If you’ve waited this long to experience what all the hype is about, within the four walls of a true “Listening Room” where musical artists really get to CONNECT with a crowd, you owe it to yourselves to catch one of these final three shows. ~Gus
[photo by: Lindy Hearne]
Jimmy LaFave’s hometown of Wills Point, Texas, is actually less than sixty miles from the Crossroads Stage here in Winnsboro, Texas. That is certainly close enough to say that Jimmy was “Home” on Friday night, playing to “His people.” [pictures] These are terms Jimmy himself used to describe some of the feelings dancing around inside this great singer/songwriter/musician/entertainer, as he shared some thoughts & some stories of the past with his band and those lucky enough to be in the audience that evening! There was a great vibe & energy bouncing around the Crossroads Performance Hall that night! Jimmy & his band tapped into that source, and truly delivered an inspired performance! The only set list present was between Jimmy’s ears, and I believe he allowed that to change throughout the night, playing tunes inspired by the tune/story before, and trying to satisfy the requests coming from the appreciative crowd. At times it felt like Woody Guthrie’s spirit was up on that stage with Jimmy & the band. There will never be another performance quite like the one delivered last Friday night! That’s an easy statement to make, since Jimmy is one of those musicians that prefers NOT to play a song the same way twice, which allows for creative MAGIC to show up during his shows–magic you can’t get listening to a CD! In honor of where they were performing, they even did a rendition of Robert Johnson’s “Cross Road Blues,” totally unrehearsed! It was AWESOME, and guitarist Phil Hurley totally SHREDDED IT!!
Crossroads Music Company was honored to have Jimmy back for a return visit! ~Gus Gustafson
Crossroads Music Company & Listening Room, Winnsboro, Texas? A popular stop for INTERNATIONAL performers? Could this be a true statement? Not only are we a tour stopping spot, we rank as one of many musician’s FAVORITE TOUR STOPS!
Such is the case with Druha Trava, one of the top Bluegrass/Americana groups from the Czech Republic. [click to go to their website] They try to tour the U.S.of A. once a year, and it was John DeFoore – awesome guitar teacher and songwriting coach from Mineola – who first recognized this band’s talent, some 19 years ago, and brought them to his Pickin’ Parlor way back then! Since that time, their English has improved – lol – but Robert Krest’an still sings much of the material in their native tongue. What you get when you spend an evening with Druha Trava, is top-notch performances of Robert’s originals, and covers from the likes of Bob Dylan & the Rolling Stones, all with their signature Czech influences–simply fantastic. Truly talented musicians, they blend guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, dobro, & even a couple wind instruments, with precise/artistic flair! They bring their sense of humor along for the tour, as well!
Click here to Czech out [cute, right?] our video of a Bob Dylan cover from Saturday night’s performance! Click here for some photos on the Crossroads FB page.
Grammy Award Winning Brad Davis was in the house on October 5th, and it was great…hope you were one of the lucky ones that came out in support of this awesome guitar player/singer/songwriter/Studio Musician of the Year; Texas Music Awards-2013!!
Brad was very comfortable in the listening room surroundings at Crossroads Music, inside the Winnsboro Center for the Arts! We were fortunate to have him all day and night on that Saturday, starting off with a guitar clinic and ending with a great performance. Brad’s son Landon made his presence known on the bass guitar, and did a wonderful job backing his dad’s new Spiritual originals, one of which Brad unveiled for the first time ever in public–“Sometimes Your World Will Break.” Great tune!
Brad Davis also has his friend Debbie Porter on stage for a couple numbers. She was packin’ everything from mountain dulcimers to ukuleles, including a bass version! Another East Texas rising star, Cole Risner, was Brad’s opening act, and it was the perfect fit. Visit his website and get your hands on all his songs! Cole has been writing some great new tunes…keep your eye on this young man!!
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!
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!
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.
[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
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.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.
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.
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 🙂
A big thank you is in order for the Wood County Electric Cooperative [WCEC]! Their generous contribution to the Winnsboro Center for the Arts [WCA] will go a long way to help keep the doors open, which will keep the Arts alive in Wood County–for the kids and the community as a whole. This includes the performing arts, like kids Summer Drama Camp, which always ends with an entertaining community theater performance–great opportunities for the youth of our area! As many of you know, Crossroads Music Company & Listening Room shares the WCA stage, fitting in performances by Global talent in-between the community theater events. Thank you WCEC, for helping keep all the Arts ALIVE in Wood County!
Click on the logo above, and visit the WCEC website.
Yes, 2-Bit Palomino made a return visit to Crossroads Music Company & Listening Room, loaded with new songs, stories, and their latest CD, “2-Bit Palomino Rides Again.” I couldn’t help but use the title for this post, too! Click on the title to go their website, buy a CD, or learn more about Bill Ward, Ren & Andi Renfree–the three truly talented individuals that make up this band.
We opted to go without an opening act, which proved perfect. 2-Bit Palomino led the crowd through a night filled with tight harmonies, great music, stories of the road, and even some insight into what inspired some of the songs they’ve written.
All three members of the band contributed to the songwriting for this latest recording, “2-Bit Palomino Rides Again.” We highly advise getting a copy! You’ll see some of the other artists that co-wrote or contributed songs, including East Texas’ very own Lindy Hearne, who co-wrote, with Andi, the opening selection entitled, “My Own Backyard.” Tulsa Tempest will get you moving in your seat!
“The Buffalo Grass,” recorded by Chris Ledoux, and written by Andi Renfree, is not on the latest CD [Rides Again], but you can hear how Bill Ward has made it his own, as the three of them really grabbed the room’s attention during last night’s performance! Click on “The Buffalo Grass” and catch last night’s rendition on Crossroads’ YouTube!
Thank you, 2-Bit Palomino, for sharing a piece of your musical journey with all of us in attendance! Below photos: 1st: Andi (l) and Ren (r); 2nd: Bill Ward on keyboard; 3rd: Ren, trying out his custom Ayers mandolin.
Click on Pauline’s picture, for a backstage interview and a glimpse into Pauline Reese. Then come on out Saturday for a great show!
Photo above, compliments of Jim Willis, shows Pauline enjoying the crowd during her Crossroads performance last Saturday night, Aug. 3, 2013. This time around, Pauline left her band at home, brought Road/Sound Manager Dave Gardner along to balance a full & rich acoustic performance–the PERFECT choice for a hot August night in Winnsboro, Texas!! Pauline had a fair share of stories accompanying a strong variety of original songs, and she sprinkled in a few covers along the way. We got a very sincere, authentic Pauline Reese, and she exposed a whole lot of Texan, even without the wardrobe malfunctions! Those who were in the audience will understand the reference! Even Dolly Parton would have been proud of Pauline’s poise 🙂
Anyway, by the time the show was over, it kinda felt like Pauline was, “Just Getting Started!” Do yourself a favor, and visit Pauline’s website and follow her career. Lots more to come for this very talented Texas Singer/Songwriter!! ~Gus
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