1/10/2020 ". . . A little slice of tender Americana heaven rarely found in Nashville anymore . . ." Just one of the nuggets from the latest sweet review or our new single, "Sweet Molly". http://thehollywooddigest.com/the-new-texas-string-band-sweet-molly-single/
12/01/19 Check out our latest interview in https://www.imaai.org/exclusive-interview-with-the-new-texas-string-band/
How would you classify your music?
Although The New Texas String Band is first and always a bluegrass band, like the bluegrass genre itself we like to mix influences, sometimes more, sometimes less, but always bluegrass plus.
Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?
More so than certain individuals, we’ve been influenced by the wide variety of styles that we’ve been exposed to growing up and working as musicians in North Texas. Texas has a long and deep legacy of different cultural influences, and nowhere is this more evident than in Texas music, which includes influences ranging from mariachi, to polka, to blues, to country, to western swing, to gospel, and on and on. Texas has produced more Grammy winners than any other state, and this is not only a reflection of the size of the state but more importantly of the diverse people, culture, and art that one finds in Texas. This has influenced both the way we write songs and the way we perform the songs we have written, in which one can hear musical and lyrical influences from several genres.
What do you want fans to take away from your music?
A very important principle to us is that we believe in employing the songwriting techniques common to all legacy music of any genre—melodic, lyrical, and instrumental hooks, recognizable song structures, and meaningful and relatable themes. These have been central to American popular music of all genres from early minstrel shows, tin pan alley, ragtime, broadway, jazz, country, and rock-n-roll, and we believe that they have a place in bluegrass music as well.
How is the music scene in your locale?
Texas and more specifically North Texas is a great place to be a musician or a listener, or both. There is not a lot of bluegrass, in fact there are no strictly bluegrass venues, but there are many good venues for performing and listening to music in general. The musicians and audiences in North Texas are very open-minded so whether the music falls in a genre that they are used to listening to or not, most people are open and appreciate good song-writing and good performance regardless of what category the music falls into.
What is the best concert you have been to?
When I was a young child my parents took me to a bluegrass festival and one of the acts was a group of local bluegrass players, none of whom were particularly well-known, but who were incredible songwriters with incredible proficiency on their instruments. That combination of masterful songwriting conveyed through masterful performance was inspiring to me at the time and I’ve never forgotten the synergy that comes when these two elements are combined.
What do you like most about playing live?
Every so often in a live performance there’s a magical moment when we are able to interact with the audience in an unexpected but special way, whether it’s a call and response, the audience singing along in the chorus, a reprise, an ovation, or simply a dynamic build prompted by the energy in the room. The recording studio can have its magic moments too, but magic moments just go to a higher level when they are mutual with the people on the other side of the stage.
Is there a song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?
“Sweet Molly” is a good example of the influence that genres other than bluegrass have on our music. “Sweet Molly” is bluegrass music written and recorded by a bluegrass band, but it could fit equally well in the western swing category, and for that reason is one or favorite songs on the album. Another reason we decided to release “Sweet Molly” at this time instead of the other songs on the EP is that it is very reminiscent of the songwriting and stripped-down acoustic performance of early 20th Century American musicians like Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, who were recently celebrated in the Ken Burns’ documentary Country Music. Country Music was a masterpiece, and it brought to the public’s attention the roots and stems of what’s on radios and playlists today, and it taught us that there are many long lines of musical heritage that have weaved and intersected to result in a rich fabric of musical choice, which we can all now “re-live” through the accessibility of today’s music technology.
How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?
I would say that the biggest difference between us today and a year ago is that we’ve allowed our songwriting and our performance to each take their own path. For example while we value musicianship and technical ability, as we mature we’re realizing that our best songwriting does not necessarily happen when we write in order to showcase technical ability.
If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?
If we could play a gig, write a song, or have dinner with any musical artist it could not be one of the bluegrass legends that gave traditional bluegrass its enduring legacy, our first choice would be the “King of Western Swing” Bob Wills. Although his legacy is deeply immersed in western swing, he also championed general musical principles that we find important, such as finding the synergy in diverse influences, and the co-equal importance of the instrument and the musicians to the vocalist and the lyrics.
What’s next for you?
We have other original songs that we feel strongly in and that we believe embody these principles and it was a tough choice deciding what to include on the first EP and what to leave out. The upside is that we can and already have started working on our next album. Recording is easier today than ever before, but it’s still a process, and it still takes time, so we like to keep the pipeline moving—and we’re already at work doing just that. Stay tuned!
12/30/19 Our second single, "Sweet Molly", is out: https://toomuchlovemagazine.com/sweet-molly-by-the-new-texas-string-band/
December 31, 2019 Reviews
“Sweet Molly” by The New Texas String Band
With a playful volley of strings and a growing harmony that only gets sweeter as we go deeper into the song, “Sweet Molly” sees The New Texas String Band not wasting any time in getting right into the guts of their melodic bluegrass attack, and though this new single from the band’s freshly-minted, self-titled debut record is a good example of what listeners can expect to hear out of most their material, it’s as unique an offering as any you’ll find from within their presently-released content without a doubt. “Sweet Molly” is a track that doesn’t ask a lot out of its audience in exchange for a wealth of pleasantries produced for us through little more than the chemistry created between the individual players in the group, and despite the fact that it relies more on the tried and true model for folky bluegrass hybrids than it does anything on the left side of the country dial, it’s got a particular lustiness to its melodic lashings that makes it a really nice listen no matter what the mood in the room might be.
You don’t have to be a professional music critic to appreciate the amount of love that’s present in every verse in this song, but for those of us who are bigger audiophiles than most, this is an especially passionate performance from a band that is obviously devoted to their craft more than the average group is. There’s something almost spiritual about the way that the words have been married with the string melodies in the foreground, as if to create some kind of a seamless bond between the different components in the song without ever abandoning the distinguishing lines that make each element a charming gem for us to analyze. From afar, there’s nothing overindulgently grand about the way this track was structured, but at the same time, the detailed master mix and overall airtightness to the production make it impossible for us to willfully overlook any of the subtler points in the single. I don’t often hear this kind of work put into a song in this genre, but then again, I don’t often get to hear a band like The New Texas String Band, in bluegrass or anywhere else.
APPLE MUSIC: https://music.apple.com/us/album/sweet-molly-single/1489129845
Brilliantly sculpted as both an homage and as an original ballad with enormous potential for the stage, you just can’t go wrong with The New Texas String Band’s latest single if you’re as intrigued by the notion of a modern bluegrass revival as I am. This has been a big year for all things grass – from Jason Barie’s Ramblin’ Fiddler project to the near-watershed content we heard from Irene Kelley and Billy Droze – but something tells me that, when all is said and done, this group is going to end up being noted as one of the better acts to come out of the underground as the 2010s wound down. “Sweet Molly” is a fascinating peek into what they could possibly do with their sound given the right circumstances, and I for one can’t wait to hear more tracks like it.
10/15/19 So we just finished recording seven originals at SG Studios in Fort Worth. Greg our recording engineer did his usual fantastic job. Check them out in the music section, and you'll also find them soon on your favorite music platform.