JOE ROGERS and Chris White at
Lili’s Bistro : Fort Worth, Texas
December 02, 2022
More than once, I’ve been told that while in Fort Worth, I should stop by Lili’s Bistro on Magnolia street. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been entirely comfortable in most “classy” eateries. My friends told me, “ go to Lili’s, they’ll put up with even you “. Well, on this particular Friday, I find myself in Fort Worth, and I hear that Joe Rogers will be at Lili’s that evening. Alright, it’s time I put on a coat and go. Lili’s has been on Magnolia Street for 16 years, so it must have something going for it. I get there at 6:30 pm and the place is full. I get a menu and wait. Wow ! The menu has all kinds of things from Northern Italian to some pretty tasty-sounding burgers and waffles, fries, fish, salads , specialty pork chops, and steaks, all at very reasonable prices. There’s a full bar with a long wine list, along with cocktails and multiple brands of beer. Who meets me at the door?... Mr. Vance Martin, the owner. He personally greets everyone, and most seem to know him. The dress was casual; reservations are not required, but recommended.
Shortly after I arrived, I met Joe Rogers ( piano ) and Chris White ( upright bass ). Now, these guys are the real thing. Rogers is a recognized pianist and composer. White is likewise a well-known player who has been with most groups worth seeing / hearing for the past thirty years. They play three sets ( essentially from 6:30 till about 10 PM.) They play some standards and a lot of improvisation, but all is very good, cool jazz. Their volume was low enough to allow diners to speak at a normal volume, but a real jazz fan will have a problem dividing his attention between the wonderful food and the outstanding musical work of Rogers and White. I’m told they frequently appear with a drummer as the Joe Rogers Trio. That would be a serious treat.
In summary: Lili’s Bistro is a great restaurant with a varied, interesting, and very good menu. Most of the diners appear to be repeaters, and I can see why. Joe Rogers, Chris White, and whoever they bring along are a real jazz lover’s treat.
Lili’s Bistro on West Magnolia
1310 W. Magnolia
Fort Worth, Texas 76104
(817) 877 0700
Sweet Lizzy Project
SWEET LIZZY PROJECT
Sundown at the Granada
November 10, 2022
Sundown at the Granada is my ” go-to “place when nothing appealing is happening elsewhere. It’s a good room, nicely appointed, and has a good stage, lighting, and sound. Better still, they often have some excellent bands on Thursday night, which is never too crowded.
After over a year with Dallas Live Tonight, I can safely say I’ve seen some of the best acts out there at Sundown.
On this particular night, I go to Sundown to see The Sweet Lizzy Project. Never heard of them, but had a hunch they might be at least OK. A five-piece group with a young lady fronting the band. First, they are all from Havana, Cuba, and are now based in Nashville. Salsa music or Latin jazz? Nope. Straight ahead, indie rock. Now I know that American-style rock is not often heard in Cuba, so how did this bunch of teens ( at the time ) learn the ins and outs of rock? They told me, “easy”. The source was pirate (offshore) radio. When they landed in America and found their way to Nashville, they were well-versed. Incidentally, they all speak perfect English with little or no accent.
Sweet Lizzy fired up right on time with no on-stage milling about, so familiar with American bands, which, by the way, is very irritating and usually ruins a group's stage presence ( The so-called “rolling start,” I’ve mentioned previously). Sweet Lizzy hit it hard and moved quickly through their list of originals and some interesting cover arrangement ( i.e., Pink Floyd’s Brick in the Wall ). They were good, tight, with no weak players. Lisset Diaz did most of the vocals with a strong, compelling voice, backed up on vocals by several other musicians; Angel Luis on drums, Alejandro Gonzalez on bass and vocals, Miguel Comos on lead guitar and vocals, and Wilfredo Getell on keyboard and guitar. They played for two straight hours, including their recent recording, “Revolution.” These folks have what it takes to make it big. They will need good promotion and opening spots for big names, but when it comes down to the music, they have what it takes. They are super talented, lovely young people as well. I genuinely hope they do well.
