While it might serve as their home-base, three-piece rockers sure haven’t spent much time in their hometown over the past few years by some accounts playing over 200 shows a year. They’re much more children of the road than anything else— gallivanting minstrels of honk, missionaries of southern-fried fuzz, and purveyors of refined rock and roll truths of years gone by blazing across the US and Europe one city at a time to turn it up and blast it out. Or, as the band refers to it, “giving the audience the straight deal”.
It’s a mission they have been hard at work at since their founding in 2009 which gained particular traction after a myriad of SXSW dates in 2012 netting them the attention of Burger Records, an offer for a cassette through the label, and eventually a run of three LP’s in the two years following.
Harkening on heroes ranging from George Jones to ZZ Top, the band especially as a large amount of reverence for Bob Dylan and Grateful Dead, often listening to, discussing, and critiquing different versions of each band’s live sets while on the road between towns. And while they themselves are not necessarily reforming or turning some of their songs into epic new improvisations live like one would expect to see Dylan or the Dead tackle, jamming is in the bands DNA even if channeled into shorter and more punk numbers.
In regards to the later, Both founding members, Zack Martin (guitarist) and Wes Traylor (bass), come from a punk and garage background, even having spent sometime in and touring with Turbo Fruits. That attitude, minimalism, and energy seep through into not only their music, but the band’s raucous performances quite conducive to spurring beer slinging rock and roll revelers in whatever venue or European dive bar these Tennesseans find themselves laying down their tunes.
This time around for their Saturday night show at Paper Tiger, they’ll be supporting a brand new full-length album entitled Okey Dokey they will be self-releasing via their brand new record label, Natural Child Records & Tapes. While the album will not be releasing until September 16th and it remains a mystery what exactly it'll sound like, the single, Now and Then, debuted earlier this summer and hints that the core-trio of the band is looking to build on the 5-piece sound they developed and took on the road in 2014 via their Dancin With Wolves LP. While the aforementioned album contained the kind of rough and tumble country garage rock numbers one would expect from a Natural Child Record like Firewater Liquor and Saturday Night Blues, the band opened themselves up to crafting some ballads while introducing pedal-steel throughout many of the tracks.
While still twangy as ever, the blues of Now and Then are punctuated by a lovably honky piano for a tune that sounds as if it's a lost Stones track that mysteriously didn't make it onto the finished version of Beggars Banquet— and certainly not in a bad way, of course. If an indication of what else is to come on the record or what new songs will be lined up in Natural Child's live arsenal, their San Antonio show will certainly be a lot of fun for long time San Antonio fans and casual music appreciators alike in search of a straight shot of good old fashioned honk, tonk, and rock and roll.