Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

I doubt this comes as a shock to anyone but I wanted to make it official. I am stepping down from everything 9 Bullets related save the technical side of things. I’ll keep the site updated and make sure it’s secure but I won’t be writing anymore. I am venturing out on my own and will doing some things at Through The Whiskey Glass. I have no desire to attempt to recreate or compete with 9 Bullets and if I ever feel the need to write another album review I’ll ask Patrick about posting it with me as a guest author. Make no mistake, I love 9 Bullets and always will. This decision is due to many factors and in the end one I feel like I have to make if I am going to continue supporting the music that we’ve always supported.

My history here and love I have for 9 Bullets is, in fact, the very reason I’m stepping down even as a writer. I have been a less than reliable writer and feel like I’ve let a lot of people down. Whether this is true or not doesn’t actually effect how I feel. It’s time for me to move on, take a step out on my own, shake off the restrictions, however artificial, I have assigned to writing here, and try to rekindle the same joy and vigor in doing something to support the artists that I have always felt in the music. This isn’t an easy decision, nor one that I’ve given anyone an opportunity to talk me out. I simply feel like my time here has run its course and perhaps more than. A lot of what I’m feeling may be completely delusional but it is my reality. It’s never fun to say goodbye but this is internets and you all know how to find me.

I’ll leave you with these two things:

I have to say goodbye to things in order to take on bigger things that I’ve always wanted to do.
– Mahershala Ali

Thank you everyone for these last 8 years. It’s been an amazing run and while I have a few regrets I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Introduction to Samuel Barker

11949449_890950117649613_6278425683884630843_nHey everybody! I figured I would introduce myself since posts from me are going to start popping up on the site and you might just be scratching your head wondering all about me. To really appreciate my writing, you need to know the basics about me, right? Well, here we go.

I love long drives, I wear boxers over briefs, leave the toilet seat up and dark blue is my favorite color. I prefer dogs over cats, beer over wine and/or liquor and I put beans in my chili. Bears are favorite animal, I’m a Fender-style man when it comes to electrics and a Gibson-style kind of guy when it comes to acoustic and I once drunkenly peed in a plant at the Grand Ole Opry hotel.

Now that the important information is out of the way, I’ll tell you the more trivial information about myself.

You may have seen my name pop up on the site in the past when my old band was covered, when my solo album was announced or I opened for a band people on this site dig. I have been a blog writer with sites like Rockzone.com, HoustonMusicReview.com and various others. I love writing, it’s something I’m actually good at.

My main love in life, though, is music. From the time I put my first Bob Seger and Huey Lewis and the News 45s on my mom’s best friend’s record player, I was hooked. Tastes have changed, but that feeling never goes away. It is why I eventually started talking about music, searching out new artists that I’d never heard before, writing about music, playing music and travelling around the country doing all of it. Some people have God, I have music. It does the same thing to my soul (to steal a line from Tom Petty).

Hope you dig what I write about and have a little fun with it. NineBullets has been a great source of knowledge for me, as well as, a place that has given much support to my music. Now, as we should do in all facets of life, I’m going to do my best to give back to those who have given to me. Let the good times start rolling…I’m ready…

Easing In To Things

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We’re going to take it easy right now while everyone gets acclimated and I make some changes behind the scenes in preparation for opening up submissions to the public. User Submissions are technically open but mostly for testing purposes, the CSS still needs a lot of work but the basic functionality should be there. You can find it at the top of the screen with the other site pages. It’s still in beta but if you do submit something we’ll look it over for sure!

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be talking about what albums we’re looking forward to this year, introducing the folks (old and new) that make up 9 Bullets, updating the About page, talking about the new features, and generally making sure we (mostly me) have our shit together. Then it’ll business as normal around here.

One change I’d like to mention is the Tidbits category, that’s the one that scrolls along the top of the site. In the past we used that for timely pieces and what not but now it’s going to be a collection of RSS feeds from some of our favorite sites, podcasts, and cartoons. I’m still working on getting it doing things properly, but it’s active now. It’s sort of a big change as it’ll be automated and just post to social media and all that. The hope is that we can put eyes and ears of these folks that don’t already know about them. I’m always open to adding to the feeds we’re using so if you have a suggestion then hit me up via the staff email or on social media and I’ll gladly take a look!

In the end, we’re here for you folks, the ones reading the crap we write. So if you have any ideas of suggestions then leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you.

