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October 2019 VOL.8 ISS.7 #91

314 E AVENUE G, PORT ARANSAS 361-290-7143






STEAM Magazine is published monthly by STEAM Magazine, South Texas Entertainment Art Music, in Corpus Christi, TX. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Views expressed within are solely the authors and not of STEAM Magazine. Typographical, photographic, and printing errors are unintentional and subject to correction. Please direct all inquiries to:




UPTIGHT, WORKED UP, & EDGY J. Michael Dolan Every single day, a plan, a plot, a project, a scheme or a great idea screams to be on the front burner: A song that needs to be recorded. A video that needs to be shot. A business deal that needs a push. A website that needs to be built or updated. A relationship that needs to be dealt with.

Important because sometimes our best-laid plans work out, far beyond our expectations. Other times they fall apart and fade away. That’s the nature of a creative, independent lifestyle. However, truth be told, it’s all those big plans, worthy projects and bright ideas that we’re NOT doing that continue to keep us uptight, worked up and edgy .

J. Michael Dolan We all have access to the same tools; the same Mac, the same production software, the same Internet, the same smart phones & Pads, the same cameras, guitars, keyboards and drums. And if we don’t own the tools, we can often beg, borrow, steal or rent them. And ultimately, with enough talent and expertise, a creative artist or entrepreneur will skillfully use those tools to build something worthwhile; a song, a movie, a painting, a book, a script, an app, a start-up, a small biz or a big Corp. However, before talent or skill, before innovation or invention, even before creativity, there is a vision. You see or hear something (within), that you believe is obvious, worthwhile and possible— often it’s only a “fleeting glimpse” but it’s enough to arouse an eager Muse. Then you proceed to skillfully and masterfully use the tools to manifest that vision in the world.

Important because most have the tools, some have the talent to use them, but few have the vision to create something that matters. Without a vision for something new, we’re just repeating what’s already been done before. Without a vision for something original, we’ll use the tools to simply build to code. Without a vision for something unprecedented, I’m afraid we’re left with the same ol’, same ol’.

SEARCHING FOR TRUTH J. Michael Dolan Most of us artists & treps are always searching for deeper truth and honesty wherever we can find it. Not only from our leaders, but also from our staff, bandmates, partners, agents, managers, advisors, reps, etc. That said, here’s the only method that works for me: Gather the info, expel the gossip, research the facts, analyze the data, poke the evidence and explore all the possibilities. Then discuss the outcome with a trusted cohort, advisor or knowledge expert. Debate the downside, dispute the upside, argue your point and consider all POV. Then go inside. Take the knowledge you’ve acquired, right into your private time, thought process, daily meditation or whatever methods of personal solitude you choose and simply “contemplate.” Let the noise dial down, as your inner wisdom bubbles up. Ask yourself if you’re willing to accept the truth even if you don’t agree with it. Allow your intuition to enlighten you, nudge you, tug you, pull you, sway you and lead you toward your own “deep truth.” Then take the requisite action to make those tough, risky, ambitious decisions with confidence, clarity and wisdom. Not out of confusion, or frustration, or because others say so. But rather out of your own intelligent research and your own deep truth. Repeat this process in your art, your job, your business, your personal life and with all your big goals and impossible dreams. Important because when you mix intelligent research with deep truth it always points to the choice you should be making and the path you should be taking . STEAMMAGAZINE.NET OCTOBER 2019 STEAM MAGAZINE


When the band Alice Cooper released KILLER, their fourth album, Vincent Furnier, their singer and cofounder was already in the process of exploiting his stage persona as the one and only Alice. Vince’s Alice character would go on to thrive and survive 50 years later. This band wrote the book on rock and roll theatrics. Before Alice Cooper, where else could you see a rock singer tortured, electrocuted and beheaded? It was labeled “Shock Rock” and Alice was the Godfather. But playing a character on stage and delivering hard-edged rock with quality musicianship don’t always go hand in hand. That wasn’t the case here. Alice Cooper, the band, delivered the goods, both on stage and in the studio. Original members Glen Buxton and Michael Bruce on guitars, Dennis Dunaway on bass, and Neil Smith on drums, along with Vince/Alice’s vocals, and with guidance from producer Bob Ezra and management guru Shep Gordon, would take rock and roll to new levels while racking up a bunch of hits in the process. All eight tracks here were written by the band. “Under My Wheels” sets a hard-rocking, take no prisoners


mood that lasts for the entire album. “You Drive Me Nervous,” “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” and the rowdy title track all stand tall as hard driving rock. Heading into the dark side was becoming Alice’s trademark. Songs like the dramatic “Halo of Flies” and the wonderfully weird “Dead Babies” certainly helped contribute to that image. KILLER is the perfect audio snapshot of this remarkable band, and also pointed to the direction rock and roll music was taking. Need a reminder? Give a listen to Michal Bruce’s autobiographical “Be My Lover.” If you have to ask why the singer’s name is Alice, then you really wouldn’t understand.

Talking Heads officially played their first gig at the New York’s renowned East Village punk Mecca, CBGB’s in 1975. By 1979, David Byrne, Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz had formed a critically successful collaboration with multi-talented producer, Brian Eno and had released two albums that helped shift rock music towards a new and different direction. David Byrne’s songwriting and singing had established him as the creative force in Talking Heads, and beyond into his vast solo career. Starting off with the energized African beat of “I Zimbra,” and on through the entire album,

his influence is everywhere. His observational, sometimes surreal lyrics on songs with titles like “Air,” “Animals” and “Cities” set a scene with unconventional, yet spot on, musical accompaniment. There’s seems to be a running theme woven in about technology gone mad. “Heaven” has a smooth groove along with some great word play. “Electric Guitar” does nothing to glamorize the instrument, while “Drugs” closes the album with a dark, dirge-like look inside the mind of a guy who’s there. Bassist Weymouth and Drummer Franz married in 1977, and along with Harrison on bass, released one album without Byrne after he departed in 1991. Talking Heads haven’t played together since their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, and there are apparently some ill feelings among Byrne and the others that make it unlikely that there’ll be another reunion. The mysteriously sparse, three dimensional cover graphics on FEAR OF MUSIC are as minimal as the music inside, and yet another example of the lost art form of album cover art. You won’t get that from your streaming service. If you only have time for one track, it ain’t no party without “Life During Wartime”.


