SRS 2014, Rd 1 Wk 1, 8/8/14

| August 8, 2014 | Reply

The week's judges, Brett Dillon, Deryl Dodd, Tip Jones

The week’s judges, Brett Dillon, Deryl Dodd, Tip Jones

Story and photos by Mary Jane Farmer

If all the other 21 bands selected to play in Round 1 of Shiner Rising Star bring as much diversity and talent to the stages as the first three did — fans are in for a great season of music and the various judges are in for difficult decisions.

Thursday night (Aug. 7), three bands hit the Love & War in Texas (Plano) stage. Two from the Dallas area, Ole G & The Crew and Parallel Play were challenged by a Panhandle band, Lager & The Fatties. When the dust settled, KHYI’s Chuck Taylor announced Friday morning that it would be Parallel Play moving on into Round 2.

Judges Thursday night were Brett Dillon (KHYI), Tip Jones (Overdrive Entertainment), and Deryl Dodd (singer/songwriter). After each band’s 30-minute set, they returned to the stage for critique. Each band was required to play all originals, circling one cover song.

Lager & The Fatties were first up. The group, according to their promo, started out in Lubbock in 2006, played around for a while, and then got back together this year. The band played with Ryan J. Edwards on lead vocals and guitar, Cody C.M. Myers on lead guitar, Kyle O’Neal on drums, and Kyle “Keys” Davis on (no surprisingly) keyboards. High energy and good musicianship, the band opened with a good original story song with an old-west feel to it. Their cover was “Tulsa Time.”


Brett Dillon: The keyboard was bad ass, and the band had a great song selection. He confirmed that Ryan does most of the songwriting.

Deryl Dodd: “To hear the girls screaming back there, maybe you should be called “Lager & The Hotties.” He, too, commented on Davis’ showmanship, also on the fact that the band seemed to be having as good a time as the fans.

Tip Jones: He also commented on Davis’ talent, saying, it added a “cool touch to the band’s sound, kind of a Leon Russell/Circus thing going on.” Jones said he wasn’t impressed with the cover choice. “That’s your chance to do something really cool, to go to the next level. Pull out a song we don’t like and make us like it. The originals were good.”

One thing unique that Lager & The Fatties did was to provide the judges with gifts of their current CD, koozies, stickers, and cards.


Parallel Play, moving on

Parallel Play, moving on

Parallel Play probably brought the largest fan base, judging by the whoops and hollars before, during, and after their set. This band, uniquely, supplied the judges with the songs they would be singing and the lyrics to all their originals. Their cover was a Gin Blossoms’ song, “Found Out About You.” Well, done, in this non-judge’s opinion. Their originals often blended Americana/folk/acoustic with hints of grunge. Folk on the instrumentations and vocals, grunge on the lyrics. Members of the band include Jeremy Drake on vocals, guitar, and songwriting; Jason Miears on tenor, 4-string banjo and harmony; Erin Gayden on doghouse bass and harmony; and Pappy McCall on drums.


Brett Dillon: “You bluegrassed up a Gin Blossom tune, and I really dug it.” He added he was a fan of the banjo. He also remembered that Parallel Play was in the 2012 Shiner Rising Star season, and “You guys really stepped it up this year.”

Deryl Dodd: Commented on their apparent self-esteem, saying “You deserve it.” He said he had never seen a 4-string banjo picked like Miears played it, “Impressive. Great musicians, tight and having the lyrics sheet was a great help.” He also told Jeremy Drake that he was like a Jim Morrison up on the stage. Folk, punk, bluegrass equal punk-ass.

Tip Jones:  They obviously did a great job using social media to get their crowd out, Jones said. “I loved that cover song, You picked a song I liked and made me like it more. I am a cover song geek,” he admitted. What he especially did like was “you crammed a lot of music into 30 minutes, jam-packed it.”

Ole G & The Crew — This group said they have only been together a month before the contest, yet judges were impressed with specific portions of their performance. The second song they performed was primarily an instrumental, with bassist Matt McClellan using a bow on his stand-up bass and Mark Kafel using soft brushes on the drums. The second half of the song was sweet, sentimental vocals. They brought the night to a completion of acoustic bands. They were also very conscience to thank the judges, the venue, and sponsors KHYI and Shiner Beer, and to thank the first two bands. During their cover, they asked their crowd, almost as large as Parallel Plays, to sing along. It was a very old Bob Dylan song, “Moonshiners” and their rendition had an almost-jungle feel to it at times. This non-judge was a little distracted, however, with lead guitarist Tommy Pyland took a break, although quality musicianship, that didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the arrangements. Haylie Brevig brought some vocals to the songs.


Brett Dillon: “Your music makes me wanna get nekkid and drink tequila in a hot tub.” He promised he would go and hear the band again in the future.

Deryl Dodd: Add to that “get nekkid” it should be at the beach. G-man (lead vocals and guitar Grant “Ole G” Braudrick), you are a spiritual, a great vocal singer.” DD was also a fan of the stand-up bass (Matt McClellan). “All three bands tonight sounded extremely different.”

Tip Jones: “You brought a great crowd, and that’s a feat in itself — hats off to you.” He said the band also brought a good solid rhythm section.

Next Thursday (Aug. 14), the contest will be at Hat Tricks, kicking off at 8 p.m., with Matt Nix Band, Straw Hat Society, and Blacktop Outlaw vying for top honors. Hat Tricks is is at 101 E. Corporate Drive., No. 300, in Lewisville, and can be reached at 972-315-8406.

For Parallel Play photos, click here.

For Lager & The Fatties photos, click here.

For Ole’ G & The Crew Photos, click here

For a few other pix, click here


Category: *- Features, 2014, Love & War in Texas

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