Jacob Furr Celebrates Life in the Wake of Devastating Tragedy

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Brain Carroll/Jacob Furr Facebook

Folk singers are storytellers. The best ones are able to take the most simplistic subject matter and make it ache with beauty. The great ones can also take life's greatest complexities and unanswerable questions and present us with a new, relatable vision with which we can view such big-picture wonderings. Fort Worth's Jacob Furr, 28, has been that type of troubadour for some time now.

Last August, Furr, his family and friends faced the harshest side of life's possibilities when his wife of three years, Christina, died of cancer. It's not a stretch to say that even though he's still quite young, the passing of his wife, whom he had known his "whole life," will likely be his most excruciating artistic inspiration, regardless of how long he lives.

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July Alley is a Deep Ellum Enigma That May Not Be Long for This World

Categories: Interviews

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Juan Vargas
Frank Edwards has owned July Alley for nearly a decade

Frank Edwards is a busy man these days. Earlier this month, for the second time this summer, rumors began to circulate that his bar, July Alley in Deep Ellum, was set to close. The reported closing date has come and gone, and yet Edwards still seems like a man burning the candle at both ends. Just finding the time to meet up for an interview has been next to impossible, but here we are on what feels like the hottest day to ever have to walk the earth, having a beer in one of the booths of his bar.


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Coheed and Cambria Hit Dallas Tonight to Play In Keeping Secrets in its Entirety

Categories: Interviews

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Lindsey Byrnes

Coheed and Cambria are currently on tour promoting the reissue of their second album, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. They play tonight, September 15, at South Side Music Hall with Thank You Scientist. The New York-based four-piece is playing the record from start to finish, but doing much more than just that. They had done their first four albums live before in one place (released as Neverender CD/DVD), but this is the first time they've taken the whole playing-the-whole-record concept on tour.

Definitely for the hardcore fans of this prog-filtered-through-'90s-post-hardcore band, guitarist Travis Stever shared with us about playing a lot of old songs again, how fatherhood has affected the entire band and what's next.


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Pleasant Grove Have Weathered Personal Demons and Are Ready to Bounce Back

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Marcus Striplin
Pleasant Grove are preparing to release their first album in a decade -- after they play Dia De Los Toadies Fest

This Saturday in Fort Worth at Dia de Los Toadies, on a line-up filled with promising talent and proven veterens, there may not be a band that represents the past while pointing to the future as vividly and dramatically as Pleasant Grove does.

The five-piece, formed in late 1998 by Marcus Striplin and Brett Egner, quickly became a prime local purveyor of stellar, contemplative, folk-tinged indie rock. Their excellent self-titled debut in 2000 certainly impressed, as did the locally beloved 2001 LP Ascultation of the Heart. The group's final album, 2004's Art of Stealing is a stunning collection that holds up remarkably well a decade later, much like the better albums from a couple of the revered bands they'll be sharing the stage with on Saturday such as Old 97's Hitchhike to Rhome and Too Far to Care, and of course, the Toadies Rubberneck.

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The Outfit, TX's Hip Hop Thrives on an Alien Perspective

Categories: Interviews

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Courtesy the artist
The Outfitx, TX has got this shit under control
The lines "M-A-R-S. Mars, bitches," declare what The Outfit, TX, are shooting for with their current project. It'd be easy to chalk up the reference to the group's characteristic "cooly fooly space age funk" aesthetic, or even just the song's title. But it goes a bit deeper than that, because, to paraphrase Dave Chappelle, they ain't stopping at the moon.

The Dallas hip-hop trio's current project-in-progress is a five-part series called The Texan Chronicles, which isn't just an homage to the state, but a play off Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. Last November, they put out a double-disc album of the first two parts of the series, "Cognac" and "Four Corner Room."

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Foxtrot Uniform Forge Their Own Brand of Rebel Country on Cisco

Categories: Interviews

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Baily Mize

When Kenny Uptain and Kelly Test started Foxtrot Uniform, they were looking to rebel. They'd become disillusioned by the strictures of recording session tradition. Hailing to the unflinching producer's demands, most of the Texas country scene was obligated to be "clean" for radio play. But for this pair, that just didn't sit right.