When you think of steel pan drums, it’s hard not to pigeon hole them into AfroCuban sounds and images of the Caribbean. With SHADES OF BLUE, Austinite, John Skoczen goes a long way in busting up any preconceived ideas of what this instrument is about. “Afro Blue” demonstrates Skoczen’s skills right off with a percussive tropical drum beat before falling into a jazzy groove that invites the listener in. The steel drums are at home on every track. “Samba de Orfeu” has that familiar Latin feel, but the jazzy groove is never too far away. “Angel Eyes (for Shelly)” follows with a slow, elegant blues that would be at home in any cocktail lounge in the world.

“Chitlins Con Carne” h a s a M e mp h i s Stax/Volt feel that Booker T. & the M.G.’s could’ve easily handled. Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man” is given pure jazz treatment and is a standout track, as is the classic Henry Mancini tune, “The Days of Wine and Roses.” “Flamingo” closes things out with a mellow tropical jazz groove that sails into the sunset. Besides steel pan drums, Skoczen also handles marimba and all other drums and percussion. But a lot of credit must also be given to Mike Short on bass and Sam Pannunzio on keyboards. All the band members compliment and support each other from start to finish. Just like other genre bending artists, John Skoczen brings vitality and excitement to an unlikely instrument and that’s what you get with SHADES OF BLUE. Editor’s Note: We Featured John Skoczen in STEAM Magazine’s July 2019 (Volume 8, Issue 4, #88).

TÜN MERCURY RETROGRADE (SELF-RELEASE) BY RICK J BOWEN When likeminded souls come together and fuse their talents and ideas into a focused common message that is when they move from being a group of players to being “a band.” The members of south Seattle five piece TÜN have been working together for years in other projects, finally sharpened their direction, and came together to record Mercury Retrograde released this past April. The nine song collection of all original tracks is mixture of dance floor ready poppin’ funk, gritty blues rock and scorching hot neo-soul. Keyboardist and vocalist


Chris Cootsona leads the band that features powerhouse lead vocalist and lyricist, Chicago born Lauren Santi, along with guitarist Nick Fair, Will Bagby on drums, and Bill DeHart on bass. The funky love song “Magic” opens the set followed by shifting modern blues about Santi’s hometown “Cicero” that features some groovy drumming and piano work. Flair opens with some howling guitar before Santi get down and dirty on the gritty “Lonesome Road.” Cootsma takes over lead vocals and does his best Adam Levine for “Match Like You” and Santi takes us to church on the lovely Gospel fueled ballad “Water Bearer.” TUN then blends old school and new school on the clavinet driven “Trouble,” the dynamic nod to Diana Ross’ “Invincible,” and a call out to “Move Your Body,” on the dance floor anthem “Filthy Fifth.” The set ends sweetly with the mid temp neosoul of “Fade Away,” allowing each player to shine one more time. Titling their debut Mercury Retrograde must certainly be a tongue in cheek contradiction for TÜN is certainly moving in a forward direction with this harmonious release. .

BELLFLOWER CHANGES ON THE WAY (SELF-RELEASE) BY MIKE J ELLIOTT BellflowerThere was a time, not so long ago – the 1970s to be precise – when rock music all fell under one umbrella. It was the days before “classic rock,” when rock radio was known as “album-oriented rock,” or AOR. These stations were right at home playing progressive rock, hard rock, pop-rock, or countryrock, whereas now, all the hyphens are separated and compartmentalized into different subgenres and, in the case of satellite radio especially, different stations altogether. Listening to Changes on the Way, the debut album from North Carolina’s Bellflower, it sounds like the ’70s never went away; not in the form of calculated nostalgia, but because the music doesn’t concern itself with labels. It’s rock music, and that’s enough: it doesn’t care what hyphen you put on it, as long as you put it on. Bellflower has been kicking around the music mecca of Chapel Hill, NC for close to a decade, building a following and honing their craft. On their debut, their sound is fully-formed from the start: the breezy title track glides along jangling acoustic guitar and subtle organ, under lead singer Natasha Wilson’s confident, soul-drenched vocals. Guitarist Franklin Bellflower proves he can be understated (as in the song’s latter-day Claptonesque first solo) but can cut loose when needed (as on the second). Wilson and Bellflower handle all the songwriting, with the exception of the prog-leaning “Looking for the One,” written by nimble bassist David Criswell. The nocturnal, quiet storm of “Feeling You,” guided

by a seductive vocal performance by Wilson, is propelled by percussionist Cindy Jones and drummer Jeffrey Lindsey with fantastic guitar work from Bellflower; while the lite-funk of “Candy Crunch” gets its power from Sam Davis-Castro’s keys and Criswell’s bass. Other highlights include the epic ballad, “What Is Love;” the ferocious “Fire to the Feast,” which features the album’s best performance from Wilson; and the country-rock / Americana of “Kind of Like Jolene,” the catchiest song here – the melody will stay with you long after the music stops. Changes on the Way is a solid debut from a group that truly enjoys what they do, and that’s what it’s ultimately all about. Bellflower seems ready and able to bring their ’70s AOR sensibilities into the streaming age for a whole new generation, hyphen-free. BELLFLOWERBAND.COM MIKE J ELLIOTT: MIKEJELLIOTT.WORDPRESS.COM & WRITERMIKEELLIOTT.CONTENTLY.COM




By Tamma Hicks, STEAM Magazine | Curtesy Photos

ShenShen210’s artistic style is all her own. She initially made a name for herself as San Francisco Bay Area’s first female graffiti artist in the 80’s. After her apprenticeship under John Pugh, she received a formal education in art at the Illustration Academy in Kansas City, studying under Mark English and Fred Otnes. :Shen:’s art evolved from spray cans to airbrush, to mixed media and her work can now be found around the world. Highlights of her career include commissioned works for icons such as Carroll Shelby, Jack Nicholson, Liza Minelli, Don Cheadle and William H. Macy. She has also been a featured artist for NYC Comic Con and the San Jose Museum of Art. Since :Shen: recent move to Spring Texas she has begun a World Wide Mural project under the title StreetArtEvangelism including a brand new mural on FM 1960 in Houston. :Shen:’s first Texas solo show artist reception is October 15th at Lone Star College in Tomball. We chatted with :Shen: about being documented as the first female graffiti artist on the West Coast and her new Mural project. How did you get into graffiti? I was in my junior year of high school and I met boys that were doing it. I loved art and I thought it was cool and I wanted to do something cool and different and edgy.

