Happy Thanksgiving to All on the Brazos!

Greetings friends and welcome to the official beginning of “The Holiday Season;” that time of year when we partake abundantly of the three “F”‘s: Family, Friends and Food! We’ll eat more turkey and ham in the next 4 days than we will for the next 52 weeks. And if you’ll permit me to throw another “F” into the mix, I’ll add Facebook. For all the downsides of social media, there are far more benefits; allowing friends to re-connect is the most meaningful experience of the Facebook fenomenon (ok….I’m taking liberties with “F” and “F” sounds)! It’s “f”unny…when reconnecting with Friends on Facebook we reminisce in cyber space, when we we reunite in person we talk about posts on Facebook! Over the course of the next 4 days, I’ll be reconnecting with friends in person – some  I haven’t seen in over 30 years. We’ll be eating, jamming, eating, celebrating and eating…a vicious cycle.  And at every occasion music will be at the heart of our celebration. There’s lots of musical choices this holiday weekend – enjoy your favorite and I’ll see you on the Brazos!

Jen’s Weekly !LIVE! Music Calendar: Th. Nov. 24 – Sun. Nov. 27
Thursday Nov 24th
Th Kicks, Angleton: Cheyenne  Country
Th Belles Landing, E. Columbia:    Closed for Thanksgiving

Th Cooter Browns Country Club, Brazoria: 
Th Mulberry Bar and Grill, Angleton: 3G Karaoke

Th Pier 30, Surfside:  Fyzical Address  Variety Dance Music from the ’40′s to Today Th Shady’s Porch Pub , Angleton: 
Th Scotties Lounge, Freeport: First Annual “Thanksgiving Feast for Friends”
Friday Nov 25th
Fr Angleton Icehouse:
Fr Armadillo BallroomBrazoria: Emotions  Country
Fr Belle’s Landing, E Columbia:   Michael Curran Lynch   2 Step Acoustic Country
Fr Castaway Bar and Grill, Surfside: The Edge   Country
Fr Cooter Brown’s Country Club, Brazoria:   
Fr Kicks, Angleton: Kicks, Angleton: Cheyenne  Country
Fr Hammerhead Bar, Surfside:
Fr Mulberry Bar and Grill, Angleton: 3G Karaoke/Entertainment
Fr Pier 30, Surfside: TBA
Fr Ronnie’s Icehouse, Brazoria: Bo Counts Band   So. Texas Country Originals and Covers
Fr Rumors Nightclub, Freeport:
FrScotties Lounge, Freeport: Best Jukebox in Town!
Fr Tammy’s Tavern, Freeport:

Saturday, Nov 26th 
Sa Angleton Icehouse:  Bo Counts Band Country
Sa Armadillo Ballroom, Brazoria: Horizon  Country
Sa Belle’s Landing,  E. Columbia: Open – No Scheduled Band
Sa  Bridge Bait and Tackle, Surfside  
Sa The Clarion,(B’port Coll.) Clute
Sa Castaway Bar and Grill, Surfside: Blowtorch Repair   Classic Rock
Sa Cooter Browns Country Club, Brazoria: No Info available
Sa Hammerhead Bar, Surfside:
Sa KC’s on the Creek, Turtle Cove:
Sa  Kicks, Angleton: Kicks, Angleton: Cheyenne  Country
Sa Mulberry Bar and Grill, Angleton:  3G Karaoke Entertainment  DJ/Dance
Sa Pier 30, Surfside: TBA
Sa Rumors Nightclub, Freeport: 
Sa Scotties Lounge, Freeport: 
Sa Shady’s Porch Pub, Angleton:  The Richards    Texas Reggae
Sa Tammy’s Tavern, Freeport: Blast From the Past – Celebrate 11th Year in Business!
Sunday, Oct 27th
Su Belle’s Landing, E Columbia  Karoake with WinStorm   5-9 pm
Su Pier 30, Surfside: Stone Cold  Classic Rock, Blues, Party Music  3:00
Su Bridge Bait and Tackle, Surfside: Could be anyone who shows up and wants to jam!
Su Shady’s Porch Pub, Angleton


Hi Friends of the Brazos! The holidays are fast approaching, it seems like yesterday that I was knocking  Christmas promotional items out of my way to get to Halloween goodies (George’s new blonde wig, etc) and here we are: Thanksgiving less than a week away.

I took a trip to Austin, TX last weekend specifically to check out the !LIVE! music scene. Austin boasts over 900 live music venues, and is known as ‘The Live Music Capital of the World.” The  lively music scene, beautiful landscape, and friendly folks combine to make Austin a favorite destination for music lovers.

