Downtown Freeport Just Gets Better!

Sandra Wood-Wicke and I have had some great times together (do not ask her about the time we were thrown out of a Jerry Jeff Walker concert 3 times…don’t!), and it looks like the second half of our lives is going to be even more fun.
Hey, Sandra maybe you could get Jerry Jeff to play at your new club: The Venue on Park Avenue in Freeport…we’ll see if he remembers us J
Welcome to The Venue!
 While we’re ‘Waiting for JerryJeff’, I’ll tell you a bit about Sandra’s club in downtown Freeport, The Venue on Park Avenue (217 E. Park Ave.). This multi-faceted venue serves as: the best sounding nightclub in town with a seriously fantastic live music line-up, a groovy-groovy space to rent for parties: receptions, reunions (what a rockin’ place for that!) – heck, you could even get married there!
The Venue’s Dance Floor, Seating and Stage is Spacious and Comfy.
The Venue feels like home…only way more fun. It’s sleek and sophisticated and still manages to keep that ‘down home’ feeling. That’s not an easy task and it’s only been possible due to the combined efforts of 3 innovative folks: owner, Sandra Wood-Wicke and business partners Buddy and Deborah Barnett. Buddy and Deb’s many years of experience in the music and club scene combined with Sandra’s business savvy are working magic in Freeport. The Venue is pulling fantastic national, state and local talent into the club and is giving Freeport the best live music venue we’ve ever had. If you haven’t been to The Venue…you’re seriously missing out. The sound is phenomenal (that’s a huge compliment coming from an audiophile like me), there’s a full bar, the friendliest people, lots of seating space, large dance floor and nifty balcony with it’s own bar (open at owner’s discretion).

View from the Balcony at The Venue

The Ora Theater was built in 1940

Originally built in 1940, The Venue operated as The Ora Theater and was one of 3 theaters in Freeport at the time. It has since been reincarnated twice as nightclubs: The Mine Co. (do not ask Kay Mayberry or Kathy Goodbread Johnson about the night I wore a slip on my head at the Mine Co….don’t)! Buddy and Deborah Barnett also bring another historical aspect to The Venue: cool ass music memorabilia…there’s no other way to describe artwork featuring: Cream, the Doors and original ad posters from Liberty Hall! Check it all out in the lobby next time you’re here…make it soon…we want to keep this club alive and well.

Two videos here: brief interview and dancing with Sandra and performance snippet of the Sundance Head Band who recently rocked The Venue. Special thanks to Sam Kendrick for doing an incredible job with sound!

There were several ‘Brazos’ moments at the Sundance Head concert….
Jen leaving to go to The Venue to catch The Sundance Head Band when phone rings ~
Jen: Hello
Sandra: It’s me….have you left your house yet?
Jen: Just leaving.
Sandra: Good, bring some spoons.
Jen: Spoons? What is this..the 80’s?
Sandra: No, Somebody wants to play them.
Jen: Cool – I’ll grab my woodies and stainless!
Sandra: Hee Heee  (you know that laugh of hers)!
Jen makes new friend, spoon-playing Mary-Bob, at The Venue J
And at the end of the show…
Sandra: Corky this is Sam Kendrick
Corky Parker: I know you…I know your daddy, and your uncle and your…
Sam: Really?!
Corky: I sold ‘em a car. I’m financing one for (I forget which relative Corky named) right now…
Sam: Yeah, I know you!
And they go on (and on) to talk about relatives and cars…
Ahhh…it’s good to be home J
P/S Bobby Bass clearly needs to defend his honor –  I’m publicly challenging him to an interview (see Sandra and Grady’s videos to find out why)! Does anyone know…does Bobby have a garage….or is he…‘nobody’?
Weekly !Live! Music Forum: June 23-June 25
Thursday  June 23

Th Kicks, Angleton: Junior Gordon, Country
Th Pier 30 , Surfside: Karoake Concepts 

Th The Venue, Freeport: DJ – Nite   Ladies Free before 10,  $1 jello shots

Friday June 24
Fr Armadillo Ballroom, Brazoria: Horizon, Country
Fr Castaway Bar and Grill, Surfside: The Liars, Rock, Reggae, Blues
Fr Kicks, Angleton: Junior Gordon, Country
Fr Pier 30, Surfside: The Stickup Kids
Fr The Venue, Freeport, Electric Soul, Classic Rock
Saturday, June 25 
Sa Armadillo Ballroom, Brazoria: Emotions, Texas Dance Hall Music
Sa Kicks, Angleton: Junior Gordon
Sa Pier 30, Surfside: The LiarsRock, Reggae, Blues
Sa  The Venue, Freeport: Chad McBride and the Drifters , Country
Sa The Clarion, Clute: Donny Edwards – One Night With Elvis
Sa Brazoria County Historical Museum, Angleton: Step Rideau and the Zydeco OutlawsFREE!
Starts at 6:00. Bring your lawn chairs and dancing shoes! 
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Don’t forget The 64th Annual Fishin’ Fiesta!

