Sep 112014

Austin currently is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to bands with great horns, either backing or leading. The Austin music community is tight-knit and the individual horn players can be seen in numerous bands, often on the same night. This makes me feel very lucky to live in this musically energized city and I love when I come across a band that is new to me but I am dumbstruck when it turns out I have somehow been missing a band as talented as Soul Track Mind. The only excuse I have is that Austin simply delivers far more quality music than one music fan can experience.soultrackmind

As much as I enjoy Soul Track Minds driving groove, it is Donovan Keith’s passionate, emotional and powerful vocals that convincingly sell you every song on their new album Unbreakable. The full force of the band hits you square in the chest as soon as “Fight for Love” opens up the album. It is a propulsive soul-rock piece that has Donovan pushing his voice to the ragged edge, where it is at its most impactful.

The done me wrong “Foolin’ Around” follows with Donovon showing he has a soft side to his voice before the song explodes into a heartfelt plea. Donovan brings to bear the yearning and seductive side of his vocal prowess in “Silhouette” with spectacular results. Throughout Unbreakable, you feel the rock steady control of the band barely restraining the go for broke vocals and it works perfectly. Soul Track Mind is the real deal and you owe it to yourself to buy this album when it is released on September 16th.

I am particularly happy to say the album is available as a CD and in the FLAC format. The engineering of this album makes a format better than MP3 worth the purchase. Do the right thing and order your copy directly from the bands website where they receive the full benefit of their work. Pick up a t-shirt and one of their other albums why you are at it.

Soul Track Mind is more than a clever band name; they deliver the emotional goods in droves. I look forward to seeing them for their Record Premier Party at The North Door September 20th and I hope to see all of you there as well. I have a feeling this is going to be an evening to remember.

Aug 072014

The Nightowls could get on stage and play the morning farm report and you would dance. The horns would bop along behind the price of pork bellies and the stunning backup singers would “woo woo” along with the weather forecast while dancing in unison. Fortunately this eight piece band wraps its power around the mesmerizing writing of Ryan Harkrider rather than the farm report. The Nightowls are releasing a small four-song sample of their funky soul sound on a new E.P. titled, Good as Gold | The B-Sides.

Good as Gold | The B-Sides brings along the same energy and stuck in your head catchiness of the Good as Gold album, but it is clear these songs are from a different time and place in Ryan’s life. The last track “Either Way” is a slow burner from Ryan’s past (Check out Ryan’s original version) that really comes to life with a soulful rework and the full band behind him.

My favorite song on Good as Gold | The B-Sides is the funkalicious “The Feel Good,” with a driving beat that can’t be denied. It is a fair departure from the more soul-oriented banightowlsb-sidesnd, but having seen it performed live I can tell you the band really enjoys letting go on this one.

Of special note is that Austin’s official theme song is here, “Nobody Ever Wants to Leave” and the title alone pretty much sums up Austin. The song works on more than a simple theme song level. The melody is catchy and like all of The Nightowls’ songs, it will make you dance, and if you aren’t careful it will take a day or two to get out of your head.

The Nightowls recordings are nearly perfect, right down to the mastering, and Good as Gold | The B-Sides is no exception. This is another lesson in how to record music the right way. Good as Gold | The B-Sides will be available September 9th @The Nightowls

The Nightowls EP Release party will be at Stubbs on September 12th. Expect the show to sell out and buy your tickets now @Stubbs

The Nightowls are a force of nature when playing live, with the band and its leader melding with the crowd. Don’t miss The Nightowls at the ACL Festival 2014, they may very well be the highlight of your weekend.

Aug 072014

August 30 will be the last day to make a pledge or donation that will get your name on the List of Donors in the Blues Hall of Fame.   If you are planning to give, now is the time since the names are to set to be “in stone” by September 1.

butt-baf-donateIf you have been thinking about having your name on the Donor Wall, now is the time to make your donation of $1000 or more. If you are already on the list, but want to increase your font size, now is the time to increase your donation.

A donation of $1000 or more will secure the addition of your name to the Donor Wall.

And the amount of the donation will determine the size and location of your name.