info and booking: www.Sweetlizzyproject@gmail.com
Sundown at the Granada
3520 Greenville Venue
MIKE FREILEY & Lava Bomb Band at TROY’s
MIKE FREILEY & Lava Band
at TROY’s ( Texas Live Complex )
November 05, 2022
In the 1960s, the City of Arlington, Texas, decided that sports and entertainment were its destiny in the Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex. Sixty years later Arlington has, indeed become the place to put your billion-dollar parks, football, and baseball pavilion(s). I say pavilion rather than the stadium to emphasize the expansive nature of these event venues. One of the largest is Globe Life ( baseball ) Field which is surrounded by businesses intended to serve those attending sporting events and beyond. Texas Live is a complex resembling a huge shopping mall but containing bars, dance halls, and restaurants. Among these is “TROY’s”, referring to the previous Cowboy Hall of Fame quarterback ( Troy Aikman ). It’s a nice place with well-prepared and interesting food and excellent bar service. Prices are medium for food and drink, and parking is free. Reservations are not required. Now, we only need a little more entertainment than a big-screen TV.
Enter Mike Freiley and Lava Band. I’ve seen these guys before, and they are always entertaining. Mike writes most of their music which is catchy and always interesting. The band and Mike have a pleasing stage presence and a polished performance. Their music is what I would call “Americana” mixed with indie rock. Mike has commented that they are “the best band around that no one knows about.” That is not entirely true. I know about them, and if you’re a seeker of good original rock music, you will too. The band is made up of Mike Freiley ( singer, song writer, and guitarist ), Michael Gilliland ( guitar ), William Boyette ( bass ), and Lorne Thomas ( drums and percussion ).
Info and Booking : Mikefreiley@Yahoo.com
Troy’s ( at TEXAS LIVE ) 1650 Randol Mill Rd, Ste 100 Arlington, TX (817) 769 1551
October 13, 2022
I have an odd sort of job; weaseling my way into bars and clubs and convincing musicians to allow me to video their performances. Please don’t misunderstand; I’ve been to some great places and seen and videoed some talented acts. Some, not so.
However, on the evening of October 13, I traveled to Denton to Dan’s Silverleaf, a place I’d been and previously had a good experience. It’s a nice, cozy place off the square, with free parking and always some interesting performers. This particular evening, I went to see Ginny Mac, a Brave Combo alumnus, a western swing diva who is accompanied by her brother Glenn McLaughlin ( guitar ) and Nathan Phelps ( upright bass ). The trio was well rehearsed, and all are quite talented. However, Ginny is clearly the star. Her singing is spot-on, and she has a remarkably likable stage presence. Rounding out her talent, she plays a mean accordion, and not one of the small push-button types but a full-size monster half her size. She’s apparently been doing this since age seven and is currently touring with Asleep at the Wheel. If that’s not enough, she also lectures on Western Swing Music at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. She and her backup guys perform standards and originals with equal proficiency and flare. Her 45-minute set made me feel right at home, rather like mom’s cooking and wanting more! I couldn’t have asked for a more delightful evening.
Dan’s Silverleaf Saloon
103 Industrial street
Denton, Texas 76201
(940) 808 0008
Rosana Eckert Quartet
Rumor has it that consistently good jazz is hard to find in Dallas. In the old days, there was “Strictly Taboo,” “Maxine Kent’s,” and “The Mayor’s House,” all with regularly good jazz, and all disappeared by about 1990. There are jazz acts here and there, and the Balcony Club has jazz but no food. Lo and behold, I come across “The Kitchen Cafe,” which is on Preston Road in far north Dallas.
I was told they had both good food and great jazz. I headed out on a Friday night to see the place and a lady (singer) named Rosana Eckert. All new to me but apparently well known to the few in the know. The place is owned by Tony and Lisa Hakim, both are jazz aficionados. It is tucked away in Preston Trails Village ( Suite 415 ) and seats about 50 people. It is very up-scale with table cloths, candles, and tasteful décor. Reservations are recommended but not required. The food is what I would call northern Italian ( fish/alfredo pasta, etc.).This would be a “first date “sort of place, but the real attraction is the very classy jazz acts that appear there. They have a list (on their website) of really good jazz players who call this place home.
