EVOLUTION IN TEXAS MUSIC

Peach Truck ~ Space Truck ~ Mellowship

Fort Worth, TX | From Luchenbach to Deep Ellum and beyond, Texas has been relieved of its myths on more than one occasion. But that’s as it should be. What’s true, what’s most genuine, what yields the most significant overall contribution—that’s what we want to be left with in the end. And so it doesn’t matter if its country western or swing, or if it’s blues-rock, or jam, or hip-hop; the strong will inevitably survive, and they’ll be the ones who pass on the torch to the next generation. Texas musicians, uniquely nestled between geography and tradition, are inspired by everything, and so there’s very little that one can do to overly shape the scene, that is, little more beyond placing his or her trust in evolution. This is especially true for those of us who’ve grown up in the D/FW club circuit.

North Texas is a pit stop for southern nationals, a spaceport for extraterrestrials, and a Rome to the ten thousand miles of interstate highway that cover the southwest. Cultures cross. Everything that rises eventually converges in North Texas. It’s a revolving door that spins like a fan, one that slings bands back and forth across four states as they come and go to and fro on the crossroads to their given hometown destinations. North Texas has it all—from just-put-up venues turning a buck out of popular culture to mom and pop establishments that are in it, perhaps altogether, for the love of music. If you want it, we’ve got it. But the real significance of this inclusive presence isn’t so much about what gets offered to our traveling companions. No. We love our kith and kin and are proud to share our home with them, but what’s most important to us here, what bears the most significance to the health and well-being of our own music community so far as the long run is concerned, is what all of this means to our native sons and daughters—the musicians that have grown up right here at home in Texas.

Forget the aspirations of modernism. Ignore the desire to be viewed as cosmopolitan. Shun the exploitation of history (however historically laden our roots may be), and look for what’s really taking shape here in our respective hometown music scenes. This is about more than volume, more than money, and more than the plastic thumb of consumerism that one typically finds in the entertainment industry. Forget them as they stand in isolation, but don’t discount their cumulative force. What’s happening here in North Texas is the consequence of all of these things, a sum of its parts, a wholeness, a congeries—everything. It’s the best of what’s gone past, and it’s a vision for what’s to come. And the future is near with its substance and significance to be discovered right here in what the present has to offer.

When taken altogether, we stand at the perpetual heart of the matter—Darwin by definition, the onion of civilization, a composite of layers that come and go according to the purposes of evolution. It’s composition and climate, exposure and experimentation. And, given time, it all gives rise to higher forms. What’s plastic and transparent will give way to gold and granite. Beneath the old and exposed grows something new. It’s true. And so the process goes, layer after layer until we reach the heart of the heart of the matter. And though it may be too soon to look at the record of history, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t make some predictions when it comes to the future of Texas music.

Expanse and exploration, tradition—by degrees, the former in light of the latter—Texas music comes from the “best of” in all genres and traditions. It’s in our nature. Give it time. Let a generation have its dithers and the next thing you know they’ll have redefined the area’s collective rock and roll expression. It’s happened before, and it will happen again. Sometimes synthesis, sometimes assimilation, sometimes it’s even a matter of rejection, but it’s all the result of evolution. And today, at this present juncture of fruition, there’s cause for celebration…

By highway sign and constellation, under the power of a gasoline engine, jet propulsion, and the force of wind—a triad of independent vessels has now risen, and it’s loaded down with Texas musicians. And though each has its own sense of direction, all are in convoy to but one single musical destination—a showcase for natural selection. Shinning brightly among a handful of bands now encapsulating the cutting edge of this Texas evolutionary expression, three bands have come together in a unified musical coalition—all Texan. They are the resultant effect of a perpetually rejuvenating music scene. Peach Truck, Space Truck, and Mellowship—what they bring to the stage represents the very best of what rock music in Texas is today. And as representatives of the state's finest mobile menagerie, these three bands have announced the first in a series of spring tour dates to take place during the months of March, April, and May.

So much for the preamble, here’s the lineup:

Austin’s Space Truck pushes the envelope to the more extreme horizons of this coalitions wonderfully diverse spectrum. With potent blends of rock, electronic dance, and heady retro-trance, the band is certain to rise with every explorative occasion. From European styled disco tunes to straight ahead mod rockers, the quartet lays down groove after groove in pursuit of its next fervid frenzy. Crunchy in its cups, the music has hints of electronica, drum and bass, and the rawness of indie-rock. Ride in the van with the band and you'll hear anything from the mellow melodies of Air to the supersonic rhythms of the New Deal. Heavily atmospheric, layered and ethereal, Space Truck endeavors to bring its listeners out to the next frontier.

Dallas gives us Mellowship, and it in turn unfurls its sails to journey out into waters both familiar and not. Rock, funk, Texas country, and jazz influences are all found in the band’s original compositions. Warmly expounding on a sound of its own, Mellowship pilots its way through the post-Dead resurrection. Hosting happy hour highs throughout North Texas, this is a band that bridges the gap between the present and past as it welcomes aboard both casual music lovers and diehard enthusiasts alike. Diversified, high-energy performances and spot-on musicianship both quantify and qualify the bands stock in trade jamband characteristics.

Unifying the overall lineup is Fort Worth’s own Peach Truck Republic. Combining a wide array of stylistic conventions, one can find most every musical element known to exist in the rock and roll environment when taking in this band. Though best known for its feature length instrumentals, The Peach Truck just as lovingly provides its listeners with lush combinations of countrified jazz and straight ahead blues-rock. A standard quintet with an additional percussionist supports the intricate work of the band’s dual lead guitars and multi-part vocal harmonies. Heavily influenced by 60s and 70s rock acts like the Allman Brother’s and the Grateful Dead, The Peach Truck proudly explores and maintains rock music’s finest traditions. Melodic constructs, improvisation, surprising arrangements, and energetic performances—one and all are originally packaged in the heartfelt music of this band.

And there you have it. What has at last willed itself into existence within this lineup might best be described as an evolutionary encapsulation of the Texas music scene. From country-jazz flavors to stellar explorations, alt-country to mod rock, folk to instrumental, the Les Paul ridden to the Moog-driven, one genre after another, a plethora of stylistic conventions have been wonderfully jammed together within a collective of bands that have risen according to the Texas mode of natural selection. They’ve risen to discover what is genuine, and their success represents what’s best in all of us. Be proud to call them your kin. They are your faithful sons. It’s where they come from, and it’s where they’ve been—all things combined, undeniably Texan. Fed from the table scraps that Texas music has always been built on, these three homegrown bands have put together a series of local shows that are aimed squarely at this one single collective representation: Texas music by Texas musicians.

Look forward to the singer and songwriter to stand front and center, but be ready for the band to envelop him. Be prepared for experimentation. Anticipate the jam. Expect cowboy scenes and hippie dreams all nestled together into something tangible, something magical in both part and parcel. Three phenomenal bands have come together, hand in hand, and they stand on a new frontier. And together they aim to take us there—deep into Texas, straight to the heart of the heart of the matter.

Upcoming Shows (with additional dates TBA)

Space Truck | Peach Truck
Friday, March 29th | 10pm-2am
Andy’s Bar
Denton, TX | 940.565.5400

Peach Truck | Space Truck
Saturday, March 30th | 10pm-2am
Club Dada Dallas, TX | 214.744.3232

Mellowship | Peach Truck
Friday, April 5th | 7pm-2am
The Boar’s Nest in Dallas, TX | 214.761.1738

Robert Cast
JamBase | Texas
Go see live music!

http://www.peachtruck.com

[Published on: 3/26/02]

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