Album Feature: Zac Clifton Honky Tonk Heaven.

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Mar 092019
 

 

Right now I’m going to tell you all about an album that could quite possibly acquire my most hallowed position of album of the year in March. By the end of this article if you don’t concur with me than my words didn’t so this album justice by any means. I’ll be honest right now I don’t even know where to start on praising this album here! I was expecting a good album because of the fact that Mr. Bobby Flores produced it, and I TRUST his music and personal taste in music.

When I learned about this young man Mr. Zac Clifton from east Texas, I had to contact him and find out more. His management sent me out the press kit, and my jaw hit the floor! This young man has the youthful vocals, however possesses the ability to deliver a believable drinking song like the “Drinkin Way Of Life”. You can JUST SMELL the booze emanating from this young guy’s breath as he softly moans that lonesome Country sound. The way he throws around his voice on some of the songs kept me on my toes at attention for more.

One thing I want to stress is that ALL of these songs are written by HIM, accept one that was co written. From the opening song “Rough, Rocky Roads” you find out that he is the real deal here, with some road experience under his belt buckle. He has the look and the vocal swagger to kick the shit out of anything on the radio today, and a nasty scowl to match.

You want steel guitar, well this album has Mr. Tommy Detamore, need I go further? Many of the contributing musicians were Mr. Bobby Flores ( who in my opinion is a LEGEND), Mr. Brady Gandy and Mr. Jake Hooker.

You can gather all of his influences on songs like “Talk To the Healer” as he sings a song like Hank Williams Sr. would have delivered it to me, but to write such a piece you can TELL this young man praises God in all things he does. I want to hug this young man and tell him mom and dad raised him RIGHT, and he eases my worries about today’s youth.  He goes into a song that paints such a plethora of pictures in my head called “Honky Tonk Heaven” that is kind of like the Dolly Parton song, but different in his own style. The song gripped me so tightly and made my brain paint such a picture, I cried…I literally cried.

This is his debut album here, and the only thing negative I can say about his future, is the fact that mother nature may have her way with his voice in the next few years. The fact remains that he may not be able to sustain such a youthful mannerism, however with age comes experience. You give this guy a few nasty relationships there is NO DAMN TELLING what kind of songs he will craft!

1. Rough, Rocky Roads
2. Always Gonna Want You
3. Drinkin’ Way Of Life
4. This Morning Ain’t As good As Yesterday
5. Talk To The Healer
6. A Drunk Needs A Reason
7. Tequila And Lime
8. Without You
9. Honky Tonk Heaven
10. Prayer Of A Soldier
11. Fiddle On the Wall

Music Festivals 2019 Nationwide: Rio Frio Fest.

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Mar 092019
 

 

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Del Fest
Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
Merlefest
High Water festival
Winter Wonder Grass Series
Moonrunners Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Master Musician’s Festival
Tumbleweed
Suwanee Spring Reunion
ROMP Festival
Red Ants Pants
Aiken Bluegrass festival
Hoxeyville Music Festival

Texas folks have some very awesome festivals this year, and this one right on the Frio river is no exception. The Texas Red Dirt community has some truly wonderful festivals this year, and one of my favorite festival companies sent me the absolute HOOK UP on when and where the Texas festivals are!

I have some informational articles on Read Southall Band and Mr. Jason Boland made my TOP 50 OF 2018. Also, Mr. Dalton Domino has some other articles on him lately. So yes, all of these bands have been prominently featured on this website.

Koe Wetzel • Roger Creager
Shane Smith & The Saints
Read Southall Band • Shea Abshier
Randall King • Chris Colston
Kevin Fowler • Jason Boland
Walt Wilkins • Clay Hollis
Dalton Domino & Kody West
Mario Flores • Gabe Garcia • Lucas Ebert
Chris Saucedo • Sarah Hobbs • Isaac Jacob
Waitin’ on Hayden

And more to be announced!

Shane Smith & The Saints

• Lodging: River Cabins to Luxury Homes
plus RVs and Camping – You Choose!

• 3 Day Pass – Good for All Concerts
Thursday through Saturday Plus
Activities, Events, and Cookoffs

• Single Day Tickets or 3 Day Passes Available
First Come, First Served

As always with my festival articles here are some maps and directions for this event.

