I’m Tony, and these are my February, 2010 picks….
Festus & The White Trash Band are from Blue Ridge, South Carolina playing Country & Religious Music. They’re a 5 man band, consisting of Jon “The Mustache/Mullet” Stringer on vocals & guitar, “The” Hagan on bass, Brett “The Jet” Pollock on drums, Robert “Old Scratch” Stringer on guitar, and Derek “Pretty Boy” Shumpert on guitar. I found this group on Sunny Ledfurd’s record label and got their permission to play them on HTB. They have one demo cd out called “Greatest Hits III”. I chose their song “Rodeo Style” off the Ledfurd Production’s compilation cd “You Know That’s Right, You Know That’s True”, which also features a song from them called “Back To Carolina”. They say on their MySpace page “I’m 100% White Trash. I was born in a trailer, live in a trailer, and will die in a trailer. I am the epitome of white trashiness. Unfortunately, I have no clue what epitome means.” And, Hoss, this is for you, there is no one in the group named Festus! For more information about them, you can visit their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/whitetrashband, or their website at www.festustheband.com….
Liberty Ray–Ain’t Messin’ Around (Buy, Dang It)
Liberty Ray is from Cornelius, North Carolina, playing Acoustic & Country Music. All it says about her on her MySpace page is that she’s originally from Huntsville, Alabama, and she calls herself “the 1st Lady of Ledfurd Records”, which is how I found her. She says her musical influences are Blue October, Ani DiFranco, Patti Griffin, Sunny Ledfurd and The Piedmont Boys. She has 2 songs on the previously mentioned compilation cd from Sunny Ledfurd Records, “Shower” & “Ain’t Messin Around”. I chose the 2nd for her entry in this month’s contest because it’s a rockin’ song that I think you’ll like and vote for. If you want to know more about Liberty Ray, you can visit her MySpace page at www.myspace.com/libertyray…
Little River Band–Lonesome Loser (Buy, Dang It)
Little River Band was originally formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1975, named after a road sign for the Victorian township of Little River, on the road to Geelong. During their career, the group, with various members, has sold over 25 million records and scored 13 American top 40 hits. The current 6 members of the group are Wayne Nelson on bass & lead vocals, Stephen Housden on lead guitar, Greg Hind on guitar & vocals, Chris Marion on keyboard & vocals, Mel Watts on drums and Rich Herring on guitar & vocals. I got permission to play them last December, when they sent me a preview song, Silent Night, from their new Christmas cd, as a Christmas gift to all their friends on MySpace. After I got it, I wrote and asked if I could play their music on HTB. They said sure, and are sending me their Christmas cd to add to our lineup. For this contest, I chose one of their classic songs “Lonesome Loser” off of their “Greatest Hits” cd, which I’ve also added to our “playlist”. (I really hate that word!!). That song made it to #6 on the U.S. top 10 singles list in 1979. The Little River Band has a large number of cds available through Hoss’s store link to Amazon.com. For more info on them, visit their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/littleriverband or their website www.littleriverband.com…
Reckless Kelly–The Ballad Of Elano DeLeon (Buy, Dang It)
Reckless Kelly, playing Texas Country, Rock & Roots Music, was originally formed in Bend, Oregon, but moved to Austin, Texas in 1997. They got their name from the infamous Australian bank robber, Ned Kelly. They’re a 5 man group, consisting of brothers Willy Braun on vocals & guitar, & Cody Braun, on fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, and vocals, David Abeyta on lead guitar and lap steel, Jay Nazz on drums, and Chris Schelske on bass. I’ve been a fan of theirs since 1998, when they sent an autographed copy of their debut cd “Millican” to KFTX-FM, the mainstream radio station where I was working, with a note on it to “Please give us a spin”. The program director of the station said in front of me, “I wouldn’t play that shit”, and threw the cd in the trash can, from which I rescued it. It is now in the computerized rotation here on HTB and I’m definitely giving it, and all of their other cds which I’ve also entered, “a spin”! They have 6 cds available through their MySpace page or Hoss’s store link to Amazon.com, including their latest, “Somewhere In Time”, that was just released this month, from which I’ve chosen the the tragic song “The Ballad Of Elano DeLeon” as their contest entry. On this cd, the group returns to its roots, and revisits the music of the Braun’s mentor & idol, Pinto Bennett, whose group The Famous Motel Cowboys, influenced a generation of musicians in the Northwestern U.S.. Bennett also appears on 2 of the tracks on the cd. If you’d like to know more about Reckless Kelly, you can visit their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/recklesskelly, or their website www.recklesskelly.com. Also, be listening to my DJ show here on HTB Sunday night, Feb. 7th, at 7pm CT, when I will debut their entire “Somewhere In Time” cd…..
