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August 18, 2010

Island Moon

PA 7

Three Cords Continued From PA 8 lister plays a variation of blue-eyed soul that few white boys can pull off. I would compare his style to that of Delbert McClinton, Doug Sahm or John Hiatt. Coming up from the blues, it’s easy to see his other influences, such as zydeco, gospel, funk, country and Tex-Mex that complete his make-up. His voice is strong, clear and in perfect pitch. His repertoire of all original material delivers a strong passion with an intensity of Wilson Pickett or Otis Redding...I’m not blowing smoke here, this guy is that good. This is high energy East Texas roots music at its best. Dust Devils The Dust Devils (Marble Falls, TX) will play the Back Porch on August 21st. I caught the nucleus of this Americana band, Kevin Higgins and Barbara Maltese, billed as the Dust Devils Duo earlier this month and was extremely impressed. Higgins’ lyrics are witty, insightful and funny. As a songwriter, I would easily compare him to the genius of such wordsmiths as James McMurtry, Adam Carroll or Slaid Cleves. He has a distinct command of words and wraps them around his songs as easily as taking a breath. Add the harmonies of keyboardist, Maltese, with the rest of this band and you have one top notched act, here. I definitely put this show on the DO NOT MISS list. Butch Morgan

Beltsander Races at the Gaff! It was close but Turbo Trout beat out Snotasa for the win at the regularly-held belt sander races at Gaff Speedway last week.

Claude “Butch” Morgan (San Antonio, TX) will play the Tarpon Ice House on August 21st. Hailing from Devine, TX, Butch has played with everyone from Doug Sahm and Augie Meyers to the late Jerry Waddell. Also, a mainstay at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Butch is legendary in San Antonio. He’s fronted many bands through the years such as the Buckboard Boogie Boys, The HIX and The Blast. To call the Reverend Butch a character is like calling Yosemite Sam a quaint little tike. Butch is funny and warm and can play the bejesus

Kevin Higgins and Barbara Maltese at the Back Porch August 12th.

out of a guitar. His songs speak of small town loyalties and big city tirades. His version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow will floor you. This will be a great show and the Ice House is the perfect venue to catch him at. I plan to spend this evening bouncing between the Porch and the Ice House and you should too. Transisterdale Transistordale (San Antonio, TX) will play the Tarpon Ice House on August 28th. Spawning from the ashes of one of S.A.’s most beloved funk bands, Dog Men Poets, Transisterdale has newly arrived on the scene with a fresh, new sound that I think is great. It’s got a blues meet country feel and a sexy smooth back beat somewhere between Chris Issac and Muddy Waters. Their groove is infectious and their witty original songs (penned by front man, Greg “Smiles” Layne) are nothing short of hilarious. Listen to the lyrics of Fat Girl (Swimming in the Water), Reynosa or Man in my Dumpster and you’ll be roaring all the way to the dance floor. I see big things in the future for these boys. Oh, by the way, they got the name of their band when they combined the bass player’s home town with the drummer’s fetish for radio towers. You gotta check this band out. They are truly original. And that’s the truth.


Island Moon

PA 8

Three Chords and the Truth By Ronnie Narmour ronnienarmour@gmail.com I’ve got a ton of stuff to tell you about, including some really great acts that are coming our way in the next two weeks. First, I want to give a shout out to my buddy Jessie in Port A who hit it big on a scratch-off last week and won $20,000. Let’s hear it for the good guys. Don’t you just love a success story. And now some sad news, renowned accordionist, Steve Jordan, died last Friday in San Antonio. Known as the Jimi Hendrix of accordion, Jordan’s flamboyant style was legendary. He will be missed. Let’s roll...

Bo Powell and Light House Rick.

Bo Powell “Light House” Rick Reichenbach called me up recently and told me that an old Fort Worth friend of his, Bo Powell, was in town and I probably needed to meet him. Powell was an old radio DJ with the country music station, KCUL, and was the announcer at the storied Panther Hall in Fort Worth in the 60’s. Light House Rick went on to tell me that Bo Powell was instrumental in helping to launch Willie Nelson’s career. Good enough for me...now you got my attention. Every time Light House Rick does this, I end up with a great story and this time was no exception. We met at the Flats Lounge and I brought my old friends Jim Beal (veteran music writer with the San Antonio Express-News) and his wife, Miss Neesie, with me. They were in town playing an Ear Food gig at the Back Porch and Jimmy wanted to meet Bo, too. When we got to The Flats, another old friend of Rick and Bo’s, Kathleen Moore (local mural artist), was also there and jumped in with us. This had more of the feel of a mutual admiration society meeting than an interview and the stories immediately started flying. My first thought was, “time to put your boots on... this is gonna get deep.”

