To be honest, I don’t know too much about Valerie June. I heard of her video the MTV 5 Dollar cover and liked what I heard there and on the internet. In other words, Valerie June is the embodiment of why I go to SxSW and I made a point of catching her out in Austin. I wish this video would have turned out better but I was in an official SxSW venue with an unregistered camera so I couldn’t be too obvious.

Anyhow, here is a video I shot of her and a video from her performance on $5 Cover:

No Draws Blues:



Phew! Back from SxSW and back at work. 9B as normal will resume tomorrow. I have some good videos and a few stories I’ll relay over the coming week or so as well. SxSW was good. It was wise to lay off the booze this year. I had a lot more fun and feel way better in the afterglow that I did last year. Other than that it was a typical SxSW. Friends were made, friends were lost, miles were walked and shows were seen. I’d like to drop a special thank you to the guys from Two Cow Garage for basically talking me off a ledge one morning and to all the bands who played or showed up to watch the 9B parties. If anyone is interested, my version of a SxSW photoblog is after the cut:
Continue reading “BACK FROM SxSW (WITH PHOTOBLOG):”


Hey everyone. I shove off for SxSW in a few hours and figured I’d post a new podcast before I shuttered the site for the week. Well. Kind of shuttered. I’m sure there will be scattered updates from Austin but they’ll be sporadic and of questionable lucidity. If you’re interested you can follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook where I am sure there will be no shortage of updates, hijinks and pictures for use as evidence. But enough about me and my travels…let’s talk about the podcast.

The first half of the show serves as a SxSW preview of sorts but it’s worth is since the preview has brand new tracks from Ha Ha Tonka, Jason Isbell and the incomparable Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. As the show moves along I drift away from the SxSW motif with new songs from James Leg, Michael Dean Damron and The Red Hills.

All in all, I think I’ve done a pretty good job putting together an hour of quality listening for all the CxCW kids out there. As always, if you enjoy the show please share it with your Facebook and Twitter buddies. If you really enjoy the show, let me know…it’s always nice to get some feedback.


  1. Justin Otto – Sun [00.00.00]
  2. Jason Isbell – Alabama Pines [00.03.15]
  3. Ha Ha Tonka – Made Example Of [00.07.05]
  4. Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – Three Bloodhounds Two Shepherds One Fila Brasileiro [00.11.15]
  5. Otis Gibbs – Kansas City [00.17.17]
  6. Possessed By Paul James – Shoulda’ Known Better [00.20.56]
  7. Scott H. Biram – Long Fingernail [00.24.30]
  8. James Leg – Drinking Too Much [00.30.20]
  9. Buffalo Gospel – Sunday’s Never Smile Anymore [00.34.02]
  10. Doc Daily & Magnolia Devil – Blue-Eyed Blonde [00.39.30]
  11. I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House – Bad Days Ahead [00.44.38]
  12. Red Hills – USAtan [00.48.42]
  13. Michael Dean Damron – Devil Meets The Long Haired Weirdo [00.52.07]
  14. Mario Matteoli – Sun Keeps On Beatin’ Down [00.57.38]

Download this episode (right click and save)






As anyone who got within earshot of me can attest, by the end of SxSW last year I had had it. Austin had defeated me. I was tired of being drunk, tired of walking and just plain tired. In a word, I was done.

Well. Flash forward almost a year and I’m preparing to go do back an do the battle of attrition once again and we’re bringing the party back! This year not only is the party actually located downtown, it’s also gonna be two days and featuring plenty on regulars. You’ll find all the info for both days below as wall as a sampler of the artists appearing at the shows. If you’re planning on attending please make sure to RSVP on the Facebook event pages (Friday, Saturday) and feel free to add to the invite lists for both days.



Friday, March 18
Double Down Lounge
515 Pedernales Street
Austin, TX 78702

12pm – The Only Sons
1pm – Chip Robinson
2pm – Glossary
3pm – Kasey Anderson and The Honkies
4pm – Caitlin Rose
5pm – American Aquarium
6pm – Or, The Whale



Saturday, March 19
Revolution Bar
2421 Webberville Road
Austin, TX 78702-3551

12pm – Kasey Anderson and The Honkies
1pm – Two Cow Garage
2pm – Austin Lucas
3pm – Glossary
4pm – The Only Sons
5pm – Have Gun Will Travel
6pm – Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires

I hope to see some of y’all out at one of these shows. If you make it, I’ll be the drunk guy in a tshirt…come say “hi”.

