Bull Calf Jubilee
Adam Ahrens, guitar
“Never turn down a good rain or a bull calf”
If the “bull calf” reference seems obscure to you, then it’s likely you didn’t spend your early years in rural West Texas. If you had, you would understand that for everyone who is involved in agriculture, a “good rain” is not an unadulterated blessing. A “good rain” might ruin your fields, flood your creeks and pastures, or keep you from working for several days. Still, a farmer or rancher would “never turn down a good rain” because of the great benefit that he might ultimately stand to gain from it. In short, “good rain” does not present a perfect situation, but it’s still a pretty good outcome. Likewise, a “bull calf” might not sell for as much as a heifer calf but, hey, it’s better than no calf at all.
So how does the term “bull calf” relate to the music business? Here’s how: every community is full of remarkably talented musicians who, for a multitude of reasons, are never recognized or rewarded for their music. For every well known musician there are literally tens of thousands of talented musicians who voices are never heard (much less recorded or compensated for their music). their contributions are enormously valuable even though they might not be recognized on the same level as a more famous artist. Their contributions have value that makes their work worthy of preservation. Bull Calf Records, LLC seeks to help with the preservation effort. It’s a small contribution but it represents a willingness to support musicians whose voices might otherwise be forever lost.
What is Bull Calf Records?
Bull Calf Records, LLC is a record company. It was founded by two friends from San Antonio who share a common goal of preserving regional music. Bull Calf Records is a privately funded limited liability corporation managed by a board whose members included people with a passion for supporting Bull Calf’s mission.
And, since San Antonio is the “Mission City”, here is our’s:
Bull Calf Record’s mission is simple: to recognize the value and beauty of everyone’s voice and to record contributions to music. (It’s an ambitious goal, we know.....but it won’t keep us from trying!)
We began our mission by recording a single San Antonio artist: Lacy Brinson. (Please listen to her “Gratitude” album on Spotify to get an idea of what Bull Calf Records already has contributed to the preservation of great music). BCR’s mission has recently been expanded beyond recording to include a project involving the preservation of some recordings of a profoundly important and historically renowned Texas musician.
Blair Davis and Adam Ahrens recording Tejano music legend Santiago Jimenez, Jr.
Does BCR own any recording equipment?
No, but Bull Calf Records has recording “platform” which consists of an array of equipment that is on loan to us through the generosity of private contributors.
Our platform was designed by an audio engineer to be simple; it’s unique both in it’s design (it’s completely portable) and it’s purpose: to record the voices of those who wish to contribute to Bull Calf’s music library. (Please be aware that, because of the high value of the equipment on loan to Bull Calf Records, LLC , the presence of an appointed, qualified recording engineer is required at all recordings).
Is BCR “brick-and-mortar-bound”?
No, Bull Calf Records owns a small, illuminated sign that identifies it’s recording locations. (That sign was designed and built by one of our partners, El Guapo, San Antonio’s famous signmaker.) Since BCR “follows the sign”, whenever you find our sign, you’ll have found us!
Can I contribute to Bull Calf Records’ library of music?
Perhaps. We scout the landscape for musicians who are potentially important additions to the musicology of South Texas. BCR acknowledges and honors the contributions of all people who support musical endeavors but, of course, there are limits to our ability to record everyone.
Our promise to our Partners
Our contribution is a gift to the city of San Antonio. Our staff receives no compensation nor do we charge artists a fee for recording at Bull Calf Records. The music donated to Bull Calf Records’ library by its musician-contributors belongs to the corporation which may use it in anyway it chooses. Through our unique licensing agreement, our partner-musicians also are encouraged to use their contributions in any way they like...including selling their recordings for monetary gain. Naturally, Bull Calf Records respectfully requests that all who record and sell music honor the owners by paying royalty fees, as required by copyright law.
Logically, we value foremost the contributions of our musician-contributors. But we also recognize that this important work cannot be done without effort from members of our large and diverse community who value music and feel moved to support the challenging work of preserving local voices for future generations. Toward that end, please feel free to offer your support of this effort in any way that you feel inclined. (Please note that, at present, Bull Calf Records is not a 501 (c) corporation, so any financial contributions are not tax-deductible).
Plans are in place to expand Bull Calf Records’ mission to include podcast broadcasting formatted in an “open conversation” style. We are grateful to our friend and collaborator, videographer Jonathan Pesina, for the generous gift of his time and remarkable talent. Although our initial podcasts are being recorded at “Create”, future broadcasts may broadcast from any location where music and creative, thoughtful conversation can be is found.