Maggie Rose @ Club Dada 8.27.21


On a hot Friday, August night in Dallas, Maggie Rose, and her band "Them Vibes," rolled into the venerable Deep Ellum Club Dada to perform. Them Vibes started the set and was joined thirty minutes later by Maggie. Maggie Rose was billed as an "up and coming," country artist even though she has performed at the Grand Ole Opry more than 50 times, has multiple albums, EPs, singles, and music videos to her name. In addition, she has toured with the likes of Sheryl Crow and Gary Allen. This up-and-coming title is really a hangover from her start seven years ago where she is labeled by the likes of the CMA and Nashville establishment - "up and coming." 

Fast-forward to her new album released in 2021 "Have a Seat," which was recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with musicians including David Hood, Will McFarlane, and several members of Them Vibes. The end result of the recording is an album that leans into R&B, Jazz, and pop creating an album that will make the Nashville establishment wince. Maggie's edgy direction heads into an area that often makes traditional country uncomfortable. She's talking about inclusiveness, asking people to sit at the same table and talk things out. Rather weighty stuff for the country genre but Maggie makes the most of it with her dynamic vocals that leave no doubt that she is a force to be reckoned with in the topsy-turvy world of 21st Century music. 

Maggie and Them Vibes put their hearts and souls into their performance on the sweltering Dallas evening in spite of a lean crowd. I suspect that being back on a live stage after the long COVID hiatus makes any performance worthwhile. Maggie's artistry coupled with her band's solid musicianship turned the evening into a musical treat. It was just too bad that more people were not there to hear the musical magic happen. 

 

 

Maggie Rose Music    

 

 

 

 

 

LINNY NANCE @ The Balcony Club 8/23/21


  Linny Nance has been around the Dallas R&B and Funk scene for quite a few years.  He has played with almost everyone in town on occasion.   However, for the last 4-5 years, he’s been the opener for “open Mic” night at the Balcony Club every Monday  , both alone as keyboardist and singer or with some of his associates. 

I caught him on a Monday night a couple of weeks after COVID restrictions were lifted and the club reopened.  The night was a little special as his two quests were students f rom the Booker T. Washington High School for performing arts and are both headed for the Berklee School of Music in Boston.  Connor Norton played bass guitar and Payton Taylor was on drums.    

They began with an up-tempo blues number and morphed into “Stormy Monday”. They were soon joined by Maurice Curtis and Chuck Ledbetter on tenor and baritone saxophones.   George Bond shortly arrived and added his jazz guitar licks to the stew. In all, this interesting mix went on, non-stop for over an hour with various players coming and going.  Suffice it to say the crowd loved it, but no one appeared to have more fun or enthusiasm than the talented Mr. Nance.   These Monday night sessions are always fun and one never knows who will appear to add their musicianship or voice to the Linny Nance funk.  

Linny plays almost every venue in the metroplex and can be reached for bookings at: LNANCE@AOL.COM , his website is www.FUNKGROOVE.COM . 

He can also be found on FaceBook as “LinnyNanceMusic”  and Youtube at “Funk Groove Music”.

jb

                                               

Aces & 8s @ Strokers

 

Aces and 8’s is actually a trio of musicians consisting of Mason Ganer on guitar and lead vocals, Jerry Johnson on bass, and John Young on drums. The latter two also back up vocals.   They performed on an outdoor stage on a hot Sunday afternoon. Their material is primarily rock, both covers and originals.   They are tight and well-rehearsed. They have extraordinarily balanced vocals for a rock trio. Ganer’s guitar work is not overly complicated and appropriate to their material.  The same can be said for Johnson and Young.  In a word, these guys are pretty damned good and were perfect for Stroker’s on a Sunday afternoon.  Their audience was largely middle-aged bikers. The fairly large crowd ( out of doors ) appeared to enjoy the fresh air, the band, the cold beer, and each other. 

