2020 Artist Line-Up

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Indie icon Ben Kweller returns with some of the strongest music of his career. He didn’t go away just because — he was fifteen minutes away from death. “We almost died,” Kweller says. “Me, Lizzy, our two boys… dead. We wouldn’t be here if Liz hadn’t woken up that night.”

Kweller is referring to an ill-fated trip to the mountains of New Mexico, back in 2013. The family went on what was meant to be a winter wonderland vacation and instead suffered acute carbon monoxide poisoning.

“We were in this sweet little cabin and in the middle of the night, Lizzy woke up and said, ‘Ben, get up! Something’s wrong — I feel horrible,'” Kweller says. “I immediately jumped out of bed and collapsed to the ground. We instinctively crawled to the front door and opened it. Fresh air rushed in the cabin. I called 911. We grabbed the boys out of bed, trying to shake them awake, and managed to get everyone outside in the snow. The boys were crying and falling in and out of consciousness — it was like something out of a horror film,” Kweller says. “When the ambulances arrived, they tested our blood and said our CO levels were so high, we were 15 minutes away fromnot waking up. Fifteen minutes! We spent the next day in the hospital on pure oxygen and days after that feeling lethargic and mush-brained. When we got back home, I was an incapacitated zombie. I told my team to cancel everything. I was done.”

As the months rolled on, Kweller began to battle depression as a result of the poisoning. There was a period where the “Sundress” singer didn’t think he’d ever see the stage again. “I just didn’t care — I didn’t want to play music anymore,” Kweller says. “I didn’t want to leave my family’s side, and for the first time in my life I was scared. When you almost die, everything changes, and all the unimportant sh*t disappears. Luckily, I kept writing songs and they got me through some really dark places. Eventually I had 50 ready to go but I was still reluctant to start the machine back up again. A close friend of mine called me up and said, ‘Just come over and let’s record something together. Even if it’s just a demo, maybe it’ll make you feel better.'”

That close friend was producer and songwriter, Dwight A. Baker (Misseo, Brandi Carlile). One thing led to another and the two ended up co-producing an entire album. The album is called, Circuit Boredom, and lucky for us, it will be released! The first single, “Heart Attack Kid,” was released in early ’19 with a music video co-directed by Superorganism’s Robert Strange. The BK touring machine is also gearing back up with shows in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia.

With a regretful sigh, Kweller shares “There were so many times over the past five years that a fan would come up to me and say, ‘Dude, where have you been?’ “rather than going into detail, I’d shrug it off and say, ‘man, I needed a break, but I’ll come back one day.’ Inside, I wasn’t sure, though.”

A major turning point that convinced Kweller to put music back into the world, was the loss of his friend Anton Yelchin. The two had a close bond and even shared the silver screen in Rudderless, a music-based drama directed by William H. Macy. “I’m still in awe of Anton’s creative output and all that he achieved in such a short period of time,” Kweller says. “One of my best friends, gone in the blink of an eye — it absolutely woke me up. I knew I had to overcome my own trauma and do what I was born to do. Plus, Anton would’ve thought it rude if I didn’t share these songs.”

All of this comes as a relief to BK fans, whom, for over 15 years, have sung along to his anthems and cried to his ballads. They know his gift for jumping through genres while remaining heartfelt and authentic. They also know that nostalgia and optimism were his trademarks long before his run-in with mortality. Now, with the forthcoming release of Circuit Boredom, we are reminded that a light really is at the end of the tunnel, we just have to listen for it. We’re glad BK’s back.

Adam Carroll

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Adam Carroll’s musical biography is as winding as the stories in his songs, full of far-away places and close-to-home meditations that encompass a career built on countless shows in Texas clubs, thousands of miles on the road with his partner in life and music, Chris Carroll, accolades of all kinds, and still the burning desire to simply…write the next song.Thank goodness for that, because Carroll’s songs tap into a vein of the human condition that make them deeply moving but often humorous. As No Depression notes, “Carroll slips easily between observed detail and poetic flight, framing everyday images as literary moments. He’s particularly adept at portraiture, whether it’s a colorful hustler, a rural taxi driver or a karaoke singer, he sees what you might feel, but couldn’t verbalize, capturing a person’s essence in the details of their physical being and actions.”

