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HEADLINING THIS YEAR-UNCLE KRACKER
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22ND @ 5:30PM
His easy-going ability to take life as it comes has given Uncle Kracker a place in Country (with the Top 10 hit "Smile"), Pop (“Drift Away,” his Dobie Gray redux that featured Gray on vocals, set a Billboard record for most weeks at #1 on any chart, topping their Adult Contemporary chart for 28 weeks), Rock (“Follow Me,” from the double platinum Double Wide, was a Top 5 hit) and as a D.J./vocalist in rock/rap icon Kid Rock’s Twisted Brown Trucker Band. Then there was “When the Sun Goes Down,” the #1 Country hit that sat on top of the charts for 6 weeks with friend and sometimes tour mate Kenny Chesney plus the multi-format smash hit “All Summer Long” which he co-wrote with Kid Rock.
“There’s stuff to take serious,” he continues. “But it doesn’t make sense to give too much of a damn. Take it as it comes. It’s pretty simple. I’m trying to lift people’s spirits… Make’em feel good ‘cause everybody needs that.”
THE CADILLAC THREE - FRIDAY,
FEB 21 @10:00PM BUDWEISER STAGE
While The Cadillac Three might be a brand new band a little over a year old as of this writing native Nashvillians Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason and Kelby Ray have been friends and musical co-conspirators for as long as anyone can remember. They've weathered their wild teenage years and even wilder tours, weathered major label letdowns and major league triumphs, conquered Music Row Johnston co-wrote Keith Urban's #1 single “You Gonna Fly” and crashed on the couches of strangers in far flung cities. These boys have seen more ups and downs than a Smoky Mountain tour guide.
It's a sound that works as well in front of an amphitheater full of ZZ Top fans or the Dierks Bentley crowd as well as it does in the dive bars and dark corners of the underground music. Though, truth be told, the Cadillac Three's sound probably works best blaring out of your car speakers as you fly down the highway, wind blowing through your hair on the way to another wild Saturday night.
Built around Masons thundering, melodic percussion and the sinewy intertwining of Johnston's guitar with Ray's lap steel, songs like “I'm Southern”, “Days of Gold” and “Whiskey Soaked Redemption” on their self-produced debut bristle with energy and explode at a moments notice. Tracks like “Down to the River”, “Get Your Buzz On” and “Back It Up” evoke the legends of Southern Rock your Molly Hatchets, your Outlaws, your Ozark Mountain Daredevils but they aren't nostalgic, aren't fetishistic reconstructions of by-gone eras. This the new sound of the New South, bigger and badder than ever.
SATURDAY, FEB 22 @ 7:30PM
Olivia has most recently performed with Jake Owen, Jana Krammer, Frankie Ballard and more. She is an up and coming country star that is in the midst of recording her debut CD project in Nashville and is beginning to make a name for herself as a songwriter and performer. Olivia grew up in Houston, TX and has ended up in Nashville to pursue her dream of being a country music artist. In a short time she has impressed many with her talent, energy and work ethic! She is booking shows all over the south in anticipation of her first single to be released in the spring of 2014.
FRED ANDREWS & HONEYBROWNE
SATURDAY, MAR 1 @ 8:30PM
Fred Andrews & Honeybrowne has made its mark on the Texas music scene and beyond by going song by song, gig by gig, album by album and Mile By Mile. Singer, songwriter and group leader Fred Andrews and his musical compadres come by their sound and success honestly, drawing from a rich palette of inspirations and then going out and road-testing the music they create to ensure that it makes a genuine connection with music-loving listeners. Combining good ole hard work with a vibrant love for the magic of music, Fred and the Band keep their eyes on the prize of being better and better each time out. So how does the band follow “this year’s first must-hear,” as Entertainment News & Views said of their last release? Answer: With a new album that enriches and expands the Honeybrowne sound on a set of even stronger songs that are bound to travel with you Mile By Mile for years to come. Co-produced by Andrews and Austin recording whiz Mark Addison (who produced Something To Believe In), the album is Fred Andrews & Honeybrowne’s most vital and varied yet. It boasts everything from expansive country-rock anthems like the title song and “Rock it all night” to the twangy trot of “That’s what I think about you.” This Side of Crazy lands right within the musical sweet spot where country, rock and pop meet.
“I think a lot of bands do their learning in garages or the rehearsal hall,” says Andrews. “I’ve done a lot mine by getting out there and playing for people.” The wisdom of his chosen path paid off when Andrews hooked up with noted Austin producer, songwriter and artist-in-his-own-right Mark Addison and came up with the band’s most definitive statement yet in 2011 on This Side of Crazy. Harp magazine noted how “their tunes sport more hooks than a fisherman’s hat” and praised Andrews as “a master of witty wordplay and pithy turns of phrase, with a winning ability to wring real emotion out of a lyric.” All Music Guide invoked names like The Mavericks and Steve Earle in its review of the CD, also likening Andrews’s vocals to masterful singer Chris Isaak. Now on This Side of Crazy, Fred, the band, and Addison take the music to yet another higher and more engaging level.
SATURDAY, FEB 22 @ 3:30PM
Will Makar creates memorable pop hooks and radio-ready rock, with an unforgettable live show that comes from hard work, commitment, and the deep musical talent of the band. Will started in the fall of 2009 while he was attending The Berklee College of Music in Boston, and he began playing live gigs within weeks of forming with a set list drawn from Will's debut album as well as crowd-favorite covers by Justine Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Jason Mraz and many others.
Will Makar, currently, is based in Houston, TX, though he is set to move to Los Angeles next month. His band is comprised of Blake Powell (Kingwood, TX) on lead guitar, Jeremy Nuncio (Houston, TX) on keyboards, Ricardo White (Houston, TX) on drums, Taylor Powell (Kingwood, TX) on Bass, as well as vocalist Will Makar (Houston, TX) who first came to national prominence at the age of 16 as a semi-finalist on American Idol season 5.
The band has recorded three albums for New York based Double Deal Brand Records, all produced by Kazumi Shimokawa. The albums are a refreshing blast of energy and musicianship that is both instantly familiar and truly unique. The latest single, "Perfect Waste Of Time," the title track to the new album, is a truly memorable party song with a sing-along chorus equally at home on the stage as it is in your headphones.
This past year, Will had the privilege of opening for Hot Chelle Rae, Lee Brice, and John Mayer. They headlined on the main stage (Budweiser stage) at Mardi Gras Galveston and sold out two major venues in the Houston area, Dosey Doe and Mucky duck. WM&RL regularly draw large crowds at venues as diverse as Arlene's Grocery in New York and Saxon Pub in Austin, TX, and continue to tour, with summer multi-date swings through Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and many hometown gigs in Houston.
JUSTIN VAN SANT
FRIDAY, FEB 21 @ 7:30PM
Everything’s BIGGER in Texas, including the booming baritone of Houston native Justin van Sant, whose ebullient vocal style and undeniable charisma flow effortlessly together in a rushing stream that refuses to be stemmed. Named by Houston Press as the ‘Best Country Act’ of 2012 & 2013 ~ “I’m always performing,” Justin says. “I’m performing at work, I’m performing standing in line at the post office.” Influenced as much by country’s ultimate entertainer, Garth Brooks, as by Texas music mainstays like Pat Green, Randy Rogers and Robert Earl Keen, who’ve built their careers on legendary live shows, van Sant has developed a keen sense of showmanship that shines brilliantly through on his debut indie album, Justin van Sant.