Blue Water Highway

Blue Water Highway comes from the working class, coastal town background that has informed the work of so many of rock’s greatest writers and artists. They take their name from the roadway that links their hometown of Lake Jackson, Texas to Galveston, where the cops, the teachers, the baristas and the chemical plant workers travel to work hard and to play hard, blowing off steam, dancing to their favorite bands. Blue Water Highway’s music is the soundtrack for their lives. “Best Friend” is the first single from their upcoming album Heartbreak City, coming out on Blue Water Highway Records/Thirty Tigers on June 8th. With a hook that’s a mile wide, it chronicles the lives, loves and friendships that sustain us. Blue Water Highway was started by two “best friends” from high school-Zack Kibodeaux (lead vocals, guitar) and Greg Essington (vocals/guitar). Zack then turned to Catherine Clarke(vocals/keyboard) to complete the three-part harmonies the band would soon be known for. They were then joined by Kyle Smith (Bass) and Jared Wilson(drums).


Grady Spencer & the Work

Born in Lubbock and raised in the country outside of a town called Paducah, Grady Spencer’s roots dig deep into Texas soil. By day, Spencer is a foreman for a commercial construction company. By any other time, he’s songwriter and front-man of Grady Spencer & The Work.

The Work originally formed in 2013 on the stage of Paradox Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Drummer Blake Sager was joined by bassist Johnny Hatcher in 2016, followed by guitarist Tyler Martin in 2018. The Work’s music reflects its members: honest, good-timing, with a nod to blue-collar roots.

In 2013, the band recorded and self-produced its first album at 1916 Studios in Kyle, Texas. Released that same year, Sleep was the band’s first introduction to the Fort Worth music scene. “Things to Do” was eventually picked up by the Fort Worth Visitors Bureau via Tom Martens, and in 2017 the city sent Spencer and The Work to Niles City Sound to rerecord and release the track as a single.

Sophomore record The Line Between was primarily tracked at January Sound in Dallas, Texas. The band worked with Magnolia Records and released the album in 2016. The Line Between carried the band beyond Forth Worth city limits—a following started to crop up across the state and numbers rose on streaming platforms, catapulting The Work to their next album.

Celebrate, The Work’s most recent album, was recorded with Niles City Sound in Fort Worth, Texas in 2018. Celebrate is set to release June 2019.

The Grand Ol’ Christmas Show is a tribute to the original, traditional, one hundred percent, red-blooded, two-fisted, all American old fashioned Christmas Show. A spectacle of familiar Christmas tunes and classic comedy presented in the format of a live radio broadcast at the 1225AM N.O.E.L Radio Studio. An original variety show produced by Will Hearn and featuring American band Blue Water Highway, along with a twelve-piece big band, gospel choir, and some of the best singers and entertainers in Texas. The Grand Ol’ Christmas Show harkens back to a simpler era and will leave you with a feeling you haven’t felt in a long time.
The show’s history is as unique as itself and began in 2003 when producer Will Hearn along with high school friends Greg Essington and Zack Kibodeaux, the now lead singer/songwriters of Blue Water Highway, in their senior year of high school wanted to write and perform a Christmas show of sorts and different from anything else out there. Feeling the current market for Christmas entertainment was stale and overdone, the three friends developed a show concept that they like to call progressive nostalgia; a variety show performed within the concept of a live 1940’s radio broadcast at 1225AM N.O.E.L Radio. The goal was to give audiences an experience of the Christmas spirit that they had perhaps not felt in a long time, not by hammering in a kitschy message, but instead communicating the message of Christmas through the performance of the music by incredibly talented musicians and entertainers.
The show started out as a one night only $2 per ticket fundraiser for the Brazoria County Youth Home. The show was a sell out and a surprise hit. It was produced again in 2004, 2005, 2009, 2015 and bumped up to three sell-out performances. In 2016, the producers were approached by an entertainment company offering an opportunity to test the concept in markets outside of Lake Jackson. The show went on a successful mini-tour last year to San Marcos and New Braunfels and sold nearly a thousand tickets between the two dates.
This year the show expands to five total markets and eight tour dates across Texas visiting Houston, Lake Jackson, Victoria, New Braunfels, and Fort Worth. In addition to its first major tour, on December 17th the show will partner with 95.9FM The Ranch of Fort Worth and Justin Frazell, host of the Texas Red Dirt Roads radio show, for the show’s first live broadcast on a syndicated radio program heard from Oregon to Florida.
Since the show’s inception fifteen years ago, the artists involved have raised over $100,000 for various charitable organizations and will continue to honor those charitable roots by donating a portion of this year’s ticket proceeds to a disaster relief fund for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
For more information about the show and to watch a preview, visit grandolchristmasshow.com. To hear the music of Blue Water Highway checkout bluewaterhighwayband.com.