Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Man, if you want an awesome Texas music weekend, this is one annual event you DO NOT want to miss! Besides, I need roving reporters to tell me all about it as I won' t be able to make the trip this year. :-)

FANDANGO is only 1 month away so time to make travel plans is running short. Here's all the info you need:

Friday, May 13 - $15.00

Saturday, May 14 - $20.00

Weekend pass - $30.00 (save five bucks!)

Fandango tickets now on sale!

You have two choices: phone, or internet. The internet option requires a $3.00 convenience fee tacked onto the ticket price. No extras fees for the telephone option.

To buy tickets by phone, call the Llano Chamber of Commerce at 325-247-5354. Have your credit card handy. Your tickets will be available at will call at the Fandango.

To purchase tickets on the internet, log onto and click on the Fandango logo.

On the Fandango page, scroll down to the link to

(A $3.00 fee is added to the ticket price to purchase on line.)

Fandango Location: Llano River Golf and RV

located 1.5 miles west of the Llano courthouse on Ranch Road 152.

This facility is perfect for the Fandango. There’s a covered pavilion, so we’ll have no rain worries. The grounds are on the banks of the gorgeous Llano River . Bring your kayaks or canoes. A small dam impounds a nice little lake at the resort. The golf course, RV park, and pavilion are all located together on this stretch of the river. Once you arrive, you won’t want to leave!

Camping: The RV slips with full hookups have all been reserved, but not to worry. There are acres and acres available for RVs without hookups, or for tents. No need to call in advance. Simply show up and pay for your camping fee. It’s only $5.00 per person per night.

This is a BYOB event. Coolers welcome. No glass, please. No pets.

Rooms in town:

Call the Llano Chamber of Commerce at 325-247-5354

or go to

Llano hotels book up early this time of year for various events. The C of C will have tips on B&Bs and available motels.

Also, Cedar Lodge is only 20 minutes away on Lake Buchanan – 512-793-2820.

Schedule of Events:

Thursday – May 12 – Sponsor’s Party. Live music by Mike Blakely and Woody Eastman. Beer, wine and food provided by River City Grille. (If you’d like to be a Fandango Sponsor, reply to this email to inquire. There are perks galore if you’re a sponsor!)

Friday, May 13

10:00 – Golf tournament. Get your 4-man team together for the scramble. Shotgun start. Prizes! This is a fund-raising event in support of U.S. military men and women. Lunch for golfers provided by River City Grille. $40 per player, payable at the Fandango. Let us know if you’re golfing, or need team members.

Friday music, beginning at 5:00:

Jeff “Wild Horse” Posey ( Fort Worth )

John Fullbright ( Oklahoma )

Casey Hubble Band ( Austin )

Mike Siler ( Nashville )

Walt & Tina Wilkins ( Austin )

Susan Gibson (Wimberly)

john Arthur martinez with John Greenberg and Mike Blakely.

Saturday, May 14

11:00 a.m. – kayak races!

Noon – basketball free-throw shooting contest

3:00-5:00 – book signing featuring Texas authors

Saturday music beginning at 1:00

Jake Martin (Luckenbach)

Kylie Rae Harris (Stephenville)

Josh Grider ( Austin )

Duke Davis and Buckshot ( Fredericksburg )

Rodney Hayden ( Austin )

The WC Jameson Band (Texas Hill Country)

Courtney Reed (Llano)

Adam Carrol ( East Texas )

Chris Wall ( Austin )

Davin James & The Bullnettle Band (Spring, TX)

Mike Blakely & The Whiskey Traders

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Academy Award of Distinction

The other new category added to the Texas Music Awards this year is the Academy Award of Distinction.

This award was created to honor talented artists who might not ‘fit the mold’ of the standard categories, but are no way less talented. They’re just unique in both their way of delivering the music they grew up with and their ability to evolve without losing sight of their roots.

Tom Tranchilla & Buddy Allen

Beautifully mastered acoustical arrangements of both original and standard music.

Bill Reed and the Fewer Sorrows Band

Bill Reed would be as comfortable on a stool in the corner of a bar or coffee house as on a concert hall stage. His songs are pure and touch the heart.

Camino Alto (Opie Hendrix and the Texas Tallboys)

Raw, gutteral, exposed, talented

Jason Marbach
Lucky Boyd describes Jason’s music as Texville. And he’s right. You hear the true Texas boy behind the music but the more contemporary sound of Nashville artists like Jason Aldean come through. I think his true sound is more dominant on his 1st CD.

Jason was a 2006 Nominee for Rising Star with the TMA.

Calvin ‘Pug’ Johnson

You hear the his faith and his roots in every note of his original works.

Pug was nominated for the TMA 2010 Songwriter of the year for “Our Brothers”

Mandy Mercier
Soulful Joan Biaz quality to her voice.

Mandy was nominated in 2008 for the TMA Singer/Songwriter of the Year.

Hank Woji

Arlo Guthrie mixed with a New Age sound you don’t want to miss out on. Beautiful guitar strums accompany a mellow voice. I’d love to see him do an album with Mandy Mercier.

Hank was nominated in 2006 for Producer of the Year and in 2009 for Singer/ Songwriter of the Year.

Please take time to click on their links and experience a part of Texas Music that isn’t cowboy but still deep in the roots of that great state.

Country Blessings

Monday, April 4, 2011

Carl T. Sprague Award

This year, the Texas Music Association has added two very prestigious awards to their line-up. One is the Carl T. Sprague Award. Those of you new to the Texas music scene might not recognize the name or the importance behind it.

The picture and research for this article are courtesy of Bluegrassmessengers

Carl was the first REAL singing cowboy. He learned traditional cowboy songs as a young boy while sitting around the campfire on cattle drives with his uncle in the early 1900’s. Over the years he honed his craft of singing and songwriting. His first hit came in 1925 with “When the Works All Done This Fall”. Back when a record was a a hit if it sold 5,000 copies, Carl’s sold over 900,000! His success paved the way for more familiar singing cowboys such as Tex Ritter, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. He set the tone for what would become known as Country and Western music.

Unlike most musicians of today, Carl looked upon his music as a hobby. Other than some speaking at various ‘folklife’ seminars around the country in his later life, he never persued a serious musical career following the Depression. He did record two albums in the early 1970’s with the Bear Family Recordings out of Germany.

With inspiration like Carl T. Sprague, it’s understandable why the following entertainers stand to be one of the first to receive this very prestigious award.

This year, Lonnie Spiker, Jeremy Parsons, Mike Siler, Aaron Wendt, and Michael Martin Murphy hold a spot in this inaugural category. Each one of them belong in this category for varying reasons. Only one will take home the prestigious honor.

Tomorrow I'll showcase the Academy Award of Distinction.

Until then...
Country Blessings!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ah, Spring!

And with Spring came a lovely spring head cold. I spent 2 weeks furiously cleaning my house in anticipation of a 2-week visit with my granddaughter. We were going to do all kinds of fun things during the day. Grandpa would keep her occupied for a couple hours in the evening while I took care of business.

Best laid plans... LOL
My granddaughter was kind enough to give me a head cold. Not only did she and I not do much but watch movies and color, but I was in bed by 8 p.m. every evening right along with her LOL.

I have been doing some stuff behind the scenes though. I have been touted by the Texas Music Association as a 'respected on-line journalist'. I'm honored and hope I can live up to their tag. Jinelle Boyde of the TMA has been wonderful about helping secure a couple of very prestigious interviews and I can't wait to share them with you. A couple of the nominees have also agreed to guest blog between now and the awards ceremony.

Monday I'll update you on where we stand on nominees and introduce you to two new categories

Until then....

Country Blessings