Brian McKinney

Brian McKinney

BandCountryBlues

As a solo artist or in "band mode" with the Gypsy Drifters I play my own original Texas style country blues songs with a Honky Tonk flavor. Voted one of the Top 10 Amateur Honky Tonk Singer/Songwriters in Texas at the 2003 Honky Tonk Heros competition sponsored by Billy Bob's Texas and Coors Light

Biography

Brian McKinney has been playing acoustic guitar and writing songs for more than forty years. Since starting his first band at the age of 13, his love of music and his ability to write, perform, and produce musical events has taken him on musical odysseys all over the United States and Canada.

After graduating from Kansas University in the early seventies, Brian did a full apprenticeship as a luthier (guitar maker) at the S.L. Mossman Guitar Company in Winfield, Kansas. In 1972 Mossman Guitars founder Stuart Mossman had organized the Walnut Valley Festival & National Flatpicking Championship with financial support from local businessmen. It was there, in Winfield, that Brian met and got to know some of the greatest bluegrass musicians in the country. Doc and Merle Watson, Sam Bush, and Norman Blake were regular performers at the event. Their influence forever changed his musical style.

In 1974, he ventured out on his own moving back to Lawrence. Kansas where he and a fellow Mossman employee, Steve Mason, opened a 500-seat music venue and guitar repair shop (McKinney-Mason Stringed instruments / Off-The-Wall Hall). This venue gave Brian the opportunity to book and perform with all sorts of musicians from many musical genres. Alligator Records' founder Bruce Iglauer made artists like Koko Taylor, Son Seals, and Fenton Robinson regulars at McKinney's club.

To save on expenses, the bands often stayed overnight at his house swapping licks, drinking whiskey, and playing cards. When show time came around Brian was often asked to sit in on a song or two with these great blues performers.

In 1975 The Kansas Arts Commission asked him to help organize and produce the first Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championship which will celebrate its 25th year in 2006. Shortly thereafter Brian found himself managing sound and lighting assignments for country music stars like Dolly Parton, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jerry Reed, Tonya Tucker, Pure Prairie League, and The Amazing Rhythm Aces. They too had profound influence on his musical development.

He moved to Texas in 1982 and began a twenty-year career as a Dallas based writer, director, and media producer -- working as a weekend musician all the while.

Over the years Brian has developed a solid reputation as a Texas based singer / songwriter and has played numerous venues including The Gypsy Tea Room, Trees, The Red Blood Club, and Blue Cat Blues. “I’m not a native Texan,” he says. “But I got here just as soon as I could.”

He worked as a new media marketing and technology consultant for Gilley’s Dallas for three years and, in 2003 was was recognized as one of the top 10 amatuer honky tonk singer / songwriters in the State of Texas by the judges at the First Annual Coors Light / Billy Bob’s Texas Honky Tonk Hero Contest in Fort Worth.

“People always ask me if I have a CD out,” says McKinney. “I’m working on one now but it’s far from done. Till then I’ll be working at The Austin Radio Ranch, writing new songs, and playing the way I always have -- live."

"It’s a big part of who I am. Its what I love to do.
It's why I moved to Austin."

“When it comes to authentic Texas style singer / songwriters, you can’t find anyone better than Brian McKinney”
-- Hurdie Burk Executive Director,Deep Ellum Association.
(2000 - 2003)

Lyrics

Honky Tonk King

Written By: Brian Converse McKinney

This song is written in first person from the perspective of a long time professional honky tonk musician who’s constantly on the road. Because of the lifestyle he’s chosen, he gets plenty of sex, and enjoys a love/hate relationship with his band. (Actually he loves the band but traveling 9 months out of the year does provide room for some friction now and then.) At this point in his life he has learned to enjoy the single lifestyle that has become his destiny although -- he once was in love with (and still cares very deeply about) a woman who broke his heart by cheating on him.

Lyrics:

Give me a six string, a Shiner, and a box of red one hundreds
I drive an old Dodge truck with a dog ridin’ in the bed
Give me a Motel 6 and a girl from Corsicana
And I’ll ride that Texas highway till the day I’m dead.

I’m a honky tonk king
Don’t wear no diamond ring
Cause the girl I loved has left me far behind
I could say that I don’t care
But that jus wouldn’t be fair
To the cheatin’ heart that’s always on my mind.

