Fulton Read brings live music back, light show disappoints

Local music junkies from the area, along with those just looking for a good time, found themselves at Bar One-41 last Saturday night for the highly anticipated and overly promoted 3D light show.

The bar opened its doors at 8 p.m., bringing the space above Barfish back to life by filling it with a source of entertainment and, subsequently, a crowd once again. Rest in peace, Lucy’s.

The show kicked off with plunging, hardcore sounds from Austin-based band, Newlywed that was followed by the energized boys of Zlam Dunk, a San Marcos favorite.

The Couch was the third band to inexplicably bring the beat to Bar One-41 with a soulful, catchy sound.

Fulton Read, a piano rock band originally from The Woodlands, headlined the show. Although their set was scheduled four hours into the show, the crowd managed to hold for the most part, and I can safely say they held out for an interesting display.

Anthony Erickson, vocalist and pianist of Fulton Read, said the group has been together for almost five years now and have been performing since their high school days.

They have released three CDs since their arrival in San Marcos including How Rocks Become Mountains, Out of the Woods and their latest EP titled Indivisualize, composed of four tracks completely free and available on their website, www.fultonread.com. The band appears to have been successful in their local shows and musical endeavors. Their first two CD releases alone sold over 1500 copies.

Their influences in jazz and piano-centric music were obvious throughout their performance, and the presence of Austin’s Hellfire Horns brought something fabulously fresh and jazzy to the stage. I especially enjoyed their cover of the funk rock classic “Sunshine of Your Love.”

Fortunately the music was a delightful crowd pleaser because it made up for the lack of psychedelic effects produced by the 3D light show. Whether it was the lights across the white backdrop or a defective pair of three-dimensional paper glasses, I was sadly not impressed. I give props to the originality of thought in the planning of the event, but the single red star and slight glow around each band member was not the outcome I was expecting.

Nonetheless, the square got a little more action than usual Saturday night, and it was still a great time for the many for gave it a shot.

Erickson, also a Mass Communication senior, was impressed by the large turnout and glad people were able to make it out.

“The people here have great class and love to come out and party,” said Erickson. “It was a lot of fun, and it was great to get to play a show with other [talented] local bands.”

Tantra Offers Great Treats, Music

Tantra Coffeehouse has become a San Marcos staple for locals and must see for visitors.

It is not only a great place to study and relax with the indulgence of a tasty beverage or snack, but also a perfect location for witnessing some of the town’s finest live music.

Tuesday nights are dubbed the name “Gypsy Jazz Nights”, which are just the cure for long, stressful work or school days.

Locals and students gather out in the side-yard to drift away to some easy-going, mellow tunes played by a few of the best small time, innovative musicians.

Texas State senior, Anne Ruthstrom said she really enjoys Gypsy Jazz Night and tries to make it out every Tuesday after she gets off work.

The jazzy guitars and eclectic sounds of Gypsy Jazz Night can be heard from blocks away from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Every second and fourth Wednesday of each month are “tribal nights”, which sometimes even include belly dancers and belly dance lessons to rumble and roll of tribal drums and bongos.

Thursday nights are Open Mic nights, and Fridays and Saturdays host even more delectable live music acts for local enjoyment.

However, Tantra isn’t merely limited to delicious coffee, tea and absurdly divine music. Sundays are devoted to afternoon unicycle football tournaments out in the parking lot and also poetry readings in the evening.


Grant Ewing Band

Many local bands can trace their beginnings back to shows through the Texas Hill Country, from Austin to San Antonio and small towns around and in between.

Most of the bands are purely country or rock. Not many can provide a sound so diverse as to engage all different types of genres while producing an energetic yet soulful sound — excluding the Grant Ewing Band.

The band is lead singer and guitarist Grant Ewing, lead guitarist Hunter St. Marie, drummer Jake Sutton, pianist and organist Nathaniel Klugman and bassist Colin Colby.

The musicians said it’s difficult to pick one genre they would consider themselves. Klugman said he likes to tell people they’re “blues, soul and rock ’n’ roll.”

I did not fully understand what they meant until I watched the band play at Triple Crown Tuesday night.

Ewing, Klugman and St. Marie formed the Grant Ewing Band in San Marcos in 2004, and Sutton was a later addition. Interestingly enough, they are all university alumni, with the exception of Ewing.

The group has recorded two full-length albums. Rainmaker was released in 2005, and Move, was released in July of this year. All band members agreed “The Touch,” from Move, is their favorite song to perform, as well as being the most popular with audience members.

Ewing said the best thing about playing San Marcos shows is that it’s a small community where faces become familiar, and it becomes more personal. All the band members met locally and said they are familiar with the ins and outs of the town.

“If it weren’t for San Marcos, we wouldn’t be a band,” Sutton said.

I found it inspiring to witness so many different types of music in one band’s set and to see them interacting so much with the audience. I was thoroughly impressed with Ewing’s low, melodic vocals in the soulful and bluesy “Dirt On You” and with the limitless honesty of Klugman’s one-of-a-kind keyboard solos.

There is absolutely no way I could write this column without mentioning the intricate and absurd amount of talented sound St. Marie produced on guitar. I was 100 percent wowed by each and every solo.

Andres Villegas, finance senior, said he was amazed by the band’s musical diversity, which appeared again in “Umbrellas,” a song with obvious reggae roots.

“It’s becoming more and more uncommon to hear reggae music in this area,” Villegas said. “It’s awesome they were able to incorporate it.”

The band’s main influences and inspirations include Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, The Doors, The Flaming Lips and Count Basie. I could see styles from each of these artists in their set.

“I respect a handful of Texas country bands, but it seems like college students stick to the same (artists),” Ewing said. “We try to be something different and alternative for them.”

The band is scheduled to play at the Texas State Nov. 21 tailgate.