Matt Pence and Will Johnson are having an art show at Good Records in Dallas on Sunday, August 16th. 7-9pm.

It’s a joint exhibition that will include Matt’s photography and Will’s baseball paintings. There may well be some music involved with the whole thing, too. Stop on down. It’s free!

Good Records
1808 Lower Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206

Will Johnson Art
Matt Pence Photos


It’s been a while since a band has wowed me and the Chicago-based group calling themselves Shadows on a River has done just that.  I haven’t stopped listening to their debut since it arrived in my mailbox (thanks Undertow!).  This is the best unsigned band I’ve heard so far this year. (READ MORE)

Undertow welcomes St. Louis’ Grace Basement to the roster.  The band will release its sophomore record, Gunmetal Gray via Undertow on July 9, 2009.  The record will be available at the Undertow Store, Itunes, Amazon, Emusic, and more…


June 25, 2009


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We are clearing out some of our old stock to make room for new stuff coming in this fall. You can save 20% on all orders until June 29. Use coupon code SUMMER20 when you check out. SHOP: Undertow Store


Adam showing Sarah how our mail order system works. Or maybe they are watching something funny on the internets?


Adam and Sarah being serious. Um, why is there a bottle of beer on the desk?


Sarah loves the sending packages to foreign countries.


What’s with the beer?


Adam taking a break.

Jay Walter Bennett

May 24, 2009


We are profoundly saddened to report that our friend died in his sleep last night. Jay was a beautiful human being who will be missed.

UPDATE MAY 27: We want to thank everyone who sent their condolences from around the world. It’s nice to know there are so many people whose lives were touched by Jay. We are all getting through this together.

UPDATE MAY 29: Smile Politely, a blog based in Champaign-Urbana, asked me and other friends to write something about Jay. I thought I’d post it here too.

There are so many great things I remember about Jay. He was one of the smartest and funniest people I knew. He was the kind of person who would call or e-mail just to talk and make sure you were doing okay. The business part of our relationship was always secondary.

There’s no single story that defines Jay in my mind. There have been so many times when I was blown away by his music. So many times I laughed so hard I thought I was going to cry. “Hot for Buffalo” will be remain one of my favorite inside jokes. Edward, Scott, Will and Paul know what I’m talking about.

One of my favorite experiences with Jay; he was mixing The Palace at 4 a.m. at a studio in Chicago. They had mixes going in the A and B studios. He was running back and forth listening to mixes in each control room and then giving the engineers notes on what to do. It was exhausting and amazing to watch him work. He knew exactly what he wanted each song to sound like. Up until then I had only heard random bits and pieces of songs. I have to admit I was worried because the songs sounded like train wrecks. I could not understand how all the pieces would fit together. Once they had a final mix of “Talk To Me,“ Jay sat me down in front of the speakers and played it for me. I could not believe it. So many weird subtle things going on. But they all fit together perfectly like a beautiful puzzle. As I sat there listening, I looked over at Jay with a big smile. He pointed at the speakers right when I expected to hear a guitar solo. Banjo! What the hell? How do you put a banjo solo the middle of this upbeat pop song? Well, he did and it worked. That was Jay … he was able to fit things together that should not fit together and make art out of it. He made the impossible possible.

The thing I remember most is how much he cared about his Mom and Dad. He talked to them every day. They were a big part of his life. I hope they know how much Jay meant to everyone who knew him.

My heart is breaking for Jan, John, Kate, David, Edward, Matt, Jefferson, Jonathan and everyone who was close to Jay.

— Bob Andrews

We are excited to welcome Shadows on a River to the Undertow management roster. Their debut album is available on iTunes now and will be released on limited edition CD in June.

contact: Adam Klavohn

centro-live-dallas1Centro-matic will be doing one tour in 2009. Don’t miss your chance to see the band this year.

Enter to win a Will Johnson house show or “Centro-matic for Life!” at the shows.

Will Johnson House Show: He’ll come to your house and play a show for you and up to 20 friends. We’ll figure out a mutually agreeable date sometime in 2009 for this to happen.

