Tagged: Denton music

For Pageantry, less is more when songwriting is on the line

PAGEANTRY 
When: doors open 9 p.m. on Friday, May 24, 2013
Where: Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, 411 E. Sycamore St.
With: The Angelus & Lord Buffalo
Cover: $5, $7 for ages 18 to 20
On the web:  Pageantry on Facebook, Pageantry on Soundcloud
Denton’s Pageantry, a local trio of established musicians, caught our ear after band member Pablo Burrell mentioned the new band while waiting for drinks at Banter Bistro. We found the Facebok page and checked out the too-few music files available. What we heard was enough to convince us that Pageantry was one of the top Denton bands appearing at 35 Denton last March.
With an EP release on the horizon, and a show on Friday at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, we picked the musician’s brains about what make the band tick, music-wise.
From left: Bassist Pablo Burrell,

Meet Denton’s Pageantry. From left: Bassist Pablo Burrell, guitarist and singer Roy Robertson and drummer Ramon Muzquiz. Photo courtesy of the band.

littledTX: Can you tell me who plays what in the band?
Roy (Robertson): I sing and play guitar. Ramon (Muzquiz) plays drums and Pablo’s (Burrell) on bass, they both sing back up vocals, too.
What made this group of musicians decide to form a band and make music together?
Ramon: I think admiration for each other more than anything. We all were playing in different projects and our paths crossed at a lot of local shows. Eventually Roy asked me to play on some of his material, and we didn’t click at first. Roughly a year later, we got together again and recorded an EP that, for various reasons, was shelved. Some of those songs actually made up the first Pageantry material. I had been playing in another band with Pablo. Roy had wanted to play with him after seeing him play with yet another band. It was an easy fit due to mine and Pablo’s experience together already.
 
For such a recently-formed band, Pageantry has a mature, measured and fully-formed sound. To what do you guys credit that?
Ramon: Practice and musicality. We trust ourselves and each other but we are more than willing to try five different things before we decide something is done. We try to practice a couple times a week and our rehearsals are usually pretty rigorous. The longer we play something the more it takes shape and can breathe. In retrospect, the songs on the EP (Friends of the Year) were written in a much shorter time than the new material we are working on, but we also did a lot of self-editing on the final recorded versions of them. We are very proud of how it turned out, though we wish we could have released it sooner. Hopefully, the next album will be more of a happy medium between self-critiquing and trusting our guts. We also are finding our footing as a band more and more as we write. Songs from the EP were presented to us as a whole. New material is coming in parts and we are shaping more of it together. The new songs are different but we are looking ahead to the future and not willing to compromise on what we enjoy playing just to appease older material. That being said, there are elements of the old in the new. It’s hard to explain without sharing the songs but hopefully that will come soon enough.
 
What is the band working on right now?
Roy: We have our first EP coming out June 11th, with an EP release show at Dan’s Silverleaf on Friday, June 14th with Chambers, Good Field and Senor Fin (go here to get details). We’re also playing a bunch in Austin this summer, working on touring outside of Texas more and hopefully start recording a new album soon.

What needs to happen for the musicians to feel that Pageantry is making good music?

 

Roy: It’s pretty intuitive.
Ramon: Definitely intuition. We rely a lot (live) on seeing each other and it’s no different in rehearsals. If I look up and see that Pablo is focusing really hard and Roy is smiling really big, then we are on the right track. Also, confusion. I like to think we confuse ourselves into a hole that we then attempt to dig ourselves out of. Sometimes though, it’s like we have to dig to the other side to get back to the surface.
How do songwriting duties break down for the band? Is there a melody maker and lyricist, or does everyone contribute sounds and words?
Ramon: Roy is the main songwriter. He writes melodies and lyrics. Pablo and I contribute more in terms of arrangements and grooves although sometimes this is at the direction of Roy or each other.
Often a song takes shape when the groove is established. At that point it can take the weight off of the chords or guitar parts to function as the lead. It’s something we are striving to get better at, because it is easy to overcrowd a song even with three people. It’s also different in terms of our live show and our recordings. We have a lot more breathing room on a recording where we can layer instruments and build more of an atmosphere.
In terms of sounds, that’s a number of sources. We all have a pretty good handle on what sounds good and we record a lot of ourselves in rehearsals in order to see if those sounds are meshing. Roy has a great ear for recording and we are lucky to have that in the band. Pablo has a great ear for melodious bass lines. I try to incorporate some electronic elements via a drum triggering pad that we’ve had varying degrees of success with. Overall, we are very open to each other’s criticisms. Rehearsals are an open forum and we rarely butt heads.
EP RELEASE
What: Friends of the Year
When: doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m.  on June 14, 2013
Where: Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial
With: Chambers, Goodfield & Senor Fin
Cover: $5. No smoking.
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Album Review: Whiskey Folk Ramblers harkens back to westerns of old