For The Love of Pop! ShenShen210’s First Texas Solo Exhibit Sept 18-Oct28, 2019 Artist Reception October 15th 6-9pm Lone Star College 30555 Tomball Pkwy, Tomball, TX 77375

The Air That I Breathe (Self Portrait) ShenShen210 in her studio Willie Nelson Marilyn Monroe

Well you picked a really good one. When I think of graffiti, especially in the 80s and 90s, I think of not refined but kind of out there art, because it was such a rebellious thing to do. How did you learn to make it creative and be sneaky? I would develop a sketch before I went out and I would sketch that on the walls. I always had a plan. It wasn't just my name written on the walls, it was full color productions; that’s what they were called. I would spend usually a minimum of two hours on a piece. We would often get walls donated to us by private citizens who owned convenience stores and such and let us do a mural. We would even get paid. My first group graffiti experience was through the San Jose Museum of Art. They offered a Street Art Class, so I met boys from all over the area; I was the only girl. Together we would go out and travel all over the San Francisco Bay area doing work and the museum would provide the supplies, sometimes they would find us walls to use. It was a really great program and I would love to be involved in something like that in the future. That's a really neat thing. You're doing an event on October 15th at Lone Star College in Tomball (Houston) to kick off your World Wide Mural project. Tell me a little more about what you’re doing. StreetArtEvangelism is a movement that we've started and through it we’ll be painting murals around the world. Our mission is simple: Painting Love across this World. In September I just did a StreetArtEvangelism mural at Todd Country High School on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Now I'm getting ready to paint a mural on FM 1960 to be my first mural in Texas. This mural is going to be speaking of something very important to me, Life. It was insisted to me that I get an abortion when I was 17, which I did, and since then


Chief Joseph | Clint Eastwood John Wayne | Jimi Hendrix Continued from Page 9 I've had five miscarriages and two baby girls, who are now 8 and 10. The most important thing in the world to me, other than Jesus, is my two baby girls. Together my husband and I have 8 children and 4 grandchildren and they just bring so much value to my life. There are special needs kids and adopted kids in that mix, and they're just everything to me. My working title for this mural is Cherish Life.

the San Francisco area, but he went on to say I was the first girl on the entire West Coast. That is amazing! I know. After 35 years, I’d even wondered if I could say that about the whole bay area even though my friends told me so; but for him to say that, this many years later about the entire West Coast, is just an amazing statement to hear!

Congratulations on all your kiddos and your family sounds wonderful! It really is. It's a beautiful mess.

That is a huge statement. I never thought that graffiti was a gender specific thing. I thought, probably from watching movies and TV shows, that males and females did this art genre.

Do you have places already planned or do you take applications from groups asking you to come to their area and do this? We are open to application. We love people to submit recommendations where we should paint murals. We have some ideas in mind of places we would like to go and areas that have touched us in the past, but we are open. You say "we". Is StreetArtEvangelism a group of people or you and the people that help you? It depends. I would direct the project and depending on certain projects I have a number of friends who are artists that I can bring on. So after Texas, where else? You are in New York now, are you doing a mural there? No. I was invited to a private graffiti art event. James Prigoff and Henry Chalfant were the first authors to document graffiti art back in the 80s; the book, Spray Can Art, has now sold 250,000 copies. I had met them just as the book went to print so my work didn't get in it, but they did document it. I was thinking I was the only girl artist in


I didn't know that. I just was doing what I loved is really what it comes down to, and I now have been given this opportunity. I had a decade where I lived in Colorado, six years of which was in Vale. I was just at a show in Telluride. I have one gallery that I'm trying to stay active with there, and I just had a fantastic show with my rock 'n' roll work. Is there one aspect of your work that you like more than the other? I like the more creative work. There's a selfportrait that I'm really excited about. It has some symbolism in it, a lot of truth, and it really represents me just really being able to embrace who I am at this time; at my 50th birthday. The title of the portrait is The Air That I Breath. Do you have any galleries here in Texas showing your work yet? At the moment I am independent, so I can be reached directly through ShenStudiocom,, and ShenShen210.

By Tamma Hicks, STEAM Magazine

Brooke Graham is a 6th generation Texan that is gaining recognition as one of the new and upcoming Texas singer/songwriters. Not only does she capture the views and attitude of a southern, home-grown woman, but also draws on her organic, agricultural roots in her lyrical style and musical moods. Brooke's 2013 debut album, Pedigree, landed her a nomination for 2014 Female Vocalist of the Year by the Academy Of Texas Country Music at the Texas Music Awards. It wasn't long after, not only did Texas Radio support this record, international attention and airplay soon followed. With the release of Look At The Moon and she has since spent many, many weeks in the number one position on the Trop Rock Top 40. Speaking of her roots, Brooke’s musical and writing roots run deep. She grew up in a musical family and began playing guitar with her dad at the age of 6. Her mom was a high school English teacher who influenced her love of literature and writing bringing uniqueness to her writing style. We sat down with Brooke to talk about her music and being on the top of the charts. Wow, 6th generation Texan! Are you in the same area that your family came to? And a guess here – you’ve got a lot of German ancestors? All of my great-great-grandparents on my dad's side are from where I live now. My parents are from here and back then, there were probably 300 something people in the town, so it’s a “she's the cheerleader and he's the quarterback” type of thing. My mom's family doesn't go back generations here but my dad’s does and we are German and a little bit of Irish. I think some Scottish is mixed and there too.