New Beginnings For A New Year

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The start of 2016 marks a new beginning for 9B. Staff has changed quite a bit and we’ve pared to down to a much smaller crew. There wasn’t any drama in this happening; people grow, change, and move on and I wish everyone who’s ever been a part of 9 Bullets all the best. Over the next few days we’ll be welcoming a couple new staff members and announcing some changes to the way we do things. While we’ll have a smaller staff I think we’ll be able to focus more on doing what we do best. As always the focus will remain music because without that this isn’t 9 Bullets. I’m excited about the changes and I think you may be as well.

One of the major changes is actually really simple. We now accept articles from anyone. All you have to do is sign up for an account, login, and submit an article. At that point one of our editors will look over the piece and if it’s well written and on topic then we’ll get it scheduled. This is your chance to get eyes and ears on stuff that might not be getting the recognition it deserves. I can’t promise that we’ll publish everything but we’ll at least give everything a real shot. If you aren’t familiar with our take on how we write about things then check out the About page and go from there. I look forward to seeing your submissions.

All that said, this is my site and I haven’t written anything in months. I was afraid I’d lost my passion for this and seriously considered passing the baton or, in the absence of anyone to hand things to, letting the site slip in to the archives of the internet. After a lot of soul searching I realize that I’m not done. I still love the music and even more so the people involved in the music. I can’t walk away nor do I want to. So, if you’re reading this, thanks for sticking around while we got things figured out! Now, go nurse your hangover, there’s a good chance I’m doing the same. But stay tuned, we’ve got big things coming…

Introduction to Nick Liechty

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I hate talking or writing about myself so i’ll keep this brief. Growing up I was always crazy about music so in grade school you’d find me in the library checking out all the rock history books then pouring over them to figure out the influences and origins of whatever I was listening to at the time. This obsession never lightened up but found a new outlet in high school when a friend handed me an Avail 7in and pointed me to the local all ages venues. Louisville, KY had a great local scene at the time which meant I went to multiple shows a week, saw tons of awesome bands and eventually worked for one of the venues. The benefit of being a punk kid in Kentucky is that even those punk bands still appreciated or at least acknowledged the country and bluegrass most of them heard growing up so our tastes stayed pretty diverse. Music is the thread that connects all the important events in my life from meeting my wife through friends from shows to my first big career progression coming from a friend I traded music with online.

Luckily a friend handed me a copy of Lucero’s self titled record when it was released which turned me into a huge fan of theirs, introduced me to a new music family and lead me down the Americana path eventually to this site. I’ve found some great bands from this site over the years, including some favorites like John Moreland and Two Cow Garage so it’s exciting to be writing here now. Aside from seeing shows in my home of DC/Baltimore I tend to travel wherever the shows are so I’m going to be concentrating on writing up those shows and the experiences that come with them as well as whatever music catches my attention. I hope you all enjoy reading it and I’m sorry if I’ve blocked your view at a show but I needed to get those drinks to the band.

Introduction to Bryan Minks

Bryan Minks

My oldest memories of being in love with music go back to my very first memories. I can still hear the crackling vinyl as the Rolling Stones pumped through my father’s floor model pioneers on a late Saturday night, it was the soundtrack for good times with friends. I can still hear the classic country gold pouring from my papaw’s (that’s Kentuckian for Grandfather) classic radio in his Volkswagen repair shop. The same way I can remember being a 12-year-old boy who decided to trade his Nintendo and TV at the pawn shop for a shitty Les Paul knockoff and a Peavey Bandit. I can still hear Lucero’s “Nobody’s Darlings” blasting through my car speakers on backwoods Kentucky roads, the soundtrack as I fell in love with my soon to be wife. Music has been there for me through thick and thin, through good and bad. It never leaves my side. It provides me the inspiration needed to crawl out of the hard times. It is the setting for my good times. These moments continue to inspire me and shape me into who I am and who I will become.

My musical tastes are as diverse as any, but first and foremost I’m a fan of sincerity. I guess that is how I stumbled upon Nine Bullets in the first place. Most of the artists I’d been listening to were played on the Nine Bullets radio show, reviews of their records were on the website, and it quickly became my go to avenue for discovery of new music. You may not like every review/link/article/etc shared here, but one thing remains constant – the artists represented here are sincere. And these hardworking artists deserve an ambassador to purvey their work.

I am honored and excited to be part of Nine Bullets. It is a place I have visited and continually found musical inspiration. My goal is to seek out music that I love and share it with you. I want to give you a new point of inspiration and hope, share with you these soundtracks that guide me on my journeys every day.

