Another Fine Release From Little Jewford

A Texas Original Finds A Whole New Style.

The latest recording of all new songs by Texas musician Little Jewford is “Little Jewford Plays The Little Jewford Songbook.” As you might guess it contains self-penned songs from this popular and talented musician. The fact that it is labeled “Opus One” gives hope that there will soon be a companion album for us to enjoy! It has been too long since his last release “A Little Little Jewford,” and the many fans of this cult performer, and highly talented pianist, are already expressing excitement about the style and direction his music is taking.

Jewford is delighting his old fan base and attracting new fans with his quirky style and inimitable skills at the keyboard. The release is co-produced by Brett Cline, who also supplies invaluable musical input on the recording. It truly expresses another facet of this superb artist. Jewford’s humorous and often heartfelt lyrics blend perfectly with his piano stylings. Part Dr. John, part Gershwin, and a whole bunch of other things, Jewford has found a unique style in the music world.

This new release is already being requested on streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, and iTunes. “Little Jewford Plays Little Jewford” can be purchased as a download from iTunes and other providers. You can read all about the evolution of the CD and find links to listen to and purchase it by going to his website.

Like many others, I first discovered Jewford with his long-term friend and collaborator Kinky Friedman. Friends since childhood Jewford was the founding member of Friedman’s “Texas Jewboys” band. With Jewford acting as bandleader, Kinky released his first album “Sold American” in 1973, and the duo have performed and recorded together ever since. Along the way Jewford has also carved out an impressive solo career often drawing more closely from his classical training on the piano. Recently, Jewford was nominated as Country Pianist of the Year, but that is only a single facet of his musical talents. One of the highlights of “Little Jewford Plays……” is the sophisticated and often complex fabric of the arrangements that encompass his lyrics and music. The six cuts featured on “Little Jewford Plays The Little Jewford Songbook”are;

People Call Us Crazy,

Memory Cafe,

Melodia De Tu Amor,

Attitude No. 5,

NOLA Will Survive,

Breezin’ Down Broadway,

The two instrumentals “Attitude No. 5” and “Breezing’ Down Broadway” convey entirely musical landscapes. “Attitude No. 5” is a sweeping melody that is almost cinematic in its layers of sound, while “Breezin’ Down Broadway” is a jaunty tune that could well be the kind of music that Scott Joplin would be recording if he were around today. “NOLA Will Survive” is a heartfelt testimony to the resilience of post-Katrina New Orleans. “NOLA Will Survive” is a taste of the long-form work that Jewford is writing about the 2005 hurricane as seen through the eyes of a saloon piano player. “People Call Us Crazy” contains a hint of the wry humor of Randy Newman in the lyrics, with a foot-stomping rhythm. “Memory Cafe”has a slightly bitter sweet nostalgia quality that sticks to one’s mind in a very pleasant manner.

This new album is a reminder of the singular wit and musical mastery of a Texas legend.

I give it a five-star rating and highly recommend it.


Great reasons to live in Austin. Number twenty. The Film Festival.

The Austin Film Festival was founded in in 1994 and it was one of the very first festivals to really focus fully on the creative role of the writer in the film making process. Initially, AFF was made up of the Heart of Film Screenwriters Conference and functioned to launch the careers of  screenwriters who historically have been underrepresented within the film industry. Since then, AFF has grown to serve all film makers and has helped Austin’s arts community by creating year-round programming that recognizes the art and value of storytelling through film.


The festival features many fine films that debut during the event. The Conference brings producers, agents and screenwriters together to instigate the sale of screenplays; hundreds of writers’ groups, services and festivals have followed the Conference’s lead over the past decade.

Photo By Arnold Wells

The conference takes place each October but book up your tickets early, it is becoming one of the most popular festivals in the country.


O.K. Just a personal (and slightly controversial) selection, but William Friedkin premiered his classic movie ‘Killer Joe’ at the festival. I hope no one ate chicken before they attended the event!


Great reasons to live in Austin. Number nineteen. Antones.