That would explain why you were on the Scottish radio stations there. That was just good luck. How did you develop into Trop Rock? When I released my second album, Look At The Moon (2017). One of the tracks is called Me Time and I sent it to a friend of mine, singer-songwriter Rick Hoefel, because it's kind of reggae and asked him what he thought about it. He said I had to get it to Florida! The next three songs I released went to number one also. That is really awesome! Thank you. Me Time actually got song of the year for 2018 in Florida. It set a record for holding the longest at number one. I've set a couple of records for them and I feel like I'm bragging but I’m not. I'm just as surprised as anybody. Now your first album, Pedigree, is Texas Country. Yes, Texas Country and Americana. It's really weird how the whole thing got started. My mom was turning 60 and for her birthday she asked for me to record some little songs that I wrote. I called a buddy and his studio wasn’t ready so he made some phone calls and got me a studio. I called mom and told her it was going to be a little delayed because the guys at the studio thought the songs were worth recording. Before I knew it I had Lloyd Manes on my first album and he played most of the instrumentation to every song! Fast forward to the final day we were recording percussion, and my mom passed away so she never heard it. Two months later I was nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year by the Academy of Texas Country Music. I never even considered I would be doing this. I was doing a little CD for Mom and word got out. That's the whole story.

Were you just playing around town and not really taking your music seriously? I was playing with a buddy and we’d book a place in Fort Worth. We had a duo called Rich & Rare and we would just do it for fun. I have played guitar alongside my dad since I was six. I’d sat and listened to him play Jimmy Buffett songs until the wee hours of the morning. Then I started writing some songs but I never thought that they would ever be played on the radio; they were my little personal stories.

what is the Annual Meeting of the Minds? It's a Jimmy Buffett-Parrot Head annual family reunion-type thing and they have an awards show. We went last year and it's a lot of fun. And you also have the Wimberley Valley Radio Show? Yes, I'm excited about that one. I’ll play three or four songs live and we’ll talk. I love doing radio shows.

Tell me about your annual beach party Are you working on the new album now? in Port Aransas. It’s in July, right? I am. After Look At The Moon came out and Yes, the last weekend of July. When I first the Me Time success in Florida, I was like I started it three years ago, I called my fans need to write some more tropical type songs, Little Sharkeys. It stuck and they love it. It so I hunkered down and wrote. Salty Situaall got started because I wanted to do a little tion was the next one I released and it quickly thing where we all could go down to the went to number one and stayed for quite a beach and the first one was right before while. Then came Double Rum and it stayed Hurricane Harvey. We had 100 to 150 peoat number 1 for a while. I released Hey Friend ple come and in the end, everybody walked just a few months ago and it went to number away saying that was the most fun they've one and stayed a few weeks. I'm gradually had in a long time! Our friends and fan base compiling my third alall seem to have the same bum with all the singles I Me Time actually got song of the heart and when you put release. Nowadays, if that many people togethyear for 2018 in Florida. It set a you're not ready for the er so many friendships whole album, and people record for holding the longest at are made. Friday night is are typically buying sinnumber one. the bonfire from like 6 to gles off their phones 10 and everybody is out anyway, you piece your album together. there with their beach carts, chairs, and guiWhen you get 8 or 10 songs, you have an tars. Saturday day we had the beach bash album. which is a Sandcastle contest, tug-of-war contest, and the beer belly contest. Then we And they are all hits because you've alend at the Gaffe on Saturday night with a ready had them released. Remember show. On Sunday we sit back and go "Thank back when you had to buy you, God! That was fun!" the whole album to get that one song? After Harvey happened, I thought we are Exactly, but that's back in the day when definitely doing that again because if Port A musicians were making money, dang it. Anyis ready, I want to support them, so we one can be a star now on Facebook or Instagram. I don't think that's very fair personally. I agree. I was looking at your schedule,

Continued on Page 18


By Tamma Hicks, STEAM Magazine

C-—Fest! October 27th, 4-9 pm Briscoe King Pavilion Padre Bali Park 15820 Park Rd 22, CC TX 78418

Get Your Tickets Soon! Email - & Messenger— Chefs of the Coastal Bend ACF TCA

What do you have instore for us this time? Lots! C-Fest this is going to be nine courses of seafood prepared by chefs from all over Texas, but this time we're working with the Texas State Aquarium and Texas Sea Grant and Texas A&M-CC. C-Fest is being held at the Briscoe King Pavilion in Padre Bali Park, just behind Bob Hall Pier. Lazy Beach Brewery will be there again as well as a full bar. Guest speakers will be from the G.U.L.F. Restaurant Partnership Program, Sea Grant Texas, Gulf Wild, Go Texan, and the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders Alliance. We’re currently looking for representatives from local companies of sportswear and fishing gear and accessories to talk about fishing and possibly demo some of their gear. We're also going to do the hot dog challenge again. I love it; dinner and education! Are the chefs coming from all over the state or just the Corpus Christi area? The chefs are all members of the TCA and we reached out from Dallas all the way to Rio Grande Valley, so we won’t know exactly who or how many will be here until probably a couple of days before the event. Can you give me a hint as to what type of seafood we're going to be looking at? It's going to be everything. Fish, shrimp, crab, flatfish, oysters and clams. Yum! I know last time that there were a

limited number of seats which sold out. How many seats are available for the CFest and how much are tickets? We’ve got 150 seats available and tickets are $100 per person. This event is a fundraiser for the Chefs of the Coastal Bend chapter’s Michael Stephans Educational Fund. The Fund started in May of this year and has sent 6 students along with 12 pro chefs to the State Conference for Continuing Education and Competition. Through the Fund we have given to more than a dozen student chefs’ membership scholarships, assisted with books and tuition, assisted pro chefs with continuing education and certification, as well as given hardship funds to several chefs in the community and state through the TCA Chefs Relief fund. The CCB chapter has grown by more than 30% over the last year becoming the third largest in the state. That’s really wonderful! Do you have to be in school or a professional chef to be a member? No, there is an Enthusiast Membership that's just $25 year and we’ll have applications at the event.