Contact:  acesandeight8.2.1876@gmail.com
                 FaceBook: Deadmanshand.1876
                 (903) 930 2511


Strokers is unique in Dallas.  On Harry Hines, west of Bachman Lake, the place has been at that location for over 40 years and was originated by the present owner’s (Rick Fairless) late mother.  There is plenty of free parking. It sits on several acres and is comprised of a store, an ice house ( for beer and wine ), a large outdoor area with a fairly large stage and more motorcycles than I have ever seen in one place, many are custom jobs.  Punch Wally Automotive garage is in the back. The décor is pure biker and pink flamingos.  An old “big Boy’s “ hamburger statue is at one end of the stage, a 1/20th scale statue of liberty at the other.  A large statue of Betty Boop is on the roof of the stage.  Bands appear on most weekends. On the roof of the main building is a dinosaur, a steer, a huge hot dog and other artifacts. Stroker’s is the “Six Flags” for bikers and anyone looking for a unique and entertaining experience.  If you visit Dallas, and especially if you live in the metroplex, make it a point to go to Stroker’s. You’ll not be disappointed. 

www.StrokersDallas.com
(214) 357 0707 

jb
 

Penny & the Flamethrowers @ Redfield’s Neighborhood Tavern 08-21

I’ve been to the Redfield ( on Butler Street ) before. Frankly, I like the place.  In the evening, at least it is rarely crowded, the food, including some interesting burger variation with fries or rings, is always good. The service is fast and courteous. There are two areas, an indoor bar and eating area and a large outdoor patio with a large stage.  

On this night I went to see “Penny and the Flame Throwers” whom I was told was the rockabilly group of the year. The group formed just before COVID shut everything down and thus hasn’t been publicly playing in the last year. Nonetheless, these folks took their time off to rehearse and it shows.  

The group is fronted by Penny Ruffles who sings and banters with the crowd. 

The lead guitar was handled by Darin Watkins,  Jerry Farmer ( bass ), drummer  David Baird, and Robert Gutierrez on saxophone. They were tight and well-rehearsed.  Their volume was perfect. The set I saw ended with Elvis’s hit “Burning Love” belted authoritatively by Miss Penny, backed by an altering tour de ’ force of guitar and sax.  

I had a good time all the way around.  I can easily recommend Redfield’s as a good place to eat and or hear good music and Penny and the Flamethrowers for rockabilly aficionados. Penny and her gang will  be at Baji Ritas in Lewisville on 09/09/21 253 Church Road , Lewisville (469) 240 0165 

Contact for booking : (972) 989 5396 www.guitarboss65@yahoo.com 

The Zeppelin Project @ The Maverick   8.20.21

 

The Maverick is a sports bar and grill located on the Hebron Parkway near the Carrollton -Lewisville line. It’s a medium-sized bar serving mixed drinks, cold beer, burgers, and fries. There are multiple large screen TVs with sports of varying kinds at all times. The wait staff and management were prompt and friendly. The food is good and the service fast. I hit the place on Friday night around 9 PM to soak up the ambiance ( mostly a 20  to 30-year-old g roup) and to get a look at a band I’ve heard about; a Led Zeppelin tribute band titled “The Zeppelin Project.” I arrived about time for kick -off and was impressed by the band’s sound system that almost pushed me out the door.  The cover charge was ten dollars. Five members, a vocalist, lead guitarist, drummer, and bass/keyboard player were tight and clearly well-rehearsed.  The band is a very good representation of the real Zeppelin, but the lead singer sounded exactly like Robert Plant.  The audience danced, hooted, and had a great time.  Given that these guys are the closest thing to Led Zeppelin that most of us will ever have an opportunity to see, I’d say go for.       

PriMadonna @ Redfield's

We’ve visited Redfield’s on Butler Street in Dallas before.  Nonetheless, the performance of a Madonna tribute band just couldn’t be missed. Redfield's was as expected, but the crowd was larger than our prior visit, including more than a few persons dressed as Madonna. 

The group performed in the open-air patio area. The sound system was set at about the right volume. The band was composed of five performers including the principal singer, Adrian Lea Vallhalla, and a female keyboardist/key bassist and back-up singer, Poppy Vander,  Bobby Hoke, also on keyboards, Rob Hines on guitar, and Alan Mouradian on drums. 

