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Ken Gaines w Wayne Wilkerson - Susan Elliott - David Starr

Tue, February 18 / 730 PM

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Americana artist David Starr is embarking on a new musical and literary adventure with a collection of songs inspired by Of What Was, Nothing Is Left, a novel written by his grandfather in 1972. Beauty And Ruin, recorded in Nashville, is produced and arranged by John Oates, and coproduced by David Starr and David Kalmusky.


After working with Oates on his 2017 The Head And Heart EP, David approached him with the idea: what if we gave several of our favorite songwriters a copy of the book and asked them to write for an album based on the story? The concept was not so much for them to re-tell the story, but to write songs inspired by the places, characters and situations found in the book. Contributors to Beauty And Ruin include John Oates, Jim Lauderdale, Wood Newton, Dana Cooper, Doug and Telisha Williams (Wild Ponies), Irene Kelley, and Shelley Rae Korntved. “It is like watching a movie,” says Oates. "The cinematic aural landscape visually evokes a classic tale of tragedy, love gone wrong and an exploration of human nature and all its flaws."


Singer/songwriter, Producer, Teacher, and MC Ken Gaines is a staple in the music scene, not only in his hometown of Houston, but also throughout Texas. He is the 2005 TMA Singer Songwriter of the Year and, for the past 21 years has produced the Thursday night, in the round series at Houston's legendary Anderson Fair. He's been featured numerous times at the Kerrville Festival and festivals and concert series across the country.


As an MC Ken is known as the "voice" of both the Texas Music Awards and the Songwriter Serenade. 

He's been active with FAI and SWRFA for 14 years, booking and hosting sponsored showcase rooms first for the Houston Association of Acoustic Musicians and then for Anderson Fair. He's also a past member of the "health team" for both FAI and SWRFA mentoring traveling musicians on eating healthily while touring.


Susan Elliott is an award-winning vocalist, songwriter, producer, and voice teacher based in Houston, Texas. She made her debut as a solo artist at the historic Anderson Fair in the spring of 2017, but is hardly a newcomer to the Texas music scene. For more than three decades, she and her late husband and creative partner, Joe Romano, were a fixture in the Houston jazz community as the duo Mood Indigo, and delighted audiences across the region, performing their original songs for children as The Non-Toxic Band. When Joe was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, Susan found an emotional and creative outlet in songwriting. 


She describes her music as genreless, but a background in theater and jazz are evident in both her singing and writing. Harmonically complex, intimate and lyrical, her songs paint a portrait of the human condition, weaving narratives that are both deeply personal and universally resonant. Her first solo recording project, This Strange Season, will be released in October, 2019. 

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Game Night - Irish Session

Wed, February 19 / 730 PM

What is it about Wednesday?


Wednesday is Game Night at the Duck.   What is Game Night, you may ask? 

It's an informal night of fun, no reservations, no cover charge, just come on by.

We put out our collection of board games like Checkers, Backgammon, Monopoly, Risk, Jeopardy, Operation, Clue, Trivial Pursuit etc, (or you are welcome to bring your favorite) and folks bring their families and friends to have a bite and play games. 


In keeping with the spirit of Game Night, you can roll the dice and try your luck.  Roll any combination that equals four, or  two fours, and your entree will be on the house.  


Wednesday is also Irish Session Night at the Duck which usually starts around 7:30pm

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Vance Gilbert

Thu, February 20 / 7 PM

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Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90's when buzz started spreading in the folk clubs of Boston about an ex-multicultural arts teacher who was knocking 'em dead at open mics. 


Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Vance started out hoping to be a jazz singer, and then discovered his affinity for the storytelling sensibilities of acoustic folk music. Once word got out about Gilbert's stage-owning singing and playing, Shawn Colvin invited him to be special guest on her Fat City Tour. 


Noted not only for being the ever consummate performer, Gilbert has recorded 12 albums, including 4 for Philo/Rounder Records and a duo album with friend Ellis Paul. 


Along with being opener of choice for artists as varied as Aretha Franklin, Arlo Guthrie, and Anita Baker, 2006 and 2007 found Gilbert opening 140+ shows for comedian George Carlin. Most recently he’s the opener of choice for Paul Reiser and The Subdudes.


Considered by many to be an integral part of the national folk scene, Gilbert's approach to the acoustic singer songwriter idiom is significant. Gilbert's compositions, while frequently employing sophisticated melodies and harmonies that attest to his jazz roots, remain sublime attestations to the storyteller's craft. He even has a tune on a Grammy Nominated children’s album. How rounded is that?