Event Sponsors (as of 9/26/19): Chefs of the Coastal Bend Lazy Beach Brewery Steam Magazine Seafood Valet and Triton Sea Products Prestige Oysters Katies Seafood and Gulf Wild Sea Grant Texas G.U.L.F. Restaurant Partnership Corpus Fusion Ben E. Keith Foodservice Hill Country Dairy Corpus Christi Produce Omni Hotel and Resort Corpus Christi Yacht Club


then we bought three of the Butterkrust bread trucks and fitted them with our coolers. People now have no idea what hot is until you ride or sit in a bread truck with no air conditioning. I can relate a little, the AC in our car has gone out. Yeah, day in and day out. Hot. Anyway, I used a big weighing scale and a calculator. When we’d go out to the island was a Greek restaurant, Georges, and that’s where we’d park. We would close up late, like 9 or 10, and we’d go I to eat there. The years started to go by, we had Paul Jr, and when he was about 12 he started working with his dad in the trucks. And he learned.

By Tamma Hicks, STEAM Magazine

We’ve lived in Corpus Christi for close to 9 years and I can’t tell you how many times I have driven by or stopped at Paul’s Seafood Market on the east side of South Padre Island Drive, just before Flour Bluff Drive. In fact I thought the store had been there for decades, but it turns out it hasn’t been here much longer than I have. Paul’s has been selling fresh seafood around the Coastal Bend since the early 1970s. They have two locations (Flour Bluff ad Port Aransas) and both are painted bright yellow so you can’t miss it. Paul’s recently begun selling wholesale to local restaurants. Paul’s Seafood Market has great reputation for fresh seafood and a friendly knowledgeable staff. Before the store Paul’s was operated out of trucks and way before that out of a brown, 2 door Pontiac. For those of you who remember when Paul and Alicia Stamatakis sold shrimp from the back of their car in the early 1970’s, then you have a great memory. For the rest of us this is how Paul’s Seafood Market came to be, as told by Alicia with the help of her brother Roger and Paul Jr. My husband Paul Sr and I started the business. We started out on Paul Jones Road next to where the Holiday Inn was, right by

where the Motel 6 is now. Paul and I were married in 1974. In 1976 we had a nanny taking care of our son, Tom. This is before there was a highway; South Padre Island Drive was just a road back then. And North Padre Island was just a beautiful sandy beach; no businesses, no houses. That would be a sight to see. It was. And there used to a lot of vendors up and down the road. My brother Roger would stand along the road in front of our 2-door brown Pontiac waving a sign that said SHRIMP. We would call my husband, who had a shrimp boat, to bring us more. But we started in the car. I’m trying to figure out how you could make a 2-door work for this. Did you modify it? Oh yes. We took the back seat out so we could put the coolers in, so when I opened the trunk I could get shrimp out of the cooler and that’s

where we kept the scale and our chairs. Two ice chests, 50 pounds with ice and water in each. Raining, cold, winter, hottest of hot summers we’d shove our hands in to get the shrimp. And then my husband bought pickup trucks and built plywood walls and roof. We did that for a little while, but had to change the wood for screens because the health department came in. We were still parking next to the Holiday on Paul Jones when they began building the highway over Oso Bay. We were selling medium sized Shrimp for $2 a pound or 3 pounds for $5. Wow, my family would have loved that! After they finished the Oso Bridge, Paul moved the truck to the carwash parking lot and then when the Causeway was completed, he took the trucks to the island. We used the pickups with screens for quite a while and

Halfway Home by Morning featured a slew of pre-

Award-winning Canadian soul-bluesman Matt Andersen was a special guest on the summer tour of superstars Steve Miller and Marty Stuart. They traveled more than 20,000 miles around the US while on tour with his heroes. This was in addition to his continuing solo dates as his international itinerary spanned across the US, UK, Europe and Canada, in support of his latest album release, Halfway Home by Morning (True North Records). The 13song album recorded in Nashville, TN deftly captures the Canadian-native’s long-signature and internationally-celebrated sound: sweat-soaked soul meets incendiary rhythm and blues, with full doses of heartsick folk and Americana grit mixed in for good measure.

released singles, including “Free Man” and “Quarter on the Ground,” which have garnered 120,000+ streams on Spotify alone and numerous radio ads for “Free Man." The most recent singles included “Something to Lose,” (featuring Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Amy Helm) and “Better than You Want.” “When it came time to select songs for the new album I knew I wanted this song and that I wanted to sing it with Amy,” Andersen says of “Something to Lose.” “Amy and I have been trying for a long time for the opportunity to write together. We ended being on a tour together and found ourselves with a day off and sat down to tackle a tune. It ended up being the last song we recorded for the album and it was definitely one of the highlights of my time in the studio. I’ll sing with Amy any time I can. She’s the real thing and always brings her own genuine and infectious joy into the room and into any song,” Andersen continues. “For the video, we had an easy and relaxed day at the Henhouse Studio in Nashville with my producer, Steve Dawson, and the band,” Andersen says of the video. “I could have sung this song all day. I really like the stripped down vibe we had on these takes. Being able to sit across from and just sing into the open air with no headphones or monitors was as real as it gets. I love that we caught that moment,” Andersen says. With over 18 million views on YouTube and nearly two

Well, I’d say he learned very well. It was my husband’s dream to open a shop like this one. He died in 1996, when he was coming from Aransas Pass to Port Aransas. He was diabetic and he fell asleep and rolled the truck. Yes, he had a diabetic attack and fell asleep. And we had a shrimp truck on the island, the Butterkrust kind, and Paul Jr and I saw the ambulance head down 361. And that was for him. Oh my gosh, that’s terrible. Yes, and Paul Jr took over the business when he was 16, but my husband and I started the business, and my brother Roger was my helper. We started from a car. We used to park on the corner of Weber and Saratoga before the bank was built. We also used to go to Alamo City to the flea markets. Was it only shrimp you sold? Oh no, we sold fish and we’d scale them and cut off the heads. Same with the shrimp, we’d clean them up and we didn’t charge extra for that either. My brother would cut them 5 pounds, 10 pounds, even fifty; whatever the customer wanted. We sold crabs for 50 cents apiece. There were hard times for sure, but we made it. Pretty remarkable, especially since you have customers that still remember buying from you out of the car. That’s a great reputation!

