TopCat Records is proud to announce the release of THE CLIFFHANGER PROJECT – VOLUME 2, the follow-up sequel to the legendary 2010 CD, THE CLIFFHANGER PROJECT.
Just south of the Trinity River in Dallas is a music-rich community known as Oak Cliff, Texas. Oak Cliff was a hotbed of musical talent in the mid-to-late 1960’s and served as an incubator for a same-generation group of hungry young Oak Cliff musicians. Michael Martin Murphy, B.W. Stephenson, Edie Brickell, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jimmie Vaughan and Stevie Ray Vaughan all came from Oak Cliff. They played at numerous local area venues, skating rinks and area high school gymnasiums, playing one gig after another, forming the backbone of a unique Oak Cliff music fraternity.
There were other veteran pros who didn’t gain the same level of recognition but were nevertheless a significant part of the Oak Cliff music community. One of those performers (and producer of this release, native Cliffster Robert Ware (who played/collaborated with Glenn Hughes, the late Buddy Miles and Black Oak Arkansas) has invested 15 years bringing to life his vision of an all Oak Cliff music record series to showcase the outstanding talent of his lifelong contemporaries.
Contemporaries—and often friends—with their hometown’s top-tier musicians (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Michael Martin Murphy, B. W. Stevenson, and Ray Wylie Hubbard), a larger group of musicians served as fellow band members and fellow performers with those who went on to achieve some of the music industry’s highest awards. Although this second-tier group hasn’t enjoyed the same levels of success and celebrity as their more famous former classmates and buddies, the neighborhood where they all grew up (during the mid-1960 through the early 1970s), and where their musical involvements all began, is a section of Dallas, Texas…a close-knit area known as Oak Cliff.
Playing at school sock hops, public park events, church and private youth gatherings, and pretty well anywhere they were invited, this tribe of young Oak Cliff musicians (mostly self-taught) were leaning and maturing and honing their craft, all helping each other and creating what is now known in the music world as “those guys from Oak Cliff.” THE CLIFFHANGER PROJECT (2010), produced by native Cliffite Robert Ware—who also served as the album’s music director, first introduced listeners to these lesser-known players, singers, and songwriters, showcasing the Oak Cliff sound: a combination of Lone Star Blues mixed with Texas Blues-Rock.
Now, to bring the effort full circle, Ware has brought together some of the same artists, along with a handful of additional Cliffite talents from that era, to create THE CLIFFHANGER PROJECT II. Investing over three years gathering resources and coordinating the artists and other persons necessary to produce this second labor of love, Ware presents an album with 8 of the 13 tracks written and performed by Oak Cliff instrumentalists and vocalists, with all but one of the production team members also being either native Cliffites or Oak Cliff-related.
Gathered on the CLIFFHANGER PROJECT II are Texas Tornado guitarists ROCKY ATHAS (who played with the Legendary John Mayall, Glenn Hughes, Buddy Miles, and Double Trouble), DANNY SANCHES, and JERRY DON BRANCH. Also included is guitarist MICHAEL JEFFREY (who played and recorded with Jimmy Buffet) and slide guitarist CHRISTIAN BROOKS. Selections from songwriters CHRISTIAN BROOKS, TOM BURNS and RANDY LEE KOUNAS are included, with WARE (who played with the late Buddy Miles; in the Tommy Bolin Tribute Band—along with Glenn Hughes, Johnnie Bolin, and Rocky Athas; and musically collaborated with Black Oak Arkansas) on bass guitar. Drummers include CRAIG MARLOW, JACK MILLER, JIM KING, and CHRISTIAN BROOKS. While most of the guitarists sing on their own individual tracks the late LARRY SAMFORD is featured on three of the selections. As an added bonus and reflection of the Oak Cliff spirit, ATHAS, JEFFREY, SANCHES, and BROOKS play on some of their friend’s tracks.
In THE CLIFFHANGER PROJECT II, Ware summons listeners to take a few minutes to kick back and enjoy some good old Texas blues, Oak Cliff style…and to familiarize themselves with the talents and accomplishments of those who lived and participated in the Oak Cliff baby boomer music experience of the era that produced some of the industry’s most successful musical talents.
THE CLIFFHANGER PROJECTS (VOLUMES 1 & 2) are a treasure trove of guitar magic from this conglomeration of veteran Oak Cliff musicians, composers and songwriters. Lone Star Blues and Texas Blues-Rock at it’s finest!