Rocks Off wanted to know why Dosey Doe Music Cafe had cancelled its January 19 Ray Wylie Hubbard show, so we called and got a dosey dose of serendipity. As it turns out, owner Steve Said was asked to be the talent buyer for the Texas State Society of Washington D.C.'s Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball in the nation's capital that day, this Saturday.
Last weekend, we called Said to talk a little about this great honor and a lot about Charley Pride.
Rocks Off: I heard the great news that you're managing all the music for Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball.
Steve Said: Yeah I'm really honored and excited, and it's just gonna be a ton of fun. I'm glad you called so we can get a little bit of an opportunity to show off what's happening.
RO: Is there any news on who you're booking that we haven't already heard about?
SS (laughs): Nobody that I can announce just yet but there's three giant names that we're getting ready to announce but we're waiting on the final commitment on them. But right now it's Charley Pride, Jack Ingram, Mark Chestnutt, Asleep at the Wheel, Radney Foster, Hamilton Loomis, and some people that I think are out-of-this-world fantastic that maybe not everybody knows about like Carrie Rodriguez, Bonnie Bishop, and Ruthie Foster.
I mean, there's some Texas talent that is just about to hit the national limelight, so it's gonna be one of those shows when an awful lot of people across the country are gonna get to see some Texas talent.
RO: How did you get involved, and how were you chosen for this?
SS: Well they've done this since the late '70s every four years, and it's been pretty much the same format where there's one or two big stages and they just roll the acts up there one after the other. And there's one or two people who are on the committee up there who have been to Dosey Doe who said, "Can we have more of a Texas/Dosey Doe vibe attached to it?"
They are literally taking pieces of Dosey Doe as we speak and trucking it up to Washington, D.C. I mean from tables and chairs to coffee pots and all of the Americana artifacts that we have lying around. They're grabbing bunches of it and hauling it up with them. So at least one of the five stages is gonna be very much the Dosey Doe room.
RO: Do you have time to tell us how it's all going to be?
SS: I may be sounding like I'm bragging on myself, but I'm just really excited about how this is all going to flow. You know that Dosey Doe has become known as a real songwriter's haven. We've brought in the people that are responsible for making the music happen. You always know about the person that sings the song, but you almost never know about the songwriters. So it's been very important to us that we do that.
So on Friday night, which is the sponsor's dinner, Larry Gatlin is the MC and he's going to have songwriters onstage on stools entertaining all of the people that made this event happen. All the corporations and individuals that put up the money to make this work. We're gonna have Radney Foster, Kyle Hutton, Mark Chestnutt and possibly Charley Pride are gonna hop up on that stage and do an acoustic song or two for that audience.
Some of these guys that are performers are also songwriters. And there are songwriters that have written an incredible amount of hits and they're gonna be up on that stage. Radney Foster, for example, or John Arthur Martinez or Susan Gibson who wrote "Wide Open Spaces" for the Dixie Chicks. So those artists are gonna be there to show off where that Texas music comes from.
And of course Larry Gatlin is one of those gregarious, lively, funny guys.
RO: He's hilarious. What about Saturday night?
SS: There's gonna be five stages so you're going to have an intimate feel. You're gonna have an up close and personal with Charley Pride and his band on one stage. And then when artists are done with their set, they're going to migrate over to the Dosey Doe Room.
We do a production called "Real Life, Real Music Radio," and that is an interview between producer/songwriter Kyle Hutton and the artists. He's gonna do that format with Charley Pride and Jack Ingram or Mark Chestnut and Ruthie Foster or whoever. So they'll ask each other questions and tell stories on each other and play acoustic tunes and the audience is going to get to see the artists in a fashion that they don't normally get to see them.
RO: It sounds as thoughtful and imaginative as the Dosey Doe venues here in Houston.
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SS: Thank you! That's exactly what I was hoping people would take away from this. These artists are as excited about it as I am. I can't wait.