“The core of what I do is songwriting; it’s the one thing I’m passionate about. It’s the most fulfillingand challenging job I can imagine.” explains Adam. In fact, the scope of Carroll’s songwriting influence was recognized in 2016 when “Highway Prayer: A Tribute to Adam Carroll” was released, featuring esteemed writers/performers like Hayes Carll, James McMurtry, Slaid Cleaves, and Terri Hendrix covering Carroll-penned tunes. It has garnered attention from publications like Texas Monthly and Rolling Stone, the latter which noted that Carroll “is talented beyond his years.”

With tours crisscrossing the USA, Canada and Europe, Carroll is currently focusing on performances as a duo with Chris Carroll, Canadian singer-songwriter and Texas transplant. Their distinct energies and personalities play off each other onstage, and the effect is a both moving and entertaining show that delights crowds from coast to coast.

Chris Carroll

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Chis Carroll is originally from St. Catharines, Ontario. She now lives in San Marcos, Texas with her husband and music partner Adam Carroll.

Carroll’s music does a little bit of genre hopping, pulling in influences from all over the map, but her music is still deep within the Americana roots and has the ability to draw in an audience. Chris released her debut record, “Trouble & Time” in 2014, produced by David Beck (Sons of Fathers & Blue Healer).

“Chris Carroll’s recording, Trouble & Time, has so many expressions…just like a human face. Tracks like “Mister” smirk at you while “Dreaming You Up” has a Mona Lisa smile quality to it. Each song emotes such intimate eye contact, just like her live performance, and I don’t think Chris will be the first to blink.” ~ Susan Gibson

Ordinary Elephant

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International Folk Music Awards 2017 Artist of the Year Ordinary Elephant captivates audiences with their emotionally powerful and vulnerable songs, letting the listener know that they are not alone in this world. The collaboration of husband and wife Pete and Crystal Damore, their connection, and their influences (such as Gillian Welch, Guy Clark, Anais Mitchell) all meet on stage. “Two become one, in song…hand-in-glove harmonies surprise the listener with focused intensity and musical mastery,” says Mary Gauthier. The Associated Press is calling their latest album, Honest, “one of the best Americana albums of the year.”

Jaimee Harris

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Jaimee Harris is poised to become the next queen of Americana-Folk, a slightly edgier Emmylou Harris for the younger generation.

Her new album draws comparisons to Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams, and Kathleen Edwards – all writers who know how to craft a heartbreakingly beautiful song with just enough grit to keep you enthralled. Harris writes about the basic human experience, in a way that is simple, poetic, and often painfully relatable.

Harris’s songs have a depth to them, and her lyrics betray a wisdom beyond her years. “I write as a way of dealing with things,” she says. “There’s also a lot of acknowledging my own faults. These songs feel pretty vulnerable… to the point where I wonder if people are going to ask me ‘Are you okay?’ But I really just hope they see a little bit of themselves in the songs and find something they can connect to.”

Chuck Hawthorne

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Austin songwriter Chuck Hawthorne releases the follow up to his critically acclaimed 2015 debut, Silver Line…the long awaited full length album, Fire Out Of Stone. Stories of Hawthorne’s military career and his chance meeting with Silver Line producer Ray Bonneville may have originally drawn listeners to his music, but songwriting enthusiasts worldwide soon recognized the strength of the songs and voice of Chuck Hawthorne. Since his emergence in the songwriting world, Chuck has toured non-stop in the US and Europe. Along the way, he has built a loyal fan base and a reputation as a “songwriter’s songwriter.”

