Keeping the legacy of live music alive even in a pandemic, Parker McCollum has not only been making music but also topping the charts from right here in Austin.
The Texas-born, Austin-based country music singer-songwriter announced on Instagram that his song, "Pretty Heart," had claimed the number one spot on Billboard's Country Airplay chart, alongside hitting number one on the Emerging Artists chart dating Dec. 26.
In an interview with Austonia, McCollum said after performing a long weekend of socially-distanced live shows, hearing the news of his chart-topping song was the best start to the week.
"It was a super, super great weekend. We were kind of feeling a little rough coming off of that on Sunday and then woke up Monday morning at number one," McCollum said. "It was a great day. My dad was with me whenever I found out so I think he was the most pumped."
McCollum, a multi-talented instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, got his start performing at venues all over Texas, including at The Saxon Pub right here in Austin and Cheatham Street Warehouse just south, in San Marcos.
McCollum said he doesn't like the stereotype of beers, trucks and babes in country music, and instead focuses on music that reflects his identity. He said "Pretty Heart," came after a breakup, even though he thought he had already written all the songs about it.
"At the very, very tail end... out popped 'Pretty Heart,'" McCollum said. "It was fitting for the time but it's funny, I write the songs and then we cut them a year or two later and you don't really feel it then, when they finally come out later, what you did when you wrote them."
Since the pandemic started, McCollum has still found ways to perform music live in different ways like at outdoor venues, but he said he misses being on the road, performing music and touring for weeks at a time.
"It's not how I thought the 28th year of my life was going to go, being at home all the time," McCollum said. "To all of a sudden just be home is pretty different. I definitely wish it was back."
Madison Summey, who has been a fan of McCollum's since 2015, said she knew "Pretty Heart" was a hit the first time she saw him perform it live in June 2020 at the Nutty Brown Amphitheatre.
"He has a real country sound that is different than what is typically played on the radio, so I feel that sets him apart from everyone else," Summey said. "He's kept that sound all of these years and hasn't let becoming more known change his sound."
live music in 2020??? you love to see it !! https://t.co/iV6L7kaMPm— madi (@madi) 1592109046.0
Candace Carreno, Austin resident, said coming from a small town in Texas herself, she relates to his music and hopes to see him retain his Texas flair, even in the national spotlight.
"I hope his success continues and that he stays true to his Texas country roots," Carreno said. "All too often we see country artists conform to that 'pop country' sound. I want to see his music continue reaching that national level but still having that true country music sound that gave him his foundation."
As for McCollum, he said he's just getting started and he already thinks he's got something better than "Pretty Heart." Staying true to himself, McCollum said he's just going to do the best he can.
"I just sing songs, you know, and try to write the best ones I can," McCollum said. "You put them on the radio and hopefully they go number one and if they don't, you go try to do it again."
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So you want to buy a house?
To anyone trying to get on the "housing ladder," it's been a discouraging couple of years as prices skyrocketed in a market crowded with buyers bidding against each other for just about any available home.
Things may be calming down, with the Austin Board of REALTORS reporting fewer sales and more available homes this summer.
Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year, from around 3% to well over 6% on a 30-year fixed rate loan, getting even more of a bump this week after the Federal Reserve raised bank rates on Wednesday.
So how affordable are homes right now? That, of course, depends on what you want and how much you're able or willing to pay, but here are some rough estimates of what a typical buyer would pay to buy a $650,000 home, which would be considered "mid-price" in today's market.
Mortgage banker Chris Holland (NMLS 211033) of Austin's Sente Mortgage ran some numbers for Austonia to illustrate a typical purchase.
Holland says that while the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is often mentioned in the media, the most popular loan that he's seeing now is a 7/1 adjustable rate mortgage, which has a fixed rate for 7 years and then adjusts every year based on market rates, with a limit on how much it can increase each year. The interest is amortized over a 30-year period. Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) offer lower rates than fixed rate loans.
Here are the numbers, which are examples. In practice, exact numbers vary with a buyer's credit rating and overall financial situation, and with the rate, which can move up or down at any time.
- $650,000 home purchase price
- 7/1 ARM at 5.875%
- 5% down payment, equals $32,500
- 95% financed, equals $617,500
- $4,990 payment, including principle and interest (P&I), insurance, and property tax
- Typically, a borrower's debt to income ratio needs to be at or below 45%. So for this mortgage, a borrower, or borrowers, would need income of roughly $11,100/month, or $133,200/year. That number could be higher, depending on the buyer's outstanding credit balances on things like credit cards and car loans.
Holland says he's had a lot of clients approved for loans who were house hunting but have put that on hold, hoping prices come down.
Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
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