Two fine bands who don't come through much are playing just blocks apart tonight. Dallas's Blacktop Gypsy will be knocking the audience out with their amazing harmonies and the virtuosity of fiddler Heather Stalling (wife of Max Stalling) and former Lake Jackson resident Rodney Pyeatt. Stalling was raised in a family of string players and has been doing fiddle contests since she was four years old. She's played with Ed Burleson, Mark David Manders, and others in the Texas music scene. Pyeatt was Selena's original guitar player, joining her family band at their restaurant in Lake Jackson when he was only in the eighth grade. He toured with Rick Trevino for years, and played the guitar parts on the Grammy-nominated albumAztex
with Joel Guzman and Sarah Fox. Couple these amazing players with the sultry vocals of Andie Kay Joiner, especially when she sings "I ain't your mama," and heat just pours off the stage.
Just up the road a few blocks at Armadillo Palace, Shurman will be amping it to the max. In line with our story about L.A. honky-tonker Mike Stinson relocating to Houston a few weeks ago, Shurman took the I-10 east from L.A. a year or so back to settle in Austin. Like Stinson, they'd worked the L.A. scene hard for years and just run out of headroom in that scene. In 2008 they released their third well-received album of rootsy, twanging Southern rock,
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described them as a mix of Old 97s, Drive By Truckers and Son Volt. That's a pretty fair hand to draw to. Tonight marks the first gig of an extended tour that will take these rockers through our local swamps before they head out into the wastes of West Texas and Oklahoma. As you can tell by the video, this one will be loud and rocking.