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Man behind the music
by Paul Gonzales
Oct 18, 2012 | 1298 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jamey Haws
Jamey Haws
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Beeville — “I love music, first off, and live music is a real passion of mine.”

Those words were calmly spoken by Jamey Haws, a week before the massive surge of boots and cowboy hats descend upon the Bee County Expo Center for Western Week 2012.

Haws, who’s in charge of the music portion of Western Week this year, doesn’t seem at all nervous about the huge task set before him.

And, even though he has programmed the pavilion stage for the past three years, things have changed a bit this time around.

This year, he’s in charge of the entire slate of music, from the pavilion to the rodeo arena.

Openers, secondary acts and then, of course, the headliners.

“I’m going to pretty much coordinate everything out there,” Haws said.

“The rodeo arena is a bigger, different animal, but I have a lot of help in that area.

“Jason Maddox is one of the acts, but he’s going to help out.”

But even with this year being his first time booking the major bands for the major music portion of Western Week, he didn’t sit back and book the familiar bands we’ve seen in the past.

He did something quite different.

Haws looked in our own back yard and got some major players from the emerging Texas music scene currently making waves – albeit not in the mainstream market.

And the gamble might just pay off.

“It’s a combination of things – bands I like, bands from around here, bands from a little bit further out from around here to help bring people from other counties and whatnot.

“A lot of it just comes down to who I like and who I know will come down and make a good show.”

With musicians like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Pake Rossi and Hayes Carll, there’s a great timeline of Texas country that weaves them all together.

“Whether they’re names that everyone’s heard of or not, the truth is they’re quintessential to why the Texas music scene is as productive and is as big as it is today.

“Even though it might be a little different and people may not, at first glance, know the names, the bands are going to get up on stage and just give 110 percent.

“I’m willing to take a risk to bring a band that I know will perform well and sound good on stage as opposed to a name that people might know.”

Past, present and future Texas country musicians will all come together for one night on one stage for what’s likely to be one heck of a show.

And Haws isn’t letting the enormous arena change the way he thinks about the brand of music he feels people should be enjoying.

“Bringing in bands for people to see live is the part of it I really enjoy.

“The stage is just a place where you get to see music performed at it’s best. That’s the part of it I like.

“I generally know what sounds good and what people will like. And that’s the part that’s important to me. That the music is good and the live performance is good.

“I go to a lot of concerts, and you see one great show by a band that’s not a big name without lasers and fire everywhere, and it really changes.

“You see music for what it is.”

And it’s Haws’ keen sense of the music industry as a whole that makes him even more suited to fill the stages this time around.

“It’s part of my passion in music. I’m not a musician; I can’t sing, and I don’t play an instrument. But I have a passion for music that I’ve had since I was a very little kid.”

And Haws lends his talents to many around the area and is constantly meeting new musicians and acts.

“My cousin drummed with everybody, and it’s funny the people he meets know me or knows someone I know.

“It’s just really weird, but it keeps happening.

“If I see an act or a musician that I really like and if it’s possible or accessible for both of us, I’ll do whatever I can to help them.

“Big Dan from Kicker 106 is cool and helps out a lot. I’ve gone there with singles for several of the acts I work for, and they’ve played all of them. They’ve been really supportive.”

And, spending the last three years booking smaller bands and running the smaller pavilion stage seemed like practice for the music aficionado.

And that gig set him up for the big show.

“They knew I worked with a lot of musicians – I help promote and manage several musicians – they knew that I did that and asked if I could help bring in some bands for the pavilion, and it’s kind of just snowballed from there.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in the last years just making sure the pavilion runs smooth and that we talk about the sponsors and everything on the stage at the pavilion goes good.

“That’s where I think it started. We did a good job for the past three years, making sure the pavilion goes good.”

And once Haws got offered the rodeo arena, he was off doing what seemed almost impossible.

Putting on one big show for hundreds of fans from all over Texas who never really get a chance to see some of these acts.

“It’s very time consuming – calling the bands, doing the advertising.

“There’s a lot to do. Getting contracts signed; it’s a lot of phone calls and emails.

“It’s a lot of time.”

He added, “I think, this year more so than in other years, you will really get a chance to see something that just hasn’t been done before at Western Week.

“That’s not to say that the stuff before wasn’t good or that this is better, it’s just going to be different, unique and something you shouldn’t miss.”

And with such an eclectic lineup filling the bill, expectations are high, but none are higher than Haws has himself.

“Expect a lot of great music and maybe something you just haven’t seen before. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I think it’s a blessing.

“You’re really going to get a chance to see the purest form of Texas music.”

For more information on the events and the bands playing during the weekend visit www.westernweek.org

Paul Gonzales is the entertainment writer at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 116, or at thescene@mySouTex.com.
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