Hank’s Texas Grill offers the best of the newer and more-rarely-seen-in-the-area musicians on its Thursday night line-ups, bringing in each weekend’s incredible line-ups. The McKinney bar and grill is a true friend of Texas and Americana music, no questions asked!
That said, this past Thursday night (Feb. 28) was no exception. Katie Lamb, with her gyuitar accompanist David Mathews, opened the night up with a variety of original and cover tunes. Katie’s voice was perfect on Sugarland’s “Why Don’t You Stay?” including the interjection of all the emotion the song requires for an honest delivery. David, who is proficient not only on guitar but also on other instruments, offered background and lead licks completely complimentary to every song.
The Tyler Rogers Band jumped on stage next, delivering a full set of original music. With Tyler is Tiago Mauro on lead guitar, RJ Medrano on drums, and Chris Medrano on bass.
Despite the nasty weather coming in, about 75 people made their way to Grover’s Grill & Bar in Frisco Thursday night (Dec. 5, 2013) for the duo-billing of legends Restless Heart and solo (this time) Tony Ramey.
This fan went long before the moisture came down, got an up-close parking spot, and later then offered to sprinkle rock salt outside as the rains and sleet began to stick to the pavement. That done, settled into my makeshift office for the evening and got a lot of work accomplished while waiting for the real fun to begin.
Hours and several cups of hot coffee later, the show began. Aaron Underwood is a sound man to be remembered, he does such excellent work. Tony began, and within 10 minutes had converted strangers into fans. NOTE TO SELF: Remember to get them to sign up for updates on Tony’s website, TonyRamey.com, so they won’t miss additions to his calendar. Ramey brought a strong 45-minute set to the Grover’s stage, and the crowd, was previously ensconced in private conversations around their dinner tables, shifted their focuses to the corner stage and the singer/songwriter delivering his usual, unusual mix of songs other artists have made hits, and some not yet as well known, such as “That’s How I Was Raised,” very recently recorded and released by Alabama, one of only two new songs on their latest CD, “Alabama & Friends.”
Quick change-over on the stage, and Restless Heart kicked off an hour-and-a-half set that kept the crowd enthralled. This group, made up of Larry Stewart, John Dittrich, Greg Jennings, Paul Gregg, Dave Innis, is unique in that the original five who set out 30 years ago to make country music is the same five who performed Thursday night. Not many groups, if any others who have reached such national acclaim as Restless Heart has earned, can say that.
They sang and played their way through numerous songs from their war-chest of hits, added a few Christmas songs, and through it all kept the crowd clapping hard and on the dance floor. Stewart, who said he has co-written with Ramey when they were both in Nashville, has the smoothest of voices in music, unpretentious yet rich and vibrant no matter what song he is singing. And the instrumentation and backup vocals are just what grizzled vets such as they should deliver.
Afterward, every musician stayed around to shake hands, hug, or otherwise meet their fans. It was a rare Texas appearance for Restless Heart, and after the show, they blazed their way through snow and sleet to make an Oklahoma gig, then on to California and Arizona. Check out their schedule at RestlessHeartBand.com and Tony Ramey’s at TonyRamey.com
Thanks, Grover’s, for such a great night of music.
Photos by Mary Jane Farmer
Hank’s Texas Grill in McKinney is again hosting its yearly Open Mic competition. This one is unique from so many contests in that it’s not necessarily about songwsriting, but is more about the performance and the crowd reactions. Two preliminary weeks, Dec. 4 and 11; semi-finals Dec. 18; and since Christmas Day falls on Wednesday, the finals will be on Thursday, Dec. 26.
Participating in Week 1 were the trio of Rocho, Bryan, and Tippa; Danny Zagotta; Crystal White; Tony Ramey; David Aguirre; Joseph Bradshaw; and Dextin Wheeler. Tyler Rogers will be the host each week, helping Hank’s get this contest together every night with all the minute details such an endeavor requires.
For all Week 1 photos, click here (Sorry, didn’t get any good shots of Joseph Bradshaw this week.)
Come on out and hear the good music, 3 songs from each musician or group, and not a cover charge for this. Starts about 8 p.m. each night, more or less.
UPDATE” Saturday, one-day later, Spam finds it’s way in, but today only 6 pieces through 5 doors, and I think I have closed those doors, too. The “comments” being left open seems to work fine. This all began when I changed the password on my Scene In Town.com. (Someone had actually made way into the site and made some unauthorized changes, and that’s when the floodgate opened.
I just deleted 12,078 items of spam, coming into the basic Scene In Town pages, some as ‘comments’ and some as ‘pingback and tracksback’ or something foreign-sounding like that. It took me two Lifetime movies to go through all those spam items, 20 at a time.
Now, in the process, I have deleted the ability for anyone to comment on any post here. BUT, as an experiment, I’m going to leave the “comment” section of this post open. So, if you feel like it, make a comment here. I’d love to see if, by removing the ‘pingback and trackback’ allowances, this will prevent the spam and still let people comment when they want to.
And, just as an aside, the most spam came in on Dustin Perkins stories, my page, and not far behind those were stories on Wade Kilgore. Now, I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing… just a ‘thing.’ (Insert smiley face here ) And as another aside, I attached one photo which has absolutely NOTHING to do with any of this, just wanted to get your attention!
… and it’s bringing a complimentary combination of Texas country and Nashville star power to the West Texas Plains and beyond.
Headlining this year’s Texas Thunder, which is in Gardendale in the Permian Basin, May 16-17, will be (from Nashville) The Band Perry and Lee Brice; and from (Texas) Wade Bowen, Stoney LaRue, Randy Rogers Band, and organizers are still working on that line-up, adding more. OK, here’s a sneak peak at a couple more bands hitting the stage… Cody Johnson and Whiskey Myers. Looking good? Yep.
Texas Thunder is only two years old this year, and already bigger than ever. Festival producer Herb Graham said, “We are very proud of every act on this list and looking forward to another great year in May.”
Set on beautiful farmland with the huge Texas sky and picture-perfect pump-jacks as a backdrop, Texas Thunder brings a mixture of Texas and Nashville country music. In addition to top‐notch entertainment at the main stage and the Texas Troubadour Saloon stage, Texas Thunder offers its patrons an amazing Texas experience including specialty and food vendors and much more. Graham encourages everyone to “Join thousands of the friendliest people in the country and enjoy cold beer, homegrown talent and the most fun you can pack into a big ole Texas weekend.”
For the most up-to-date information on Texas Thunder, like it on Facebook at facebook.com/texasthunderfest and follow us on Twitter
@txthunderfest. Two-‐day general admission tickets are available for a limited time for the discounted price of $65. And grab your camp sites while they last for just $110! For more information or to purchase tickets and camping, please visit www.texasthunderfest.com or call (855) 362-‐0535.