The night I went, I met and watched Rosana Eckert, singer, songwriter, and seasoned performer. She writes, she has a great jazz voice and a very pleasing stage presence. She is well known in jazz circles and is a lecturer in jazz vocals at the University of North Texas. She performed with a trio of first-class players ( Brian Piper on piano, Young Heo on double bass, and Steve Barnes on drums ). These folks are the real thing. The performance was first-rate and as good as any I’ve seen on either coast. I’ll put this place and the Rosana Eckert group down as “must-see”. I know I’ll go back as often as I can. There is no better place for jazz in Dallas. Do yourself a favor and go. Soon.
https://www.rosanaeckert.com email:EckertRosana.email@example.com RosanaEckertMusic on FaceBook
17370 Preston Road, Suite 415
Dallas, TX 75252
(972) 818 3400
The Levitt Pavilion, Arlington Texas
September 02, 2022
Brave Combo is not legendary. They are an institution. Formed by Carl Finch in 1979, Brave Combo, and their claim of “Atomic Polka” music, is an internationally acclaimed band that has won two Grammies, produced too many albums to count, and appeared in the US and Europe. They played at David Byrne’s ( Small Faces ) wedding and at least one TV episode of the Simpsons. They are unique, and musically talented, and are still based in Denton, Texas. I’ve seen them several times over the years, and they get better each time. Few groups can entice an audience to dance, sing, act silly, and have as much fun as Brave Combo. They merit the idea that the Hokey Pokey is what it’s all about. Their appearance at the Levitt Pavilion in Arlington did not disappoint. They played everything that made them famous: real polka, salsa, rock music set to a polka rhythm, the chicken dance, and, of course, the Hokey Pokey. I can hardly add much to that which countless critics have already written about Brave Combo. Brave Combo is an incomparable phenomenon. Booking: booking@Bravecombo.com
General information: www.bravecombo.com
PO Box 233, Denton, Texas 76202
(940) 387 7057
The Levitt Pavilion in Arlington is one of multiple such venues funded by the Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation. The Foundation gives matching grants to cities across the US for the development of outdoor theatres which nurture the fabric of American communities through music. The Foundation and grants and the music provided are non-partisan. Cities with unused public spaces are invited to apply for grants. Since its beginning in Westport, Connecticut in the late 70’s the Levitt Foundation has done wonderful things for cities, the public, music and musicians.
Nate Fredrick and the wholesome boys@ Sundance at granada
My wife thinks photography/videography is easy and that my job is merely going to nightclubs to watch girls. Well, partially. The girl part is not the easy part. One of the reasons for the not-so-easy is a constant flow of new equipment to learn, not to mention purchase. Having seen the light, I get my hands on an iPhone 13 Pro. I’m impressed, but can it compete with the big cameras? On this night I slip out to Sundown at the Granada, a consistently pleasant club, whose staff knows me and generally lets me in for free. Now, this was an experiment, so I’m not looking for a necessarily good band. The opening act was so-so and finished early. Next up, Nate Fredrick and the Wholesome Boys. A four-piece C&W/Americana band out of Nashville. They start without the usual fumbling, i.e., rolling start, and I’m busy setting up in the dark. Then I notice, Holy Moly Batman, these guys are very, very good. They are well rehearsed and play original material. These guys are real pros. Every player is spot on with the rest of the band. The songs are catchy and Nate himself is an outstanding singer, backed by guitarist Frank Patrick James. Nate’s stage presence and interaction with the audience are also very good. Some songs are soft and melodious, some are faster with almost a ZZ Top pounding rhythm. Solid as a rock. Oh yeah, the experiment results are on our website. The members are Nate Frederick (guitar, vocal lead, and songwriter), Andrew Foreman (bass), Dylan Mills (drums), and Frank James (guitar and backing vocals). They have several albums out now and are planning another soon. Do yourself a favor and see them while you can still afford their tickets.
FaceBook: Nate Fredrick
The thing with feathers
The THING WITH FEATHERS
Main at South Side: Ft Worth, TX
August 19, 2022
We here at Dallas Live Tonight rely on our contacts in Fort Worth for most of our country western video presentations. However, having been to Main at South Side previously I was a little surprised to learn they were to host a rising star indie rock band, The Thing with Feathers.
