“You’re an adder in the daisies
waiting for your chance,
to find someone to help bring you back”
- Jeremy Alvarez
Throw a rock or better yet, a guitar pick from anywhere in the Lonestar state and you’re bound to hit a singer-songwriter. Small towns in Texas are rich in life experiences and culture that is hard to put into words but a few local troubadours have not only entered this large arena but are giving our small towns something to listen to and brag about. Broken Arrowz has been around for only one year but has already made two live appearances on S.A. Live on channel 12. Smiley’s own Jeremy Alvarez along Joseph Gearty from Akins make up the perfect duo of melodies and lyrics that are to this writer ruthlessly poetic.
Countless songs have been written about everyday life, the ups, the downs and the in-betweens and if ever given the chance to hear this duo, your ears won’t regret it. Alvarez and Gearty voices range from smooth as Tennessee whiskey to hard and fiery as a shot of Hot Damn. They are laid back country boys who are always welcoming anyone to join them on their stage; “We, both welcome people to come play…join the family” Alvarez insist. Alvarez pick up his first guitar when he entered the seventh grade, it was a gift from his mom from a local pawn shop. His parents encouraged him and his love of music, a love that Alvarez is passing down to his children as well, especially his son affectionately called Dragon who is only 5 and is learning the guitar and the drums. Gearty was raised by his single mother along with his two siblings when his father died when Gearty was only five. His eyes shine with admiration when he speaks of how he still talks to her every day and often has coffee together; “It’s the hard lessons in life that make the best lyrics.” He also passes his love of music to his own two children. Although Gearty admits just picking up the guitar only about six years ago, you would never know when his precise finger-picking smooth touch his beloved guitar named “Betty Jameson” who happens to have her own facebook page. “I named her after the song “Black Betty and my favorite Irish Whiskey”.
I am a huge music lover of all types of music, and Broken Arrowz has made many familiar tunes their own but still keeping the familiar feel. Influenced by the talent of Prince, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Curt Cobain and Smashing Pumpkins lead man, Billy Corgan, Broken Arrowz still covers songs like "Where did you sleep last night”. Alvarez version of “Look at Miss Ohio” and Gearty’s covering “Whiskey” will make you want to sit a spell and while sipping on a cool drink. They are often joined by more locals such as Randy Sosa and Chad Anderson but don’t be surprised to hear this duo open and share the stage like Rick Trevino, Cody Canada, Charlie Robinson, Bri Bagwell and Jason Boland. Often, more troubadours such as James Pardo and Sharen Leigh add their talent to the mix and the night is flowing with mesmerizing melodies both familiar and original.
“Songwriters write songs, but they really belong to the listener.” - Jimmy Buffett. Broken Arrowz small town roots are ever present and I believe will continue growing deep as past local singer-songwriters such as the late Rockabilly artist Al Urban.
“This haunting melody won’t stay out of my mind,
The high and the low are a friend of mine
My bright sky has turned a darker shade of blue,
When you’re not here,
It’s the only time I’m addicted to you”
- Joseph Gearty