"Artists for the most part just want to make a clean record for the radio and they are willing to do anything that any semi-successful producer tells them...including using all session guys," says guitarist Uptain. "Kelly and I always seemed to leave the studio with a feeling that we were making a sub-par product all for a ridiculous goal."


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Robert Cray on Being a Blues Legend: "At the End of the Day, You Have to Play Tomorrow"

Categories: Interviews

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care of the artist
Robert Cray

Prior to 1986, Robert Cray was just another talented blues guitarist wondering where his next gig was going to be. But after the Strong Persuader album and the hit single "Smoking Gun," Cray became a viable commercial proposition across several genres. Cray has parlayed that success into a four- decade-long career that has earned him four Grammys and a spot in the Blues Hall of Fame.

Speaking from a hotel room while on tour and in anticipation of his performance on Sunday, August 31 at the Bedford Blues and BBQ Festival, Cray spoke with DC9 about his love for the blues, his cameo in the film Animal House and how he's maintained such a loyal following for all of these years.

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Lance Lopez Brings the Blues to Coach Joe's Hat Tricks Each Week

Categories: Interviews

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Courtesy the artist
Lance Lopez brings the blues to Coach Joe's Hat Tricks
Lance Lopez knows the blues. The Dallas native has been sharpening his blues' slinging chops since he was a child. He can feel it in his bones, through his fingertips as they slide across the fretboard. Lopez's guitar skills sometimes seem otherworldly as he bends his strings to create something soul-wrenching in songs such as "Mr. Rattlesnake," "El Paso Sugar" and "2 Cigarettes." It echos the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan, a Dallas native whose legend is immortalized in Austin with a bronzed statue.

Now Lopez is bringing his blues magic to Coach Joe's Hat Tricks in Lewsiville, hosting an open mic live Blues jam session every Thursday evening. It's a night filled with Texas beer, Texas BBQ and Texas blues.

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Micky and the Motorcars on Performing with Their Brothers and Writing with Friends

Categories: Interviews

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Arists Facebook Page

Micky and Gary Braun of Micky and the Motorcars have long lived under a formidable shadow. These two brothers are the younger siblings of Willy and Cody Braun, who make up the core of the stellar Austin-based roots-rock outfit Reckless Kelly. Born into a musical family in Idaho, performing has long been in the brothers bloodlines. But even with a handful of albums to their name, including a fantastic new one called Hearts From Above, and a recently completed tour with their older brothers' band, Micky and Gary are out to define themselves and their music on their own terms.

Micky and the Motorcars are swinging through town this weekend for a show at Hank's Texas Grill in McKinney to celebrate the release of their new baby, and we had achance to chat with Micky about life on the road, the limitations of writing country-rock songs and how happiness has helped his creativity.

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Volume Dealer Live the Heavy Metal Dream at the Ride for Dime

Categories: Interviews

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Metal Mina Pics
Volume Dealer won the Battle for the Bands for this year's Ride for Dime
In North Texas, Ride for Dime is the best of the best for metal gigs. It's an event that not only showcases a lineup of killer metal bands at two of the top venues -- Trees and The Rail Club -- for metal in the DFW area but also pays homage to local legend Dimebag Darrell Abbott, one of the most influential metal guitarist ever to wield a Dean guitar (or any guitar, for matter).

This year's Ride for Dime, the 10th anniversary of Dime's tragic passing, saw co-founder Rob Eichelberger bombarded with more than 100 bands wanting to join the bill with headliners Texas Hippie Coalition and Kill Devil Hill. Being the nice guy that he is, Eichelberger wanted everyone to play, but that would have turned Ride into more of a weekend metal festival like Woodstock. (Not a bad idea, mind you. He could call it "Dimestock" or something like that.) So he decided to hold a Battle of the Bands.

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