Monday, March 08, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Live From SugarHill Season 2 in OiH

The following article originally appeared on the Only in Houston website. I'm reprinting it here because it is probably the best overview of the show that's been written so far, (thanks Ross, Merideth, Gina, and Jarrod).

With episode 13, Live From SugarHill Studios launches its second season and big plans are in the works.

Live from SugarHill features regional artists recorded in their natural habitat: 69-year-old Studio A at SugarHill Recording Studios. Over the decades Studio A has played host to a broad variety of artists from The Rolling Stones to Lightning Hopkins, The Big Bopper to Willie Nelson, Archie Bell and the Drells to Freddy Fender, Destiny's Child, Beyonc� and many more. The "hill" is a veritable "House of Hits" as described by Andy Bradley's new book coming out this spring.

Today SugarHill Studios is the Texas nexus for new and established audiences from an eclectic array of genres.... The Houston Sound.

Each episode features performances by two recording artists or bands and in-depth interviews with hosts Rosa Guerrero and award-winning record producer Dan Workman. The show is broadcast live on internet radio by as it happens. The HD Video version of the show is mixed by SugarHill, Edited by Zenfilm and released on iTunes, YouTube, Vimeo and more than two dozen other sites within 3 or 4 days of the broadcast.�

The show aired its pilot episode in December 2008 which featured recording artists Benjamin Wesley, Robert Ellis and Grandfather Child & Sad Gorilla. When the show began it was well received but very few people knew about it.

The third episode saw the implementation of the "Audience of One": one studio audience member that represented a larger online community. On episode 3, the first audience of one was Lou Congelio from Only in Houston. Audience of one participants have represented a variety of online communities and publications connecting LFSH to a larger audience with each new episode.�

One year, 25 recording artists...and a ton of social media marketing later, Live From SugarHill has a growing monthly audience of thousands of and is syndicated on video sites around the world.�The new year holds many surprises, more national acts, twice as many episodes, a 1st season DVD and much more.

Perhaps it is the "if walls could talk" phenomenon in practice as the septuagenarian studio tells its tales. Studio A has witnessed the recording of many #1 hits since its inception. World-class studio engineering, digital cinematography and photography and internet delivery are helping spread those stories to the world. Whatever the reason, the show has a burgeoning audience and is being noticed by recording artists and the recording industry, helping to focus some much-deserved attention on Houston's incredible music scene.

Last month the Live From SugarHill Studios website was launched. The site contains free downloads of all episodes, links to artists, video channels, audience of one members, a store that sells music featured on the show and many other features.
Season Two, Episode One features and incredible mix of jazz masters and modern indie rock genius.... watch it now on

Season Two, Episode One: Jazz Trio Paul English, Dennis Dotson & Brennan Nase as well as experimental indie rockers Peekaboo Theory are the musical guests. Community guest and �audience of one� � a 17 year veteran of creative direction and design whose work covers print, web design, video, photography and writing is Henry �Von Wolffe� Davis, who also acts as the Live Music Examiner for�

The program includes short sets and candid interviews with Rosa Guerrero and award-winning record producer, Dan Workman. Live from SugarHill Studios is a collaborative effort between Zenfilm, and SugarHill Recording Studios.

Paul English�is an established composer, producer and educator, is known to Texas audiences as a jazz pianist who has performed and recorded with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Arnett Cobb, David Liebman, Mark O?Connor and Kirk Whalum. As a studio musician, he has appeared on over 350 recordings of various genres and has produced a number of mostly jazz and classical recordings including arrangements and orchestrations for country music legends, Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush and Ray Price.

Peekaboo Theory�has been serving refreshing audible treats, slaughtering boundaries and stereotypes linked to their sound. The band has gained loyalty, respect and critical acclaim of fans and media alike with raw talent in the national music scene, boasting a resume of live shows everywhere from Albuquerque to Los Angeles to New York City.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Grammy Week, 2010

I'm sitting at my window on the eighth floor of the Millenium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. This is my second year to actually attend the Grammy telecast. I showed up well before the weekend in order to participate in many of the parties and tributes that take place before the big day of the show--which is Sunday. Tomorrow, I'll get a chance to have breakfast with Glenn Lorbecki, Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of NARAS. He and I never seem to spend enough time together at these events, but tomorrow may change that. One of the more unusual things that I will do this week is to follow up on potential music business opportunities that may arise as our country's Foriegn Policy changes. Similar opportunities may take me to Dubai in May! It feels weird--and somehow right, all at the same time--to be swimming in international waters this year.

While I'm here, I'm shopping for a record deal for one client, and looking for publishing for another. The way that is done is to hang out in the Biltmore Lobby/Bar. Tough work, but somebody has to do it. I may have the opportunity to see a rehearsal of the Grammy telecast. THAT would be quite cool! I might learn something that we could use in Live From SugarHill.

