Tuesday, September 17, 2019


THE HARD STUFF is an apt title for this seventh solo release from Susan Gibson (her first full-length since 2011).  This album consists of a well-crafted string of life stories. The ups, the down, the in-betweens. The life questions often bouncing around in our head but not always vocalized. But this isn’t just about the stories but the difficulty in crafting a really great song… or several. If you want to learn how, Susan offers songwriting coaching sessions on her website.

In the meantime…

For a story to be good, you not only need words, but you need something that brings the story to life.


Susan Gibson is a gifted storyteller. She not only tells us what she wants us to know but her description pulls us into the world she is creating. The best part… she does this all without a video. I challenge you to close your eyes and just listen to Lookin’ For A Fight, 2 Fake ID’s or any other track on this album. The story will begin playing like a movie behind your eyelids. Her lyrics are the only video you need.

As I listened to this album I was captured by the various things that came to my mind… not only the story she wanted to convey but the pictures she drew. Being able to not only hear but to truly SEE what an artist what the artist sees is where the magic happens.

Let’s tip the hat…..


…then enjoy the gallery showing from THE HARD STUFF.

You can catch up with Susan via the following links:

THE HARD STUFF releases October 4, 2019.
You can check out Susan's music at these locations:

Monday, September 16, 2019

OUT OF THE CHUTE - Susan Gibson

Hi, Susan!

Great to have you here in KellysCountry. I’ve been promoting your gigs for a few years but this is our first opportunity to visit. Thank you for joining me today!

1 - Before we talk about HARD STUFF, let’s back up a bit to your mega-hit, Wide Open Spaces. We all need that at some point in our life. What was the biggest door, physically or metaphorically, that song opened for you?

Thanks for asking! Of course, having a song that ‘performs’ like Wide Open Spaces did (Thank you, Dixie Chicks!!) opens a lot of doors.  It’s really great to have a #1 song on your resume as a songwriter and it’s really fun cashing the checks.  Having an income stream from the Chicks performance of WOS means that I can afford to go to places where I haven’t been and try to find my tribe.  I think the biggest door, looking back, is hearing myself sing “She needs room to make her big mistakes” about 4 times a week.  I make them all the time.  I’m a little gentler on myself when I do. To me, that line is permission to try, to fail and to try again.

2 - Eight years is a stretch between projects. I also know great things come from small steps. Can you take us to the beginning of where this album originated?

Well, this album originated from the idea that I realized “Eight years!! I haven’t made a full length studio record in 8 years?!?!”  I play live a lot and was getting that question more and more~’when are you going to make another record?”  Even though I put out a Live record in 2014 and an EP in 2016, I guess those didn’t count :)

3 - I read that this album is not autobiographical. That said, isn’t there an undercurrent connecting events in your own life that sparked each of the tracks?
Well, it is and it isn’t.  I can definitely see myself in all the songs~some more than others.  Some of the songs came out of a writing group where we would get a prompt and have to turn in a song at the end of the week and the challenge was to figure out how to write that to that prompt in a way that I cared about it.  Looking For a Fight  and “Diagnostic Heart” were like that.  Then there are other songs that are more like what I have written in the past.  The kind of, “OUCH! That hurts~ I better let the light shine on it so it can heal” approach.  Antiques” and “8x10” are more like that.

4 - While there’s an almost melancholy tone to the album, you’ve pulled in instruments/ tempos that create almost a 1920s vibe (I heard this especially prominent in The Big Game). Who were/ are your musical influences.

The biggest musical influence on this album is the producer, Andre Moran (also the clarinet player)~  I handed him the songs in their most raw form (iPhone recordings of me on my porch with guitar) and said “What do you hear on these?”   He made all the good choices on instrumentation and arrangement. 

5 - One of the things I look for in an artist is ‘their voice’. So many songs at the radio today are hard to differentiate one artist from another. For you, (and in my opinion Texas music in general) that isn’t the case. You don’t sound like Terri Hendrix and she doesn’t sound like you or Jana Pochop. Lloyd Mains termed your sound a ‘Susan Sound’. Where do you feel your ‘voice’ comes from and has it evolved through the course of your career?

