Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010: A look back at the year in live music

by Chad Cooper

This past year, 2010, we saw a plethora of live shows from Houston to Kinder, Louisiana.

We walked away from many thinking, man, that show really 'rawked.' And some, well, were just okay.

Powerman 5000 helped christen Beaumont's newest venue, The Gig on Crockett Street, on Oct. 29. The show also featured The Hunger and local bands Forever Falls and Angel Siren. It was just a good night of rock-and-roll, which attracted a great crowd.

Another live music/multi-purpose arena that opened was Nutty Jerry's in Winnie and country music star Dwight Yoakam was the first to play the joint Sept. 19 with a crowd of over 3,000 fans.

The Carnival of Madness Tour featuring Shinedown, Chevelle, Puddle of Mudd, Sevendust and 10 Years rocked the Cynthia Mitchell Woodlands Pavilion on Aug. 21. A near-capacity crowd of 15,000+ piled in for the show. Mix the large crowd with sweltering Texas heat and what you have is an awesome show.

Buzzfest XXV was one for the ages Oct. 23 at The Woodlands Pavilion as Godsmack, Bush, Filter, Papa Roach, Saving Abel, Sick Puppies, Neon Trees, Paper Tongues, Seether (just to name a few) played two stages. It's hard to go wrong with a Buzzfest.

A few of those mentioned above played smaller venues including Filter at Scout Bar in Clear Lake on July 23, Saving Abel played Whiskey River on Sept. 24 and Sick Puppies played both Scout Bar (July 21) and Whiskey River (Oct. 1).

Brett Scallions and the newest members of Fuel performed Nov. 11 at Whiskey River. The crowd was thin and Scallions was battling the flu, but the show was still one to see.

The Sextasy Ball 2010 stopped at Scout Bar in Clear Lake on Aug. 11 and featured Lords of Acid and Thrill Kill Kult. The show was a sell out.

Framing Hanley proved they belong on the national rock scene. The band from Nashville played The Gig on Nov. 30, which was their second time in Beaumont in as many years.

Hed PE is one of the best live bands we've seen. They sold out the Scout Bar in Clear Lake on Nov. 13 and the juggalos and juggalettes were out in full f0rce. Face paint and all.

Coop's Top 10 shows of 2010
1. Powerman 5000 w/The Hunger @ The Gig (Oct. 29)
2. Buzzfest XXV @ The Woodlands (Oct. 23)
3. Sick Puppies @ Scout Bar in Clear Lake (July 21)
4. Hed PE @ Scout Bar in Clear Lake (Nov. 13)
5. Carnival of Madness Tour @ The Woodlands (Aug. 21)
6. Framing Hanley @ The Gig (Nov. 30)
7. John Conlee w/Bobby Bare @ Nutty Jerry's (Oct. 16)
8. Tantric @ Scout Bar in Clear Lake (Aug. 14)
9. Filter @ Scout Bar in Clear Lake (July 23)
10. Fuel @ Whiskey River (Nov. 11)

Block's Top 10 shows of 2010
1. Buzzfest XXV @ The Woodlands (Oct. 23)
2. Carnival of Madness Tour @ The Woodlands (Aug. 21)
3. Sick Puppies @ Scout Bar in Clear Lake (July 21)
4. Cheap Trick w/Starship @ Coushatta Casino (Dec. 4)
5. Powerman 5000 w/The Hunger @ The Gig (Oct. 29)
6. Lords of Acid w/Thrill Kill Kult @ Scout Bar in Clear Lake (Aug. 11)
7. Filter @ Scout Bar in Clear Lake (July 23)
8. Hed PE @ Scout Bar in Clear Lake (Nov. 13)
9. Dwight Yoakam @ Nutty Jerry's (Sept. 18)
10. ZZ Top @ Ford Pavilion (April 24)

Friday, December 17, 2010

INTERVIEW: Bellamy Brothers

by Chad Cooper, December 2010

If not for brothers Howard and David Bellamy, there may not be any Brooks and Dunn, Big & Rich or Montgomery Gentry.

They’ve recorded over 50 albums and charted more than 50 songs with 20 No. 1 hits like “Let Your Love Flow,” “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me,” “For All the Wrong Reasons,” “Sugar Daddy” and “Redneck Girls.”

The legendary Bellamy Brothers will perform at Nutty Jerry’s in Winnie on Friday, Dec. 17 with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30, $20 and $12. Information can be obtained at or (409) 296-2406.

