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Pundits predicted 2012 as being a doozie and if January is any indication, they've nailed it -- And in a good way too, if you were out and about on The SCENE!!!

LIGHTING OFF THE MONTH - Again, does the Krewe Du Lac in roaring form with their annual Kings Cake celebration at T-Bone Tom's. Cheers to King Curt Carlton, Queen D'Anne Conrad, and the entire royal court for what looks like a great year. The Zydeco Dots were the perfect band for this occasion and upcoming local events include the February 10th Kickoff Party at Bakkhus Taverna, the February 11th Galloway Gallup, Kemah Parade, the Post Parade Party (T-Bone's), and Masquerade Party (Zone 504). Wrapping up that weekend will be the all day Mardi Gras Party at Crazy Al's Swampshack on the 12th. Let's do it!

THERE AND BACK AGAIN - Readers know after we report a new venue as "SCENE Ready", we'll run a couple follow ups to be sure and both Jackie B's and Fatty's sailed through brilliantly. Fatty's pulls off pivot point honors holding down our northeast corner (although we do have Baytown in our view) where we caught Abraham's Tree juicing things up after fine Texan and Saints wins. With Shawn (Big Air) Pritchard on board, the Tree's set list has branched extensively with into the rocking, dancing, get down partying spread. We were a bit bummed after the Texans & Saints playoff losses but that was very short lived once we got to Jackie B's with Southbound on the stage. For those of you that understand Critical Inflection Points, Jackie B's is one of those places linking the east and west sides of The SCENE along I-45. With a super fine staff taking care of all our needs, Southbound took care of our soul. This place is family friendly and a perfect gathering spot when meeting folks from all over town. Jackie B's & Fatty's -- Be there.... Southbound & Abraham's Tree -- Book 'em....

ON THE BEAT - Jackie's Brickhouse has added custom pizzas to their already deep lineup rounding out the total Brickhouse theme. We along with the entire house chowed, twisted & shouted with Abbey Rhode this last month . With their first year under their belt and their great service running on all cylinders, Jackie's upcoming patio season should be nothing short of huge. Out west, when we thought Dempsey's couldn't possibly pull off anything new, they went and did just that bringing in The Playboys as the house band for Thursday nights complete with plenty of cold beer, ribeyes and all-u-can-eat crawfish. Quality music, food, service and fun -- Dempsey's does it... Great news for all you graveyard shift workers who make the world go round. We found out Mamacita's is the place to be 8am after work, where your mimosa's and margaritas await. We caught Messengers of Love serenading the masses of all ages for Sunday brunch and are looking forward to checking them out at this year's Epicurean Evening where they always pull out the stops. Multiple stops at the Cockeyed Seagull caught up with Open Mic night, an evening with The Dones (appreciate the lights, Rick!), and a warmup with Hourglass before their upcoming annual 60's party. Bonus points goes to the Seagull's newly reopen grill, The Filling Station with their ribeye sandwich hitting my spot. Cullen's continues holding down the northern edge nicely where happy hours and The Slags sealed the deal this month. Used to be, Cullen's was considered to be located in the middle of nowhere -- Which nowadays, is a great place to be. Katie's has a good thing going every Tuesday with the Chad Ware Band for an evening of Texas Country Blues. We first crossed paths with Chad who was the lead guitar player with Perfect Stranger at the first GBAMA Fundraiser and look forward to keeping up with his regional tour. Speaking of Katie's....

MAGICAL MOMENTS - We've made mention in the past on the Over The Top shows, where the performance is of virtuoso quality or the outpouring of support at a benefit is overwhelming. This month, we have two Magic Moments--The first was the return of Mark May. A packed house of friends and fans from all across Houston gathered at Katie's where Mark, rejoining forces with Paul Ramirez (See last month's Over The Top Mention), on guitar/vocals, Buford and Bob Emmons on bass, Chopper on the kit, and a bag full of donated pedals and effects, simply "tore it up" the entire night. With that out of the way, fun by all on stage and in the audience left no doubt that this was a special evening to remember and it was a treat to be a part. Our second rare magical moment went down at the 69th Birthday Celebration for Janis Joplin at the House of Blues performed with our own Myrna Sanders and The Kozmic Pearls. The full bodied musical evening included two spot-on sets (plus opening act, Zig Zag) of all the tasty obscure to classic hits spinning the packed house well into the day. We got to enjoy Kozmic Pearl's newest addition, Laura Magers (keys & vocals) joining Myrna, Greg Barr (Bass), Dave Thomas (drums), and Paul Nussbaum (lead guitar) making for a total spot-on package. And the mood? Let's just say many were feeling Janis in the house rocking and smiling the night away. 'Twas a sweet night of peace, love, and rock & roll. Cheers!

RELEASE MY SOUL - Many have heard Mark May and would will testify he simply plays out of this world. If you heard his Live In Texas CD, you'll probably agree he plays at this level everywhere he goes. We know it might be a bit old fashion to buy a CD but when you score your copy of Mark's newest "Release My Soul", read through the fine print, enjoy the tastiest of playing from Mark and his cast of musicians on "Vindablues", take in his lyrics from "Release My Soul" and "World of Suffering", you easily reach the conclusion that Mark May = Genius... We did... (

TOUR STOP CLEAR LAKE - The place is the Scout Bar, Static X's founder Wayne Static is touring with his new chart climbing CD "Pighammer", we're taking in a live dose of "Assassins of Youth", and the place is pumping and pounding. Aside from the awesome power, something connects. What do Willie Nelson and Wayne Static have in common? Simple... Throughout the course of the evening, both of these men looks each and everybody in the audience straight in the eye -- An utmost artist to audience connection. Get it? Not sure when Willie Nelson will be coming to the area but we've Tour Stop Clear Lake at the Scout Bar and we caught the Industrial Metal Icon, Wayne Static...

WHAT'S AHEAD - Spring fever and March Madness are around the corner and before then a visit or three to Roger's Bar & Grill is in the works. If somebody on the beat will book JD's new band Bluemoon, we'll check that out too. Epicurean Evening is on our schedule as is the annual Mardis Gras festivities. For complete rundown of what's happening around the area, grab your copy of The SCENE! See ya' out there!!!



"Let Your Song Be Heard"

"The Songwriters" Song Contest kicked off January with a traveling tour to 42 music stores in 40 cities throughout seven states including a Houston stop at The Guitar Hacienda -- That the event was here speaks for itself and the talent in our area.

Congratulations to Peter J. Beauchemin (Winner), Rick Valente (Runner Up), and to Zane Wommack who scored himself a spot on an upcoming SXSW stage. These three were chosen to compete at the next online semi final round of voting ( and will get to perform on the featured stage at the finals.

The lyrics we heard this evening from our 15 local finalists were first class and mused the judges the entire evening (Wrecks from the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe, Grammy Award winner Brad "The Shredder" Davis, and host Rick Parent). Check out the list of local finalists and hear their stories when you're out on The SCENE!!! Cheers!!!

Janet Z
Eric Wolfe
Steve Lacy
Jim Sullivan
Reuben Maddox
Billy Jack Jones
Zane Wommack (winner of the SXSW feature set)
Roger Wayne Bailey
Mike Coker
Kit Karson
Rick Valente (Runner Up with "Regina")
Myrna Sanders
Michael Burke
David Hargraves
Peter J. Beauchemin (First Place Winner for "On Top")

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