Here is a sampler of the bands playing for you to enjoy:


Every now and then a weekend comes along that just makes you shake your head at the awesome. If it weren’t for this being Sober February I’d be shaking my head wondering how I was gonna get through it both physically and financially. Anyhow, for the out of town readers, find an awesome show to go to this weekend and support live music. For my in town readers, I found your shows for you:


In what will be the highlight of the weekend; Tim Barry is coming to town Thursday night and he’s bringing Gainesville’s Greenland Is Melting with him. When I reviewed GiM’s album, Or Hearts Are Gold, Our Grass Is Blue, I said they “sound like what I wanted to hear the first time I heard The Avett Brothers” and I stand by that statement. Live, the fun they’re having is almost palpable and most certainly catching. In other words, this ain’t a show you wanna arrive late to. More to the point, it ain’t a show you wanna miss cause Mr. Barry is bringing his self-help sessions put to song version of acoustic folk rock to the stage. Like I said the other night on ninebullets radio, Tim proves that rock and roll ain’t gotta be fancy guitars, shiny clothes and a bag full of whizbang to captivate an audience. Every time I see him live, I walk away with my belief that a man with good songs and pure intentions can still do something in the music world. So come out, sing along and leave happy.

Greenland Is Melting – Blood On The Banjo
Tim Barry – Thing Of The Past


In yet another sign that Tampa/St. Pete might actually be becoming a “real” city, we’ve gotten out own Lebowski Fest! Now, let’s hope like hell that people actually come out to it.

Friday night will feature music by Have Gun Will Travel and Ernie Locke’s (Nervous Turkey) new band, Lambasters with a screening of the movie afterwards. Friday will also feature a guest appearance by the real-life inspiration for The Dude, Jeff “The Dude” Dowd who’s filming a new documentary titled “The Dude.”

Saturday will feature Bowling, Costume, Trivia and other contests at University Lanes from 6-10pm and Jeff Dowd will be there as well.

So go out, imbibe and abide.


The best way to directly support your local music scene this weekend is to come out to Dave’s Aqua Lounge for Bammo’s sixth annual “One For The Road” fundraiser. It’s expensive to take time off work, load up in the van and drive out to Austin and back. Sure, you can book shows out there and back if you can get enough time off work but here’s a dirty little secret a lot of people don’t know about SxSW; the bands don’t get paid for the shows they do there. That’s right, the bands will end up spending 4 days playing (sometimes) two shows a day and they’ll do it all for free. Some come out, see some of the best local bands in the area all in one location and do some good while you’re at it. The show starts at 7:00 and features; Sun Society, Ronny Elliott, Rebekah Pulley & TRP, Human Condition, Poetry N Lotion, Have Gun Will Travel & The Beauvilles. Admission is a suggested minumum donation of $10.00 (100% of donations go to the bands). There will also be raffles and all sorts of other funness.

The Beauvilles – Rain
Have Gun Will Travel – Kerosene and Candlelight


American Graveyard (or their hired hands) mounted a pretty substantial email PR blitz a couple of weeks ago, and being quite possibly the greatest fringe country music blog in the history of the internets to write about music and be named after a Drive-By Truckers song, it was only a matter of time before I received the email with the lead single, “The Common Ones”, from their latest effort, Hallelujahland, attached.

As I’ve said before, I try and read every PR email I get (this gets harder and harder as time goes on) and make an effort to listen to a decent chunk of the music that comes with those PR emails. When I initially listened to “The Common Ones” I was taken aback, one could even say I was blown away. “The Common Ones” could easily be a Tim Barry track if it were a little leaner and meaner, but I was worried that the album could not live up to song.

Unlike “The Common Ones”, and quite possibly its title track, Hallelujahland is decidedly not a Tim Barry album if it were leaner and meaner. Matter of fact, the album’s opening song is more comparable to The Legendary Shackshakers than anything and the fluidity of their sound never lets up. I say that, but the roots of the songs are always the same, so it ain’t like you’re on some odd iPod on shuffle genre jumping listening experience or anything. While there isn’t another track on the album that melts my face quite like “The Common Ones”, this album has managed to acquire a cherished spot on the AIV iPhone (which is a mirror of the 9B Essential Listening list), sans a few horribly ill advised tracks like “Fuck”.

