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Lone Star Heroes: Whiskey Myers & more!

Texas Sunday Live -2nd Annual Lone Star Heroes @ Love & War
featuring Whiskey Myers with Austin Cunningham, Will & Crystal Yates, Chris Colston & Blane Howard!

Catch live Texas music from Love and War in Texas – Lindale! Sundays from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., you’ll enjoy portions of the concert and interviews with the artists live on kykx1057 and 104.1 The Ranch. Hosted by Phat Matt.

Sponsored by: Lone Star Dodge and Longhorn Ford in Mineola, Texas, TX Whiskey, and Laserline Collision Center, and Office Barn – with a new location in Lindale!

A Day of Live Music Saluting First Responders

A portion of proceeds benefits Lindale first responders.

Noon: Doors Open
1:00 Austin Cunningham
2:00 The Reefs
3:00 Will and Crystal Yates
4:00 Live Auction
4:30 Chris Colston **concert broadcast live on kykx1057 and 104.1 The Ranch
6:00 Blane Howard **concert broadcast live on kykx1057 and 104.1 The Ranch
7:00 Whiskey Myers **concert broadcast live on kykx1057

Ticket Info:

  • $20 advance tickets through outhousetickets.com
  • $30 day-of-show & at the door
  • Free entry for law enforcement, fire, and EMS (with valid ID.)

About Whiskey Myers:

It would be an understatement to say that a lot has happened since Whiskey Myers was last in the recording studio. Over two whirlwind years, the gritty Texas band hit #1 on the iTunes Country Chart with their breakout third album ‘Early Morning Shakes,’ earned raves everywhere from Rolling Stone to USA Today, and toured the US and UK relentlessly, slaying massive festival crowds and sharing stages with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, and more along the way. You’d be forgiven, then, for expecting things to work a little differently this time around when the band reunited with acclaimed producer Dave Cobb for their stellar new album, ‘Mud.’ But as it turns out, success doesn’t change a Southern gentleman, and they don’t come any more Southern than Whiskey Myers.

Fueled by larger-than-life performances honed tight from countless nights on the road, ‘Mud’ finds the band scaling new heights of songwriting and musicianship, with searing guitars, soulful vocals, and indelible hooks. While their approach to the music and humble, hard-working attitudes may not have altered, there have been developments in the Whiskey Myers world, most notably with the arrival of new faces. For the recording sessions, the band’s five founding members—Cody Cannon on lead vocals and guitar, Cody Tate and John Jeffers on guitars, Gary Brown on bass, and Jeff Hogg on drums—fleshed out their sound with the addition of fiddler/keyboard player Jon Knudson and percussionist Tony Kent, who are both now full-time members. “They bring a great energy, and I think it’s really helped our sound and makes the band more versatile,” explains Cannon. “There’s less room onstage now, but sometimes a family grows.”

A glance through Whiskey Myers’ lyrics will show you that Cannon is a man who chooses his words carefully, so it’s little surprise that he describes the band as a family. The tight-knit group’s roots stretch back decades into the red dirt of East Texas, where Cannon, Jeffers, and Tate first began playing together before rounding out their initial lineup with the addition Hogg and Brown (who is Cannon’s actual cousin). They built up a rabid local following on the strength of their 2008 debut album, ‘Road Of Life,’ and then notched their first #1 on the Texas Music Charts with their 2011 follow-up ‘Firewater.’ It was ‘Early Morning Shakes,’ though, that introduced the rest of the world to what Texas already knew. The album cracked the Top 10 on the Billboard Country Chart, a remarkable feat for a fiercely independent band and a testament to their rigorous DIY work ethic and endless supply of passion and drive. Esquire called them “the real damn deal,” while Country Weekly said they combine “greasy Southern rock riffs with countrified songwriting and Texas grit for something wholly unique,” and Playboy dubbed them “the new bad boys of country music.”

Even in the face of their rapidly-growing profile and expanding lineup, the band found they were able to pick up exactly where they left off when they returned to the studio for ‘Mud.’

“We don’t want a high stress situation, and we don’t want to feel uncomfortable while we’re recording, because we want to make sure everybody can get into their creative mode,” explains Brown. “Dave has a laid back attitude as far as making music and that fits right in with the way we work. His ear is similar to ours and he has the same kind of vision for what the music should sound like.”

What the music sounds like is raw, visceral emotion: pride, faith, desire, defiance. The songs on ‘Mud’ are stories of ordinary men and women standing up for their families and honoring their roots. Home is sacred ground for Whiskey Myers, not just a plot of land, but rather the cornerstone of an identity worth dying for. Fiddle-led album opener “On The River” steps back to frontier times when the struggle for survival was a daily one, while the epic title track promises a home-foreclosing banker “Ain’t no man gonna take it away / Because it’s deep down in my blood / So step across the ol’ property line / And you’ll die right here in the mud.” “Frogman,” written with Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes, follows a Southern man halfway around the world, as he risks his life to defend freedom and fight terror in the Middle East as a Navy Seal, and the Darrell Scott co-write “Trailer We Call Home” finds the beauty in simple things, concluding, “Times get tough but love is strong / Here in this trailer that we call home.”

