Natalie Haskins / Blog
Cody Canada & The Departed Recap/ Texas Music Appreciation...
Along this wild ride of music, I oftentimes reflect back on some of the shows I have been able to perform at...and it always makes me smile. As a lover of all things Texas, and a devotee of its special blend of music (is it country? is it rock? is it bluegrass?), I have spent years listening to albums, going to shows, downloading album after album of the Lone-Star states homegrown best. Since being invited to join the Bob Lawrence Band (which consists of my two Brothers, Bob and Warren Haskins, and our good friends Benji Cheadle and Anthony Thayer), I have had the chance to explore these rock/ red-dirt roots. As a band, we have (to our unending elation), been able to perform locally as the support for some of our influences, our favorite bands, and the best of what the Texas Red-Dirt scene has to offer. When i first took up my guitar over ten years ago, I would have laughed at you if you told me someday I'd get to open for Robert Earl Keen, or Reckless Kelly, or Jason Boland. Road hogs that have put up amazing album, after amazing album, and have had the Live shows to back up their talents. Artists who's lyrics and songs have influenced the songs I write today. This week, after completing yet another awesome show, Cody Canada's new post-Ragweed band, The Departed, it just adds more satisfaction to our musical journey that keeps growing and growing. Along with Cody and Co. was amazing Singer-Songwriter Jason Eady. If you haven't heard him, you need to. His voice and songwriting is inspiring. Last December I was able to open for my all-time favorite band, Reckless Kelly...The excitement was beyond being able to put into words. You may not even know who most of these bands are (or even be reading this blog for that matter), but to a girl like me, getting to grace the stage with my old boots and my old Martin guitar, and singing before some of the biggest influences on my music, I cannot fully express how wonderful a thrill that can be. So as I take this brief moment of free time to reflect, what comes to my mind most when I think of where I've been musically, and the unknown of where I'll end up...one word comes to mind....Gratitude... NH
KCPR Radio 91.3
I will be playing live on air tonight from 11pm-12am. You can hear it live by going to KCPR.org and clicking on the "Listen Live" link. I'll be playing about 45 minutes, and visiting with Scott Joly in the studio.
My adventures in Robert Earl Keen land...
Ok, so two nights ago, I had the long-awaited honor of opening up for one of my personal favorite singer-songriter's, the great Mr. Robert Earl Keen. The whole night, from sound check, to an empty bar with only the musicians loading up, was a total blast. I got to hang out with the wonderful Hayes Carll, of whom I am a huge fan of. He was a last minute addition to REK's set, but once we heard he was coming, we were all stoked! I hung out during REK's soundcheck with Hayes, then ran into him upstairs at the bar, where I had dinner with him and his driver. I have to say, Hayes is a very cool, laid back, polite guy. We had a great conversation about music. I really enjoyed talking to him, and throughout the night, kept running into him. What a cool dude. I gave his driver my cd, so hopefully in some way, I can serenade Hayes on the road. I was invited by my good friend Joe Koenig to be a guest on his set. He played a few songs of his own (Greenback Dollar, Attack of the Hand, Work), then I got onstage and played my song, "Where I'm Goin' ", and we finished up with me singing with him on Ray LaMontagne's "Jolene", and Joe's original song "Feel Me." We did a great job on our opening. The owners of DTB, Kori and Todd are such great, gracious hosts. They really took good care of me and Joe, who were so stoked to be a part of such a great night of Texas music. After us was Mr. Hayes Carll himself. He played a solo acoustic set, which is unparalelled in my opinion. Nothing like a great voice, a great melody, and a guitar. Hayes played alot of his new songs, and the title track from his album "Long Way Home", a beautiful song I was so glad he played. He said his voice wasn't in great shape before he played, but I thought he sounded wonderful. I'm glad I got to meet him. Not only is he talented, but very down-to-earth. Makes you appreciate artists like Hayes that much more. If you don't have his new cd "Trouble In Mind" you definitely need to buy it. It's great from start to finish. It's all I've been listening to for two weeks now. "Drunken Poet's Dream", "It's A Shame", "Beaumont", "Don't Let Me Fall", & "Willing to Love Again" are my favorites. He's got alot of beautifully written songs, and his voice is amazing. REK was next and rocked as usual. He had some new songs, and played the old favorites. After the show I got to talk to all the guys, they were all so kind and gracious to me. They remembered me and my family from all the shows we've gone to over the years, and congratulated me on my music now. I gave them my cd, so maybe next time they come around, they can let me know if they liked it:) Got to hang out with Robert Earl, Tom, Marty, Rich, and Hayes after the show. They were all so nice. It was a great concert, and I was proud and excited to be a part of it. I can't wait for the next one! Thanks Downtown Brew, and of course, Mr. Joe Koenig... -Natalie
Andrew Blake's Walkabout
So yesterday evening I was invited to play at the first annual (lets hope yearly) Andrew Blake Walkabout Festival in Nipomo, CA. I had a blast. It was one of my better sets, and the audience, sprawled out in front of me across the grass, was the best group I've played for since the Courtyard Gallery in Cuero, TX with my good friend Joe Koenig. Every once in awhile you are blessed with a great audience that listens to every word of every song, in silence, till the last note is played. I had that audeince last night, and it was wonderful to look into their eyes, and see them soak up every song. Andrew took the stage soon thereafter. A highlight from his set was a newer song called "Drifter". It has killer guitar work in it. Makes me wanna get down. I joined him on a new love song he wrote called Brooklyn. It went smooth for only rehearsing it the night before together. Joe Koenig was next, playing his awe-inspiring "Texas Soul". He rocked as usual, opening with his song "Greenback Dollar", one of my favorites of his, and a great show opener, gets the crowd excited. My friend leaned over to me and told me, "he just makes everything so fun." I couldn't agree more. Joe invited me to sing backup on Ray LaMontagne's "Jolene", "Sweet Carolina", and his song "Feel Me." Unfortunately during his set, the rain decided it wouldn't wait for our show to end. Poor Joe had to play in it till his wife ChiChi rigged an umbrella to a mic stand, and the show went right on. There was a moment when Joe and I were singing "Sweet Carolina", a Ryan Adams/ Emmylou Harris song (and a personal favorite duet of Joe and myself), the sky was dark, and a light rain was falling down, and I looked out into the dark, and the warm red stage lights were igniting each drop, and it was quite simply, a MOMENT. Beautiful. The big finale of the show was a stirring rendition by Joe and the man of the hour, Andrew Blake. Everyone crowded up to the stage and sang along with "I get by with a little help from my friends..." It was a pretty great night, and when I left, I felt stoked to be a part of such a cool show, on the back deck of someone's house, in lovely Nipomo, California. Much Love, Natalie