The group was tight and well-rehearsed. I’ll confess that many of the songs were not known to me, but it mattered little. The sound was well balanced and each band member performed flawlessly. Adrian Vallhalla’s vocals are remarkable.  Her stage presence dominated the performance, but her voice was positively magnificent. Of the Madonna songs I recognized, her voice surpassed the original.  I suspect she has had some formal vocal training, but she certainly has talent and a voice that could do justice to many musical types. The bands appears frequently in the DFW area and are scheduled to perform at the Rustic ( Dallas, September 02 ), Chill (Lewisville, September 04 ), and the Maverick (Carrollton, on September 10). Contact the group at www.primadonnadallas@gmail.com or visit their FaceBook Page 

                            

The Memphis Horns @ Memphis Bar and Grill  08/16/21

 

The Memphis Bar and grill is a rather upscale place in Addison Texas.  This is not your usual burger and beer joint.  Split level, the bar is above the dance floor and faces a tiered bandstand.  There is live music seven nights per week, featuring some of the best players in the north Texas area. The atmosphere is casual, the bar has a wide variety of beers and mixed drinks. The wait staff is prompt of pleasant.  The evenings usually draw a good, but not an oversized crowd of young adults.  Office casual dress is appropriate.  

About twice per month usually on Mondays there is an early appearance by the  Memphis Horns, a twelve or so piece jazz orchestra mostly composed of well seasoned professional musicians, The orchestra spills from the stage to the floor, but no one seems to mind as the place is usually filled with hard-core jazz band fans.  Dancing is permitted but limited by space. They play until about 9 PM when they yield the stage to a rock or jazz-rock band.  Grab someone who thinks you may be sophisticated, and go to hear the Memphis Horns. The place looks more expensive than it actually is.  Buy martinis and tip the staff $5-10 and the night will be yours.  Oh, did I mention, no cover charge? 

 

Dallas Jazz Orchestra @ Interurban Bar & Grill

The Interurban Grill is just off Main street in Richardson ( 221 Polk street ). It is a rather small cafe, located on the first floor of a two-story building.  There is ample parking. The Grill is open 11 AM until 2 PM daily. Dine-in or take-out seafood, burgers, and pizza.  Liquor and beer are also available.  The service is good and the food is great.  I note that the Interurban is owned by the same folks who own the Fish N Tails chain and the menus are similar.  Despite its small size, the Interurban Grill is the current home of the legendary Dallas Jazz Orchestra ( DJO ) founded by Galen Jeter in 1971. The members were mostly from the Lab band at North Texas State University.   There are currently twenty members. Though many no longer play professionally, all are outstanding, dedicated big band jazz artists.  

DJO appears at the Interurban Grill each Thursday evening from about 8 to 11 pm.  There is no cover charge, but seating can be a problem as the band takes up more than half of the available space. Still led by Galen Jeter ( trumpet ) the band blasts through hits from decades past in a fashion that is hard to find today.  I’ve always been a big band fan, but the recordings are old, scratchy, and generally not up to today’s standards. The DJO is a treasure that has survived Bebop, rock n’ roll, and every other form of  “pop” music.  The magnificent swells and sweet pianissimos from a twenty-piece orchestra are a universe separate from any recording.  

Do yourself a favor and see DJO before such big band groups are gone forever. 