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India Ramey

Thu, February 20 / 930 PM

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Pentecostal churches, broken households, crooked family trees, forgotten pockets of the Deep South, and domestic violence all fill the album’s 10 songs, whose autobiographical lyrics pull from Ramey’s experience as a young girl in rural Georgia. Intensely personal and sharply written, Snake Handler shines a light on the darkness of Ramey’s past, driving out any lingering demons — or snakes, if you will — along the way.

Inspired by the warm sonics of Jason Isbell’s Southeastern and the big-voiced bombast of Neko Case’s Furnace Room Lullabies, Snake Handler was recorded in six days with producer Mark Petaccia — Southeastern‘s sound engineer, coincidentally — and members of Ramey’s road band. Ringing guitars, violin, atmospheric organ, and percussive train beats all swirl together, leaving room for Ramey’s voice — an instrument punctuated by the light drawl of her hometown and the quick tremolo of her vibrato — to swoon, swagger, and sparkle. It’s a voice she began developing as a child in Rome, Georgia, singing made-up songs into her electric hair curler while her parents fought just outside her bedroom door. The family home was a violent one, the product of an addicted father who flew into an abusive rage whenever his vices took control. Despite being the youngest of three children, Ramey grew up quickly, robbed of a typical childhood by her unpredictable home life. She recollects those early years in “The Baby,” skewers her no-good dad in “Devil’s Blood,” tells her mother’s story in “Rome to Paris,” and paints a less-than-inviting picture of her hometown in “Devil’s Den.”


Although her childhood lacked peace, it was filled with music, thanks to a charismatic grandfather who, in his younger years, sang in an Alabama-based gospel quartet. Known regionally for his talents, he turned down an offer to become a permanent performer on The Lawrence Welk Show when his wife refused to move to the big city. Instead, he remained in his hometown of Sand Mountain, Alabama — notorious for its number of snake-handling churches — and worked as piano tuner, decorating his own home with cast-off pianos and other instruments. It was during trips to that house, with her mother playing autoharp and her grandaddy playing acoustic guitar, that Ramey grew up singing.


“He lived to be 98,” she says of her grandfather, “and when he was in the nursing home, I bought my first guitar at Wal-Mart. I took it to him so he could teach me a couple chords, and he told me, ‘I don’t regret anything about my life, but I still wonder what might have happened if I would’ve done something with my music. I’m proud of you for getting your education, but I want you to take this guitar and do something with your music.’ So that’s what I’m doing.”


Before launching her music career, though, Ramey worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Montgomery, Alabama. The goal? To help women who, like her own mother, found themselves in abusive situations.


“When I was younger,” she remembers, “I competed in beauty pageants to earn scholarship money for college. I wanted to become a prosecutor and save battered women. It worked. I went to law school, worked as a special prosecutor, and got to make a difference in a lot of victims’ lives.”

There, between daytime hours spent in the law office and nighttime gigs alongside her Birmingham-based band, Ramey realized that music — her true calling — could help people, too. She began making honest, heartfelt music, filled with lyrics that spoke openly of her past. A pair of early releases, Junkyard Angel and Blood Crescent Moon, helped sharpen her songwriting chops. Those albums also paved the way for her move to Nashville, where she turned her back on the legal world and, instead, threw herself into songwriting. Once settled in Tennessee, she found a kindred spirit in Mark Petaccia.


Working together, Ramey and Petaccia fill Snake Handler‘s songs with vivid musical and visual imagery. In “Drowned Town,” a song inspired by the cities in northeastern Alabama that were forever submerged by the TVA’s hydroelectric damming projects, Anna Harris’ violin floats far beneath Ramey’s melody, as through it’s being recorded underwater. Similarly, the distorted guitar lines in the album’s closing number, “Saying Goodbye,” parallel the jumble of feelings that pushed Ramey to write the song.


“I wrote that song about going to see my father when he was dying,” she says of “Saying Goodbye,” which ends the album on a note of acceptance and weary optimism. “It was weird to see him on his deathbed, because I’d spent my whole life hating him. Still, I was heartbroken to see him dying. I didn’t know how to assimilate those feelings. Joey Fletcher plays guitar in my band, and Mark put on a baritone guitar that was being run through a distortion pedal. When I heard it, I thought, ‘That guitar sound is exactly the way my head felt when I walked into the nursing home. All the cognitive dissonance I was feeling is in that instrument.’”


