Texas Roadhouse by Dale Martin – August 2016
Jenni Finlay, daughter of the late Kent Finlay, is celebrating her 10th anniversary as a music PR agent with a great showcase featuring James McMurtry, Adam Carroll, Dedringers (special reunion show), Randy Weeks, Curtis McMurtry, Hollin McKay and more on August 11 at Threadgill’s World Headquarters in Austin. “I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the best of the best in Americana music since starting Jenni Finlay Promotions, truly the cream of the crop of the world’s singer-songwriters,” Finlay says. “I hope to continue shining the light on all we can be.” The Texas native has effortlessly shaped careers and consistently helped Americana’s finest acts move to the top of the charts over the past decade. Now, she’s turning potential into platinum more than ever: Finlay recently expanded her business from radio promotion into artist management with her first client James McMurtry, record production with four albums under her belt, launched Eight 30 Records with business partner Brian T. Atkinson and taken over co-ownership at the Cheatham Street Woodshed recording studio. “At this point, there wouldn’t be much of a James McMurtry business were it not for Jenni Finlay Promotions,” says McMurtry. “Jenni’s now poised to take over the world.” “Jenni’s used her talent, intelligence and strong work ethic to reach a coveted level of success while retaining her integrity,” agrees longtime client Noel McKay. “I was lucky to work with her when she was first starting out and I’m exponentially luckier to work with her now. Jenni continues to work her ass off and the success of her artists is the proof.”
Freiheit Country Store in New Braunfels has started to feature traditional country artists like T.G. Sheppard, who will be performing at the historic old venue on August 20th. He’s currently on tour supporting his latest album, Legendary Friends & Country Duets, which features collaborations with George Jones, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Oak Ridge Boys, Crystal Gayle, Lorrie Morgan and many more. T.G. Sheppard has always had an unstoppable passion for music. This passion along with 21 number one hits and being ranked as one of the top artists in all of country music, has made him one of the most popular live performers on tour today. His live shows are full of chart topping hits like “Last Cheaters Waltz”, “I Loved ‘Em Everyone”,” Do You Wanna Go To Heaven”, and “Party Time.” To get tickets for this show, plus many more great events check out their website at freiheitcountrystore.net.
When writer Tamara Saviano began working on ‘Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark’, her no-holds-barred biography of the beloved Americana music icon, she already knew Clark’s peers and fans loved and respected him. She’d also heard that profiling still-living subjects was harder than writing about those who’d passed away. But she was still surprised that every single one of her 200-plus interview subjects checked with Clark before agreeing to talk. He gave them all the same answer: “I’m not out to rewrite the truth. Just tell her everything. Don’t hold back.” And so they talked candidly, during countless hours of conversations she recorded starting in 2008. Saviano’s 406-page book, completed just before Clark passed away on May 17, takes an honest look at one of America’s most revered musical storytellers and his relationships with two key figures: his wife, Susanna, and her soul mate, Townes Van Zandt, who was also Clark’s best friend. Due out in October, it’s a title in the John & Robin Dickson Series in Texas Music, sponsored by Texas State University’s Center for Texas Music History. Clark and Van Zandt, the two most revered writers in a long line of Texas-born songwriters, wrote songs popularized by members of the outlaw country movement as well as more traditional artists. Clark’s contributions included classics such as “Desperados Waiting for a Train,” “The Randall Knife,” “She Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” “L.A. Freeway” and “Texas, 1947.” Though he released only 13 studio albums in his lifetime, his work has been recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Jeff Walker, Emmylou Harris and countless others. His long list of friends and admirers included Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, Rosanne Cash, Jack Ingram and others, many of whom shared insights for the book. Saviano also includes 113 photos from all phases of his life and storied career. In Texas and later in Nashville, Guy and Susanna, a talented songwriter herself, attracted a circle of friends who loved nothing more than sharing songs (and substances) together. Clark, also a luthier, and Susanna, a visual artist, met when he was dating Susanna’s sister, Bunny. When she committed suicide, Guy and Susanna bonded over their grief. Saviano delves into details of their relationship, aided by Susanna’s own journals, as well as interviews with family members who also gave her unfettered access to documents, photos and memorabilia. “It was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. I went back to every part of Guy’s life and found the people who were there at that time,” Saviano says. “I learned details that nobody else knew, including his closest friends.” But the book is far from straight biography; in the third section, Saviano herself becomes part of the narrative. She was managing editor of Country Music magazine when she met Clark in 1998. In 2006, she became his publicist for the album Workbench Songs, a role she repeated for 2009’s Someday the Song Writes You. In 2011, she produced the Grammy-nominated album This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark, which was named the 2012 Americana Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association.
“I had no idea that I was going to grow to love the old curmudgeon, but I did,” Saviano says. “I felt I needed to make it very clear that I was not only a reporter. We had become good friends and Guy confided in me about many things. I’m not sure it was a typical relationship for a biographer and subject.” Saviano is also at work on a documentary further exploring the relationship among Guy, Susanna and Townes, whose death in 1997 sent Susanna into a spiral from which she never recovered before passing away in 2012. This is one book I can’t wait to read!
The Americana Music Jam has become an annual fundraising event in New Braunfels for the past 20 years. Recently, Mattson Rainer, General Manager of KNBT 92.1 FM Radio New Braunfels, and Pat Molak and Mary Jane Nalley, owners of Gruene Hall, presented $64,094.30 to two local charities this year using the funds raised at the 20th Annual KNBT Americana Music Jam. The event presenters donated $10,627.60 to the Braunfels Foundation Trust and $53,466.70 to the Crisis Center of Comal County. The Jam was held on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at Gruene Hall. Over the years, the Americana Music Jam has raised over half a million dollars for various charities in the New Braunfels area. The lineup for this past year’s milestone event boasted many well-known artists including Pat Green, Jack Ingram, Reckless Kelly, Uncle Lucius, Cody Canada & the Departed, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sean McConnell, Ed Jurdi & Gordy Quist of The Band of Heathens, Terri Hendrix & Lloyd Maines, Seth James, Jamie Wilson, Tom Gillam & The Kosmic Messengers, Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros; along with surprise special guest Wade Bowen. The KNBT Americana Music Jam is an annual celebration of Americana music and is a major attraction every year for the city of New Braunfels.