Israel and the Sweet Sound Band

@ Fish & Tails Oyster Bar


Israel Cavazos and the Sweet Sounds Band have been around since 1970. I caught them at the Fish and Tails Oyster Bar on a Sunday night.  This is not a cowboy hat Tejano band. They played classic rock and Latin-type classics reminiscent of Santana and The Texas Tornado.  They do both well. In fact, they are one of the most entertaining and musically good groups I’ve heard in a while.  Playing at a volume that was effective but not overwhelming, they blew through “Hey Baby Que Paso”, followed by “Brick House” and “Play that Funky Music White Boy”. Virtually perfect covers in every way. Israel sings and plays Latin percussion alongside bass, guitar drums, and keyboards, most of whom sing solo or back-up. The crowd, mostly 30 to 40-year-olds loved them, danced, and applauded wildly after almost every song.  They perform mostly in various DFW restaurants and at the Fish N Tails on North Central expressway about once per month. There is no cover and the seafood is ample and flavorful. This is clearly an underestimated dance-oriented band. Booking: Nora Cazazos  (214) 205 0913, or https//: www.izthewiz@verision.net The Fish N Tails restaurant has several locations ( North Central Expressway, Casa Linda Village, Plano, Garland, and Plano ).   It is a Latin-influenced seafood café, featuring shrimp, salmon, calamari, and catfish.  Portions are large, well seasoned and the service is fast and attentive.  Food prices are $10-15 per entrée. The place has funky decor which would not look out of place in Deep Ellum. There are lots of mounted fish, pink and blue walls, year-round Christmas lights and even manakins dressed as the “Blues Brothers”. Most of the locations have cold beer and cocktails.  All ages are welcome. https//:www.Fishntails.com I hardily recommend both the band and the restaurant. Expect good food and a great entertainment experience.

 

Louie Louie’s Piano Bar    08/10/21

Louie Louie’s Piano Bar located at 2605 Elm Street in Dallas is dedicated to pure fun.  Most nights they feature two baby grand pianos facing each other. Each piano is manned by a singer/pianist/comedian.   The banter is funny, the songs are even better.   A rap version of the introduction to the opera Carman is not out of the question.   The audience participates and calls out songs, and downs the cold beer and Some of the best-mixed drinks in Deep Ellum. I’ve not seen it yet, but a conga line of patrons doing the bunny hop down Elm Street is not out of the question. 

On occasional Monday nights, the Elm Street Blues Band, featuring Rodney Johnson makes an appearance beginning at 10 PM.    This is a ten to twelve-piece  Rock/jazz and soul band reminiscent of “Tower of Power “. 

For good music and just plain fun, give Louie’s a try some night. Opens at 7 PM 

Contact (214) 741-3600 www.Louielouiespianobar.com 

 

Red @ Adairs

Red @

Adair's Saloon 


Red at Adair's Saloon is a Dallas institution. Red started playing at Adair's back when his hair was dark, now his hair is white as snow. In the early Red photos at Adairs, there are no wrinkles on his face - smooth as a baby's butt. Yet the white hair and wrinkles don't begin to tell the story of a man who plays the guitar, sings, and writes songs. Many contemporary country artists have come through Adair's on their way to bigger things, but Red is still there playing his guitar and singing his songs even when no one is listening. All of this reminds me of the Joni Mitchel song "For Free."  

I slept last night in a good hotel  I went shopping today for jewels The wind rushed around in the dirty town And the children let out from the schools 
I was standing on a noisy corner Waiting for the walking green Across the street he stood And he played real good 
On his clarinet for free 

Now me I play for fortunes  And those velvet curtain calls I've got a black limousine And two gentlemen Escorting me to the halls  And I play if you have the money  Or if you're a friend to me  But the one man band  By the quick lunch stand He was playing real good for free 

Nobody stopped to hear him Though he played so sweet and high They knew he had never  Been on their T.V. 
So they passed his music by I meant to go over and ask for a song  Maybe put on a harmony I heard his refrain As the signal changed 

He was playing real good for free 

Joni added these additional lyrics in a 1983 concert

Playing like a fallen angel Playing like a rising star
Playing for a hat full of nothing to the honking of the cars

So here is to Red, who plays for tips, sings his songs, and has returned to the stage at Adair's for decades. Some musicians want stardom, money, and all the trappings that come with it. It's a difficult path to travel, as less than 1% of musicians make 99% of all the money. But music is a labor of love and Red is a shining example of playing because he wants to make music. He plays every Wednesday night at Adair's. Go give him a listen and put some money in his tip jar or buy him a beer - he's earned it. 

Captured live at the Free Man - Frenchmen's Stage - July, 19, 2021


Whether dancing or just listening enjoyment, the Jack Allday Swing Shift will not disappoint. 

