The Corey Hunt Band hails from Asheboro, North Carolina, but more and more their music is taking them across the country on tour and into the ears of listeners around the world. They’ve found especially fertile ground for their sound – original country music shot through with acoustic folk and rock & roll attitude – in and around the state of Texas, where their approach fits in squarely with the tradition of regional favorites like Reckless Kelly, Jack Ingram, and The Randy Rogers Band. Along with right-hand-man bandmate Eric Wise, Hunt has scored success on the iTunes Country Album Chart, mingling with mainstream stars and legends in the Top 100 (rising as high as #71) upon the release of their new album The Tower. “People ask when we’re gonna make it/well the truth is we already have,” the title song insists; for starters, the lead-off single “Hannah Belle” cracked the Top 50 on the Texas Regional Radio Report chart. Hunt’s songwriting ranges from sincere romanticism to outlaw rebellion, and their do-it-yourself approach to booking, recording, and gigging has given them the freedom to explore and expand their music as they grow. With room to grow and momentum on their side, their crowd-pleasing and relatable take on modern roots music is poised for bigger and better things every time they hit the stage or the studio.
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PARKER MCCOLLUM: In The Truest Sense
Honesty in music is as important to Parker McCollum as breathing. He rejects the music of mainstream, not for its fabricated artists or over-produced sound but, for its lack of creativity and genuine stories of truth and passion. As a musician and performer, he looks up to the art of pioneers such as Ryan Bingham, Ryan Adams and Townes Van Zant, artists who have lived their songs and have the battle scars to prove it. A mix of Americana, Texas Country and Indie Rock is the genesis of McCollum’s music career and he channels his creativity into delivering a genuine sound all his own. Kicking things off with his first single, “Highway” is a driving introduction to this spirited artist who aims to inspire and entertain in a way only one who declares he has no story of his own to tell can, by making one up with words and music.
A song about living on the road, “Highway” was inspired when McCollum went on a tour for the first time with Six Market Blvd. Being on the road and playing shows was something he had dreamed of since he was a kid; when he finally got out there and saw what it was all about, he jotted it all down for easy reference.
“When I got home, I just wrote all about it,” he said. “I sat in my room for about an hour and that’s what came of it. It’s all true: the Louisiana woman, my momma and my baby being so far away that I didn’t even bother trying to go home. I was just out there, on my own, living and playing, at last, on the highway.”
Before the highway beckoned, McCollum lived the life of a college kid in Austin. He was raised in Houston during the heyday of country music listening to greats like Willie Nelson, George Strait and Johnny Cash while his family introduced him to Texas artists like Cross Canadian Ragweed, Pat Green and Cory Morrow. Working with his grandfather on a ranch, he was exposed to legendary songwriters like Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, and even Porter Wagoner and Buck Owens. Music was a staple and his own experiences began when he learned the violin and played in the orchestra during his years in elementary school. He picked up the guitar at 13 and began playing open mic nights at Puffabelly’s Old Depot in Spring and even scored a few other shows “here and there” finally managing to get a gig in Giddings when he was a sophomore.
“I got to drive there by myself and everything,” he recalls. “I was 16 yet looked like I was about 10 or 11. But, I played, and I think I turned a couple of heads. It was just enough to want to do it again. From then on I’ve just been picking and writing and singing, hoping someday it would take me somewhere that school never could; otherwise known as a dream.”
With a penchant for writing poetic lyrics, McCollum follows the masters: Hayes Carll, Todd Snider, Ryan Bingham and other talented songwriters who saw major success. As he grew older and began to grow with music, it was guys like Adam Carrol, Joe Ely, and Chris Knight that he was drawn to.
“All these artists crank out beautiful songs one after another. During my last two years of high school and my first year of college, I went through phases where I would learn their songs and start to sound like them and dress like them.”
It wasn’t until he bought John Mayer’s CONTINUUM on vinyl, that McCollum felt the urge to be different.
“Mayer was so different and honest from such a young age that I just kind of took that and ran with it. He taught me to let my writing be free, and let the melodies and lyrics create themselves. His knowledge and ability are something that I will always envy.”
Following the work of Ryan Bingham just as closely, McCollum acknowledges it is the emotion that a songwriter portrays that makes the art so honest and real.
“You can hear the heartache and past troubles in every word of his songs. That is what catches me and inspires me to be so genuine,” he admits.