More Cajun Fun, Country and More!
Thursday June 30, 2011

Anthony Smith6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Jabo and the S. Coast Zydeco Band
9:00 pm – Midnight
Friday July 1, 2011

Grupo Vizion
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Jaime y Los Chamacos
8:30 pm – Midnight
Saturday July 2, 2011

Dean Seltzer and Band7:00 pm – 9:00 pm


Ray Price9:30 – 11:00 pm

Dean Seltzer and Band
11:00 to 1:00 a.m.

Live Music Forum Blast from Jen: June 16-19

Hi Friends!
Summer’s here – why is everyone complaining about the heat? Because it’s too damn hot!! And, it’s getting hotter cause there’s some smokin’ acts coming to town – see you this weekend!

THURSDAY  The Venue, Freeport   The “Bomb” Nite Thursday with DJ Jess

FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2011
FRIDAY Armadillo Ballroom, Sour Mash Band
FRIDAY Kicks, Angleton  Cheyenne: Country  
FRIDAY Pier 30, SurFside   Mojofromopolis: from Houston, Blues  
FRIDAY The Venue, Freeport   2 Smooth: Blues, Rock, Country

SATURDAY  Kicks, Angleton   Cheyenne: Country   
SATURDAY   Pier 30, Wiseguy: Classic Rock of the 60′s -90′s
SATURDAY The Venue, Freeport   The Sundance Head Band: Blues, Rock   
SATURDAY   West of the Brazos Bar and Grill, The Bo Counts Band: South Texas Country Original and Cover
SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2011
SUNDAY Armadillo Ballroom, Brazoria  Sour Mash 
SUNDAY Kicks , Angleton,  Cheyenne: Country

The “Bomb” Nite packs ‘em in at The Venue in Freeport on Thursday!

The Sundance Head Band at The Venue in Freeport - Saturday!

Sour Mash: Armadillo Ballroom: Fri and Sun


How cool is that?! Way Cool!
Saturday June 25th at 6:00
Step Rideau
Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws will be playing a free concert on the lawn of the Brazoria County Courthouse on Saturday June 25 at 6:00 PM.  Bring your lawn chairs and dancing shoes!  
More Cajun Fun, Country and More!
Thursday June 30, 2011

Anthony Smith6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Jabo and the S. Coast Zydeco Band
9:00 pm – Midnight
Friday July 1, 2011

Grupo Vizion
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Jaime y Los Chamacos
8:30 pm – Midnight
Saturday July 2, 2011

Dean Seltzer and Band7:00 pm – 9:00 pm


Ray Price9:30 – 11:00 pm

Dean Seltzer and Band
11:00 to 1:00 a.m.

Weekend Live Music Calendar + The Mind of Grady Pennington: A Creative Space

Hi Friends! As promised….
The Mind of Grady Pennington: A Creative Space
On Grady’s tee: Helping Hands, winner of Brazosport Art League’s “People Choice Award” 2011
It’s challenging to describe a single piece of art; it’s impossible to adequately describe someone whose entire being is art. Visuals are more effective than words; prepare to laugh and marvel at this brief, colorful, glimpse into Grady Pennington’s world. He talks about his home, work, technique, style, passion, musical inspirations and pokes fun at his best friend, Bobby Bass. Didn’t I say there’d be fun-poking in this blog – well, there is!
I like to think of Grady’s living/working space as many works linked together to form one massive piece of art. In this masterful network are: a vast array of art that spans a 30+ year career including (but not limited to) vibrant pastels (yes, I said vibrant), pen and ink drawings, a huge assortment of graphic arts, mixed mediums, candle covers, and cocktail napkins (see for yourself). His renovated 2900+ sq home was originally the Houston Natural Gas Co., built in 1956 and has been featured on The Home and Garden Channel; he graciously takes us through each room.
Grady has won numerous awards for his art, most recently he took home the People’s Choice Award from the Brazosport Art League for a mixed medium titled “Helping Hands”. The hands were not available for viewing when I visited Grady; the piece sold and was already scheduled for pick up. You can see it on his tee shirt, though. The original work was 30” x 40”. Congrats Grady – you definitely deserve it!
Grady and The Summertime Bluesfest: Visit Grady during the Summertime Blues Fest. I’ll be lending him a friendly hand at “The Store” (a few doors down from Bobby Bass’ Bankers Inn). You’ll see us – we keep the lights on for friends J The Store has really cool vintage and contemporary ‘stuff’ of all sorts. I bought a fab pair of earrings last year – there’s also tees, some of Bobby Bass’ art and Grady’s newest creation – candle covers (4 sides), each side is original, signed by the artist and specially priced for Bluesfest Folks – thanks Grady! No two pieces are the same (no two sides are even the same). I have some pics of one I’ve shared with you. I fell in love with these instantly and already own 2; I can place them anywhere to create instant ambience!
Please forgive the clumsy editing and amateurish videography. Grady’s a great subject and an easy interview (talent just can’t be restrained) and he deserves better craftsmanship than I currently possess, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who appreciates Grady’s artistic life more than me. Visit Grady anytime here. I can’t do Grady justice but his art speaks for itself.
See his siggy at the bottom…
All sides original…

