Play Here's Music Picks for Thanksgiving weekend and beyond
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By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
Hot Amarillo bands and touring favorites will fill the Thanksgiving holiday nights with tunes. Check here for all of your musical options through Dec. 1.
In the spotlight
"Bringin' Country Back," Zane Williams
It only took Texas country star Zane Williams seven years to realize he was in a dysfunctional relationship with Nashville. And he's still trying to leave it all behind.
Williams — who'll return to Amarillo for a 9 p.m. Saturday show at Midnight Rodeo, 4400 S. Georgia St. — headed straight to Music City after graduating college, head full of dreams.
"I moved out there to get a record deal and make country music like Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson," Williams said. "I didn't know that the way Nashville works is that a songwriting deal is sort of the first step to a recording deal. Nobody explained that to me. I refused to go down that route."
So he stuck it out as an independent artist, playing acoustic shows on the college circuit.
"I did that for seven years before I realized it was not going anywhere, and by that time, I had met with record labels and realized that was not for me," Williams said. "They weren't all that interested in me, and I was not all that interested in them."
So for his last two years in Nashville, he tried writing songs for others. That didn't fit his style, either.
"I always wanted to be a country artist, you know? I wasn't happy just writing songs and not making records, so I kind of gave up and moved back to Texas, thought maybe I'd get a real job and go into real estate or something."
That's when he discovered that his home state had its own music scene, and Nashville wasn't the only way to go. In the past eight years, he has become a well-regarded fixture on the Texas scene, but his newest album, Bringin' Country Back, finds him still exorcising Nashville demons and bemoaning the current state of country music.
He already has a reputation as a traditionalist who's not fond of pop-country (see Sellout Song, a song he wrote last year that was recorded by Amarillo native Kevin Fowler, with an assist from Williams), but it's not a mantle that he's particularly fond of.
"I think I've kind of made that point, maybe even more than I wanted to make it," Williams said. "I don't think other people care about the state of country music as much as I do. I think people want to hear a love song or a brokenhearted song because that's what everybody goes through.
"That's my challenge for my next record."
Still, he's quite passionate about old-school country.
"I'm trying to make the point ... that just because Top 40 Billboard country stuff that you hear these days has a lot of pop and hip-hop influences ... and they seem to be trying to push it further that way, that doesn't mean that authentic, downhome country music isn't still out there — pretty abundantly, really," he said. "It's just now in the realm of independent artists that are doing it on their own."
To help draw attention to them, Williams curated a Spotify playlist dedicated to "putting a little shine on people that to my particular taste are representing the qualities I feel like authentic country music has and make authentic country music my favorite style of music."
Cover is $8 in advance or $10 at the door for ages 21 and older, or $12 for ages 18 to 20
Fish Out of Water
When no one style of music really fits the bill, why not mash up four of them?
That's the philosophy behind California band Fish Out of Water and its "RoPhunk RaeHop," which guitarist Brandon Moon said describes its mix of rock, funk, reggae and hip-hop.
"My cousin (singer Kyle Moon) and I grew up in the '90s and love hip-hop, love R&B, love classic rock," Moon said. "It's just all these style of music that we enjoy listening to, dancing to, grooving out to.
"When we're inspired to write a song from some life experience, it's not like we sit down and say, Make a reggae song or a hip-hop song. It's just whatever come out from our subconscious, and our subconscious is influenced by the music we listen to," he continued. "Especially these days, most people like so many different genres of music and a lot of people have a short attention span ... so it works for us and it works for the listener."
The band will return to Amarillo for a 10 p.m. Saturday show at Leftwoods, 2511 S.W. Sixth Ave.; cover is $5.
The blue-state band has been hitting the red states hard on its recent tour, Moon said.
"I definitely feel like we need to stress how we feel about things (there) more than we do in a lot of other places," he said. "It's kind of our duty to shed some light, and I'm really interested and curious to see how a lot of our friends feel about (the political atmosphere)."
But he's looking for connections, not conflicts.