“Where you come from and where you grew up influences your music a lot,” says Cannon. “As a band, we don’t go into the studio with any preconceived theme. You just sit down and you write and the songs come out naturally.”

As a result, Whiskey Myers’ music fits neatly into no genre. Sure, it’s heavily influenced by country music (“My first record was ‘The Pressure Is On’ / Ain’t it funny how your life can change with a song” Cannon sings on “Hank”), but the band credits everything from Alan Jackson and Waylon Jennings to Led Zeppelin and Nirvana as inspiration. “Some Of Your Love” channels old-school soul, while the bright, punchy horns of “Lightning Bugs And Rain” flirts with Rolling Stones swagger, and “Good Ole’ Days” captures a stripped-down, folky vibe, as the whole band sat in a circle singing together live. It all adds up to what Cannon perhaps describes best as “no frills, no bullshit rock and roll.” “The equipment we used on the recording process for this one was really important to the sound, too” he adds. “Dave has these amazing old amps and we recorded everything to tape for the first time. The piano was from, like, 1904 or something, and I don’t think it’s been tuned since. Little things like that make a big difference. It sounds authentic when you actually use the real, old gear.”

In the end, there may be no better word for Whiskey Myers than authentic. This music is in their blood, and it flows as naturally from them as a spring feeding a mountain creek. While a record this good is sure to send their (lone)star rising higher than ever before, you can rest assured that success still won’t be changing this band any time soon. They make music they’re proud of that celebrates where they come from and makes people feel good. As far as they’re concerned, that’s all the success anyone could ever ask for.

About Will & Crystal Yates:

Crystal Yates was listening to a sermon at Cross Timbers Church in Argyle when she had a musical epiphany. “Stop trying to separate the secular and sacred by treating everything as sacred,” implored the pastor, Toby Slough. It was then that the country singer-songwriter from McKinney realized her love of songwriting didn’t require her to compartmentalize her audience or subject matter.

It’s had a profound effect on how she approached her music — country, spiritual or otherwise. “If I were a doctor, I wouldn’t just treat the people who thought and behaved just like me. I would treat anyone,” says Yates.

She and her husband and guitar player, Will, have a new EP, The Other Side, to celebrate, but on Sunday mornings you will find them in front of thousands of worshippers leading the song service for Cross Timbers. “So I write out song prescriptions for my own heart, my friends, my family, and then share in hopes that they resonate and bring some hope and a voice to others.”

Though the songs sung in the sanctuary are different than those performed on the stages of local bars, the two types don’t necessarily come from different places. Yates has been influenced by Hank Williams Sr. more than by any other artist. Since the 1920s, the connection between the down-home tales of country and the God-fearing respect of gospel music — a combination Williams excelled at unlike few other artists in history — has been practically unbreakable.

Yates, who grew up on a steady diet of Merle, Waylon and Dolly, is a student of country music in all of its forms, so her songs don’t categorically fall into some sort of contemporary Christian/country hybrid. Such a narrow distinction would undermine the depth she requires from her own creations.

“Goodbye Letter,” from her last EP, I Believe, is “a cheating song” Yates wrote for a friend whose husband of 17 years had cheated on her many times. The friend was facing divorce and an uncomfortable swelling of uncertainty in her future. She had a “Deep hurt that needed hope,” Yates says. Such real life material requires a nuance that can’t typically be found on a close-minded path.

The new EP was recorded in Denton and produced by longtime friend McKenzie Smith of Midlake, who happens to not only be an acclaimed producer, thanks to recent work with Sarah Jaffe, but also the drummer at Cross Timbers.

The five songs on the new record offer Yates’ powerful voice a proper stage. But as is the case with the best country music, even the prettiest voices must be heard on songs built upon a foundation of rock-solid storytelling. To that end, Yates delves into material not often heard from a mega church’s praise and worship team.

Perhaps the new EP’s boldest song, “Hell on the Soul,” is a classic country heartbreaker. Yates delivers an aching vocal about needing “smoking, drinking, lovers and pills” to deal with pain and emotional torment, regardless of whether it’s the healthiest idea ever. If country music is “three chords and the truth,” as it has been famously described, then this song in particular is imminently country. The truth isn’t usually pretty and it isn’t often G-rated. Yates doesn’t need the truth to be anything it’s not.

“Whether it is worship or country, I approach being an artist as a soul, writing and singing to another soul, bound to a truth that has changed everything for me. I use my own journey to write and focus on relationships and experience. I am undoubtedly a spiritual person, so I write from that perspective. Sometimes I write directly to God, sometimes about God and sometimes about and to His people.”

Whether a song is initially intended for two-steppers, the believers in her church or a close friend in pain, it doesn’t have a genre-specific point of origin. Yates’ songs come from the kind of love she believes in and the kind that’s guided her through the tough times great songs are made of.

“I have battled depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and so many difficult seasons, and the most healing I have ever received was when I began to let love pour in me and then pour out that love on others,” she says. “That love changed how I saw myself, and that is the place I draw strength and write from.”