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August 18, 2010

Tarpon Ice House

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(361) 749-BEER (2337)

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Happy Hour All Day Sun. Ladies Nite Every Wed. Aug. 27 Aug. 20 Transisterdal J.J. Henson Band Aug. 21 Stuart Burns & the 4 Minute Ride Aug. 28 Butch Morgan

Porter Wagner and Roy Orbison, to name just a few. With the help of Bo Powell, Willie Nelson’s name became one of the artists to make this historical list. Bo tells the story of how he first got Willie into Panther Hall. “I bet Corky (Kuykendall, the owner of Panther Hall) a pair of new Justin lizard boots that Willie could fill the place. This was in 1964 and the Justin Boot factory was in Fort Worth. Corky had never heard of Willie Nelson and didn’t think he would draw. So I put 50,000 watts to work and Willie was either singing it or wrote it. I won that pair of boots.”

Bo Porter/ Ear Food

What a great two weeks of live music on the Coastal Bend. The first weekend (August 6-7) was an absolute delight. I was treated to two fabulous shows in Port A. Bo Porter brought his swinging honky tonk band from Austin to the Tarpon Ice House for two nights and completely knocked our collective socks off. And, the nine piece rockin’ zydeco unit, Miss Neesie & the Ear Food Orchestra, made their annual sabbatical from San Antonio to the Back Porch complete with an entourage of thirty or so friends in tow that included I had a blast with Johnny Steve Silbas and Barbara Cash... Wolfe (owners of Casbeers Bo told us another story about when he was in West Miss Neesie and Ear Food with Hector Saldana at the Back Porch in S.A.) and Dawn Sahm (Doug’s daughter). Also, August 7th. Texas with Johnny Cash they brought a nice surprise once, many years ago. There along with them in the way was an old abandoned grain of Hector Saldana (Krayelevator that stuck out on the olas) who sat in on guitar all flat horizon and it annoyed night. Believe me, dancing Cash because it disturbed on the island was a bound his view of the terrain. Afand the fun level was off the ter a night of drinking, Cash charts. This was one party went to his car and pulled with legs and I had a blast. out a couple of sticks of dyThe In and Out Laws/ Al namite and blew the thing Barlow/ Sisters Morales up. Bo said that Cash had sworn him to secrecy but felt And, last weekend proved comfortable telling me the Bo Porter at the Tarpon Ice House August 6th. to be another great one, too. story now that Johnny had On Friday, I caught The In passed on. and Out Laws (San Antonio, TX) at the Porch. The But Willie, I’ve already got the money spent...

After leaving the Flats, Jim Beal and I were driving around Port A and were talking about this encounter we’d just had with Bo Powell and were trying to sort out a few of the details. Suddenly, Jim stopped the car and made a call to Johnny Bush who was Willie’s drummer back in those days. He put Johnny on the speaker phone and we He sang off key, but he sang pretty good... were treated to a couple of good Willie Nelson stories. I had read excerpts from Joe Nick Patoski’s biography He confirmed that Bo Powell was indeed instrumental in of Willie and his account of Nelson’s travels from Nash- helping to launch Willie’s career in the early days, was ville back to Fort Worth to record a live album at Pan- a good friend of the band and often traveled with them. ther Hall in1965, entitled Live Country Music Concert. Bush told us of one occasion when the band was on a Plus, Light House Rick filled in a lot of the blanks for 300 city tour that was sponsored by the Rayovac Batme since he was also around all of this at the same time. tery Company. They had just played a concert in Florida and were at a cockPanther Hall was tail party after the a two thousand cagig in which the pacity venue deep head of the comin the heart of Cowpany was there. town that also hostBush said that he ed a regular televiand Bo heard Wilsion broadcast on lie’s voice get loud channel 11, KVTV, and they walked every Saturday eveover just in time to ning called Cowhear Willie tell the town Jamboree. big cheese that he Willie eventually “could take every became a semi-regone of his Rayovac ular guest on the batteries and shove show thanks to Bo them straight up Powell. The prohis butt...one at a gram was hosted time.” Johnny said by local Fort Worth that he was countdisc jockeys of Willie Nelson live albumn at Panther Hall. ing on those 300 which Bo was one. dates and already As a radio DJ, Bo had started noticing that the name, W. Nelson, appeared in the songwriter credits on many of had the money spent. He asked Willie if there was any the records that he was playing by such artists as Ray way of still making it happen but the damage was alPrice, Patsy Cline, Faron Young and Johnny Bush and ready done. began to seek out Willie as a performer and recording A wave and a nod from an old friend... artist. This was at the time when Willie was living in Bo is now retired from his career in radio and from his Nashville and was scratching it out only as a songwritreal career with the railroad. He spends much of his time er. Bo was certainly one of the first Willie Nelson fans with his artwork now and is quite an accomplished artin Texas and was in a position to help his career. As Bo put it, “He sang off key but I still thought he sang pretty ist with pen and ink. He’s still a 1big country music fan, but now in his seventies, doesn’t get out to hear too many good.” live music shows anymore. Time has slowed him down. I won that pair of boots... Bo Powell is a super nice guy and a part of country muPanther Hall was known as one of the premier concert sic’s history in his small way. He doesn’t stay in touch with halls in Texas from 1963 to 1978 and regularly featured Willie either these days but did see him a few years ago at a such artists as Bob Wills, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, show at Gruene Hall and Willie gave him a wave and a nod Ernest Tubbs, Ray Price, Marty Robbins, Jerry Lee as Bo was leaving in the massive crowd. God bless you Bo Lewis, Lefty Frizzell, Hank Thompson, Dolly Parton, and thanks for introducing us all to Willie Nelson. I would imagine that wave and a nod came from Willie’s heart.