Both born in Darby, Florida, which is near the family farm where they today call their home, the two were raised around music as their father played music and began performing at local events like rattlesnake rounds and such, then were introduced to country music musician Jim Stafford.

The younger David wrote “Spiders and Snakes,” which became a big hit for Stafford, and gave the brothers enough money to move to Los Angeles to pursue a music dream. It was then they signed with Curb Records and the rest is history.

Before heading overseas to play 10 shows in Switzerland, Howard Bellamy talked with 88 Miles West about his career in music and what it still means to tour the world.

The Bellamy Brothers are still going strong some 35 years later.

I don’t know how relevant we are, but we still do about 175 shows a year and still enjoy traveling the world. We are still having fun and drawing good crowds so it’s a good feeling. Dave and I don’t know much about doing anything else so I guess that’s why we stuck with it so long.

Growing up in a home with your dad, a musician, was it just natural to follow in his footsteps?

We were raised on a cattle ranch in central Florida and grew up listening to him play music with his friends, drink a little moonshine until our mother got tired of it, then go to church on Sundays. That’s how we were raised. We just started playing music for the fun of it and never had a clue you could make a career out of it.

You’ve done an incredible job at it because your songs can still be heard today.

We don’t have a certain approach to writing songs, just try to write really good ones. We’ve been lucky to have some songs that have had long lives. That’s probably the reason why we are still playing. People love those songs and the radio keeps playing them. Times are so crazy now that people love to flashback to the good times.

You are internationally known and have a great following in other countries. Not many in country music can say that.

Actually, it started that way from the very beginning. “Let Your Love Flow” was a No. 1 pop record in 15 countries around the world and it was a hit in Europe before it was played in the United States. Because of that song, it opened up a lot of international doors then came ‘...Beautiful Body,’ which also did very well. We’ve been touring the world for the entire 35 years. It wasn’t something that came later in our careers. Before we play at Nutty Jerry’s, we will be flying in from Switzerland.

It must have been some good times with Jim Stafford. He’s a character.

We spent a lot of time with Jim in the early ’70s. He is an incredibly talented guy and performer. Stafford was raised around another Florida boy, Bobby Braddock, so it was a nest of musicians here and we all knew each other. We moved out to Los Angeles for about five years to pursue our career, that’s where we recorded ‘Let Your Love Flow’ and Stafford recorded ‘Spiders and Snakes,’ which David wrote. We actually lived in Stafford’s basement for a time period along with Gallagher, the comedian. He was Stafford’s road manager for a while. You talk about a nut house. We saw the sledge-o-matic being invented.

How did you guys come to the idea to record the album ‘Reggae Cowboys,’ which was a Reggae record?

Being born and raised in Florida in the orange groves, we worked for our dad out in the field and during the fall when the fruit ripened, the Jamaicans would migrate to Florida and pick oranges in November. We worked with them picking fruit and we loved it because they would sing all day, you know, to break the monotony of work, they would sing island songs. We were exposed to a lot of that. Between that and listening to dad play old Jimmy Rodgers’ songs, it was something we really enjoyed. Maybe that’s why we are so confused musically.

You and David released a song called ‘JalapeƱos’ early this year. It wasn’t a typical Bellamy Brothers’ song. Radio stations wouldn’t play it because some of the content in the lyrics. You reference life isn’t like a bowl of cherries, more like a jar of jalapenos because what you do and say today, it don’t go away and stay, it comes back and burns your ass. Plus there are mentions of President Obama, Glenn Beck, Tiger Woods and Bernie Madoff. What inspired that?

David wrote it. We like to make fun of politicians and lawyers; you know, those people who like to make our lives miserable. We were seeing how many people we could tick off and did a pretty good job of it.

Do you keep up with the current country music scene?

We do. We have accepted the fact you are not going to see us on charts because of the politics in radio and record labels, but we like several new acts — especially Miranda Lambert. We’ve become good friends with her and Blake Shelton and have been invited to their wedding.

Anything new coming up that you guys are working on?

We still live on our old family ranch in Florida, which has been in our family since 1870. People always wonder why we didn’t move to Nashville, but it’s because we have some deep roots there. We’ve had a studio there for several years now and we’re always in there recording or writing. There’s still a lot of material to be recorded. Exactly what the next project will be, we haven’t decided yet. We like to do stuff that hasn’t been done and try to stay current. We’ve never given up yet on having another hit record.

Official Bellamy Brothers website
Official Bellamy Brothers Facebook
Click here to purchase Bellamy Brothers music