2011 HPMA Showcase: Lonesome, Onry and Mean Edition

Checkout the slideshows of the bands and the crowd at the Houston Press Music Awards Showcase.

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Photo by Jason Wolter
Texas Johnny Brown
I spent most of the my Houston Press Music Awards day circulating between five contiguous venues: Dirt Bar, Ben's Beans, Reserve 101, Pete's Dueling Piano Bar, and the House of Blues Foundation Room. Some random notes:

Drifting toward House of Blues on foot, we saw Little Joe Washington flash past in the passenger seat of an antique car; game face on, he looked like a man on the way to his 10,000th gig.

Texas Johnny Brown at Ben's Beans: He still has fire in his fingers and butter in the low end of a voice that can go from Bobby Bland to Barry White. We could've given all the awards to Brown and called a halt.

Caught the last number by supper club singer Kristine Mills, basically sung to an empty room. I've been to funerals that were livelier.

The Octanes had some tech issues, but also the best line all day: "I tried and tried to be true / Until I just got sick of you."

Recently publicists have been insisting Clory Martin is "the next Norah Jones," so I drifted into the middle of her set. Note to Martin: Don't teach your band the song during your awards showcase. This ain't amateur hour.

Rivers, a young power trio, aren't there yet but they've got a good direction and show much promise.

Surprise treat of the day, soul shouter Diunna Greenleaf accompanied by Jonn Richardson. She left the microphone and walked to the middle of the empty dance floor, where she entranced the crowd with her vocal performance; goosebumps.

And then it all starts to run together: Finnegan: A, another very pleasant surprise we'll be seeing again. Lankford Folk Family Revival: B, nice but not great. D.R.U.M.: A, rocksteady year in, year out. Steve Krase and the In Crowd: A-, stout rocking blues, great players. Brant Lee Croucher: B-, by-the-numbers sorta country, sorta not, every song sounds the same. Steve Steele: C-, so many people hit the exits you had to wait in line to get the elevator by the third song. Kevin Taylor Kendrick: C-, Songwriter of the Year? Not even funny...

Two biggest surprises? The Beans: B+, I expected to hate this band based on YouTube, but they have a lot of promise and a great vibe. The Journey Agents: A-, lay down wicked funk and have fun doing it.

See you all at the awards ceremony.

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10 comments
Steven Kray
Steven Kray

The Journey Agents are no surprise to me!! They get some solid play on my R&B show up here in Portland OR... REAL DEAL SUPER-HEAVY FUNK!

Journey Agents
Journey Agents

We watched the Beans play and they were damn good.  Lots of good influences mixed together into their own original sound while managing to not be all over the place...And don't sleep on the Journey Agents...

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Bhall423
Bhall423

The "YouTube" video of The Beans does not accurately represent their music, and should have never been uploaded. It has since been removed upon finding out that's what people were hearing when searching YouTube for The Beans. Sorry for the confusion.

Tawdryhepburn9
Tawdryhepburn9

And don't forget that Journey Agents soul flowing, godly fingers, guitar funk master jammer, Brandon Miles. He may have been skipped over by the Press for awards but the grammy's should be knocking down his door any day now.

Bhall423
Bhall423

We caught your set too journey agents and you definetly had all the heads bobbing in the joint. Great show! Also. The Beans would like to give a shout out to the little rocker dude up front with his headphones on jamming through our whole set and on through the rest of the night. That little guy should definetly get a HPMA for the greatest audience member ever!

wms
wms

That video was pretty scarily bad. Thanks

wms
wms

Oh, I'm sure they will be....

Tawdryhepburn9
Tawdryhepburn9

The little rocker dude's mom wouldLike to shout back at the beans for giving our little man the music in his soul that made his world rock. And his dad will be contacting you for help with the lecture we will soon have to have about how just because you see someone throw a guitar on the floor and play it in public does not mean its okay to do that to daddy's guitar at home. Especially If it's acoustic. A great night with stellar entertainment. Thank you!

Bhall423
Bhall423

Ya. We like to think of it as a practical joke on ourselves that went terribly wrong...

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