Rio Frio Fest Lodging

 

You choose! River Cabins to Luxury Homes, RV or Camping on or near Rio Frio Fest concert grounds.

*You choose based on availability at time of your reservation

FREE shuttles to concerts – Be safe and take the shuttle. Ask your lodging provider for details.

 

Lodging Discount for 3-Day Rio Frio Fest 2019 Passes Available Until January 28, 2019 or until sold out.

Limited number of discounted tickets available. Sold on a first come, first served basis.

Ask your lodging provider for a Rio Frio Fest Discount Code.

How to Make Your Lodging Reservation

• Visit visituvaldecounty.com/riofriofestlodging
• Contact the lodging / RV location of your choice.
• Ask your lodging provider for additional days or individual night stays (based on availability and lodging provider restrictions).

*After confirming lodge reservations, purchase your Rio Frio Fest concert tickets of choice immediately and utilize your discount promo code.  (based on availability at the time of purchase) Promo code discount expires January 28, 2019 or while supplies last. (Promo code applies to 3-Day Music Pass ONLY.)

*While most lodging/ RV/ camping sites offer the Rio Frio Fest promo discount code, some may not. It is your responsibility to confirm this with your lodge or risk no access to concert discount

*Concert tickets are not included with your lodging reservation. Participants must purchase tickets and may apply promo code (some restrictions apply) while supplies last for discounted passes.

First come, first served.

Promo code discount expires on January 28, 2019 or until sold out. (Promo code applies to 3-Day Pass ONLY.)

(Be sure to confirm that your lodging of choice is participating in the Rio Frio Fest packages and ask for a discount ticket promo code)

Rio Frio Fest FAQs & Directions

  • Spring Break on the Frio?

It’s a Texas thing! Just ask anyone who has been to Concan, TX… It’s one of the most beautiful and fun spots in Texas! The Rio Frio Fest is going to turn up the heat even more by bringing your favorite musicians (every day and night) and of course, outdoor activities, Big Crawfish Boil, and more!

  • How do I use the FREE shuttles?

FREE shuttles to and from the concerts and activities are available!  This is what a real Spring Break is all about! The Concan community offers buses and other shuttles throughout most of the Concan lodges, camping and RV communities. Ask your lodging provider about pick-up schedules and hours of operation. Here’s to a safe Spring Break!

  • How do I make lodging reservations and receive discounted concert tickets and Rio Frio Fest program?

Go to the Lodging banner on this website and then click the Hill Country Rivers website link and click on the “Concan” tab. Pick any lodge that fits your needs. River Cabins to Luxury Homes, from Lodges that sleep 16+ people to RV and camping sites, you choose! Be sure you confirm with the lodge (before making your reservations) that the lodging includes a discounted promo code for reduced concert tickets. Promo code discount expires January 28th, 2019 or until sold out. (Promo code applies to 3-Day Music Pass ONLY.)

  • Where is the best lodge to stay?

It all depends on what your needs are. You can stay on the Frio River, at the Concan Golf Course, the legendary swimming hole, or even right next to the concerts and activities. ALL lodging choices are in close proximity to the festival site. Plus, many lodges offer free shuttles to and from the festival site (ask your lodge if they provide a free shuttle or if they are close to shuttle drop/pick up location.)

  • What dates should I go?

3 day passes (best value) and single day tickets are available. Enjoy one or all of these amazing concerts. See the performance schedule to fit your style for Spring Break fun. It’s good Texas times and music the entire week! See schedule here.  Concerts will sell out.

  • Do ALL Concan/ Frio area lodges include the Rio Frio Fest discount promo code for reduced concerts?

While most do, some may not. You must ask and confirm that the lodge includes the promo code BEFORE making your reservation. If for any reason, a lodge does not include the discount code, ask them to contact Dickson Productions before you make your reservations.

  • How do I pay for my lodging and concert pass?

You will arrange lodging reservations with your lodge of choice. Payment is strictly between you and your lodge. Once your lodging reservations are confirmed, immediately purchase your RFF concerts of choice and utilize your promo code (provided by your lodge) to receive exclusive discounted tickets (some restrictions apply).  Rio Frio Fest tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis.