Libby Koch

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Texas Americana singer-songwriter Libby Koch (pronounced “coke”) is a “country meets soulful” (Free Press Houston), “feisty Texas songbird” (Country Music People) who “sings her story with a little twang, some slide guitar, and a lot of heart” (Texas Monthly). Libby is working on the follow up album to her critically acclaimed 2016 LP Just Move On (Berkalin Records). Working in Nashville with Grammy-winning producer Bil VornDick, she draws on legends from Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn to Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, among others, to craft “true cryin’ and leavin’ country songs.” Combining her country soul with a seventh-generation Texas troubadour’s storytelling skill, Koch fills her songs with intimacy and honesty. Like the most timeless country classics, they’re the kind that make you feel good about feelin’ bad.

George Ensle

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George Ensle (pronounced Enslee) is a veteran Singer/Songwriter who began his career in Houston in 1967 sharing stages with legends Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and Billy Joe Shaver. He pens his own brand of StorySongs, powerfully crafted and played with his unique finger picking style on his vintage Martin D-35 and Fender Resonator guitar.
He is celebrating 50 years as a performing songwriter and in February 2017 was inducted into the Houston Folk Music Archives at Rice University.
He has won numerous songwriting awards, been awarded Government grants to teach children through the Artist in the Schools program, and released albums and CDs in the US and Europe, including a Movie–in-Song CD, “Small Town Sundown”, based on his original story, which he performs as a one man “Songplay.”

Michael O’Connor

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Michael O’Connor is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter living in Colorado. For decades he has played and recorded with musicians including Ray Wylie Hubbard, Slaid Cleaves, Adam Carroll, Susan Gibson, Terri Hendrix, and Shelley King.

A lifetime of hard-won experience on- and off-stage has allowed Michael a rare insight into the world of the rough, the faithless, the romantic, and the unlucky, all of whom find refuge in his songs.

Jeff Plankenhorn

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Jeff Plankenhorn is arguably one of the busiest and most highly regarded guitar players on the Austin music scene. As of late, he’s made a concerted effort to carve out more time for his own solo career ever since issuing his breakout second studio set, 2016’s SoulSlide — and he aims to find even more of that “me time” since the May 4, 2018 release of his new album, Sleeping Dogs on Spike Steel Records.

To that end, there are no covers on the new album, but half of the songs were born out of co-writing sessions with a handful of his longtime friends including his co-producer (and bandmate in Austin’s the Resentments) Newcomb, Gabriel Rhodes, Miles Zuniga, Jon Dee Graham, and of course Hubbard — the “Wylie Llama” of Americana/Texas music, who Plankenhorn still credits as his personal gateway to the whole scene. “Pretty much everyone I’ve ever played with is like, one degree of separation away from Ray,” he marvels with a laugh. It was also Hubbard who set Plankenhorn straight years ago when he doubted his own merits as a songwriter.

“I had just started out playing some of my own songs at these little acoustic gigs, but I remember telling him, ‘Ray, I don’t think I should be doing this — I’m just a side guy.’ And he said, ‘Where’s your proof? Are people coming to your shows? Are people listening to your songs? Yes? Well, there’s your proof.’”

Claude “Butch” Morgan

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Claude Butch Morgan is a triple threat on the Texas music scene; he is a songwriter, storyteller, and guitarist who is constantly pushing his limits as a performer. He honed his chops as a guitar player in various USO bands while in the military during Vietnam, then came home to the San Antonio area and became known across Texas for his lead guitar skills and his energetic performance style. He found his songwriter groove at The Kerrville Folk Festival and was a finalist for New Folk in 2005 and 2008 and a winner of the Wildflower Performing Songwriters contest in 2004. A “Singer/Songwriter of the Year” nominee at the Texas Music Awards in 2012, Morgan continues to grab audiences with his songwriting and storytelling, punctuated by the taste and tone of a world class guitarist.

Grace Pettis

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A s a card-carrying member of the South Austin scene, Grace Pettis amassed bragging rights to spare. She just signed a multi-year publishing deal in February of 2019 with BMG Music and is fresh on the heels of two official SXSW showcases, as Grace Pettis and as a member of Nobody’s Girl. She is the winner of many of the nation’s most prestigious songwriting contest, including Kerville New Folk Contest and NPR’s Mountain Stage NewSong Contest, where she also took “best song” honors.

