These are all the songs I’ve chosen for this month’s contest. I know thousands of independent musicians who are deserving of having their songs in this dang deal. So narrowing my picks down to just a few is always the hardest part of my month. Oh well. Such is life.
Al Stone – Walkin’ Cain
Al Stone is an amazingly bad-ass bluesman who started out jamming with some of Chicago’s best when he was just a teenager and ended up in Florida where he was recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame (the one with a Registered Trademark sign behind its name. That might make for a bit of interesting conversation when Al makes the Top 10 and we interview him on July 17.) I never get tired of this little tune, and I think Al’s take on it is one of the coolest I’ve heard. myPPK.com/get/alstone
Buddy lives in San Antonio and came to this contest in February when our guest DJ Mike Parrish picked one of this songs that just narrowly missed making the dang finals. I admired Buddy’s spirit so much that I promised I’d bring him back in a future edition of the show. So here he is with one of his newest songs. Buddy’s one of those guys who doesn’t yet have access to fancy, schmancy studios and high dollar producers, and even he used the word “raw” to describe this recording. But I, for one, admire his spunk in putting it together (he is actually quite prolific) and sending it out. He’s quickly becoming one of the hotter country acts in South Texas. Need proof? He’s joining some of the region’s biggest names at a cool little deal they’re doing in Laredo on July 10. He’s got more info on that on his myspace page: www.myspace.com/buddyvargas.
Carl Fendley – Best Part of Me
Carl is from Houston, Texas and this is his first professionally recorded song. He started sending it out to people like me in early 2010, and it looks like I’m a little behind the times in gettin’ on board with it. I did a quick Google search just now, and it seems this deal is gettin’ quite a bit of buzz these days. Carl appears to be on to something as an “up-n-comer” on the Texas music scene. www.carlfendley.com
Chris Dair – Crossroads to Freedom
Chris is “from” the UK, but he lives in France where he does what I call his very cool music that is almost impossible to classify. He narrowly missed the Top 5 last month with his jammin’ guitar playin’ on a song called “Lost in Wasted Time,” so I figured I’d bring him right back this month with a song he talked about in the interview he did with me in June. Is this a blues song? Well, it sorta sounds like one. But, then again, it doesn’t. That’s the beauty of Chris’s music. This guy is as creative as they come. www.myspace.com/chrisdair. (Oh yeah, Chris produces his wife Vivian’s creative music, too. I put one of her wonderful songs in the contest this month, and they assure me that they’ll not let the competition cause too much marital strife.)
Clinton Gregory – In The Meantime
Clinton is a much-loved veteran of the American country music scene who has been sitting patiently (and inspiringly) on the edge of “superstardom” for quite some time. His press materials quote Marty Stuart as saying “Clinton Gregory is the finest country music singer on the planet,” and I say that’s a pretty dang good testimonial. This is his newest single, and I’m just tickled to have gotten it in my dang email.
D.B. Rielly – I Got A Mind
D.B. Rielly is a quirky/cool little guy from New York who first came to our show via Tony Kinsel’s picks last summer. His song “I Got A Girlfriend” — about a nice young man who is very excited to have murdered his girlfriend and chopped her into small, easily stored bits — advanced to our 2009 finals. This song is off of D.B.’s very intriguing, recently finished CD called “Love Potions and Snake Oil” and it’s yet another one that makes me want to be sure stay on his good side. (So far, D.B. continues to say that he is happy to be a part of this “cockamamy contest.” Whew.)
Derek Miller (With Willie Nelson) – Damned
We hardly ever go wrong when we have musicians from Canada on the show, and I expect that tradition to continue this time. This song is from Derek’s latest CD Derek Miller with Double Trouble that, as his website says, “takes us to the heart of Native Americana romanticism. It uses vintage tones and aesthetics of 50’s rock and roll with a modern twist, telling the story of a mythical man who has a blind moment of insanity and the events that got him to that point.” Hmmmm… That gives context this song an interesting twist. Turns out, it might not be a just a silly fun little tune afterall. (Though it is kinda silly and fun.) Oh yeah… I can’t believe that I’m just now mentioning that this song marks Willie Nelson’s first appearance in our contest. Whoooo hooo! I doubt if Derek could have found a better partner for a song that’s supposed to get “to the heart of Native Americana romaticism.” derekmiller.ca. or www.myspace.com/derekmillermusic.
