Friday, September 21, 2012

The Truck Song

Natalie Rose wrote and recorded this song recently, and it's destined to be a big hit. Come out to see the band and you can buy a copy for yourself.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Legends Outdoors

Legends is on Hwy 16 just north of Helotes.
It's a very nice and new building with cold beer and colder AC.

ABM had a great time playing there last night, and look forward to our next visit.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Texas 46

Here's some pix from the most excellent show last week at Texas 46:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Angel's Ice House

Last Sunday, A Beautiful Mess featuring Natalie Rose introduced the customers (and staff) of Angel's Ice House in Spicewood Texas to our way of doing things.
It was A Beautiful Show under the stars with a nice breeze and cheap beer.
The food was fantastic, and we'll be back before too long.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

ABM At Texas46

A Beautiful Mess featuring Natalie Rose swept up 281 to play at Texas 46, a nice bar and restaurant located on Texas 46. Excellent staff, stage, electricity, food, AC, etc.
Can't recommend it highly enough.

No complaints besides the fuddy-duddies who are still pissed that country music went electric.
We may not play there again, and that's okay.
We're a band firmly in 2012, which isn't for everyone.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mesquite Dance Hall

Sorry, been a little too damned busy to do more than make sure every ABM/NatRose show sounds and looks great. Taking pictures and blogging them gets lost to time constraints sometimes...

My girlfriend compared the Mesquite Dance Hall to the location from the movie Hope Floats, but I don't recall as many flies on the male lead's dinner.
But it was a fantastic performance, and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time:

Sunday, February 26, 2012


A Beautiful Mess Featuring Natalie Rose brought the people of Kerrville some rip-snortin' guitar-slingin' beer-drinkin' country and damned western music tonight!

When the drummer's eyes are closed, you better watch out!

The Guadalupe River Club is an "intimate" room (small) so if you enjoy live music seriously in your face, fighting for the space under your nose with planks of fried fish and pints of adult beverages, make the trip.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Coming Soon!

A Beautiful Mess will be at the Guadalupe River Club in Kerrville on Saturday Night Feb 25.
If you're out that way, come on by for a late dinner and stay for the band.
The food is great--you can't go wrong with their seafood or burgers.

Speaking of food and music, the band will also appearing at Trader's Village Flea Market this Sunday from 12:30 to around 4:30, and in addition to music and shopping I understand that there'll be a chili cook-off in the same pavilion.
Look for the brown roof.
(Loop410, Old Pearsall Exit)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

ABM Returns To Belmont

One of our guitarists was late, so he didn't get to be in the photo. Hope he learned his lesson.

We returned to the site of our very first show, the Belmont Social Club in Belmont Texas. It's located just off Route 80 about 11 miles south of IH10 at the Luling exit.

Great staff, a fine room, and terrific food--what more could you ask for?
We like the stage, which has a load-in door right next to it. And they have enough lights so we don't have to bring ours. AC outlets are plentiful.
And the audience brings a lot of love.

Johnny and his crew have a real winner in Belmont, so if you're ever out that way stop in and try the brisket and onion rings.

Rodeo Season Is Here

Evidence: The San Antonio Spurs played at home for the last time on Monday night before embarking on a 2-week+ road trip while the AT&T Center hosts the dirt and hide and mayhem of our award winning Stock Show & Rodeo.

Another hint was when A Beautiful Mess Featuring Natalie Rose entertained one of the groups of trail riders who had camped in New Berlin Texas on their way to San Antonio:

Trail Riders strike out from all points across Texas with horses and chuck wagons (and RVs + iPads I'm sure) to converge on San Antonio's rodeo scene just in time for the hot bronco and steer action.
Naturally, live music has always been a big part of the rodeo experience with concerts every night after the lariats have been oiled and hung up, but this was my first time moving the show out of town to entertain folks on their way.
Some of the riders haven't seen a razor since leaving home weeks ago, so they have a good excuse. The guitarists in A Beautiful Mess are pretty hairy all the time:

Luenmann's in New Berlin TX is a cool roadhouse conveniently located right across the street from where the Mesquite Trailriders were camped.
Never been to Luenmann's before so I can't compare, but the joint was certainly jumping tonight. Lots of love for the band from the audience, and we want to thank Randy who arranged this shindig and took good care of us.

I keep walking into local country music venues expecting to see and/or hear something on the same level of skill and professionalism as Natalie Rose & A Beautiful Mess, but it hasn't happened yet and I'm starting to think it never will.

