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Tag Archive: live


Joe Cat (Catanese) played for about half an hour before my set at Akademia Brewing Co. I did the same for Joe last September. We like playing shows together because our music compliments each other. Hearing our songs together – as it were – you get a good variation of views on life in all its facets.

Joe is the marine that served in Desert Storm, and I’m the old hippie with the military father. So that will tell you something. We connect by each respecting, understanding, and relating to each other’s life and songwriting motives.

My favorite songs of Joe’s are, fortunately, some of his favorites too so I’m usually sure I’ll hear them when he plays at least a half hour set.

Joe’s music is, in his words, “gritty, blue collar music.” Factory Line gives the listener the sense of factory work and its inherent challenges while trying to make a living. America’s Best relates life after the military trying to adjust to the complicated world outside the military. My all time favorite Joe Cat song is Silver Thread City, which I believe is about meeting his wife, Lisa. When you have a chance, check out his music on Reverbnation, Spotify, and all the usual places.

After getting another Altered Minds – an altbier, it was time for my set. All of the beers at Akademia are wonderful. But Altered Minds was so smooth and full-bodied that both Joe and I stuck with it. I made sure to take a four pack of 16oz. Olen Av Odin home. When I saw the description – a blackened lager – I knew I had to take some home. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it on tap. When Cyndy and I shared the first can, I wished I had brought more home.

If you’re in the area, make it a point to go by Akademia Brewing Company. Their chef prepares excellent menu items. The prime rib sandwich is my favorite. Have some samples and choose the beer for you. Trust me – they have it!

Fortified with beer and water, I hit the stage – not literally, but I stumbled, so almost. I began as I usually do with Hello Out There, my song for those on the autism spectrum, and the title song of my most recent cd. My set included the song I wrote with my daughter, Jennifer, when she was 12, the Aardvark Song, which everyone seems to like and many refer to as “the animal song,” and Jennifer’s favorite song of mine, Poet and the Lady. Being in the home area of Waffle House, I made sure to play my song, Waffle House (Is a Mighty Fortress). You can find my music at www.danroark.com, Spotify and so on.

After the show, we packed up and had another Altered Minds before headed back to Joe’s house. Another great night at Akademia Brewing Company!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

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Okay, so now to catch up after the whirlwind of the past two and a half weeks.  I returned to Gilmer Brewing Company on Friday, May 10. But before talking about the brewery, an update on a subject of great concern to craft breweries for their continued success.

The Texas Senate passed an amendment to current laws that would allow craft breweries to sell beer to go from the breweries up to approximately a case per customer per day. The House is expected it to pass it as well, and the governor is expected to sign it. Breweries should be able to sell beer to go starting September 1st. This has been a long time coming, considering Texas is the last state to allow breweries to sell beer to go.

Gilmer Brewing Company is a small brewery on the square in downtown Gilmer. Playing there is always a fun time, even when the crowd is not as big as other times. The regulars at the bar are dedicated supporters of live music. The owners, Drew and Ruth Emory, are sweet people and they know how to brew beer. After working at their “day jobs” during the week, they throw themselves into running the brewery on weekends.

The first time I play at Gilmer after September 1st, I plan on bringing home their current newest beer, Upshur Amber. It’s a smooth full-bodied lager with a nice taste, named after the county of Upshur by the winner of the contest for the name. But don’t just go by me. Besides, I like the Peacemaker and Buckeye beers- a pilsner and blonde, respectively – as well. Pritchett Fog and Shrapnel are distinctly different takes on an IPA with the former an NE IPA. If you have a preference for a stout, Big Woods will smooth your weary palate and ease your mind.

Visit Gimer Brewing Company when you have a chance. There is live music most weekends – please tip to support live music. Have a flight of four beers and see which beers you prefer. And tell the Emorys I said hi!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

While my live cd, Peace Be With You, has been available on my website – www.danroark.com – it was just recently released to all other outlets. The first seven songs were recorded at various times by Carlos Sanchez at Poor David’s Pub. The last song is a studio recording of What the Lord Intends, a song I wrote about Sack Summer Hunger that was mixed and mastered by my son, Conner.

The title song is a song I wrote about the shooting of the police officers at the peaceful protest in downtown Dallas in the summer of 2016.

I wanted to get it released before the release of my new EP, Hello Out There, in early July. Check out Peace Be With You on my website, CDBaby, and the usual places. Some sites insist you put Daniel rather than just Dan since my copyrights and such are in my full name, Daniel Lee Roark. Feel free to like, subscribe, share, etc.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Brittnee Belt

Brittnee Belt

Okay, still trying to catch up….I had the privilege of being included in the Taste of Texas Songwriter Showcase at Stan’s Lakeview Draft House in the Colony on Friday, September 9th. Brittnee Belt, of Pink Couch Studios, was the host. She is also the booking agent for Stan’s. Some of the performers at her showcases came through her music school.

Ashton Edminster opened the show with an

Ashton Edminster

Ashton Edminster

hour set. I believe Ashton is 15 years old. She kept on rolling, even after having feedback issues. I followed Ashton and played a half hour set. I began with Hello Out There, my song for those on the autism spectrum. Then, looking out at the crowd, I realized that 8:30 on Friday night was not the time for a soulful, introspective songs. So I switched the next two songs with humorous songs and finished the set as planned.