Desyre – Lady Luxury
Desyre (also known as the “Bad Chick Next Door”) is a big star-in-the-making from Chicago. Ya’ll didn’t vote enough for the song that I put in the contest from her last month, dang it. So here’s another of her songs this month to give you chance to correct your erroneous ways. www.myspace.com/whatsyourdesyre
The liner notes on Jerry D. Hobbs’ CD Bakerfield: A “Workin” Man’s Country says his goal is to keep good old traditional country music alive. I’m proud of him for that. So this definitely ain’t the last time you’ll hear his stuff on HossTheBoss.com. For livin’ in California, Jerry sure does have a lot of songs about Texas on his dang CD, and I almost decided to pick one of those for this contest, but I picked this one because its one he says is gettin’ a good amount of spins on other internet stations, and, besides, it’s pretty fitting for our times these days. For more about Jerry, type his name in the search box at www.CDBaby.com.
Leslie Craig – Rock Star
I think I’ll just skip the bio. stuff with this amazing young woman and just send you right to her MySpace page to hear some more of her stuff! Wow. She’s got a loyal crew of fans who, I’m certain, will make her a formidable foe in this dang contest, and, when you check out her very solid stuff, I think you’ll understand why. (When you’re done hangin’ out on her own Myspage page, head on over to the her “street team’s” page.)
Oz Knozz – You Can’t Win
These guys from Houston have been playing all over Texas for decades now, and I cannot believe that I’m just now finding out about them. Wow, what an oversite! They’re website puts them in the same “Progressive Rock” category as classic bands like Kansas, Europe, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. But I find their original stuff as riveting as music from some even bigger names: Pink Floyd, Queen, Rush. This song is off their new CD 10,000 Days and Nights that I’m sure we’ll be playing many cuts from in the coming days. www.ozknozz.com
Sharen Wendy Robertson – Give Us Back
I was wondering when I was going to start getting tunes in my email from people mad at BP over the big mess that damn (notice I didn’t say “dang” this time) company has made in the Gulf of Mexico. Sharen’s is the first. And, aside from it’s important statement, it’s a catchy and well-produced little tune. I’m just now getting to know about Sharen, but I think if you check out her website, you’ll be pretty amazed and inspired at her biography. This woman is much more than just a great musician.
T-Jarrod Quartet – Please Don’t Talk About Me
In the May contest, T Jarrod Bonta’s rip roarin’ piano playin’ showed up on a cool little country song I picked from Austin musician Jim Stringer. Well, a few weeks later, I was excited to find in the mail several more CDs that had some T Jarrod magic, many of which will find their way into the contest in the future, I’m sure. This tune is off the jazz CD that T Jarrod’s own little band put together a couple or years back. The CD is called “Jazz Offerings to the Schnauzer King.” I really want to know the story behind that dang title as well as the story behind this song. I guess that means you’re going to have to get T Jarrod into the Top 10 so I can talk to him on “Interview Week” on the show, July 17.
The Toluenes – Middle of Nowhere
The Toluenes claim Gatlinburg, TN to be their hometown on Myspace (though I think their leader Jamon Scott spends much time in several spots in the Easter Time Zone. They tout themselves to be “The Southwest Band from The Southeast,” and that ain’t no exageration. With gritty little songs like “Mexico,” “Hola Amigo,” “God Bless The Gringo, “and “Bones,” I’d think they were from Texas or Arizona if I didn’t know any better. But, no, this whole dang thing was recorded in Nashville, with a group of musicians that probably have one or two Atlanta Braves caps in their wardrobe. This is one of Jamon’s captivating acoustic songs on the new CD called “Cervezas, Senoritas, Etc. Etc.” I hope ya’ll will keep this dang song around to the end of the month, so I can end up playing some of the full band stuff on the show, too. I’m sure you’ll be impressed, dang it! www.thetoluenes.com.
Toluene, by the way, is one of the key ingredients in TNT. So, I guess these guys really are explosive!
Vivian Dair – Be Graceful
Vivian is Chris Dair’s wife, and she tends to keep a low-profile with her music, preferring instead to help Chris promote his own music. But, dang, she does some very nice stuff herself. Maybe if ya’ll vote for her this month, you’ll encourage her to toot her own dang horn a little more, dang it! (So long as it’s not one of those darn horns everyone’s been blowing at the World Cup this year! Geez!)
See My Previous Picks