Anyhow, this little band out of Austin is definitely worth giving a couple of listens to. I suspect very few of you will regret it.

American Graveyard – The Common Ones
American Graveyard – Hallelujahland
American Graveyard – Pinebox

American Graveyard on myspace, Buy Hallelujahland


“There’s kind of two Blazes. A lot of people saw one or the other. There was the wild one. . . . And then there was the gentle, loving, caring one. I got to know both.” ~ Townes Van Zandt

Over the years of doing ninebullets, I’ve had the occasional emailer ask me if I’d ever heard of Blaze Foley. One was even so kind as to email me a collection of Blaze’s songs. These emails were the first I’d ever heard of the man, but it’s been in the back of my mind to write about him ever since I got those songs.

Blaze Foley was born in Arkansas but grew up in Texas settling on Austin as his home in his adult life. Even for a city known for it’s characters, Blaze seems to have been in a class all his own. Once, in an effort to mock the “Urban Cowboy” fad and their silver-tipped cowboy boots, he started putting duct tape on the tips of his boots. This obsession kept growing until he’d made a complete suit from duct tape that he would wear around. When they buried him, his friends even covered his entire casket with duct tape.

At the age of 39, Foley was murdered while attempting to help his friend Concho January defend himself from his violent son, Carey. Despite having written hundreds of songs and recorded numerous albums at the time of his death, none of Blaze’s music had ever been released. One album’s masters were seized by the DEA when the executive producer was caught in a drug bust. Another album’s masters were stolen when the station wagon Blaze was living in was broken into, and another album, “Wanted More Dead Than Alive”, was believed lost until an old friend found some master tapes while cleaning out his car some years after Blaze’s death.  Despite having a small but rabid fanbase that included such luminaries as Gurf Morlix and Townes Van Zandt, it would take some 10 years after his death before a Blaze album would see the light of day. The late nineties/naughts have given us a small Blaze Foley revival of sorts, with 4 albums being released (with a fifth on the way), an equal amount of tribute albums, and two documentaries about the man who never saw his music leave the bars he played in. A number of his songs have become hits for other artists, including Merle Haggard’s cover of “If I Could Fly”, Lyle Lovette’s cover of “Election Day”, and John Prine’s cover of “Clay Pigeons” off his 2005 Grammy Award winning album, Fair and Square.

There are plenty of other sites out there that can offer you a much more complete and better written account of Blaze’s life. I was only hoping to introduce you to / raise some interest in this lost gem. When I listen to his music, I can’t help but to think how appropriately titled Gurf Morlix’s tribute to Blaze from his 2009 album Last Exit To Happyland was with “Music You Mighta Made.”

Blaze Foley – Cold, Cold World
Blaze Foley – Big Cheeseburgers & Good French Fries
Blaze Foley – Darlin’
Blaze Foley – Officer Norris
Blaze Foley – Gettin’ Over You

Gurf Morlix – Music You Might Have Made

Lyle Lovette – Election Day
Merle Haggard – If I Could Fly
John Prine – Clay Pigeons


Some days things just work together. While I was writing up the review of A Damn Good Ride I dropped by Jeremy Steding’s website to look for his bio and such and found out he was playing in town that night. I grabbed a phone number off the site, made a call, and set up some time with him before the show. As luck would have it and one thing leading to another I wasn’t as early as I wanted to be but since it was a Thursday night show there wasn’t an opening act and there was still plenty of time to meet The Band of Bastards and get to know them before the show. And a damn fine show it was…

Jeremy Steding
(In case you’re wondering that is a Jason Isbell shirt on the Eric.)

What I learned is a that Jeremy is originally from Florida and came west to Austin in 2007 with an unmastered, unreleased “Whiskey Songs and Prison Songs” to pursue music in the Red Dirt scene. Having been inspired by old Pat Green (before he went Nashville), Cory Morrow, Robert Earl Keen and the like he figure Austin was the place to be if he wanted to play his kind of music.
I know our gracious host would disagree, being a huge fan of the Florida music scene and rightfully so, but Jeremy made his trek and is now making his mark on Red Dirt Music. One of the highlights of the night was finding out that Jeremy is fan and friend of Pete and Larry from Truckstop Coffee. Those boys are perennial 9B favourites and it’s always nice to find other fans.

