By Mike McClure

(LSM Aug/Sept 2010/vol. 3 – Issue 5)

Let me start this piece of babble by stating, I have not touched a drop of alcohol in over three months. Most of my memories are muddy at best so I decided to once again step out of what Ray Wylie refers to as “the honky-tonk fog.” I’ve been sitting here trying to remember meeting Javi Garcia. I have “gone sober” a couple of times over the years and one of the times I flew off the wagon, was at Javi’s house in San Antonio. I hadn’t been drunk in eight months but for some reason that night I let it all slide. I don’t think that was the first time I met Javi, but one that stands out. He invited the band over before the show for fajitas and as the night unwound, I wound up in a pair of devil horns, Skinner was in an afro wig and Waldo had on a wrestling mask. We were taking photos on a couch with a Bassett hound. It was a true WTF moment. It was there I first saw Javi’s paintings. Incredible. I’m a huge fan of Dia De Los Muertos art and he had some very cool paintings he had just finished that were along those lines.

That was my first glimpse into what a great artist Javi is. My wife wanted a heart with my name tattooed on her arm, but wanted a real heart. I told her about Javi and he drew it up for her. It’s a killer piece. I’m pretty sure that Javi played me a couple of tunes that night in San Antonio, but I was pretty focused on his paintings.

Art by Javi Garcia

Art by Javi Garcia

Roll tape to a year or so later. My wife and I were staying in New Braunfels at the little hotel behind the Tavern on the Gruene. She was tired and went to sleep so I wandered over to the Tavern to see what was up. Javi was playing acoustic and invited me to sit in with him. I got plowed, as was my usual, and he sang “Sympathy For The Devil.” I was blown away by his voice and drunkenly decided we HAD to record that song THAT night. Somehow — it’s all fairly fuzzy — we wound up at Bert DeBruin’s house, duct-taping a microphone to a piece of a mic stand.

Somewhere in the course of all this, the sun comes up, my phone dies and someone knocks on my wife’s door looking for Javi. She panics looking for me and I’m in a garage with Javi yelling “HOO! HOO!” into a mi- crophone at an undisclosed location. I still hadn’t heard any of his original songs. Maybe I had, but I’m a hardcore Stones fan and was focused on yelling. LONG drive back to Oklahoma the next day. My wife was very un-thrilled.

I was puttering around in the studio at home one night not long ago when Javi sent me an email asking if I would sing on a track of his. “Sure thing.” I really liked the song and the recording had a raw urgency to it that you don’t hear that often anymore. Or if you do, it sounds crappy. I sang my part and sent it to Javi. He wrote me back saying thanks, but, could I do it again “and sound a little more pissed off?” I went to rerecord it and wound up just talking it. He liked that one and used it on the album, A Southern Horror. The tune was called “Weight of My Gun.” I’m glad he had me redo it. It sounds better now. He has a good eye and ear.

Javi Garcia Cold Cold GroundA month or so went by and the CD showed up in my mailbox. I get a lot of CDs from random people, but always try to give them a listen. The majority of the time, I don’t get too deep into them and toss them. I put Javi’s in and for the first time got a taste of what he had been working towards. That album blew me away. I sat and listened to the whole thing from start to finish. I could sit here and tell you why I liked it and try to use impressive metaphors, but at the very base of it all, I just DUG it. I haven’t liked a CD like that in a long time. His lyrics are intense and so is his delivery. It was all recorded with the full band at one time, which is damn near unheard of these days. But instead of detracting from the sound, it adds a mean edge to it. Killer songs, great arrangements and a shit-ton of passion went into this record. Once again I find myself with Javi’s artwork in my hands. Being in the so-called “music biz” for a couple of decades, I can be fairly jaded. It’s always nice to get hit upside the head every now and then and A Southern Horror did just that.

Javi will be fun to watch as he starts venturing outside of his home base. This music will get out and Javi will be recognized as the extremely talented artist he is. In short, cool dude, cool music. You don’t even need to be drunk to like it. That alone puts him in the upper percentile of the majority.

— Mike McClure
Some crappy motel room in Waco, June 1, 2010