Robert Earl Keen–Wireless In Heaven (Buy, Dang It)
Robert Earl Keen is from Kerrville, Texas, playing Texas Country, Americana & Folk Music. Anybody who knows me, knows my history with Robert Earl Keen. I was fired from the afore-mentioned KFTX-FM radio station here in Corpus Christi, for playing a Christmas-eve phone request for REK’s “Merry Christmas From The Family”, because it was definitely not on the stations narrow-minded, top-ten Nashville music playlist. In fact, I had to get his cd from my car to play the song for the woman. I was then fired by phone on Christmas Day because alot of listeners called up and wanted to hear it again, and all the DJ’s kept saying “We don’t play Robert Earl Keen”, and the listeners would say, “But the Midnight guy played it”! When I told that story to REK’s manger, Melissa Haycraft, she gave me permission to play his music on HTB, and I’ve entered his entire discography of 17cds, that I already owned, into our computerized rotation. I just got, through Hoss’s REK store link to Amazon.com, his latest release “The Rose Hotel” and debuted it on my show a month ago. I’ve chosen a song from that cd, “Wireless In Heaven” as his entry in this month’s contest. For more info on REK, visit his MySpace page at www.myspace.com/robertearlkeen, or his band’s website, www.robertearlkeen.com…
Sunny Ledfurd–Trainwreck (Buy, Dang It)
Sunny Ledfurd is from Mooresville, North Carolina, playing Southern Rock, Acoustic & “Other” Music. The 5 man band consists of Dugi on vocals, Bear on guitars, Kyle Hansil on bass, Neel Jadeja on drums, and Yuli on MPC player. (Which means, Hoss, there is nobody in the group named Sunny Ledfurd!) The members mostly met when they were in high school, and started playing together shortly thereafter. They issued their debut album, “Rather Die Young” independently in 1998, but were soon signed by MCA records. They now have 6 cds out, and have formed their own record label, Sunny Ledfurd Productions, which has issued one compilation cd “You Know That’s Right, You Know That’s True”, featuring two songs of theirs “Jim Sharp” & “The Ballad Of W.T.”, and songs from 6 other groups, mostly from North or South Carolina, and one from Minnesota. I chose their song “Trainwreck” about getting wasted after a concert, for their entry in this month’s contest. For more info on Sunny Ledfurd, you can visit their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/sunnyledfurd, or visit their website at www.sunnyledfurd.com…
Texas Renegade–Pay The Devil – (Buy, Dang It)
Texas Renegade is from San Marcos & Austin, Texas, playing Texas Country, Americana & Folk Rock Music. They’re a 5 man group, consisting of Andy Bertelsen on lead vocals, acoustic & electric guitar, Tyson Carver on harmony vocals, acoustic & electric mandolin, & acoustic & electric guitar, Hunter St.Marie on lead guitar, Eli Carver on bass, & Luke Ayers on drums, bangables & shakeables. Kasey Klepfer, who played harmonica with the group for the past 6 years, just left them last month to pursue other musical projects, and the band is currently auditioning a replacement for him. Texas Renegade has come out with 4 cds in their career, the 1st one was called “Roots” and was released in 2000, then “3A.M.” came 2nd in 2006, “After Everything” in 2007, and “Bad Dreams & Other Things” was just released last November. I debuted that cd on my show on HTB last month, and chose the song “Pay The Devil” as their contest entry this month. For more info on Texas Renegade, you can visit their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/texasrenegadeband, or visit their website, www.txrenegade.com…
