Texas Music Thursday: Sam Riggs Concert at Stubb's

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A little over year ago I shared with yall how I wished that Sam Riggs and The Night People could make it down to South Texas since I had recently missed his show in my hometown of Houston. Well, just my luck! A little before the year anniversary of those comments (June 4th to be exact), Mr. Sam Riggs came down to South Texas and opened up for Mr. CoJo (Cody Johnson)...However, I messed up...I missed a good portion of Sam's set because I was in line to meet Cody Johnson, Whoops! Although by the parts of the performance that I was able to see I knew that he had put on a great show. Thankfully, my friend and I had actually decided a few days before this concert that we would embark on a road trip later on during the summer.
August 26th, 2016. After traveling close to 5 hours thanks to traffic, my friend and I finally made it out to Stubbs, it was a typical wonderful Texas night, yes that pretty much means it was hot and humid with a couple of lightning strikes close by, but not close enough to cancel the amazing show that we were about to see.

Sam Riggs began his set with an all time favorite "Long Shot" and instantly the venue was filled with high energy. That is the thing about Sam Riggs, not only are his songs intense,but the energy that he gives to the audience is powerful. The energy packed set continued with "Heartbreak Girl"a song from his latest album "Breathless". However the moment that made -the 5 hour drive, rushing from the hotel to dinner to Stubb's in a hot humid day completely worth it, was not only seeing Sam Riggs play "Lucky Ones" but it was hearing everyone singing along to every word, and the fact that he took the time to recognize and thank the law enforcement for their continuous work and sacrifice. As someone who has a family member in the field  and is constantly surrounded by law enforcement, this, made my heart happy.

The show did not end there. Sam Riggs was continued with more of his dynamic performances such as "Hold on, and Let go" and "High on a Country Song". I know that normally when an act is opening up for someone there set may be a little shorter, which seemed to be the case with him, I did not want for it to end. There is something special about seeing someone totally in their element, passionately performing a song, playing a series of various instruments (he plays around 4 or 5 different instruments during his performances), all while capturing an audience at a sold-out venue. Sam Riggs followed Flatland Calvary as the openers for Josh Abbott Band, you can catch Flatland's concert review. Here.

I hope that this would sway you to checking out Sam Riggs and The Night People, if you haven't already. Personally I feel that  they have a song for everyone. Also, dont forget to follow him along on his social media to make sure to check out when he comes to a place near you.

Facebook: Sam Riggs
Twitter: @SamRiggsMusic
Instagram: @SamRiggsMusic

 I know I will be looking out for a headlining show somewhere here in South Texas, because although he always takes time to spend it at his merch table and engage with his fans, I have yet to meet him. I am hoping third times the charm. *fingers crossed*

Texas Music Thursday: Flatland Calvary Concert Review (Guest Post)

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There can be a lot of expectations when you go watch one of your favorite bands live for the first time. This was certainly the case as I made the trip to Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater in Austin to see a show featuring the Josh Abbott Band, Sam Riggs and the Night People and Flatland Cavalry. When Flatland Cavalry's debut album was released, it shot to number #1 on the iTunes country music charts, beating out Chris Stapleton among others. With the cosigning of William Clark Green, Randy Rogers, Josh Abbott, Dalton Domino and others, there was some added fan pressure for them to live up to a standard set by Lubbock artists before them. 
(L-R) Electric Guitar- Reid Dillion, Lead Vocals- Cleto Cordero, Fiddle- Laura Jane,
Bass- Jonathan Saenz, Percussion-Jason Albers

 As I walked in to Stubb's, there was an electricity in the air. People began to flock to the front of the stage, patiently waiting for the show to start. Time began to pass and at 8pm on the dot, Cleto Cordero and company walked out on stage. Drummer Jason Albers began the bass kick as they kicked off their show with Coyote (The Ballad of Roy Johnson). Flowing flawlessly through the verses and chorus, we began to be taken to a desolate area on the border where Roy waited patiently to take immigrants across the border. As soon as we made it across that Rio, we were immediately slowed down. Moving into February Snow, Cleto reminds us to not call your girlfriend a bad name. Generally, she might tend to break up with you and you will be left missing her. February Snow lets us get a real nice dose of Laura Jane on fiddle. As he sings the hook, you can hear the emotion as Cleto sings "I really wish that you'd come back," you get taken to a spot in your past where you MIGHT have messed up just a little bit. 

During the last two songs, the harmonies begin to take center stage as Johnny Saenz, bass, takes the background and accents the top laid down by Cleto. This becomes a pleasant trend for the rest of the night. Going into their fourth song, the crowd around us begins to get invested more and more into these young upstarts from Lubbock. At this point in the night, we are addressed and given a little back story from Cleto. 
"Earlier this year we released our first album. It went to number one on ITunes and beat out Chris Stapleton, so that's cool. We just recently sent out our second song to radio, here's - One I Want." 
This is where we begin to see the apex of their set. One I Want sets the crowd a blaze and everyone has their phones out, recording the moment. Reed Dylan, the lead guitar player, gets a ton of shine on the live version of this song, as he and Laura Jane take front and center with extended solos, longer than the usual album version. They take it back to their first EP, Come May, for the next track "No Shade of Green." Before the song, we hear the story of being down in College Station for a Turnpike Troubadour concert, and Cleto sees a girl with blonde hair, green eyes, and red lips dancing on a cooler. Thing is, he can't remember her name. On the way back to Lubbock with Roy Johnson, his best friend, he wrote the song for her. When we get back to Lubbock we go to his old Stompin' Grounds. The crowd, at this point is getting familiar with the band, as their set begins to wrap up. With the mentions of Charlie Daniels and Waylon Jennings in the lyrics, applause get louder. With this being the last song, we are introduced to each band member as they play a solo before they head off for the night. As they end the evening, its clear to see that they have gone from a band a few people in attendance had heard about, to one that has made many new fans. 
Flatland Calvary- No Shade of Green

