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Monday, November 7, 2016

Sunrise on the Wake Up Call

The home of great music and amazing good times on South Lamar...One-2-One ( Located in a humble little strip center with plenty of free parking and easy quick access to and from downtown, the One2One is home to great music pretty much every night of the week. It's always good, the staff is always friend, and the whole live music vibe is to die for in there!

The "to die for" event this particular evening was for The Michael Dillard Band ( release of their debut, full length CD - "Wake Up Call". I reviewed the disc here ( and you can pick it up at their website...or better yet...AT A SHOW! Or here

Putting on a release party can be anywhere from the same old same old to the full blown cake and balloons. Somewhere in-between you have someone who cares so much  about the live reproduction of the new disc you end up with 13 people on stage! Uber Epic! In addition to the normal players for the Michael Dillard Band, there was added an extra guitarist, two percussionist, 4 strings, and brass. I always thought the One2One had an pretty damn nice sized stage until I saw this...
and this...

As for the performance itself, an undertaking of this size is bound to have some hang ups and hitches. For this show it was a solid 30 minute delay. Dude! You're killing me smalls, you're killing me! With that complaint aside, the band took the stage and proceeded to rock the packed and overflowing house. With people standing shoulder to shoulder inside and waiting outside The Michael Dillard Band reproduced their debut CD in what seemed like effortless and glorious fashion.

It is very difficult to describe how amazing this perform was in whole. The subtleties of the strings and keys with the percussion just rolled together with the stunning vocals of Michael Dillard himself. The crowd was proof of this. Very few words in the house, all eyes up, and mouths open. At the end of the first, song the split second silence was followed with the stunned crowds collective roar and applause. It was over, it was done, the ice was broken. Putting all of that bad ass stage talent to use seemed easy with the great songs behind it. The crowd stayed fixated until the end. I know this because it was a MASSIVE Pain In The Ass trying to move around and take photos. It was a  performance to be proud to say you were there.

The rest of the night just poured out of the speakers, into our ears, and warmed us all at joy for Michael Dillard and his band. The overall, collective effort for the song writing, story telling, and performance will not be reproduced again. If you weren't there take a moment, buy the album, look the band up and make amends.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

It was a Midnight Drive

Lucky Lounge ( on a Thursday night in Austin, Texas. Like I have said and will continue to preach...there is always something to do, music to experience, and fun to be had in Austin ANY day of the week. Tourist or local, come join the fun in our great city.

Located on 5th St just off of Congress, the Lucky Lounge is just that...a lounge. A long shotgun style venue. You walk in the front door with a small seating area in the front and then a long hallway that leads to the main body of the club. As you walk down the hallway the bathrooms are on the right and a area for merch on the left. When you enter the main room it is a little over double the width of the hallway with a long bar on the right, a raised VIP seating area up, behind the bar on the far right. To the left are some small two seat, hi-top tables lining the left wall to the stage, which is at the very end of the long room. Right in front of the stage is a small area to stand/dance for a show, with a sofa and some more seating to the left. It is a lounge.

As I walked in I was hearing a very sweet voice and an acoustic guitar. Kayla Way
 ( was onstage doing her thing. Kayla had a few folks in the crowd for an early Thursday evening, even a local guitar celebrity was taking in and enjoying her sound. Kayla's sound is ALMOST what you would expect from that singer/songwriter sound, BUT there was something a little different about her. A wonderful smile, a good stage presence and the interaction with the crowd. Kayla Way's originals are perfect and fun for an early evening and when she did a cover, she owned it she did'nt karaoke it! The crowd grew towards the end of her set and this is where her sound changed ever so slightly...more edgy. It seemed like she was ready to drop the current sound and timid girl demeanor for a just rock out moment on us with one of her newer songs. 

I did speak with her briefly after her set and am happy to say she has an EP coming out very soon (possible beginning of the new year). Kayla proudly told me that everyone can expect this to be a little more rock and roll then her previous venture. I look forward to it and you should look forward to seeing Kayla Way around town.

Next up was Todd Pate 
( Nothing like traveling with your own fan club. There were definitely a few more people here than with the prior performer and they were all cheering on Todd and his pretty cool guitar skills. This was another singer/songwriter performance. It was not that Todd was unique with his voice, his songs were original and his singing voice was strong. The crowd loved what he was doing. The previously mentioned local guitar hero and I where really stunned at what Todd did with his guitar. Not just playing acoustic, but using a whole damn peddle board for effcts. It sounded great, but different enough to garner our collective attention. I cant's say if this is just big balls doing this, or just genius, but it was impressive enough. Although I am not sure if Todd is local, look him up anyway.

Leather Leaf ( was the dramatic turn for the evening. Jumping from acoustic singer/songwriter to a metal band was pretty harsh. It was also pretty damn fun. Leather Leaf does the rock/metal thing with a female lead, Melissa Madnezz ( This woman barks out the songs like a champ, commanding every single song brilliantly. It's as if Ozzy and Grace Slick had a love child and lucky for us, she is the singer of Leather Leaf! Leather Leaf's performance was half and half covers and originals. Doing their originals like they were platinum hits and doing the covers like they were their own, it was definitely a pleasure to be in the crowd for this performance. Even more so watching some of the younger folks in the crowd taking it in, singing the choruses, and moving to the beats. It was definitely smile inducing.

The Midnight Drive  ( was up for the headline spot of the evening. This is where my invitation came from for this night of new music.

I have always told folks about the great thing about Austin music. The bands go out to see and support each other. You never know who you will see on stage, and you NEVER know who you are going to be sitting with and talking to in the crowd. More than once I have experienced and heard the story of others hanging out in a venue, talking with someone, and then they interrupt the conversation by saying "Hey! It was nice talking to you, but I have to go. My band is up next." Leaving me/you/the unsuspecting tourist to think "WTF!!! Who was I just sitting with and talking to?" Yes, I knew I was sitting with the absolutely beautiful, smiling, and newly married wife of The Midnight Drive's drummer, BUT I had NO idea who the dark, beautiful, mysteriously silent and shy young lady was that kept coming to our table. It was moments before show time when the drummer brought her to the table and introduced her as the lead singer of The Midnight Drive....palm to the forehead moment for me. 

The Midnight Drive is a band that does some amazingly fun music. Danceable, catchy songs, great melodic drifts with some interesting guitar work going on underneath it all. The crowd was totally on their feet for the entire performance. Having a good time and cheering along, even if they didn't know the words, like myself. Although I stay away from comparisons as a personal decision. I would rather you go and catch it and make up your own mind, but I am happy to give you a genre for a band. The Midnight Drive has done an amazing job of creating something all their own...PopPunk goes Surfer

The Midnight Drive does their sound well, the crowd is in on the secret, you should be too.