As McCollum goes in to the studio to complete his first full recording, fans are getting a sneak peek with the EP, A RED TOWN VIEW which was produced by Corby Schaub, long-time guitarist with Ryan Bingham. Inclined to create music reminiscent of a bygone era, McCollum says he feels a more rock vibe but that country music roots are the driving force of his music.
“I find myself loving blues, soul and folk rock these days,” he says. “I have always loved them, I was just so heavily influenced in country music that it took a while for me to break away and really follow my ears and my heart. It’s not about a genre, it’s just who I am, I guess.”
As with most great songwriters, the question of how they write their material is at the forefront. For McCollum, it all goes back to the beginning: his older brother, Tyler, drilled into him that “all you have to do is write a great song.” Hoping to follow in his footsteps, McCollum admired the ability Tyler showed in stringing lines together with witty, clever and intelligent lyrics that put the listener in a special place where everything made perfect sense.
“Tyler had this really cool blank leather book, like a diary that he used for songwriting,” McCollum tells. “He wouldn’t let me open it because it was all of his thoughts, writings and personal stuff. He headed back to college one afternoon, and I noticed that he had left his little book. I wanted to look inside and read some of it. I opened the first page and it said, ‘Write on. Love, Tyler.’ It was brand new and he had bought it for me to write in. I didn’t waste a second; I walked right into the living room and wrote one of the worst songs ever written, but it was a song and it was mine. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked, always searching for ‘that song.’ And, yes, I still write in that same book to this day.”
McCollum doesn’t have a formula for writing and says each song is written in a different manner. He admits to driving down the road and thinking of a line, or hearing a song that sparks a melody. He also reveals that, “it’s never the same, it never repeats itself. It’s always changing and it’s such a compelling thing to do all of the time I think that’s why it’s so addicting. It’s wild and it’s what I love to do. Every single song I write is just the moments of my life finally coming out in words. If you ever want to know what I’ve been going through, just listen to my latest songs.”
With every stroke of pen to paper, McCollum aims to maintain his artistic integrity, writing about real experiences and emotions, all the while staying true to his oath of authenticity and desire to make music that rings true.
“Every single bit of my music begins from honesty; my lyrics are my honest thoughts and feelings about the world and how I’m getting through it. Honesty is my foundation and it’s all I have. I didn’t have some crazy childhood like Bingham, I didn’t go to Berkley like Mayer. I haven’t overcome any adversity and don’t have a story about how music saved my soul. I am just a kid who loves music and really respects what a true artist stands for.”
McCollum’s debut album is due in the fall and he is playing shows to build his fan base with performances alongside artists such as Six Market Blvd., William Clark Green, Bri Bagwell, Zack Walther and Grady Skelton. To date he has played Firehouse Saloon (Houston), City Limits (Stephenville), Saxon Pub (Austin), and in his hometown of Conroe at Red Brick Tavern to a record-breaking crowd. He has also appeared on The Shiner Sessions w/ Katy Lee and the Suzy Q radio programs.
As he works towards success and finding ways to achieve his dream of being on that “highway” full-time, McCollum continues to write his stories, gathering inspiration from his everyday life and from those around him. With an authenticity that is hard to come by in young adults these days, he is humble and passionate, two factors that will hopefully show through as he makes his way in today’s music scene.
“I know there is no right way to pursue music these days so I do it honestly and in a way that honors those that paved the way before me,” he reflects. “I just so happen to love it, and I don’t want to do anything else. I want to carry on and, hopefully, leave my little brand on it one day.”
Honeyboy Nelson Official Website
HoneyBoy Nelson is a Houston-based “Tex-Americana” singer/songwriter. His debut album “People & Places” is described as “a unique collection of introspective travel tales with one eye aimed back toward Texas…”
A second album is currently in progress.
Killer Keyz by Dueling Pianos Anywhere is the top-rated dueling pianos show in the country, awarded and maintaining the coveted 5 Star rating over ten straight years! Our exuberant performances thrill clients and fill venues across the nation with all request high-energy audience interactive performances. Each entertainer performs songs directly from the audience’s requests, creating their own special blend of hilarity, excitement and musical favorites delighting guests of all ages.
You can find Dueling Pianos Anywhere performing hilarious and lively audience interactive events throughout the U.S. every year. Each uniquely customized Dueling Pianos Show features the combined musical technique of two extremely talented piano performers.
Justin Michael Bell is a Country music singer/songwriter. He attends Texas Tech Law School, but spends his summers performing across Texas.
