November 19 & 20 – Old Farmhouse Pottery Open House

Old Farmhouse Pottery, Maydelle, TX – Open House – David and Karen Hendley have been hosting this open house for 20 years!  If you have never been, you owe it to yourself to come Saturday November the 19th or Sunday the 20th.  The FREE open house is a blend of David Hendley’s Old Farmhouse Pottery, music, cookies, tea, pottery demonstrations, and fun.

You never know what surprise musical guests may perform.  It all happens in Maydelle,Texas, just a short drive south of Jacksonville.   Enjoy a Saturday morning drive through the winding countryside and take in the fall colors. See http://farmpots.com/  For directions http://farmpots.com/contact.htm

Feb 12 – Andy Gullahorn w/ Jill Phillips in Athens

Andy Gullahorn Concert special guest Jill Phillips opening act Leanna Gowan

When: Saturday February 12, 2011 7:30 PM Doors open 7:00PM

Where: First Presbyterian Folk Series 309 E. Corsicana St. Athens, TX 75751 Information Call:(903) 477-8805

Why: Because it will be a phenomenal evening of music and a great pre Valentine Gift for your sweetie (heads up guys)

Cost: $15 for Adults $5 for students

Alright everybody, here is an excellent chance to sweeten the Valentine’s weekend. Andy Gullahorn is an amazing songwriter and an exceptional guitarist who we have the opportunity experience right here in Athens. A Nashville based singer/songwriter and recent winner of the coveted 2010 Kerrville New Folk Contest he has toured across the country and currently making a swing through the Lone Star State. He was also the runner up at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in 2009. Andy has the knack for finding spiritual truths in the ordinary everyday occurrences of life. Insightful and funny, his music speaks volumes to the everyman experience. His wife, Jill Phillips, an well known artist on her own will be joining him for this show and Dirje will sitting in for a few songs as well.

Dirje and I have been kicking around the singer/songwriter Americana scene for 13 years and it takes a lot to really move us. Andy’s three CDs have stayed in my CD player since we first experienced him at the Wildflower Festival two years ago. I can’t get his songs out of my head so it is a good thing they are so great. He makes me laugh, makes me cry and most importantly makes me think about the truly important things in life. As an extra bonus our friend and a great local songwriter, Leanna Gowan will be opening the show with songs from her upcoming CD project.

You really don’t want to miss this amazing night of music suitable for the whole family.

John Smith
Waystation Productions.

Songwriters in the Round – KE Cellars

Be on the lookout for 2009 Texas Songwriter of the Year, Connie Mims.  She is a frequent artist at KE Cellars in Tyler and sometimes drags some guys in with her for a night of Songwriters in the Round.

Oct 15 – Grace Pettis & Billy Crockett – Longiview, TX

Fine Arts Concert Series Hosts

Grace Pettis is the 22-year-old daughter of singer/songwriter Pierce Pettis, and has just released her debut, self-titled CD, Grace Pettis, on the Blue Rock Artists label. Already, Grace has begun to earn national recognition, with her 2009 win at the Mountain Stage NewSong Songwriting Competition. Grace performed on the prestigious Mountain Stage radio show for NPR, and was also awarded NewSong’s ‘best song’ award for her ‘Nine to Five Girl.’ In addition, Grace also was awarded ‘audience favorite’ at the May 2010 Wildflower Songwriting Contest in Richardson, TX, where she won the prize of a handmade Gallagher guitar. Summer 2010, she will compete in the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival songwriting contest.

“It might be expected that the daughter of Pierce Pettis would make music that’s both brainy and quietly spiritual. Grace Pettis displays a winning idealism and an awareness of the world’s injustices. ‘Nine to Five Girl’ is a bittersweet portrait of a harried working woman that earned Pettis top honors in the 2009 Mountain Stage NewSong Songwriting Competition. The rock-tinged ‘Heard Enough Now’ confronts an authority figure with a defiantly questioning attitude. More introspective are the dreamily jazzy ‘A Bird May Love’ and the ruminative, Sarah McLachlan-esque ‘The Gypsy’s Code.’ ‘What you Didn’t Want to Know’ is an engaging slice of lovelorn torment.

While Grace can’t be called carefree in attitude, she does allow herself a lighthearted moment with ‘Italy,’ a sunny travelogue. All the tunes benefit from Pettis’ clear, emotive vocals, distinguished by her keening upper range. Grace Pettis is heartfelt and free from affectation and its fresh outlook is its strength.” -Official iTunes Review. For more information, please go to Grace’s web site: www.gracepettis.com

Billy Crockett

Change is the only constant, and music is life. This is obvious in the recent transformation of veteran writer-instrumentalist-recording artist Billy Crockett. Love for the guitar, the right word, a clear idea, and a refreshing honesty has fed a creativity that has grown into 25 years of hit-yielding albums, touring internationally and virtuoso guitar-playing, and brought him to a new perspective and a new album, Wishing Sky (Blue Rock Artists; released Nov. 2, 2009).

It’s easy to summarize his life. Air Force brat born in Guthrie, Okla.; was settled in Richardson (north of Dallas) by age 6. Got his first guitar that year, a Kay acoustic free with a set of tires his father bought; Dad taught him to play by ear during lunch breaks. Studied jazz at North Texas State University. Earned a B.A. in music engineering at the University of Miami before touring Mexico and Venezuela with Latin pop star José Luis (“El Puma”) Rodriguez. BMI songwriter at Austin’s SXSW Music Festival, Artist-in-Residence at the Academy of Gospel Music Arts, guitar clinician for Yamaha International. Earned a master’s degree in 2005 from Southern Methodist University.

