Westheimer Block Party Listology: Bright Men of Learning Remember Their Parents' Favorite Music

All this week, Rocks Off is previewing Saturday and Sunday's Westheimer Block Party by asking WBP performers to fill out a list from Lisa Nola's Music Listography book we're so fond of. It's not too late for your band to be up here, either; just email chris.gray@houstonpress.com by noon Thursday if you want to play. Next up, rabid Tom Petty/Replacements fans and infrequent performers (though more frequently of late) Bright Men of Learning remember the music their parents loved. Benjamin Davis Murphy, Guitar/Lap Steel Crosby Stills & Nash, Crosby Stills & Nash: I used to hate this record when I was a kid, but at some point in my freshman year of college when i was listening to folky, indie-label stuff like Palace and Elliott Smith,. I realized that what i liked so much about those bands were the elements that reminded me of that CSN album I heard so much as a kid. I still listen to that first CSN record regularly. Marshall Preddy, Vocals/Guitar From birth until I was almost 6, I lived in Pasadena. And this was the Urban Cowboy heyday, so my dad was a huge fan of the day's country radio hits. I remember loving Johnny Lee, Don Williams, Kenny Rogers, Conway Twitty, and Charley Pride. My dad also bought me my first two cassettes ever, which were the Lovin' Spoonful and the Ventures. I still love all that stuff. My Mom was more pop-oriented, and she owned a lot of vinyl. She had Blondie, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Beach Boys. But my brother and I would always beg her to play us the same 8-track cassette in the stereo of her '79 Mustang: Queen's News of the World. Chris Kahlich, Guitar My dad was into the classic-rock radio. At 12, with a hand-me-down record player from the neighbor, I started playing my dad's record collection. I remember Houses of the Holy mesmerizing me with its double-gatefold artwork, the super energetic intro in Song remains the Same and the mystical long songs, "The Rain Song" and "No Quarter." Johnathan Sage, Bass Willie Nelson and Charlie Rich. Riding in the car a lot listening to the 8-tracks, I always looked at the pictures on the front and tried to imagine how those guys looked while they were singing. Willie looked odd without the long hair. Jeff Senske, Drums My dad was a real guitar guy. He didn't play, but I know he wished he did. He was into Clapton, Stevie Ray, Carlos Santana, and Mark Knopfler. I also remember a lot of Bob Dylan always on 8-track tapes, Styx's The Grand Illusion record, Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Strawberry Alarm Clock, and Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." Later it was a lot of country. Basically everything you hear on the Country Legends station these days. I couldn't stand it then, but adore it now. Lots of nostalgia in those songs. I never knowingly reference it, but I when I stop to think about it, those influences are pretty dominant in my tastes and playing style now, which is a mix of classic rock and country. It's kind of cool perspective actually. Gee, thanks Dad! Bright Men of Learning perform 5:50 p.m. Sunday, November 15, on the Helios Upstairs stage at AvantGarden, 411 Westheimer.

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