Armed with a sound that mixes the rootsy stomp of the Southern states with the trippy swoon of the West Coast, Folk Family Revival make music for rock clubs and rodeos, dive bars and honky-tonks, or campfires and cantinas. A throwback to a time when Southern rock and psychedelic music dominated the airwaves, they may be best described as a psychedelic folk-country rock and roll band, but they’re not wild about labeling their sound. They’d rather let the music do the talking
Water Walker, the band’s newest release (due out on Rock Ridge Music on April 7, 2015), includes 12 songs that were weaned and whittled on the road, where the Texas-based band of brothers — featuring Mason, Barrett and Lincoln Lankford, along with family friend Caleb Pace — built up their audience one gig at a time.
After releasing their debut album in 2011, the guys hit the Texas circuit hard, opening shows for legends like Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Wanda Jackson. At times called a country band, the young group used the label as motivation to push their boundaries and develop a diverse yet distinctive set. Soon their sound was reflective of a variety of genres. Some nights they’d have a blues rock feel and others an Americana or folk vibe. This wide-ranging experimentation and push to progress helped fuel Water Walker.
“I’m a huge Dylan fan,” says Mason Lankford, “and I’ve noticed from his live recordings that a song never sounds the same way twice. We’ve always been really into that idea, even as we’ve grown. We want the song to sound different than it did last week. We’ve been changing our songs every day for the last five years, and once we get into the studio, we’ll think about which version worked best and we’ll record it that way.”
When it came time to record Water Walker, Folk Family Revival decided to team up again with Jeffrey Armstreet, the same producer who helped them kick off their career with 2011’s Unfolding. The pace inside the studio was mostly laid-back. Whenever the guys were in Magnolia — the band’s Texas hometown — they were usually working with Armstreet, slowly piecing together a collection of poetic songs ranging in topics from politics, faith, power, love, and the modern world. They’d start by tracking the songs live, capturing the groove and spontaneity of their live shows. Sure, it was work… but it was also a good hang.
If there’s anyone who knows the value of a good hang, it’s the guys in Folk Family Revival. Over the years, a community of musicians who’ve passed through the Magnolia area and spent time at the band’s house have come to be known as “The Family.” Also the case with new friends or fans, the ever expanding “Family” can be explained by the camaraderie that occurs when folks relate to the charitable spirit of the band or their infectious sound. You get the sense that these guys just enjoy good company and good tunes… and they seem to be a magnet for both.
“We can all do more if there’s more people working together,” says Mason. “We’ve met a lot of people since we released Unfolding, and that’s one of the reasons Water Walker sounds so different. We’re better players, better communicators, better friends. We’ve also learned to relax. When we did Unfolding, our producer and friends used to say we were kids who sounded like old souls. Always wanting to try new things and be willing to change, we started getting in touch with our youthful side. We’re still serious and obviously a little more mature… but there’s a looseness to the new record that wasn’t there before.”
Texas native Cody Bryan has one of those rich, resonant voices that’s perfectly suited for country, whether he’s rocking a honky-tonk on Saturday night or soothing regret-filled hearts on Sunday morning. WRECK ME (May 14, 2013), the Cody Bryan Band’s debut album, showcases Bryan’s considerable vocal and songwriting skills on 10 strong tracks, most co-written during one marathon weekend in Nashville. Standouts include the first single, “If I’m Going Nowhere,” the love song, “When We Were Made,” and the title track “Wreck Me”. Helmed by producer and Blue October bassist Matt Noveskey, WRECK ME transcends geographic or stylistic boundaries while heralding the arrival of an important new talent. Cody is accompanied by Zach Lynch on lead guitar, Miles Barker on bass, Casey Conway on drums and Cole Gramling on keys to create the Cody Bryan Band! Look for these guys to make an impact on the Texas Country music scene in 2014!
For over twenty years, Moses Rangel has established himself as a singer’s singer. Influenced by Rhythm and Blues, Gospel, Pop, Jazz, Rock, and, lots of Country, his music is an evolving fusion of stories and melodies.
On November 15, 2015, Moses released a brand new single to country radio. The new single brought new meaning to country love songs. Written by multi-talented hit SESAC songwriters, Jim Femino and James Otto, Moses’ interpretation blended a soulful, neo-traditional country sound into a mix of swampy soul gumbo. WE AIN’T MISSIN’ NOTHIN’ was the first single to be released off the album to a national market.