"In this time where it seems like everyone is divided and there's a lot of anger in the country, I feel like no matter who we voted for or what's going on, I feel like we all need to come together," he said. "Music is a big part of that. It's very healing in times of trouble, in times of fear. You can always turn to music to mend those wounds or help us deal with what's going on."
"Chicken and Blunts," Fish Out of Water
El Trio Cortez will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at the downtown restaurant, 727 S. Polk St. The Solano Project will perform at 7 p.m. Dec. 1. There's no cover charge. Call 806-373-8889.
In addition to about 200,000 of holiday lights, the center's Christmas in the Gardens event will feature music from a variety of performers from Saturday through Dec. 23 at the gardens, 1400 Streit Drive. On tap in coming days: Amarillo High School brass choir on Saturday, Jerry's Fiddlers on Sunday, Amarillo Youth Orchestra on Monday, Randy Palmer on Nov. 29, West Texas A&M University bassoon ensemble on Nov. 30 and WT tuba ensemble on Dec. 1. Hours are 6 to 8 p.m. nightly, an admission is free. Call 806-352-6513.
The Amarillo College vocal jazz and jazz ensembles will give a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 29 in the Concert Hall Theatre on the Washington Street campus. Call 806-371-5340.
The new restaurant, bar and gaming facility, 2523 Brittain Drive, offers DJ Atomic at 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. The grill is scheduled to open Dec. 5, and the laser tag area is scheduled to open Dec. 15, owner Chad Harmon said. Call 806-355-2100.
The bar, 3121 S.W. Sixth Ave., will feature tunes from DJ Corbin Cary at 10 p.m. Friday and Uncle Puppy & The Rejects at 10 p.m. Saturday; there's no cover Friday, and cover is $5 Saturday. Call 806-803-9063.
Amarillo bluesman Stew Moss will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the restaurant, 7701 E. Interstate 40. Call 806-372-6000.
Pete Y Los Releros will perform at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the restaurant, 2822 S.W. Sixth Ave. Jackie Haney plays at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Call 806-220-2395.
Amarillo rock singer Lindi Willis will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at the bar, 3101 S.W. Sixth Ave., followed by Hobbs, N.M., country act The Justin Kemp Band at 8 p.m. Saturday. There's no cover charge. Call 806-373-9149.
Amarillo singer-songwriter Jason Hodges will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at the restaurant, 614 S. Polk St., followed by former Amarillo (now Lubbock) singer-songwriter Colton Clarkson at 7 p.m. Saturday. There's no cover. Call 806-376-4700.
DJ Saga will spin at 9:30 p.m. Friday and Amarillo singer-songwriter James Owen will play at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the bar, 703 S. Polk St. There's no cover. Call 806-376-8180.
Amarillo bluesman Blues Boy Willie will play at 9 p.m. Friday at the restaurant, 6103 S. Coulter St., Suite 200; there's no cover. Then, Amarillo singer-songwriter Heath Seager will play at 9 p.m. Saturday; there's no cover. Call 806-376-5286.
Federated Women's Club
A benefit "Thanks for Giving" concert for the Doche family will run from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the facility, 2001 Civic Circle. Featured bands include Tennessee Tuckness, The Average Joes, The Blue Johnnies, Insufficient Funds, Slim Jim & The Heavy Duties and Anderson, Flesher & Key. Admission is $10; attendees are invited to BYOB. Proceeds will assist the family with medical expenses incurred by John Doche's diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer's.
The FireSongs concert series continues at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the restaurant, 7306 S.W. 34th Ave., Suite 10, with Amarillo singer-songwriter Michael D. Coon on Nov. 22 and Tennessee Tuckness on Nov. 29. The shows are free, but you'll want to enjoy dinner with your tunes. Call 806-331-2232.
Folk singer Andy Chase performs at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the local pizza franchise’s original location, 2803 Civic Circle. Call 806-322-5575.
Los Cuatros Compadres will perform at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the restaurant, 1401 S. Arthur St. Call 806-372-4593.