Once, I was making excuses for my below average banjo playing and Mark Addison (great musician and producer who is on my list to work with) said our style is determined as much by our limitations as it is by our strengths.  My singing style was forged in a 2 pack a day crucible and now that I don’t smoke anymore, my range is opened up a little, how long I can hold notes etc.  But I feel like my songwriting style grew out of having a smoker’s voice.  I don’t particularly have these real sweeping and dramatic melodies.  I was writing for myself to sing~  I want it to be more conversational.   So the notes are shorter~ more attached to the cadence of how you would just say it.

6 - Literally, for generations, Texas has produced some of the greatest songwriters of our time… and continues to do so. What do you feel is the key ingredient?

Just one key ingredient?  I don’t know~ maybe the way Texans enjoy telling and hearing good stories.  Music is totally part of the fabric of life in Texas. We get to see people play music a lot.  People bring their kids out to shows.  They might see someone who is great or even not great and think, “I could do that”.   I also think that the independent scene in Texas makes a lot of space for people to do it.  You don’t have to wait to get a deal to play.  You get a little gig, a couple fans.  You can build momentum.  You are allowed to get better in public.  The fans are supportive and forgiving.    That’s way more than one ingredient.  But still simple~ like a good guacamole.

7 - On your site, you mention about ‘The best you can do is take each hit as it comes, get back up again, and try to find your wits and center of gravity before the next wallop lands.’ You’ve taken some wallops. What gets you back up and on track again?

The fact that it hurts more to stay down than to get back up.

8- The Hard Stuff criss-crosses over a variety of experiences, all intersecting at crucial points. What is the one singular message you want listeners to come away with?

I guess I would say the main theme is kind of a familiar saying~ Life: Pain is mandatory, Suffering is optional.  There is Hard Stuff  running all through our human experiences.  You can’t avoid it.  You can experience it, learn from it, grow from it, let it change you or don’t let it change you and learn the same lesson over and over (I do that sometimes).  Every Hard Stuff I’ve ever had has had a gift right in the middle of it.

Photo Courtesy:

You can catch up with Susan via the following links:

THE HARD STUFF releases October 4, 2019.
You can check out Susan's music at these locations:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

THE PARTY LIST - 12 - 18

Note: Please remember to check with the venue as to whether or not there is a cover charge or ticket required for the shows you plan to attend. Also, some venues have an age restriction. I have provided links to the venues when possible, making it easy for you to check it out.
Not all events take place in Texas. With that in mind I will begin listing them not only by day but by TEXAS and ON THE ROAD. With that in mind…

Let’s Get This Party STARTED!

Thursday – 12
Pauline Reese – Pink Out Festival – Marble Falls
john Arthur martinez – Kingsland Hills Care Center – Kingsland
john Arthur martinez – Deep Eddy Vodka Tasting Room – Dripping Springs

Friday – 13
Kyle Park – Gator Fest – Anahuac
Josh Abbott Band – Hurricane Harry’s – College Station
Max Stalling – The Blue Light – Dallas
Johnny Rodriguez – 5J Dancehall - McGregor

Saturday – 14
Kyle Park – The Backyard Bar Stage & Grill – Waco
            /w Randy Rogers Band
Max Stalling – Moore’s Store – Ben Wheeler
Kevin Fowler – City of Borger – Borger
Jamie Richards – Del Norte Taco – Godley
Johnny Rodriguez – Llan-Tex Theater – Llano
john Arthur martinez – UT Rice Party – Marble Falls

Sunday – 15
Tessy Lou - Poodie’s – Spicewood
john Arthur martinez – 4.0 Winery - Fredricksburg

Monday – 16
Tessy Lou – Rustic Tap – Austin

Tuesday – 17
NO Shows Found

Wednesday – 18
Jana Pochop – Threadgills’s Old #1 – Austin
            /w Michael O’Connor