It’s Glowing!

He calls this one: Mardi Gras – see the festive figures?!
Thank you Grady!!

Weekend Live Music Calendar: June 9 – 12

Thursday, June 9
 Kicks, Brazoria
 Leavin’ Sundown   Country Band
Pier 30, Surfside
The Venue, Freeport 
DJ – “Bomb” Nite

Friday, June 10
The Bo Counts Band 8 pm

South Texas Country Original and Cover Music
Zack Walthers
Kicks, Angleton
Leavin’ Sundown, Country Band
Pier 30, Surfside
The Venue , Freeport
“Jump Off” Night with DJ Jess
Saturday, June 11
Armadillo Ballroom, Brazoria 
Chris Brade, Classic Rock, Classic Country
Classic Rock/Classic Country
Kicks, Angleton
Pier 30, Surfside 
Inside Out, 70′s to Current Rock
The Venue, Freeport  
Rockin’ Poundin’ Rock, Country and Blues Band
Sunday June 12 
Pier 30, Surfside
Stone Cold  Classic Rock, Blues, Party Music
Brazoria County Historical Museum – Get your Cajun On! 

*       Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws will be playing a free concert on the lawn of the Brazoria County Courthouse on Saturday June 25 at 6:00 PM.  Bring your lawn chairs and dancing shoes.
 I am SO there!!
Step Rideau

Bar at The Venue in Freeport – No doubt about it – this place is downright Cool!
Leavin’ Sundown, Country Band from East Texas, Th-Sa at Kicks in Angleton
Crosstown Renegades, Sat at The Venue
A good time will be had by all this weekend!
Musicians: Head over to Jen the Music Maven on Facebook (or my blog on: for SoundCloud Sundays! A chance to expand your fanbase and win a spotlight in my Weekely Winner Celebrity Blog!

Jen on the Brazos with Grady Pennington Preview and Weekend Line – Up

Hi Friends!

After a brief stroll outside today, I laughed outloud as I remembered actually trying to cook eggs on the sidewalks of Freeport in summertime! Hope this helps to get your mind off the heat and focus on cool people and music.

In keeping with Jen on the Brazos’ promise to hi-light creative folks that share our coastal heritage, here’s a sneak preview of J.O.B.’s next interview blog:

A Creative Space: The Mind of Grady Pennington.

I hate using ordinary words to describe extraordinary people…like Grady. Remember Midas…everything he touched turned to gold? Everything surrounding Grady is art…of his own making…from abstract candle covers to shadows created by his beloved Bird of Paradise against metal sheets that line his kitchen wall. Grady is art.

Enjoy this preview from our recent inteview – full interview coming this weekend. Please forgive my shakey camera work and frequent laughter – I dare you to interview Grady and not giggle with delight!

 Weekend Music Schedule June 3-5


The Venue on Park Avenue, Freeport: Bomb Nite with DJ Jesse. 9 pm


The Venue on Park Avenue, Freeport: EightyPlus (80′s Metal/Current Alternative) from Lake Jackson.

