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Denton Jazz Chronicles: Out of Bounds

July 10, 2013

By Kathy Edwards McFarland
Somewhere on the borders of Jazz, gray as they are, you find fabulous live music that you may consider of the genre, or not. However these various artists and bands are classified, I am compelled to mention their event, and a sampling of their artistry.

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Friday, July 19, 2013: Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora Street, Dallas, 8 p.m. Click for ticket information –

Internationally acclaimed Mexican acoustic rock guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela are back on the road again in 2013, bringing their unique instrumental blend of metal, jazz and world music to audiences all over the US.
Opening for Rodrigo y Gabriela is singer, songwriter, and guitarist Zach Heckendorf.

Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero have been playing together for more than 15 years. First as young thrash metal fans in their native Mexico City, then as innocents abroad and street musicians in Dublin, Ireland, at the turn of the millennium, and finally as the globe-straddling, film-scoring, record-breaking artists they are today.

Known for exhilarating live shows, Rodrigo y Gabriela have won the hearts of music lovers from the haciendas of Cuba to the Hollywood Bowl and festival fields of Europe, as they continue to weave their unique six-string magic. The extraordinary interplay between Sanchez’s fiery lead lines and Quintero’s phenomenal rhythmic battery is truly universal.

Having recently released their most ambitious album to date, 2012’s “Area 52,” which was recorded in Havana with a thirteen-piece Cuban orchestra, as well the 2011 soundtracks to “Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” and “Puss In Boots,” Rodrigo y Gabriela are getting ready to rewrite the script again.

With career sales in excess of 1.2 million albums, blockbuster movie scores, and sold out tours worldwide, Rodrigo y Gabriela have certainly made their mark. Their appeal is boundless, their scope limitless, and the music timeless; clearly, we have only begun to see what this duo is capable of.

Seryn / Chambers



Saturday, July 26, 2013: Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial, Denton. Show, 9 p.m. Tickets:

Seryn is a five-piece band, who calls Denton, Texas, their home. When listening to the well layered textures of guitars, ukulele, accordion, bass, viola, banjo and various percussion, it’s hard to imagine This Is Where We Are is the band’s debut effort. The band’s strength resides in their vast musical talent and understanding of dynamics. Their beauty is gracefully displayed through chilling harmonies. Each member and their voice carry the same importance. One is not complete without the other. It is in this craft that the young band shines so bright. It has earned them a sound that isn’t easily defined, but still proven triumphant. Band members are – Nathan James Allen, Trenton Wheeler, Aaron David Stoner, Chris Semmelbeck, Carlo Canlas, Jenny Moscoso, and Cal Quinn, FOH Sound Engineer/Production Manager.

What may first appear as straight folk songs, later transcend into menacing walls of sound. The term “Folk-Pop” has been thrown around and maybe it loosely fits, but we will leave the definitions up to you. The Denton Record-Chronicle said “Seryn’s set was so dynamic that you could feel the key changes in your feet, through Festival Hall’s concrete floor!“. While the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported, “Watching Seryn perform, it’s hard to convince yourself that those crystalline, multi-part harmonies are not pre-recorded or some kind of sleight of ear.” You can see where this is going … This is Where We Are was produced by Britton Beisenherz (Ramble Creek), and recorded over the course of a few months.

The experience, felt at their live show, seems to be captured well in these recordings, which was something of great importance to the band. The band has created their own buzz in the most traditional way too by winning people over at their shows. It’s not often that a band without a record out is able to play so many great bills and sold-out shows. Much less, be nominated for awards such as Best Folk Artist, and Song of the Year (Dallas Observer). There is no shortage of regional press on them either but the band is excited to take their sound, their show, and their new record on the road.

Serena Ryder

Serena Ryder by Autumn deWilde

Serena Ryder by Autumn deWilde

August 13, 2013: Trees, 2709 Elm Street [MAP] Dallas, 8 p..m. Click here for ticket information –

Juno Award-winning singer/songwriter, Serena Ryder showcases selections from her latest album Harmony.

Opening for Ryder is Lee Dewyze (Season 9 American Idol Winner)

Ryder‘s songs showcase boisterous pop (“What I Wouldn’t Do”), lushly sultry soul balladry (“Fall”), raw exuberance (the scat-driven “Stompa”) and earthy joy (“Mary Go Round”). And throughout each song is a blend of a joyous embrace of a wide range of styles, at all times honoring her whole musical life: The girl who sang along to her mom’s record collection before she ever picked up a guitar and the woman who had fallen under the seductive sway of generations of dynamic, poetic singer-songwriters.

