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Good news good readers and that is our days our getting longer meaning Mardi Gras, Spring Fever, March Madness and crawfish season lie ahead but before we get there comes the sweetheart month of February and one of our favorite months of the year for all you music loving love birds out there on the SCENE. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let run down a bit of what went down during the blustery month of January starting with...

WRAPPING IT UP AND LIGHTING IT OFF - I was able to get back into town in time to send off the old year and bring in the new at Roger's Bar & Grill with Andy and The Dreamsicles and the usual packed house of revelers. We've followed the Dreamsicles over the years and throughout, the gang has always been steadily tinkering by adding new material to the playlist and with the addition of the Kick Ass Brass, these boys are on a tear. Imagine that! With a proper liftoff under our belt, we proceed boldly...

Royal Court & Hot Blues - Was what was happening at T-Bone Tom's with Dave Nevling and the Blues Kats on the Landshark stage. A few months ago, I reviewed Dave's new CD, Sweet Bijou and placed it on are list of top albums of the year scoring well in content, originality, and production quality - A first class release and one you should get your hands on if you're an original blues lover. Aside from the quality blues in the air, yours truly got blown away for the second time in a month at T-Bone's, this time an abundance of grace, charm, beauty and wit with the selection of the 2014 Krewe du Lac's Royal Court including Queen Jada August and her attendents Rebecca Bernadino, DeAnna Lyons Lopez, Scarlett Macaw, and Domino Taylor. Mardi Gras this year comes in the warmer month of March so please do join the fun at the annual Kemah Parade and party at T-Bone Tom's - You can find out more details in this issue of The SCENE and at - See you out there!

NEW STOP ON THE BEAT - And that would be at Scotty's Pub at Scarsdale & Beamer Road. The locals tell us the food at Scotty's is their specialty and keeps the regulars coming to this cavernous neighborhood hangout. We caught a family affair of musical sorts at Scotty's Open Mic Night and a pleasing display of natural raw musical talent from the next generation of Emersons & Dunlaps. Chatting with Scotty, live music was not amongst his initial priorities, instead being sure to take care of the regular patrons when he took the place over. Perhaps over time this might change as the listening room here is amongst the largest in the area. We'll keep an eye on this place to see how things shake out.

FOLLOWING UP - On the tip from two prior articles by my awesome colleague, Rhonda Meredith, we ventured to Scout Bar this month to check out Mark Lum and one of his new groups, The Guru Crew, with Rick Recckio and Noe Molina (bass and drums). Local music followers are well familiar with Molina and Recckio (who by the way played an incredible show despite a heavily splinted ring finger). The show on this Galactic Coast night was an incredibly strong throw down of classic garage band favorites mixed with originals coming off with the force and sonic ecstasy like a tube amp with fresh 6L6's in the sockets. Music Guardian, Roland Belmarez, describes Lum accurately following a recent recording session as a "1 Hitter Quitter - Bad to the Bone!!!" Couldn't have said it better, these guys are good!

The second show was a followup to checkout the Buzz's 2014 New Band of the Year, Vanilla Sugar. This all female, electronic/experimental band of Jessica Perry, Nortnii Veronica Rose, Vanessa V, and KB, claims an interest in composing. coffee. and energy drinks.... My thoughts? The voters got this one right as they were refreshingly inventive, cleverly crisp and had a creative excitement worth watching. I'm going to keep an eye out on Vanilla Sugar and suggest you give them a try yourself.

BALLADEERS - One of the beauties of local live music is getting to see how local artists survive the test of time, playing over the span of decades, continually searching for fun challenging gigs and expanding their musical coverage. This month, we caught exactly that at Mainly Drinks with The Moon Dog Duet of David Hargraves and Daniel Douglass. Throughout the evening, the duo entertained patrons of this prior century corner drugstore that has been transformed into the perfect place for folks to gather, visit, dine, partake of one crazy large wine rack and enjoy live music. These guys have a playlist that easily spans more decades than anybody in the area and plays a unique interpretation that you'll rarely hear played more than twice the same way. Joining the Duet that evening was Janet Z making for one fine evening. In other developments, Hargraves has joined Dan Palook (of the former NADS) and the Big Palooka Band hammering out classics from the 50's, 60's, 70's 80's & 90's and we caught this mix at the Seagull in January - We are good giving this band a four picks up for your partying pleasure. Book 'em!!!

Also on new developments, Douglass has joined up with Garrett Heck, Hollie Hewitt and John Brown and playing a very tasty assortment of folk style originals. Sonically pure and catching, I'm for the moment hard pressed thinking which of our many SCENE venues would be best suited for this group - an outdoor folk festival at Walter Hall Park comes to mind. Hopefully, more on this group in the months ahead.

IT'S A WRAP - Football is behind us, the Rockets are looking good, and pitchers & catchers report to camp soon. Just like live music, when you think you've seen and heard it all, what was old and stale comes back reinvented with a freshness making it all new again. I won't predict how well our Astros will do this year and will keep my fingers crossed for our Rockets but can say for certain that our live music scene continues to reinvent and delight wherever the place may be and with that, we wish all you a similar delight in living during the months ahead and being the part in a place we call The SCENE. Cheers!
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