Jeremy is at a point in his career that he says many never make it past. He’s playing decent venues and getting decent turnouts but intimates it’s fairly easy to get stuck there for a good long while and some folks can’t handle what seems like being in a rut. He handles most of his own booking, all of his merch, all of the publicity pretty much managing himself and the Band of Bastards. He uses all of the standard methods today such as twitter, myspace, facebook, and so on to get the word out about his music and his shows all while giving away his recorded music on his website. He and the band have a sponorship from Budweiser and they are touring hard. He says he loves the work and doesn’t mind all the time it takes to self manage. I did ask him specifically about giving away the albums on the website and he explained that while they sell a good number of CDs at shows that he wanted more people to discover his music. He thinks that people don’t buy as many CDs as they used to because of worrying about the investment. What if the CD sucks? So he put both albums for free, gives out business cards everywhere he goes that tell people where to go to download it, has a donate button if you want to toss a couple bucks his way, and still sells just as many plastic shiny discs at shows. And it’s working. More and more people are hearing his music and coming to shows. And that’s where Jeremy Steding and the Band of Bastards really shine…

Jeremy Steding And let me tell you: These boys can tear up a stage. I liked the album and that’s pretty clear from my review but seeing them live is just damn good. It’s not as big a difference as Cory Branan’s live vs. his studio work but it is something that has to be seen to be believed. Jeremy is a showman for sure and he pulls in the audience without even trying. He’s still young so the show isn’t as polished as some of the old timers but whether it’s belting out his original songs are having a little fun with classic covers like You Never Call Be By My Name whilst claiming it was written by “…a friend of a friend of a friend of my dad’s” on Canadian bacon in eyeliner you can tell that Jeremy is doing what he loves and the Band of Bastards is having as much fun as he is. And when I say he gets the audience involved I mean the isn’t above calling out the drunk birthday girl to help out with The Boys From Oklahoma.

They're too damn skinny and way too long...
…they’re too damn skinny and way too long…

In closing you shouldn’t miss the chance to see this Florida boy turned Texan play a live show. With a band that cites influences ranging from Truckstop Coffee to Jason Isbell you certainly could do worse. And as far as the more country and western shows go I am not sure you could do better these days.

The Band of Bastards is:

  • Matt Winegardner – Drums
  • Eric Smith – Bass
  • Steve James – Lead Guitar

You can see the full gallery from the show over at .

Here’s some tracks off of Jemery’s first album since I don’t have any live tracks (except the one from this album) from him just yet:

Jeremy Steding – Bonnie Blue
Jeremy Steding – Auburn
Jeremy Steding – The Day to Day, Today (Live)

And the Boys From Oklahoma…

Jason Boland – The Boys From Oklahoma

Jeremy Steding Official Site
Jeremy Steding on MySpace
Jeremy Steding on Facebook
Jeremy Steding on Twitter
Jeremy Steding on YouTube


Tom Russell’s new album, Blood and Candle Smoke (September 15, Shout! Factory) further solidified Russell’s reputation as one of the most gifted and poetic songwriters working in music today. As Russell weaves and wanders his way through a dusty sonic landscape created by a cast of musicians including Winston Watson, Barry Walsh and members of Calexico, the songs wind into one another, unrepentant veins all leading back to the proud, stubborn, poetic heart tucked away in Russell’s chest.

In a blog post introducing Blood and Candle Smoke, Russell asserted that “there are few songs,” which struck me as an interesting assertion. As somebody who is currently writing, singing, and listening to songs on a daily basis, I would be lying if I said I agreed with Mr. Russell. That’s an awfully sweeping and dismissive statement to make, but I wanted to discuss that statement – and Mr. Russell’s fine new record – with him, so I did just that.

Let’s start with the landscape that Blood and Candle Smoke was released into. In the post on your blog that “introduces” Blood and Candle Smoke, you say, “people are hungry for anything vaguely real….but there are few new songs.” Where does somebody – or, more specifically, where do you – draw the line between the $0.99 products iTunes peddles as “singles” and songs?

