“LIM-ERIC!”….Whimsical Rhymes from the Voice of the Texas Rangers and his Friends.” by Eric Nadel
This Concert-Party will be a celebration of the book’s release. Part of the proceeds from all sales of this book and from this concert, will go to the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of children in need within our community, and provides funding for youth in crisis, youth health initiatives, youth baseball programs, and youth education.
The concert will feature three of Eric’s Texas music favorites, and will include Eric reading selected limericks from the book, as well as being available to sign books for attendees. Books will be available for sale at the merch table.
Don’t let the sadness and down-on-their-luck characters on Pedigo’s Magic Pilsner fool you. The new release from Dallas singer/songwriter John Pedigo, one half of folk-rock duo The O’s, also radiates plenty of hope, joy and exuberant defiance in the face of loss. Pedigo’s father was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, and Pedigo set out to make and record some songs that would, in their own way, honor and entertain his dad.
Over the course of the next year or so Pedigo’s father received treatment, seemed to be in remission, then got sick again, and ultimately succumbing to the cancer in May of 2017. So, if you, like many, thought 2017 sucked even more than 2016, John Pedigo probably has one up on you. And yet, despite the loss and despite the sadness, the debut self titled record is about being energized to face life’s occasional misery and maybe even standing upright with a wry smile after a blow to the gut.
“A lot of it was me in a room,” says Pedigo of the writing and recording for the album. “It was a real process. I hate to use the word cathartic, but it certainly was that to a certain degree.” After stewing over the initial tracks — guitar, vocals and drums — Pedigo called in some friends to zero in on the soul of the material and the album.
The record kicks off with the sound of a siren, and a little banjo to orient fans of Pedigo’s picking from the O’s. With a full-band sound, touches of honky-tonk piano, a string section in one spot, the sizzle of a gospel organ in another, a few festive brassy blasts of dixieland horns, driving drums, and lightly saturated electric guitar lurking underneath the acoustic playing that anchors the songs, Pedigo sings about people in peculiar binds.
Pedigo’s destiny was making music. He got his first guitar in 5th grade, got ahold of cassettes of Guns N’ Roses and Metallica and went from there, listening to hard rock and then getting turned on to The Smiths and college rock of the era. Hearing the Pixies’ Bossa Nova album reoriented Pedigo’s songwriting efforts.
“When I heard that, I knew those were the kinds of songs I wanted to write,” he says, “with hard-hitting choruses coming out of the chaos.” And he’s written plenty of those himself.
Pedigo went through his grunge phase, his rockabilly phase, and his punk phase. After going to school at Emerson College in Boston, home of the Pixies, Pedigo returned home to Texas. He played in a handful of bands — Slick 57, Boys Named Sue, Vandoliers, Party Police, Rose County Fair and others. Some of those outfits toured hard and played all over, bringing Pedigo to Australia, Europe and all around the U.S. One of his bands was an off-the-cuff country side project. Talking with Taylor Young, his bandmate with The O’s, Pedigo half jokingly said he was going to get a banjo so they could make a duo that could tour easily and showcase their songs. That’s how the O’s, an energetic rootsy one-man-band-times-two, took shape. The O’s have played to audiences from 10 — or less than 10 — to 10,000, taking the stage at legendary venues like London’s Hammersmith Odeon and elsewhere. Part of that band’s ethos has always been to not do what couldn’t be done as a duo.
With Pedigo’s Magic Pilsner — which is named after an infamously bad batch of homebrew that his dad concocted in the kitchen sink one year — the scope is a little wider. Fans of the emotional and narrative heft of bands like the Hold Steady, Deer Tick and Dolorean will appreciate what Pedigo has pulled off here. Some might hear a connection to early Tom Petty, with a DNA-level kinship to the muscle and economy of classic rock but also a tender stoicism that’s sneakily rebellious. Others might detect a connection to acts like the Pogues, who can take a bone-deep bleakness and turn it into fist-pumping beer-hoisting anthems somehow.
For Pedigo, this album was a way to explore what-does-it-all-mean questions, to process the confounding feeling of a deep loss and a constitutional sense of optimism about life and the possibilities that come our way.
Before moving to Austin, Whitney Rose had never danced the two-step. Now, the country-pop singer’s infatuation with Texas’ rich musical culture, from stage to studio to dance floor, informs an enthralling new project, a love letter to the Lone Star State. Her EP, South Texas Suite, is a touch nostalgic, deeply romantic and defiantly personal — it’s Texas, through Whitney Rose’s eyes and ears.
South Texas Suite is a meticulous study of sound and place, but also a product of unexpected circumstance. Last October, shortly after the release of her album Heartbreaker of the Year, Rose packed up her boot collection and headed south to play a two-month residency at Austin’s famed Americana bastion, the Continental Club. But that November-December engagement went so well, she wound up staying. Since then, she’s toured with Sam Outlaw, made her European debut and signed with Thirty Tigers-distributed Six Shooter Records.
Rose became smitten with Texas, and the warm welcome from Austin’s vibrant musical community made her feel right at home. Songs started pouring out — so many that she just had to start recording. Rose herself produced South Texas Suite, a first for the poised countrypolitan songwriter. Top to bottom, the EP is the work of an artist who is both an insider and an outsider, an observer and a maker, a listener and a storyteller — no matter where she lives.
“Ever since I moved here I’ve been going out and watching live music, and falling in love with musicians around town,” says Rose. “The music scene here is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. So I have been writing nonstop, I’ve written close to 40 new songs since I arrived.”
She recorded South Texas Suite over two days at Dale Watson’s Ameripolitan Studios in North Austin, accompanied by Grammy winner Redd Volkaert, Merle Haggard’s former guitarist; Earl Poole Ball, who spent two decades tickling keyboards for Johnny Cash; Kevin Smith, now playing bass in Willie Nelson’s Family Band; and Tom Lewis, who’s drummed with the Mavericks, among others. All four play in Haybale!, the Continental Club’s Sunday-night stalwart; Lewis also plays in Rose’s band, along with guitarist Bryce Clark, steel player James Shelton and acoustic guitarist Sophia Johnson. They’re also on the EP, along with fiddler Erik Hokkanen and accordionist Michael Guerra.
Lauding Rose’s blend of “the purer sides of pop and country” in its Heartbreaker review, American Songwriter magazine noted, “The most exciting part is seeing where she goes next.”
Raised on the music of the Smokey Mountains, Joshua Ray Walker took a precarious path back to traditional country music; one forged by musical exploration and life experiences that most his age have not yet endured. He has played his songs on stages all across Texas and beyond, enthralling listeners with his brand of melodic, character-driven writing which puts a new spin on traditional story-telling country. Already with a great deal of buzz, expect his first full-length release in Winter of 2019.