Seventeen year old Harper Grace spends time in Nashville writing and co-writing songs. She has a natural grace and is improving in live performance. One could tell she was intentional in what she did and how she moved and performed.

Jade Nickol followed Grace. It was difficult to keep their ages straight, because all the girls were teenagers. I think she was sixteen. Jade has an easy going style, not taking herself too seriously.

Layne Elizabeth

Layne Elizabeth

Next was 14 year old Layne Elizabeth. Brian Lambert, who came next and has been part of the Denton scene for years, and I were watching the girls perform. We  were commenting to each other – noticing things they said or did that will change or cease as they improve or simply in time. Watching Layne I turned to Brian and said, “I like her.” She made no bones about not knowing anything much about love. Her songwriting belies her young age.

Brian Lambert is broadening his reach to Dallas and beyond. He plays at Adair’s Saloon in Deep Ellum on most Mondays. One of the four songs he played was his Ballad of Tony Romo. He plays with the band My Kickdrum Heart when not playing solo.

Jacob (Cob) Vaughn played an interesting set on electric guitar. He had some good songs. Despite his opening line: “You’ve heard a lot of good songs tonight. That ends now.” He will be playing in an Afton Show at Poor David’s Pub on November 17.

Look for more pictures on my Facebook pages. You can also like my music page and send a friend request on my personal page while you’re there. Just saying.

Peace be with you.

Cat, Dan, and John 4Thanks to everyone who came out to see the Sack Summer Hunger Concert on Sunday at Christ United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch. We raised $98 for Sack Summer Hunger. It was a small, but enthusiastic, crowd, and they very much enjoyed the show. I don’t care for the word “awesome” because it’s so over-used. But when someone uses it to refer to my music, my friends’ music, and the show, it feels pretty good.

We played the show “in the round,” playing three rounds of two songs each, telling stories behind the songs. John Mason began the round, Cat McGee followed and I ended each round. We ended the show with the three of us playing Will the Circle Be Unbroken. I would like to thank John and Cat for coming out and playing in support of Sack Summer Hunger.

Thanks again to those who made it out. The list of those who wrote checks will be included in the report given to Metrocrest Social Services with the money raised.

Peace be with you.

Picture of Willis Alan Ramsey from Wikipedia taken by Ron Baker.

Picture of Willis Alan Ramsey from Wikipedia taken by Ron Baker.

Cyndy and I had the good fortune to see Willis Alan Ramsey Thursday night at the Shipping and Receiving Bar in Ft. Worth. His wife, Alison Rogers Ramsey, opened for him. I saw him quite a few times in the ‘70s. One time in particular was at a club called Mother Blue’s on Lemmon Ave.

His throat was sore and he had a bottle of Chloraseptic on a stool with a glass of water. After each song or so, he would spray his throat with the Chloraseptic. About half way through the show, he appeared frustrated. After the next song, he looked at the audience, said “to hell with it,” unscrewed the top and chugged part of the bottle. He made it through the rest of the show.

Thursday night, Alison played as good a set as she could play with an injured knee and constant pain. She was quite funny and the audience was supportive since she was obviously plagued with pain. They both talked about the 900 mile drive from Colorado they had just endured – with a stop in Childress for auto repairs.

Then Willis Alan took the stage, with another round of applause for Alison.
He began with “Watermelon Man,” to the crowd’s delight. He played new songs and some of his classics, including Northeast Texas Women. He did not play “Muskrat Love.” Then again, no one in the audience expected – or even wanted – him to play it.

Ramsey did mention the song though. He said a teacher in college told him to write what he knew. At 19, he didn’t know anything. So he quit school to “go learn something.”

“I write songs about things I don’t know anything about. For instance, I didn’t know anything about Muskrats? Still don’t.”

Willis Alan talked about staying on Leon Russell’s land in Oklahoma soon after Russell had acquired it. It was while Russell and George Harrison, among others, were planning the Concert for Bangeladesh. Ramsey stayed in one of the small cabins on the lake – literally on the lake with a boat slip on the side – with his dog. At one point, he asked if anyone had a cough drop.

He took a short break, after which he returned to the stage to play a set of “mostly ballads.” The ballads included songs that were not on his first album, such as “Mockingbird,” “Desiree,” and “Boys Town.” Ramsey also played “Angel Eyes,” receiving a standing ovation, and ended with “Satin Sheets.”

Cyndy and I went to talk to Willis Alan and Alison where they were sitting on a couch. Cyndy had already talked to Alison when she went to the restroom. Alison had mentioned on stage that “in the ‘70s there was nothing to do in Dallas.” She went to Hockaday and Cyndy and I went to W. T. White which were not far apart, although not the same years.

“One of the only things to do in Dallas in the ‘70s was to hang out at the bowling alley at Preston Forest.”

“Oh my God,” Alison said. “I haven’t thought about that place in ages.”

When I got to the couch, Cyndy was talking to Alison again and introduced me to Alison. I told Willis Alan that I thought it was funny that he had asked for a cough drop, and I told him the story about the Chloraseptic incident. Alison got a kick out of the story. He looked at me with a knowing smile.

“I remember that, actually.”

Willis Alan Ramsey and Alison Rogers will be playing at Poor David’s Pub in Dallas on November 7 with Bob Livingston.

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