I spent last Sunday with Grady Spencer signing me what I can only akin to lullabies. The Live Oak Music Hall was quiet, dark, candle lit and the ambience of his melodies could be heard over the silence, so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Grady’s lessons on life and love feel more like an old friend than the dynamic of musician and audience. When he sings about going from fore lorn, lost sailor in a sea of broken hearts to the thrill of meeting his wife and child it is truly some of the most genuinely authentic music I have heard in quite some time. Check out “Best That I Can” to see exactly what I mean.
“What makes Texas music any different than the Nashville crooners?” is something I get asked a lot. Authenticity is my answer. It is a word I’ve thrown around more than once about this genre of music I’ve come to fall head-over-heels in love with and the musicians I write love stories with. The music starts as a life lesson then to pen and paper, chords, before it evolves in to lyrics, then a song and a performance.
Texas “country” is changing. The age old fight about Texas vs. Red Dirt (yes, undeniably there is a difference,) Americana, folk…So much time has been spent on asking what do we label each musician and band? What becomes less important than genre and labels, in my eyes, is the single label that can’t be denied; authenticity. Their music is authentic and this genre is creating a place in the world for authenticity to matter. Someone asked me today if a guy like Leon Bridges has a place in this music world and I answered with a resounding, “yes!” I believe fans are looking for good music again after years and years of being fed pop bullshit with a fiddle and a Nashville zip code and this genre is wholly responsible for that.
Erick Willis played last week at Live Oak with Grady as well. If you haven’t heard “Please” yet, you’ve every seriously fucked up a relationship or are living an unfortunately unrequited love story, stop whatever it is your doing and go download it. I said last week he was “a poet for the broken hearted” and I still cannot come up with a better description. With the idea of Sunday Coming Down on many of his songs, he lives on a wing and a prayer without a doubt. I can’t wait to see what he does in the future with all of that pent up angst and story writing talent.
Authenticity; we have it, other genres don’t. Things are evolving, Texas music is changing and The Scene is becoming a platform for both the musician and the fan to share their true feelings together. Genres, labels, bullshit not necessary, this is a place for everyone.
What I’m listening to:
Grady Spencer and the Work
- Best I can
- Things to Do
- Never Be Found
- That Makes Two of Us
- She Already Knows