See Paul’s Seafood Market ad on Page 2!

decades into his storied career, Andersen’s roomshaking, heart-quaking voice has won him countless awards, including two European Blues Awards, seven Maple Blues Awards, and an International Blues Challenge. With a staggering voice that is at intervals vulnerable and mighty, Andersen sings of love, loss, longing for home, and finding out about “the nails that hung (his) heroes to their crosses.” The songs are honest; they reflect the musings of a blue-collar kid trying to make sense of the wider world as he rolls through another town in an endless stretch of nightly gigs. His dedication to the road earned him the unique CIMA Road Gold certification. Andersen is a singer of Herculean talent, a songwriter who isn’t afraid of introspection, and a guitarist with “the confidence of a fighter in his prime.” All of those facets of his artistry are on full display in his newest offering Halfway Home by Morning.


ittle Joe Y La Familia is one of the most popular Tex-Mex bands in the music industry. Little Joe has celebrated over 60 years in entertainment. He has been described as the "King of the Brown Sound" and helped to pioneer Tejano music (a mix of traditional "norteno" music and country, blues and rock styles). ittle Joe was born in a one room dirt floor shack in Temple, Texas on October 17, 1940 and is the seventh child of thirteen. While working as a young migrant worker in the cotton fields of Texas in 1953, Joeʼs cousin, David Coronado, for the band “David Coronado & The Latinaires”, recruited Joe on guitar. He played his first paying performance was for $5 in 1955 and realized that picking guitar beat picking cotton and he could actually get paid for it. ixty years and many albums later, Joe still continues touring the world, trailblazing, looking forward to new challenges, breaking down cultural and musical barriers and involving his musical style. Little Joe is an 11 time Grammy Nominated artist and 5 time Grammy Recipient. His has set records for audience sizes including his first performance at Fiesta Broadway in Los Angeles, CA with a record crowd of 400,000 in 1990 and returned in 1991 to a new crowd record of 500,000. ittle Joe’s community service and activism have garnished him with humanitarian awards while his causes range from immigration rights, education rights, to diabetes and obesity prevention. Little Joe & La Familia has been invited by the Smithsonian Institute on several occasions to perform on the grounds of the National Museum of American History during National Hispanic Heritage Week. In addition to his performances, he was asked to conduct a work-

shop on Tex-Mex Music for students from all over the world. The workshop was videotaped and now is part of the Smithsonian Educational Catalog. For all of his hard work and commitment to the Smithsonian Institute, they awarded him the Lifetime Legend Award, 2001. e sat down with Joe and talked about his community spirit and his drive to motivate and inspire others, how he’s celebrating his 79th birthday, and his next record and soon to be published book. was so excited when my friends told us you were going to be in Corpus Christi and that it's your 79th birthday. Happy birthday! Thank you! I don't know why I should be happy that I'm getting so old, but I'll do my best. think that being old is a state of mind and apparently you don't have that. I've seen your videos, I've seen you speak, and most importantly I have seen your community spirit and the things that you do. Being old is not part of you. How kind of you to say that. Thank you. ou do so much for our communities. It's very heartwarming and inspiring. Well, I do what I can but as far as I'm concerned it's never enough. I guess I can say I can't do it all, but I do what I can. our work and drive for education and instilling the need for knowledge in children is commendable. To me, education is something I put next to health. It is just as important in life and sometimes it's the education and knowledge that can keep us healthy. If you're curious and you want to know more about life, the world, people, and places and so on, knowledge is the key to that. With education you are a better communicator. The better you are at communicating, the more good you can do for yourself, your community, and your people. It starts at home, but communication is worldwide, especially in today's technology. I know how important education is because I don't have a formal education. I dropped out of seventh grade when I knew everything already (laughter). was wondering if your drive was because you are highly educated and feel that everyone should have that chance or if you had dropped out early and recognized the importance of a solid education. was looking at your life performance listing on your website and you have played for some incredibly large crowds. I don't think I've ever talked to someone who's actually played in front of 500,000 people. That was really incredible and it was in Los Angeles and they were all legal. How about that? hen did you begin fighting for immigration rights?


By Tamma Hicks, STEAM Magazine Photos: Curtesy of La Familia Enterprises

I've been fighting for immigration rights back to when my parents got here, which was even before I was born. It's a two-sided coin: What would this country be without immigration and what would it be without it? This isn't India, China or Russia, its America. It's built on a dream and a belief and that's what makes America great. If we start turning away from that, we start going backwards. think both of these causes run together here. Without education the knowledge of history will be lost and without remembering the past we are bound to repeat our mistakes. Right now I feel we are sliding down the slope to repeat. I agree with that. The beauty of this country is that we can celebrate everybody's heritage and culture. I think there's no other place in the world like our country where we can do that. Even if that means getting looked down on. I was born and raised here in Temple in 1940, so I remember 70 years ago and what it was like. It's so heartbreaking and unfortunate that the more things

change the more things stay the same. In some cases it's just an attitude and I don't believe anybody is born racist or prejudice, but when you are taught certain things and attitudes, what can be expected? I was asked to speak to some parents and kids in Plainview Texas and I made them aware that if you're raised in a cocoon, and you grow up to be a teenager and go into the real world, it's you that's going to be harmed and you who is going to suffer because the world is there and it is going to continue to be there. When I spoke about it, I listened to what I was saying and thought I was verifying something that I know quite a bit about because I'm experienced at it. But that’s the way it is and the way I see things, back to being American. The wonderful thing about it is that we all celebrate who we are and we celebrate others for who they are. think that for all you have done for the Hispanic and Chicano community, fighting for voter registration and immigration rights, and education and helping kids stay in school, you should have many more awards than you do for humanitarian accomplishments. I believe in all the things that you stand for, but I don't go out and tell people "these are the things you should do" because I feel that my voice is too small. Well, everything is relative. In my opinion, your voice is just as important as mine or anyone's. That’s what we’ve got and it’s not forever, sooner or later the timeclock shuts us all down; expiration date. I just read there’s a movie coming out this month, Countdown, about an app that tells you exactly how long you have to live. I don’t think that is something I’d want to know because that part of life should remain a mystery so that you can carry on with what you’re doing. I agree with that, it’s good enough to know that that day will come because I might limit myself or over do because the expiration date is set. For me, it will come when it comes and meanwhile I will enjoy life and, you know, nothing gives me more pleasure in life than being able to help others. That is so important to me and it may be because we were given help when my family needed it and it’s just the fact that someone cared enough to give you that hand. That was my dad's way of looking at life, too. There are a lot of things that I don't care to be like my dad was, although he is my hero, but his courage and generosity are something that I envy. It is certainly something that we grew up with and that our family shares. It's such an incredible great feeling for me to be able to help others. The point is not to be recognized for it, it’s that as long as I know I did something that

