Shane Smith & The Saints
Play just the first 10 seconds of "The Mountain," which opens Geronimo, the latest and most ambitious release from Shane Smith & The Saints. Robust a cappella, four-part harmonies set the stage for a saga of family tragedy, a young son's revenge and a blaze burning eternally in a Pennsylvania mine. The vivid lyrics, powerful vocals and thumping four-beat drums throughout this song are reason enough for lovers of creative roots music to celebrate. From their home base in Austin through performances across the country (17 states) and abroad (Ireland), these five gentlemen have not just stuck stubbornly to their musical and lyrical convictions. They've defied audience expectations by delivering incendiary shows, each one ignited by the band's ability to unleash, feed from and feed back the energy of the crowd -- in spite of the fact that they don't fit easily into any musical category. With Geronimo, they've dared themselves to exceed their own expectations. Each song begins with Smith creating its "bones," in the form of chords and lyrics. He then joins fiddler Bennett Brown, lead guitarist Tim Allen, bassist Chase Satterwhite and drummer Zack Stover to bring those bones to life. Aside from a bit of cello, some horns and a few keyboard parts, the band lays down each note on Geronimo. Their ability to bring songs to life has even earned them opportunities to record instrumental tracks for other artists. Smith's ability to draw images from everyday life into poetry goes back to his earliest days in Terrell, Texas, an hour east of Dallas. "There was an old Catholic church right next to our house," he recalls. "To this day, I remember those church bells ringing. In fact, I use that reference in a song from Geronimo called 'Suzannah,' which is about a guy who's fighting a war and is thinking of his hometown -- and he also remembers being raised with a church bell ringing on the hour every day." Before he ever thought of himself as a songwriter, Smith was concerned mainly with tennis. He played for the formidable program at Tyler Junior College before transferring to St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. Smith soon began getting into music as well, playing solo gigs in local bars. And he began writing, inspired by looking at life as it played out around him. "I'd be in a restaurant and overhear someone saying something, and I'll have to excuse myself, walk outside and write a note to myself about it," he says. "These days, I make little iPhone recordings. The other day I made one about this homeless guy I saw by the side of the road out in the middle of nowhere. He was dirty and worn out but he was picking these gorgeous flowers. I constantly see moments and images and statements, put them in the bank and have them there to reflect on and make into honest lyrics down the road." Even when he writes a love song, Smith almost can't help but turn the mundane into something transcendent. On Geronimo, he does this with "All I See Is You": "The storm's running through the Midwest like a bandit on the loose. / All the clouds are black as night and all I see is you. / The rain's pouring through the window panes and the cracks of this roof. / Tea's boiling from the spout of the pot, but all I see is you." Recorded and self-produced while on the road throughout Austin, Dallas and Nashville, Geronimo weaves these images into story lines, each enhancing the other, together coming alive. "I love trying to tell stories through songs," Smith observes. "There's something that fascinates me about echoing old tales in songs to carry them on for years and years, like old folk songs." And so we travel with a newly freed slave in the nineteenth century, hearing the music and feeling the exuberance of dancing in Congo Square on "New Orleans." We feel the rueful reflection from a sinner who "spent time on the wrong side of the church door" on "Right Side of the Ground." We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Alamo's doomed heroes as their final seconds near on "Crockett's Prayer." And the title track serves a dual purpose, taking us to a heroic time and place while making a broader statement about this project. “On one end, it is an attempt to pay tribute to the life of Geronimo, the Apache warrior,” says Smith. “I've always been fascinated by Geronimo and the principles he stood for. This also presented the perfect opportunity to relate the term 'Geronimo' with our intensions of this album and the 'jumping from a cliff' idea that it symbolizes. If we are going to attempt a career in music, this album is our commitment to give it everything we've got.” “Our goal with this album was never to put out a bunch of catchy singles and be all over the radio,” explains Smith. “It was to set us apart, with meaningful lyrics, huge harmonies and the sound of a hard-working band that has played some crappy gigs and come out stronger for it. We always had the options to either make a 'safe' record or put something out that sounds like us and no one else.” "We took that second option and named it Geronimo.”
The Powell Brothers
The Powell Brothers are Country/Americana recording artists from Houston, Texas.
Fronted by brothers Taylor Powell (lead vocals) and Blake Powell (lead guitar), the band is currently promoting their latest single, “Coming Home”, released to radio on November 10th. “Coming Home” is only the first in a long line of new music to come, as the band is currently working on their first full-length album (‘On My Mind’) to be released in the Summer of 2018.
When asked about the band’s explosive growth and what the future holds, Taylor Powell explained “It all boils down to this; good songs and good people. We are committed to the craft of songwriting. Our goal is to make every song and CD better than the last, and to surround ourselves with the best people.” Blake Powell echoes his brother’s thoughts and adds, “As we grow, we want to make sure we deliver music and performances worthy of the love and support we are so blessed to receive."
Taylor and Blake have a strong passion for performing live, a fact reflected by the brothers’ busy tour schedule. They have shared the stage with numerous top national and regional acts, including Josh Turner, Gary Allen, Granger Smith, Pat Green, The Bellamy Brothers, Randy Rogers Band, Cody Johnson, Gary P. Nunn, Kevin Fowler and many more. In their home state of Texas, The Powell Brothers perform regularly at many prestigious live music venues including Gruene Hall, John T. Floore’s Country Store, Brewster Street Ice House, House of Blues Houston, Magnolia Motor Lounge, The Blue Light Live, Luckenbach Texas, and Goode Company’s Armadillo Palace.
2017 was a breakout year for The Powell Brothers. The group partnered with Major League Baseball to perform at several stadiums across the United States, including Minute Maid Park (Houston, Texas), Petco Park (San Diego, California), and Globelife Park (Arlington, Texas). The band also partnered with the Las Vegas Bowl, owned and operated by ESPN events, for performances at the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl and the Las Vegas Bowl Pep Rally on the Freemont Street Experience’s 1st Street Stage. The Powell Brothers will also perform at the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl Bash. Additionally, the group debuted on the Chevrolet Main Stage at the State Fair of Texas after the Texas vs. Oklahoma “Red River Rivalry” game, became a regular performer at legendary Gruene Hall, and saw its radio single “Evangeline” crack the Top 30.
The Powell Brothers will not slow down in 2018. The group is set to tour extensively in support of their new full length album, including performances at four of Texas’ largest events in the (1) Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo; (2) Rodeo Austin; (3) San Antonio Livestock Show & Rodeo; and (4) Fiesta San Antonio.