Archive for January, 2014

Johnny Beauford Talks “A Pig Eating Past Love” and the Budding Dallas Music Scene


You know as Texans, we all have these things in our minds called Texas stereotypes. Whether it’s the stereotype that San Antonio is just this culturally-undiverse melting pot of Tex Mex, or that Houston is this huge oil rig of universal languages and cultures, I think the city with the strongest reputation is Austin. We usually think of Austin as the land of the hipsters, the music capitol of not even Texas, but of the whole world. There’s Austin, and then there’s Dallas, known for its suburban honky-tonk glitz and glamour – almost the opposite of what Austin is, right? That’s the stereotype, but Fort Worth-based singer-songwriter Johnny Beauford seems to be helping shift the Dallas music scene’s rep just a little on his own, proving that the city is not just big hair and expensive churches. It may be right on Austin’s tail.

Johnny just released his sophomore EP titled A Pig Eating Past Love and has been praised for his subtly gorgeous songwriting and melodic guitar strumming, which altogether combine Americana, folk, and blues to create storytelling masterpieces. We recently caught up with Johnny after his show at Rudyard’s Pub in Houston on January 23rd to talk A Pig Eating Past Love as well as his many musical projects, and more.

You’re active in lots of different projects including Deadmoon Choir, The Jack Kerowax, and Bravo, Max! Could you tell us more about these projects?

Yes, I’d be happy to. I guess I should go in alphabetical order:

Bravo, Max! is my old hold steady. I started that band originally with my cousin Ben and my brother Daniel. Since then, we have seen a number of players come and go. Over a matter of years in developing, Bravo, Max! has gone from folk, to indie-rock, to Americana with a focus on accordion, to our current state which is in my opinion a kind of a power trio of blues infused rock n roll. Thus far, Bravo has released an EP, a full length, and 3 single’s, and we are currently working on a sophomore LP.

Deadmoon Choir is a project led and founded by Garrett Padgett and Vinny Martinez. The sound is strongly influenced by the pairs love of vintage rock and vintage country. Vinny is the lead vocalist and channels Jim Morrison at times and M. Ward at other times. Garrett is the guitarist and loves The Kinks and more psychedelia like Pond and The Byrds. I play bass full time with Deadmoon, and really love how racaus and aggressive the band has become. There are definite plans to record a debut LP in the near future, and there are 12+ new songs already fully formed and ready to lay down.
The Jack Kerowax are a project that came about very organically. I was writing songs for a full length solo record and was looking for some players. I was introduced to Garrett Padgett (from Deadmoon Choir) outside of Crown & Harp at a Bravo, Max! show one night sometime in late 2011 or early 2012. We started meeting for rehearsal and writing sessions, and he joined me at a residency I had weekly at The Free Man. Some months later Nathan Adamson walked up and asked if we needed a drummer, we did, and he is a tried and true and very active player from a number of local acts including the soulful country gentlemen called The Hazardous Dukes. After one rehearsal we gladly continued playing with him and he joined the residency gigs as well. He is a fantastic drummer, and a talent in the studio on every level. After some search and discovery we later landed a bass player, Chase McMillan, who also plays in the killer Dallas band Goodnight Ned. We decided to work with Jonathan Jackson on production and soon there after started writing collaboratively and went right into recording an album at the all analog music paradise, Ferralog Studios. Over a 6 month period we did 12 tracking sessions and 7 more sessions for mixing. The album and band turned into something much bigger than I initially envisioned, and went from Johnny Beauford & The Jack Kerowax to The Jack Kerowax. We are now in preparation to release the record, and will surely do some touring to promote it as it will be a very formal and involved release process.

What’s your favorite part of being from the Dallas music scene, and how has it influenced you?

Dallas is turning into a musical monster, and I couldn’t be happier to be around all the creative inspiration that is floating around throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, and Denton right now. There are a huge number of bands I am proud to share a hometown with. They range from bands as big as St. Vincent & Toadies to up and comers that are equally as talented like The Birds Of Night and Oil Boom. Great music is being conceived and created here every day.

Could you tell us a bit about the “A Pig Eating Past Love” music video? Where was it shot?

It was shot in South Korea and is the work of Stuart Howe, an awesome film maker who is based there. I was able to bid on the video through an interesting site called Genero.Tv, and after a brief period of introduction I landed the video for the album’s title track, and Stuart then customized the video to my track in post production. I love how it came out, and I was the one who personally chose the video and worked with Stuart to see the process through to completion. I was so pleased with it that I have already re-hired him for a track from another upcoming release of the Kerowax record.