The live music scene is more important than ever before to the music industry. The huge profits that came from full album sales have drastically declined over the years with the advent of single song downloads, homogeneous broadcast radio, illegal downloading and the record industry’s relentless push for ‘product’.  Concert tours, merchandise sales, and film and television deals are where the profit in the music industry reside now. This leaves us with a mixed bag of musical offerings in our daily lives. The internet provides a myriad of choices for music but still lacks a consolidated, easily accessible anywhere/anytime (like my car) reliable source for music that the majority of people are familiar with. Gone are the days when you would arrive at work or school and everyone was talking about the same radio program, the same music, the same listening experience. Our points of reference for music are less communal and more individual. This has left a gap in the way we experience music as a community and emphasizes the need for the group dynamics that accompany the live music scene.

I listen to Romani (commonly and erroneously referred to as Gypsy) music because…I love it! It’s complex, lively, and compels my body to MOVE..  The Roma play in larger groups, a duet or foursome is uncommon. More likely there are 6-12 members that perform together at any single time. Forced into an itenerant lifestyle, the Romani people developed skills and trades that could travel easily from place to place. Their affinity for music left them in demand as musicians and composers for decades. I’ve noticed a trend in today’s live  music scene that mirrors the Romani style dynamics. There is still the traditional 3-4 piece bands but another trend is emerging. I’m seeing 6-12 musicians on stage now with instrumentation that provides a richer musical texture than we’ve had in popular music for quite sometime: horns, more keys and my favorite: drum kits that include a myriad of  hand held percussives in addition to the standard kick, snare, toms and bass. Good music is an instant community builder…when the band and music are good, everyone grooves together. And in oppositin to the current trends in pop music, it’s rhythm and melody that are driving these artists…the rhythms are not being used to dominate a piece to the point of diluting melody to an insignificant aside. The complex rhythms weave themselves in and out of pieces to accentuate the melody…did you hear what I said? I said MELODY! This is probably the most exciting part of all – melody is weaving it’s way back into music! The music I heard last weekend had more than the typical 2 to 3 note range popular in today’s style. I walked away from performances being able to hum the tunes and tap out the rhythms and it felt great. And the stars of these new bands are the groups themselves, often with the entire band singing or switching between band members for main vocals. It’s a group dynamic that’s unprecedented in American popular music.

In the course of a few days I heard  original music  (and a few covers) that contained elements of: Ska, Rock, ReggaeCajunSpanishBlues, and Country: different ethnic sounds and musical styles emulating from the same band. The term Americana is currently being used to describe this patchwork of new sound but in my opinion it’s inadequate. Americana has come to be accepted as a blues/folk style that ranges from stand-up bass and fiddle to searing blues guitar licks…that doesn’t really fit this new style laden with heavy doses of ethnic and cultural influences not common in single pieces of American music before now.

I’m looking forward to the exploration of this new style of music and am very curious to see how/if/when it might work it’s way into pop music (broadcast radio) or if it will remain ‘too good for radio’!

A very limited sampling of what I’m call ‘new’ folk is The Big Ol’ Band from Austin, TX. A mutual Facebook friend hooked me and Dustin Edwards (drummer) up. Dustin emailed me their ReverbNation press kit and a few seconds of listening was all it took to know I wanted to hear it all (yes, they passed the ten second rule with flying colors). I agreed to come to Austin to check them out. This is just some of the viddy from my most recent trip.

The TBC House Band from Austin is perhaps the best musical example of the Neo Folk style; these guys cover lots of ground musically, playing nearly all originals I love being in the audience when these guys are playing because they astound people! Every time I see them play I hear the same thing from everyone in attendance: these guys are good!! And it’s not just their musicality or their obvious camaraderie (they are best friends after all) it’s their music, too. No hiding behind fancy guitar licks or crowd pleasing showmanship (don’t get me wrong…they’re fun as hell to watch and have plenty of technical expertise) to disguise music that reflects an artists inability to compose genuinely memorable tunes…TBC is the real deal.

This too short viddy was taken last Saturday at Jovita’s in Austin ;  I was too close to the speaker but you’ll get it.

I told you they were fun to watch! Hatch Hilliard (guitar) is sporting his favorite wig: a red mullet, Nathaniel Cox (harmonica man in this viddy) and horn and percussive players: Mark Mikulin (who got married the night before) and Jake Middleton and Adam Kaylor prefer ties worn around their heads…not their necks :-) I’m not sure but I think this might have something to do with Mark’s nuptials the night before. BTW: when TBC walked into the audience after their show, the crowd broke into another enthusiastic round of applause.