Golden Light Cantina
Playa Lake, an Amarillo-based Americana band, will give a pre-Thanksgiving show at 10 p.m. Wednesday at the cantina, 2906 S.W. Sixth Ave.; cover is $5. Then, Comanche Moon, another Amarillo-based Americana band, will perform at 10 p.m. Friday; cover is $6. Then, Amarillo indie rockers Mount Ivy will team with Lubbock post-rock band Everything Is Sad for a 10 p.m. Saturday; cover is $6. And bluegrass band Wood & Wire will perform at 10 p.m. Dec. 1; cover is $5, and I'll have an interview with the band next week. Call 806-374-9237.
"We'll Get What We Want," Strangetowne
Amarillo-based Americana band Strangetowne, which recently made its debut on Texas Music Scene, will come home for a 10 p.m. Friday at the bar, 2424 Hobbs Road; cover is $10. Then, Amarillo-based '80s cover band The Cassettes will throw a "sick of your family" party at 10 p.m. Saturday; cover is $10. In addition, Shane Rogers will give a free show after Monday Night Football on Monday, and Brian Wynne opens for Comanche Moon at 9 p.m. Wednesday; cover is $8. Wynne also will perform Nov. 30 in a free show. Plus, the bar's happy hour performances continue: The Solano Project on Tuesdays, Johnny Reverb Holston with Marc Durham and Jay Weeks on Wednesdays and Bobby McCauley of The Cassettes on Thursdays (excluding Thanksgiving). Happy hour shows start at 5:45, and there's no cover. Call 806-358-9560.
The bar/restaurant, 410 15th St. in Canyon, will host Comanche Moon at 9 p.m. Saturday; there's no cover. Call 806-452-8004.
Amarillo favorites Insufficient Funds will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the restaurant, 2108 Paramount Blvd. There's no cover. Call 806-463-7900.
DJ Element spins every Friday at the bar, 521 S.E. 10th Ave. Cover is $5 after midnight. Call 806-418-8971.
Dave Regal will host a special holiday Church Jam at 10 p.m. Wednesday at the bar, 2511 S.W. Sixth Ave. Then, San Marcos-based country-punk band 36" Wheels will perform at 10 p.m. Friday with Amarillo band Playa Lake and others, followed by "RoPhunk RaeHop" band Fish Out of Water (as seen above) at 9 p.m. Saturday; cover each night is $5. Call 806-367-9840.
Amarillo rock band Strange Saints will perform at 9 p.m. Wednesday at the bar, 4400 S. Georgia St.; cover is $5. Then, Amarillo-based Americana singer Zac Wilkerson will perform at 9 p.m. Friday; cover is $8 in advance or $10 at the door for ages 21 and older, or $12 for ages 18 to 20. (Here's my recent interview with Wilkerson ahead of the release of new album Dustbowl Soul.) And finally, as seen above, Texas country singer Zane Williams will return for a 9 p.m. Saturday show; cover is $8 in advance or $10 at the door for ages 21 and older, or $12 for ages 18 to 20. Call 806-358-7083.
Andy Chase will play around 7 p.m. Friday at of the restaurant, 700 S. Taylor St., followed at 7 p.m. Saturday by James Owens. Call 806-220-2588.
Amarillo singer-songwriter Mike Fuller will play at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the restaurant, 3415 S. Bell St., Suite K. Amarillo singer-songwriter Yvonne Perea will perform at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 1. There's no cover. Call 806-350-5430.
Amarillo country singer Rusty Cooper will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday at the bar, 7117 River Road. There's no cover. Call 806-381-1213.
Boss 420's Gabe Marinez will give a solo show at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the bar, 2801 Virginia Circle; there's no cover. And DJ James Erik McMurray will spin at 9 p.m. Saturday; there's no cover. Call 806-352-3317.
Amarillo country band Jack C'Ryver & The Rock 'n' Roll Cowboys will play at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the bar, 609 S. Independence St. Cover is $5 for guys and free for women. Call 806-356-0873.