– Kelly Dearmore, The Dallas Observer- May 2016

About Chris Colston:

Chris Colston is a Texas country music singer-songwriter from Lindale, Texas. Chris’ first single, “Blacktop Gospel,” was released to Texas radio in fall 2016 and stayed in the t0p 100 on the Texas charts for over 23 weeks. Chris’ loyal fan base has nominated him for several ETX Music Awards the past few years for with 8 nominations in 2016 including “Entertainer of the Year,” “Songwriter of the Year,” and “Male Vocalist of the Year.” Also in 2016, Chris was awarded the title of the Ambassador for the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage, Texas.

Chris and his band can be seen touring Texas performing at dance halls, festivals, concerts, and sharing the stage with acts such as Stoney Larue, Roger Craeger, Josh Ward, Koe Wetzel, Shane Smith, Brandon Rhyder, JB & the Moonshine Band, Charley Robinson, Sam Riggs, Cody Canada and more.

About Blane Howard:

Blane Howard is a Nashville recording artist who grew up in south central Arkansas. After high school, he decided to follow his dream of singing country music and moved to Nashville. He attended Belmont University where he met most of his band mates, and graduated in 2010. Blane has been touring the mid-south region of the country for several years, making a name for himself in the music industry. When he is not on the road, he stays busy writing new songs with other artists and songwriters in Nashville.

At the age of 3, Blane stood in front of the TV with a blue and green plastic guitar and sang along with Alan Jackson’s “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow.” He dreamed of one day growing up to be a country singer just like Alan Jackson. Twenty plus years later, he is chasing that dream he had as a kid. Blane was highly influenced by the music that surrounded him – from the country styles of Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, and Randy Travis to the Classic Rock of Lynyrd Skynyrd and AC/DC. Today he is heavily influenced by the styles of Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, and Brothers Osborne. All of these influences have made an impact on Blane’s unique style of country, “modern-traditional,” mixing the authenticity of the 90’s with the contemporary edge of today!

Blane has had the privilege of opening up shows for country greats like Blake Shelton, Hunter Hays, Granger Smith, Joe Nichols, Trace Adkins, Rodney Atkins, Travis Tritt, Charlie Daniels Band, and a few others. He has played in all types of venues, fairs and festivals, and other events including the Arkansas State Fair, the 2015 State Fair of Texas on the Chevy Main Stage, the summer finale of Nashville’s Next Big Twang, and the 2015 and 2016 CMA Fest Showcases produced by Big Foot Music, Southern Trace Songwriter’s, and Nashville Entertainment Weekly. Blane was named IMP-Independent Musicians Promotions 2015 Country Artist of the Year, and his music video for “Crazy” was awarded Judges Pick at Indi this summer.

‘Bout Time’ is the title track to Blane’s original EP, which was released in January of 2013, and is a fan favorite along with “She’s a Mess,” which is one of his most streamed and downloaded songs. In 2014 Blane wrote a song for Arkansas Tourism titled “Arkansas, Y’all;” then he re wrote the lyrics and made a Razorback version and licensed it with the University of Arkansas. You can hear it often on many radio stations across the state as well as at sporting events on campus. Blane’s most recent release was his first full studio album in June 2015 titled “Away We Go.” There are many great songs on this album, but you’ll definitely want to check out his fast growing hits “Friday Feeling,” “Crazy,” and “County Line.”

2016 shaped up to be a great year with lots of new venues and shows added to his schedule. Blane expanded into the Austin market with a performance at the Red Gorilla Music Festival in March and added shows in Kyle and Pflugerville, TX as well. Blane opened the 2016 StarDaze Festival in Star City, AR for headliner, Granger Smith; he opened for Hunter Hayes on June 4th at the Timberwood Amphitheater in Hot Springs, AR; he opened for the legendary John Berry in Lindale, TX; and he opened for the band Exile at Bordertown Casino and Arena in West Seneca, MO. In addition, he was invited back to perform on the Chevy Main Stage at the 2016 State Fair of Texas on one of the busiest days at the fair … Saturday on TX/OU game day just before Texas artist Cody Johnson.

Blane’s biggest gig of 2016 however, was his wedding day in late October. Blane surprised his bride-to-be, Megan, and everyone else, on the morning of their wedding with a new song he had written for her. He collaborated with long time friend and songwriter, Jordan Kyle Reynolds, on what turned out to be a personal and very emotional song, “Promise to Love Her.” Megan quickly asked for the new song to be their “first dance” song.

A few days after the wedding, with a short phone video clip from the reception, Team Blane shared the snippet of the song on Blane’s FB music page, and nothing’s been the same ever since. The short clip garnered 100,000 views in a few short weeks and climbed to over half a million views on Facebook! The Official Music Video for “Promise To Love Her” released on March 6th and shot to 1 MILLION VIEWS on Facebook in just over 2 WEEKS! The single released on March 10th and has been picked up by several small/medium radio markets.

Be sure to follow Blane Howard on social media for all of the latest career updates, show announcements and new music releases.

Visit Blane Howard on Facebook

Visit Blane Howard on YouTube

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