SRS2015, Rd 2 Wk 4

| November 1, 2015 | Reply
Big Joe Walker and Jarrod Morris

Jarrod Morris and Big Joe Walker

For more photos, click on the links below.

Big Joe Walker band and Jarrod Morris went back to back in this final Round 2 event of the 11th Shiner Rising Star contest Thursday night, Oct. 29, at Love & War in Texas’ Grapevine location.

Big Joe brought with him Michael Pruett on fiddle; Adam Carrillo, bass and background vocals; Casey Green on guitar and background vocals, and Chris Johnson on drums and also background vocals. Jarrod played with one person on accompaniment, Chad Harrison on guitar, harmonica,and harmonies.

In this round, each band had 45 minutes to get onto the stage, plug in, sing their originals

The week's judges

The week’s judges

plus two cover songs, and get off before the timer went off. Then, judges got them back onto the stage for a critique session. The judges’ votes are tallied and the announcements have been made the following Friday mornings as to who is moving on into the final round.

This past week’s judges were KHYI’s Chuck Taylor, Overdrive Entertainment’s Tip Jones, and Curb Records’ Mark Janese.

Big Joe Walker and the band went first. Big Joe, who writes and sings leads, and who switches from guitar to keyboards regularly, brought out the first song off a previous CD that they released to radio, “Friday Night in Texas,” and from there moved through a number of originals. They chose Zac Brown’s “Free” and Turnpike’s Troubadours’ “Long Hot Summer Day” as their covers.

Critique time — Janese began, saying he makes his living off pop country music, where you’ve “got to have really good songs. Work on that, maybe write with some other songwriters.” He wasn’t be critical, he said, and added the band looks great and sounds great.

Jones said the Big Joe Walker band is “a tight band, with excellent tone. I loved the Crowd 1harmonies and how Joe switched to piano. You did good on the covers. You would have done Turnpike proud.”

Taylor said he could tell the band has been working together a long time. “The guitar and fiddler were off the hook. And it’s good Texas music scene (music).”

Jarrod Morris, even without having a full band behind him, held the crowd’s attention, and apparently actually brought the bigger crowd. He said, at one point, that his sister, who was in the crowd, had been a Shiner Rising Star contestant several years earlier. With Harrison adding some solid harmonies, guitar, and harmonica backgrounds, Morris chose as his two cover songs “Neon Moon” by Brooks & Dunn and the Eagles’ “Life In The Fast Lane.”

Critique — again, Janese opened the comments saying, “You remind me of a young Jack Ingram. When he was a young guy, he wrote about the things he thought he had to write about. That changed. Keep writing.”

Big Joe Walker Band

Big Joe Walker Band

Jones remembered that Jack Ingram began by playing every Tuesday night at Adair’s Saloon in Dallas, and was the beginning of the building of his fan base. Then, about Morris, he said, “You don’t fit in any genre and that’s cool. It’s Texas music. A little more grit would help.” Jones also commented that it took grit for Morris to enter the contest without a band, “that’s very hard, and I’d like to hear you stepping it up with a couple more players behind you, maybe some keys. I think you are going in the right direction. You are better now than in Round 1 and you will be better as time goes one.”

Taylor closed the critique by acknowledging that Morris “main disadvantage tonight, if there is one, is going without a full band.” He also suggested that, on “Life In The Fast Lane,” they could have pulled the harmonic out earlier. “It was a missed opportunity — a blues song with a little more harmonica.” He ended by saying that Morris did a really good job.

Jarrod Morris and Chad Harrison

Chad Harrison and Jarrod Morris

The following morning, Taylor announced on KHYI that it would be the Big Joe Walker band advancing into the final round. There, he will challenge and be challenged by The Matt Nix Band, The Barry Goldman Band, and Whiskey Prophets.

That final round will begin at 7 p.m., at Love & War in Texas’ Plano location, the NE corner of U.S. 75 and Plano Parkway. No cover charge for any night of Shiner Rising Star.

For Big Joe Walker band pix, click here.

For Jarrod Morris pix, click here

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Category: *- Features, 2015

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