Thursday – 12
Jon Wolfe – Warehouse 25 sixty-five Kitchen – Grand Junction CO
Rhonda Vincent – Kentucky Castle – Versailles KY
Whiskey Myers – JJ’s Beer Garden & Brewing Co – Fayetteville AR
Jason Boland & The Stragglers – The Waiting Room Lounge – Omaha NE
Vince Gill – The Chicago Theatre – Chicago IL
Daily & Vincent – American Music Hall – Hiawassee GA
Josh Ward – Hot Country Nights – Norfolk VA

Friday - 13
Vince Gill – Orpheum Theatre – Minneapolis MN
Sawyer Brown – TS Steakhouse at Turning Stone – Verona NY
Adam Carroll – Crooked House Concerts – Auburn CA
Oak Ridge Boys – Anderson Music Hall – Hiawassee GA
Bellamy Brothers – Anderson Music Hall – Hiawassee GA
Jason Boland & The Stragglers – First Avenue Club – Iowa City IA
Whiskey Myers – Minglewood Hall – Memphis TN
            /w Tennessee Jet
Josh Ward – Hot Country Nights – Baltimore MD

Saturday – 14
Jon Wolfe- TheWhiskey Baron Dancehall & Saloon – Colorado Springs CO
Whiskey Myers – Shady Lazy Gators – Lake Ozark MO
            /w Tennessee Jet
Jason Boland & Stragglers – Lebanon Bash – Lebanon KS
Sawyer Brown – Oxford Co Fair – Oxford ME
Oak Ridge Boys – Alabama Theatre – N. Myrtle Beach SC
Adam Carroll – The Side Door Listening Room – Sacramento CA
Susan Gibson – High Peaks Music Festival – Westcliffe CO
Josh Turner – Anderson Music Hall – Hiawassee GA
Mark Chapman Band – AppleFest – Seymour MO
Shenandoah – Silver Dollar City – Branson MO
Vince Gill – Riverside Theater – Milwaukee WI
Josh Ward – Cody Johnson & Friends – Salem VA

Sunday – 15
OakRidge Boys – Walhalla Civic Auditorium – Walhalla SC
            TWO SHOWS
Adam Carroll – Grass Roots Music Festival – Grass Valley CA
Susan Gibson – Society Hall – Alamosa CO
Vince Gill – Palace Theatre – Columbus OH

Monday – 16
NO Shows Found

Tuesday – 17
Tanya Tucker – Bowery Ballroom – New York NY
Josh Turner – Camarillo Community Church – Camarillo CA
Vince Gill – The Novo By Microsoft – Los Angeles CA

Wednesday – 18
Oak Ridge Boys – the Mansion Theatre – Branson MO
Tanya Tucker – The State Theatre – State College PA
Josh Turner – Vina Robles Amphitheatre – Paso Robles CA
Vince Gill – The GRAMMY Museum @ L.A. Live – Los Angeles CA

Saturday, September 7, 2019


I'm behind a bit on Tanya Tucker's release of her brand new album, While I'm Livin' but the story of how this album came together is so important. Brandi Carlile says it best when she says "how potent an influence Tanya Tucker's been on women in country and rural Americana music"

I invite you to take a look at this video then go buy the first album Tanya Tucker has had  out in FIFTEEN years!

Watch her amazing cover of The House That Built Me

Tanya Tucker's new album is available now!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

THE PARTY LIST - September 5 - 11

Note: Please remember to check with the venue as to whether or not there is a cover charge or ticket required for the shows you plan to attend. Also, some venues have an age restriction. I have provided links to the venues when possible, making it easy for you to check it out.
Not all events take place in Texas. With that in mind I will begin listing them not only by day but by TEXAS and ON THE ROAD. With that in mind…

Let’s Get This Party STARTED!

