Christmas Songwriters Showcase

Welcoming the classic and the up-and-coming, the ninth annual Christmas Songwriters Showcase is a veritable survey course in contemporary Texas country. Hometown headliner Roger Creager has been a diligent student over the past decade, graduating into the upper-class ranks of Robert Earl Keen behind tunes like "The Everclear Song" and "Having Fun All Wrong." Willie Braun, best known for fronting Austin alt-country firebrands Reckless Kelly, takes his songs for a solo spin, as does Honeybrowne's Fred Andrews, while John Evans unloads his new Lone Star holiday ode, "Christmas in Texas." Bruce Robison receives top marks for songwriting this year, though, following up hits like the Dixie Chicks' "Travelin' Soldier" and Faith Hill/Tim McGraw blockbuster "Angry All the Time" by contributing to George Strait's running string of No. 1's with "Wrapped." Robison's own 2007 release, It Came from San Antonio, continues to drop his distinct balladry across genres, while the Christmas show will no doubt evoke holiday favorites like "Please Daddy, Don't Get Drunk." Finally, Gary P. Nunn could serve as headmaster to the group; the legendary Lost Gonzo Band leader and progressive country pioneer was named this year's official Ambassador of Texas Music by Gov. Rick Perry. Consider Thursday an honors program.

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