How did your show in Houston go? Did you get to see the city any?

We played at Rudyard’s Pub and had a great time. We learned some history about the venue through Joe, their longtime sound and lights man who told us he had been there since 1997. Apparently they have hosted a countless number of enormous bands like Destiny’s Child, Black Keys, White Stripes, Greenhornes, Spoon, and my personal favorite that Joe chose to mention, Fastball. Holy shit! Ha! Ivan, do you remember Fastball?! We met a few other nice Houston folks, and hung out with our friend Jeff Bradley, a brilliant photographer who is a grad student at the University of Houston. Oh he sat in on our set too, he is a well versed blues harmonica player as well.

Your new EP, A Pig Eating Past Love, was just released. What are you trying to achieve with this EP, and how do you think it has grown in comparison to your first EP?

I am touring the record with a full band, specifically Garrett and JJ from Bravo, Max! The live show is really energetic, and we’ve had fun working the new tunes up for live interpretation. The goal is the same as any release really, simply to do some promotions and get people to have a listen through. I also hope to draw attention to the Texas scene as a whole, and obviously all the projects I am a part of.

What would you say the most prominent themes and messages are on this EP?

Hmm. Well take the line that inspired the title, Don’t go wallow in old mud like a pig eating past love. I know thematically there all kinds of varying references within the lyrics on the album, but the main one, if I had to pick one, would be summed up in that line. Basically, the message for me being to keep my eyes on the future and keep moving forward as well enjoying the present. Fuck the past, if it is in fact a burden or a nostalgic idol. In those cases, there is no need to do anything with it except learn from it. The past is a wonderful thing to study and is a part of us all, but it is not immediately applicable to today or tomorrow except as a concious reference or a sub-conscious inspiration. To clarify, my past has been good and bad like any person and I love it and loathe parts of it like any person might, but I make a true effort to avoid dwelling on it for any extended period whether good or bad, as it is largely a waste of energy for any of us to rest on our laurels or to carry mass amounts of baggage along emotionally. That is the great thing about creative art, it is therapy and celebration simultaneously and if it’s worth anything at all, it is always moving forward.

Could you tell us a bit about St Cait records? Is it your record label?

I co founded St. Cait with my good friend Dave Turner, and I help run the company. It is an on going evolution as we are learning and growing daily. The way I look at the company is as a channel for organization and the polishing of all the bands and releases for our roster. We do have plans to add a few acts over the next few years but it will always be a somewhat small collective of like minded artists.

How would you describe your style of music and what type of audience it should generally appeal to. I have to say, your songs are, simply put, pretty.

Well thanks for saying, Ivan. I would describe my songwriting approach as instinctual. I love melody and I think music is an innate quality that we all share. To be more specific though, I love 50’s and 60’s soul singers, folk singers, and rock n rollers. We are all redoing a redo but hopefully infusing it with something modern and forward thinking. I hope it appeals to folks that love Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, and Thirteenth Floor Elevators although it doesn’t directly have the smallest resemblance to any of the above.

What should we expect from Johnny Beauford in the near future?

Thank you for asking. In short, I’d just say more recording and releases with lots of diverse results hopefully. Certainly, this will also come with more touring on a month to month basis. I am planning on a follow up Houston date in May. Please do keep an eye out for it.

Watch the video for “A Pig Eating Past Love” below, and make sure to buy the EP on iTunes.


Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!


The Houston Blues: An Interview with The Beans

Within the year following the release of their self-titled debut album, hometown rockers The Beans have quite apparently taken over the Houston music scene. It’s Brendan Hall (drums), Sam Griffin (vocals), Christian Galatoire (guitar), and Daniel Taylor’s (bass) raw, gritty rock and roll, modern-day psychedelic sound that has made its mark on listeners and propelled the band to playing on the same stages as Alabama Shakes, Japandroids, and Passion Pit.

Along with Austin-based band The Couch and The Docs who hail from Bryan, Texas, The Beans will be “melting faces” and “shaking asses” this Friday, January 17th at their highly-anticipated show at Fitzgeralds upstairs. See what The Beans had to say about the big show, as well as the Houston music scene, below, and make sure to get your tickets for this Friday. Doors are at 8.

What has been a major change you have seen since the release of your debut album, ‘The Beans’, in January 2013?

