Written by Eddie Ferranti
Mar 14, 2010 at 03:00 AM
ImageKPFT listerner sponsored FM radio celebrated their 40th birthday on March 14, 2010 and the Mucky Duck hosted the party for it! And what a bash it was indeed! This was the Duck’s second time to do this event. Having atteneded last year’s blow out, Rosie & I were pointing for this date for awhile and we were not let down at all.

First off, the weather was way better this Sunday afternoon. High 60’s and lots of sunshine compared to 2009’s dreary rainy day. If you’ve not atteneded this gig before it is an unique set-up where Rusty & Theresa put a tent covering thee entire parking lot. Really plays out well. KPFT fills a void over the Pacifica airwaves, especially the Lone Star Jukebox and Spare Change segments. Political BS aside, they still care about musicians and LIVE music, which is what HMR is all about. That being said, here’s a capsule comment or two about the folks we had the pleasure to cover this fine day!


A pop trio comprised of piano, guitar and drums. LD displayed dynamic vocal range throughout her set. She did one song with a harmonica and piano, ala Billy Joel style which was sweet.  This trio would be excellent fare for an uptown cocktail bar-Texas style !


They called themselves a blues/pop/swing grass band right off the bat. Well this trio hit the stage like Mother Maybell Carter after three pots of coffee !  First tune a little on the “Hee-Haw” side, but the energy of this fiddle, guitar and stand up bass was flowin’ early. The 2 ladies were decked out in skirts and colored nylons and an attitude of get-it ta-go folks!  It was a contagious sound that was fueled by the “rubber face” expressions of the lead singer. “Time Changes Everything” (Texas swing) and “Ill Meet You on the Trail” (a Lonesome Dove cowboy song) were highlights.  At one point the bass player literally played the strings off his upright, but the pit crew had it up and running after a short duet by the ladies on violin and acoustic. SP played an extended set due to cancellation by John Evans and had plenty of material to fill the gap.”Y’all Come to See Us if You Can” was a killer crowd sing along to close the set. Definitely this year’s “newbie” to watch out for in this reviewer’s eyes. They are based out of Austin so that should be something I’ll see sooner rather than later.


Jack Saunders has been an old Houston folk standard for years. He stated that he did his first interview with Don Saunders back in the late 70’s on KPFT. This guy is the best fill-in/back-up dude around and I mean that in a good way. I’ve seen him play bass with Randy Weeks over the last few years and he always seems to fit like a glove whomever he plays with. To catch him fronting a foursome was neat. A bunch of good old fashioned jammin’ with “I Got a Thing for You” being a stand out gem from his set. His lead guitar dude was no slouch at all and really burned it up on the last tune. God Bless JS, a stand up nice fella period !


This dude has been getting a lot of playing time in the Houston area as of late. He plays anywhere from the Volcano to the Big Top to opening for Hayes Carll at the Warehouse  to sittin’ in on drums with Jubal Lee Young in Conroe! Very talented and an elbows on the bar kind of music. Tunes like “Stop the Bar, I’m Getting Off” and “The Last Foot at the Bar” backed that description up big time.  Plus he’s got a cracker jack bad ass guitar lead player in Lance Smith. Another gentleman who has been popping up with the likes of the Gougers and with Stinson and Young at Texas Indy Fest this year.  JS smoked on “What I Deserve” with some steamy licks. “Square with the World” was an anthem for the common man if you will and “Smile for Me” was sweet. Stinson closed out his set with “Late for My Funeral”, a great honky tonk closer albeit cut short by technical sound problems. Mike looked like he may have HAD his elbows on the bar the night before, baggy suit and all, but he was quite enjoyable this fine afternoon. A definite repeat for me down the road.


Off the wall always, Guy Forsyth kicked off his set reciting “The Jabberwocky” at lightning speed for a mike test. That threw a lot of the now settled-in crowd for a loop. He proclaimed “Is this thing on??”  GF’s tongue is far in his cheek it almost pops thru! I’ve been fortunate to have followed this gent for 10 years or so now and it always seems like a different gig everytime. To see him drain the crowd dry with the tune “When I Close My Eyes” showing off his great voice. Dude can throw old time scat lyrics on your ass at anytime- and it works. “It All Looks Like Brownsville to Me” showed his underrated guitar prowess. I love his zingers at the likes of Wal Martization of the world and especially FM radio, with HIGH kudos to KPFT!  A heart felt dedication the the Austin legend Stephen Bruton was sweet as hell. If you’ve never caught Guy’s act, do it. Always highly entertaining and full of raw passion.


This sweet sisters duo has been on our list for well over 10 years running. Never forget the time Rosie & I were sitting at the bar before a gig of theirs in the San Francisco area and Roberta freaked out! The gorgeous harmonies they produce are quite good and of course they’ve never been hard on the eyes! But to me the straw that stirs this drink is Lisa’s hubbie Dave Spencer. Dude had me thinkin’ Carlos Santana was on stage during one of his guitar assaults on a Spanish tune they did. Spanish has been the route these guys have veered off to the last 3 years or so and that is their choice. Personally it has stifled my urge to see them more. That being said, this showcase set was one of the most rockin’ gigs I’ve seen Sisters Morales do period. Spencer’s bombastic playing GOT thee attention of the audience in a major big way. “World Goes Round and Round” was killer with old bass player “Cornbread” knockin’ it out on a classic folk rock tune. I may just have to check these folks out more now just to see if this rock vibe sticks.


I had heard this fellow’s name for years, but never caught him until today. Dude had Jack Saunders on bass and a very entertaining Cajun laced accordian player. Keyboard player was bluesy and solid, too. Trooper proclaimed the Mucky Duck was “Ablazed with fun!” It sure was.  Lots of energy and rock from this outfit. Little hat was killer, too. “This I Do” was a highlight tune. GT is a really good singer/songwriter ala Leonard Cohen if you will. Definitely on my to do list in the future!


What more can I say about a musician we’ve followed now for going on 3+ years that has not been said in previous reviews by HMR?  Just love this guy.  Down to earth is corny, but it IS Weeks. With only 45 minutes to work with, the set came off like a “best of” record that probably pulled in some new fans that hadn’t known RW, but it only left me feeling like I wanted more!   Weeks also had Saunders on bass and a guitar player he gigs with when up north, whom I failed to get his name. RW always has a good lead guitar man with him and he is no slouch indeed himself. “Fine Way to Treat Me” and “Can’t Let Go” just smoked. “Sugarlee” is WEEKS! I told Randy that he was such a good spirit and I love him for it. Hard not to like a dude who normally puts out 2+ hour gigs routinely. You HAVE to catch this gentleman the next time he comes around. By the way, it was a dead heat for cool hats between Weeks & Trooper!


By the time this gent hit the stage, the back spasms I was fighting all weekend started to get the better of me. I hung until thee now immortal sind along tune, “Snakefarm” and then we hit the road. RWH is much better when he is with a full band in my opinion…………

So there you have it. All in all it was a fantastic day of music with the atmoshpere of musicians milling about “hobknobbing” with the crowd and such! Hats off to the likes of Rick Heysquierdo and Larry Winters for their fine work on KPFT, too.

Looking forward to the 41st birthday already-you should, too! Until next time, have a nice day and BETTER tomorrow….