Antone’s was named after Clifford Antone who was the founder of a well-known Austin blues club and record label, as well as a mentor to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmie Vaughn and numerous other musicians. There have been many wonderful live recordings made at Antone’s over the years–my favorite was by Austin’s own rock icon Joe Ely.


Ponty Bone and Fabrizio Poggi Live at Antone's_ Austin _Texas

Clifford Antone was the nephew of Jalal Antone, the founder of the Houston based Antone’s Import Company–which was known for its po-boy sandwiches!


Antone’s recently moved from it’s historic location on 6th Street and has established a larger club (and cool record store) on the other side of the river. The location has changed but not the quality of music! Find out who is appearing at


Great reasons to live in Austin. Number eighteen. Waterloo Records.

There are an ever decreasing number of real honest to God record/music shops left in America and Waterloo has been consistently among the very top since it opened in 1982 right up until this very day. It has also featured in store performances by a host of hugely successful and highly eclectic performers such as Willie Nelson, The Stooges, Cheap Trick and My Morning Jacket just to name a few. 


The Waterloo logo is taken from the sign of the English underground tube station!


In case you wondered Waterloo was also the original name of Austin back in 1839 after being designated as the new capital of the Republic of Texas.


If you want to browse this wonderful one stop music spot it is located at 600A North Lamar Boulevard at the intersection of West 6th Street and North Lamar. 


Great reasons to live in Austin. Number seventeen. Willie Nelson.

One of the last of the truly great country singers (Along with Merle Haggard) in my humble opinion is the great red headed stranger himself Willie Nelson. Born in 1933 he is one of America’s greatest natural treasures along with Bob Dylan and ‘The Hag.’ While Willie spends a great deal of his time living in his home in Maui, he also maintains his home in Spicewood, Texas, just 22 miles outside of Austin. Mighty fine places to live–even if he does probably spend most of his year on the road!


If you haven’t seen Willie perform live then it is time to do so! He is a marvel and at 80 years old may only have another 40 years performing in him!IMG_1359

Hmmmm. I can’t help feeling that the volcanic soil and amazing growth potential for herbs may have something to do with Willie having a home in the beautiful island of Maui!willie-nelson-high-times-medical-marijuana-fair-ganja-reefer-hemp-beach-tv-hbtv

Nelson is a major liberal activist and the co-chair of the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which is in favor of marijuana legalization. On the environmental front, Nelson owns the bio-diesel brand Willie Nelson Biodiesel, which is made from vegetable oil. Nelson is also the honorary chairman of the Advisory Board of the Texas Music Project, the official music charity of the state of Texas.


Great reasons to live in Austin. Number sixteen. 6th Street.

Sixth Street is a historic street and entertainment district in Austin. It is located within the city’s urban core in the heart of Downtown Austin. Sixth Street was formerly named Pecan Street under Austin’s older naming convention, which had east-west streets named after trees and north-south streets named after Texas rivers.  It is now listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. It is also listed on my personal list of FUN places!


That is the classic sign that lets you know you are in the right place. There is plenty of other great music to be found on 5th Street though as well as scattered around the city of Austin.


More live musicians and live music venues than any other city in America. You can listen to the best of every kind of music while wandering the length of 6th Street.


Look like fun? You bet your life it is, grab a beer and a slice of pizza and live the good life on 6th Street.


Great Reasons to live in Austin. Number fourteen. Round Rock.

Round Rock, a suburb of Austin, is one of the fastest growing communities in America! It has great homes at great prices but……….  to movie buffs it will always be famous as the location where ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ was filmed. This was originally marketed falsely as a true story, but was actually loosely based on the life and crimes of Ed Gein. Gein was also the inspiration for many other movie monsters as well as Leatherface and NOT a nice man!

Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed in Round Rock for a tiny sum of money and went on to become one of the most profitable movies in the history of American film. A sequel  to the movie helped launch the careers of fledgling Austin actors Mathew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger. The Original movie is still one of the nastiest pieces of movie making ever presented to the public, in spite of a relative lack of physical gore. Not for the squeamish–however horror movie buffs still visit Round Rock on slightly deranged pilgrimages…..