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ABM On The Road

Here's A Beautiful Mess's new singer Natalie Rose at the GRC in Kerrville last Saturday:
She's kicking serious ass on the vocals. Just an amazing talent, and I really hope our experience and skills can help advance her career.

Old vs New At The Stafford Centre

The Stafford Centre (in Stafford Texas, just southwest of Houston) is a very nice and modern facility for concerts, conventions, etc.
It was country music legend Ray Price's birthday (87 ?) and we opened the show with a 45 minute set.

The hall seats around 1400 (sold out, and the tix weren't cheap), so this is merely a rear corner view:
All the abstract angles and projections aren't just for looks--they come from computer simulations on the behavior of soundwaves in the space, to tame reverberations and keep the frequency response consistent in as many seats as possible. Rooms like these aren't boomy or muddy, and the people in the back can hear just as well as those in the middle.

Keeping with the theme of professionalism, the stocked mini-fridge in A Beautiful Mess's dressing room even had a bottle opener stuck to the side for our beers.

You always see these round unfrosted bulbs surrounding dressing room mirrors in the movies, even though they aren't much help. Tradition I suppose.

If you look closely, the trash can is labeled "stage left". The yellow floor stencil says "DO NOT BLOCK" because there's an exit door behind the can.
It made us happy to load our gear in and out of Exit Stage Left.

I should have taken a picture of the other stencils that said something about a drop zone and had skulls--if the counter-weights that let you move light trusses easily were to fall, these marked the landing zone where you shouldn't stand unless you have a death wish.

Big acoustic basses weren't loud enough once guitars and vocals got amplification, and were a pain in the ass to transport. That's why Leo Fender designed the first successful electric bass in the early '50s.
I never had any desire to play one of these monsters, and I don't much care for the sound either.

This is more to my taste, whether I'm playing bass or doing sound.

Natalie Rose and A Beautiful Mess cranking it out, featuring Steve Gonzalez.

We weren't allowed to fully present our own hard-hitting modern electric sound lest we offend the grey-hairs and fatigue their hearing before Mr. Price's much more organic and subtle acoustic presentation. I whole-heartedly concurred (which surprised more than a few people) and in fact had already reached the same conclusion long before seeing all of the extra violin players reading sheet music during their soundcheck.
Gotta do what's right in each situation. Bad soundmen have egos and agendas unrelated to right now.
ABM + Nat Rose get to hit it as hard as we feel appropriate at OUR shows, and that's as it should be.

So with zero conflict or drama--total cooperation all around--I'm still wondering why we suddenly lost the wonderful monitor mix established during soundcheck in the middle of our first song.
Nobody in the band could hear Natalie onstage well enough, then her monitors came back too loud and we had feedback twice-3 times, and the boys never got back what they needed.
I raised an extremely polite version of hell twice with no results, but we played on like the professionals we are and won an encore + standing ovation, so nobody cares much anymore besides me.

I've never screwed an opening act and never will, but it's a long standing tradition among the insecure and small-minded in this business. I'm sure anyone with a job has been sabotaged before, so you understand.

Meeting the fans and selling product in the lobby afterwards.

I had just finished the mixing board shot in my last post and was skipping down the stairs (yeah right) when The Legend himself passed before me on the way to his own exponentially bigger autograph and merchandise fan session:
Following in such a talented and successful man's footsteps is a humbling experience, even when just trying to steal a photo let alone forge a new career. I was a little freaked out getting this shot, remembering all the times I saw RP on Hee-Haw etc.

Country music will never be the same as I remember hearing it on AM radios back in the good old days, but at least it's still healthy and will survive in one form or another.

The Future Of Country Music

My band A Beautiful Mess is playing again, with our long-awaited new singer:
After months of listening to the guys talk her up (I'm going to drive all the way to Converse for practice sessions where I'll have nothing constructive to do??) it turns out to be true: Natalie Rose is the real deal.
Maybe I can get her to name the second album with all the big hits Views Of Texas...and mention me at the CMAs?

We chose a delightful honky-tonk/restaurant in the blink/miss town of Belmont TX for our first shakedown gig. Low pressure, a built-in crowd of locals, and not much money at stake so no hard feelings if things don't go well.

It's a band of seasoned professionals, so the music and sound are guaranteed.
We were just giving young Miss Rose a taste of our loud rock-style guitars and drums, bright lights, and a soundman who will take good care of her.

She took it in stride, and won over the crowd right away.
I can practically smell natural talent, and she's home-baked bread and bacon.