This viddy was taken the first night I was introduced to TBC. Showed up at KC’s on the Creek in Oyster Creek for a birthday party and was blown away by TBC. Performing the “Get Wet” song (a TBC original), notice how they transition from a reggae/ska beat into punk and back again.

This is a mix of covers and originals TBC style.

Jen’s Weekly !LIVE! Music Calendar Fri. Nov. 18th – Sun. Nov. 20th

Fr Armadillo Ballroom, Brazoria: David Glenn  Country
Fr Belle’s Landing, E. Columbia: Bo Counts Band   Country
Fr Castaway Bar & Grill: Surfside: Karaoke with Kelly Jansky 
Fr Cooter Brown’s Country Club, Brazoria:    
Fr Kicks, Angleton: Buck Yeager   Country 
Fr Hammerhead Bar, Surfside
Fr Mulberry Bar and Grill, Angleton:
Fr Pier 30, Surfside: The Liars Rock, Reggae, Blues
Fr Ronnie’s Icehouse, Brazoria:
Fr Rumors Nightclub, Freeport: 
FrScotties Lounge, Freeport: Best Jukebox in Town!
Fr Shady’s Porch Pub, Angleton:
Fr Tammy’s Tavern, Freeport:
Fr VFW Hall, Freeport: Lone Star Entertainment 

Saturday, Oct 29
The Mighty Orq appearing at Belles Landing, Sat.

Sa  Bridge Bait and Tackle, Surfside

Sa The Clarion,(B’port Coll.) Clute  
Sa Castaway Bar and Grill, Surfside:   
Sa Cooter Browns Country Club, Brazoria: 
Sa Hammerhead Bar, Surfside: 
Sa Iron Cactus BBQ and Grill: Sargent  Billy Bourbon + Costume Contest!
Sa KC’s on the Creek, Turtle Cove:
Sa  Kicks, Angleton:  Buck Yeager   Country 
Sa Mulberry Bar and Grill, Angleton:  DJ/Dance + Costume Contest! Cash Prizes
Sa Pier 30, Surfside: Citizen X Rock
Sa Rumors Nightclub, Freeport:  
Sa Scotties Lounge, Freeport: 
Sa Shady’s Porch Pub, Angleton:
Sa Tammy’s Tavern, Freeport
Sunday, Oct 30th
Su Belle’s Landing, E Columbia  Karoake with WinStorm + Costume Contest! 5-9 pm
Su Pier 30, Surfside: Stone Cold  Classic Rock, Blues, Party Music  3:00 -
Su Bridge Bait and Tackle, Surfside: Could be anyone who shows up and wants to jam!
Su Shady’s Porch Pub, Angleton

Of Mice and Music

Prepare to be shocked…not really…I just can’t resist having fun! Like earlier this week when I placed the fake mouse I used for a Halloween prop in George’s coffee cup to scare the *&^% out of him except that my housekeeper surprised me by moving it to the floor by the stove….scared me half to death when I turned the corner and saw it! I coudln’t touch it – even after I knew if was fake! So I called my housekeeper to warn her it was still there…but I neglected to tell her about the other one I put on the back porch!
Jen’s Weekly !LIVE! Music Calendar: Th. Nov 10th thru Sun Nov 13th

Thursday Nov 10th
Th Kicks, Angleton: Eric Myers Band   Country/Honky Tonk (more about Eric at bottom)

Th Belles Landing, E. Columbia:  The Richards – Acoustic Duo (**FULL MOON ALERT**)

Th Cooter Browns Country Club: DJ Rod   Dance/Karaoke
Th Mulberry Bar and Grill, Angleton: 3G Karaoke
Th Shady’s Porch Pub , Angleton: Michael Curran Lynch  2 Step Acoustic/Country