It’s a little harder to describe what happened between the lines, where Crockett changed and grew and a new point of view began to crystallize. But you can hear it.

He stopped recording and in the quiet, he and his wife, Dodee, began creating their shared dream, Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio, a top level recording facility, artist retreat and performance space on 19 pristine acres in the Texas Hill Country that they opened in 2006. As creative director, he produces albums for some of music’s most vital artists, edits a thriving journal on creative process and hosts a popular concert series.

The stillness also yielded Passages (Blue Rock Artists, 2006), an album of classical guitar pieces, unhindered by words and ideologies, that he wrote and recorded.

Wishing Sky, produced by Crockett at Blue Rock, features 13 timely and candid folk-pop story-songs; appearances and contributions by Jon Dee Graham, Ray Bonneville, Pierce Pettis and Lloyd Maines; a wide landscape of subjects and moods; flowing melodies and expressive lyrics; and the gusto of a man reunited with his first true love.

“These songs are my most personal so far,” Crockett says. “I am singing the gypsies, the howling dogs, the gaps and mysteries, the sweetness and silent remains of life as I know it. I have tried to do what poets must: tell it true.” For more information, please go to Billy’s web site: www.billycrockett.com

Dirje Smith

Dirje Smith, freelance cellist, is a natural musician whose joy in making music comes through in every note. She has spent the last 13 years supporting traveling artists at festivals and listening rooms, crafting and playing parts in the recording studio, and playing with a variety of groups. At home with many musical genres and able to read and improvise, she is, indeed, a cellist for all seasons. For more information, please go to Dirje’s web site: www.dirje.com

Moore’s Store – Ben Wheeler

There are a lot of activities going on in Ben Wheeler.  The Front Porch and Moore’s Store continue to have full schedules.

The Magills

Opposites may attract, and in many ways Matt and Megan Magill are opposites, but in some big ways they are just alike. Both have always loved to sing, play music and perform, but initially their goal was to bring glory to themselves. These days they pray that theirs is a marriage surrendered to God by His grace for His glory. But the change wasn’t, isn’t and won’t always be easy. So they keep trusting…

Matt and Megan

Growing up in western Oklahoma, Matt was accustomed to being a big fish in a small pond. His gifts and love for the spotlight soon landed him in a touring rock band, opening for national acts and playing fraternity and sorority parties everywhere I-35 would take him. Never far from any stage, Matt soon found himself starring in the rock opera, Tommy, opposite his future wife, a dazzling Tyler, Texas “triple threat” with a sharp wit and confidence in herself that rivaled Matt’s. Having drifted far from her roots Megan was a women divided between her love for God and her desire for the applause and adulation her performances brought her way. The two had met their match in one another. It shouldn’t have lasted but soon they were married.

In the fall of 2001 they moved to New York City to pursue dreams of rock n’ roll and Broadway. But the “Big Apple” soon became a backdrop for change in their lives that they could have never imagined. Far from the spotlight Matt wrestled with addictions in nameless anonymity as Megan traveled with musical theatre tours. Drifting in a friendless fog and struggling to write “music with meaning”, Matt floundered working odd jobs without purpose. Rock bottom wasn’t far off.

Soon he was arrested buying drugs on the city streets – only one of many sobering experiences that opened his eyes to the reality that his marriage was slipping through his fingers and his dreams of a music career had all but evaporated. He’d come face to face with what he now calls “the sting” of conviction. Finally broken, he came to accept “the honey”, or rather, the sweetness of God’s Grace and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. The Magills now have hope – or rather hope has them. God has renewed their marriage and put the songs in their hearts that they now feel called to share with all who will listen.

Their testimony is a story of renewal, and their music, a personal memoir of their failures, struggles with and victories over the temptations of this world. Woven into the genres of Gospel, Country and Rock ‘n’ Roll, their music is a shockingly vulnerable tapestry of their experiences, pitfalls and most importantly the redeeming grace of God. The Magill’s lyrics are pure — honest portrayals of their life together, written and composed by Matt. As Megan’s emotional support has played a key role in the success of their marriage in good times and in bad, her vocals add a soulful depth and an undoubted poignancy to their powerful songs.

The Magill’s style combines the country gospel of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash with the sounds of modern-day Americana. At the heart of their provocative lyrics and catchy tunes is a message of hope and redemption that remains with the listener long after the music fades.
The Magills

JuanCarlos & Jeana Ureña

Latin roots in East Texas! What diversity!  World travelers Juan Carlos & Jeana Ureña have established their home in East Texas, but their musical roots are in Costa Rica.  Their high energy performances include lyrics that include positive social messages from love songs to the defense of human rights, social justice.

Eisley

After burgeoning on the Dallas scene in 2001, playing hundreds of shows throughout Texas and garnering a fan base as an indie band, Eisley was signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2003. The band won ‘Best New Artist’ from the Dallas Observer Music Awards in the same year. The band had radio success with the song “Telescope Eyes” from the Laughing City E.P. Eisley has recorded videos for “Marvelous Things”, “I Wasn’t Prepared”, “Telescope Eyes” and “Memories” The band’s strong, steady, organic growth comes from touring and an aggressive online marketing.

Eisley