The Reverend Julian Shay resurfaced seven years ago. Or maybe it was eight.
Little is known of his six decade disappearance and he has talked only twice about it. What is known is that he left in 1957 on an academic mission to study the Tonkawa tribe of central Texas and their ceremonial, medicinal and religious functions. What is also known is the Tonkawa were known to employ peyote in these festivities and had a penchant for cannibalism. The Reverend has said his “conversion” and his affection for Roots/Americana music began “while he was away” but he has not elaborated further. It is thought that peyote was used as a “sacrificial medicine” during the “Tome-ka” or Water Drum dance rituals but it is not known if participants engaged in singing or dancing during these events. The good Reverend has been mute on details, only saying that he enjoys sharing what he learned and this fine music he first heard (and he insists this part is true) emanating from behind a tumbleweed, or perhaps from the tumbleweed itself.
The good news is that you can hear this same music evenings on Lone Star Community Radio in Conroe, Texas. Reverend Shay shares what he calls “the beauty of sound that surrounds us”; the Western Swing, Red Dirt, Honky Tonk, Outlaw Country, Texas Blues, Cajun, Zydeco, Swamp Pop, the Central Texas infused Polka and Waltz, Tejano, Conjunto, Southern Gospel, and, well, he actually went on for another twenty minutes but you get the idea. And what makes our area unique is all these genres of music were birthed within a day’s ride of here. As far as popular music is concerned, this may well be the most fertile place on earth. Join the good Reverend Sunday through Thursday nights at 7p central (00:00 GMT) as we celebrate our fertility.