Kent Finlay's 29 Birthday Celebration

Kent Finlay's 29 Birthday Celebration

Missoula Slim, Tony Wilson, Aaron Allan, Chris Carroll, Adam Carroll, Mark Jungers, Emily Herring, Shelley King, George Ensle, Sterling Finlay, HalleyAnna, Grant Ewing, Dustin Welch, Marshall Anderson, Jordan Minor, Big John Mills, Gregg Andrews

Wed. February 7, 2018

8:00 pm


Kent Finlay's 29 Birthday Celebration
Kent Finlay's 29 Birthday Celebration
Kent's Birthday Celebration brought to you by the Cheatham Street Music Foundation.

Aaron Allan, Missoula Slim, Tony Wilson

Chris Carroll, Adam Carroll, Mark Jungers

Emily Herring, Shelley King, George Ensle

Sterling Finlay, Grant Ewing, HalleyAnna Finlay, Dustin Welch

Marshall Anderson,Jordan Minor, Big John Mills, Gregg Andrews
Adam Carroll
Mark Jungers
Americana / Alt-country artist from Martindale, Texas.
Shelley King
Shelley King
The music of Shelley King draws from and blends a spectrum of roots music styles, but one word succinctly describes it: soulful. Be it R&B, folk, blues, country, bluegrass or rock — or combinations of and variations on those themes — she delivers the goods straight from the heart with a voice that's splendidly rich and warm and as big as all outdoors. Writing "a proverbial trunk full of instant hits and yet-unheard classics," as the Austin Chronicle describes her songs, King has risen from the vibrant music scene in the Texas capital city to charm fans across North America, Europe and Japan, win two Austin Music Awards, and be named the Texas State Musician for 2008.

And now she truly finds her sweet spot on her aptly titled new album Welcome Home. Recorded and co-produced with John Magnie, Tim Cook and Steve Amedée of The Subdudes — rated by All Music Guide as "stellar musicians of the swampy jazz-rock-blues New Orleans persuasion" — it's a roots music tour de force where the spirit of the church meets the soul and spices of the South and the many moods and modes of the human heart.

From the opening and intoxicating sunshine of "Summer Wine," Welcome Home travels the musical highways and byways below Mason-Dixon to echo the finest traditions and open new musical dimensions, thanks to a magical marriage of the multi-instrumental gifts and vocal blend of Magnie, Cook and Amedée with the splendorous humanity and emotiveness of King's singing and songs. On tracks like the call and response of "I Remember," the hymnal "Welcome Home" (written just after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans) and the prayerful "Grain of Sand," King and company draw from the gospel oak to create spiritual sounds for the modern age. "Asking Too Much" and "It's Starting To Rain" renew classic New Orleans R&B, and "I Can't Make It Easy" is a swooning swamp pop slow dancer. The lilt of bluegrass meets the zest of Cajun music on "Everything's All Right," and King and company summon up a spirited fais do do with the boogie-woogie of "How You Make Me Feel" and swing of "Falling Fast" before closing out with the acapella and handclaps of "Welcome Home Reprise." All told, Welcome Home is a listening experience sure to be treasured and relished by all it touches for years to come.

King's voice first rang out at the age of four in a tiny rural one-room church in her native Arkansas and then bloomed further as she grew up singing in parishes large and small across her home state and Texas. Listening to her uncles sing and play songs on their acoustic guitars by Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Crosby, Stills & Nash also instilled in her a sense of songwriting excellence from an early age. After working her way through college by starting and running her own business, King stepped onto the club and concert stage fronting bands in Houston before moving a few years later to Austin, the longtime noted nexus of roots music authenticity and innovation as well as superlative songwriting that proved to be a welcoming home for her talents.

She had been writing songs since her early teens, and in Austin her gifts found a place to bloom without the strictures of style or commercial concerns. "I just started writing for myself. I don't care what kind of song it is — it might be bluegrass, it might be blues, it doesn't matter — it's whatever mood I'm in and whatever the song needs."

After King gave a copy of her debut album Call Of My Heart to Toni Price, Austin's beloved and long-reigning favorite female voice, Price recorded two of the tunes on it — the title track and "Who Needs Tears" — for her 2001 album, Midnight Pumpkin. Her version of "Call Of My Heart" went on the win Song of the Year at the Austin Music Awards, where in 2005 King and her group were also named Roots Music Band of the Year. Price recorded another King song, "Tennessee Whiskey" for her 2003 album Born to be Blue. Then after Lee Hazelwood heard King's "Texas Blue Moon" on the radio during a drive through the Lone Star State, he and Nancy Sinatra cut the song for their album Nancy & Lee 3.

For her second album, The Highway, King traveled to the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama where icons like Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and many others have tracked classic recordings. Her 2004 live album, Rockin' the Dancehall, captured her dynamism as a performer at the famed Gruene Hall in Central Texas, and was declared "an exuberant breath of air" by the Austin Chronicle and named a Top Recording of the Year by Buddy magazine for its "excellent, high-energy country-rock-pop-blues-gospel-soul, delivered by a tight, experienced band." King's catalog also includes the compilation Armadillo Bootleg #1 that features live and studio tracks including a live cut from her all-woman Southern rock band Sis Deville, a collaboration with Sara Hickman and two Subdudes covers.

