Blue Monday 12/30/2008
Following the cacophony of Christmas, the revelry of New Year's, and the excitement of any weekend, where might a music lover turn to ease back into the work-a-day world? Blue Monday.
Guitar Heroes 12/24/2008
If you have teenagers, don't be surprised to find a Guitar Hero under your Christmas tree. I'm not talking about an aging rock star sleeping off last night's excesses, but rather the season's hottest video game.
Nimitz dresses up for military ball 12/17/2008
In the late 1800s, a young Chester Nimitz grew enamored of the uniforms and medals worn by soldiers who frequented his grandfather's hotel in Fredericksburg. This weekend, uniformed military members will once again gather at the restored Nimitz Hotel for a ball in their honor.
The (sour) sounds of the season 12/10/2008
OK we get it. It came upon a midnight clear, and the reindeer were up on the housetop, and Santa was on his way to town, and then the drummer boy showed up and they all rocked around the Christmas tree. I have grown to dread the sounds of the holiday season.
Healing through harmonies 12/3/2008
Linda Petty wanted to be a doctor. She turned out to be a singer. But she still helps heal people who come to hear her.
Dancing in the sky 11/26/2008
Julia Langenberg has danced in some unusual places - such as hanging from bridges, on the scaffolding of unfinished buildings, and over the sides of skyscrapers.
From Communism to Carnegie Hall 11/19/2008
The politics and culture that drove two young artists to violin virtuosity ended up driving them from their native land.
Cigar Box Guitar 11/12/2008
Why would anyone build a guitar out of a cigar box? I asked Frank Sant'Agata that question.
Did anyone ever knock on your door and try to sell you a Guitar-O-Lin?
Nate Mayfield: From baroque to polka 10/29/2008
Sitting in the back pew of Zion Lutheran church one Sunday, I heard a glorious sound from above. It was the pure, powerful tone of a trumpet.
RedIron Amps: Echoes of Eternity 10/22/2008
It sounds like a joke: what do you get when you cross an electronic tube with a mesquite tree? But these amps are no joke: they are one serious amp.
Phillips Sisters: Heavenly Harmonies 10/15/2008
On the banks of the Blanco River in 1980, I heard angels sing.
Broken Strings 10/8/2008
What happened to Luckenbach in the 1970s is about to happen to the entire Hill Country music scene.
John Arthur Martinez: First in hearts 10/1/2008
As a top finisher on the first season of Nashville Star, John Arthur Martinez impressed millions of viewers. But what makes him most proud is the effect he had on one fan.
You think you have heard the Irish ditty "What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?" Well, you have never heard it pounded out by a rock band thrashing electric guitar, thumping bass, pumping drums and screaming.
In Texas we love our fests, celebrating oddities from mosquitoes to watermelon thumps to spam-o-ramas. Next week, Fredericksburg is host to SaengerFest, when several hundred "Saengers" will hit town simply to sing.
The Swingmasters 9/10/2008
“Good evening, ladies and germs. Welcome to Frank & Fran’s. I’m Frank. Franny is serving the beer. We are the Swingmasters. Hit it, boys.”
Promenade go 'round the square 9/3/2008
Swing your honey round and round, Any old way but upside down
CC McCartney: That "God" Voice 8/27/2008
You have heard his voice. But you would not recognize him if he sat down beside you at Hondo's. I have, and I didn't.
Byrd & Street: Well Connected 8/20/2008
When I walked into Hondo's one evening I noticed something different - the band members were handing out maracas. What kind of band arms its audience with instruments?
Quebes: Fiddling Sisters 8/13/2008
Every few years, the music business seems to discover its "next big stars." Just as often, the glow quickly fades. But the Quebe Sisters Band might be the group to make those stars align again.
Thomas Michael Riley: Finally a songwriter 8/6/2008
Even after he had written 500 songs, including a Texas top ten hit, Thomas Michael Riley had a hard time convincing one person that he really was a songwriter: himself.
Bowling for Hollers 7/30/2008
There are only four lanes. The surfaces are uneven; the oil is applied by hand. There is no fancy scoring system, not even an automatic ball return. Yet every winter Wednesday evening, 25 men still bowl on the hard maple alleys in Turner Hall.
Carey Dyer: Born to Perform 7/23/2008
He is Ray Charles. He is Johnny Mathis. He's Sonny, Smokey, Elvis, and Hank. But underneath the wigs, makeup, and polyester "he" is Carey Dyer.
The Golden Ax (Cactus Pear Music Festival) 7/16/2008
Gifted composers need not look far for inspiration. Gary Albright and Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio found it while reading bedtime stories to their two daughters.