Jack ( the drummer ) began his musical trip six decades ago as part of one of Dallas' first successful rock and roll bands, the Night Caps.   This group began while the members were in school, mostly at Woodrow Wilson High, but went on the play for the next thirty years.    Like all bands, the Night Caps eventually drifted apart and a decade or so later Jack founded the now popular Swing Shift Band. 

I caught them a week or so ago at the FREE MAN on Commerce street where they appear most Mondays. 

These guys can play almost any song you can name.   They asked the audience for suggestions and I called out the Herbie Hancock original "Watermelon Man" and off they went, never missing a note. This band appeals to young and old. I'm a bit north of 39 years and I was the oldest person in the room. 

A little Cajun food and the Jack Allday Swing Shift Band; what a great way to spend Monday evening. 

The group consists of Jack Allday ( drums ), Mark Wilson ( upright acoustic ) bass, Dallas McFarland ( piano ), Jon Statler ( soprano sax ), and 90+ year Donnie Gilliland on guitar.

YouTube    

Captured live at The Free Man - Burbon Stage - July 19, 2021


Bree & The Fellas hail from Dallas, TX. With a sound influenced by Jazz, R&B, and Pop, Bree is on a mission to spread a positive, relatable message accompanied by music that outright grooves. 

After years of accumulating songs and ideas, Bree makes her entrance with Girl on The Moon, a collection of songs that leave no doubt Bree is here to stay. The undeniable talent of the band coupled with Bree’s smooth, powerful voice is unique and sure to elicit an emotional response in listeners.

Catch the band at The Free Man in Deep Ellum. 

Official music video on YouTube

Captured live at the Balcony Club July  17, 2021 


Frank's business card says it all; "The Best in Old School Funk & Fun". 

Around the Dallas music scene, it's hard to find a band that will generate more excitement and audience participation than Frank Hasty and Da Merge.  When they hit the stage, the crowd comes to its feet, the dancing begins and doesn't stop for hours.    Frank and Rona's comedy and singing are non-stop. The band is solid, tight, and transmits fun, funk, and irreverent comedy to the crowd.   If you're feeling low and could use a shot of fun and feel good, call a friend and drag yourselves directly to where ever the Da Merge Band is playing. 

The group consists of Frank Hasty aka "Stanky Franky" ( vocals and bandleader / cheerleader ) , Rona Francis (vocals ), Dwayne Hanes ( drummer ), Darius Johnson ( guitar ) Larry Davis ( piano ), and Lucios on bass. 

The band plays most of the Dallas clubs on a regular basis, but are also available for parties, conventions and anywhere there are folks who appreciate lively comedy and pounding Funk music. 

You can contact BigMouth Entertainment at (972) 480 2974 for bookings.

 

Ryan Berg - Ritz Carlton Hotel - Dallas, Texas - July 24, 2021


We caught Ryan Berg on a Friday night at the patio area of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Dallas.  A classy place with a crowd to match. 

Ryan grew up in Dallas and is a respected singer, songwriter who appeared on NBC's The Voice in 2020. 

At the Carlton he did a single act, accompanied by his own (guitar) playing.   He sang mostly original material which I would classify as "Americana".  He frequently performs with the group "Velvet Ears", but certainly holds his own as a single singer.   He did two hours of his music to an attentive and appreciative audience of young adults. 

His songs are mostly ballads performed with a soothing tenor voice. His guitar is clearly above average for most solo singer-players.  I look forward to seeing Ryan with his band ( Velvet Ears ).  In the meantime, his solo performances would be the start of a great date night. 

Past recordings include the album "Velvet Ears" 

Ryan can be contacted at  ryanbergATX@gmail.com

Mad World at Redfields July 24, 2021


In the shadow of Parkland Hospital is a restaurant/bar on Butler street named Redfield's NeigRedfield's Neighborhood Tavernhborhood Tavern.  It's easy to find as most of the neighborhood has been leveled for a new building.  The Redfield's building is large, with well lit, ample parking, and rock and roll pounding the air.  

Inside is a clean, well-kept bar area and a menu with all American items from pizza to burgers and fries, mixed drinks, and beer on tap.  If that's not enough, there is an honest to God cigarette machine just off the main dining room.   The first one I've seen in twenty years.   