Finally, Steve Christensen's record for Steve Earl is up for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Folk category. My cousin, Charles Workman, sang tenor in an opera recording that is nominated as well. I have a lot if cheering to do this year. Oh yeah, Beyonce' is nominated for, I think, 10 awards! Crazy!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Snow at SugarHill


Well, snow doesn't happen very often in Houston, Texas, and when it does, we generally freak out and celebrate while indulging in an inflated sense of driving danger. I mean, we'll bring in our plants and wrap our pipes at the tiniest dip towards 32 degrees.

Since I'm here, I'll mention that we had an amazing Live at SugarHill Episode 12 show last night. Winter Wallace and Tody Castillo. Check out our new site here. The show is gaining a lot of momentum.

Off to make a snowman in the barrio.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Two Star Rehearsal

I had a composition session with Two Star Symphony in my office last night. The pictures on the floor are prints of Wayne Gilbert's paintings. We're going to do a dual art/music performance and are composing music to compliment the imagery. Think "soundtrack to evocative static and powerful paintings", and you'll be right on the money.

I played SK-1 and a bit of acoustic guitar. Since I'm a big fan of the band, I'm having a ball. More about this as it occurs.

Jeff Walton and I are starting work on another song for Craig Squires. We're leaving Halloween and headed out to the solar system for the them of this song. Jeff has already made a lot of headway on this tune.

Monday, November 23, 2009

SugarHill Book Drop Date, April 1st, 2010

The publishing date for my partner, Andy Bradley's book, with co-author, Roger Wood, is April 1st 2010. THAT IS NOT AN EARLY APRIL FOOLS! Check out the title link to the University of Texas Press web-blurb on the book. The book is titled:

House of Hits: The Story of Houston's Gold Star/SugarHill Recording Studios

Andy has worked constantly and furiously on that book for 10 years. Rock producer legend, Mike Clink and financier, Chuck Jenness, urged us to write it, and write it they did. Also check out the pre-sale on

As for what I've been up to. Well, I'm so far behind in my commitment to you, constant reader, (note the singular) that I am shamed into not writing. Like not at all. Here's the list of danstuff that has not been reported:

Went to Peru.
Worked for the Recording Academy in New York.
Worked for the Recording Academy in LA.
Wound up work on an album for Jake Dalton.
Finished an amazing Halloween song by Craig Squires (in time for Halloween)!
Began working on a big project with Kareem Salama.
Continued, and expanded my work with Cari Quoyeser.
Worked with Jeff Walton for commercials for TSO, Delta Downs, and Texas Children's Hospital.
Started new songs with The Southern Backtones.
Done four more episodes of Live From SugarHill.
Road my 1977 motorcycle to see my Dad in Kerrville, Texas.
Played SK-1 onstage with Eric Jarvis, Matt Johnson, and Max Dyer in support of the band Crossing Togo.
Just met with Ken Sheppard and Scott Ayers about getting involved in their music.

Will I fill in the blanks in future posts? Even I do not know! I've been all busy being me and have not stopped to comment.

Back to work.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Owen and Lilly

(before we get to Owen and Lilly--start rant)

Ok. I've been suffering from 'the laundry problem'. It goes like this: You don't do your laundry. Your dirty clothes pile up. You need to do your laundry,... in fact you want to do your laundry. But you don't. So your laundry problem continues to grow. Soon, you have one honkin' big wad of laundry to do. It's going to take a whole day to do. That growing mound of clothes shames you right through the wall time and time again throughout the week,... then every day. You realize that you are totally dysfunctional when, instead of washing the 15 pound stone henge of underwear and socks at home, you find yourself buying new underwear and socks at Target. Again.

Finally. Finally! you make the time to wash the damn laundry. As you re-acquaint yourself with those shirts and pants that you really like, and can't wait to wear again, you realize for the umpteenth time how much you very much hate doing the wash.

So, what's happened is that instead of doing a painless 30 minutes of clothes washing every few days, you put off doing the laundry--BECAUSE YOU HAVE TAUGHT YOURSELF TO HATE DOING THE LAUNDRY. And that fear of the amazing hassle of that day of drudge work keeps you from simply hitting the machine every three or four days for an effortless few moments.

Replace the phrase, "write in my blog" with "laundry" and you will get my point. Get out the wet noodles and help me start lashing.

(end rant)

Yesterday I had lunch with the amazing songwriting and production team of Owen and Lilly. They hale from the UK, but have lived in LA for the past few years. They are as nice, as cool, as they are talented. I've had the honor of mixing some of their work in the past, and hope that we maintain the connection. Yesterday, we sat in the car and listened to demos of a 15 year old chanteuse they are developing back home in Britain.

On another note, I met with artist and friend, Wayne Gilbert and the members of Two Star Symphony last night to discuss doing a show together. Wayne and I have done performance art pieces over the years, and I have always wanted to work with Two Star. My inner school girl is squealing with excitement.

I've been to Peru, New York and LA within the last 8 weeks. That's the pile of laundry I still need to blog about. Soon.....