EightyPlus from Lake Jackson, TX
Pier 30, Surfside: Electric Soul (Classic Rock) from Houston.
Electric Soul, from Houston, TX
Kicks, Angleton: Double Shot (Country, Rock, R&B).
The Venue on Park Avenue, Freeport: Drifter’s Luck, Country Dance band from Lake Jackson making their The Venue on Park Avenue debut.
Drifter’s Luck from Lake Jackson, TX
Pier 30, Surfside: Snit’s Dog and Pony Show, (Americana, Blues, Rock) from Houston.
Snit’s Dog and Pony Show from Houston, TX
Hammerhead Bar, Surfside: To Be Announced
Armadillo Ballroom, Brazoria: Hunter Cahanin Day, starts at 10:00 a.m. Live music by Joey Mares Band (Country, Rock) from Lake Jackson.
Joey Mares Band from Lake Jackson, TX
Angleton Icehouse, Angleton: Bo Counts Band (South Texas Original Country and Cover)
Bo Counts Band
Pier 30, Surfside: Stone Cold (Classic Rock, Blues) from Surfside.

Welcome to Jen on the Brazos!

Welcome to Jen on the Brazos, a blog about the music and people of the Brazos River. We have a unique creative culture along the Brazos and this blog is dedicated to the creators of it: musicians, artists, venue owners and all the other folks who keep it thriving.
Jen on the Brazos (J.O.B.) will post a weekly music calendar and information about artists. I’ll post interviews (text and video), and music samples (if provided) of targeted artists each week.  J.O.B. will post follow up blogs of special events that include pics and video that can easily be shared with friends on any social media platform. Links to weekly J.O.B. updates will be posted on Facebook and Twitter; you can also subscribe directly via email or RSS feed.  
The main focus of J.O.B. will be the Brazos mates that comprise the music and art scene in the Freeport, Clute, Lake Jackson, Surfside, Anlgeton, area.
I’ve lived in Freeport all of my life. I grew up across the street from St. Mary’s Catholic Church on 7th street. My family name is Fields and if you don’t know me, you probably know at least one of my 10 siblings. But all of us here are part of a larger family…the Brazos family and we share a special bond. I’m here to celebrate the small town heritage that forged our uncommon commonality. Expect lots of humor, fun-poking, pics, video, and information!
Jen Then…

Jen Now!

With friends at Rice University, Divas World Event (L of Dr. Ian Hancock). 
If you’re not tapped by J.O.B. for an interview and you’re interested in using J.O.B. for promotional, sponsorship, advertising or event coverage, email me- let’s chat. All promotional blogs will be labeled as such and subject for approval by J.O.B.
Facebook – Friend me on Facebook: Jennifer Fields Hawkins, you’ll be tagged in teaser posts with videos and pics that link back to full blog posts. Follow me on Twitter (JenOnBrazos) for announcements, live event tweets (for covered events) more pics, videos and friend connections. ‘Like’ Jen the Music Maven on Facebook to receive the most current info affecting the music biz.
Support our local venues, musicians and artists by spreading the word about Jen on the Brazos – let’s keep our music and art scene thriving! Musicians/Artists: Send me an EPK. J.O.B. is a great place to build your live concert fanbase and promote your music and merchandise.
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The Brazos Memorial Day Holiday Music Calendar
Saturday May 28th:
Freeport Rocks the River!   Four day event held in various locations this Memorial Day weekend. Saturday Night’s Events held at The Pavilion near the moouth of the old Brazos. Jo Hell Band, Blues and Rock from Austin. View Jo Hell Live. Pride and Joy , Electrified Blues from Austin.


Pier 30 at Surfside: The Liars .Variety cover band from Humble.
Castaway Bar and Grill, Surfside: Guppies from Outer Space, Blues/Rock  Band from Houston led by female guitarist, Marina.
Kicks, Angleton: Cody Rosier Band , Local TX Country/Southern Rocker.

Cody Rosier Band
Hammerhead Bar, Surfside: Remedy, Classic Rock.
The Venue (on Park Avenue), Freeport: Dog Town Blues

Dog Town Blues
Sunday May 29th
Rock the River! Contiues with Traditional Blessing of the Fleet at the Freeport Municipal Marina. Pageant starts 3 pm, Traditional Blessing of the Fleet starts at 6pm. Live Music!
Castaway Bar and Grill, Surfside: Blowtorch Repair, Classic Rock band from Houston.
Pier 30 Surfside: Jay and the Boogie Knights.
Monday, May 30th
Rock the River! Continues with Bryan Beach Bash  10am - 10 pm  Thermal Fusion takes the stage at 2:00 p.m. More live music from Stoned Cold Sober + fireworks, swimsuit contest (cash prizes), sandcastle competitions (cash prizes), horseshoes, volleyball, watermelon eating contest.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend – I’ll see you On the Brazos!