Amarillo rock band The Skeleton Krew will perform at 10 p.m. Saturday at the bar, 4100 Bushland Blvd.; cover is $5. Call 806-355-6600.
Amarillo favorites Anderson, Flesher & Key will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the restaurant, 2903 S.W. Sixth Ave. There's no cover. Call 806-331-6698.
DJ Panda spins for Latin Nights at 10 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at the bar, 4001 E. Interstate 40.
Singer Victor Gallegos will perform at 6 p.m. Friday at the restaurant, 3410 S. Coulter St. Call 806-331-6249.
Tejano Wild West
DJ Tino D spins tunes at 9 p.m. Fridays at the bar, 1200 S.E. 10th Ave. Call 806-340-3313.
Tucumcari, N.M., country band Bakersfield Twang will perform at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the club, 2501 E. Interstate 40. Cover is $5 for men, free for women. Call 806-379-6555, ext. 2999.
DJ Chase Elder will spin at 10 p.m. Friday at the bar, 4001 S.W. 51st Ave., followed by Amarillo punk band The Bastard Sons of David Hasslehoff at 10 p.m. Saturday. Cover is $7 or two for $10 each night. Call 806-367-6163.
Maggie Burt hosts an open jam at 9 p.m. Tuesdays at Hoots Pub. ... The Van Notes host at 9 p.m. Tuesdays at 6th Street Saloon, 609 S. Independence St. ... Buster Bledsoe hosts open-mic night at 9 p.m. Tuesdays at Throwbacks Sports Bar, 7150 S. Bell St. Call 806-418-4482. ... Lee Scheetz host open mic nights at 9 p.m. Wednesdays at Whiskey River, 4001 S.W. 51st Ave. …Buster Bledsoe hosts an open-mic night at 7 p.m. Wednesdays at Buffalo's Cafe, 2811 Fourth Ave. in Canyon. ... Loudmouth Tooley hosts open-mic nights at 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Leftwoods, 2511 S.W. Sixth Ave. ... Skooterz holds open-mic nights at 10 p.m. Wednesdays. ... Clint Culwell hosts open mics at 9 p.m. Thursdays at Austin’s Texas Pub. ... Tommy Davis hosts open-mic nights at 9 p.m. Thursdays at 6th Street Saloon. (Thanksgiving may interrupt some of these; call ahead.)
Broken Spoke, 3101 S.W. Sixth Ave., features B-Man's Karaoke at 9 p.m. Fridays. There's no cover charge. Call 806-373-9149. ... Buckles Lounge, 6800 E. Interstate 40, also features B-Man's Karaoke at 9 p.m. Fridays. There's no cover charge. Call 806-379-8064. ... Mudd Rack, 500 E. Hastings Ave., features Lil T Karaoke at 9 p.m. Fridays. There's no cover. Call 806-381-2599. ... Cactus Bar, 4831 S. Western St., features B-Man's Karaoke at 9:30 p.m. Saturdays. There's no cover charge. Call 806-356-6369. ... The Main Street Bar, 631 N. Main St. in Borger, features Lil T Karaoke at 9 p.m. Sundays. There's no cover. Call 806-274-7070. ... Whiskey River, 4001 S.W. 51st Ave., features karaoke with DJ Ronnie at 9 p.m. Tuesdays. Call 806-367-6163. ... 6th Street Saloon, 609 S. Independence, features B-Man's Karaoke at 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays. Call 806-356-0873. ... Buffalo Cafe, 2811 Fourth Ave. in Canyon, features B-Man's Karaoke at 9 p.m. Thursdays. There's no cover. Call 806-655-4400. ... House Bar, 1219 S.W. 10th Ave., features Lil T Karaoke at 9 p.m. Thursdays. There's no cover. Call 806-677-6450. (Thanksgiving may interrupt some of these; call ahead.)
(Thanks to Amarillo Music Scene on Facebook for help in compiling these. Check there for daily updates. All listings are subject to change.)