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I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the dog days of summer are pretty much over. Not that the torrid heat is a bad thing – It did tend to force us to slow things down a bit. During the month of August, we made fewer stops out on the beat and at the same time, took in lots of really good live music at a couple benefits and festivals this past month. Let’s run down some of what went down….

LUNAR RENDEZBREW - We started off the month of August joining the Mashtronauts at their annual summer gathering. Over the years, we’ve learned how these fiendish brewers often share their stronger potent offerings - This year was no exception. With Emcee, Mighty Mike Taylor calling cadence throughout the day, we enjoyed some authentic local Thrash Grass with none other than Mama Tried. These guys never really take time to warm up – They simply light the match and their opening sets start burning like nobody else in the Business. The last time I recall Mama Tried performing for a beer event was on the hottest weekend a couple summers ago at the Galveston Lone Start Air Museum for the filming of Galactic Coast Brewery on the Discovery Channel. That was one hot event back then too and rest assured, this years indoor event at Clear Lake Park was very welcomed refreshing way to start off the month.

COLD FEET – A few months ago, I made quick mention of a local area favorite band of mine, Cold Feet, and how unannounced their shows tended to be. This time around, word started spreading a month in advanced as their August show would be the 60th birthday celebration of Donny McCorquodale. The party turned into a bona fide burner event with people coming in from all across the country – Pretty cool, eh? Local music hero Freddy Krc started things off playing an assortment of acoustic originals we found to be surprising, clever and refreshing. Also opening is a new local Americana Folk music quartet, Minor Key, whom I’m really excited about. This talented bunch is starting to appear around the area, filling in a niche the area needed and we couldn’t be more delighted. Oh, Cold Feet show? Timeless and as strong as ever, of course – Just like a good whiskey… Cheers!

SECOND ANNUAL FASHION FAUX PAWS - A wide variety of animal lovers of all ages gathered at Scout Bar (and a few of them for their first time ever) for the 2nd annual fundraiser for their south Houston animal shelter. Hosted by Theresa of 94.5FM with Khris Harding as the resident Ambassador of Good Will, it was Man’s Best Friend’s day in the spotlight with hopes of scoring themselves new homes and owners. On the live music front, we caught Justin Nava, front man for the Last Place You Look, putting forth an unplugged acoustic solo performance that was a complete surprise, refreshingly unique, and laced with thoughtful articulations to balance the turbocharged vocals one would expect coming from Nava. If we didn’t know better, we’d put him in the new act of the year category.

SEABROOK MUSIC FESTIVAL - This is not the SMF many recall from yesteryear but a new spin on a familiar name. Hosted by Midnight Slice, the musical lineup was an interesting cross cut of mostly local talent with a splash of regional groups thrown in. Props goes to Cabo and 18th Street Pier for their assistance in making the event happen. The heat this year was considerable, for an event that was normally held in October, taking its toll with the Saturday music lineup and the big stage shows. Nonetheless, the show went on and did it - To those of you souls who came out and were a part, you must truly be Klingon warrior. Music wise, the sound we heard was crazy superb considering all the forces in play that day. My compliments… Heads up – down the road in El Jardin is going to be a small little festival that should be a fun time. Keep your eyes peeled for this one.

SUMMER JONES BENEFIT - The flock of good seagulls at the Cockeyed Seagull rallied together during the month of August to support one of their regulars, Summer Jones, who has been on the mend from an auto wreck earlier in the year. Notable musical mention goes to Billy Gilbert, Hourglass (with the ever young Lee Jolly showing his age), John Honda , Cisco and Joanna Stone for livening up the crowd, Scooter Tyra and Friends for playing a full length set, and my first chance ever to catch Six Gun Keys, a crazy good (and loud) rock & roll band who nailed it perfectly – I’ve got this band now on my watch list. Food at this event was utmost with kudos to Christina, Jason, Matt, Amanda, Courtney, Aaron and three others whose name escapes me. Well done!

THOMPSON BENEFIT - The music family rallied for Kelli and Ian Thompson at the Texas Flying Legends Hanger in August. Sad it is when people gather together after the One who left us here comes and takes one of us home - yet powerful the music and fellowship at such an event we celebrate. Coming from all over town and across the state to perform at this event included Cisco & Starr jamming up an incredible medley never before heard, the Saenz of Time with an enjoyable version of “Houses of the Holy”, the Apple Scruffs - a Beatles tribute band that presents with an incredible sincerity and clarity (and made it on my watch-for list), Morningstar from Austin with a nice rarely played live version of “10 Years Gone”, and a throw down jam with the Friends of Nightbird. Hollywood Steve Rangel was in the crowd and we had a great time catching up with this notable local music journalist and his new life - Carry on, we must….

SONGWRITER’S NIGHT – Jeanette and the staff at Cock & Bull have come a long ways and gotten quite good at mixing things up. In August, we caught the Songwriters Night hosted by Hank Wolff sporting a new voice box and Buddy Graves hailing from the Baytown proving grounds. Head’s up, word is that now that the kids are back in school, that summer is winding down meaning the return of the live acoustic open mic hosted by Revak – Should be fun!

There are three well kept secrets in the area, the Moondog Duet of David Hargraves and Danny D and Mainly Drinks in La Porte. David and Danny each are fully qualified in the lead position for any number of bands and together weave one powerful evening of tasty classics spanning the century. It was interesting to know that once upon a time, one of David’s guitar students was Kirk McKim – Pretty cool, eh? Mainly Drinks has got a good thing going so much so, word is they’ll be expanding to fill in the adjacent location next door.

IT’S A WRAP – School is back in session so, football is kicking off, hurricane season is still with us, and we’ve still time before snow bird season arrives. With the days getting shorter and cooler, it means it’s soon to be patio season, which Good People, is our time of year in a place we call Clear Lake. We’ll be venturing to catch the Fab 40’s show in October at Discovery Greens where they will be playing songs from Revolver. So far, the year 2014 has been a good one for the many who are starting new chapters and for those of you who shared your tales, keep turning the page and be sure to enjoy some of the great live music happening out there be it at a festival, benefit, or at one of the many fine establishments we have out there on The SCENE – See ya out there!
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