Blue Water Highway Band
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Blue Water Highway Band

San Marcos, TX | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

San Marcos, TX | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Americana Roots





I would like to think it is my job as a writer and music advocate to bring fresh new music and faces to your attention — I use the term “underground music” loosely, in the sense that these artists deserve much more attention than they are receiving.
I saw this young crew a couple months back at Cheatham Street in San Marcos. I always love going to see the openers – those are the hidden gems I find and get to share with you fine folks. Like the Blue Water Highway Band!
I recall the lead singer, Zack Kibodeaux, mentioning he was trained in opera – I could be making that up. But it would come as no surprise – this kid has some serious vocals – their harmonies are killer too.
To be frank, I’m wondering why these guys aren’t headlining their own show yet. Give ‘em a listen. If you like what you hear, I encourage you to like their Facebook page and keep up with their adventures and tour dates.

Read More: Underground Music: The Blue Water Highway Band | -

"Blue Water Highway Band Self-Titled EP"

With their self-titled debut EP, the Blue Water Highway Band has burst onto the scene with guns blazing. The Blue Water Highway Band EP is an eclectic and well-rounded collection of six songs that cover the spectrum of Americana/Folk music. BWHB consists of 5 classically trained musicians who, while young, are certainly at home on the stage or in the studio. Frontman, Zack Kibodeaux, is an opera-trained vocalist whose voice is clear, strong, and pure. The power of his vocals lies in their clarity and focus. Zack has left behind the intricacies of opera for a more direct approach, blending his vocals seamlessly with the honest and subtle lyrics he has written. Multi-instrumentalist, Greg Essington, puts in a great performance as well on the album. His list of instruments featured on the project include: guitar, banjo, mandolin, accordion, piano, and organ. The musicality of the album is intricate and well-woven, but never over-done or pretentious. Perhaps the most impressive fact about the album is that these young men recorded and mixed it themselves.

The album’s opening song, “Good Morning Rose,” is a strong ballad. Easy-listening and melodic, the track is a great starting point. Kibodeaux’s vocals and lyrics are strong and up-front in this offering, taking center stage. “Steamboat Song,” the album’s second track is pure folk story-telling; a historic song about the riverboats of a bygone era. Influences from Zack and Greg’s upbringing on the Gulf Coast lend themselves strongly in this piece. The instrumentation is whimsical and timeless, perfectly setting the tone needed for this type of song. Next comes “The Elements,” featuring haunting harmonies with Catherine Clark, and a beautiful accompaniment.

The fourth installment, “Miss California and the Bad Man,” is the most rockin’ song on the album with electric guitar leading the way. This track also features the strongest lyrics on the album, with my particular favorite being, “He’s a bad, high roller. Never thought he’d live this long, but all he wanted was a shoulder to cry on.”The song’s vivid imagery makes for a great piece of story-telling. “Evangeline,” is the group’s fifth song and the crown jewel of the project. A piano-laden, blue-eyed soul ballad, “Evangeline” has the sound and feeling of a classic. Upon the first listen, you immediately wonder if this is a track you’ve heard before. Without wanting to solicit comparisons to some of the greats, this song is reminiscent in ways of Elton John or James Taylor.

The final installment is a light-hearted folk piece that ends the album with a smile that will be especially endearing to those listeners familiar to the San Marcos area the band is based in. “Hays County Jailhouse,” is fun fare, and once again highlights Kibodeaux’s skill as a story-teller. The Bluewater Highway Band EP is one of the most unique and exciting albums I have had the honor of listening to in quite some time. There is an obvious amount of talent and skill in this group and one can only imagine that as they gain experience and time together this band could become a mainstay on the Americana/Folk scene. -


Still working on that hot first release.



Blue Water Highway runs just outside of Freeport up towards Galveston along the Texas Gulf Coast. This is the part of the world where the cultures of Texas and Louisiana collide in a unique melting pot steeped in the traditions of the people of both states. It is here, in the town of Lake Jackson, TX, that Zack Kibodeaux and Greg Essington became high school friends after Zack witnessed Greg playing Billy Joel's "Piano Man," and immediately enrolled in piano lessons himself.  Their partnership included performing in musicals and local coffee shops, until the friends went their separate ways after high school. Greg headed to New York City to pursue a degree in music technology. Zack went to Texas State in San Marcos to study vocal performance, specifically opera.  Soon, Zack was writing songs and sending them to his friend in New York.  Finally, he coaxed Greg back to Texas to form the band he had been hearing in his head.  Although they had landed in their adopted hometown of San Marcos, when it came time to name the band the first thing that came to mind was the landmark back home on the coast. The two dubbed the band, Blue Water Highway Band, and began to create a sound as unique as the region they came from. 

Finding the right group of people to complete the band came with its own set of challenges. Zack turned to Catherine Clark, a fellow opera singer, to complete the three part harmonies that the band would soon to be known for.  Kyle James Smith was enlisted as the bassist and Zach Landreneau joined on keyboards, lap steel, guitar, accordion, and pretty much any other instrument you can think of.  The band released a self-titled, six song, EP in 2013 and then followed that up with the full length LP “Things We Carry” in 2015.  This album featured the single “Medicine Man” that quickly became the closing song in an increasingly popular live show. 

The band began touring across the United States in 2015 and continues to define themselves as a live act built on excellent musicianship, great songs, and that signature three part harmony that sets the band apart from their peers.  They continue to explore new sounds and musical landscapes while remaining true to their roots along the Blue Water Highway.

Band Members