What began as a Spring cleaning session has quickly turned into a mighty fine place to record (as you can see, I didn’t get very far with the cleaning).

This week’s video features saxophonist Ben Flocks in a beautiful rendition of the nearly-forgotten standard, Ebb Tide. We were lucky enough to host Ben at Jazz, TX for the release of his latest album, Mask of the Muse on August 16. You can find it just about everywhere (as of this post, the album version of Ebb Tide is approaching 250,000 streams on Spotify).

We also recorded a couple backyard blues numbers, so stay tuned for more videos featuring Ben Flocks in the coming weeks.

Cheers!

Doc

Sounds From The Shed: Ebb Tide, featuring Ben Flocks

On a hot Sunday afternoon in July, we gathered some of San Antonio’s finest into the shed for a recording session for the ages. In advance of his upcoming European tour, Garrett T. Capps opted to change Doug Sahm’s original lyric from “Goodbye San Francisco” to “Goodbye San Antonio.” Augie Meyers, who worked closely with Sahm for years, didn’t object. I believe his exact words were “Hell, what do I care? It ain’t my song . . .”

Between them, Augie Meyers and Max Baca y Los Texmaniacs boast two Grammy wins and five nominations. San Antonio Music Royalty to say the least. You can find autographed posters of both Max and Augie proudly displayed at my favorite restaurant, Garcia’s, on Fredericksburg Rd. If you’ve never been, you must go ASAP. The food tastes like the music sounds.

Stay tuned for more Sounds From The Shed (subscribe to this blog and never miss a post). Over the upcoming months, we’ll be sharing more music from South Texas legends, and legends-to-be.

-Doc

Sounds From The Shed: “Goodbye San Antonio, Hello Amsterdam” with Garrett T. Capps, Augie Meyers, and Max Baca y Los Texmaniacs

I had the pleasure of recording San Antonio Tex-Mex artist Garrett T. Capps with his band, ‘The Three Timers’ a couple weeks ago in the backyard shed.

Garrett’s working on a new podcast (stayed tuned in 2020), and wrote Trouble Country as its theme song. A modern Country tune with a melody that instantly gets stuck in your head (disclaimer), I can’t help but picture what Johnny Cash might play if he made an appearance on King of the Hill.

A few days after this recording, Garrett returned to the shed with Augie Meyers and Max Baca y Los Texmaniacs to record two more tunes. We’ll be posting video from that session next week, so stay tuned.

I can’t wait to see how the San Antonio music scene unfolds over the next few years. Our city is full of great talent just waiting to be heard, and more opportunities arise each year for them to showcase their music. It’s a great time to live in San Antone.

Sounds From The Shed: “Trouble Country” with Garrett T. Capps

This song has words—they just need to be written. In any case, you can use your imagination in the meantime. Here are the basics:

It’s a Western tune involving an outlaw, a bad guy (not the same thing), a saloon, a public hanging, and of course, a woman.

In other words, the usual. But first, a quick anecdote:

During college, my piano teacher Alex Tutunov would have us make up words to the melodies of Mozart, Beethoven, Prokofiev, etc as we were preparing for our recitals. This served to personalize our own interpretation of the melody, and also helped with memorization.

Alex claimed that on a particular occasion after one of his own concerts, a woman came up to him and guessed the words to one of the melodies he played, which he had made up himself, long ago.

You never knew if Alex was just messing with you; it was part of his genius to keep you on your toes and make you better. To this day, I’ve doubted the validity of his story.

But true or false, does it really matter? What excited me was the mere possibility that this could happen.

And sometimes, that’s enough.

Living Room Sessions: “You’d Have Done the Very Same Thing Too”

I’ve been reading Amor Towles’ novel, Rules of Civility (which I highly recommend), and was struck by the following line:

“. . . nor was it the life of the seafarer exposed to the elements for years at a time, returning like Odysseus, older, weaker, nearly forgotten—unrecognizable to all but one’s dog.”

You know the Odyssey. But like me, you may have missed (or forgotten) the brief passage involving Odysseus’ dog, Argos:

Argos was bred by Odysseus before leaving for Troy, and was among the greatest dogs in all of Ithaca.

After twenty years away, Odysseus finally returns home to find his house overrun by suitors, and himself long-presumed dead. The suitors aim to marry his wife, kill his son, and take his estate.

As Odysseus approaches his house disguised as a beggar, he sees Argos across the yard on a pile of manure for a death bed, covered in lice, neglected. Odysseus cannot approach Argos, as this would ruin his disguise.

Argos, too old and feeble to greet his master, lifts his head and wags his tail toward Odysseus, who sheds a single tear for his favorite dog, whom he was never able to enjoy.

Argos then dies, having fulfilled his destiny of faith and seen his master once more after twenty years.

Living Room Sessions: “Odysseus and his Dog”

Written by Victor Young and Edward Heyman, this is one of my favorite Ballads ever written. You might be most familiar with Nat Cole’s rendition, but there are countless others worth listening to, from Miles Davis to Tony Bennett to Johnny Mathis.

My personal favorite is Bill Evans’ rendition from his album Portrait in Jazz (1960). If you haven’t heard it, I highly encourage you to take a listen.

In the meantime, here’s a recent take from my living room. Hope you enjoy!

Doc

Living Room Sessions: “When I Fall in Love”

Our first release of “Sounds from the shed,” this recording marks the maiden voyage of our backyard analog studio. After two months of tinkering, it was such a pleasure to finally record with Brandon Guerra, Mike Porter, and Jason Galbraith.

[Side note: We released this as a single TODAY. You can find it on Spotify, iTunes, etc. ]

Thanks to Brandon Guerra for catching some b-roll and putting together this YouTube clip. We’ll be releasing more recordings from the shed in the coming months, so stay tuned for more music, guest artists, and more.

Hope you enjoy!

Sounds from the shed: “Things Better Left Unsaid”