Give me a Stetson hat and a gig at Billy Bob’s Texas
I need a honky tonk where the cowboys like to dance
I’ll take a one-night stand with a pretty little Texas mama
In a pair of them tight fittin’ Rocky Mountain pants.

I’m a honky tonk king
Don’t wear no diamond ring
Cause the girl I loved has left me far behind
I could say that I don’t care
But that jus wouldn’t be fair
To the cheatin’ heart that’s always on my mind.

I’m a honky tonk king
Don’t wear no diamond ring
Cause the girl I loved has left me far behind
I got 26 hours till my next show
Take your boots off baby
Let’s Rock’n’Roll
I’ll be your honky tonk daddy you can be my honky tonk queen.

I’m a honky tonk king
Don’t wear no diamond ring
Cause the girl I loved has left me far behind
You could say that I don’t care
But that jus wouldn’t be fair
To the cheatin’ heart that’s always on my mind.
You could say that I don’t care
But that jus wouldn’t be fair
To the cheatin’ heart that’s always on my mind
Your cheatin’ heart is always on my mind

High Heels & Diamonds

Written By: Brian Converse McKinney

She got motion
Locomotion
She got sexy
Lots a sexy
She got high heels and diamonds, diamonds
High heels and diamonds in her eyes

She got moxie
Lots O moxie
She from Texas
Dallas, Texas
She like a freight train rollin’, rollin’
Freight train rollin’ down the line

Mama, mama, mama can you feel my disease
You know I want you baby
Here I am on my knees

I just can’t run
You know I just can’t hide
Cause I got this low down feelin’
Way down deep inside.

She got the hot stuff
She got it sho nuf
She got the traction
The chain reaction
She got the got the get down, full roun
Honky Tonkin boogie woogie roll

She got motion
Locomotion
She got sexy
Lots a sexy
She got high heels and diamonds, diamonds
High heels and diamonds in her eyes

You know I love her dirty mouth
And all of that jive
The way she walks, the way she talks
It gets me so high

I just can’t run
You know I just can’t hide
And when she pouts and struts her stuff
I laydown and die

She got the hot stuff
She got it sho nuf
She got the traction
The chain reaction
She got the got the get down, full roun Honky Tonkin boogie woogie rol

All I Do Is Think About That Girl

Written By: Brian Converse McKinney

Well she looked so fine, I should have known better
But I spilled my drink all over her sweater
And when she looked up, she flashed the sweetest smile

I looked at her, she looked at me
And it was very plain to see
We should have been together all the time

Paid the tab
Grabbed a cab
And took her off to my place way downtown

Poured a Scotch
On the rocks
And turned the lights way down

We played from one till a quarter past dawn
And we held each other all night long
But when the sun came up
That girl was solid gone

All she left me was a high heeled shoe
Now I’m so lonely, sad, and blue
All I do is think about that girl

A one night stand
Was all we had
A perfect moment locked up in time
I can’t forget
Her tenderness
That girl is always on my mind

We played from one till a quarter past dawn
And we held each other all night long
But when the sun came up
That girl was solid gone

All she left me was a high heeled shoe
Now I’m so lonely, sad, and blue
All I do is think about that girl
All I do is think about that girl
All I do is think about that girl

Discography

I am primarily a songwriter looking for established recording artists who would like to record the songs I write. I have been a professional writer most of my life and am a proficient lyricist. If you have a song that needs its lyrics polished or written from scratch - Please contact me.

Set List

As a solo artist I can play 24 original songs and 12 covers that I have made my own.

Original Songs:

Honky Tonk King
High Heels & Diamonds
He Could Pick It Up But He Couldn't Put It Down
Lone Star Honky Tonk Road House Rodeo Bar
Honky Tonk Moon
All I Do Is Think About That Girl
The Ghost Of Lemmon Jefferson
Slippin' Away
Heard Someone Talkin'
You And Me
If You Could See
All I Do Is Think About That Girl

Covers

Moondance - Van Morrison
Poison Girl - Chris Whitley
In My Time Of Dyin' - Bob Dylan
Love In Vein - Robert Johnson
Two Trains - Lowell George
Easy Money - Ricki Lee Jones
8:05 - Skip Spense
Hound Dog - Big Mamma Thornton
I Call Your Name - Lennon & Mcartney
Death Letter - Son House
Things Have Changed - Bob Dylan
Spider & The Fly - Rolling Stones