Spare Parts 7/9/2008
Sometimes - as a musician - you just want to play good old rock and roll dance music. Often - as an audience - that's what you want to hear. When such a band and such an audience come together, it is a rare thing.
Rhonda Mann: Back in the Spotlight 7/2/2008
The Egyptian temptress slinks across the stage, plants a leg on the young prince's chest, and beckons him to sample the pleasures of the Nile. Not the typical routine for Rhonda Mann, who finds herself on center stage for the first time in decades.
An "Amazing" Performer 6/25/2008
In the Fredericksburg Theater Company's production of Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat that starts this weekend, the lead role will feature an actor who used to be painfully shy and could not sing.
The gift of flute 6/18/2008
Virgie Raven Hawk considers the music that sings from her flute as a gift from God. It was a gift she did not open until she turned 50.
Moses, Mountain Man 6/11/2008
Roy Neal is a man of his time, a successful homebuilder. But when he dons his raccoon cap and picks up his knives and tomahawks, he becomes "Moses, mountain man."
Too good to be a star 6/4/2008
The music business can be a fickle temptress; she will flirt with your passion, flatter your talents, then leave you standing at the altar. This happened to Bob Villa. Not once, but three times.
Nothing but Music 5/28/2008
Is there anyone who didn't dread piano lessons as a kid? Why, then, would adults sign up to spend five days doing nothing but taking music lessons?
Back at the Ranch 5/21/2008
When strangers eavesdrop on your conversation four hours a day, five days a week, you can't fake your personality.
A Little Night Musikgemeinschaft 5/14/2008
Introducing die Musikgemeinschaft "Harmonie" Tamm-Hohenstange! Huh?
Nuevo Nacimiento 5/7/2008
You never know where the road to redemption will lead.
Teaching the Singing Impaired 4/30/2008
Some of us can't sing, and shouldn't try.
Cruise Music 4/23/2008
Every musician's fantasy gig is to perform on a cruise ship. What better than doing what you love, but doing it on one of the floating palaces of the sea?
Jimmy DePoy 4/16/2008
If this guitar thing doesn't work out, he can always be a doctor or a lawyer.
Will Owen-Gage 4/9/2008
When I first heard Will Owen-Gage in 2005, he was so good it was scary.
Name that (fiddle) tune 4/2/2008
It seems that as fiddlers composed endless new hornpipes, reels, and jigs, they flat outpaced their capacity to come up with suitable song titles.
Musak April Fools, 2008
There I was, laid out during my trip to the dentist. Feet up. Head back.Hands clenched. And feet... tapping... tapping along with Bach. Thank you, Musak!
Juan Carlos: Sing Before Breakfast 3/19/2008
"Welcome to the Sing Before Breakfast Show... the music and the memories... this is Juan Carlos... it's a pleasure to have you aboard..."
The Pipes are Calling 3/12/2008
Whenever I have needed an obtuse musical reference I have called upon the bagpipe, figuring there were no Scottish Highlanders in the Texas hills to take offense. I stand corrected...
Instrument of Choice 3/5/2008
"Phil... do you know anyone who works on fiddles? I have a friend who wants to fix up an instrument his grandfather played in the 1930s."
Charles Feller: Voice of Fredericksburg 2/27/2008
"Come over here, young fella... let's visit on the radio."
John Christopher Way 2/20/2008
25 years ago, I played in a club so small, the fiddler had to crouch to keep his bow from hitting the ceiling. That fiddler was Johnnie Way. And sometimes he brought his little boy John Christopher with him.
It was a dark and misty night. A disembodied singing rolled in with the fog. "What's in your head? In your head?"
"You could take an agent's heart and fit it into a gnat's navel, and there would still be room for his brain."
League of David 1/30/2008
It is a lamentable fact of our culture that adolescent guys are reluctant to try activities perceived as less than masculine. Yet some of Fredericksburg's finest young men gather every Sunday to sing original chorale music.
Erik Hokkanen 1/23/2008
I knew Erik Hokkanen was a different sort of musician when he introduced a song by saying, "Here's a little country tune - from the country of Yemen."
Sisterdale Roadhouse 1/16/2008
Attention, songwriters: Sisterdale wants its own song. That may be all it needs to make it the next Luckenbach.
John Andrew Parks 1/9/2008
Another musician just landed on Planet Fredericksburg: John Andrew Parks III.
Henhouse Cafe 1/2/2008
Texas Monthly proclaimed Wendy Jimenez the quintessential Texas waitress. Now she owns her own restaurant.