacy at the University of Texas, he presaged the “cosmic cowboy” movement to come with one of Austin’s favorite bands, The Lavender Hill Express, with the late Rusty Weir. After Willie Nelson, Michael Murphey and Jerry Jeff Walker all moved to town, Nunn was such a pivotal figure on the scene that at one point he was playing bass with all three artists. His talents on keyboards and vocals were also heard on many of the legendary albums from that era.
Gary P. Nunn has been taking Texas to the country and Texas country to the world for some 40 years now, establishing himself as an icon of Lone Star music. A founding father of the progressive country movement out of Austin in the 1970s that changed the face of popular music, Nunn is also an independent music pioneer who continues to oversee his own record label and song publishing companies, manage his own career (with the help of his wife Ruth), and play most every weekend at top music venues throughout Texas and beyond. His composition “London Homesick Blues” — with its internationally known “I wanna go home with the Armadillo” chorus — is a signature Texas country song that was the theme for the PBS concert TV show “Austin City Limits” for nearly three decades. It’s no wonder that All Music Guide hails him as “a Texas music institution.”
And now on TAKING TEXAS TO THE COUNTRY, Nunn continues to musically progress while staying true to his roots. It’s something of a travelogue in song that begins with a cosmic cowboy trip back to a love that once was on “Deja Vu,” and later visits a sorrowful “Denver” and a Cajun Fais do do “Down To Louisiana,” plus takes a restful vacation along a “Mexican Boulevard,” and bops to a bit of Jamaican reggae on “It’s Not Love.” Longing for Texas travels the map on “One State of Mind,” while “Lonesome Lone Star Blues” tours the cities and towns of the Republic.
One of the most nominated and awarded musicians at the 2014 Austin Music Awards winning “Folk Band of the Year,” “Song of the Year,” & “Male Vocalist of the Year.” Jonny Gray has had an amazing year with appearances on The Today Show, Vh1, and MTV as well as touring Mexico and multiple Festivals after his finalist run on the hit television program ‘The Voice’. CeeLo Green compared his Voice to Eddie Vedder while Rolling Stone Magazine commented that his voice had a “Bob Dylan esque tone”.
Jonny Gray’s highly anticipated second album Promises Broke (June 9, 2015), recorded at Aerie Studio with producer-engineer Mark Addison (Fastball, David Garza, Ian Moore). He will continue to break new ground this year with dates planned across North America behind the new album.
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday night. In the meantime, listen to their music on Spotify.
Breaking into the scene as a no-frills artist, Rob Baird of Memphis has captivated audiences all over Texas with ease. Over the past five years, Baird rallied a dedicated fan base that grew with the release of I Swear It’s The Truth in 2012. Even with successful airtime on regional radio, Rob Baird wanted to perfect his craft.
“I’ve really spent a lot of time trying to perfect my writing, or at least trying to figure out who I am and convey that better in my songs, and trying to perfect the live show,“ says Baird.
Upon moving to Austin, Baird was able to create a more unique style incorporating guitars described as both jangly and crunchy. This style is crisscrossed by pedal steel and tasteful organ that stem from his own niche. It’s clear that Baird has excelled in finding his true artistic identity and purpose. Baird has drawn favorable comparisons to artists from the wider Americana landscape like Ryan Adams, John Mellencamp, and Tom Petty. His songs reveal a slice of life on the road while tugging on small town emotional chords. He recently returned to Nashville to record Wrong Side of The River, which will be his most diverse and spectacular collection of music yet. Rob Baird is not interested in being a flash-in-the-pan kind of deal, and he hopes to continue touring for a long time.