Greetings out there fans, friends, followers, and future TDQ junkies! The holiday season has slowed down my blogging considerably but I’m back at the keyboard and hammering out a recap of the past few weeks as well as this particular post about some important upcoming shows for we Damn Quails. So…
If you’ve been waiting for your chance to catch us live, you should probably scope out the “Shows” section of the website ASAP because it’s highly likely we’ll be coming to your town or somewhere close by in the next few months. We’ve got a couple of really big shows in Oklahoma this weekend, starting with a headliner spot at Eskimo Joe’s in Stillwater on Friday night. Joe’s has always been the stuff of red dirt legend ’round these parts and we couldn’t be happier to finally get a chance to take that stage and make our very own scuff marks across it. Our wickedly talented drummer Thomas Young isn’t going to make it, so we asked our longtime compadre and resident badass Giovanni Carnuccio III (or Nooch as you might know him) to sit in for the night. Nooch has played the skins for a whole lot of amazing bands including Mama Sweet and the Turnpike Troubadours and was our first official unofficial drummer. It’s always a pleasure to look back and see Nooch’s smiling face behind the kit and the show promises to be a rockin’ good time.
Saturday night we’ll be heading back to the Wormy Dog in Bricktown, OKC to open up for Cody Canada and the Departed. “This is Indian Land” has a lot of tunes written by some really good friends of ours, including Tiny Tom Skinner and Greg Jacobs and I can’t wait to watch these guys rock and roll. We’ll also be filming some of the set, so come get some camera time and make sure you holler extra loud.
In case you missed this little piece of news, we’ve had to shuffle around our Riverton, IL date as we’ve been invited to open two shows for the Josh Abbott Band. Apologies to you folks in Riverton, we’ll be back around before you know it and we appreciate you being so understanding. Our first date with Josh Abbott Band is at Joe’s Bar in Chicago, IL on February 3rd and we’re following them on to Columbia, MO on February 4th. If you’re in the area or have some friends and family around, please spread the word of the Damn Quails gospel of rock and roll.
As far as the record goes, good news continues to pour in from all across the globe on a daily basis and we’re all in a bit of disbelief as to just how fast our album is moving. “Fool’s Gold” is the little song that could and our accolades and chart movement have been turning heads in a “where the hell did these guys come from?” kind of way. This week marked our debut on the Texas Music Chart at #35. We also took a massive jump on the Texas Regional Radio Report from #59 to #31 and had a ton of new station adds across the region. But that’s not all…
The fact that our music isn’t necessarily genre specific has always been one of our greatest strengths as far as I’m concerned. The red dirt genre is host to some incredibly talented performers and bands, but we’ve always been a little more rootsy than your typical red dirt band. Gabriel and I have both been playing in the americana/singer-songwriter circle for years and it’s easy to hear the effects of that influence once you give the record a listen. That’s one of the reasons that our Americana radio promotion has been doing so well. As of this past week, “Down the Hatch” has just reached the #12 spot on the National Americana Music Association charts on our second week! It’s a pretty incredible achievement for us and we couldn’t be more thrilled at all the airplay we’ve been getting across the country. Thanks to everyone for requesting the songs, making the calls, and spreading the word like wildfire about our music. We have the greatest job in the world and we couldn’t do it without all of you.
Keep an eye on the website for new shows as they’re being added at a breakneck pace. Make sure you follow us on twitter if you’re the kind of guy or gal that likes to know the random ridiculousness that our day usually entails. The twitlist is as follows…@thedamnquails (Official Twitter Page/Bryon) @gabe_marshall (Gabriel) @jonknutz (Jon Knudson) @maddrummer1976 (Tom Young) @oujazzman (Steve Baker) @lukemullenix @blakelennon
See you at the show.
For those of us that are musically inclined, there are few pleasures greater than getting to see a whole bunch of your friends gather in the same place to do what we all do best…pick, grin, and have a good time. The Friday night of College Days was absolutely that. We rolled into Stillwater about 4:15 and got to Tumbleweeds just in time to catch a scorching set by our occasional collaborators and partners in crime, The Turnpike Troubadours. We’re lucky enough to have Giovanni “Nooch” Carnuccio and Ryan Engleman join us from time to time to lend their musical excellence to the Damn Quails Philharmonic. Nooch was on our first record, sometimes from the front door at the Deli on a marching snare, sometimes in the studio on the last two tracks. Versatility is key. Speaking of versatile, Engleman plays the pedal steel AND the baritone. Usually on Monday nights with us at the Deli. It’s fantastico.