The Whiskey Folk Ramblers release "The Lonesome Underground," a record that brings on the Ramblers twangy melodies and evicative vocals and chords.

The Whiskey Folk Ramblers release “The Lonesome Underground,” a record that brings on the Ramblers twangy melodies and evocative vocals and chords.

A southern quintet of folksy Dallas-Fort Worth gentlemen, The Whiskey Folk Ramblers have found its Americana, southern rock musical inspirations again, releasing its 3rd album, The Lonesome Underground, available on iTunes today.

Lead singer Tyler Rougeux gets much of his inspiration from Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, and it’s evident on this album, with some corralling tunes that incorporate some swanky, down-under fiddle and mandolin licks to keep this folksy country gig going.

With a laid-back Jersey drawl, lead singer Rougeux ends each note in a deep barrel, much like a trombone (the band has one of those too!). Throw on top of it some Petty inspired harmonica tunes, too, and moving guitar melodies. This album puts you in one of those country-rockabilly ballrooms.

Despite losing three members in since the previous album, its evident The Whiskey Folk Ramblers have still managed to mature its sound, with three albums now under the group’s belt. Newly added band members since the group’s last album includes Cory Graves on trumpet, piano, baritone, and backup vocals and also drummer, backup vocalist Chris Carmichael.

Recorded in the home studios of members Mark Moncreiff and Carmichael, this DIY album began in 2011 and went on a journey that had the group starting over twice.

“We actually added piano into our band this year,” Rougeux said. “I started arranging structures in a different way than I had with the first two albums,” drawing influence from Springsteen and Petty.

The Lonesome Underground follows:

“Oh, St. Jude:” (3:11) Very southern rock influences in its instrumentation, this song is a little over three minutes of pure Americana chords and vocals, perfect to begin the album. Rougeux slides his voice up and down, with a popping guitar rhythm and a muted trumpet harmonizing his deep voice with some tinkering banjo plucking.

“Long Way Back:” (2:49) Much like a southern inspired tango, this song proves the band can capture slow melodies with varied instrumentation, and still jiving tunes that move this salon dance.

“Lights On The Highway:” (4:09) Rougeux gracefully uses his deep vocals, matched with a violin and piano to bring a complex song structure, with drastic changes between the verses and chorus.

“Mad Man’s Eyes:” (2:17) This groove will have you shaking and moving along with Rougeux as weaves in and out of this trumpet, vocal harmony orgy, with some fierce plucking banjo and guitar rhythms.

“Bad Rise:” (3:15) Rougeux uses his keen seen of melody with his vocals, to give a dramatic alt-country tune. With heartfelt lyrics that tell a compelling story, this song gives it all in over three minutes.

“Leavin’ Here:” (3:14) With a blue-grass feel and southern twang in the guitar, this song is one of those songs you would grab a partner and start dancing too.

“Old Lost Tears:” (4:45) Ending the album on a warm farewell with a melodic trumpet and some stripped down vocals, and basic instrumentation melodies, this song has each instrument joining together in a somber goodbye.

Other tracks on Underground:

“Drink The Bottle Dry” (2:59)

“If I Were Around” (2:49)

“Cross City Trade:” (3:38)

“Can You Drive My Car” (3:34)

“Come Down Tonight” (2:45)

“Letters To Rosemary”  (3:42)

Learn more & shop Whiskey Folk Ramblers merch: http://www.whiskeyfolkramblers.com/.

– Aaron Claycomb