Friday Nov 11th
Fr Angleton Icehouse:
Fr Armadillo Ballroom, Brazoria: Sour Mash Band  Country
Fr Belle’s Landing, E Columbia:   Neil Austin Imber  Country
Fr Cooter Brown’s Country Club, Brazoria:   
Fr Kicks, Angleton: Eric Myers Band   Country/Honky TonkFr Hammerhead Bar, Surfside
Fr Mulberry Bar and Grill, Angleton:
Fr Pier 30, Surfside: TBA
Fr Ronnie’s Icehouse, Brazoria:
Fr Rumors Nightclub, Freeport:
Fr: Scotties Lounge, Freeport: Best Jukebox in Town!
Fr Tammy’s Tavern, Freeport:
Saturday, Nov 12th 
Sa Angleton Icehouse:  Bo Counts Band Country
Sa Armadillo Ballroom, Brazoria: Emotions  Country
Sa Belle’s Landing,  E. Columbia: Wasted Dayze   Country
Sa  Bridge Bait and Tackle, Surfside  
Sa The Clarion,(B’port Coll.) Clute
Sa Cooter Browns Country Club, Brazoria: No Info available
Sa Hammerhead Bar, Surfside:
Sa KC’s on the Creek, Turtle Cove:
Sa  Kicks, Angleton: Eric Myers Band   Country/Honky TonkSa Mulberry Bar and Grill, Angleton:  3G Entertainment  DJ/Dance
Sa Pier 30, Surfside: TBA
Sa Rumors Nightclub, Freeport: 
Sa Scotties Lounge, Freeport: DJ Danny-Dance/Karaoke
Sa Shady’s Porch Pub, Angleton: 
Sa Tammy’s Tavern, Freeport: 
Sunday, Oct 22nd
Su Belle’s Landing, E Columbia  Karoake with WinStorm   5-9 pm
Su Pier 30, Surfside: Stone Cold  Classic Rock, Blues, Party Music  3:00
Su Bridge Bait and Tackle, Surfside: Could be anyone who shows up and wants to jam!
Su Shady’s Porch Pub, Angleton
Had a pleasant surprise when creating this week’s calendar:  Eric Myers Music Website – click and listen – pretty snappy dance tune there, Eric!
Most of the time I’d close with a “See YOU on the Brazos” but I’m headed to the Live Music Capital of the World this weekend: Austin, TX here I come! Pay no attention to those Facebook posts that ‘appear’ as if I’m having a blast this weekend…I’ll actually be conducting serious research. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Here are a few of my research subjects…and remember…this is serious stuff folks!

A “Big Ol’ Band” with a Big Ol’ Sound!

The TBC House Band
Clicking on the live link above will take you to TBC’s ReverbNation page where their newest recordings of all original music can be heard free…I dare you to not like them all and I double dare you to listen to Smokey Mountains twice and not have it stuck in your head!

                                 I’ll see you On the Brazos Soon!

The Brazos Belle and The TBC House Band: The Double Headliner at Belles Landing, this Saturday Night!

This Saturday, 11-5-2011 is a day of firsts for “Jen” on the Brazos. Historic East Columbia claims a particularly scenic section of the Brazos River that Jen and friends (that would be YOU!) will be touring aboard the meticulously restored Brazos Belle, the first paddle-wheeled vessel to operate on The Brazos since 1880 (weather conditions permitting).

The Brazos Belle will depart from it’s home at Belle’s Landing at approximately 7:15 marking the beginning of a unique evening of fun and history on the Brazos River! Captain Mike Leebron will lead our historical tour(appr. 1 hour) and bring us back to Belle’s Landing to continue the festivities with The TBC House Band from Austin, TX (showtime: 8:30). Let’s meet at Belles Landing around 6:30; we can purchase beer and  have it iced and loaded aboard the vessle prior to departure. Historic tour: $20-$30 per person depending on quantity – the more the merrier! The Brazos Belle holds appr. 50 – holler at me on Facebook if you’re interested in fun and history on the Brazos this Saturday; we’ll save you a seat. There’s  lots of ‘interest’ so far but still plenty of room for more. You can also contact me at jen@jenthemusicmaven.com.
Belle’s Landing graces the banks of the Brazos River in East Coumbia at Hwy. 35 and boasts a 1929 converted barn that recalls the charm of theTexas Hill Country.

 Put on your party hats, your dancing shoes and your smiley face cause The TBC House Band will begin the musical portion of this fun evening at 8:30. You can NOT spend an evening with The TBC House Band and not have fun…it’s simply impossible!

A quote from The TBC House Band:
 ”The TBC House Band. Part solid rocket booster, part fly rod. We will kick down your door, then walk your Grandmother across a busy street. Simply put, it is the band I have always wanted to be in.”
The TBC House Band exemplifies the best new sound coming out of Austin these days, part ska, reggae, rock, country, and always pure Texan with a jammin’ horn section and kick ass percussionists. I saw these guys a few months ago. They’ve since recorded a new CD which I hope they’ll have Sat. night…I want to hear more of TBC!
It should take you all of about 5 seconds to watch this TBC Live promo viddy to put a smile on your face and know that you’re in for a unique treat this Saturday night at Belle’s Landing – see you there!

Enjoy more of The TBC House Band on Jen the Music Maven’s YouTube Channel!

More excitng Historical Events in the very near future:
Ghosts Along the Brazos! Nov 12
Johnny Pollan of the Brazosport Archeological Society  will be speaking at the Freeport Historical Museum on Sat, Nov. 19th from 2-5. As a former member of the B.A.S. I can vouch for Johnny’s expertise! A guy with this much knowledge is truly fascinating to listen to – please join us!