The Saturday before St Patrick’s Day is the one day every year when Dallas seems almost a little bit like Mardi Gras in New Orleans. A little. People start setting up their party base camps in parking lots for the big parade real early. Kegs, beer bongs, makeshift bars set up on portable tables, lots of people wearing lots of crazy green shit and even lots of dogs wearing crazy green shit. By the time the floats start rolling down Greenville Avenue at 11:00 AM sharp the general ambiance is pretty much mass public intoxication. And crazy shit. And of course I mean that in the best possible way.
After the parade is the big concert in a big fenced in parking lot and this year it featured some of the best of Dallas’ alt-country-roots rock scene. The O’s, The Drams, Eleven Hundred Springs and The Old 97s.
The crowd was kind of thin but you could no doubt chalk that up to the weather- it was cold, windy and the cloud cover was threatening drenching rain at any moment. Still, for the faithful that did show up, it was as fine a day of music as a drunken partier decked out in a spray painted fake beard, 2 lbs of beads and a big green hat could hope for. And I saw more than a few of those.
March 24, 2007
Ever since I moved to Texas, I’ve always had a difficult relationship with country music. There’s country music that I just can’t seem to get enough of – like Johnny Cash or Robert Earl Keen or Gram Parsons or any number of genre defying “alt country” acts; but then, on the other hand, it can very easily cross that thin, abstract line that separates “good country” from country radio pop, or that special Texas-centric brand of dreary redneck country or anything that twangs without any sense of fun or adventure.
But that being said; there’s also a particular kind of straight up, no apologies country music that’s all about having a great time.
Eleven Hundred Springs plays that kind of country.
If there’s one thing these guys always seem to bring, it’s a damn good time. They brought that and even more to the show at Lee Harvey’s Saturday night.
Download an mp3 from this CD
“Why You Been Gone So Long”
OK, so it’s been almost one year to the day since Eleven Hundred Springs released “Bandwagon” on Palo Duro Records – their biggest label release to date. That seems like as good a time as any for a review that’s glaringly missing from these pages.
While Eleven Hundred Springs’ records have never really conveyed the sheer twangy exuberance of their live shows, “Bandwagon” successfully straddles the line between the hard electric country sound of the band on stage and the mellower acoustic sound they tend to employ in the studio.