Walking toward the bar you suddenly realize you are in the back room ( huge ) which has no ceiling, but lots of seating, a stage, and a dance "floor".

Once inside, the sounds of "Mad World" emanates from the sound system.  They are five guys: Grant McFarland  ( keyboards ),  Tolbert Pitman ( bass ),  Rene Guerrero (  guitar ),  Chris Holmes  ( drums ), and Clate Bowen, the lead vocalist with quite a range.  They play interpretations of others songs mostly from the 1980s and have been together for about six years.  On the evening I was there, the band featured guest singer India Spice.   

The band is tight and melodic. They are also one of the few groups I've heard recently that balanced the band with the vocals.  The outback crowd consisted of about twenty "20-somethings" dancing and generally having a great time. 

The band is scheduled to appear soon at "Lee Harvey's"  and the "Gas Monkey Bar and Grill", both in Dallas. 

On the whole, the place and the Mad World band were fun and a real find in an accessible area just west of downtown. 

Contact them at Madworlddallas@Gmail.com. 

 

Jay Cober and the Backline - Balcony Club - July 2021


Jay Cober and the Backline are a trio of well-seasoned players that do what Jay describes as “Blues with a touch of class”.  An apt description.  I caught them at the Balcony Club in Dallas on a Friday night.  Their music was tight and well-rehearsed.   The songs ranged from classical old south blues to more modern, free-form dance songs.   The vocals were mellow and a bit subdued but perfectly integrated with the music. 

Jay’s guitar playing was musical and fit the songs better than the playing of most blues “shredders”. The bass, played by Larry Vest was rhythmic, dynamic and appropriate to each song.  Likewise the drummer, Tom Chialstri  was tight, 

with good fills in the right places and provides a solid foundation for the band. Incidentally he was a previous member of the White House U.S. Army band. 

The Band performs as an integrated unit, no one player over shadows the others. 

The trio plays mostly around Dallas and Fort Worth, but in September this year, will featured at the Blind Lemon Jefferson Blues Festival in Wortham ( Free Stone County ) , Texas.  I also expect they will appear at least monthly at the Balcony Club. 

Bookings and other information can be made directly through Jay at (310) 990 1891.

Lost in Nostalgia @ A Step Up Lounge


Dive bars in Dallas usually end up being located in decaying shopping centers. A Step Up Lounge is no exception. Located at Walnut Hill and Marsh Lane, the double-decked shopping mall is quite past its prime and showing its age. Now some dive bars end up in areas that are seeing a resurgence in young people moving into that area and making it trendy which will eventually make it gentrified and raise the rents on the local scene - and voila - no more dive bar! A Step Up Lounge is not in one of those areas. So the tacky bar is just that - tacky. Yet quite appropriate for a dive bar and no cause for alarm that the area will be overrun by new development. 

Walking into the bar you are greeted by the random assortment of beer signs, flat-screen TVs, and of course the well-stocked bar. Performing on this hot late July night was a trio aptly named "Lost in Nostalgia."  

The neon-lit joint was medium-sized and about half full. The second-floor balcony had a table that went around the entire second floor - no architects were involved in that decision. The drink menu was extensive and the beer was cold. The mixed-age crowd appeared to be regulars and there was no cover charge. 

Lost in Nostalgia began at 9 PM, and played songs from the '70s, '80s, and '90s.  Trios are by nature limited and but these guys made the most of their respective talents. Their performance was tight and the drummer's use of an electronic kit was unusually appropriate. Each set lasted about an hour.    

A Step Up Lounge gets rave reviews about being a super friendly place and that is probably its saving grace in a town filled with bars and live entertainment. Lost in Nostalgia provided music that was well organized, and enjoyable at a volume that will not overwhelm conversation. Between the bar and the band, the crowd stuck around, enjoying the music, booze, and each other's company. In a way that's what makes a place work!  You can catch Lost in Nostalgia at Lynn’s Saloon in Azle, August 20-21. 