2019 finds Grace Pettis doing what she does best — making music. Catch her with her band at an Austin club, headlining a festival with Nobody’s Girl, or on her own, trying out her new songs in a little gem of a listening room, somewhere in America.

Jana Pochop

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Jana Pochop (the ‘h’ is silent) began her vastly diverse career as an independent singer-songwriter when, as a child, she asked for a drum kit and her parents got her a guitar instead. She discovered Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin at the age of 11 and found a beautiful purpose for that guitar. Her instinct for deep grooves and poignant lyrics are obvious on her most recent musical offerings, onetwothreescream’s Lit released in 2018, her 2017 singles, and her 2014 EP Throats Are Quarries. Jana combines her gifts; lyrics that are as fearless as they are vulnerable, as skeptical as they are hopeful – woven into beautiful and fully fleshed arrangements. Jana has allied with many of the Texas music makers like Terri Hendrix, Susan Gibson, Elizabeth Wills, and Michael O’Connor. She has gotten a lot of field experience traveling with Gibson as tour manager / documentarian over their 10 years of working together, and Jana has toured everywhere from Seattle to Sweden with Gibson. In 2016, Pochop joined Kiya Heartwood’s band on electric guitar and toured Ireland and the U.K., playing Fringe Festivals in Edinburgh and The Isle of Wight.

Rachel Reese & Jesse Lafave

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Rachel Reese draws her womanly wisdom from growing up in a setting that could be from the lyrics of a country song: On a dirt road in the small Oklahoma city of Enid with her grandparents next door and great-grandfather down the road. She started singing at an age when most toddlers were still learning to talk. “My Mom said every time she’d play a song for me, I’d just soak it up and sing it back,” she recalls. That soon led to singing in church, school, talent shows, county fairs… basically wherever she could take a stage. “It was just something I did naturally.”

Jesse has played guitar since the age of 10 and grew up immersed in music from an early age, as his uncle was well-respected Austin musician/singer/songwriter Jimmy LaFave. After graduating college in Oklahoma with a Public Relations degree, he moved to Nashville to pursue music in 2004.

After the passing of Austin music icon Jimmy LaFave in May 2017, Jesse stepped up to take over the managerial duties of renowned Austin studio Cedar Creek Recording. Home to many great Texas and national albums including the Dixie Chicks, Uncle Tupelo, Kris Kristofferson, Pat Green, Randy Rogers Band and many others, Jesse now handles booking and marketing for the studio.

In addition to managing Cedar Creek, LaFave still tours as a sideman guitarist with regional Texas acts as well as national touring Country acts, as well as producing album projects and recording guitar remotely for client projects.

For Reese, the secret to musical success boils down to one prime directive. “You’re either telling the truth or you’re not telling the truth,” she insists. “I’m doing this for the long haul. I’m playing the long game.”

And the smart money is on Rachel making her indelible mark on music, “She’s got the sort of dynamic talent that country music was built upon, [and] she could do some really big things for the genre,” concludes The Indie Source. “There have been a lot of critics who have suggested country needs to grow up a little more if it has any hopes of surviving into the 2020s, and for my money, someone like Rachel Reese is exactly the type of artist we should be charging with such a task.”

Patterson Barrett

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Patterson Barrett moved to Austin shortly after appearing on Jerry Jeff Walker’s first release on MCA records, playing pedal steel, dobro, and guitar (including the song “L.A. Freeway”). Not long after arriving in Austin, he formed the band Partners In Crime, which included Buddy and Julie Miller, releasing one album on their own label, Criminal Records. In the years since, Patterson produced some of Hal Ketchum’s earliest demos, served in Al Kooper’s back-up band, and performed before 10,000 festival-goers as Chuck Berry’s pianist. He accompanied Nancy Griffith on Austin City Limits, legendary Austin singer Lou Ann Barton in music clubs around the country, and Buddy Miller on several records including his recent collaboration with Jim Lauderdale, Buddy & Jim. Patterson’s discography includes three solo endeavors—I Must Be Dreaming  (2007), “When I Was Your Age” (2012),  and the 2018 release, Give Em What They Want. He cites Neil Young and country-rock pioneers Poco and the Flying Burrito Brothers as his early influences, as well as soul stalwarts such as Sam and Dave, The Temptations, and Marvin Gaye. His music has been compared to John Hiatt, The Band (whose song “Sleeping” he lovingly covers), and Ryan Adams.

