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Oct 29-Willis Allan Ramsey-Chuck Dunlap opening-Jared Tyler performing with Willis
$35 in advance, $40 at the door
Potluck dinner at 6pm, show at 7pm
Willis Alan Ramsey was born in Alabama and raised in Dallas. Fresh out of high school, Ramsey began kicking around Austin coffee shops with fellow songwriters Ray Wylie Hubbard and Steven Fromholz. The young songwriter was in the epicenter of the burgeoning cosmic cowboy movement lead by Michael Martin Murphy, Jerry Jeff Walker and B.W. Stevenson. Ramsey’s honest, offbeat lyrics appealed to the long-haired crowd in the capital city and across Texas. One night, a young aspiring songwriter and Texas A&M student named Lyle Lovett was in the crowd at Ramsey’s show. Lovett was enraptured by Ramsey’s voice and lyrics. Lovett began booking Ramsey at the Texas A&M coffee house he booked, getting a crash course in songwriting from his idol. “I learned every song off his record,” Lovett once said. “I wanted to be Willis Alan Ramsey.” He wasn’t alone. For many, Willis Alan Ramsey was the soundtrack of Texas youth. The swaggering country-funk song “Northeast Texas Women,” later covered by both Jerry Jeff Walker and American Aquarium, became Ramsey’s first regional hit. The song celebrates the “cast iron curls and aluminum dimples” of Texas women from Dallas to Dimebox. But it’s Ramsey’s ballads that pack the biggest punch. “Angel Eyes,” an achingly beautiful love song, is especially impressive considering Ramsey was only 20 when it was recorded. “Lord, she’s as sweet as one of her pecan pies,” Ramsey sings in a wise-beyond-his-years warble. “Listening to her laughter I get hypnotized.” After the release of the album, Ramsey tried moving to Nashville. In 2000, Ramsey told The New York Times he had felt no one was listening to his quiet story songs in the “Urban Cowboy” crazed Texas of the 1980s. He quickly became disenchanted with Music City and moved to London for a stretch All the while, Ramsey’s status as the unsung hero of Texas music only grew. His songs were recorded by Waylon Jennings, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Jimmy Buffett and Shawn Colvin. And then there’s Lyle Lovett, perhaps the greatest Ramsey disciple of them all. Lovett recorded Ramsey’s “Sleepwalkin” on 1998’s Step Inside This House and co-wrote “North Dakota,” from 1992’s Joshua Judges Ruth, with his songwriter hero. Eventually, Ramsey moved back to Texas when he met and married Texas singer-songwriter Alison Rogers. (The couple co-wrote Lovett’s “That’s Right, You’re Not From Texas.”) After a few years out of the spotlight, Ramsey was ready to return to the Lone Star spotlight. He started performing on lyrics-focused programs such as The Texas Connection, hosted by Jerry Jeff Walker. One of Ramsey’s more durable songs, also recorded by Buffett, is “The Ballad of Spider John,” a confessional about a small time criminal reckoning with his past.
Chuck Dunlap is truly an Okie. After decades of living and playing on the West coast, he has permanently moved back to his birthplace, Oklahoma. He started playing in Stillwater in 1973 and hasn’t looked back. “I wanted to go back to my roots, to the beginning of the madness called music and leave it here in Oklahoma”. Ten albums later and one in the works, Chuck is known as a pioneer of the red dirt music scene. He has opened for Emmy Lou Harris, Leo Kottke, John Lee Hooker, and Levon Helm, Muddy Waters, Leon Redbone, Jerry Jeff Walker and Earl Scruggs. Chuck was also nominated for the 2019 Tulsa Music Awards Best Album of the Year for his album “Full Circle”.
“I want to keep the good memories and keep track of friends and keep waking up and be the best that I am”. Chuck Dunlap sings.