A most welcome surprise that fell into our lap last week was Leaving TX’s “100 Miles to Sunday.” Without knowing anything about it, we popped it in the player, and loved it. Just like that.
Lead singer Chris Patterson’s voice has the rough edges that invite comparisons to Brent Best, Patterson Hood, and one of my current favorites, Creosote. Leaving TX’s website cites a strong Jon Dee Graham influence but you don’t need to read it on the web to hear it.
The music is rowdy; the lyrics, rebellious. With titles like “My Own Songs,” “You’re To Blame,” and “Give A Damn,” these guys appear to have a chip on their shoulders. The kind of chip that leads to good music. The one cover on the disc is Nick Lowe’s tongue-in-cheek “Peace, Love, and Understanding,” a song that resonates this year.
Aside from writing the music and fronting the band, Patterson plays electric and acoustic guitar. The rest of the band includes Garry Cecil (bass and backing vocals), Thor Smith (drums), and Andrew (electric and pedal steel guitars). They come from all over the place: Paterson from Iowa, Buhler from Miami, Cecil from Scotland and Smith from Norway. The disc was produced by Paul Grupp (Eagles, Charlie Daniels, Boston).
Patterson’s songs are solid. There is lots of stuff in here about whiskey and women – two themes that he combines perfectly in “Bourbon Breath Kiss.” Interspersed are complaints about traditional country music stations and, you know, relationship songs. The cocky “My Own Songs” where he mentions his influences: Steve Earle, Jon Dee Graham, Drive By Truckers, Hank and Johnny Cash is a fun ride.
The name, Leaving TX, signifies the emotional ties the group has to Texas, and, specifically, Austin. But they’re currently located in D.C. so catch them at the Austin Grill if you get up there. Or someplace like that.
Free MP3 Download:
Bourbon Breath Kiss