Working with producers/collaborators Jerrod Bettis (Gavin Degraw, Better Than Ezra) and Jon Levine (K’naan, Nelly Furtado) in Hollywood and at her Toronto home studio, the rush of creativity was remarkable both for the results, and its ease.

“This was one of the easiest and fun records I’ve ever made,” she says. “Really, really effortless. We wrote and recorded all of the songs in a couple of weeks.”

The single of “Stompa” previewed the breakthrough of Harmony as a hit at home, as well as a featured spot in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. “When I was a kid I loved Ella (Fitzgerald) and all that, loved scatting, using my voice as a real instrument. All of a sudden I was scatting. And the word people came out of my mouth. Just came out!” From that grew “Stompa,” one of the album’s irresistible centerpieces.

The songs, she adds, to her represent the elements — fire, water, air, earth — in respective, poetic ways. But also much more within that, the elements within her, within the emotions touched by music.

“All those elements coming together in this record,” she says. “That’s why it’s called Harmony. ‘Harmony’ is being able to have a billion things happen at once. As long as they’re in harmony, it’s all good. You don’t have to think about yourself or deny yourself.”

The AristocratsAristocratsLive

Friday, August 23, 2013: Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial Street, Denton – Doors, 8 p.m., Show, 9 p.m.

The Aristocrats (Bryan Beller, Guthrie Govan and Marco Minnemann)BOING, 2011 – was hailed as an instant classic in leading music publications worldwide, appearing on many of that year’s Top 10 lists. Guthrie Govan suddenly found himself on guitar magazine covers across the globe. Music schools in particular felt the impact, as a wave of students took to covering Aristocrats tunes much in the same way Steve Vai’s Passion And Warfare inspired players a generation ago. In less than a year, The Aristocrats went from doing a single pickup gig to becoming one of the most sought-after live instrumental rock/fusion acts in the world.

The next 18 months saw the band successfully tour both coasts and the Midwest/mid-south of America, eastern Canada, the U.K., Benelux, France, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Poland, Croatia, Turkey, Greece, Israel, Korea, and Japan. The band’s live energy and otherworldly chemistry was captured on the DVD/2CD release BOING, We’ll Do It Live! The Aristocrats At Alvas Showroom [BOING, 2012].

In 2013, the band reconvened to track their long-awaited sophomore album, Culture Clash, whose title is an allusion to the multi-national makeup of the band (Govan is British; Beller is American; Minnemann is German), as well as a sly reference to a scene from the Coen-brothers film A Serious Man. They used the same formula – three songs from each band member – but weaponized it with the collective experience of eighteen months of touring as a unit. As a result, the new music is more aggressive, adventurous, and intense, embodying a refusal to rest on the laurels of the debut album’s surprise success. Featuring everything from techno-fusion (Minnemann’s “Dance Of The Aristocrats”) to nitro-powered rockabilly (Beller’s “Louisville Stomp”) to Govan’s rhythmically serpentine title track, Culture Clash is set for a July 2013 release, and will be followed immediately by a U.S. tour, with international touring to follow in 2014.

The key thing to remember is that The Aristocrats are a true band. Whether it’s about the music, the touring plans, the record artwork and sequence, the business decisions, or what have you, everyone has an equal say. Perhaps Guthrie said it best when he used the phrase “a rowdy democracy of musicianship.” It’s not just fusion. It’s not just shredding. It’s not even meant to be taken seriously at times. It’s just the sound of three guys who did a single pickup gig and suddenly discovered they had something musically deep going on together…along with a propensity for employing R-rated song titles. So what do you call an act like that? The Aristocrats.


SPUNE,, can most easily be defined as a music production and entertainment promotions company. Spune serves as promoter, event producer, marketing and design house, artist development company, record label and booking agency. It is the desire of Spune to produce innovative, reputable events and to promote quality independent artists. Our purpose is to contribute to the development of the arts by heightening the awareness of both the event and the artist.

Dan’s Silverleaf,, 103 Industrial, Denton. One of the most dynamic live-music and performance venues, offering shows as diverse as be-bop Jazz with Bassist Eddie Gomez, to fusion-laced works by Jimi Tunnell and Trilateral Coalition – from Bluegrass by the Boxcar Bandits to the Talking Heads tribute band, Remain in the Light.

The Dallas Observer,, is a free alternative weekly newspaper distributed around the Dallas, Texas (USA). At its inception, it was conceived as a weekly local arts and cinema review publication, with the credo “Advocate for Excellence in the Arts” on the cover. For a time during the early years, the paper switched to a biweekly publishing scheduling. Eventually, the paper reverted to a weekly schedule, and began concentrating less on the arts. While it is now known for its investigative stories of the local government, it also covers local sports stories, restaurants, events, and concerts.


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