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Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends of West Texas Music
by Christopher Oglesby
Published by the University of Texas Press:
"As a whole, the interviews create a portrait not only of Lubbock's musicians and artists, but also of the musical community that has sustained them, including venues such as the legendary Cotton Club and the original Stubb's Barbecue. This kaleidoscopic portrait of the West Texas music scene gets to the heart of what it takes to create art in an isolated, often inhospitable environment. As Oglesby says, "Necessity is the mother of creation. Lubbock needed beauty, poetry, humor, and it needed to get up and shake its communal ass a bit or go mad from loneliness and boredom; so Lubbock created the amazing likes of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Terry Allen, and Joe Ely."

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Thrift Store Cowboys return to Jakes
One Wolf, Thrift Store Cowboys, and Rodney Parker
Begin 2008 Tour in Lubbock
by Chelsea Roe, contributing writer - February 24, 2008
Chelsea Roe is a contributing writer for virtualubbock.com. She lives and writes about her life in Lubbock. This article originally appeared in the Texas Tech University Daily Toreador.

Positive interaction with the crowd, a complete sound, and original songwriting- that's what makes a good show even if the product isn't your particular style. What makes a good show great is when those elements are met and even those pessimistic going into it are seen having the time of their lives on the dance floor.

Jake's Backroom on Monday night hosted one of those great shows. Seeing no "cases of the Monday's" here, hundreds of local residents turned out for a One Wolf/ Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward/ Thrift Store Cowboys extravaganza. Beginning their tour to the West Coast in Lubbock the three bands celebrated the release of their newest albums- all which you can find through myspace- with high energy support from the crowd.

Starting the night off was the three-man band One Wolf. These days the term "pop" usually hold a negative connotation but think of One Wolf as the pop sound of the Indie culture. Daniel Markham possesses songwriting skills and vocals that could appeal to both the mainstream market and the Indie underground music culture which is why there lays no negativity behind it here. The guy's creative and he's got mass appeal.

"We're playing some brand new songs for the first time tonight. It's pretty nerve-wracking but fun," stated Markham. The lead singer/guitarist took us to the West Coast in the beginning and brought us back home to Texas as he finished off his set with the West Texas flare.

When One Wolf was done Rodney Parker & Peso reward hit the stage but not without giving credit to his friends first. "Everybody give an applause for One Wolf! That was fantastic," exclaimed Parker. With the use of a banjo- a long time trend in Southern bands making a comeback- Rodney Parker and his band put a fast upbeat spin on bluegrass and had everybody crowding in front of the stage. "Thank you for coming out tonight. It was a great way to start the tour," finished Parker as he came to a wrap up.

Around 12:30 am the house music went down again and the crowd began cheering before the band had even made a single sound. When the music did start the rumor that they had saved the best for last was proven to be true. With more involvement from the crowd than there had been all night, and through interesting sound techniques regrettably not employed more often, the Thrift Store Cowboys stole the show.

It was to be expected though. After all, it was this band that voices were whispering about all the week previous. It should be noted that whoever was in charge of promoting this show- job well done.

However- outshining everyone was violinist Amanda Shires who also produced some killer bluesy vocals. Though the chemistry in the band was solid all around, a good portion of it was compliments of Shires and acoustic guitarist/ lead singer Daniel Fluitt. "It's literally the most complete sound I've heard come out of Lubbock in a long time," stated local artist Andy Eppler. Fluitt wasn't short on the vocals himself either.

Monday night's show held an eclectic mix of sound ranging from semi-gothic to Indie to roots and it would be difficult to say that all interests were not met. To see bands with this caliber of creativity in our own town-particularly from Thrift Store Cowboys- was quite a refreshing way to start the week that will eventually lead to students into spring break. The show was a reminder of the great stuff you can find out there if you're looking for it. Keep your eyes open Lubbock- there'll be more to come.

More Articles by Chelsea Roe - Chelsea Roe is the music critic for the Daily Toreador at Texas Tech University

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