“Centro-matic For Life”: Every Centro-matic, South San Gabriel and Will Johnson album past and future and two free tickets to any show anytime for life! (does not apply for festivals where we don’t control the ticketing).

Thu 05/07 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
Fri 05/08 – Springfield, MO – Randy Bacon Studio
Sat 05/09 – St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway
Mon 05/11 – Chicago, IL – Schuba’s
Tue 05/12 – Minneapolis, MN – 400 Bar
Wed 05/13 – Dekalb, IL – The House Cafe
Fri 05/15 – Austin, TX – The Parish


Jesse performed It Will Stay With Us on The Late Show with David Letterman on March 25. He was joined by Tony Scherr on bass, Dan Rieser on percussion and Norah Jones on piano and backing vocals.

willie-mays250Musician and painter, Will Johnson, to Showcase original baseball folk art paintings.


Get an insight into baseball’s unsung heroes with “Disguised Combat, Long Haul, No Steroids: Ed. I” painting exhibition to open at The Record Ranch Gallery inside Cactus Music, 2110 Portsmouth, on April 18th. All works were created in-between Will’s busy touring and recording schedule with his bands Centro-Matic and South San Gabriel.

“We at Cactus have long been fans of Will’s recorded work and it is very exciting to host an exhibit of Will’s paintings as our first musician-as-artist show.” says Quinn Bishop, managing partner of Cactus Music and The Record Ranch Gallery. “At the record store, we routinely champion the lesser known people that have made tremendous contributions to music. This philosophy applies so well to America’s favorite pastime as seen in Will’s show. We are pleased to include this opening as part of our Record Store Day schedule of events.”

The exhibition of paintings features Negro League giants Satchel Paige and Cool Papa Bell, Alta Weiss who was the first female professional player, innovative managers Branch Rickey and John McGraw, house-hold names such as Hank Aaron Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and Jackie Robinson plus other figures who made remarkable contributions to their sport and have unique stories. These works have not been exhibited prior to this show.

“I keep the medium simple: just acrylic paint on old floor scraps, MDF board, glass or whatever might be hanging around my house or storage room. I’m not trained at this, and I wouldn’t call these pieces high art necessarily, but I at least try to celebrate the importance and uniqueness of these pioneers, unsung heroes and American curiosities. I try to focus on the transmission of history through simple tribute. It’s a way of paying respect, a way getting to know the game I love even better.” – Will Johnson.

A reception with the musician and painter, which is open to the public, will be held from 7 – 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 18th. The evening also will include a special live musical performance by Will Johnson who will be previewing compositions from his upcoming album. The reception will close Cactus Music’s Record Store Day festivities. Refreshments will be provided by The St. Arnold Brewing Company.

The exhibition is free and runs through May, 2009.

About Will Johnson (in his own words)
My name is Will. I drive a small pickup, am not presently on any medication, write songs, and play in two bands with some friends that I love a lot. I’ve worked jobs on a farm, in maintenance and janitorial work, in comic book distribution, in a record store, in restaurants, teaching, delivering cars, transporting equipment, renting out tuxedos, making sandwiches, and cleaning up radioactive and mercury-contaminated waste. I love baseball. I have always loved baseball.

About Cactus Music and The Record Ranch Gallery
Cactus Music, the Bayou City’s premier music store, re-opened in a new storefront in November 2007 to the delight of Houston’s music fans. The new 5,800 square foot location at 2110 Portsmouth and S. Shepherd continues a 30-year history of offering an extensive selection of recorded music, hard-to-find DVDs and music-related gifts and products. Cactus Music also showcases local, regional and national talent on its stage with weekly in-store performances. “These events provide a special opportunity to experience an intimate musical performance, and meet-and-greet with the artists,” says Quinn Bishop, managing partner. Located inside the new Cactus Music is The Record Ranch, an 1,800 square-foot store and art gallery offering a unique shopping experience for vinyl customers. In addition to thousands of new and used records, The Record Ranch Gallery presents exhibits featuring music-related artwork. “We have dedicated this space for artists to exhibit their music-related work and believe it also enhances the experience for our customers,” says Bishop. Cactus Music is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and Noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 713.526.9272