Welcome To The New 9 Bullets

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I’d like to officially welcome everyone to the new Nine Bullets layout. Aside from the overall look of the joint I’d like to point out a couple of features. The slider between the header and the posts has its own special category and all of our writers are allowed to post to that category without going through the editorial process. This allows all of us to make timely posts about events, releases, singles, videos, and things along those lines and have those posts shared to social media. Admittedly, skipping the editorial process sounds scary but we’ve got a team of great writers here and I have faith in all of them. The new theme offers infinite scrolling so you won’t see links to “next and “previous” pages at the bottom of the main page. There is a lot of cool stuff on the backend that will make life easier on the staff but you’ll never see that.

I’ll be working on updating the “About” page and getting some other stuff set up now that the DNS switch is done but I wanted to take the time to personally welcome you to the new site! So play around, click some things, and stuff like that. If anything seems broken then please drop me a line at “romeosidvicious @ Google’s web mail service” and let me know.

Goodbye Joe, Me Gotta Go

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Nearly four years ago I spotted a Help Wanted post on Nine Bullets and responded immediately. The post wasn’t up for long, maybe half a day, and not only did I get lucky to spot that post it also changed my life. My first post was a review of the Cave Singer’s album No Witch and this is my final post for Nine Bullets. After more than a month of internal deliberation I’ve decided it’s time for me to step away. RomeoSidVicious asked me if I wanted to write a final post and this is it.

I’ve reviewed 66 albums, done several interviews, written a variety of essays and rock reports. Finding music that makes your life better is important. Sharing music with other people is important. Writing for Nine Bullets allowed me to have conversations with people that I wasn’t having. It’s amazing what a little website has been able to accomplish and I’m happy that I’ve been able to be a part of it. It’s been a pleasure and an honor.

I’ve tried to write about music I care about using both my heart and my mind. I tried to help people think about the music they loved in a different way. I also tried to introduce people to music they would come to love. I hope you enjoyed what I had to offer. Thank you for reading and caring.

RSV here…

I want to thank Charles for everything he has contributed to 9B for the past four years. He’s been an invaluable resource behind the scenes since I started running the place, even acting as an editor for about the past six months. His knowledge of music is to be envied and I know he pushed me to be a better writer. His absence will be felt here, both in the content and behind the scenes. I will personally miss our interactions and conversations, even if they were only site business. With the relaunch looming it’s hard to see someone so integral to the site taking his leave but his reasons are his own and I respect that. I want to publicly state that he’s always welcome to come back in whatever capacity he desires. For now life has taken him another direction. It’s never easy to say goodbye to a staff member here but at times it’s necessary. I’m choosing to imagine him riding off in to the sunset on his big boy tricycle because it makes me smile. I hope you all remember him fondly, continue to support his radio show, and buy him a round at the Holiday Hangout this year.

Thank you Charles, for everything!

NINE BULLETS SPRING SHOWCASE + FAREWELL FROM MICHELLE

Nine Bullets Spring Showcase 2015

 

Hey, folks! I’m gonna make this short and sweet. I’ve got two things for ya:

First off, as many of you have heard by now (I hope), Nine Bullets is sponsoring a Spring Showcase in a couple weeks. It’s on May 30th, to be exact, at Al’s Bar here in my new hometown of Lexington, KY. The lineup is gonna be incredible. I’ve chosen acts who I think represent some of the best in the region (with a few touring acts sprinkled in), and that I hope you will love as much as I do. Some you’ve heard of, some maybe you haven’t – all of them are great.

There will be five acts on the main stage along with five (mostly) acoustic acts in the adjacent Beer Garden, all for just eight bucks:

 

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Nine Bullets Spring Showcase 2015 Poster by Sarah Davis

For a taste of what’s in store for you, here’s a video of Tyler Childers (on the bill again this year) performing his yet unreleased song, “Feathered Indians,” at last year’s event, and here’s what Autopsy IV said about one of his live EPs. Childers actually inspired and encouraged me to make this an annual event, so, hey, thanks, buddy!

That’s about all I have for you on that front. I didn’t wanna bombard you with tons of links to the artists, because I’m pretty sure most of you have heard of them already, and, if you haven’t, I’m pretty sure you know how to use the internet to find out more about them for yourselves.