Haunted Like Human

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“As stripped down as our sound is, there’s nothing to hide behind. So it makes sense for us to be honest.”

Haunted Like Human is bringing a new roots voice to Nashville: two parts folk, one part Americana, and a dash of indie vibes. Classically trained guitarist Cody Clark has played everything from post-hardcore to jazz. Vocalist Dale Chapman grew up writing prose and poetry, and she brings her strong imagery and storytelling into her music. A combination of Northwestern grit and Southern charm, the two strive to create a unique and intimate listening experience.

Yosh & Yimmy

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“Yosh & Yimmy” is a folk duo made up of San Antonio based Josh Glenn of the Josh Glenn Experiment (indie/folk) and Corpus Christi based Jimmy Willden of Jimmy Willden Band (alternative/folk/rock). Acoustic guitars, clever riffing, harmonizing voices, and the occasional tap of a looping pedal can be expected in their eclectic and engrossing performance. Think singer-songwriter meets mad folk scientist and you’re on the right track.

Ruby Dice & Calloway Ritch

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Originally from the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado, Ruby Dice has been steadily gaining attention for her electrifying performances across Texas and the Southwest.  Her first introduction to music came from playing Gospel music in her family church, Ruby’s style has since evolved to incorporate elements of soul, blues and pop music.

Gaining recognition for both her talent as a bassist, but also also a blossoming songwriter, Ruby is consistently create new music that blends multiple genres into an electrifying show that is a must see for any lover of artists like Tedeschi Trucks Band, Shovels and Rope and classics like Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt.  Now based in Austin, TX, Ruby is quickly gaining the attention of various local media outlets.

In The Pocket Magazine writes:  “Based out of Austin, Ruby Dice band is a combination of two songwriters Ruby and Calloway Ritch. Together they create a mix of soul and rock n’ roll that fits just fine here in the heart of Texas. Dice’s soulful vocals and Ritch’s articulate but bluesy guitar make for a sparse, powerful combo. Any millennial rocker that grew up infatuated with the White Stripes and/or the Black Keys will easily dig what they hear in Ruby Dice.”  With new music on the horizon, Ruby Dice is an artist that any music lover should pay close attention to.

Alex Winters

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Underneath Alex Winters’ high-shimmer vocals and lithe guitar melodies are evocative tales of dreamers and risk-takers sung by an artist unafraid to peer into the dark while making her way into the light. Luna Guitars bestowed her with their Shining Star award in 2011, and 360 Magazine called her vocals “seamless” and her compositions “effortless”.

Alex continues to develop her unique solo repertoire, reveling in a vision that is still introspective and sensitive, yet equally strong, enigmatic and haunting. With her latest EP Black Roses, Alex has added an electric edge to her acoustic singer/songwriter persona, resulting in a more blunt sound akin to Evanescence and Grace Potter, with a touch of Heart. The new record has a distinctly rock feel that brings a new dimension to her heartfelt songs without alienating longtime fans of Alex’s introspective compositions. Her stories of heartbreak, inner turmoil, and life’s complications are now told from the perspective of a woman with more edge, a dreamer who has walked a few more miles down her own road.

Whether performing solo, duo, or with a full band, Alex brings a fun yet sophisticated ambiance to her live performances. Her connection to her audience is very real and her stage presence natural and comfortable. You can expect that everyone in the room will feel like they are a close and personal friend by the end of the evening.