As the Dallas Observer says of King, "Onstage, she leads her band through tangents of electric Southern blues and acoustic folk, revved-up Cajun country and rock and roll with a charismatic ease that evidences the resilience of a lifelong performer." And for more than a decade now, she has taken her act across the U.S. and Canada and as well tours of Europe and Japan, sharing stages with scores of noted performers from a range of styles (including such top acts as Patty Griffin, Los Lonely Boys, The Flatlanders, Mavis Staples, Ricky Skaggs and many others), appearing at major festivals in North America and Europe, and performing live on XM satellite radio and the internationally syndicated concert show Woodsongs, among many other radio and TV appearances.

King's fervent Texas following led her to be nominated and then selected as the Texas State Musician for 2008. She shares the honor with such acts as Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel and Dale Watson, and is the first woman to hold the prestigious annual post.

The origins of her collaboration with members of The Subdudes was first seeing the band in 1993 in Austin and being knocked out by their show, and then buying a cassette of one of their albums in a used tape bin. "I could not take it out of the tape player in my car for months," King recalls. "I just got into the groove where that was my music and the soundtrack to my life." She later met and befriended the group running into them on tour and playing shows together.

Welcome Home started out informally with an initial session at Magnie's home studio in Fort Collins, Colorado. "I really just went to demo a few songs and kind of goof around in the studio with them," explains King. "We were in the studio for three days and came out with five songs, and had just an amazing time together. I wasn't trying to do a record. But when I started listening to it all afterwards, I thought, wow, this is really special, and I'd really love to do it again."

Over two subsequent visits to Fort Collins, a full album took shape. "It came about really organically," King enthuses. "We didn't get together and say we're going to produce a record. We were just thinking about the music and having fun recording with no pressure, and whatever comes of it comes of it. When it all came down I had recorded a whole record. I savored every moment of it and didn't want it to end. It was a total labor of love."
Welcome Home is now sure to reside in the hearts of all that hear it as a contemporary classic of soulful American music. Yet for all the honors, praise and success King has achieved — and doing so by booking her own tours and releasing her albums on her own Lemonade Records label — the ultimate rewards for King are those of the soul. "It's joyous work," she concludes of her career. "It's what I love doing and it's such a blessing to be able to do what you love every day."
George Ensle
George Ensle
American country music singer and songwriter
HalleyAnna Finlay simply sings like her songs were stamped on her heart at birth. Evidence: The Country. HalleyAnna's superb debut collection swaggers ("So Heavy") and sways ("Fast Train") with effortless elegance. The album, which deftly spotlights her meeting point between Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris, serves as a shining introduction to a skyward bound emerging talent. High watermarks – particularly, "Back in Your Arms Again" and "Peace Is Lonely, Love Is War"– already show HalleyAnna growing exponentially sharp as a songwriter.

"Experience is what happens when you don't get what you want, so songwriting makes me feel better," she says. "Any time I'd go through a heartache growing up, my dad would say, 'Well, you'll get a good song out of it.' Sure enough, I really did. You can't write every single song about how somebody broke your heart, so some of the stuff I've done is more serious. 'Back in Your Arms Again' may sound like a song about somebody who dumped you, but it has a much deeper, eternal, death-related theme about meeting in the next life."

For the last decade, HalleyAnna has honed her songwriting skills at Cheatham Street Warehouse, the legendary Central Texas listening room owned by her father, singer-songwriter Kent Finlay. She now leads the next generation of compelling writers who follow James McMurtry, Todd Snider, Bruce Robison and others who started out at Cheatham Street. "I grew up listening to people who play music in Texas," says the youthful singer-songwriter. "I really love the traditional stuff that's going on in East Nashville like Elizabeth Cook and Caitlin Rose and Hayes Carll and Slaid Cleaves here in Austin. They embody the same traditional country that I like."

All personify the literate storytelling so identified with the Texas music tradition and HalleyAnna has put her creative writing studies to good use following their footsteps. Look for further proof one her sophomore effort (due in early 2013). Americana all-star Bill Chambers (Kasey's father) produced the collection. "Working with Bill is so easy and great," HalleyAnna says. "Bill came up and was here for the summer touring with Kasey and he had about a week window to make a record with me. He brought this really nice microphone that Kasey used on 'The Captain' and 'Barricades and Brickwalls' and we did vocals pretty much live. We cut the album in five days in the Wood Shed in San Marcos."

Brian T. Atkinson, author of I'll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt
Photo by Bill Sallans
Grant Ewing
Grant Ewing
Grant Ewing draws strong influence from blues and soul music spanning back to the 1950's. While continuing to grow and challenge the genre with modern elements the band stays true to the style while bringing something new with every performance. The energy and power of his show is hard to experience from listening to his albums alone. Though the recordings hold up to any other contemporary releases seeing it is a different deal. The dynamic nature of this music translates to audiences of all backgrounds and interests, and becomes more refined with every new attempt. Look for the newest CD "The Buzz of a City Night" on itunes available now.
Venue Information:
Cheatham Street Warehouse
119 Cheatham Street
San Marcos, TX, 78666