As for the second thing, well, if you haven’t guessed it from the title, this is going to be my last post at Nine Bullets as a Contributor. Maybe I will guest post every now and then, but I will no longer be part of the staff. Nine Bullets has been very good to me over the past three years, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. (Thanks, you guys.) For those of you who follow Dear Ben Nichols, you may recall that I had to hand over the reigns, because I’ve got a lot going on and will for the foreseeable future. Well, that’s the case even more so now. Doc Feldman of Shaker Steps (and a mighty fine musician in his own right) and I are teaming up for some really exciting music-related ventures that we’re working hard on to make happen. If you want to keep up with us, then keep an eye on the Shaker Steps Facebook Page for updates and announcements.

Anyway, I hope to see you at the Spring Showcase! We can drink all the whiskey drinks!

Get tons of info on the acts, venue, tickets, area hotels, and all that good stuff at the official event invitation. Don’t have Facebook? No problem. Take a look-see and watch more videos on Tadoo.com, or check out Al’s Bar for info and to buy tickets.

 

Laura Allmon Joins The Nine Bullets Gang

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Hey y’all, I’m Laura (pictured above with the famous Mr. Gray); I come from a small town in East Texas where the cows outnumber the people. I’m a wife, mother of one, and a desk slave at a financial firm in the Houston area ‘burbs and I cuss a lot. A lot!

My guilty pleasures include eating junk food, reading naughty books, socializing with friends, and taking road trips to small towns in search of vintage treasures. I am in a never-ending search for the perfect cup of tea. I’m a member of a woman’s only camping club that travels around the south in vintage trailers, an officer of my local Rotaract club and I’m passionate about my volunteer work with the Wild West Brew Fest.

I came into the folds of this great group of people mostly in person at a Matt Woods show one night in the outskirts of Houston a few years back. I met Romeo, we chatted over some beers, mentioned my love for Lucero and how Michelle had turned me onto Matt Woods.  Romeo and I kept running into each other at other shows, where he later introduced me to Scott, another 9B writer, and as they say the rest is just history. It feels that way. It’s been a hard and fast couple of years since I became personal friends with these people. There have been many shows together, lots of bummed rides home, and even more “Can I borrow your lighters?” than I can count. Every encounter starts and ends with a conversation about music. Every single one and I would not want it any other way.

I have zero formal training in music; I cannot play an instrument despite the fact that I have a few guitars and resources to learn said instruments. My one and only guitar lesson actually went something like this “Do you play any instruments?” and I replied very seriously “No, I play with people who play instruments.” Basically to come across as a stereotypical fan girl, I just love music, all types, and I love the passionate people who love music too. It’s as simple and complex as that. I like the emotions a song can evoke inside and I could care less so about any of the technical aspects of the song, though I can tell you if it sounds like garbage or a band looks sloppy and un-rehearsed on stage.

I’ve always liked music. My best memories of my childhood are of me falling asleep in the wee hours of the morning watching my grandfather and his band play to a house full of friends and family on the weekends. I was always fascinated with the way his big hands moved so delicately across the strings and he never once required instructions on what to play but managed to play any song someone threw out to him. I wish I could go back and tell little child me to record those awesome country and blues sounds. In my angsty pre-teen years I would lock myself in my room and listen to my cd-boom box for hours and hours. Relished in the Saturday morning when my mom would take me to Hastings and let me walk around forever carefully selecting the next cd to add to my collection of popular hits, jazzed she would pay for my chosen items only to later realize she’d manage to swipe some of my existing cds to keep in her car for her listening pleasure. Man I liked some things grown me would be ashamed of now. As I grew older and moved in with the man who later became my husband he introduced me to a whole new way of life… independent artist. He brought into my life long road trips packed with music from so many of the bands I still listen to and he further added fuel to my music loving fire. He would talk about the bands, and songs, and I would chime in with my thoughts. It was the first time I realized that I had a real opinion about what I was listening to. It was the first time I felt emotion and passion in regards to the lyrics, and it was the first time I was old enough to relate to the things the songs were about. That was the turning point in my life for music. I was over the force-fed pop tunes. Currently I spend a great amount of my time and financial resources attending live shows of all genres but strongly prefer the bands and music that Nine Bullets represents and supports. I do my best to support the local music scene in Houston where I live, and I try very hard to not ever live up to the stereotypical fan girl no matter how much I may love a song, band, or artist. I choose my friends based on their music preferences and I try to always remain open to giving anything new to me a listen.

So with that being said I am excited to become a part of this great site and a part of a team of people who love whiskey, tacos and unsolicited pictures of body parts as much as I do.

Some of the (sad) songs that are the current soundtrack to my life: