Singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster brought up an interesting point a few weeks ago when I talked to her about the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

She mentioned that many New Orleans musicians relocated to Austin, Houston and other Texas locales.

Foster wondered how the musical landscape would change. Does this mark the beginning of a zydeco or blues explosion across the Lone Star State? How many of these musicians and bands will permanently relocate here? What does that mean for the local music scene in the coming months?

I was lucky enough to see a bit of what Foster was talking about last Thursday when Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes stopped by Revolution in Bryan.

The New Orleans band fuses jazz, funk and ska elements for a remarkably tight sound. Throw in the electric violin with the horn section and you've got the recipe for an addictive sound.

The crowd was small but enthusiastic, and owner Rola Cerone said she hopes to entice the band to return.

On the selfish side, I think this is a great opportunity for some extraordinary musicians to tour across cities and towns they might not otherwise visit.

There's no question that Bryan-College Station and surrounding areas support local musicians. Many quality bands either call the Brazos Valley home or earned their stripes here. Many more are on their way.

But if bands from the areas affected by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina swing this way, I encourage live music fans to attend the shows.

Not only will it build our area's reputation as a desirable destination for live music, but it also help those musicians as they try to rebuild their lives.

Walking the walk

Ben Vaughn, the lead guitarist for StarStruck Someone, wants to get his band from Point A to B as quickly as possible.

Point A is the band's current status: a fledgling rock group hoping to catch the ear of local audiences. Point B is the 2006 South by Southwest Music Festival.

"We've really started to develop some fans who recognize us as a band," said Vaughn, a 22-year-old Texas A&M University student. "Now it's just a matter of getting out there as much as possible."

Vaughn formed the band in 2004 with singer Syke Harvey, drummer Tyler Reynolds and bassist Tommy Sing. He said their main musical influences include The Used, Jimmy Eat World and Fall Out Boy.

Getting the word out about StarStruck Someone primarily has been a grassroots effort, Vaughn said, but word of mouth is gradually spreading. Because all of the members also are students with busy school schedules, it has been a slow process.

But Vaughn's confident the music will take care of the rest. "If we can get them there, I have no doubt we can sell them."

StarStruck Someone invites rock fans to the band's show Friday at Zapatos Cantina. Austin band Kya is scheduled to open the show at 10 p.m.

The good 'Fruitcake'

Fruitcake Superbeing is the musical equivalent of the fountain drink "suicide" I made as a 10-year-old.

That's when I took all the spare change from my room to the local convenience store and mixed every available soda flavor.

The result: An explosion of cavity-causing, sugary goodness that tasted awesome (although the same mixture might gag me now).

With the exception of the gagging part, Fruitcake Superbeing successfully combines elements of jazz, blues and electronica much as the same way the "suicide" quenched my thirst for a three-hour sugar high.

The group's music assaults the eardrums but is polished enough that it makes sense even though the different influences wouldn't seem to they'd mix well.

It's not band's first jaunt through the Brazos Valley. Fruitcake Superbeing also played in College Station several times and appeared at the 2003 Northgate Music Festival.

The band, which describes itself as a "satisfying hiccup spreading through the teXas rock 'n' roll scene," is playing at 10 p.m. Saturday at Fitzwilly's.

'Two Tons' of fun

How would you describe Two Tons of Steel's music. Is it country? Is it rockabilly? If you're stumped, you can head on over to 3rd Floor Cantina to decide.

The San Antonio-based band is back in the Brazos Valley after touring in Europe the last few months.

Frontman Kevin Geil, who named the band after his 1956 hardtop Cadillac, mixes his Elvis-like vocals with twangy guitars and toe-tapping bass lines.

Even if you're not a country fan, Two Tons of Steel throws in enough rockabilly elements that you don't even notice Geil's straw hat.

Two Tons of Steel takes the stage at 11 p.m. Friday at 3rd Floor Cantina, 201-B W. 26th St. in Bryan.

• Greg Okuhara's e-mail address is


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.