Did March and the Madness pass by with a BANG or did it? Hope everybody's bracket and Spring Break was fun. Just to be sure ourselves, we ventured out and meting up with many of you out and about on the SCENE including some new stops that were interesting and enlightening. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us - We enjoy being with you. Now, lets run down some of what all went down...
ST. PATRICK'S DAY - Well, you did it, we did it too, but then why not? Our adventures on perhaps the nicest Sunday of the month included a trolley full of merry mongers, a fresh keg of Galactic Coast Beer, a green light to go for the gusto, and stops at the Hilton, Dempsey's (three thumbs up on their leprechaun toss) Pier 27, Jackie's Brickhouse, Cabo's and Sherlocks. Holy moly! Were things cooking or what? Whipping up the frolicking to a frenzy were perhaps the "Bestest" of live music shows including the likes of 3 Peace, Soul Pride, Alpha Dog, Jared Waggoner, and Rat Ranch. Thanks to all of the venues for laying out the welcome mat and throwing everybody a good time. Tis good being Irish!
NO DOUBT - Fatty's has been bringing us a good assortment of live music and this month, we checked out the Starr Jernigan Band. We were impressed with this band the first time we caught them at the Seagull a couple months ago, did a followup in March, and positive that this is one of the best local rock & blues band happening. Got it? Starr cooks up effortlessly endless smooth and articulate lead licks for which I'm pretty positive are original each and every time. Her band (Myrna Sanders, Jason Padilla & Clint Glaze on bass, drums & keys) lays down an abundantly ample bed of energetic groove with a pizazz all its own. Do atch the Starr Jernigan band at Fatty's and anywhere you possibly can - Your ears will love you for it.
SONGWRITERS - And that would be the new gig happening every 3rd Wednesday night at T-Bone Tom's. Hosted by Jerry Diaz and featuring local and regional original song writers, we caught Mark Haddock in March and looking forward to checking into SONGWRITERS in the months ahead. Stay in tune or better yet, see you there!
OVER THE TOP - For March goes to Tour Stop Clear Lake pulling off a triple header of shows at Scout Bar. Leading off was A.D. Rowntree and the 94.5FM Buzznite with New Politics coming into town from Scandinavia. Pretty cool for a Sunday, yes? We've seen this group before at BuzzFest but never like this as they cleared the stage and literally flipped out the audience and our lenses like never before. Next up, we saw 10 Years along with Houston's Band of the Year, The Last Place You Look, opening the show. Either one of these groups could have sold the place out and both did easily. Winding up spring break was Hinder coming into town stronger than ever. One thing in common with all three of these groups was the eye contact made between the band and audience, something you can't fake. Folks, March at Scout Bar was a doozie but things are just getting started with April's lineup coming up next. Great shows, great crowds, great sound & lights - It's called Tour Stop Clear Lake and it's here at Scout Bar
OUT AND ABOUT - Took us to some nifty happenings around town. The Clear Lake Symphony presented a superb evening concert featuring the winners from their 27th annual Solo competition. This contest was originally designed to enhance student performance before a live audience accompanied by a symphony orchestra for which I'm positive Jim Shortt would have given "Bravo" mention. This year's Winners/Soloists included:
Nathaniel Zhang (piano)
Nathan Lo (piano)
Samuel James (bassoon)
Jenny Jiang (violin)
Elaine Wood (cello)
Elise Lasker (oboe)
Adam Sadberry (flute)
Meghan Faw (violin)
Okay, so aerospace has pulled the rug out from under many of us but the Clear Lake Crawfish Festival folks got it, and adjusted their annual festival to "good-time-by-all" proportions. Nice job! The gumbo cook off was as hot as ever and The School of Rock was a fun and interesting group at this year's right sized event. Speaking of one-pot cook offs, across town in League City, we dropped in on the inaugural cook off fundraiser for the Butler Longhorn Museum where the winners were clearly the taste testers. An event is not complete unless there's good live music and the Kevin Anthony Band was there doing it up right. Another League City inaugural event went down in March which was the Uncorked Wine Festival. Wines from around the world were presented, courtesy of HEB and volunteers. Tops at the event was the Belly Dancing show by Sundari Ali (who performs regularly at Mediterraneo) along with the live music by Andrew Bateman and Tony Henry refreshingly fun. Down the road at Walter Hall Park should be the annual Village Fair and Music Festival - Looking forward!
ALBUM REVIEWS - Got two dandies for you from our local sound garden. Both were self produced, home recorded and tastefully mastered presenting the listener content a clarity which doesn't force you to hunt for intent and meaning - Music ready for your ears to take in and fuel for your imagination and soul.
ETERNAL - It's 2013 and the year we're supposed to be freeing our minds. Take a tip - Score yourself a copy of Andrew Bateman's newest CD and take it with you on your journey being on your bike on a cross country ride, at the gym, or in your mind. Free flowing fluidic layers of soothing riffs and sonic ventures for the soul plus a Classical Gas passage where Andrew takes the metronome into overdrive scores this album on the top shelf of the year list. (AndrewBateman.com)
LIKE IT OR NOT - Is a compilation of originals from The Black Light Mannequins (Joe Penley, Ron Roulias & Casey Bennett) that might be a tough CD to come by. According to Bennett, the CD has already practically sold out so you folks may have to resort to "borrowing from your friend". We got ours. This album solidly addresses humanity's chapters that have been experience by many - of coming through the storm, regathering one's self, and of moving on. And if the heady content were not good enough, I've got "LIKE IT OR NOT" on my list of what a good home spun engineered album might sound ought to sound like. One CD, ten songs, and three members of the band adds up to 14 mannequins up - Get your copy while you can!