Texas bands to perform at Cavalcade

SUSAN ALBERTexaminer-enterprise
Texas bands to perform at Cavalcade

Besides a plethora of competitions and activities, the The 67th Annual Cavalcade Rodeo kicks off July 15-21 in Pawhuska with a variety of musical entertainment.

Entertainment includes the Aaron Watson Band on July 18 and the Casey Donahew Band on July 20. Other musical acts scheduled during the Cavalcade are the Cody Johnson Band on July 17 and Jason Boland and the Stragglers on July 19.

Watson launched a tour to promote his 11th album, Real Good Time, which ranked No. 9 on Billboard’s country chart.

“It really sums up what we have been doing the last 12 years, and I feel like it is the cream of the crop for us,” he says in a publicity release.

Drawing from country influences like George Strait and Waylon Jennings, Watson says the album is “country music at its core.” Listeners will recognize names such as Willie Nelson and Elizabeth Cook who sang with him on “Honky Tonk Kid” and “Leather and Lace,” respectively.

Previous records include one of gospel songs and a live album, “Deep in the Heart of Texas.”

Watson, who grew up in Amarillo and currently lives in Abilene, Texas, has sold more than 150,000 records and holds seven No. 1 singles on the Texas Music Chart. His new single, “Summertime Girl,” has earned the highest chart debut, most adds and most spin increase on the Texas Music Chart and Texas Regional Radio Report, according to the release.

His inspiration comes from three things — family, fans and faith, he says. When writing, those are uppermost in his mind. In the album, Real Good Time, he sings about his wife, his parents and grandparents and his faith in Jesus, according to his website biography.

“It’s reflective of who I am. And I think that is what makes an artist an artist,” he says.

For more information about Watson, visit www.aaronwatson.com.

The Casey Donahew Band has been a mainstay across the country for more than a decade. Performing in markets such as Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico, they bring a unique sound to country music.

In April, the band’s new album, Standoff, was released, debuting at No. 1 on the iTunes Country chart and No. 7 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, according to a band publicity release. Their debut single, “Whiskey Baby,” is currently climbing country charts.

The Burleson, Texas, native grew up on a farm where he loved riding and team roping. It wasn’t until his college years at Texas A&M that his musical interest bloomed; he taught himself to play guitar and focused on writing songs. Transferring to the University of Texas, he and soon-to-be-wife Melinda checked out the Texas music scene. It wasn’t long before he was playing his own gigs.

“I’ve just always liked the country songs from the ’80s,” says Casey on his website. “It seems like a time when there was a lot of great songwriting going on, and I just enjoy people who can tell a story with a song. And I’ve always been a big Garth Brooks fan, since the beginning. First there was George Strait, and then here came this guy from Oklahoma, Garth Brooks.”

Donahew’s other albums include Moving On, Live-Raw-Real in the Ville, Casey Donahew Band, Lost Days, and Double Wide Dream.

For more about Donahew visit www.caseydonahewband.com.

The Cody Johnson Band blends country and rock, looking for songs that “touch their heart,” according to thecodyjohnsonband.com.

Born in east Texas, Johnson won the Texas Regional Music Awards as “New Male Vocalist of the Year, 2011,” prompting him to ardently pursue his dream. Located in Huntsville, Texas, the band’s music includes the albums Six Strings One Dream and A Different Day.

Jason Boland was born in Harrah and attended Oklahoma State University, where he formed the red dirt/Texas country band Jason Boland and the Stragglers. Albums include Dark and Dirty Mile, Rancho Alto and Comal County Blue.

Visit their website at thestragglers.com.