By Johnny Griffith
One of the great perks of this job is getting to listen to, and interview, a lot of great musicians from the East Texas area across a wide spectrum of genres and age groups. All things being equal, I always enjoy interviews with younger musicians just a little more as it gives me hope that the next generation of musicians is active and good caretakers of the art.
This month, two up-and-coming bands I’ve had the privilege of interviewing the past year, Ally Venable and Bibeau, will be joining forces for a special concert at Clicks Live! November 25th. Doors open at 8pm, and the show starts at 9pm.
At first glance, the pairing might seem a bit unusual as the artists come from differing genres; Venable being a young, blistering blues guitarist and vocalist and Bibeau being one of the premier progressive rock bands in the state, much less the region. Once you get past their differences, though, this is a showcase of two of the hottest breakout artists in the area, poised to own stages for years to come, both with new albums releasing in 2018, both bands seemingly destined to be yet two more success stories of musicians from this region who have gone on to be successful outside of this market.
Venable, the beauty of our story, started her musical career out like so many in East Texas, by singing in church. Around the age of 10 or 11, she started listening to blues albums and the rest became history. After early experiments with piano and cello, Ally settled on the guitar and began writing music around the age of 12 or 13.
Now 18, Venable and her band have been burning up stages in East Texas and beyond for several years. A veteran on the blues scene already, she has been mentored by Texas blues legend Lance Lopez and has taken the stage with the likes of Lopez, Rick Derringer, Kingfish Ingram, Trudy Lynn, Steve Krase, Wes Jeans, Gary Hoey, and more. Her talent has garnered her numerous awards with Ally taking second place in the “10 under 20” competition at the 2015 Dallas Guitar show, 2015 and 2016 Female Guitarist Of The Year, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Blues Band Of The Year, and 2017 Album of The Year at the ETX Music Awards, to name a few.
Rounding out the band are veteran musician Bobby Wallace holding down the bass and classically trained musician and drummer Elijah Owings bringing the beat. AVB already has one album under their belt with “No Glass Shoes” which released in 2016 through Connor Ray Music, and they have another album on the way in 2018 that you won’t want to miss.
For the beasts in this tale, we turn to Bibeau, the East Texas-based progressive rock band with blistering guitars, transcendent vocals, and boundless energy. Formed in 2009 by brothers Robin and Peyton Bibeau, sons of transplanted New Orleans native and veteran music exec Paul Bibeau, the band has already made their mark on the scene locally, regionally, and globally with a growing international fan base, a YouTube channel with thousands of views, and several positive reviews in industry magazines.
With a full slate of shows coming up as well as work and school, these guys are constantly moving forward at a breakneck pace. Bibeau recently released their first single and video for “Mark This” worldwide. The video has surpassed 150,000 views and the single has been well received by radio and press all over the world.
No stranger to a packed house and playing to audiences with high expectations, Bibeau has supported such rock powerhouses as John 5 and the Creatures, Red Sun Rising, and rock icon Ace Frehley. Bibeau takes its name from the brothers, Peyton and Robin, who founded the band originally with their dad after growing up immersed in music and musicians from his experiences as a music executive. After several evolutions over the years, the band has rounded out with a strong lineup of like-minded musicians, each possessing the talent and drive to grab success by the horns and bend it to their will.
Bibeau has been described as a “musical bridge between the classic power metal from the ‘70’s/‘80’s combined with the edge and attitude of today’s modern progressive rock bands.” That being said, they aren’t about to be put in any musical box anytime soon and have the musical skill to ensure they keep audiences coming back for more for years to come.
I reached out to concert producer and proud parent of the Bibeau brothers, Paul Bibeau for some more details on this event:
Johnny: How did the idea develop of putting these two bands, from different ends of the rock spectrum, together for one crazy night?
Paul: We love Ally and her absolutely killer band of brothers! We love what they do, and we consider them friends. Bibeau is a modern throwback, and the last thing they want is to end up on live bills with very heavy bands. That’s not our audience. We feel that Bibeau has the potential to attract a large segment of music fans, young and older, male and female.
Johnny: When did it go from being, “Hey this would be a cool idea” to “Hey, we’re really doing this?”
Paul: Bibeau invited the Ally Venable Band to open the show Future Fest at Clicks in Tyler, an all ages show that highlighted young talent from the area. Ally really won over the audience (no surprise) and at the end of the day, it is all about the music. Young people have a lot of distractions. Music is art. Music taps into an individual’s creative nature and helps to allow for creative expression. Having two bands that may offer a different sonic experience is exciting to all of us.
Johnny: As someone who has been involved in music, and the business of music for decades, how exciting is it for you to see the next generation of musicians taking the stage full force and turning heads?
Paul: I see the window opening again for guitar, bass, and drum driven music. Oddly enough, this area of Texas could be the next Seattle and has some major talent that can transcend and grow the musical landscape. From the Ally Venable Band to Blacktop Mojo, the area has got some major talent.
Johnny: These two bands already have huge connections in the industry and fans that include some amazing artists, some of which I’m sure will be out for this show. Do you have any hints for who might be joining in for the end of the night jam?
Paul: We are still putting it together, checking schedules and planning away. Trust me, for the cover charge of $7, you will receive a major market concert that you will be talking about for years to come!
This concert will be a showcase of two of the hottest acts in this area. Both bands will perform full sets with an “all hands on deck” jam session to finish the evening out with some surprises that are sure to please. This will be a night 10 years from now that you’ll be talking about – when you were at Clicks the night two legendary acts, Beauty and the Beasts, shared a stage and brought the house down.
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