Thursday – 5

Friday – 6
Jon Wolfe – Old Coupland Inn & Dancehall – Coupland
Jason Boland & The Stragglers – The Blue Light – Lubbock
Josh Abbott Band – Buck’s Backyard - Buda

Saturday – 7
Jon Wolfe – Luckenbach – Fredricksburg
Jason Boland & The Stragglers – Carefest – Albany
john Arthur martinez –Badu 1891 - Llano

Sunday – 8
Thomas Michael Riley – Luckenbach
john Arthur martinez – Baron’s Creek Wine Club – Fredricksburg  
Tessy Lou – Poodie’s - Spicewood

Monday – 9
W.C. Jameson – Poodie’s – Spicewood

Tuesday – 10
Mike Blakely – Western Edge Cellars – Fredricksburg
john Arthur martinez – Trailblazer Grille - Burnet

Wednesday – 11
john Arthur martinez – Hondo’s On Main - Fredricksburg

Thursday – 5
Jason Boland & the Stragglers – The Twisted Mule Saloon – ElkCity OK

Friday – 6
Whiskey Myers – Foothills Festival – Jasper AL
Oak Ridge Boys – WK&T Amphitheatre – Martin TN

Saturday – 7
Rhonda Vincent – Bluegrass & Chili Cook off – Wagoner OK
Whiskey Myers – The Signal – Chattanooga TN
            /w Rob Leines
Adam Carroll – Concert in the Woods – Coyle WA
Susan Gibson – Sister’s Folk Festival – Sisters OR

Sunday – 8
Susan Gibson – Sister’s Folk Festival – Sisters OK

Monday – 9
Adam Carroll – Hill Country West House Concerts – Tigard OR

Tuesday – 10
No Shows Found

Wednesday – 11
Sawyer Brown – SEMO District Fair – Cape Girardeau MO
Tanya Tucker – 3rd & Lindsley – Nashville TN
Susan Gibson – Salt Lake City House Concert – Salt Lake City UT

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


TALK TO A HUMAN is an embodiment of Terri Hendrix. While the tunes may carry a party atmosphere, there is an undercurrent message flowing like a trickle through a creek bed… a message with which most of us can identify.

Talk To A Human, with its slam poetry style, kicks off the line-up like a match strike to a fuse. You can hear the sizzle as you move into Mia Madre and the tribulations of coming into womanhood. The tempo carries a celebratory note before gliding into the slower pace of life through Choices, Way Over Yonder in a Minor Key and Don’t Meddle in My Mood (Billy Bragg/ Woody Guthrie cover).

Life is full of highs and lows, and like the rest of us, Terri has experienced them. From health issues to the loss of her sister, Terri keeps pushing through. Dogging Me carries that same persistence in both the toe-tapping beat and harmonica.

Part of what makes Terri Hendrix’ style so unique is her ability to tie a series of albums together in one project… like Russian nesting dolls. Each builds on the one previous. WASP ties back to (Who Is Ann?) from Project 5.4 as well as (Texas Star) from Love You Strong from Project 5.1

Worthy is not only expressed through the lyrics but in the many friends who came together to make Talk To A Human possible. Lloyd Maines, with whom she’s been playing music with so long their names are almost synonymous one with the other, co-produces the album as well as shares his award-winning talent on guitar, dobro, pedal steel, mandolin, banjo, papoose, bass and ukulele. Glenn Fukanaga (bass), Pat Manske (drums, percussion, keypads), John Silva (drums, percussion), Riley Osbourn (keyboards), Drew Womack (harmonies) and Jeanne Ply (fiddle) come together in a harmonious celebration of life.

You’ll find one of the most vivid compositions on this album in The Dark (Guy Clark).  While this is a cover, it’s Terri’s rendition that brings the imagery to life. I could see the campfire flames licking towards a black velvet sky as well as feel as if I were sitting somewhere high, looking out over the lights of Ft. Worth – It’s so dark you can see Ft. Worth from here. Each word illuminates the things we can only see in The Dark, as well as often miss.

Her mastery of storytelling shines like a candle flame, but most of all in The Water is Wide while I Hear Your Song could almost be autobiographical.

I can see the musical influences Terri spoke of in our interview (See Yesterday’s post). I also heard notes of Judy Collins but more than anything I hear her ability to take those influences into her soul and make them a part of her passion for inclusiveness as well as diversity and life.  