On May 31, 2016, Moses teamed up with Austin, TX based promoter, Ed Spacek with The Spacek Company for a Texas Radio Release. “Thinkin’ You Could Be Mine” would be the first Texas Radio single off the album. The single did well and top the TRRR charts at number sixty-six.
On December 16, 2016, Moses’ MOSAIC CD was officially made available for downloads on iTunes and other online stores. “The CD sounds like if Glen Campbell and Tom Petty recorded an album together in Muscle Shoals, Alabama” – Michael Hughes – Hartwell Studios
After several months of performances, Moses began working on a new project that is projected for a March 2018 release. In the meantime, Moses will be releasing a new single to radio in August 2017 and concentrating on touring.
Landing hard after the success of his 2012 album SCARS, Kaleb fielded offers from several major labels. Unwilling to give up his vision for what his next record should be, he turned down offers and set out to blaze his own path in the country music business. To do so he had to step back, take time to develop his sound, and find the perfect team to bring his vision to reality. It wouldn’t be a quick process. It would take two years.
Teaming up with Texas guitarist Bryant Hunter the two started writing new music and developing a sound that was brand new and hauntingly familiar at the same time.
During this time Kaleb’s first top 30 single, “Redneck In All of Us” had become so popular in Europe that the band decided a European tour was in order. So they packed up their axes and headed to Western Europe playing sold out venues like Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon in MarnelaVallee France.
Fresh off the European tour and with a newfound appreciation for where his music could go, Kaleb enlisted the help of Nashville producer Heath Owen, son of legendary ALABAMA front man Randy Owen. They went to work refining the sound Kaleb and Bryant had forged and injecting influences from the likes of Elvis Presley and George Strait.
The resulting tracks are an homage to those who built the foundations of country, but also have a modern feel that will rev your engine every time you hit “play.” These tracks fit just as well alongside Waylon and Merle as they do by any modern artist.
You’ll hear the influence of Elvis in the Rockabilly anthem “UhHuh,” the sorrow and hope of Strait in “Plano,” Billy Gibbons’ hard riff style in “Hillbilly Makes a Little Money,” and the hardscrabble influence of the
Ozarks in the dark anthem “Ozark Mountain Stomp.”
The release of Kaleb’s 2015 effort marks a new era for the band and for the genre. As for climbing the ladder of success in the country music business, Kaleb is headed nowhere but up!
I have to thank my father for taking me to the Wynona Theater back in 1964 on Main St. in downtown Tomball, Texas to see the movie “Your Cheatin’ Heart”. That’s where it all began. The story of Hank Williams to this day still hangs around in the back of mind along with all of those songs on the album my dear mother bought me at the local grocery store. I ran the needle through that album, wrote down the lyrics on a Big Chief tablet and learned the chords to every song on an old acoustic guitar bigger than me. My father also picked and sang with the owner of the local Western Auto, Sonny Wilcox. I grew up listening to Hank, Merle, George, Johnny and Roger Miller to name a few. I grew up on a farm and experienced the country life where my father would drive back and forth to Houston everyday to provide us with the things necessary for that lifestyle. I learned how to drive in a Chevy pickup he bought at Ford’s Chevrolet. Our old frame house on twenty three acres had everything including a three wheel John Deere tractor. Baby calves and young colts were fed from a bottle. Klein High School FFA would come to our house on field trips to see what real farm life was like. Saturday night dances at Spring Creek Park and Tin Hall listening to Bud and Bud the Hooper Twins and my parents square dancing at the old Humble camp were a common practice. I remember riding my horse bareback down the side of the road singing Dang Me, Hang Me. I’m not officially a songwriter yet, maybe the ideas and memories of past life experiences will someday come out in a song.
You see this band Driftwood was started back in October of 2007. It’s just something I dreamed of doing for a long time. Before that I sang with a local band in LaPorte, Tx. Many thanks to George Dyer for giving me my start on stage. In addition to that I want to thank all the musicians that I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with. I have learned something from each and every one of you. Thank you. Thanks to all the songwriters and Stormy Cooper and Lyndon Hughes at SC Media for a stellar CD. I also thank God above for allowing me to follow my dreams and passion and sending me my darlin’ wife who supports me 100% and is my biggest fan!
So, although my history does not include songwriting and years of playing on stage, the boys of Driftwood and I will continue to provide our audience with great dance music and do what we love to do; make people dance!