Saying Goodbye to Charlie

By Kris Smith

This past Sunday, surrounded by his family, Texas country great Charlie Robison went on to the main stage in the sky.

With the losses of years past, that must be some great band.

Much like others in the Texas Country/Red Dirt genre, Charlie Robison began his music career in Austin, Texas in the late 90’s.  Signed early on with Sony Records, Robison released his first hit album Life of the Party, in 1998 – which granted the Bandera native three chart toppers – including “My Hometown,” and “Barlight”.

In late 2000, Unleashed Live was released with brother Bruce Robison and Texas Country great Jack Ingram.  His Step Right Up album garnered more air play with the hit “Right Man for The Job” and set him up for success with the Good Times album which produced his mega hit “El Cerrito Place”.

Robison even released an album chronicling the career of Texas musician turned politician Kinky Friedman – Why the Hell Not: The Songs of Kinky Friedman.

I felt compelled to use my Krank It Up With Kris column to offer this dedication to Charlie’s memory as he was one of my first assignments I ever received in 2000.  I was immediately star struck and taken in by Charlie’s charm – he had an amazing smile and personality. 

The night of his performance at ‘The Cowboy’ gave me my first official meeting with him and also my first taste of bourbon.  I was a young 20-something country music fan just trying her hand at newspaper journalism. 

Cue that band in the sky – Charlie Robison is definitely the “Right Man For The Job”.  



Bri Bagwell Performs at Texas Theater in Waxahachie

The name Bri Bagwell is synonymous with Texas Country and songwriting. Bagwell, New Mexico native and now Texas transplant, has spent the last decade rousing Texas Country music fans with her fun shows at a variety of venues across the state.
Bagwell began composing poems as a young child and singing in a band in her early teens. With musical influences from Dwight Yoakum to George Strait, her shows are equal to that of on your feet, loud, fun country music.
Attending the University of Texas in Austin, it seemed the ‘Live Music Capitol of the World’ fueled her love of the Texas Country genre. During her college tenure, she learned a few chords on the guitar. Gigging it out with other Texas country artists for the last decade, Bri Bagwell does not seem to be slowing down.
Bri has earned four Texas Female Vocalist of the Year awards and most recently received the Texas Female Artist of the Decade. Receiving national attention, the name Bri Bagwell has been mentioned in rooms with Miranda Lambert and Ashley McBryde. She has shared the same stage with Gary Allan, Randy Rogers, and even the iconic Willie Nelson.
Bri Bagwell typically performs more than 150 concerts per year, Bagwell loves the road. This past Friday, she performed at the Texas Theater in Waxahachie and looks forward to coming to Corsicana in the future.

The Malpass Brothers

By Kris Smith
Amid the Corsicana Palace 2022-2023 Season, The Malpass Brothers will take the stage on Friday.
The Malpass Brothers, Taylor and Christopher, are no stranger to Country music legacies, paving their own paths since they were small children. Christopher began winning awards at talent shows at age 7, and Taylor picked up the mandolin at age 10, proving that you are never too young to play.

The talented duo is backed by a full band and pays homage to those Country artists we all grew up listening to. Their gift of music shared the marquee with Ray Price, Marty Stuart, Rhonda Vincent, Ray Price, and they even toured with the late great Merle Haggard. “We toured with Merle for 7 years and he even signed us to his record label, Haggard Records. He treated us like were his children.”
Classified as a roots country style, The Malpass Brothers attribute their physical style to Marty Stuart and Porter Waggoner era musicians. “Our musical heroes growing up were Charlie Rich, Ernest Tubb, and of course Merle.” Merle Haggard is even quoted as saying. “Well, they remind me a lot of myself and people I knew when I was young.”
Their music is full of Country music royalty and legacy. With Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, and even some Hank Williams Sr. thrown in, this dynamic duo is sure to make Friday night one we won’t soon forget.

Country legend Gene Watson said, “Chris and Taylor, The Malpass Brothers, are as good as it gets. They’re genuine. They eat, sleep, and breathe real country music. They are incredible singers, songwriters and as entertainers, they can mesmerize an audience. Just when I thought real country music might be lost, I heard The Malpass Brothers, and they renewed my faith that the music will survive.”

Jeannie C Riley also said in a past interview, “If I could purchase only one more recording in life, I’d lay down my money for the next Malpass Brothers recording. (because I already have all their others!) If I could attend only one more concert before graduating to Glory, I’d be sitting in an audience waiting excitedly for the Malpass Brothers to appear on stage. If asked of all the entertainers I’ve met in my life, who was the friendliest, the humblest, the most caring and generous, the funniest, the most talented, versatile, and anointed…again I’d have to say the Malpass Brothers!! I believe our world today is in desperate need of good news and uplifting things, and it’s my opinion that God sent Chris and Taylor Malpass to shed His light into darkness and to change the world around them for the better…one song at a time!”

Except for the occasional rib between brothers, the sibling rivalry is absent. Taylor said, “We get along very well.” The two brothers were raised with no additional siblings, not even a cousin in sight.
They are more than a cover band, y’all. A new album, ‘Lonely Street’, is set to be released in May, with lots of original songs.
You can bank on some new tunes with some classic down-home country and gospel songs thrown into the set list.
The Palace Theatre still has tickets available, but they won’t last until the raising of the curtain. Go online and order your tickets while you still can!

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