Because Songs Matter


Wade Bowen is one of my favorite Texas/Red Dirt boys and he has finally dropped a Live at Billy Bob’s Texas album on us as a CD/DVD combo. If you know anything about the scene you know that everyone has to do one of these at some point and that they are always good. You can look through the careers of Jason Boland, Cross Canadian Ragweed, and just about any other Texas artist and you’ll find one of these discs in their releases. It’s not limited to Texas boys either with the likes of David Allen Coe, Merle Haggard and other legends having a Live at Billy Bobs Texas release to their name. Wade joins the club with the one and it’s everything one would expect from both him and Billy Bob’s without a disappointing moment on either disc.

This album and the atmosphere it conveys is the reason I got into the Texas/Red Dirt Scene. Originally a member of West 84 which, in 1991, re-aligned with Wade as the front man and started releasing albums as Wade Bowen & West 84 and eventually as just Wade Bowen he has over a decade playing music and recording albums and still leaves it all on stage. This is something you can really feel on this album. It isn’t like being there but it’s as close as you can get with your headphones on. There just isn’t a bad track on this one and the quality of the live performance puts it close to the top of the stack as far as live albums so far this year. If you have never heard Wade Bowen before this album is as good as any to start with but I’d wager if you started with you wouldn’t be stopping with it. It’s rare for me to think a live album is Essential Listening but just about any Live At Billy Bob’s Texas is good enough to make the list and this one is no exception.

Wade Bowen - Please Come to Boston     

Wade Bowen - Daddy and the Devil     

Wade Bowen - Ghost in this Town     

Wade Bowen official website
Wade Bowen on Myspace
Wade Bowen’s artist page on


  1. Rune Rune
    June 8, 2010    

    Not being american, and without knowing about Billy Bob’s we named our band Billy Bob’s Backyard Barbeque Bunch a few years ago. I’ve since found both the venue online and a whole bunch of albums “Live at Billy Bob’s Texas” to enlighten me on artists I never knew, and totally agree – those albums are absolutely essential!

  2. rob rob
    June 8, 2010    

    Check out Jason Boland-High in the Rockies. Another excellent live album by a red dirt legend.

  3. June 8, 2010    

    I haven’t got my grubby little hands on High in the Rockies quite yet but I have to admit I wasn’t impressed with Comal County Blue and The Bourbon Legend, while a great album, wasn’t as good as the preceding releases. I love Jason Boland and have seen him live probably twice a year for nigh on a decade and really want High in the Rockies to be a great album but I am trying not to get my hopes up.

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