Friday night, Kevin Fowler kicked off the Texas Tailgate with an almost hour set of high energy songs. I had never seen Kevin before and I have to say he was pretty terrific, a lot of fun and really funny! He joked around, interacted with the audience and just showed everyone a great time. he moved around alot...hence, no photo for y'all.
Next up was Reckless Kelly. These guys have been around for about seventeen years. They are seriously one of the best bands around and if you don't know them well.....you need to. They also kept their set high energy, slowing it down just once. They played songs from their 2013 Grammy winning album Long Night Moon as well as "Ragged As The Road" and "Love In Her Eyes." I cannot say enough positive things about this band, from the quality of their songs to their ability as musicians, they are top notch. I sincerely hope these guys make it back to our area soon.
Casey Donahew Band, who for the first time headlined the Tailgate, opened their set with "Stockyards" and played songs that the entire crowd was singing along to like "Double Wide Dream," "Whiskey Baby" and "Small Town Love." Again, their set was up-tempo, fun and filled with great songs (and maybe one small fight on the floor). The night concluded with "Go To Hell."
If Friday night was crowded, Saturday night for Four On The Floor was jam packed! Truly, one of the best nights of music ever. Stoney LaRue, Wade Bowen, Josh Abbott Band and Randy Rogers Band gave their fans four hours of fantastic tunes. You might think "really, Texas music lovers in NYC?" Well....yes and lots of them. I was so pleasantly surprised that there were people who knew the words to almost every song each artist played. It's amazing to me (and makes me so happy) that bands who get no national radio airplay can have such a following, especially outside of their region. It just proves that there is terrific music out there that you are not hearing on your radios. You may have to dig a little to find it, but it's there and when you do, you'll have wondered how you ever got along without it.
In fact, Wade and Randy both commented that although none of the four bands have ever come close to having a radio hit (although Wade's "Saturday Night did hit #39) the place was packed with people who really appreciated their music. They seemed both surprised and grateful and made sure to thank everyone for coming out.
These bands don't require video screens or theatrics. It really is all about the music, the musicianship and having a good time. What was really nice to see was a true camaraderie between all of the guys on stage. Josh Abbott came out to join Wade on "Resurrection" and Willy Braun assisted Wade on "Glory Days." In addition, Stoney came out to play with JAB and the drummers from all four bands just seemed to hang out with one another, playing and laughing and smiling the entire show.
The night ended with an interesting take on "Fuzzy" with Josh, Stoney and Wade coming out on stage in animal costumes and a giant sing along to Merle Haggard's "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink."
Let's hope we don't have to wait a year for these guys to come back to the area.
Watch Wade Bowen with special guest Willy Braun of Reckless Kelly perform "Glory Days."
Randy Rogers Band perform their new song "Satellite."