Shiner Rising Star, KHYI, 2011 Rd 1 Wk 8, 9/15/11, Love & War in Texas

| September 18, 2011


Jake Samuelson and Ric Denker

Shiner Rising Star is a band competition with prizes that include a recording contract through Shiner Records, an opening spot on KHYI’s 2012 Texas Music Revolution festival, full-band equipment outfit from Kona Guitars and GP Percussion, and a feature article in Alternate Route, an Americana music magazine. Dallas American radio station KHYI, Shiner Beer, and Shiner Records are the sponsors.

To view videos from this week, and all weeks, go to The producer also sells DVDs of each night’s performance on scene.

The final week of Round 1 brought together three more amazing bands to the patio stage at Love & War in Texas, Plano. These were Brad Dunn & Ellis County, from Austin, who will be moving on into Round 2, Manny (Trevin) and the Gringoderos from within the Metroplex, and The Scrips, from the Tyler area. Judges this week were KHYI radio personalities Brett Dillon and Chuck Taylor, and regional singer/songwriter Max Stalling.

The Scrips opened the set, entertaining with banjo, guitar, and bull bass, and with voices that allowed the words, melodies, and harmonies to shine, to bring brillance to their bluegrass roots. They chose as their one cover, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” Brad Wofford played guitar and banjo, Marci Acheson was on guitar, and Shane Prescott on bass, sometimes using a bow instead of the usual slap or pick style.

Brett Dillon said, at the end of the set, “You ae awesome. You know you aee different and it is cool that you do what you do, because you believe in the sound. I can see you opening for Del McCrory.” He added that he could hear their music being used in sound tracks of turn-of-the-century or western movies. “I love the loud ass music, but I could hear your lyrics and your sound and it was refreshing.”

Stalling was shyer about his contibution during the critique. “My opinion and 50¢ would probably not get you a good cup of coffee.” Stalling commented on the songwriting, saying, “The lyrics grabbed. And I am a sucker for the minor G dirgy-kind of songs.”

Stalling did suggest that, as the band continues to grow and move forward, they invest in some pickups for their instruments, so to “Not have to mess with mics and monitors. Then when you get on the tour bus and get the major label, you can go back to what you have now.”

Taylor commented that there is a resurgence of bluegrass sound. “I loved the cover, and “Front Porch” was a good song, too.”

Lisa Hooks and Cara Thorson

The Scrips pix

Brad Dunn & Ellis County played second. This six-piece band filled the corner stage, but the musicians all managed to keep from stepping all over one another. The band consisted of Dunn on acoustic guitar, Mike Naumann on bass, Michael Lamendola on drums, Ty Hurless and Tim Veillon on electric guitars, and Jim “Haystack” Novak on steel guitar. For their cover, they did a song written by Austin songwriter Shad Blair, who makes frequent trips to North Texas where he performs with Mike O’Neal and others in the Lamar County area.

Dillon opened the critique. He said, “You have got a great little band.When you get that many people up there (on stage), you can have a mess, but you didn’t have a mess. and I could hear distinctly each one of you.” He said to Haystack that he is a ringer and that the harmonies on the bad were outstanding. “All your songs were radio-friendly, and the Shad Blair cover tune was good, he’s one bad mamajama. I couldn’t stop tapping my toes.”

Stalling commented that he could tell the band plays often together.  “You look comfortable together. I was blown away, and it looked like you were all relaxed and having a good time.”

I was blown away, relaxed and having a good time.

Taylor said the Brad Dunn band CD “came across my desk a couple of months ago.” He commented on the energy, and the harmonies, and the Patsy Cline feel to some of the music.

Brad Dunn & Ellis County MOVING ON  pix

This was the second year that Manny Trevin has entered Shiner Rising Star, and this year he brought a new band with him. Stephen played keys, Frank was on guitar, Luis on drums, and Ken on bass, plus Manny’s lead vocals and acoustic guitar. One of his originals he wrote, he said, after his grandmother became gravely ill. But, it wasn’t a dirgy-type song, but was upbeat and celebrated the life of the Trevin matriarch. For his required cover song, Manny and the band performed a Billy Joel/Frank Sinatra tune, “Fly Me To The Moon.”

Dillon said he loves the directions of this new band, The Gringoderos, and the way Trevin is moving on. Stalling was especially fond of the cover song, he said, and the overall “sounding great” sounds from the band. “You have an Old 97 feel,” and Trevin answered that he’d never heard that comment beforre, but he liked it.

Taylor said he loved the set, but wanted to get the negative out of the way first. “You  had a 4-letter word in the first song. I would already have had to edit that out to play it on air. We are looking for radio friendly, and the most radio friendly was “Fly Me To The Moon.”

Manny (Trevin) & The Gringoderos pix

Round Two begins Thursday night with The Dustin Perkins Band taking on Sidekick Mafia. This time, each band has 45 minutes from get on to get off stage, and must perform two cover songs. The music begins at 8 p.m., at Hat Tricks in Lewisville.

Category: Earlier Posts, Love & War in Texas

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