The Piedmont Boys are from Greenville, South Carolina, playing Country, Southern Rock & Bluegrass Music. They’re a 4 man group, consisting of Greg Payne on guitar & lead vocals, Ed Lemon on bass & harmony vocals, Matt Parks on fiddle & harmony vocals, and Brian Kennedy on drums. They say the name Piedmont was derived from the Italian region of Piedmont and means “foothills”, or “at the foot of a mountain”. Critics say The Piedmont Boys have an “amped up Southern sound that can go from Del McCoury-style ensemble playing to Southern Culture On The Skids-inspired raveups at the drop of a straw cowboy hat, and their rough hewn harmonies will send any Gourds fan to shine-soaked heaven”. OK. The group has 2 cds, a self-titled one that came out in 2008, (that I chose the song “Bocephus” from for their contest entry this month), and a new one called “Walking Pneumonia” that’s due out this May. I would have chosen their song “Guitar-Bashin’ Bitch” off the Sunny Ledfurd compilation cd, but I wanted to help Hoss keep his New Years’ pledge not to cuss on the air. For more info, visit their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/thepiedmontboys, or their website, www.thepiedmontboys.com…
The Ruby Jane Show is from Austin, Texas, playing Roots, Texas Country & “Experimental” Music. Born in November of 1994, Ruby Jane is a prodigy fiddler and a fast-rising star in Americana, Bluegrass & Texas Country Music. She began classical violin lessons as the age of 2, after showing a musical inclination as early as the age of 1. She was granted an apprenticeship by the Mississippi Arts Commission at age 8 to apprentice with Charles T. Smith, one of the last, great, old-time Mississippi fiddlers. For the past 3 years Ruby Jane has competed in many prestigious competitions, and played with some well-known C/W acts, including Willie Nelson & Family, Asleep At The Wheel & Marty Stuart. She has 2 cds available now, “Creekside” and “Live At Roadhouse Rags”, from which I chose the song “Greasy World” as her entry in the contest this month. For more info on Ruby Jane, visit her MySpace page at www.myspace.com/rubyjanesmith, or her website, www.therubyjaneshow.com….
Trill Billy is from Cowtown, by way of Trillsboro, Texas, (as he says on MySpace), playing Texas Country, 2-Step & Rap Music. Trill Billy, described as a “North Texas hick-hopper” says he sounds like “Chingo Bling and Larry The Cable Guy were heading towards each other in 2 different trains, and then, BAM. In fact, you can call me Chingo Bling”. His latest cd is called a “Trill Billy 6-pack”, and is available through CDBaby. I chose the song “Darey Qween”, (spelled just like that), for his entry in the contest this month. This song features Pikhasso & Tahiti of the Dallas super group P.P.T, who trade in their “denglish” accents for a Southern twang, while singing this “raunchy, metaphorical ode to tongueing ice cream”. For more info on Trill Billy, visit his MySpace page, www.myspace.com/therealtrillbilly….
I got started in broadcasting during my stint as a Signalman in the U.S. Navy during the Viet Nam era, working part-time as a DJ and newsman for a ship-board Armed Forces Radio & TV station on the USS Truckee out of Norfolk, Virginia. After being honorably discharged in 1979, I became a mainstream radio DJ and News Director in the Corpus Christi area for over 25 years on 9 different stations, including all 3 of the country-western ones. During that time I received 4 news broadcasting awards, 1 from the Associated Press & 3 from United Press International. I spent the last 5 years of my “career” on KFTX in Corpus Christi, constantly fighting with the program director over having to play their narrow top-ten Nashville music playlist of songs, when I really wanted to play Texas Music. I was finally shown the door after I played a Christmas-time phone request for Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas From The Family”, which was definitely not on the station’s playlist, (I really hate that word!). Now that I’m on HossTheBoss I can play what I want. Listen to my own dang show on the station every Sunday night at 7 p.m. Central.
My previous Hossey Music Award Picks