I think the material on ‘The Beans’ really lends itself to an album format because they are songs that people seem to appreciate the more that they hear them.  I feel that things have continuously escalated from there because the more people appreciate and like your music the more they share it, which leads to playing bigger shows, which leads to more people being exposed to your music, which leads to playing more shows outside of Houston, which leads to getting asked to play Free Press Summerfest and New Years Eve, which leads to more exposure, etc.  Also, the release of our first album gave us great drive and focus on what are goals are as musicians.  It also, strangely, spurred us to try and improve and begin writing and performing new material. We probably have enough material for a second album and we plan to begin that process very shortly.

Your music has been revered for its raw, psychedelic, throwback grittiness. Who has been your sole influences while writing and recording your music?

Revered? That’s a lovely sentiment. The band’s influences are wide, varied, and forever evolving. I think that although we may have been unaware of it at the time realism is the strongest influence on the album.  It is something we are more aware of now writing songs for the second album that what we like best and what people can connect with most are honest emotions plainly put and honestly plaid.  That is the pinnacle of what we strive for.  I also think being barflies has had a large impact on our music, the more that we have played outside of Houston the more I have realized that the average person who frequents any dive anywhere at almost any age will probably dig at least a couple of our songs and that is a really good feeling.  I think as we grow more confident as a band we are doing more to establish ourselves apart from our influences, but you can definitely hear some of Junior Kimbrough, Townes Van Zandt, Lightin’ Hopkins, Charles Mingus, and Wilco in our music.

The Beans perform “What You’ve Always Wanted” at Fitzgeralds

Listening to your album, ‘The Beans’, it sometimes sounds like the songs are live recordings of a pure, passionate jam session. What is the recording process like for you guys? Is it this natural and authentic? 

Personally I think the album is more of a simulated rawness, but we decidedly wanted it to have a live and natural sound and it is flattering to hear that it sounds pure.  Honestly, I don’t think we were all at Sugarhill at the same time more than an hour or two while making the album which is remarkable because the whole process lasted about 9 months.  Brendan went in and recorded the drums to a click track by himself and we all built off of that individually.  There are light drum samples and percussion, some guitar doubling and overdubbing, and lots of organ that we can’t reproduce live, but the album is largely just how we play the songs and in that sense it is authentic.  There is no auto-tuning or playing the same lick over and over again until it is absolutely perfect, or anything like that.  The philosophy was more get your point across and move on.  Along with our producer, John Griffin, we tried to create the best possible natural tone, push ourselves for the most passionate performances and tried not worry about our mistakes because they add to the frenzy of the album.  Basically, recording is really fucking hard.

In what ways has being from Houston impacted the band’s dynamic, or your music, and why do you think it’s important to stay true to your roots? 

I think Townes Van Zandt said it best, “If you can’t catch the blues in Houston, man, you can’t catch them anywhere.”  Houston is all about the blues and the blues is at the core of every note that we play.  I think that growing up listening to local and regional artists like Lightnin’ Hopkins, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and others has shaped our ideals of raw, poetic, and real songs, real recordings, of unadulterated passion and spurts of humor.  If you add to that base, some psychedelia, and growing up in our modern era you essentially have the Beans.  We are not purists, but we love and respect the tradition that we come from and we could not stray too far from it without drastically changing ourselves.

What other local artists have you guys been into lately? 

We will always and forever support the funk odyssey that is The Journey Agents.  We have jammed a lot with Nathan Quick and are excited to hear the release that he is working on.  Also, Daniel has played with Alycia Miles in the past and really enjoys her music as well as everyone else from the Renaissance Suite.  We haven’t had a chance to go to a show yet, but we were recently introduced to Mad Maude and the Hatters and from what we have heard we love their vocal harmonies – if we had 1/3 of their harmony talent we would be a much better band.

What can we expect from your show at Fitzgeralds on the 17th with The Docs and The Couch? 

Hours of really good modern blues based rock.  A raw and unfiltered exposure of ourselves. You can expect a sweaty and sultry journey from stage to audience and back again.  We want to melt your face and shake your ass.


Coachella Announces 2014 Lineup

Let the music festivals begin! Coachella has announced their 2014 lineup, and judging from it, the Indio, California valley is definitely shaping up as the place to be this April. The festival takes place April 11-13 and April 18-20. Headlining will be OutKast (reunited, and it feels so good), Muse, and Arcade Fire, who headlined in 2011.

Other performers include Disclosure, Neutral Milk Hotel, Lana Del Rey, The Replacements, The Knife, Zedd, Ellie Goulding, Queens of the Stone Age, Pharrell, Lorde, MGMT, Beck, and Calvin Harris. Check out the full list below.



Need a Friend?


Join our Mailing List