The Fabulous Woo Brothers @ The Goat

 

The GOAT is a neighborhood bar on Gaston Avenue, just west of the Garland road-Gaston avenue split.  It has been there well over a decade and has devoted followers.    I had been there since the beginning of the COVID problem over a year ago.  The Goat was closed for several months, but apparently used the time to clean up and “redecorate” the place.  I got there about 10 PM last night and noticed the polished floor and new lighting; still strings of Christmas lights, but in colored arrangements that reflect some thought.  The drink menu was the same assort of mixes and draft beer.  The place was about half full and well behaved. Those wanting to smoke still congregated around the front door. What has not changed is the still limited parking, sparse but not impossible. I parked at the near-deserted grocery store lot across the street. No strain. On stage were the Woo Brothers, made up of Jerry Smith, his steady drummer Dirk, a bassman and keyboardist.  They played familiar and some new songs. The sound system was appropriate for the room size and the crowd appreciated the return of simple, medium loud rock & roll. No cover charge and good-time rock & roll and draft beer on a Saturday night. Who could ask for more?

 

The Coppertones @ The Rustic

Now there are several corporate-owned venues around the MetroPlex. The Rustic is part of a chain of venues in Texas that provide music, food, and a good time. The Dallas venue is located smack in the middle of the Uptown area, right next to Hank Haneys. They feature live music seven days a week from Motown, Rock, Folk, and Country. Their amazing brunch includes music, waffles, egg dishes, Bloody Marys, and donuts. Yes, organic, deep-fried donuts to drive you crazy. I'm thinking of those donuts - OMG. 

Sheran and her band appeared in the open patio area adjoining the restaurant. The area was well lit and the foodservice seemed good. The stage would accommodate an orchestra and the house sound system is probably adequate for the Cotton Bowl. The band kicked off with a Stevie Wonder song followed by a Four Tops ballad.  The players were middle-aged and clearly experienced.   The band demonstrated good harmonies and dynamics.   Sheran and her group ( the Coopertones ) are engaging and pleasantly melodic. 

Nicely decorated in a semi-western fashion the restaurant offers brisket sandwiches, burgers, and steaks. Prices are moderate ( $15-35 per entrée ). I would put this place somewhere between Chili’s and Del Frisco’s Steakhouse.    The crowd is young to middle-aged.  Food and bar service is very good with better than average presentation.  This is where I might take visiting friends from the east

 

No Band @ Double Wide


At the corner of Commerce Street and Exposition sits a club/bar that is unique, even for Deep Ellum. The “Double Wide, ( as in the trailer ) is visible from two blocks away, mainly due to the large gray plastic tornado that adorns the roof at one end. The other end is surrounded by a metal fence topped with a bicycle on which sits a chrome skeleton (which I hope is not real ). The parking lot is wide open and allows smoking.   Unlike most of the busier parts of the Deep Ellum, there is ample free parking in the area.

The night I went the band canceled and so I decided to just look around and absorb the atmosphere. Their ads read “Welcome to the Wrong Side of the Tracks “. One enters through an anteroom with chairs and tables, which I suspect is used to wait for entry to the showroom, drink, and discuss world affairs.  Immediately to the right is a doorway that leads into a long bar area, the walls of which are adorned with pictures of Elvis, mounted animal heads, neon beer signs, and a large portrait of a mostly nude woman. In short, the usual Deep Ellum tackiness.  Happy hour offers well drinks for $3 and ice cold drought beer. This was a Wednesday, and the bar was packed.   

From the entrance anteroom turn left into the showroom. It is a medium-sized room with a large dance floor and stage. I’m told the décor varies from painted toilets to a disco mirror ball. There is a beer bar in the showroom, heavier drinks being shuttled in from the larger bar.

As I said, there was no band when I was there, but I am told that depending on the night, there may be a DJs, Karaoke, or live bands ( country, rock, punk, and everything in between ).

I should also mention that the Double Wide’s little sister is the “Single Wide “on lower Greenville Avenue. That, however, is another story.

The Double Wide is at 3510 Commerce at Exposition , www.Doublewide.com , (469) 872 0191.

Open every night until 2 AM.