Alex is releasing brand new music in 2019, starting with “Silent Storm” on August 23rd, followed by more single releases towards the end of 2019 and into 2020.  This collection of original tunes will mold Alex’s forthcoming album Beauty and Blemishes.

Shayna Sands

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Shayna Sands is a passionate singer-songwriter from Texas and a versatile artist with a killer voice.   She’s a dedicated musician influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Eric Burden, Danzig, Nina Simone, Howlin’ Wolf, The Kinks, The Ronnettes, Dead Moon, Daniel Johnston, as well as the masters of classical guitar. She has played festivals all over Texas as well as CMJ in NYC and has been featured in publications all over South Texas including the STEAM Magazine, The Caller Times, The Bend Magazine, The Metro Leader, and The Foghorn for her distinct sound and voice. She was named honorable mention for the Corpus Christi, Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Sean Gasaway

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Sean Gasaway is an award winning singer-songwriter, producer, record executive, and publisher. Sean is a native of Escatawpa, Mississippi now living in Nashville, Tennessee. Sean has over 120 revenue earning copyrights, recently winning the Native American Music Awards Song Of The Year (2017) and Single Of The Year (2018), recent placements on the Today Show, FOX, Billboard radio, television, and in major movies. Sean is currently working on his 4th album, and has penned songs recorded by 3 Doors Down, Cowboy Troy, Mickie James, Ying Yang Twins, Analise Hoveyda, and Kat Perkins.

Ty Dietz

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With a style influenced by Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle and with the voice of a young Waylon Jennings, Ty is a local Corpus Christi songwriter and performer.  And even though he does not like to classify his music into any one genre, he fits perfectly with those songwriters/singers who were and are true Outlaw. Ty’s songs are told with the honesty and spirit of these great songwriters through bittersweet, sometimes sarcastic irony and driving those lyrics straight through you. His similarity to the “outlaws” mentioned is uncanny. Ty and these artists tell it like it IS, say what they mean, don’t hold back with the punches and all have that “no fear” attitude!

He may be from Corpus, but it seems as if he has travelled most all of the Alternative Country Folk and Americana Mecca’s and brought all that magic back from his soul’s travels.

Ty’s songwriting and singing about real life experiences captures situations and trials we have all known. Each song is meant for every one of us and for those of us who are going through the motions, dealing with the terror and heartache and tragedies of life the best we know how. Welcome to the truth.

Dan Brodhag

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Art & Lisa

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Performing together since 2007, Art and Lisa have become confident and powerful in their musical performances. Taking turns at lead and tight harmony vocals, this duo will take you on twists and turns that will bring you up and take you down, make you laugh and make you cry, but even more, will make you FEEL…

Chris Beall

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The son of a motorcycle racer from a small town in west Texas, Chris Beall is a singer, songwriter, producer, and guitarist who’s latest album “The Gin Mill Hymns” recently showed-up at #15 on the Texas Roots Radio chart, #29 on the national Roots Rock Radio chart, and #173 on the national Americana radio chart. He has recently achieved the #1 position on the Reverbnation Americana chart for Central Texas, and #3 in the nation. Influenced by many forms of American music, he did a stint in Nashville, but currently resides in Austin Texas where he writes, performs, and produces music. Along with his solo career, he is a member of the well-established South Austin Moonlighters and is featured on the album “Ghost of a Small Town”. He has produced and played on several current Texas artists’ songs including Denny Herrin’s “Robert E Lee Motel” and Brett Hauser’s “I’m As Good As Gone”. His solo-career discography includes two albums: 2010’s “Brand New World” and 2013’s “The Gin Mill Hymns”. The latter featuring “Dug Down Deep”, a song of second chances set to the backdrop of his father’s (“the motorcycle man”) debilitating motorcycle-racing crash in 1973.

