Kinky gave Winnsboro both barrels!

What can I say?  EVERYTHING just FIT together Saturday night with Kinky Friedman, logically speaking.  Singer/Songwriter music, comedy, politics, important issues brought to light–we had it ALL!

Winnsboro got a full spectrum of entertainment;  light-hearted humor, serious issues, stories from the past, comical lyrics mixed with fun melodies–it was all part of the show.  We even had Winnsboro’s new Mayor, Tom Howard, do the Kinky introduction, to properly set the stage.  Kinky plans to run for the Commissioner of Agriculture position, for the Texas Department of Agriculture, a position currently filled by Todd Staples.  We got a glimpse of his platform Saturday night, and Kinky will be a serious contender!

Kinky, performing “Rapid City South Dakota”

KF onstage



Kinky Says


Winnsboro’s own Kate Hearne did the honors as the opening act, assisted on percussion by Ashlyn Shanafelt.  Kate’s career is just starting to gain momentum.  Fresh out of college, she’s working on her first CD, residing in Fort Worth, and carving a place in the world of the singer/songwriter/musician–Kate is the complete package, and she certainly showed the full house at Crossroads that she’s been making great use of her time!

Kate & Ashlyn

Kate and Ashlyn

The magic returned yet again to Crossroads Music Company!



WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW!  Yup, it was another night of MAGIC you missed, if you chose another activity besides coming to Crossroads to witness these three wonderful singer/songwriters.  Lined up across the stage, they took turns presenting their original pieces of musical art, along with the life-experiences, moments, visions, etc, that sparked the creation of those songs.  Rather than bringing a structured song list to the table, they all allowed the songs that were played ahead of their next turn to inspire which one from their own repertoire ought to be performed next.  The magic emerged, NATURALLY!  🙂

Helene has some tunes available on itunes, including “Lucky Me,” a song about her encounter with a United States soldier in an airport.  The song has received  global attention, and drew a standing ovation from the crowd–great presentation by Helene!! She’ll be talking to folks in Nashville this upcoming week about recording her next CD–one that will reflect what she’s creating today.

Out of the three, Lisa Markley was the most “jazzy.”  Clever & witty, in both content and delivery!  Both Lisa & Helene helped us all realize how spoiled we are to have Lynn Adler in our own backyard!  Winnsboro was Blessed when Lynn Adler chose to call these Piney Woods her home, over 10 years ago they tell me…She spoke of those things in her life that inspired much of her writing–Winnsboro historical events included.

Lynn Gus Helene Lisa Songwriters in the round


[Top photo by Jim Willis/photo above compliments of Dave Sanders]

As “THEY” say: “You had to BE there” to truly appreciate what transpired on the Crossroads Stage last night!  Magic like that doesn’t happen while you’re listening to an artist’s CD, plain and simple…A HUGE thank you to Helene, Lisa & Lynn…CHEERS!  ~Gus

Rhett Butler Wow’d the Crowd, and added some awareness, too!

I received a fair amount of feedback regarding my inclusion of Winnsboro’s own Colby Gibson’s battle with “life after brain tumor surgery.”  Since there was so little advance notice, some of you were upset that you were unable to attend.  Fear not.

Colby Gibson, with Mom [Carol Gibson]

Carol Gibson, with 30 year old son Colby, who just suffered his 5th stroke

The Winnsboro Center for the Arts could not have accommodated everyone familiar with Colby Gibson’s plight.  This has been going on for years, and the recent FIFTH stroke has taken a bigger toll upon his body and mind.  It was the parallels between Rhett Butler’s brother Ashley’s life and that of Colby Gibson’s life that prompted the piggyback onto the show, more for the awareness factor than anything else.  It gave Rhett Butler an opportunity to discuss further his dedication to the cause, as he continues to fight for better brain tumor cancer treatments.  Rhett has written a book, and is seeking a medical degree!!  We may have another BRAIN SURGEON arising out of all this!!

So, don’t be angry.  You HAVEN’T missed your opportunity to be helpful.  You can go to Rhett’s website to learn more about the big picture, or you can go to the Crossroads site to contribute in your own backyard and help with Colby’s current therapy.  Every penny you donate will go directly to Carol Gibson & her son Colby.