hooks bar bq & Grill

In and Out Laws put on an excellent performance of all original material that I’d say sounds like a cross between George Jones and Raul Malo. I was really impressed with the lead singer, Gordon Waid’s, vocal abilities. I “get it” with these guys but I’m not sure the rest of the crowd at the Porch did. They aren’t main stream but I think this band rocks. On Saturday night, Al Barlow

brought his pal, Michael Waid, from New Braunfel with him to the Ice House and put on his patent show. It’s always a treat to see a performance by the happiest song-

Sisters Morales at the Back Porch August 14th.

writer on the planet... especially on his birthday. Also Saturday, the Sisters Morales (San Antonio, TX) played the Porch and gave us all a lesson in vocal harmonies. The sisters, Lisa and Roberta Morales, are blessed with voices that only angels possess. And guitar monster, David Spencer, was predictably on fire, as well. That guy can play anything with strings, I swear. They’ll be back to play the Porch for Labor Day weekend.

Al Barlow at the Tarpon Ice House August 14th.

DO NOT MISS LIST: Randy McAllister Grammy nominee, Randy McAllister (Novice, TX), will play the Back Porch on August 20th. Seldom do you find a drummer fronting a band and even more seldom do you find that drummer with the talent that soulman, Randy McAllister, embraces. The only one I know of is Doyle Bramhall and he’s now far away in Alpine. McAlThe In and Out Laws at the Back Porch August 13th.

Three Cords / Do Not Miss List Continued PA 7

Live Music Tonight

Wednesday, Aug. 18th

Open Mic w/ Reverend Fred @ House of Rock

Thursday, Aug. 26th

Cowboys from Hell Paso @ Brewster Street Equal People@ Scuttlebutt’s

Cody Angel @ Back Porch

Thursday, Aug. 19th

Stuart Michael Burns @ Tarpon Ice House

Jerry Diaz & Tequila-rita-ville @ Back Porch Stuart Michael Burns @ Tarpon Ice House The Chop Tops, Spoiled Royals, Cavegirl @ House of Rock Jon Cortez @ Executive Surf Club Bart Crow Band @ Brewster Street Havana Daydream @ Hooks Bar-B-Q Nathan Strubhart@ Scuttlebutt’s

Friday, Aug. 20th Mike Williams @ The Bangkok Star

South Texas Band Review @ House of Rock Aaron Einhouse @ Executive Surf Club Walt Wilkins, Bruce Robinson @ Brewster Street Dave “Bottlehead” Miller @ Hooks Bar-B-Q Nathan Strubhart@ Scuttlebutt’s

Friday, Aug. 27th Mike Blakely y los Yahoos @ Back Porch Ray T & the City Crew @ The Flats Lounge Mike Williams @ The Bangkok Star Heroin, Rough Edge @ House of Rock

Randy McAllister @ Back Porch Ray T & the City Crew @ The Flats Lounge

Cody Johnson Band @ Executive Surf Club

Synchronicity @ House of Rock Max Stalling @ Executive Surf Club Another Level @ Brewster Street Richard Lockhart @ Hooks Bar-B-Q J.J. Henson Band @ Tarpon Ice House Justin Estes@ Scuttlebutt’s

Saturday, Aug. 21st

Five Card Draw @ Brewster Street

BACK PORCH

Transisterdale @ Tarpon Ice House Justin Estes@ Scuttlebutt’s Emily @ Hook’s Bar-B-Q

Saturday Sept. 4 LARRY JOE TAYLOR

Mike Williams @ The Bangkok Star Dust Devils @ Back Porch Hanna’s Reef @ Brewster Street

Saturday, Aug. 28th Darryl Lee Rush @ Back Porch Goodnight Avenue @ Executive Surf Club

Metal Shop@ Brewster Street Mike Williams @ The Bangkok Star Crush Girls @ House of Rock

Butch Morgan @ Tarpon Ice House

Two Rivers Trio @ Hooks Bar-B-Q

TBA @ Hooks Bar-B-Q

Carlos and the Groove @ The Flats

Lyrical Bynge @ The Flats Blake Sparks@ Scuttlebutt’s

Sunday, Aug. 22nd

722 TARPON (361)749.FOOD

sas

Stuart Burns & the Four Minute Mile @ Tarpon Ice House Equal People@ Scuttlebutt’s

Sunday, Aug. 29th

Victims of Circumstance @ Hooks Bar-B-Q Mike Williams @ The Bangkok Star Jason Phillips@ Scuttlebutt’s

Mike Williams @ The Bangkok Star Two Rivers Trio @ Hooks Bar-B-Q

Tuesday, Aug. 31st

Tuesday, Aug. 24th Open Jam w/ Van Blize @ Tarpon Ice House

Open Mic w/ Reverend Fred @ House of Rock

The Gaff Beer ● Pizza ● Belt Sander Races (361) 749-5970

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