Shortly after our review of The Heelers’ cd ran, I got an email from a reader saying I should check the cd that Isaac Hoskins,The Heelers’ singer, recorded before The Heelers existed. If there is one thing I am open to, it’s suggestions from 9B readers since, obviously, we all have a superior taste in our music. So check out Mr. Isaac Hoskins’ solo cd I did, and the better we’re all gonna be for it.

Half Empty was recorded in 2007 by two names that you should know; Brent Best and Matt Pence at Echolabs. It features 12 tracks, some are rockers, and those are fine enough, but it’s the slower, story-songs that grab me.

If you’ve ever drank enough to know how to drink, you know you have a point somewhere in the front end of the second drink where you’re 100% lucid but you’re emotionally open. In that brief period we’ve all heard a song that fucking. meant. something. That feeling. You know that moment. Well, Isaac has a few tracks on this album that make me feel that way, sans the drinks.There’s no mystery, no vagueness for art’s sake to this album. It’s stories, probably lived, told with rhyming words here and there, and in it’s simplicity lies the beauty.

Thank you, John the ninebullets reader, for turning me on to this album, and now I hope to pay it forward by turning others on to it, too.

Isaac Hoskins – Load Up The .45
Isaac Hoskins – Concrete Life
Isaac Hoskins – Hitchikin’

Isaac Hoskins on Facebook, The Heelers on Facebook, Buy Half Empty


I almost shuffled this one to the bottom of my stack of stuff to listen to, again, because the cover is kid of goofy and I have been disappointed with a lot music of late. Holy shit I am glad I didn’t! The Heelers are not your standard Texas music fare in that they are not country and they aren’t bar-band-frat-rock. Hell I didn’t even know that Brent Best of Slobberbone fame had produced “Devil on your Shoulder” until just a few minutes before I started writing this here little article and I try to keep with Bren’t projects (I fail at that a lot so it’s not all that surprising). Even with my favorite bands it sometimes takes a couple of listens for me to really fall in love with an album but I was ready to tell you about these boys before the disc even stopped spinning the first time through!

“Devil on your Shoulder” is full of amazing songs, musically and lyrically, and the only negative thing that even comes to mind is that while every song is great the album doesn’t necessarily feel like “an album”. (I am guessing that if you read this site you know what I mean so I won’t explain) But even that doesn’t take away from the talent here. These boys from Denton seem to have a knack for when to drop in a little punk or let their twang shine through. I can even hear a little of The ‘Mats in there. I could list a whole bunch of other influences you can hear or reason this album is Essential Listening, and trust me it is that, but I figure you people want to hear it for yourself so I’ll wrap it up by saying that frontman Issac Hoskins’ writing is only overshadowed by his voice which is just amazing. Do yourself a favor and go buy this one.

The Heelers – I Don’t Remember When
The Heelers – My Disease
The Heelers – Qualified Apologies

The Heelers on Facebook
The Heelers at CdBaby