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This year, the Ground Hogs called it right in a big way, the Houston Live Stock & Rodeo was booked right on top of Mardi Gras, and word is that the crawfish harvest is running a bit behind -- All good reason to fret if you're the worrying type but if you're a fan of live music, you know there's plenty of good stuff to go around and with that, we aim our sights into March Madness, spring break, but first before we do, let's run down a bit of all that went down on the live music SCENE in February...

EPICUREAN EVENING - This is one of my favorite annual events and this year. Aside from the outrageous good food, one of my favorite groups is the Mamacita's full mariachi band. Always festive and perfectly sized for the crowds at the cavernous Space Center Houston, this lively group is an event standard.

Interestingly this evening on the live music front, the good folks at Jackie's Brickhouse teamed up with The School of Rock. At first you would think this as a dubious combination. However knowing the folks at Jackie's are never afraid to try something new *and* their uncanny success rate doing the things different, it made perfect sense to unleash the area's future rock and rollers (with full amplification) in the sophisticated settings of Space Center Houston at a Chamber of Commerce event - And have it work!!! Crazy brilliant... Not sure when we'll see such a paring again but suffice to say, keep an eye on Jackie's Brickhouse and be a part - You know it'll be a great time!

PEACE, LOVE, ROCK & ROLL - Was the mantra chant Jeff Wilson of the Hunger declared as Houston Rock TV presented Rockers against Domestic Violence, a benefit show for the Bay Area Turning Point Center for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. I'm almost positive this is the second time Scout Bar has supported this worthy cause and hopefully a trend to continue down the road. Live music performances for this worthy cause was provided by The Hunger, Six Gun Sound, Slight Chance, Adamantium, Concepts & Black 13. Emcee for the event was A.D. Rowntree from FM 94.7, The Buzz and appearances by local beauty queens legitimized this event like no other. Well done!

Aside from all the good cause mention, I was personally curious to follow up, The Hunger with the addition of Ben Bordelon on the keyboards. Earlier, we reported the band's proclaimed desire to take it up a level with the addition of Bordelon and freeing up the Wilson brothers into the dual lead vocal formation. Having seen this new lineup twice now, I can confirm confidently that the energy of the band not just by the factor but the power of two, which for all you math savvy followers out there, means a doozy full - The breaks between songs are quicker now, the stage dynamics are twirled well past the stops in energy level, and the overall show refreshingly invigorating. Not all bands are equipped to pull off such a step up but The Hunger sure did - Very well done!

A NEW MIX - When I saw one of my favorite local bands, HOURGLASS, scheduled for a Friday night at T-Bone Tom's, I knew I had to make some room on the calendar to check this arrangement out. Friday nights at T-Bone's is typically nothing short of "packed" and quality live music entertainment a hallmark tradition at this cherished family eatery. Watching the able staff handle the capacity crowds is nothing new but watching the audience's mood is key - Throughout, many had eyes pointed at the stage and you could sense the minds reaching back into the yesteryear, those wonder years, where life was often good. Folks, this doesn't happen with all the bands out there and seeing this happen with Hourglass at T-Bone Tom's was not only my hunch but something I hope more of us get to enjoy down the road... Cheers!

KEMAH PARADE & PATIO PARTY - Wrapping up the month was the annual Krewe Du Lac Kemah Parade with the kickoff party at Bakkhus Taverna. Samone Wilson, talented frontman for the Superstars recently moved to Missouri yet answered the call and pulling it together once again for the kickoff crowd. Needing a couple songs before refinding their groove, the band was mostly back to normal with their spicy Zydeco beat much to the delight of their merry monger following.

There was no key to the city at this year's parade but that didn't stop the faithful from celebrating the annual Kemah Parade throughout the lighthouse district. The route was a breeze to sail through this year and the post party a T-Bone Tom's with Luther and The Healers on the stage was ever worthy of our Over-The-Top mention -Thanks to all who came out and who were a part!

IT'S A WRAP - So far, the year of 2014 has been an outstanding period for many, including yours truly, to step forward into what will become the "new normal". Chatting with many of you readers out there, we've gotten to hear many of your stories, wish you the very best on your future endeavors and remind you to keep live music with you, it's simply good stuff... March Madness - Bring it on!!!
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