Melodic and mighty, Snake Handler is a battle cry from a songwriter who’s unafraid to dive back into her past — no matter how dark it may be — to find closure. It’s an album about final chapters and new beginnings. About violence, resolution, and next steps. It’s India Ramey: unfiltered, unrestrained, and wholly engaging.

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Seth Walker

Fri, February 21 / 7 PM

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“This young man is pure talent, a masterful blues guitarist, a singer with some swing in his voice and a writer whose (songs) sound less composed than unleashed.” - Austin American Statesman
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Jesse Dayton

Fri, February 21 / 930 PM

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Sensing a shift in the music business climate, Jesse formed his own label in 2002, Stag Records, and began his most prolific recording period. While recording five solo records, one duet record, one live record, all on Stag, as well as two soundtrack recordings (Devil’s Rejects, Halloween 2) for rocker/director Rob Zombie, Jesse managed to act in movies and music videos, produce several records for other artists (the latest being Supersuckers front man Eddie Spaghetti’s “The Value Of Nothing” on Bloodshot Records), write two screenplays, and most recently wrote and directed a new horror movie, “Zombex,” starring Malcolm McDowell, Sid Haig, John Doe, and Lew Temple (“Walking Dead). All while still performing 150 shows per year.

Jesse landed the part of Kinky Friedman in Ted Swindley’s stage production of “Becoming Kinky: The World According To Kinky Friedman,” which ran for a few weeks and also led him to releasing a record of Kinky Friedman original songs called “Jesse Sings Kinky” which has opened up a whole new chapter for him with more radio airplay than ever in his career. 


As his film “Zombex” just got back from Cannes Film Festival, Jesse will be releasing the Zombex soundtrack which is steeped heavy in the Louisiana/Texas music of his youth.Before JD starts on his next film, he’ll be on tour “brangin’ it” with his all-star band of hotdog Austin musicians, playing to his faithful fans called “Hardchargers” around the globe. Don’t miss this show!!!

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Guy Forsyth

Sat, February 22 / 7 PM

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Vocally he is mesmerizing. Forsyth's repertoire incorporates elements of blues and Americana traditions, with trace elements of rock, R&B, folk, jazz and pop having been inspired by the great voices of American roots, Muddy, Wolf, Elmore, Little Walter, Armstrong, Waller, Smith, Watson, Waits, Bell and many more -you can hear Forsyth’s eclectic musical base. With Texas tried and true vets Naj Conklin on bass, Mark Hays on drums, George Rarey on lead guitar and the newest addition of Nevada Newman on guitar (everybody sings) this dynamic group come together to create a powerhouse of sound that leaves the audience dancing and their faith in the power of live music restored. 


The release of his latest, The Pleaser, was named because of Guy's unyielding need to please everyone even at the risk of his own demise. “To Texas blues and blues rock fans, The Pleaser will appeal!" says Blues Blast Magazine after raving about the guitar solos, Forsyths powerhouse vocals and the dangerous content of which Forsyth writes the and sings the blues. 

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Buenos Diaz

Sat, February 22 / 930 PM

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A little bit Tex-Mex, a little bit blues, a little bit singer/songwriter, a lot of rock and roll. Born and raised in Houston, Tx, Nick Diaz honed his craft over the years spending time and performing in New Orleans, New York City, San Francisco and now Austin, Tx. 2017 saw Diaz stand alongside Texas legend Alejandro Escovedo as his touring lead guitarist while Buenos Diaz drummer, Jeff Olson, held down the drum seat for Austin indie rockers White Denim. 


Buenos Diaz has released 2 full length records and 2 EP’s to date while 2019 is seeing them release 1 new single a month throughout the entirety of the year. 98.9 KUTX has coined their recordings as “lo-fi loveliness and analog excellence” while No Depression Magazine said “Diaz guitar work blew me away”. Whether it’s gritty Texas blues, in your face NY punk, retro new wave, or contemporary folk, Buenos Diaz is sure to fit a taste of Texas in each song.


well on his way to breaking into the mainstream ~ SKOPE MAGAZINE 

he's got star-power that he's just starting to tap into ~ VENTS MAGAZINE

a true front man ~ TOO MUCH LOVE

lo-fi loveliness! analog excellence ~ KUTX SONG OF THE DAY

reaching a new peak with his art ~ THE INDIE SOURCE

great solos and riffs that any listener would like  ~ WLOY RADIO