Now if I can get personal for a second, and get away from the traditional "review" of the concert to express my thoughts. I had high hopes for this night and I was not disappointed. Cleto Cordero is a true showman and able to control a crowd as a lead singer with the best of them. From slight narration and storytelling between songs to frame the next track to commanding the stage, he can do it all. Its a little funny to me that they pay homage to Turnpike in the song "No Shade Of Green" because I feel that they will be the next band to come from Texas to make it as big as Turnpike is right now. Their instrumentation is amazing. Laura Jane is as good as they come with the fiddle as she helps lay the emotion down on each track. Putting her in the center of the stage is a nice touch to showcase her talents. Rhythmically, Albers and Saenz keep the show going nonstop. Put them all together and you have the makings of a super star band. Their set was only 30 minutes, the shortest set of the night. But those 30 minutes, in those 30 minutes, they made an impact. I may be a tad biased being that I completely fell in love with album from the second it hit my ears. The people around me had asked if I knew the band personally because I sang every word of every song. Truth is, they're just fun to follow on social media and make you feel like you have known them from the college days. The future of the Lubbock sound and Texas country is in great hands if this is what we have to look forward to in the next few years. 1 album and 1 EP into their musical careers, I think its safe to say that Flatland Cavalry is well on their way to being a headlining act. Look for them in the coming months to become a major staple in country radio. Their latest single is already in the top 30, so I highly suggest getting that album as soon as possible! Also, make sure to follow them on Facebook Flatland Cavalry, Twitter @FlatlandCavalry and their Instagram @FlatlandCavalry

Aaron Aguirre is the Main Contributor at Texas Music Talk. "A Place to discuss and promote Texas Country, coming live from South Texas". To hear more about his thoughts on music, make sure to follow along with his social media. 
Twitter: @Aaron2G
Instagram: @Aaron2G
Facebook: Texas Music Talk 

One Year

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August, the month I officially began to blog. YAY! For one year! As y'all may remember, I started to blog because I took a leap of faith and moved from Houston to South Texas. I was in a new city where I didn't know anyone besides my mom and grandma. I wanted to share with you all my journey, not just the struggles that I would be going through by the things that reminded me that moving was right choice. During this transition, besides my spiritual walk, music became a very important part of my life, it was at a concert that I met my supervisor after all. And although I haven't been writing since February, my "About Me" post doesn't really count for me. Lol. I am wanting to get back to it, but I really need to work on my time management. Whoops!

Through this year I just have to say that I feel like I've grown so much as a person, in a personal and spiritual sense because well physically...I'm still short, but thank you for being there for me in one way or another. Also through this year I have been introduced to wide variety of talented musicians, that I cannot wait to share with you all. The plan is to come back to writing some reviews and sharing my thoughts and stories with you all. Meanwhile, I just want to say thank you to everyone that has stuck by my side, supporting me through out this year, whether it was by following on my social media, introducing new music, or simply just being there for me. Thank you to all the friends I've made, bloggers, other country music lovers, and bands. Yall are the motivation to keep sharing my thoughts and feelings about my faith and music.
Also, I am always looking for suggestions of music, topics to discuss, or what would you all like for me to share with yall. Let me know.

About Smiley

The name is Smiley, well not really but some people do call me Smiley. You have somehow found my little internet corner, YAY!  This is a place where, I share the things that make me happy, such as my Faith and love for Texas Country.
I decided to start this blog during a transition phase in my life, I moved from a big city (Houston) where I had lived all 24 years of my life to a smaller city that I had only occasionally visited. It was a way for me to share with my friends back from Houston, the new place I will learn to call home, the Rio Grande Valley. 

I was also going through a rough season, spiritually. I wanted to take advantage of this new journey to focus not just getting to know this new town, but getting to know God like I had never before. I knew I would have to challenge myself, do things out of my comfort zone, because I was tired of just going through the motions.

So what does Texas Country have to do with everything else? Well music in general is found everywhere, right? Well, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley are very different, but I figured if there was something that could give me that connection between these two cities, or any other city for that matter it would be Texas Country. The Texas Country/Red Dirt scene is really unique, the artists/bands also are very different but abide by the same principle – Make good music that means something – and I just absolutely love that.

This is it. This is my blog. A place where I can be my awkward 20 something self, ramble about the things I love and share with you reasons for my happiness. Now go check some of them out!

Dont Forget to follow me on Social Media
Instagram: @SmileyShares
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You can also email me!
Email: SmileyShares@gmail.com