Below is the original blog about Saturday night’s event.  It is MY belief that Rhett’s performance carried with it a little extra MAGIC that night, all things considered! ~Gus


Yes, Rhett Butler plays much bigger venues than Crossroads, in front of thousands more than the 100 or so seats within the Winnsboro Center for the Arts.  But does he have as much fun?  Probably NOT!  It is truly wonderful when you get to experience the caliber of musician as a Rhett Butler [guitars & ukulele] , or Phil McNeese [bass guitar], or Martin McCall [percussion].  Top notch musicians that know their instruments top to bottom, inside & out.  What’s really cool is when they themselves allow the music to take them to places they may never have visited before.  Moments only found during a live performance, when these musicians just let the evening flow, and allow the music to dictate where the jam will lead!  The only way to experience such a series of moments is to witness a night like the one that just occurred at Crossroads Music Company & Listening Room, right here in rural Winnsboro, Texas.  This was quite possibly Rhett’s finest performance since he started playing on the Crossroads stage!  Picture below shows Rhett Butler [seated with guitar], Phil McNeese on bass guitar, and Martin McCall on drums.

RB group sep 12

When he is not performing, Rhett works with a large biotech company promoting clinical trials for brain cancer. The documentary, “Chasing Miracles”, that Rhett made about the life of his brother Ashley, a 28 year brain tumor survivor, was recognized in the Dallas International Film Festival in 2011. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in biotechnology/cancer biology from the University of Texas at Dallas and is writing his first book entitled, “Enthusiasm is the Enemy – 12 Reasons that We Fail to Improve Cancer Care.”   Ashley’s life parallels the life of Winnsboro’s own Colby Gibson, Carol Gibson’s son.  Both had brain tumors at a young age, and both had surgery to remove those tumors back in the 1980s, when the learning curve for radiation treatments, etc, was still somewhat in its infant stage.  Both Colby and Ashley received significant radiation treatments to help insure all the cancer was wiped out, with a trade-off being an altered existence.  As stated above, Ashley was a 28 year brain tumor survivor before his passing.  Colby is now 30, and is a 26 year brain tumor survivor, but he just suffered his FIFTH STROKE this past July, that took his throat & the functioning of his right side .  In need of as much therapy as possible during these initial months following the stroke, Carol is looking into more treatment than the local nursing home can provide, which is very minimal.  Because of that fact, this Rhett Butler concert was dedicated to the memory of Ashley, but also a fundraising campaign for Colby.  Those of you that are local probably have had Colby take your groceries to your vehicle at Brookshire’s, up until a couple years ago.  Anyway, proceeds from the concert will enable more therapy for Colby, and if you missed the show, you can still donate in the Crossroads store…Forgive the lack of notice for all this…assistance will be greatly appreciated, and allow Colby to continue some extra physical therapy, as well as speech therapy not covered by current health benefits.

Colby and Carol 2013

Billy Joe Shaver brought the MAGIC!

Billy Joe Shaver, Texas’ very own Honky Tonk Hero AND Preacher, shared some of his MAGIC on the Crossroads Stage!  A comfortable crowd filled the Winnsboro Center for the Arts, and our special guest Pauline Reese returned to the stage to honor Billy Joe as his opening act!  Pauline had returned from a Crossroads performance, as headliner, just a few weeks beforehand, which worked out well for those that missed her great individual performance on August 3rd.  This time, additional guitar licks were provided by J.C., out of Waco, Texas, and Pauline even invited her daughter “Sky” to the stage to sing a number.

Billy Joe Shaver hit the stage with his band, and they gave the audience a couple hours of meaningful melodies, legendary lyrics, great stories of his life, and some bonus honky tonk preachin’ to balance things out.  I hope you were one of the guests there that night, because shows like that have to be experienced to be appreciated, and there’s no better way to experience a show than up close and personal in a listening room environment like Crossroads!  If you DID miss this show, Billy Joe Shaver has a book and CDs you may want to get your hands on!  The book is filled with a catalog of lyrics from the many songs of his legendary career in the music business.

PICTURES [Top to Bottom]: Gus, Karen L., Billy Joe, & Carol; Billy Joe with Lindy Hearne; Billy Joe Shaver & his Band; His great smile during a bit of Honky Tonk Preachin’; Billy Joe Shaver with Carol & Gus; Pauline Reese w/ guitarist J.C. in the background; Pauline backing up her daughter Sky’s vocals 🙂




BJS with Lindy Hearne BJS and his band BJS honkytonkhero BJS Carol Gus Pauline and JC Pauline and Sky