I mentioned, The Texas Strong earlier. Here's the video:

The depth of Terri Hendrix’s abilities shine like a beacon from her soul, illuminated in each track on Talk To A Human. The album releases September 6, 2019

 I’m tipping my hat:

Photo Credit : Kim Maguire

You will find Terri Hendrix on a wide variety of social media platforms:

Monday, September 2, 2019

OUT OF THE CHUTE - Terri Hendrix

This week we're opening up the chute for the amazingly talented, Terri Hendrix!

Photo Credit : Kim Maguire

Hi Terri.
After a few years of back and forth emails, a faithful reader of GoatNotes and promoting your gigs here in KellysCountry, I am honored to have you as a guest. Thank you for joining me today.

Thank you for your support. It means a whole lot to me. People like you help keep people like me afloat in a wild business. I sincerely appreciate it.

1 – To say you’ve had a hell of a year is an understatement. Lots of people have those periods in their life. How have you pushed through to keep this project on track?

I wanted to quit several times. But I just could not. I’m not sure why. The book is the hardest. I suffer from memory loss due to seizures. My sister helped me with my past. She would help me remember our childhood. Some stuff I remember and some stuff I don't. Anyway, I am making my way through that final piece of this project. I will not quit. I owe it to you. I owe it to those that pre-ordered, and I owe it to the OYOU. I have a reputation to uphold.

2 – Talk To A Human is an incredible work of art. You seem to have the innate ability of getting your message across in such a way that folks ‘get it’, probably more so than if you spelled everything out for them. For those who are a bit more dense, what is the undercurrent of this album?
Thank you so much. “WASP” bounces off “Woman (Who is Ann P5.4) and “WASP” bounces off “Texas Star” (Love You Strong P5.1). “Talk to a Human” ties the record aspect of this project in a bow. It’s the bookend to “Love you Strong.”

3 – You carry a variety of musical styles in your arsenal. Who were and are some of your influences?
Man oh man. I am a serious music fan. On this computer alone I have 26,000 songs. I used to have over 10,000 CDs but they were stolen when I moved to where I am now.
Country Blues for fingerpicking … Happy Traum
Sonny Terry for harp Paul Simon and John Prine and Nanci Griffith and Mary Chapin and Indigo Girls for music A3 for production and style

4 – I knew before I even looked at the One-Sheet, there were going to be some heavy hitter names on the credits list. Aside from the incredibly talented Lloyd Maines, what were you looking for in the artists you chose?
People I had worked with a long time. All of us in those liner notes go back a decade plus. Lloyd and I are in our 22nd year of working with one another

5 – Most artists release an album then move on to something that may or may not be similar to the previous. You, however, work in projects, releasing in parts over a period of time. Would you tell us a little about your thought process behind ‘projects’ vs ‘singular project’?
Project was cohesively linking subject matters and bypassing genres. CD and all singular album is like my Kid’s Record and a classic country album we record this year or early next year. I genre hop all the time. The Project 5 collection was more thematically linked

6 – Songwriters are a special breed. Really good ones are rare. Have you always been a songwriter and what do you think makes a really good song?
A really good song comes from the heart. I’ve heard really good songs from people that have an idea and don't know how to play it. I’m a bad one to ask about that. If a person finishes a song, they win. If they never try to write one, I think they are missing out in life.
I started writing songs when I was in 4th grade. I never stopped. I read once where Suzanne Vega said great songs read well. I think she is onto something there. Well, depending on your style.

7 - For those not familiar with your passion - OYOU, would you tell us a little about the non-profit and why it’s important to you?
The mission of the OYOU ("Own Your Own Universe" 501(c)(3) nonprofit) is to make the arts accessible to everyone. Our events empower and transform lives by connecting the mind, body, and spirit, through music and the creative arts. We host a variety of workshops and events that champion diversity and inclusiveness. October 6th, we will host the 2nd annual art and music festival that features women I music. It’s important to me because the OYOU is making a difference in this world. It changes lives. I’ve seen it happen.

8 - If you could see one change in our world, what would you want to see?
Kindness. It all starts and ends with kindness. It should be demanded that all those in public office be kind or lose their job. Bullying is obvious.

Let's give a listen to Terri Hendrix:

You will find Terri Hendrix on a wide variety of social media platforms: