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Tag: Jack Nelson Band


Texas Music Chart Interviews Randy Watson


Texas Music Chart Reporter Profiles

Reprinted from TMC Jun 15, 2015


Tiffini Brock of Blue Lark Entertainment talks to Randy Watson, Operations Manager and Music Director of the No Bull Radio Network which covers Kenedy/Karnes City, Beeville and Pearsall.

Randy and Jack posing in front of KCAF studio in Kenedy, TX.

Randy Watson with Jack Nelson

TMC: In your opinion, how has Texas/Red Dirt music changed throughout the years?

Randy: I’ve watched many of today’s artists grow up. I remember 4-5 hour road trips just to hear folks – some were in their teens, now, in their 30’s – play at hole in the wall bars and dance halls. In the beginning of the Texas Music Chart, there were only about 40 reporters; now there are 90+.

There are lots of potential listeners in Texas who haven’t been exposed to any Texas/Red Dirt music. In San Antonio, for instance, you can hear “All George Strait, All the Time,” Pop Country or Classic Country. No Texas/Red Dirt is played on San Antonio stations, except an occasional Kevin Fowler. We are among a handful of stations in South Texas that play any of the alternative music. We play about 75% Classic Country and 20% Texas/Red Dirt.

TMC: What made you gravitate towards the music on the Texas Music Chart?

Randy: I guess it’s my deep rooted love for true country music, and that’s not what we get through the mainstream much now. I’ll listen to the drums and melody before trying to hear the words. If the overall sound doesn’t hit me I may not know what the song is about. I have to hear songs many times before I figure out what the song is about. (I still don’t know what a Birmingham is, so I don’t know why I would want to paint one.) [Note: A reference to a 2004 song recorded by Tracy Lawrence and Ken Mellons on Nashville labels.]

When it comes to recordings, I am old school: I think you should walk up to the mic, belt out the song until it’s the way you want it, and you’re done. I don’t like the overly processed, enhanced, unnatural, computer adjusted, perfect pitch recordings of today.

TMC: Who are your primary musical influences?

Randy: My mom exposed me to a varied musical spectrum, from classical to sacred to Big Band to Hillbilly, Bluegrass and Country & Western. Why do we leave out the “& Western” now? She taught music, and today at 83, she still tickles the ivories at church. Listening to music in the background while doing a tedious task can make it seem easier. I can tell you that my favorite instruments are probably drums, then fiddle, sit-down steel, accordion and mandolin.

TMC: Are there any “under the radar” artists that we should check out?

Randy: In Texas, we have no shortage in the musical talent pool. We could put on our own Texas Music competition and floor those nationwide TV shows. There are so many good local artists who are happy playing dive bars on Friday and Saturday nights. They don’t really want any more from their music career. They just love playing their music.

I have my eyes and ears on a few artists or bands on different edges of the spectrum. I like the more traditional, straight up country. For the young guys just getting started, I’d say keep a watch out for The Jack Nelson Band and Matt & The Herdsmen.

TMC: What is your most memorable moment with a Texas/Red Dirt artist?

Randy: It’s memorable when I answer the phone and someone, other than a promoter, calls to thank me for playing their song. Wow, you took the time to call me?! We aren’t big spinners, 3 to 15 spins is usually the most you’ll get from us.

Veterans, lovers of freedom and dog lovers get their CD on the top of the stack. Jeremy and Jennica from Moonlight Social, I could sit and talk with them for hours, they are both hoots. Matt and Travis from Fools of the Trade are fun to be around. Jarrod Johnson is my go to guy music encyclopedia.

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Randy’s Song Review of Jack Nelson

Randy’s Song Review: Texas Dance Halls by The Jack Nelson Band

Jack Nelson sitting on concrete in alleyway between old buildings.

Jack Nelson from The Jack Nelson Band

Jack Nelson is an up and coming Texas Country Artist who hails from Corpus Christi Bay originally, and first picked up the guitar at only four years old. He spent his childhood playing along with his father’s Tejano band and with his brother, Cameron, who is himself a Texas Music Chart Topper and won the 2014 TMA Male Vocalist of the Year.

After four years serving in the US Navy, (Thank You for your service, Jack), Jack decided to get back into music and, after playing many one man acoustic shows around Texas, formed a group of local musicians around him. Together, they have supported/opened for Tracy Byrd, Bart Crow and Josh Ward amongst many others.

Jack Nelson standing beside the Jack Nelson Band's vintage busThis track, Texas Dance Halls, is an upbeat country number in the classic style, with a slight tinge of rock thrown in to keep it modern; from Let ‘er Buck!, his latest album.  It has an infectious energy that makes it perfect to dance to, and you can imagine everyone two-stepping and boot stomping.

JackNelson-TshirtJack Nelson has a strong voice and is ably backed up by his band, with some lovely fiddle lines and sweet sounding lead guitar. The lead lines are mostly played with a light, creamy tone then switches to a sound with a little more bite for the succinct guitar solo. Lyrically, it’s like the country music equivalent of The Beach Boys classic Surfin’ USA, in the way that Jack shows his Gulf Coast roots and cleverly lists the major Texas Dance Halls to 12-bar blues chord changes. How many Texas Dance Halls can you count that are listed in the song? (I’m intentionally not quoting lines from the song to prevent me from giving away some of the listed Dance Halls.)

Overall, this song shows off Jack’s love for Texas Dance Halls and respect for Texas music. It’s a smart idea for a song and performed with equanimity by Jack Nelson and his band. With flawless production, it is as perfectly suited to radio as it is to the dance halls, and it seems inevitable that Jack will follow in the footsteps of his older brother and find great success.

Jack commemorates his latest radio single “Texas Dance Halls” with a music video where he drives across Texas documenting many of the Texas Dance Halls. How many? I won’t say…

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Jack Nelson at Schroeder Hall and Studio Visit

Texas Red Dirt Artist Jack Nelson Studio Interview


Jack Nelson of the Jack Nelson Band.

Jack Nelson of the Jack Nelson Band visited the 92.1 KCAF No Bull Radio Network Studio and visited with Randy Watson. Jack will be playing this Saturday, May 16th at Schroeder Hall. Doors open at 8:00pm. Special guest opening for the Jack Nelson Band will be the Rocky King Band at 8:30. Jack Nelson Band takes stage at 10:30 and closes out the night. Tickets are just $6 or $5 for Military/Veterans or College Students with proper ID. This is an ALL AGES SHOW!

Jack wants to fill the Second Oldest Dance Hall … Schroeder Hall! Let’s get out to Schroeder Hall Saturday May 16th, and show Jack Nelson how we welcome folks to South Texas!

Jack has passions in his life and in addtion to singing his soul out… he has a passion to save Texas Dance Halls. Jack has a game going on, you have to listen to the radio throughout the day or to the interview for all the details. Just a little hint, it involves counting Texas Dance Halls and going to Schroeder Hall Saturday Night.

Listen to the interview replays at 3:00pm and 8:30pm today, Friday May 15th on the No Bull Radio Network.



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