Note: You must have met all payment requirements by your lodge at beginning of your stay to obtain your Rio Frio Fest promo concert discounts.

  • What does my Rio Frio Fest promo code include?

Exclusive reduced price concert tickets, Rio Frio Fest program, and schedule are included when you check in providing all concert details, Concan community free concerts, activities, helpful hints and more.

Note: Some lodges provide free shuttles to and from the concerts. Ask the lodge when making reservations. 

  • Am I guaranteed entrance into ALL Rio Frio Fest activities and concerts?

You are guaranteed entrance to all House Pasture Cattle Company nightly concerts (for dates of purchase) with your pre-purchased Rio Frio Fest concert tickets. However, some daytime concert and activities areas may have limited capacity. While these daytime activity areas have lots of room, they may fill to capacity and a one out- one in policy will be in effect.

Exception: In the case of inclement weather, all events are subject to be moved indoors. If indoor venue is filled to capacity, a one out- one in policy will be in effect.

  • How do I get my festival concert tickets, official event program and schedule?

After completing your online purchase, you will receive a ticket voucher (please print.) Ticket vouchers may then be exchanged for the appropriate wristband at one of our Dickson Productions check-in locations (times and location will be provided on your ticket and online). Rio Frio Fest program and schedule will be provided at your lodge and/or concert grounds.

You may redeem your Rio Frio Fest 3-Day wristband at the Dickson Productions desk, located at House Pasture Cattle Co., Wednesday, March 13th through Saturday, March 16th from 2:00pm to 10:00pm.

Pick up your wristband in advance to avoid the wait on the night of the show!

  • Where are the concerts and activities held?

Nightly concerts will be held at the outdoor (and/ or indoors) concert grounds next to the House Pasture Cattle Company. Click here to see a map- HPCC. Additional concerts and activities will take place at the Neal’s Lodges Joe Jimmy’s Stage or Neal’s Water Hole, plus the Frio Country Resort’s Riverside Cabins area-“The Beach”. Needless to say, there’s always a party going on!

  • Can I purchase concert tickets only (without lodging?)

Dickson Productions will release a limited amount of nightly concert tickets; all tickets sold on first come first come served basis.

  • Where is Concan, TX?

It’s about 81 miles West of San Antonio; an easy and nice road trip through Southwest Texas. Click here to view a map and directions- Concan, TX

  • What is the weather going to be like?

It will be about the same as any Texas beach, except Rio Frio Fest will heat it up even more with a non-stop lineup of concerts and activities like no other. Experience the South Texas Hill Country and the beautiful Frio River and enjoy the good times and great people that embrace that “Texas state of mind” with Texas music and activities plus the natural beauty this special part of Texas offers.

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Emergency 911
Local Police / Fire 830-278-9147

ATM at House Pasture Cattle Co.

First State Bank
Highway 127 West, Concan, TX 78838
(830) 232-4490
Lobby/Drive Thru
9:00am-3:00pm M-F
Drive up ATM – 24 Hours

LET SOMEONE TAKE YOU HOME TONIGHT
For free shuttle information, please check with your lodging provider. Please utilize the shuttles or designated a driver – DO NOT DRINK & DRIVE!

For any lodging questions, or for information about additional activities, ask your lodging provider.

Festival Guidelines:

Rio Frio Fest is committed to providing a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, but there are certain guidelines that must be followed to ensure a safe, fun and genuine festival experience for everyone. Please adhere to the following:

Rio Frio Fest Concert Grounds (House Pasture Cattle Co. / Joe Jimmy’s)
Evening Concerts

• No Coolers
• No outside food/alcohol permitted. (*alcohol will be sold at the festival)
• No re-entry for minors or single day ticket holders (no exceptions)
• Wristbands are non-transferable and must be intact on your wrist at all times.
• No pets allowed on the festival grounds, or parking lots (licensed ADA assistants accepted).
• All participants and their belongings are subject to search upon entry or re-entry.
• Lawn chairs & blankets allowed only in designated areas
• Children 12 years old and under admitted free with adult. Children must be supervised and within normal voice range at all times.
• No unauthorized vending – if you’re not a registered vendor you may not sell or distribute anything on the festival grounds
• Please use the proper trash receptacles to clean up after yourselves
• Park in designated parking areas only. Violators will be towed at owner’s expense.
• No illegal or illicit substances of any kind
• Festival goers must abide by all local, state, and federal laws.
• Drones are prohibited at any RioFrioFest function or activity.
• DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. Ask your lodger about a shuttle services to and from the event or arrange a sober ride.

