Chris J Norwood

If the photographic evidence accompanying The Knockdown Dragout is any indication, then Chris J Norwood is a beaten man.

Beaten, maybe… But not out!

As Norwood sings on “The Knockdown Dragout” — the ensemble, album, and first single all share the same name — he is a fighter:

I know it don’t look good
They got me up against the ropes
I ain’t no light weight kid
I got the fight, the will, the hope

The “will” and “hope” part comes in as the Dallas-based songwriter — and now bandleader, commanding a Stax-inspired ensemble cutting tracks live on the studio floor in the same building where Willie Nelson made Red Headed Stranger — leaves behind his acoustic guitar to make the album of his dreams.

“I have wanted to make this record for a long time,” Norwood says about a passion so strong, he parted ways with his record label to be able to see his vision through. “If you were to come over on a Saturday afternoon, Otis Redding is what is playing on the stereo.”

The Knockdown Dragout cover the Redding classic “Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa (Sad Song)” in a joyous rendition that sits perfectly alongside Norwood’s originals.

“I had to include an Otis cover,” Norwood explains. You can’t help but feel good, and that’s what I love about soul music. Even the sad songs make you dance.”

Norwood had become tired of sadness.

“I’m disillusioned with the ‘sad bastard’ scene of singer-songwriters that I found myself a part of,” he admits. After releasing two records that reckoned with darkness and personal tragedy, Norwood wanted to make an album that was “just fun.”

A “knockdown dragout” is a phrase I used to hear my mother use,” he explains of the album’s statement of purpose, which also addresses his relationship with the music industry. “It’s essentially a fight between two people that is particularly bad.” Norwood’s decision to leave his label to make this album was actually amicable, but even civil closure smarts.

The same goes for Norwood’s surprise genre switch-up.

“I wanted to write some songs that I could actually sing to Carrie and dance in the kitchen to,” he says, alluding to one of the album’s standout tracks, “Dancing In The Kitchen,” a love song to Norwood’s wife.

“Finally! Songs that are about me!” Carrie Norwood, who also appears on the record as one-half of the background vocal duo, The Knockouts, jokes.

“Being a Knockout comes with attitude and sass,” she says. “The world is pretty crazy right now, but there is still love and goodness to sing about.”

After listening to the celebratory songs on The Knockdown Dragout, Norwood’s “will” and “hope” win this bout by unanimous decision.

Rosemont Kings

Originating from a single block in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, TX, The Rosemont Kings are an eight-piece band bonded by a love for classic soul and funk. The Kings layer 3-piece horns onto Stax inspired grooves with a dash of Texas Blues, and top it off with the smooth vocals of front man Kraig Loyd to create a sound that encapsulates the idea of “feel good” music. Their debut, self titled album is streaming everywhere now.

Marc Broussard is a singer, songwriter, performer, and humanitarian. His commitment to making the world a better place is a mantra that he has been bound to since the beginning of his career. It has always been about tying music to a mission, one reason that his new studio album entitled A Lullaby Collection SOS III and book, I Love You For You, were created to educate and inspire younger audiences.

The album, the third in Broussard’s independently released SOS (“Save Our Soul”) series, finds him re-imagining a series of standards that are easily identified as lullabies—songs such as “Danny Boy,” “Sweet Baby James,” “Moon River,” among others, which are calming, soothing and enticing all at the same time. The 11-song album also includes two Broussard originals, “Bedtime” and “Gavin’s Song.”

While the songs might be geared to younger ears, Broussard’s soulful signature sound, expressive vocals and sweeping orchestration offer a universal appeal for listeners of all ages. “I wanted this to be a recognizable covers album,” Broussard explains. “Danny Boy” and “Moon River” were songs I could never imagine recording. But when I did my research and heard the various versions of these songs, especially the Andy Williams’ renditions, I was so taken. I was never a big Andy Williams fan, but all of a sudden, I found his voice so spectacular. There is grace attached to every one of his performances that I wanted to emulate throughout this entire record. No other artist had done this to me.”

The material on A Lullaby Collection SOS III is culled from iconic songs that Broussard has always felt a particular attachment to. “The initial intention of the SOS series was to share with my younger fans the music that had shaped my life and to be faithful to the spirit of the originals.” Broussard said. “The second album, SOS II: Soul on a Mission, took on a new meaning. I feel that it’s important to use whatever privilege society says I have and to use that energy to help reshape the world around me into something a little more equitable.”

A Lullaby Collection SOS III is Broussard’s third covers album of his career. His first, SOS: Save our Soul, was a collection of R&B classics. The second, SOS II: Soul on a Mission, delved further into the vaults of R&B, soul, and rock (released in 2016). Broussard donated 50% of the profits from these albums to City of Refuge, an organization that seeks to lead individuals and families on a journey to self-sufficiency.

