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Saturday, December 31, 2016

The WHOLE band is here

What I like about checking out the music scene in Austin is not just how plentiful it is, but the successes you see for some artists over time. Those success are not necessarily gold albums and world  tours, but in a smaller scale... The release of a video, a new album, or... In the case of Carter Hilltop Band... the addition of members to complete the project into becoming a full band.

I first saw the Carter Hilltop Band as a trio in Kyle, Texas as the opening act for another up and coming Texas country music act. Carter Hilltop Band was front woman Valerie and her brother on guitar and another guitarist who doubled as the bass player. Move forward more than a year and here I sit at the Rattle Inn.

With guitar, bass, and drums the core has been established. Vocals are spot on. With Valerie singing hi and sweet and her brother mellowing things out, it is a sweet trade off. Although their harmonies were pitched differently, it worked with the music. And the crowd loved it. From just me, myself, and I right before stage time to very full house by song #2, it was pleasant to see the support this young group is receiving so early on.

Where there may have been a song or two that would have worked for dancing, this is just good, sit back and relax music. It was country, but with something a bit deeper to it. My impression. The crowd loved it, every single song. I looked around at one point and saw phones up. The standard for how we judge what is liked in the current Internet, social media feed world. So if this is true, Carter Hilltop Band will do very well.

I must throw one bitch and gripping moan out there, it is the sound man. Good bless the band for kicking ass, cause the sound man was terrible. I think we listened to the stage monitors the whole time. Heads up Rattle Inn,... Vet your sound guy and make sure he gives a crap.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

fresh refresh

Probably won't be the last post of the year, but pretty damn close.

This will be a review of some sort. I am going to diverge from my normal chatter about how much fun the audience had and how the band interacted with them. I am just gonna touch on two bands that I have reviewed before, but you will just have to read on.

I didn't do a review of The Warhorses ( when the played recently in Austin at The Rattle Inn. Simply put, it was their last performance in Austin with Guitarist Sonny Bihl. Sad day, but spectacular performance. They just let Sonny call out the songs he wanted to do. It was fun and spontaneous. For now that really doesn't matter. In the (near) future I can hope we will get to see them again with a new line up and maybe some new tunes. I will try to keep up with them and let you know when Austin, Texas will get a first look at the new Warhorses. 'Til then here are some photos from that night. I'll post more to FB.

The other band I recently saw which I have previously spoken about at length is the Cody Bryan Band (

It was another fun night with these guys. They were just coming off of a high note playing for a larger size arena with several other acts. This night was just a small intimate crowd. What was exciting and spectacular is hopefully a lesson for all. They changed up their set! It was fantastic and fun. Just like seeing them for the first time. There were many new songs they did. There were a couple of mainstay's they keep for the fun of it, BUT they threw in and mixed it up with many older tracks we hadn't heard in a while. Once again, made to be very proud of the local boys done good!

As a fan of the local music scene and many different bands, it was just a great feeling to have something new and fresh thrown at me (the crowd). I don't know how hard it is to do a different set list regularly, but as a paying (and sometimes not) member of the crowd (and usually a fan of someone I am going out to see)...I DON'T CARE. The best bands in Austin become lame as shit when it is the same damn set list each time you see them.

For the crowd and and fans of the Cody Bryan Band it was inspiring and refreshing to enjoy a performance for what it was...Live Music! I appreciate and loved the performance for what seemed like a whole new band. I hope some of my other friends and members of bands around town might read this and take heed. We, the crowd and audience, will ONLY love you more for it!