Ireland

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Ireland is an award winning singer/songwriter from the DFW area who brings an authentic indie-folk experience to every project. Her distinctive voice signature conjures something both nostalgic and new. Ireland is a hardworking musician who plays several gigs weekly and puts out new music every year.  Whether playing in front of a small coffee shop crowd or rocking out at festivals and local restaurants her energy and charm is contagious. Ireland got her start at the age of 13 opening for The Chris Rivers Band.  At the age of 15 she became the youngest semi-finalist, since Maren Morris, in the B.W. Stevenson Singer/Songwriter Memorial Contest.  She is also an award winning lyricist and songwriter.  In 2016 Ireland began regularly performing in the DFW area, Austin and Houston at regular gigs as well as music festivals.  Ireland has released several EPs and is currently at work writing her first full length album. The working title of the album is “The Life of Rosemary Ellis.” Her desire is to create an album that tells a life’s story one song at a time. 

Garrett Wieland

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Doc Carter

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Timothy “Doc” Carter used the nickname Doc because he’s actually an ER doctor in addition to being an aspiring songwriter and musician.  In two years, Carter has released three EPs including Blue Eyes, Get Past the Waves and Too Many Sunsets. He appreciates the work that Corpus Christi Songwriters does as an organization to promote the craft  in the Coastal Bend, and is honored and humbled to be recognized by such a talented group of musicians.

Hollin McKay

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Hollin McKay is a performing songwriter from Bandera, Texas. His music, best described as Americana, offers clever storytelling that provides thoughtful insight into the human condition. Hollin was born in Lubbock and raised in the hills surrounding Medina River. He uses these landscapes as a backdrop for many of the characters in his songs, whether they are travelers simply passing through town or a wrongly accused parolee in Mississippi looking for a little justice.

In addition to his solo material, Hollin has written and played with his brother, Noel, for many years. Several of Hollin’s songs recorded and released as part of The McKay Brothers can be heard on radio stations across Texas. The stages Hollin calls home include Gruene Hall, Luckenbach, and the legendary John T. Floore Country Store in Helotes, Texas.

Dylan Tanner

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Buddy Wright

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Buddy Wright is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. Buddy plays guitar-driven pop music stemming from a wide array of influences like Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran, Khalid, Coldplay, and Kings of Leon.

Growing up in Texas, Buddy worked at his family-owned sand and gravel surface mine while also helping run their cattle ranch. He was recruited to play university football in central Texas but was sidelined by multiple injuries. Upon returning home to attend Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, songwriting became a catharsis to fill the void of a lost dream.

After performing live for the first time at a Corpus Christi Songwriters showcase, Buddy knew he had found his calling. He began to open for country music acts at venues in south Texas while perfecting his craft and completing his degree. Upon earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in December of 2016, he made the move to Nashville. Since then, Buddy has been developing songs for his debut EP and touring the country from Nashville to Los Angeles.

Natalie Price

A native of Ft. Worth, Natalie has been singing since she could make noise and writing songs since she got her first guitar. Raised on gospel tunes, her musical journey took root in church, was watered by country western and folk, and is now blooming in the roots scene deep in the heart of Austin, Texas.

Her style is eclectic, an indie-Americana mix of pop, folk, and little twist of country. Her catchy melodies and smooth voice will put you at ease as she weaves stories of heartache, longing and joy. Keep an eye out: this is one artist that you’ll be hearing more of in the coming days. “We recorded the album last year with a really great team here in Austin,” she says. “I know the project is small, but it’s my ‘hello, world,’ and ‘there’s more where that came from.’”Her debut EP, Through The Fog, hit the airwaves in April 2019.

Tom Meny

Award winning songwriter Tom Meny currently calls Buda, TX home.  Stationed near the live music mecca of Austin, it can be difficult to stand out in a vast sea of great musicians. But Tom Meny is a voice apart from the rest. With influences ranging from Glen Hansard to John Mayer, Tom uses non-standard guitar tuning, a soulful voice, memorable melodies and direct lyrics that set himself apart and connect with his audiences. Among his accolades are numerous songwriting awards including winning efforts at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk Competition (2015), the Wildflower Arts and Music Festival’s Performing Songwriter Competition (2017), The Recording Conservatory of Austin’s Singer Songwriter Competition (2013), and many others. Meny has performed for audiences around the country including recent tours through Texas, North Carolina and New England, and has played legendary venues such as Austin’s Cactus Cafe, The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and Lincoln Center in New York City. Tom Meny has appeared on albums by Billy Crockett, Ray Prim, and Laura Marie. Tom Meny plays Takamine Guitars.

