It’s been slow in the music world during festival “off season.” In this time of stagnancy, I’ve been asked “what’s your go to bar right now,” “is there any new music you like,” “where can I get cool clothes for my band,” etc. Well folks, here’s a list of my current favorite industry things just in case you need some inspiration!
Faye Raven Vintage Silver & Turquoise
Faye Raven Collective is an Instagram store for all your vintage silver and Native-Made turquoise needs. Yes, I say “needs” because you absolutely need a piece of stone in your life. The brand has worked closely with musicians such as Nathaniel Ratecliff and festivals like Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion. Katy and Mike, the wonderful folks behind Faye Raven, are experts in shiny things and supporters of live music. Their absolutely overwhelming amount of cool pieces are my number ONE favorite thing right now.
Giovannie & the Hired Guns Merchandise
He’s loud. He’s in your face. He’s rock ‘n roll as hell– and so is his merch. From shades of teal to rooster ragers, Giovannie really has this merch game down. It’s a subtle southwestern style true to his Texas roots but still fun and different. His graphics are bold, bright, and (pardon my french) totally bitchin’. His merch line is in constant restock mode from how fast they sell. I even bought the last shirt off of the display stand at LJT Texas Music Fest. Get your hands on some of this coolness.
Bryce Bangs’ single “Steel Crushes the Bone”
Bryce Bangs describes this single as “a Cosmic Red Dirt sad story mixed with a Southern Rock ballad.” As wild as that sounds, I have to agree. The tune is based off a drunken night waking up in a jail cell with a bloodied black eye and no memory of how he got there. With its release a couple days ago, I’ve seen the single circulate through many genre groups. It’s definitely an interesting tune with unexpected vocal ranges and unique instrumental adaptations. You can find on Spotify or iTunes.
Isaac Jacob Band’s “In My Dreams” Music Video
This sad, somewhat Neo-Traditional jam came out the first week of April, written by Rick Trevino and Raul Malo (The Mavericks). Jacob chose to create a music video to this song as his radio single and premiered it May 6th. The production quality of this video surpassed many other haphazard Texas Country/Red Dirt media attempts, as well as tell a story we all relate to. You can find Jacob’s star-quality singing and “bad acting” (his words, not mine) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gf13DB2O0c
Jack Barksdale, just in general.
Do yourself a favor and go to this kid’s show. I can promise you it’ll fill up a music lover’s heart. Barksdale plays multiple instruments and blows the crowd away with all of them. At the full age of 11, Barksdale has played with Steve Poltz, Verlon Thompson, Rio Tripiano, Ray Wylie Hubbard and more. His cover tunes are too cool, and his originals are absolute fire. Go find out where he’s playing next and BE THERE.
Songwriter Night at Blue Light Dallas
Since I moved to Dallas, I spend about 60 percent of my time at the Blue Light in Deep Ellum. Monday nights are hosted by soulful singer/songwriter Zac Wilkerson beginning around 8 p.m. These nights range from 10 songwriters to 22 in a night, often ending at 2 a.m. The rules are to be respectful to the singers and play original songs only. I have seen people become best friends, bands find each other, talent get found and many other advantageous happenings occur at this event. I am a firm believer that the Deep Ellum circle can provide singer/songwriters more than a 20 minute set on a week night. You should definitely attend it at least once.