These days, it’s hard to define what “Texas Country Music” really is. It really began as a few singer/songwriters who shunned the trend of Nashville based record companies that were recording music for the masses. As the revolution grew, it took in more artist and became “Red Dirt”. Today, while it’s still easy to find Nashville country on the national radio stations, the “Red Dirt” movement has grown into a big stew of many different styles. The common thread being the story and lyric. It’s about the music just as much as it is about the money the music makes an artist.
So, if Red Dirt music is a stew, then the little band out of Austin, Texas is a gumbo. A rich, multi-layered gumbo that you can only make at home. It’s a unique sound that takes you to a familiar place when you hear it. The band describes it as “Porch Stomp.” A sound that defies you to not bop your head and tap your foot. The five member group consist of founder, Douglass “Clyde” Martin, drummer Jay Dee Hicks, lead guitarist Josh Ribakove, Lisa Fancher on guitar and vocals, with Eddie Block on bass.
While all five musicians bring their own spice to the gumbo, the base of porch-stomp music is very much Clyde Martin’s style. “I would listen to a lot of folk music in Austin. Everybody would get up there and play their slow, sweet songs. And it was just like, ‘Man – it’s time to kick it in,” Clyde remembers. “So I’d get up there on stage and I’d usually get two or three guys to get up with me and we’d just kick it in the ass and go. We needed to wake these people up. ” It evolved from there. It was those collaborations and fun times that transformed into the band that Clyde is today.
A retired construction company owner, Clyde started hanging out at a local open mic night at Point Venture, Texas. Clyde met Jay Dee Hicks, a retired school teacher, at the event and formed a friendship. Jay Dee Hicks plays his version of drums for the unique band. Most nights, it consist of a cajon drum that he sits on, with a beer bottle cymbal and a five-gallon bucket as a bass drum. The duo played around at the open mic nights until running into Josh Ribakove, Clyde’s lead guitarist, who took a liking to the music they were playing. A couple of years ago they met Lisa Fancher at a local songwriters symposium and she fit with the band’s style. Lisa brought bass player, Eddie Block along and the the band took off.
Last year, the band put out a self titled CD and has been booking gigs to get their unique music out there. Songs such as “I Saw Jesus on My Tortilla” and “Don’t Blame It on The Weed” get the audience involved. Songs such as “Lay Down on The Tracks” and “Demon George and the Holy Ghost” weave through wonderful stories.
Clyde has been working on new songs throughout the year and expects to record a new live album sometime in March or April. The band is trying to capitalize on their well received live shows. “We want to try to capture the energy that we have on stage. When we get in front of people in play, people seem to really like it. There’s an energy there.