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Rob Baird w/ The Washers & The Bigsbys
August 1, 2013 @ 9:00 pm - 11:55 pm
Rob Baird will be the first one to tell you that he hasn’t always been 100%, shall we say, forthright as a songwriter. Back in college (not too terribly long ago), he recorded an album that he has since “completely buried” — primarily, he says, because back then, “I just wasn’t writing about anything that really meant anything to me.” His next album, 2010’s Blue Eyed Angels (which he considers his proper debut), was a fair deal closer to his heart, but even then he was still an artist in search of himself. Songs like “Could Have Been My Baby,” “Blue Eyed Angels” and especially “Fade Away” all demonstrated that he was ultra-confident in the hooks department and talented enough to sound like he knew what he was doing, but Baird himself was still not entirely convinced.
By striking contrast, one listen to his new album, the aptly titled I Swear It’s the Truth, and it’s clear that Baird has not only found his sincere artistic identity, but grabbed his sense of purpose by the wheel and pushed pedal to the metal. “I’m moving like the wind through the trees, like a train on a track, there ain’t no stopping me,” he declares on the opening “Dreams and Gasoline. “Let the wheels spin free.”
“I just think it’s a really honest record, and it’s kind of the only record that I knew how to make at this point,” says Baird. “‘I’ll swear it’s the truth’ is how I feel about all of these songs. I’ve definitely felt this way in the past three or four years, and I feel like this is a pretty strong collection of songs representing where I am now and what I’m trying to do, whether it’s for better or worse.
“I’ve really spent a lot of time trying to perfect my writing, or at least trying to figure out who I am and convey that better in my songs, and trying to perfect the live show, because I want to be around for awhile,” he continues. “I just want longevity. If it takes a long time to figure out how to get enough fans to be able to tour the country and stay out there, then that’s fine. Because if it’s just going to be a flash-in-the-pan kind of deal, it doesn’t seem like it’s worth doing.”
Out of the quiet prairie lands of Texas’ Gulf Coast, there is a murmur that is gradually getting louder. Amidst the stirring is the recognizable tone of crunchy single-coil pickups and a Gibson J-45 against the backdrop of a walking bass line and the crashing of cymbals. If one listens close enough, they will find the epicenter of the ruckus in East Bernard, Texas– a small town more known for kolaches and polka than loud and rowdy Americana music.
A band known as The Washers are the makers of the noise, which some consider a new breed of Americana. Though not reinventing the wheel, it’s the slight variations from the others in the Texas Music scene that make this small-town band notable. With all of the standard elements typically seen on the stages across Texas, including Justin Wade Wilcox picking rhythm guitar and banjo, Rio Tripiano on lead guitar and harmonica, Matt Kopycinski thumping away on bass, Mike Faltysek keeping time on the drums, and Todd Janik strumming the acoustic parts, one of the unique elements of their dynamic live show is the fact that the four in front share the vocal spotlight. In addition to a different lead singer on seemingly every song, the four singers constantly shift their roles to create beautiful, complex harmonies.
With a little bit of folk, a dash of good old rock ‘n roll, and a whole lot of country, The Washers are hitting the pavement with both feet running, trying to spark a fire in the Texas Music scene.
“The best songs come from the people and stories you know best, from the things you’ve experienced.” – Alex Smith
True Story, the new album from The Bigsbys, consists of stories that are all a little bit true.
The Bigsbys play original roots rock music. It’s muddy and blue with a soul-filled center. Gritty, yet easy on the ears… This music is more of a feeling than a product.
The Bigsbys have toured 9 states and counting in support of their True Story album on top of a full-time Texas schedule.
Four guys from East Texas make up The Bigsbys. Alex Smith(Guitar/Lead Vocals) has been writing songs for the better part of a decade. Brad Hobson(Lead Guitar/Vocals) brings a blues-soaked Gibson SG to the group and gives the tunes a sound like no other. Russell McClendon (Bass) lays chunky, funky beats down and Nick Odom is featured on drums. The bands sound is all their own, and their ability to entertain any crowd separates them from the pack of bands touring today.
The bands first studio album “True Story” features 10 original compositions by the band. True Story is available now on ITunes, Amazon and Lonestar Music.