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April 2020: Giving a Hand, Lifting a Voice

As we continue to navigate this new normal as it has come to be known, a small part of my daily routine has been trying to figure out how best to use this platform we’ve cultivated here on Galleywinter. Here we’re only looking at the musical aspect of all this. It’s a detachment from the rest of my life that involves teaching from home, taking care of my family, worrying about all of the tentacles of this thing. It’s a respite of focus. How to best highlight those musically in need and give a voice to the artists. Causing connections. Giving a hand. Lifting a voice.

We’re not looking to highlight the A-listers of the scene. At least not primarily. We love those guys, but they don’t need our help by and large. We’re here to support the ones who truly need it. As we always have been. I had one of those A-listers reach out to me and say “Everyone notices how hard y’all are working. And what you’re doing is important, supporting the artist that truly need a platform and spotlight.” It echoed what one of the artists who did our Covid Concert Series show related after his set “I notice that y’all are only booking acts like me. You don’t have the biggest ones on that you could have. That means a lot.”

I don’t say all that to toot our own. I’m saying that because I don’t feel like we’re doing much. Broadcasting a couple concerts each week. Promoting merch sales. Sharing anything we feel is relevant to the greater good. Cultivating a playlist updated daily with songs to boost your mood. But, is it making any difference? I don’t know if it’s helping everyone, but it’s damn sure helping me. It gives me something to work toward amid the madness that surrounds us all. As people argue, in increasingly bitter tones, online about what the country should do, we continue to cling to the music. The music is what motivates us. And if you’re reading this, it’s probably what motivates you too. I guess my point is really and truly, none of us know anything. We all have our opinions though and it always seems those with the strongest and harshest opinions (on both sides of any argument) have the loudest bullhorns to blast them out into existence.

Just last night, a bar in the Stockyards pulled a publicity stunt by stating they will be open come May 1st no matter what the law says. The firestorm in the Facebook comments could be seen from space. I’m cautious and thoughtful by nature, but also a natural skeptic. So, I truly see both sides. In this instance however, I chose to continue to control what I can control. I mind my own and like it when people do the same. People are hurting in all manner of ways. Please do what you can to lift each other up. Shop local. Donate when and where possible. Love your family.

Tenets that can be found in music. Specifically this music. Our music. The community, small-town feel of this music scene usually only rears its head when there’s some drama. However, it’s at its most genuine and heartfelt when we are helping each other out. Promoting the good. I’m reminded of those of us who banded together in the wake of Harvey to create Texas Music Flood. The countless benefits venues have hosted throughout the years and the hundreds of artists that have donated their time and wares to support those. Wade Bowen’s annual charity benefit. Justin Frazell’s pickin’ for preemies and so on. We have the good within us. It’s just tuned to a different channel right now. Please continue to love each other and the music.

Then get ready for a string of the biggest parties and hardest hitting concerts you’ve ever experienced once we all get the green light.


-As of this publishing, we are still planning to host Galleywinter River Jam in July. 24th at Cheatham Street with Austin Meade and The Cole Trains; 25th at Billy’s Ice with Adam Hood and Mike Stanley Band; and 26th at the Lone Star Floathouse with everyone’s mama and ‘dem.

-I miss live sports terribly. Almost as much as live music. Excited for the NFL draft tomorrow. Expecting to enjoy the technical meltdowns as much as the process.

-The Musers on The Ticket in DFW have upped their game in this climate. It’s strange to say that about a sports station, but The Ticket has never truly been a sports station. It’s a life station. The way they’ve maintained and pushed their broadcast excellence up a notch during all this is truly astounding.

-Since I feel like I’ve binged everything worthy, I’m working my way back through shows I’ve already watched. Currently on the path back down Boardwalk Empire. We may be better off if Nucky Thompson was part of our pandemic response team. Joking. Kind of.

-We need a scheduling czar for all these online shows.

-This month’s recommended album is:

-”Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” – Mark Twain

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