Country Music

Houston Hornitonk Society Presents Burlesque Bonanza

Christopher Seymore will celebrate his new single "HighLife" with a Burlesque Bonanza and pre screening for the video on Tuesday, September 27.
Christopher Seymore will celebrate his new single "HighLife" with a Burlesque Bonanza and pre screening for the video on Tuesday, September 27. Photo by That Heavy Glow
If there’s one thing old honky tonk songs know how to sing about it’s cheating. Whether they’re cheating the law, death or their lovers, there's nothing quite like the pull of a good ole’ cheating country song that manages to tap into desire and guilt simultaneously.

Houston’s Christopher Seymore is releasing his own take on the classic tale with his latest single “HighLife” due out on Friday, September 30 along with a killer concept video directed by Houston western wear artists Ben and Bonnie Kennimer of Kennimer Co.

Seymore will celebrate the release with a fittingly sensual evening as he and the Hornitonk Society present the Burlesque Bonanza on Tuesday, September 27 at Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge.

They will prescreen the video throughout the night along with live performances by the beautiful Cara Cherie and Abby Cadabra, who both star in it.

The night will serve as a double shot of "Horni" taking place during the regularly scheduled Hornitonk Tuesday series, a weekly event which normally is free to the public but for the Burlesque Bonanza organizers are charging a cover fee to compensate the performers.

Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets online and dress to impress for the thematic evening where the Cherie and Cadabra will be dancing to live music, a rare treat in the world of burlesque.

“HighLife” may very well be the perfect cheating country song as Seymore nails the message from the very first riff and words of the main character who admits his “Highlife is making him a lowlife” and while showing no remorse for frequently leaving his good woman at home while he’s running around.

“Nothing metaphorical about it. It’s just a straight up fooling around song,” says Seymore who wrote the song with friend, pedal steel player and producer Kevin Skrla. Inspired by the classic Countrypolitan hit “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous” and his affinity at the time for Miller High Life beer, the two friends ran with the idea.
The video for the song reflects the lowlife, high stakes living of the singer surrounded by friends and tempting, goodtime women in hot barns, bars and tense poker games creating a fun and campy video that plays out like a short film.

“The whole idea was hillbilly Grindhouse and it has that feel to it. I didn't want to go redneck but I wanted to go more hillbilly with it. Maybe all hillbillies are rednecks, but not all rednecks are hillbillies,” says Seymore who brought the basic concept to the Kennimers and let them run with it.

“The whole idea was hillbilly Grindhouse."

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His regular shows for Hornitonk Tuesday and Sunday Shootouts at Shady Acres Saloon have really provided Seymore and his band with the chance to develop these songs together in front of a live audience and see in the moment results.

“I’m getting into more straight up honky tonk dance hall songs because we are playing every week and it's been fun to see what pulls people on the floor, what gets them out there and moving around.”

Hornitonk Tuesdays not only give Seymore, his band Western Cosplay a chance to grow and show off their ability to run a room, it also is steadily growing in size and providing opportunity for local and out of town artists to join them on stage and on the dancefloor.

“I like to play host at my own stuff. I like to get out, talk to people and call them out from on stage. That makes people feel a part of things and I enjoy seeing them. People are buying in so we are going to get different people in every week now.”

Seymore has been releasing a steady string of singles and plans to continue to record and possibly release a full album in the future. His songs all carry his own sound while staying true to the classics, often making them sound like a lesser known deep cut track that somehow sounds familiar but new.

“Those songs they're just not done anymore,” says Seymore of the classic cheating songs. “The revenge song is very much prominent but the ‘I’m running round’ song, that song has gone away for whatever reason. It’s a good time song too. It’s about partying with your friends, getting stoned and getting drunk. All those kinds of things we don't like to talk about in polite society.”

Despite not being subject matters often brought to the dinner table, they are the subjects of the people and have been prominent themes in traditional roots music since the beginning of time along with songs of murder, sadness and alcoholism.

“Those things they're just part of our human condition. The loving and leaving songs, they're all a part of what we go through. All that stuff is born out of the front porch tradition. It’s the same way with the blues or any genre that's rooted in roots music. The same reason we sing about having a good time and having bad times is because that's just life and that's what we are going to experience. The reason that they are popular is because people connect to them.”

The Burlesque Bonanza Pre Screening for "Highlife" featuring Christopher Seymore and The Western Cosplay, South Texas Tweak and performances by Cara Cherie and Abby Cadabra will take place on Tuesday, September 27 at Shoeshine Charley's Big Top Lounge, 3714 Main, 7 p.m., $15-20.

"HighLife" will be available for streaming on Friday, September 30.
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Gladys Fuentes is a first generation Houstonian whose obsession with music began with being glued to KLDE oldies on the radio as a young girl. She is a freelance music writer for the Houston Press, contributing articles since early 2017.
Contact: Gladys Fuentes