What I am attempting to say is that the current music scene is a vast vacuum. Nada. To quote Bukowski, “it’s the dead fucking the dead in a vacuum.” I grew up in an era when Dylan wrote all of Bringing it All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde on Blonde, plus the outtakes, in 18 months. It had nothing to do with the 60’s or the 90’s or downloading or uploading or anything. It just happened out there in art space. Like Van Gogh’s great paintings had nothing to do with an “era.” They exploded. Nobody is writing songs that will make you pull your car over to the side of the road and weep or get the chills.
It’s all about meekness and fear now. Either that or these new writers are speaking in a lingo that doesn’t reach me. Leonard Cohen reaches me. We live in fearful times of “new folk” zombies sort of going through arch motions.

I’m always open to hearing something chillingly good. Name me some songs.

A sort of extension to that last question is differentiating between a collection of ten or twelve “singles” for iTunes and an album; a complete, cohesive piece of art. To me, Blood and Candle Smoke is a phenomenal collection of songs but it’s also a phenomenal album. It’s a puzzle where each piece is as beautiful and intricate as the completed puzzle itself. Is it safe to assume that the songs on this album inform one another, that they were intended to be this cohesive?

Yes. I think they inform each other because they came out of a feeling or a desire to dig deeper, and suddenly up came these old images of living in Africa and visiting Mexico… images came to the surface of the skin and soul, like old bullet fragments which suddenly appear.

There is a feeling on this record of looking hard at times and people that have moved me: Graham Greene, Nina Simone, the white priestess of Oshogbo (Suzanne Wenger), and my wife, and putting them in proper emotional context without regard for radio formats or fearful needs of this flabby-assed culture. Obviously the musical backdrops enhance the puzzle.

To take this one step further before moving on, how important is it to both compartmentalize and contextualize this record – or any record – in terms of an artist’s body of work. For instance, some people (myself included) can look at Dylan’s catalogue and say, okay, I don’t especially dig Self Portrait but if I connect enough dots, I can see how it made Blood on the Tracks possible. When you make a record, how easy is it for you to trace elements of it back to your previous work, or is each album an individual work in and of itself?

You can look at it both ways. This record is a major step forward from Love and Fear and I had to hit those touchstones to reach a new plateau. If somone is really interested they could look at The Man From God Knows Where, Hotwalker, and Love and Fear, and find some touchstones but, really, a record or a painting or a novel should stand on it’s own.

Frankly the one problem with the press (only in this country) is they look at “who you are” first before they consider a record or a book, so it’s hard for someone to judge or listen to a record if they don’t consider your age or previous output and that predjudices and hurts a record like this… but onward.

Speaking of Dylan, he’s now singing “Shooting Star” like Maurice Chevalier and moving like Chaplin behind the keys. Maybe more than anyone, he seems to have a very clear understanding of the distinction between recording songs and performing songs. You’re going to be out on tour for a while, is every show different? Are there thematic elements you want to drive home with each tour?

I’m performing all the songs off of Blood and Candle Smoke every night and they mutate and change and sparkle and go in different directions every night.

The record had a sonic backdrop of great musicians: Calexico, Gretchen Peters, Barry Walsh, Winston Watson, but live and accoustic they find their own place – stripped down to the essence. So people can get the core songs in their face and then refer back to the larger backdrops in the recording. My only “theme” nightly is to sing honestly and stay inside the songs. It’s safe there. The rest is all fruit platters and open road.

You touch on Calexico’s involvement in Blood and Candle Smoke on your blog, but if you don’t mind – how did it come about? As a follow-up, did you take the songs to Calexico or was much writing done in the studio? How was the process different than getting together the usual suspects in Austin and making the record there?

I really heard Calexico on that I’m Not There soundtrack. I liked the grooves and the Mariachi trumpet. All the songs were written before coming in – I just sat there and sang them. Of course Calexico influenced this record, but also Barry Walsh, who layed the classical piano beds (he played with Roy Orbison) and Winston Watson, the drummer who played with Dylan. All the Tucson players were great… Nick Luca and Chris Gimabelucca and Jacob Valenzuela. So it went beyond Calexico.

In that same vein, you also mentioned that you had been searching out new music since hearing Jim James and Calexico perform “Goin’ to Acapulco” in I’m Not There. Are there other newer artists you’re listening to?