Coinciding with the release of his new album, Broussard is making his debut as an author with I Love You For You. The book is intended to teach children that every individual is special in his or her own way, and has something wonderful to offer, regardless of circumstances or special needs. It emphasizes that everyone deserves inclusion, affirmation, and appreciation simply for who they are. The lesson that the child is left with is that it’s important to respect others and value them accordingly.

The project was inspired by Rebekah Phillips, an award-winning children’s book illustrator who happens to be the wife of one of his longtime friends. “For years we had spoken about doing a project together,” Broussard says. “Then I ran into her at a concert and the idea came up again. I ended up writing the book on my plane ride home between Washington D.C. and Atlanta.”

“The book and the album go hand in hand, at least in spirit,” Broussard suggests.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of both the album and the book will be donated to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As a Louisiana native, this hospital holds a special place in Broussard’s heart. Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is Louisiana’s fastest growing children’s hospital treating more than 100,000 patients annually from across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. For more information, visit

Broussard’s charitable efforts extend well over a decade, beginning with his self-released album Bootleg to Benefit the Victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and his efforts to organize the Momentary Setback Fund to provide financial assistance to those displaced by both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. He’s also taken part in a USO tour to entertain troops in the Middle East. More recently, he established his SOS Foundation as a conduit to help raise money for other worthy causes, such as the United Way and Habitat for Humanity.

“A lot of it has to do with the people who raised me,” Broussard explains. “My parents are wonderful, human beings who encouraged us to do everything we can for people that need the help. That’s a value system that’s been with me since birth.”

This kind of crusade was especially appealing as far as Broussard’s intentions were concerned. “Philanthropy has been a big part of my life for a long time,” he says. “I’ve found that artists like me are uniquely positioned to raise awareness and make a difference in our own communities and beyond. In 2015, I decided to make philanthropy a more permanent part of my life by establishing the SOS Foundation. The goal is to use music, both recorded and live, to raise money for causes I’m passionate about.”

The son of acclaimed Louisiana Hall of Fame guitarist Ted Broussard, the younger Broussard was raised in Carencro and Lafayette Louisiana, an area that he continues to call home. He released his debut album, Momentary Setback, independently at the age of 20, but his gift for making music was evident well before then. He made his stage debut at age five belting out “Johnny B. Goode” while sitting in with his father’s band, the legendary The Boogie Kings.

In 2004, Broussard released his major-label debut, dubbed Carencro. The album’s thematic centerpiece is “Home.” that hickory-smoked slab of Bayou soul that’s aged and evolved along with the singer himself. That album, and the others that followed, revealed Broussard as an old-school Southern soul singer blessed with both a rarefied talent and an innate stylistic and emotional authenticity, an artist whose old school blend of rock, R&B, soul, and sensitivity have made him one of the most indelible artists of his generation.

“It’s easy for me to move the needle,” Broussard maintains. “I stand in front of huge numbers of people a dozen times a month. I’ve done so for the last 17 years, and I attempt to communicate honestly each time. Music has the power to reshape the world and I’m very, very fortunate to be part of that process.”

A Lullaby Collection SOS III and I Love You For You will be released on November 15, 2019.

The Holiday Experience 2016: an Electric Christmas Celebration with John Holiday and the Texas String Quartet

John Holiday, one of Broadway World’s “New York Opera 2015 Gifts that Keep on Giving” and recent nominee for “Newcomer of the Year” by the German magazine Opernwelt, brings his Holiday Experience 2016 to Dallas, December 23, 2016. Mr. Holiday, who recently completed appearances in the role of “first male voice” in Paradise Interrupted at the Singapore International Arts Festival 2016 and the Lincoln Center Festival 2016, will celebrate the season with an eclectic mix of jazz, classical, r&b, and gospel. Joining him on stage will be an all-star line-up of artists including Neeki Bey, Kristin Yost, Nigel Rivers, David Marquis and the Texas String Quartet. The opening act will be local musician, Kirk Thurmond.
John Holiday:

“We cast him because his voice is spectacular. He is a wonderful performer, but he’s going to be a major star. He has a very unusually beautiful instrument.” Christopher Koelsch, president and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Opera.

“The voice that rang from the stage that day was unique, powerfully clear with clarion high notes… In the balcony, people exchanged looks of astonishment.” Jim Farber, San Francisco Classical Voice

“are scene-stealers…. vibrant, flexible, funny Baroque singers who might have a road show of their own in the future.” Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times


Show Details:
The Holiday Experience 2016 with John Holiday and friends

  • Friday, December 23, 2016 at 7:30pm, doors at 6:30pm.
  • The Kessler Theater – 1230 W. Davis St., Dallas, Texas 75208
  • Ticket Prices:  General Admission $24.50, Reserved Gallery $29.50, VIP Tables $125, Suites $500
  • Tickets available at
  • For more information visit