“Tom’s ability to bring you into his world and tell you the story of his life and his experiences is astounding. His lyrics are simple, yet powerful and connect from the very first line.”- Destinee Ware, Owner One-2-One Bar Austin.

  • 2017 – Winner of the Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival Performing Songwriter Competition
  • 2015 – Winner of the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition
  • 2013 – Winner of the Recording Conservatory of Austin’s (TRCOA) Singer Songwriter Competition
  • Top 5 Finalist – 2012 Mountain Stage NewSong Competition and 2016 Telluride Troubadour Competition.

Nicolette Good

©Leah Muse Photography

Nicolette Good is a Texas singer-songwriter and 2012 Kerrville New Folk winner. In a voice that’s at once refined and raw, she sings with penetrating insight about hope, wrenching love, and the mysteries of everyday life.

Nicolette’s latest release, Reverie (2019), celebrates her craft of songwriting with compositions such as the title track, as well as “Oasis” and “C’mon Doc.” It was recorded at Ramble Creek recording studio in Austin, TX.

Her effortless storytelling shines on her 2015 release, Little Boat on a Wave, in toe-tappers like “Union Jack,” “Tehuacana,” and the title track, which was inspired by actual events. The album was recorded by Joe Reyes in San Antonio, TX, and several cuts from Little Boat were composed during an artist fellowship at The Lighthouse Works in Fishers Island, New York.

Based in Austin, Texas, Nicolette released her first full-length, “Monarch” (2012), recorded at Ramble Creek recording studio. It includes songs like “Hurricane Caroline” and “Pretty Clementine,” which tell intimate stories of enigmatic, tragic characters, as she sings with penetrating insight about hope, wrenching love, and the mysteries of everyday life.

She’s shared bills with Mason Jennings, The Flatlanders, Caitlin Rose, Carrie Rodriguez, David Ramirez, Lincoln Durham, and Juanita Stein, to name a few. Good can be heard as a solo, duo, or full-band act in listening rooms, and house concerts across the country.

A Houston native, Nicolette is also a staff musician for Home Street Music, an Austin non-profit using music to empower people who have lived on the streets.

Ray Prim

Imagine Bill Withers heading over 2 Abbey Road in a Cadillac 2 pick up Ben Harper so they can catch the tail end of The Reverend Al Green’s sermon…2016 Black Fret Recipient, Ray Prim, is a Singer Soulwriter based in Austin, Texas. His music takes you back to the days when songs were inspiring, meaningful and thought provoking. His tunes are melody-based short stories that anyone can relate to and identify with. It only takes one of his many songs to be instantly hooked. Five words sums it up – Ear Candy for the Soul.. 

Chris Moyse

Chris Moyse’s new album, Bad Parts EP, is the culmination of his first few years since moving to Nashville. Poignant and diverse, his characters tell the stories of leaving home to find a new life, finding love and losing it, and the common thread of struggling to grow into oneself. It’s both highly personal and relatable. You often times feel like his lyrics are telling your own story. 

At times raw and stripped down, the Bad Parts EP doesn’t sound like someone trying to make an Americana album. It doesn’t force itself to be anything in order to fit into a specific genre. Moyse combines the sounds of classic singer-songwriters like Neil Young and Steve Earle with modern folk-rock influences of The Wood Brothers and The Avett Brothers. The record is both musically and sonically dynamic, having been engineered and co-produced by Nashville’s eclectic Randall Kent (Matt Hires, POPFILTER). “I really didn’t even intend to make this record,” says Moyse. “I always loved writing and performing. Fortunately I had a handful of people pushing me to get some recordings done after a little while. Once I put a band together and found a producer I went all in and never thought twice about it. I wish I had done it sooner because I’m really proud of it.”