* This is an all ages event. In order to consume alcohol you must be at least 21 years of age with a valid state or government issued ID. Due to the dry county, all IDs will be checked and registered at the front gates and a drinking wristband will be issued.

River Stage
“The Beach”

The following items ARE ALLOWED at the Riverside Stage ONLY.

• Coolers
• Outside Food / Alcohol
• Lawn Chairs / Blankets
• Water Toys (tubes, floats, etc.)

————

• NO GLASS containers
• Park in the designated areas ONLY
• Do not park past barricades
• Always be aware of pedestrians and drive carefully

These are general guidelines for Rio Frio Fest participants. The venues, lodges, and community may have additional guidelines or rules that you must adhere to.

Map of Concan, TX

GREAT Albums I missed Number 1…SHAME On Me.

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Mar 092019
 

This is not an easy job I have here, and other weblogs can make it look easy because they have 5 people contributing! Aside from what my faithful partner Mr. Joshua Wallace does, I DO EVERYTHING myself and not really by choice. With that being said I receive a TON of albums in the mail and email, that many PR companies want me to feature or the bands. MANY of them I absolutely enjoy and want to share them with you, my dear readers.

However with over 200 festivals we cover, both of us doing road coverage in several different states, keeping up with music news, the Opry, local weekly shows, Ameripolitan Awards, SXSW, Americanafest, and all else, there is NO WAY for me to keep up on featuring all of these albums.

So I decided to make a bunch of articles in the next few weeks to remedy this problem, the first one being all about my Cajun buddy Mr. Hal Bruni. I met him for the first time down at Outlaw Fest in 2014, with all of the connections I got being one of the few positive things stemming from that job. Some damn fine stage acts were on that bill that weekend of rain.

His new album was released in 2018, and was called Painkillers: The S&M Sessions, Vol 1. This album preceded his 2013 album called Blue Collar Town, and was produced by Mr. Jake Thompson, Mr. Hal Bruni, and Mr. David Nix in Duncanville Alabama. It was mastered by my good friend Mr. Brian Debruler with SOL Records.

“Road To Glory” was a Wayne Mills cover that was written by Mr. Wayne Mills and Mr. Rick Simms, and can be found on the 1999 live album they did. I thought he did a splendid job on this song and put in some truly fine guitar solos into the mix, however it was by no means the pinnacle of this album in itself.

The album opened with a true story about the music industry called “Smoke And Mirrors”. It’s basically a song about the relentless facade of the people in the music business. Music is always a pure and positive form of therapy for the soul, but the PEOPLE aren’t always what they appear to be. The listeners and music fans often have a propensity to flock towards fake musicians and fake music, and this song is basically a testimony to that subject.

Being a reformed drug addict the song “Painkillers” spoke to me as a person, although I have never met the woman of my dreams and I never will. It made sense to me as a man, my soul believed ever word of the song. Much of my youth was squandered on drugs being high, and today I deal with all of the health issues that stem from those former life choices. You can search for toxic solutions to your wounds, but all they do is cause more pain.

This is a truly beautiful album in many ways, and one of the only drawbacks was the overall length of the album. It captured his vocals much better than his first album, and the songs showed prominent growth as a writer overall. There seemed to be more trust in his lyrics on this album than before, and he targeted a more true direction here.

We all have “Baggage” in our old age, and this song remains a staunch and poignant testimony to old age and the burden of everyone’s life’s choices hanging over their heads, as they age. Mr. Tyler Hall played some super fine steel guitar on this album, on songs like this one here. Other players on this album were Mr. Jason Parker on bass, Mr. Davis Nix on drums, and Mr. Jacob Thompson.

Track Listing:
1. Smoke And Mirrors
2. The Ballad Of Shaky Jane
3. Baggage
4. Painkillers
5. Tennessee
6. Road To Glory