Not much. I like some of Neko Case’s stuff. I liked Amy Winehouse’s “Tried to Make Me Go To Rehab,” but I don’t hear much. It all sound weak-willed, like the poetry of teenagers. Not quite formed. I’d rather go back and listen to old Fred Neil records. This is the age of non-dairy creamer.

Alright, so, when you sneak out to the studio under the guise of taking out the trash, how do you decide whether to pickup the guitar or the paintbrush?

I write in the mornings. I paint at night. Or whenever I can sneak away from the chores. I have to water the fruit trees and feed the geese. But painting provides a little touch of stepping outside of TIME, like Picasso said, “I leave my mind
outside the studio like moslems leave their slippers outside the mosque…” (Something like that, Pablo.)

I haven’t yet read a review of Blood and Candle Smoke that referred to it as an overtly “political” work but I would argue that anything real that’s cast out into this “fear driven mess,” as you describe it is, in some way, a reaction to – and has an impact on – that mess. How much of Blood and Candle Smoke, if any of it, was written as a reaction to the world it’s being cast into?

Not much. I’m not a topical writer (per say.) I’m a bit of a crank and I live in El Paso near the frontier of Juarez where the biggest war in the world is taking place. I have a sense of my own place as an outsider and I never took this overall culture too
seriously ’cause most people get all their facts and info off the 6 O’Clock news and it’s all formulated doom. I feel like I have my own personal culture and it revolves around my family and my creative work. The rest of it is all a big, dead, Vanity Fair magazine. It’s a door stop.

Finally in the aforementioned introductory Blood and Candle Smoke blog post, you say, “I believe in this record, and I don’t believe in much else.” What else do you believe in? What else is worth believing in?

My wife. The catalogue of Bob Dylan. The works of Graham Greene. Leonard Cohen. Muhammad Ali. Our Lady of Guadalupe. Damien of Molakai. Christ, I don’t know… laundry lists are useless. I believe in the ability of true art to heal and move people into a little timeless corridor for a few moments and save them from the rages of bordeom and soul-corrosion. I’m not trying to be cute, but that’s a hard question. All answers are in the songs. That’s the best I can do. I’m not a self-help philosopher.

Tom Russell – East of Woodstock, West of Vietnam
Tom Russell – Don’t Look Down

Tom Russell’s Official Site, Tom Russell on myspace, Buy Blood and Candle Smoke


Patterson Hood sent out an email recently that contained a lot of interesting information I thought I’d pass along:

  • Patterson’s second solo album, Murdering Oscar (and other love songs) is available for pre-order. One of the available pre-order packages includes an autographed 180 gram vinyl album, a digital download and a signed (by Wes Freed) and numbered giclée of the album artwork.
  • Summer dates are scarce but Patterson hopes to take his merry band of Screwtopians (David Barbe, Will Johnson, Scott Danbom, John Neff and Brad Morgan) on a coast to coast tour somtime later this year. (PATTERSON! YOU GUYS REMEMBER WHERE FLORIDA IS?????)
  • July 7 will see the DVD release of the Trucker’s appearance on PBS’s Austin City Limits. The DVD contains the complete show (only approx. 1/3 aired) which features on of the last ever performances of “18 Wheels Of Love”, featuring the full monologue and the sequel monologue. (I NEED A COPY OF THIS!)
  • On Sept. 7, DBT’s former label, New West Records, will be releasing The Fine Print (A Collection of Oddities and Rarities 2003-2008). The album will contain many hard to find tracks such as “George Jones Talkin’ Cell Phone Blues”, “Rebels”, “Play It All Night Long”, “TVA” and the original version of “Goode’s Field Road”. (FINAL MONEY GRAB BY NEW WEST OR LEGIT RELEASE? THE REST OF THE TRACKLIST WILL TELL)
  • And finally, sounds like the band is in the studio this month recording the as of yet untitled follow-up to Brighter Than Creation’s Dark. They hope to release it sometime in early 2010. (HOPEFULLY THE LABEL CHANGE WILL LEAVE THE BAND FEELING ENERGIZED)

Drive-By Truckers – 18 Wheels of Love
Drive-By Truckers – The Great Car Dealer War