Sunday, July 29, 2012

Monday Morning Note!

Good morning Country friends and fans.

Just wanted to let you know I'm on the road the next couple of days. So there will not be an Out of The Chute post this week.

Hubby and I are running away together ;-)

See you on Wednesday
Country Blessings!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review Wednesday: GI Joe & Lillie Bonsall

Since setting up a twitter account for the Country Angel, I’ve been connecting with some really neat people. One of those is Joe Bonsall.  You might recognize the name as one of the members of The Oakridge Boys. Joe has crafted a beautiful story about his parents, Joe and Lillie Bonsall. Coming from backgrounds that could have made them very different people, his parents found a love for each other and their family most people only dream about. Today, I introduce you to G I Joe and Lillie.

First published in 2003, G I JOE & LILLIE: Remembering the Life of Love and Loyalty is now in it’s 8th printing.  That alone tells the quality of the story. Many of our Veterans can not talk about what they saw and experienced during WarTime. Joe Bonsall Sr was no exception. It was only because of the love and support of his family we get a glimpse of the heartache, pain and tragedy WWII dished out to the men – and women- who served our country in one way or another.  Not only does ‘Joey’ share those emotions with us, he also conveys the love for God, Country and Family that pulled his parents through. While giving us insight to the War, he also recounts a beautiful love story of what his parents experienced during their courtship, marriage and companionship through the years. This is the perfect book for guys and gals alike. I encourage you to pick up a copy (available in HB, PB and Kindle forms), find a comfortable chair and settle in for one of the most heartwarming books you’ll ever read.
Thanks, Joe, for sharing your parents’ story with us.

Country Blessings

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Concerts and Events - Week of July 16th

All engagements listed are as I receive them from the performers newsletter or direct chat. Clicking on their name will send you to their website for updated information.


Wednesday July 18 - concert pub north
Saturday July 21 - dynamo bbva compass stadium
Saturday July 28 - curtain club - dallas tx

Tuesday July 17 - Railhead Smokehouse (with Cody Johnson) - Willow Park TX 7:30-10:30
Friday July 20 - 76th Scurry Country Rodeo Dance - Snyder TX 9-midnight
Sunday July 22 - Hullabaloo Diner (with Amos Staggs) - College Station TX 6-8 p.m.

Thursday July 19 - The Badu House (with Woody Eastman) - Llano TX  7p.m.

And while Mike and I have your attention, have you heard about the AWESOME  cruise coming up in February 2013? Wow! Here's the info you need:
Our trip is a 5-night cruise to Cozumel, sailing from Galveston on the new Carnival ship, Triumph.  Prices start at $520, which includes all meals.  And... if you attended our last music cruise, you will get another $50 per person off your fee!  Mike Blakely, john Arthur martinez, Kim Carson, Sonny Lemaire, and ED BRUCE!  Fun at sea, and live music, too!  For more details, here's the LINK 

 To book your cabin, email

Saturday July 21 - Night in Old Fredricksburg - Fredricksburg Market Place - 9 p.m.

There's still time to get your tickets and hotel reservations for the Red-Neck River Music Festival. July 27th and 28th at Buckhorn Lake Resort - Kerrville TX Other performers include Tommy Alverson, Chris Wall and Brian Burns. Click on Tommy's link above for all the details!

Tommy will also be participating in the Fall Music Cruise September 22nd - 29th. Click on Brian's link for the information.

Party hard, Keep it Safe and...
Country Blessings!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Out of the Chute with Mike Blakely

A little about Mike:
He’s “just plain brilliant,” according to John M. Greenberg, singer/songwriter and Blakely’s friend of 13 years. “…He is as gifted of a novelist as he is a songwriter.” 

 At age 52, Mike Blakely has written 16 novels and released 11 albums of original TexAmericana music. Blakely draws on his own experiences, other people’s stories, or even just the twist of a phrase to fuel his songwriting. Mike, who plays guitar and mandolin, says he finds inspiration in all kinds of places.

Blakely grew up in Wharton County, Texas, where he learned the cowboy ways. These days, on his Seven Stars Ranch in Llano County (which is for sale if anyone is looking), Blakely still clings to his country roots. He has always wanted to live in the country, have his own place, be his own boss, and hunt and fish. “I’m living the dream,” he said. “And I get to do two things I love to do to make a living.”

Let’s throw open the Chute!