Felker and Co. are working on a new record that’s likely to blow the roof off of every beer joint, concert hall, and festival stage in Texas and beyond as soon as they get it done and out. I got a chance to bear witness to some of the tunes that are supposed to be on there when I saw Evan doing his Acoustic Oklahoma showcase at VZD’s a few months back. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. “Good Lord Laurie” springs to mind first, as it contains a prime example of alliteration that I literally love language wise so damn much. The songs are good, the band is good, you can’t go wrong.
It had to be upwards of 110 degrees on the dark concrete stage and all of the bands were treated to a glorious view of the burning hot sun directly in the line of site. I think Boland was the first to get any form of relief from the bright glowing ball in the sky, which means that the Troubadours, No Justice, and Stoney were good and warmed up about a half second into their first songs.
I finally got to see my homie Justin Morris play some ridiculous thumpin’ bass for the kind fellas in No Justice. Justin has played with some of my favorite Noman groups, not to mention with us for a few fill in gigs along the way. He’s as solid as they come and he’s also kickin’ some tail on the high harmonies. These cats have been travelin’ quite a bit lately and they sound as tight as I’ve ever heard them. The cover of American Girl rocked balls to boot. Steve Rice has a voice that’s enough to make any frontman jealous, and he happens to be one of the kindest of the breed that I’ve ever run into.
Stoney decided to add Randy Ragsdale to his array of Arsenals, giving them a 2 drummer attack that could only be balanced by the rock and roll enigma of Alan Orebaugh on lead guitar. Every since I first saw Al with Mama Sweet, I’ve been in awe of his technique and the eloquence with which he executes it. Dexterity on the guitar is not one of my strong suits, and it’s amazing to see the speed and accuracy of the human hand when the solo’s kick in. Not to mention he can control the effects board with his feet: Probably one of the reasons he never wears shoes.
Stoney played a lot of tracks from “Velvet” that threw me for a loop in a really good way. Gabriel and I got a chance to play on some of these tunes with Stoney during our jaunt down to Peyton’s Place with McClure a few months back and I was impressed with the way they stuck with me, especially the title track. They were well written and memorable, a combination that is greatly lacking on a lot of music that dots the musical landscape. The tunes really starting to come together in my brain with a full band behind them, and the addition of another drummer made them one of the biggest sounding acts of the festival.
Believe it or not, this is my first time to see Jason Boland with a full band. My brother JD was ecstatic to get to watch him from stage right, and I have to admit it was the best seat in the house…minus having a chair that is. But that’s my own damn fault for leaving the chairs in the car the first time I came in. I’ll never go back to the car in that heat, even if it is for moderately comfy $20 camping chairs that are on their last legs anyway. The show was great, the band was nice to be around, and they sounded just like the hard working touring band that they are.
The tension from anticipation in the crowd would have to be cut with a chainsaw by the time Mac, The lester Bros, and Kelley were ready to take the stage. Morgan and I happened to be headed to nab some water and possibly some bar bbq leftovers (alas, only water. The bbq had been subsequently devoured) when the whole entourage came out the door we were waiting to get into. Mac looked at me with a well deserved, slightly cocky (probably learned from his chickens), and confident type smile and remarked “This is my OTHER job.”
Honesty time folks. When I heard those words mixed up with the sense of several thousand people that were foaming at the mouth just beyond the northern ridge, I realized that, along with producer, husband, father, chicken wrangler, basement dweller, engineer, guitar player, picture taker, blog maker, and all these other things that I know Mike as, he is also another thing.
A rock star.
Being as I was listening to Nirvana and NOFX when the Great Divide was popular, I had never had the chance to see them live. I’ve seen MMB a handful of times, but never the original lineup of his first successful musical venture. I’d even played some of the tunes myself during my time playing lead guitar and singing harmonies in Lower Middle Class. They hit with the force of a hydrogen bomb, and the crowd knew every word. I’m not going to review the show, this blog is already too long. Suffice it to say that it’s been a while since I went to an outdoor festival and witnessed the power of a crowd that throws all of the words back to you louder than the PA system can give it to them. It’s almost scary.