The current list of donors can be found at

These are the names that will go on our Donors Wall on the first floor of the Blues Hall of Fame.

Take a look at the list and determine what level works for you.  Where do you want to see your name, in whose company?

At this point, donations can be increased by paying over 3 years—2014, 2015 and 2016.

You can donate online at  or call me to discuss further.

Lets add your name to the Donor Wall!!

– See more at:

Jul 172014


Upcoming Muscle Shoals Sessions To Be Filmed for Band Documentary

AUSTIN, Texas — When it comes to getting their groove on, funk-loving Austinites know there ain’t no party like a Nightowls party. And with several high-profile appearances and an upcoming EP, Good As Gold B-Sides (Sept. 9, 2014), this 10-piece dance band is ready to revive the spirits of James Brown, Otis Redding and other soul brothers for some hot fun in the summertime (and beyond).

The Nightowls will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, at Zilker Park as part of KGSR-FM’s Blues on the Green series; the free show, also featuring Robert Ellis, is billed as a preview for this fall’s Austin City Limits Festival. The band will make its ACL Festival debut on Saturday, Oct. 11, the second weekend.

On Sept. 12, the Nightowls will celebrate the release of Good As Gold B-Sides with a show at Stubb’s indoors. Produced by Jake Langley, the four-track EP follows up their 2013 Good As Gold album. It includes “Nobody Ever Wants to Leave,” lead singer/songwriter Ryan Harkrider’s winning entry in the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Austin theme song contest, which earned it designation as “the official theme song of Austin, Texas.” Another Nightowls track, “You Don’t Have to Worry (I’ll Be There),” is featured on ACVB’s just-released compilation, Austin Music Vol. 13.

In August, Harkrider and the band also plan to record new music at Muscle Shoals’ historic FAME Recording Studios, where they will play with members of FAME’s legendary rhythm section and film the experience for a documentary.

Described in Texas Music magazine as “an addictive blend of pop, R&B, funk and Motown,” the Nightowls have been infecting fans with their groovalicious blend of horns, harmonies and dance-happy beats since 2011. And the party’s just gettin’ started.

Follow the Nightowls at:

Jun 132014

The International Rocky Mountain Funk Out


000000000000000000000000000000011The first ever International Rocky Mountain Funk Out will feature two special presentations!

This two day festival (July 5&6) being conducted in honor of the American Art Form better

known as Funk will delight the attendees with a performance tribute Harold Rhodes who

invented the Fender Rhodes Electric Piano. The Fender Rhodes Piano can be heard on

millions of hit records sold!

The International Rocky Mountain Funk Out

Presents a special tribute to the Fender Rhodes electric piano with …



featuring artists from the hit film & book,

“Down The Rhodes: The Fender Rhodes Story”

Larry Dunn

(Former member, keyboardist, musical director, of Earth Wind & Fire, 6 time Grammy winner,

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Songwriter Hall of Fame Inductee, 4 American Music

Awards, 32 Gold & Platinum/Multi­Platinum Records & Albums, and a Star on Hollywood’s

Walk of Fame). This will be a special “home coming” performance from Larry Dunn!

Also, Rodney Franklin, Ellis Hall, Frank McComb, film producer Gerald McCauley, and

film director Benjamin Bove.

Our second presentation will feature Michael Jackson’s Legendary Guitarist Jennifer Batten and

The Forever Dangerous Tour. Jennifer performed live with Michael for 10 years on 3 of his world

tours. These include The Bad, Dangerous, and History tours, along with performing at the 1993

Super Bowl halftime show which was seen by over a billion and a half people in over 80 nations!

In honor of Michael, Jennifer batten introduces Carlo Riley. His likeness, dance moves, and

showmanship is certain to make for a triumphant tribute to the “King Of Pop!” Don’t miss this

incredible reminder of one of the world’s greatest entertainers!

We will be supporting two non­profit organizations at this event, Food Bank of The Rockies and

The Struggle of Love Foundation.

This Event is produced by Cedric Pride Entertainment & A Funk Above The Rest. Combined, they

comprise a well­ respected entertainment cooperation!