was good. ou come from a very musical family, are your children in the music industry? My youngest son, Adrian, is in Nashville now. He is the real talent of all the family. He's a composer and has totally dominated the guitar. I’m not saying this because he’s my son; I tried playing guitar and I know a good guitar player when I hear one. He writes and sings and records. He went to Nashville almost a year ago and has been co-writing with a lot of songwriters there that are really blowing my mind. I'm just really proud of what he's doing. He goes out on tour with some groups, but he's there doing his thing. The recording business is so different from when I started, so they have other ways of marketing and production and just everything they do now. I have four kids. Ivan is my oldest my booking agent and manager and he has an agency, Krista is my daughter who handles all my businesses and is really the boss of the whole situation. My third kid, Isaac, is a high school principal. He got some scholarships as a jazz drummer but he decided to go on to do education, which I'm really proud of him for doing that. hat’s fantastic. Why did you decide to have your 79th birthday bash in Corpus Christi? I recorded my first live album in Corpus Christi in 1979 which would make it 40 years ago, so after that live recording, I have recorded six other live albums. A couple in San Antonio, one in Southern

Robert Ramos plays Bass, and Ezekiel Galvan plays Drums. hen we interviewed Augie Meyers, he told us about this year’s San Antonio Christmas Parade on the Riverwalk (11/29/19). You both, along with a huge cast of prominent San Antonio/Texas artists, will be floating down the river. I think this year’s parade will be

California, one in Albuquerque, and two in El Paso at the Plaza Theater. We played Whataburger Field last year, and it went so well, everybody was so proud and had so much fun, that when the invite came to repeat, my oldest son, Ivan the agent, suggested that we record live and invite some other groups. And that's what's happening. hat's a great way to spend your 79th birthday! I am really looking forward to it! My actual birthday is on the 17th and for years now, my birthday is celebrated the whole month of October. I'm having big bashes the week before Corpus Christi and both weeks after October 5th in Seguin Texas, then the 19th in San Jose CA, and a big one in Irving Texas on the 26th, where we are also bringing in groups that are nationally recognized. It's all really fun for me and wears me out just a little bit. you know people are so kind and what I've learned through the years, through my records and my art, that in my concert goers there's a love there and they’re full of positive attitudes and good feelings, people sing, cry, dance, and just have a great time and it's something that I'm so grateful for. It really energizes me and gives me a positive energy to work from. It doesn't matter if it's 10 people or 10,000, it just feels good every time. hat's wonderful! See, that goes back to the expiration date. I believe that when you get to a certain age, you should be celebrating the whole month! Well, I’ve talked about you this whole time and I think I need to say something about your group, La Familia. What a talented group of people. Well thank you! I have Thomas Cruz on Guitar, Frank Cagigal on Keyboards, Sam Jones on Percussion, Gracie Acosta and Carlos Salazar on Trumpet with Tony Matamoros on Saxophone,

one of their best. I swore to myself I would never do another Christmas Parade, but I'm really looking forward to this. It will be a lot of fun.

hat else do you have planned for the remainder of 2019? I currently, and finally, agreed to write my life story. I've been approach numerous times in the last 30 years by somebody wanting to write a novel. I felt honored but I did not feel it was time. I had finally decided that I should and author Emma Gonzalez heard me do an interview and was very interested in what I had to say. She heard me say that history belongs to those who document it, and we as Chicanos and Hispanics have very little documentation; therefore, many times when we should have been credited for great efforts, we have not been because there's been no documentation to work off of. So she heard me and she said she was in the middle of writing a book called Field Mice: Memoirs of A Migrant Child. It’s her story of when she was a child and her family would travel from the Valley to near Denver Colorado. While her parents were working the fields she would stay behind at the trailers where there were irrigation ditches along the way. The little mice came out to play in the ditches and she would play with them. So I endorsed the book when it was done and tried promoting it as much as I could and submitted it to the International Latino Book Awards. She won two awards for the book and they are planning on making a movie out of it. here must be more to the story than just her liking what you said in an interview. Our backgrounds were so similar; I knew that if I told her my story she would understand it completely. So my book isn't just about Little Joe, it's about who we are as a culture and a people. It begins where my grandparents came from and the turmoil they went through, how my mom and dad met and when they

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Reviewed By Steve Goldstein Free Beer Band, PA Rockers, Jameson; Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo By Tamma Hicks, STEAM Magazine

planned the second one and it doubled in size! We had probably 300 people who went home and told their friends and families that they have to come next time. So this year there were probably 650 to 700. When we played at the Gaffe there were people standing behind the stage and in the parking lot because there were just that many people! It sounds like you should have Sunday be like a family picnic at the park or something. Yeah, that would be cool. That's a really good idea. Do you have any gigs where you come down here very often besides the bash? I don't, and I've been really busy in this area and we also I call my fans have a barbecue business that Little Sharkeys. keeps our weekends full. Do you play at your barbecue? I have before and that's really fun. Every third weekend we go to Fredericksburg and for their Trade Days. We’ve been going there for 10 years now and the food is good. We probably have 200 people in line from 11 to 4, so it's neverending and not a lot of time to play music. Where can we see you in November? On November 9 I'm playing at a place called The Old Post Office in downtown Caldwell, which is a really cool gig. They bring in people like Walt Wilkins and other cool people, so I was surprised when they invited me. And Trade Days will be held on two weekends that month. You know, I've just been so blessed and lucky with the support I get. Friends message me saying that they just heard me on a radio station, so that's nice; it keeps you going.


