Written by Daniel Barker
Mar 07, 2009 at 12:00 PM
ImageThere is something about Conroe that just attracts good music. It must be people like Debbie Glenn who hooked HMR up BIG TIME for the 2009 Texas Independence Festival on March 7th, 2009. We came to celebrate the now sometimes hard to believe Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico and of course see some great Texas diehards  – The Gouger, Randy Weeks, and Jesse Dayton on this partly cloudy and very windy day in beautiful downtown Conroe, Texas.

With a nice place on the hill, HMR was settling in for some good food, drink and music at this small but energetic little festival set up with vendors selling Texas goodies and even a play village for the kiddies. The Gougers are made up of Shane Walker-Guitar/Accordion/Vocal; Jamie Wilson-Acoustic Guitar/Vocals; Cody Foote-Bass; John Ross Silva-Drums and newest member Lance Smith-lead guitar. HMR likes these guys and have seen them in many venues mostly in the festival environment though. We even saw Cody “Keanu Reeves” Foote playing behind Ex-Dedringer Johnny Burke at the Saxon Pub back in Feb but it had been awhile since HMR has seen the whole group. In this set, the Gougers blended their originals with some great covers of songs by Steve Earle, Terry Allen and Son Volt and Jamie Wilson even sang a few by herself in her flowing cotton dress barefooted as usual. Let it be known that HMR is impressed with the addition of Lance Smith. The kid smokes guitar and is like adding the number 11 to The Gougers amps. Good stuff.

During The Gougers set, Mr. Minnesota Farmer Randy Weeks and his significant other made it up the hill to pay a little visit to HMR – much appreciated. The John Deere jacket blazing singer-songwriter made it to the stage eventually with his great band consisting of Rick Poss-lead guitar; Will Sexton-Bass and Rick Richards-drums. HMR has seen Weeks numerous times in the recent months and this show was no exception to his straight forward, upbeat fun loving sound.

The set list consisted of:
1. I Couldn’t Make It
2. In the Barroom
3. Going My Way
4. Step Away From Me
5. Black Coffee & Lifesavers
6. Downhome Girl
7. Little Bit Of Sleep Tonight
8. The One Who Wore My Ring
9. Fine Way To Treat Me
10. Wash These Tears Away
11. Ton of Shame
12. Summer of Love
13. Detroit Motor City
14. Big Man Make A Little Girl Cry

ImageAfter bellowing out a now trademark “WEEEEEKS”, HMR Lead Editor, Eddie “The Edge” Ferranti made it back stage with the help of our new BFE, Debbie Glenn, for catfish and hushpuppies. He was heard busting fast forwarding Rick Ross’s balls about running on no sleep and kicking ass. Rick Poss is all over the place and really is a full accompanist. He plays slide with what looks like small empty glass jars over his ring finger that gives him ultimate flexibility. Throw a rock solid Will Sexton on bass singing great harmony and there you have it. Will Sexton produced Weeks’s new CD “Going My Way” and did a fantastic job. Another solid Weeks set with Jesse Dayton up next.

Jesse Dayton is a piece of work…He blends Texas Honky-tonk music with Rob Zombie, Halloween 2 movie, The Cartoon Network, and The Supersuckers all the while throwing in gut busting  one liners. This guy is into everything. Jesse Dayton’s band consist of Justin Cole-stand up bass; Erik Tucker-drums; Nate Fleming-pedal steel. Highlights were a George Jones like cover of The Cars hit “Wastin’ All My Time”, “Creek Between Heaven & Hell”, and “Ain’t Grace Amazing”. If Jesse’s music career doesn’t pan out, he has a promising chance at the good life as a comedian. Just to touch on the one liners:

1. At home getting hammered while she’s out getting nailed
2. Arkansas Chrome = Duct Tape
3. Solid Platinum Dancers on Skoal Train
4. Surfers in Cali thought pedal steel player was in wheelchair.

Jesse brought the fairly good size crowd now on the hill to their feet. We look forward to seeing him again.

Overall, this was a nice event that HMR definitely has on the calendar for next year. We would like to thanks Debbie Glenn and all the folks at HMR for the Texas hospitality. We will see you out supporting live music.