As much as Becker goes for innovation with his music, he also finds comfort in repetition and simple nostalgia. His mother and a childhood friend will play important roles in his CD release show Tuesday at J&J's Pizza in Denton, when his singer-songwriter buddy Grant Cross—a friend since first grade—will perform an opening set and his mom will serve toast with assorted jams and jellies, reprising the roles they played on the same date four years ago in the same venue.

Days after this
photo was shot,
Ryan Thomas Becker
and drummer
Grady Don Sandlin
are probably still
jamming on
“When Hammer
Hits Stone.”
Allison V. Smith
Days after this photo was shot, Ryan Thomas Becker and drummer Grady Don Sandlin are probably still jamming on “When Hammer Hits Stone.”

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Ryan Thomas Becker, The Beaten Sea and Grant Cross perform at the Neighborhoof CD release party Tuesday, December 1, at J&Jís Pizza, Denton.

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But despite all the work that comes with releasing his own CD—not to mention two other discs all but simultaneously and working 40 hours a week—you won't hear Becker complain. Rather, he is overjoyed by the changes that have come since the last time his mother served toast and jam in the dirty old basement at J&J's. One is the chance to play with Neal, whose Little Grizzly made him one of Becker's early local heroes. And just as great, he says, is finally realizing with RTB2 the potential that he and Sandlin—who played with him in his earliest teenage garage bands—had all along to make a hell of a lot of noise, just the two of them.

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