“I can’t trust you, been there before, I used to want to…I don’t want to anymore.”
A lyric dripping with this much emotion might be mistaken for a romantic ballad about unrequited love or a tragic break-up, but imagine how those sentiments change when the hurt and heartbreak is about your family. Steeped in complexity—disappointment, failed relationship, maturity, and underlying it all, hope—Jean Leon is the first studio album from “Mr. Texas Soul” himself, Micah Edwards.
Having explored a spectrum of neo-soul, jazz, lo-fi, and pop over the last two years, Micah’s smooth vocals lend themselves to many different styles and genres. But for his debut full-length project, a story about his personal testimony during one of the hardest years of his life, Micah sought to create his own sound. This sound was specifically inspired by his story—an amalgamation of what he loves: Jesus, his wife, Texas, piano, pedal steel, and his mother…mixed with things he’s sought to understand: brokenness, forgiveness, reconciliation, and his relationship with his father.
Micah’s family values were largely shaped by growing up in a large, mixed-race family on the West Coast. As Micah grew older and his family moved to Texas, that view started to be challenged on a regular basis, forcing Micah to reconcile what he thought he knew about the man he wanted to be. What do you do when the man you looked up to as the leader of your family isn’t who you needed him to be? When your family has been let down and hurt, time and time again? And how do you stop yourself from becoming that same man for your own family?
Bitter, yet uplifting—Jean Leon is a healing, soulful exploration of faith from Micah. Searching for answers from God while searching his own heart, you will understand who Micah is as a musician and artist from the unique blend of up-front vocals driven by bass and drums, supported with piano and retro-soul guitar, and embellished with soulful horns and twangy steel guitar.
This debut album is a nod to the artists before him, as a young virtuoso who understands not just the heart, but the musical precision of retro-soul and country music. Someone who pays homage to Curtis Mayfield’s brilliance of guitar in early Impressions records and Etta James’ almost conversational vocal expression, while embracing his classic country songwriting influence through calculated storytelling employing the fiddle and steel guitar. Someone who respects and honors Leon Bridges, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Marcus King, Durand Jones & The Indications, Aaron Frazer, Michael Kiwanuka—but leans heavily into the sounds of this particular moment. This is a daring explorer who has created a unique fusion of retro and contemporary elements to defy what has been done before and craft a new genre: Texas soul.
SAM TURNER AND THE CACTUS CATS
Sam Turner and the Cactus Cats’ sophomore album “Rodeo Hound” is a collection of living stories that restore your hope in country music songwriting. In true Texas fashion, they’ve opted to celebrate the release of their new album at Houston’s historic country music landmark Neon Boots Dancehall and Saloon. Neon Boots, formerly known as The Esquire Room, has been graced by many of the greats who need only their first names mentioned: Willie, Waylon, Patsy, Merle, and the list goes on. Sam and the Cats hope to honor this great tradition by adding their music to the rich history of live performances at Neon Boots.
Hailing from the honky-tonk heartland of Texas, Sam Turner is backed up by the Cactus Cats (Michael Trakhtenberg on lead guitar, W.D. Hesser on bass, Kevin Skrla on pedal steel, and Troy Tabner on drums). As one of Houston’s best kept secrets, they cut their teeth with a weekly residency at a local dive bar and later joined indie rock band Miniature Tigers on their 2017 Texas Tour where Compose Yourself Magazine described Sam and the Cats Austin, TX performance as “a honky tonk’s wet dream.” Since then Sam and the Cats have shared the stage with Garrett T. Capps, Durand Jones & the Indications, the Black Lips and played shows from Marfa to New Orleans and everywhere in between.
Rodeo Hound was born to rattle the baseboards of every honky-tonk, historic theater, and dancehall in Texas. The evening promises you’ll hear heartbreaking, love-longing, and soul-swinging tunes that have the power to rekindle the rowdy spirits of troubadours and country crooners of yesteryear. Come hear it for yourself and soak in the celebration of country music culture with Sam and the Cats, Bonnie, and Neon Boots!
ANCIENT CAT SOCIETY
Ancient Cat Society is a 6-piece supergroup from Houston, Texas – led by Sergio Trevino of Buxton, featuring members Haley Lynch (Dollie Barnes), Austin Sepulvado (Mister Data), Tom Lynch (Vodi), Tank Lisenbe (Tan Kin), and Marshall Graves (Rodeo Art). ACS started off as a folk trio, but had grown in size and sound over 2 albums, and is set to release their “heart wrenchingly vibey” third LP “Lonely Times” late this summer.