By LEWIS SPEARMAN
CROSBY The Crosby Fair & Rodeo Board announces an exciting lineup of after-rodeo concerts for this coming June including Kevin Fowler, Jack Ingram, and Aaron Watson leading for Jason Boland.
This year the fun begins on Friday, June 6 with the Barbecue Cook-Off Party with concert and continues on the following day with the Rodeo Parade and Cook-Off. After the Thursday, June 12 sport of Professional Rodeo inside the arena, Kevin Fowler plays fresh from his concert at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Friday, June 13 Jack Ingram will perform as the last act. A preceding act has yet to be booked. The Saturday show will feature Aaron Watson followed by Jason Boland and the Stragglers.
Each of these acts has history here in Crosby. This will be the fifth time Kevin Fowler has played here. He is considered a local favorite who excites many honky-tonk Western style fans. This is a consecutive years for Watson and Boland.
Kevin Fowlers new single, Best Mistake I Ever Made gets respectable air-time and is about 180 degrees from last years Long Line of Losers. The Losers release pokes fun at some annoying folks in his Austin neighborhood and Best Mistake is much closer at home and heart. Both of the songs exemplify Fowlers themes for bawdy humor and genuine feelings. Mostly, Fowler packs the concert venues due to his rowdy anthems like Beer, Bait and Ammo. His music is a jubilant hybrid of Southern Rock and honky tonk Country Western styles. The eclectic seems aimed at a sophisticated audience that is equally at home watching MTV or CMT.
Fowler was once quoted as having said, I have Merle and Metallica next to each other on my iPod.
Although there is a definite Country music style with a great concentration on feelings, his stage show is a Rock & Roll spectacle. Many would remember when he and George Jones cut Me and the Boys.
In presentation, local audiences will find Kevin Fowler a totally country Texas Rebel with pearl buttons and a big ole hat exemplified in his songs, The Lord Love A Drinkin Man and Loose, Loud and Crazy. The stagecraft will suggest a big production rock show and the cheering fans – fun.
Texas-Revolutionary Jack Ingram, a no-hat act born on the first day of 1970, toured Dallas and Houston as a troubadour before he earned his breaks from out of the road houses and honky tonks. In his twenties, his Beat Up Ford Band produced two albums that were large locally and gateway to become opening act for Merle Haggard and Mark Chesnutt.
He is performer of high vocal quality who conveys emotion in the mood in which it strikes the listener, as a writer. A compliment to Brooks and Dunn, Brad Paisley and writing songs, while performing with Sheryl Crowe, there is depth here.
Warner signed him in 1996 Livin or Dyin was the result. In 1999, Ingram released his fifth roots rock album, Hey You.
Last year he released This is It with the hit Lips of an Angel. A father of three now, his music quieted some and began to reflect maturity
Three years after Hey You he wrote Electric Young Man with many of his earliest songs given professional dressing that the songs deserved, then Live at Gruene Hall: Happy Happy in 2004. A live recording featuring two studio singles, Live Wherever You Are, was released in 2006.
Aaron Watson played Crosby last year. Hes from Amarillo, formerly a baseball player at Abilene Christian University. During college he developed a strong following in the local honky-tonks with a varietal act including Rootsy Rock, Swing and Bluegrass elements harking inspiration from Willie, Merle, and Waylon. The album Shut Up And Dance seems to have come out of a marriage with little money present. The single, Off the Record became a most requested.
The album also earned him airplay and media attention nationwide. Then came Honky Tonk Kid with guest vocals from his inspiration, Willie Nelson. Aaron and the Orphans of the Brazos captured their energetic live set in 2005 with Live at the Texas Hall of Fame. In 2006 he released San Angelo.
Jason Boland and the Stragglers
Jason Boland started with the Stragglers about nine years ago and his band moved from Harrah, Oklahoma. Their blue collar, alternative country developed a local following, and their experiences led to hedonistic tracks like Drinkin Song and When Im Stoned.
Now that everyone has forgotten the Outlaw Country Music with origins in Hank and developed by Willie and Waylon, along come some Oklahoma Outlaws that are determinedly Country but completely modern, using heavy overtones and vocal nuances.
Recording a concert in the spring of 2002, they released Live at Billy Bobs Texas that fall. In 2004, some maturity had developed and Somewhere in the Middle was released. Bourbon Legend bust upon the music scene in 2006. An observer at the concerts notices the crowd swinging, cheering and singing along. They also see that the female members of the audience are looking at steel, lead/rhythm guitarist, Roger Ray or Brad Rice on drums, Grant Tracy, on bass, and Noah Jeffries on every type of string instrument. Bolands intonations are moving but his face has the effect of a train wreck, one just cannot turn away, even if they definitely want to look elsewhere.
By LEWIS SPEARMAN