This was the Tenth Anniversary for the Texas Music Awards. You first appeared on the nomination list in 2005 for Vocal Group of the Year with The Whiskey Traders. You’ve since been nominated in a variety of other categories for other collaborations as well as a single artist, including  your fourth nomination for Entertainer of the Year. Last year you were presented with the ‘My Texan Award’. What does it mean to you to be involved with the Texas music community and the Academy?

It’s always an honor to be recognized with a nomination by the Academy. As for the Texas music community, it has given me some of my favorite moments in life, and introduced me to some of my very best friends.

When I interviewed you last, I asked about your musical influences. You listed people like Marty Robbins and John Hiatt. What is it about their music that influences you?

I liked Marty’s western flare as a writer, and of course his golden voice. John Hiatt has an inventive songwriting style that appeals to me. Anyone who can get away with rhyming “Queen of Sheba” with “amoeba” in a song earns my admiration!

You are not only known as a talented musician but for your writing, as well. You have several westerns, including Summer of Pearls which won the 2001 Spur Award, a non-fiction: Forever Texas- The Way Those Who Wrote It Lived It, the collaboration with Willie Nelson – A Tale Out of Luck and have a recipe in The Ultimate Chili Cookbook. You are due to release not one but two books this year.

The first is your collaboration with Kenny Rogers. Can you tell us a little about the book, ‘What Are the Chances?’ 

My co-write with Kenny is my first non-western novel.  It’s a music business story set in 1975.  It also has a gambling element, for obvious reasons.  Our fictional characters invent the Texas Hold ‘Em phenomenon.  There are several other plot lines, too.  I don’t want to spoil all the surprises.

Your other book to look for soon is called ‘The Pounders’. What is it about?

It was great fun to write a non-western about being in a band.  So much so that as soon as I finished the collaboration with Kenny Rogers, I wrote my own novel about a band in the 70s.  It will be called “The Pounders.”  That’s also the name of the band in the novel.  It should be out in 2013, if everything stays on schedule.

Can you give us a sneak peek into your next writing project?
I am just now getting started on a big, historical novel about the Mexican War.  This will require a lot of research, but I’m glad to have the contract to write the book.

Thanks for joining me on Kelly’s Country today, Mike. I know you’re very busy and your time is sincerely appreciated.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


TWENTIETH CENTURY DRIFTER: The Life of Marty Robbins is well written. Like any other project author Diane Diekman produces, the material she presents comes from countless hours of research and interviews. She doesn't take 'I don't remember' for an answer. Diane digs till she gets the information she is looking for.

Through her diligence, we are rewarded with an all-access pass with the late Marty Robbins from the people who knew him best. Diane leads you on a journey through detailed accounts and photos from his boyhood antics through to his many accomplishments both in the music industry and on the racetrack. Not only will you see a side of Marty Robbins only those closest to him ever saw, but you get a glimpse of what life in Nashville was like in it's early days and the role he played in helping others on their way up.

I was first introduced to Diane through her book about the late, great Faron Young. “LIVE FAST, LOVE HARD: The Faron Young Story gave me an insight to her talent in showcasing the legends of Country Music. I’d had the opportunity to spend time with Faron many years ago and knew Diane was telling it the way he lived. She’s done the same with this book.

I’ve been a fan of Marty Robbins all of my life. I remember Dad singing El Paso to me as a child when I had growing cramps in my legs and couldn’t go to sleep at night. I remember hearing El Paso City and feeling as if I was in the airplane looking down over the city. When he sang, his music took you with him wherever his mind went. Like any good writer, if they can make you feel a part of what you hear or read then they are a success. Marty Robbins fit the category of Success.

Whether you are a fan of classic country, Nascar or the man, this book on the legendary Marty Robbins belongs in your collection.  You’ll find it HERE.HERE

Diane sends out an eNewsletter. The newsletter is full of tidbits found too late to include in the book and memories from fans just like you. If you’d like to receive the newsletter, send an email to:

Country Blessings!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Back to Work

Hey gang!
The granddaughter has gone back to Nashville and I'm back to work. I have a ton of catching up to do and will get to everyone just as quick as I can. I didn't have the computer time I thought I'd have while she was here so nothing except my weekly newspaper column got written. Lots of notes here and there, things swirling through my brain but nothing on paper and no email communication with some of you.

Thank you for your patience while I enjoyed my granddaughter. She is 4.5 years old and a grandma's girl. Since this isn't making me any money - yet - she is the most important thing when she's here. The rest will follow as it should.

Keep checking back as I get things up to speed.

Country Blessings!