I got there an hour before the show and could barely get in the door. Setting up video cameras was a real delight in the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. However, as every enterprising videographer knows, with a little duct tape, a roller skate, and a bumper jack you can arrange your cameras and gear almost anywhere. The band played a single 50-minute set. They electrified the audience. The girls in the front row almost crushed me. I may be old, but I’m not unappreciative.
The band was composed of David Welcsh ( vocals & guitar ), Alex Hendricks ( lead guitar ) , Chris Roussell ( drums ), and Sean Carroll. Most of the songs were original and most were really good. The group was well rehearsed and had a charismatic stage presence. These guys are certainly one of the best I’ve seen or heard during my time with Dallas Live. They are a hard-driving indie pop rock band with palpable talent. They will appeal to a wide audience. If at all possible, see these guys while it’s still affordable. Their new single "Don't Break My Heart" is available now on Apple Music.
Main at South Side
102 South Main
Ft Worth, Texas 76104
The Thing with Feathers
Booking and management:
Talent Ventures LLC.
(239) 450 2233
Mr. Dominick Sotis
(823) 272 6757
The brad Russell band
The BRAD RUSSELL BAND
at Adair’s Saloon, Dallas,TX . August 14, 2022
It comes as a shock to no one that country & western music is not the predominant live music found in Dallas. Not that there aren’t a few clubs and a few bands, but nothing compared to the prevalent thought that Fort Worth ( Tarrant County and points west ) is where the honky tonk west really begins and C&W music is the order of the day. We’ve all been to Adair’s in (Deep Ellum) Dallas and we all know they serve one of the best burgers in one of the most cluttered, should I say unkempt, establishments in the area. Nonetheless, they also occasionally import some very good players. On Saturday the 14Th I wound my way to Adair’s through police cars, street vendors, and a parking fee worthy of an NFL game to see the musical group of the day: The Brad Russell Band. I’d seen Brad previously but didn’t get a video. Not so this time. I came prepared with a camera, tripod, and bag of accessories.
Brad Russell ( guitar, vocals, and songwriter) is from Mansfield, Texas. His band mates are Luke Leslie ( bass ), Brendan Bunnell ( drums ), and Jim “Haystack” Novak ( pedal steel guitar ). On that particular evening, Novak was required elsewhere. The resulting trio of Russell, Bunnell Leslie did not disappoint. Russell’s music and original songs alone are worth the trip. His guitar work is excellent and supports his catchy original songs. Bunnell and Leslie provide the perfect rhythm and percussion foundation for Russell’s songs. I’m a hard rock guy, but these honky tonk guys are really good. Really! I walked away thinking I may have just gotten an early video of a soon-to-be-famous group. I think it’s better than even that I’m right. Their originals are on Spotify and most platforms.
Contact or Booking: Bradrussellband@gmail.com
Somogyi recorded live @ Andy's Denton, TX July 2022
SOMOGYI at Andys in Denton, Texas 07/22/2022
Denton is full of musicians and places to play. Andy’s is a great place to play. Good stage lighting and an adequate ( but not overwhelming ) sound system ). The club is three stories, with a basement lounge ( the Paschall ), a showroom on the ground floor, and a full bar on the third floor. Parking is generally easy and free. Denton is a college town and has a safe feeling ( even very late ) that is not present in Dallas’s Deep Ellum. The night I was there I saw three acts, one called Somogyi . It was composed of a lady singer with a guitar (Ashley Symogyi), a lead guitar, bass, keyboard, and drums. The music was all original and not bad. I would call their music “alternative ” rock. I don’t think I heard a future hit, but these folks could do it. With good material, they could go far; most of the vocal was that of the Ms. Somogyi. A good backing vocal would add a lot. The general musicianship was young and needs a little polish, but it will come with time. Unfortunately, the group used what I call a rolling start which is not good for audience attention or stage presence. I admire original musicians for their dedication to achieving their end, whether it is stardom or just adding to the American music scene. Keep an eye on Somogyi.
122 N. Locust, Denton TX