Historic Round Rock

Richard Linklater also filmed his slacker manifesto ‘Dazed and Confused in Austin in 1993. He launched a few careers there, and a whole new style of movie making. Sloppy as a semi-art form!Round Rock

On a related note, The Coen Brothers first movie ‘Blood Simple’ was also shot in Austin. If you haven’t seen this movie it is a little gem/masterpiece and WELL worth finding. When the Brothers decided to make a ‘Directors Cut’ of the film they did something unique– instead of making it longer and addend scenes and director’s precious bloat, They actually cut it down and made it a few minutes shorter. Now Those are true directors!

TheTexasChainSawMassacre-poster   On a lesser note, let’s not forget that the Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie reality show ‘The Simple Life’ was also shot in Austin. Well you can’t win ’em all! 

Great reasons to live in Austin. Number twelve. Asleep At The Wheel.

Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys were the undisputed kings of Western Swing. If you are not familiar with Texas Swing it is a glorious countrified blend of swing music with a touch of jump rhythm. Texan legends, Bob, his brothers and the band travelled by bus from town to town spreading musical joy from city to city.

 The legacy was continued in recent years by the magnificent band ‘Asleep at the wheel.’ As the saying goes Texas Swing isn’t dead it is asleep at the wheel……. Formed in 1969 by vocalist/guitarist extraordinaire Ray Benson, this is one of the finest and rockin’est bands in the country. For a special treat download their two tribute albums to Mr Wills. Filled with a plethora of guest stars including Merle, Willie, Reba, Lyle, Dolly, DwightDixie Chicks they are an encyclopedic tour of who’s who in Country. Just a personal favorite but I would start with ‘Ride with Bob.’ 

 Back in the 70s Van Morrison surprised a lot of folk by quoting them as being one of his favorite bands, and the Belfast Cowboy sure knows his music. Check them out at




Great reasons to live in Austin. Number eleven. Austin City Limits.

Probably the most familiar ‘face’ of Austin is the venerable PBS television series ‘Austin City Limits’ since the series began in1976. It owes some of its appearance on the scene to musical icon Willie Nelson, who has remained a good friend to the how ever since. It was in fact this show that many feel was responsible for Austin’s status as ’The Live Music Capital of the World.’

 The show has also spawned the gloriously eclectic Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park, Austin. Between the show and the festival there has been a wonderful series of live albums and videos released. Some are just left field dreams such as David Byrne (Talking Heads founder) performing his songs live with a funk band and string quartet backing him! 

 Stop by the Austin City Limits store at Austin airport to check out the amazing variety of releases inspired by this legendary show! You can also check out their website which contains many of their shows at 



Austin City Limits Music Festival Stage

Great reasons to live in Austin. Number ten. The Broken Spoke.

If you are looking for an evening’d boot scooting entertainment that head over to 3201 S. Lamar, to the ‘Broken Spoke’ (no it’s not a bicycle repair shop!) and enjoy the best little honky tonk on the Third Coast. The parking is a nightmare and the interior is a dream! Enjoy one of their signature chicken fried  steaks washed down with a whisky iced tea served in a jam jar. I’m not the only Brit to enjoy ‘The Spoke’ and on a recent trip to Texas by Queen Elizabeth (The monarch not the ship!) Her majesty’s entourage visited the joint to see what Honky Tonkin’ was all about. Check it out at

 The music and dancing is great and the ambiance is a treat, and leave a little time to enjoy the mini Country Western museum after you enter. The list of performers who have played here is something very special. Check them out at  Asleep at the Wheel still play some sets here and that is a perfect night in my book. Oh. I keep mentioning ‘The Wheel’ so perhaps I had better make them another upcoming great reason to live in Austin—‘cos after all they do!



Dance lessons at the Broken Spoke on July 26, 2013