10 / 5 Downtown Music Fest, Rockdale Texas 6pm 10 / 9 KWVH 94.1 Wimberly Valley Radio Show 9am 10 / 31 28th Annual Meeting Of The Minds, Parrot Heads in Paradise Jimmy Buffett Festival, Key West FL 11 / 9 The Old Post Office, Caldwell Texas 7pm

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moved to Temple in 1939, when I was born in 1940 in a three wall dirt floor car garage, and I remember growing up here in Temple. When I think of very important points in my life, I hopefully motivate and inspire others that feel they are trapped or cannot do anything about their situation and know that there is help and that there is something they can do about it. If a little Mexican like me can make certain things happen, so can others. 'm really glad that you two met and connected so well. I know there are lots of people patiently waiting for your life story. My book is going to be quite interesting. I think that Emma is the perfect person for me because she can understand and tell my story like I want it told, in hope that it will inspire and motivate others, and that's where we're at now. nything you’d like to share before we go? My life's been such an incredible journey and so I always want to make time for my fans. I get calls every month from fans, some are in wheelchairs, some are dying, and the family calls because the fan’s last wish is my phone call or picture or autograph. Just amazing stuff that people do and say that make me feel great. Enjoy life and appreciate whatever life brings to you. We know that it can be better but it can damn sure be worse. We can get so much more out of life if we allow ourselves to do so.

Emma Gonzales is an international awardwinning author who lives in Edinburg, Texas. She grew up in Ovid, Colorado where her migrant family worked the sugar beet fields. She was inspired by Saint Mother Teresa to write her first book, Field Mice: Memoirs of a Migrant Child and Field Mice: Memoirs of a Migrant Child Children’s Edition in 2015. The story is based on her life experiences as a migrant child in the 1950s and ‘60s. Both editions won awards at the 2017 International Latino Book Awards (ILBA), known as the Academy Awards of Latino Literature and Culture in Los Angeles, chaired by Edward James Olmos. Field Mice: Memoirs of a Migrant Child won Most Inspirational Non-fiction Adult Novel, and the Children’s Edition won Most Inspirational Non-fiction Youth Book and selected in the Books To Movies Awards, winning first place in the Kids & Family Category.

Photo Credit: Bob Good

Continued from Page 11 different sax players, but for the most part, I've got a pretty steady crew. We are out for six weeks and it’s the same five guys all across the country from Maryland to Texas to New York and Pennsylvania and Ohio and Oklahoma. Currently, the guy that plays guitar and banjo with me, Jimmy Meyer, is 65 years old and he got his start recording with my dad when he was 16 years old so next year he will be a recording musician for 50 years. He has such youthful energy and passion for all different kinds of music. He has opened for BB King and he played for the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame with his corporate band. Then I have a wonderful sax and flute player from Reading

Pennsylvania in his 50s, Chris Hawsla, who is a composer and arranger for a myriad of everything from jazz orchestra to operas and musicals. He has a jazz trio group and he brings a very intellectual flavor to what we do. I'm 42 and my drummer, Tom Holler from Baltimore, is 34. He grew up in a family whose father was from Germany and his mother is a hula dancer. He grew up with all different kinds of music. Our youngest gentleman in the band, Patty King from Port St. Lucie Florida, plays fiddle and mandolin and has been in tons of bluegrass. He's been with us now for over a year and brings just ridiculous chops as well as wonderful sensibility. They're all good guys and we have fun traveling.

hen I was in high school nobody wanted to have an accordion near them. It was all electric guitars and keyboards and things like that. By the time I went to high school, it was the height of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and 9 Inch Nails, but at the same time, a bunch of us were really into jazz. Growing up in Orlando, nobody knew what an accordion was. Nowadays a lot of the children's TV shows have accordions in them. At the end of every one of Dora the Explorer’s explorations, they have these three little creatures that come out playing instruments and one of them is an accordion. The Wiggles have an accordion. I do a lot of stuff in elementary schools and the kids are just fascinated because the sound is coming out of the instrument and you can see it working. In a day and age when so many of our kids are watching life through a screen, the accordion is a way for them to see how stuff really works. ow many accordions do you have? And how many do you take when you go on the road? I own 93. Right now I have four accordions with me. I have three different piano accordions with different tunings just because you never know when something is going to go wrong. Then I have one button accordion. o you have a preference over piano or button accordions? It depends on the type of music. The piano accordion is a fully chromatic

instrument that I have the most flexibility with. My diatonic buttons are different than the Mexican ones. I'm currently playing a five-row. I play either four or five rows most of the time. Soothing music is just indigenous to this instrument.

o you play anything digital? In my band, the left-hand on my accordion has a MIDI trigger and the bass as well. I have done some stuff with electronics. I worked for a short time through the Roland Company, who makes a completely reedless digital accordion. It's an interesting instrument. You play it like an accordion but it just doesn't do it for me, I like having the real acoustic thing. There's a certain thing that comes from the displacement of air. I know other people who are absolute masters at working the digital accordions and I have respect that they are doing that. o you have advice for people just trying to break into the music world? Keep your ears open. Keep your eyes open. Every success that I have had has been because I'm willing to do anything I can to make music and to entertain people. Things that you don't expect are going to work could be the things that really work, so if you're not appearing, you're disappearing. Whether you’re going out and listening to other musicians play, or whether you're out playing. Go and do that. There's somebody in your area.


Profile for STEAM Magazine

STEAM Magazine South Texas Entertainment Art Music volume 8 issue 7 October 2019  

STEAM Magazine - South Texas Entertainment Art Music, October 2019 features Little Joe - Birthday Bash - Corpus Christi, TX, Alex Meixner -...

STEAM Magazine South Texas Entertainment Art Music volume 8 issue 7 October 2019  

STEAM Magazine - South Texas Entertainment Art Music, October 2019 features Little Joe - Birthday Bash - Corpus Christi, TX, Alex Meixner -...