Vandoliers / Shane Smith & The Saints Offer 1st Taste of New Music

Two bands from Texas who help represent just how diverse and omnivorous the music from Texas can be have just given us the first taste of new music in what will hopefully be two rousing projects to help get us through 2022.

The Vandoliers hailing from North Texas aren’t a country band, they’re just a band. But there’s no doubt their country roots poke through their up-tempo and enthusiastic take on country-inspired punk music, embellished with trumpet blasts to give it a ska element, but also grounded by fiddle, so you know it’s Texan.

The Vandoliers have been the favorite opening band of various outfits, because few can get a crowd riled like they can. Lucero, The Toadies, Flogging Molly, and most recently the Turnpike Troubadours, who tapped them for their reunion show at Cain’s Ballroom, as well as their upcoming show at The Ryman, they all will vouch for the Vandoliers. But with their new self-titled album due out August 12th, they hope to take this thing to an entirely new level.

“We wanted to make an album that had the same power as our live performance—a tight, big sound,” says frontman and primary songwriter Joshua Fleming. “Through trial and error, label closure, fatherhood, sobriety, relapse, the album grew on its own stylistically. After the hardest two years of my life, we created a collection of songs that push us as musicians, songs that reaffirmed my place as a songwriter and a faith in ourselves as a band I don’t think we had before.”

Most all albums are arduous to write, record, and release. But The Vandoliers had an especially difficult period with this one. Though most of the material was written in 2019, they went into the studio in March of 2020 right as the COVID-19 lockdowns hit, interrupting their plans. Add on top of that, The Vandoliers are one of the the many victims/refugees of the implosion of Bloodshot Records, who were originally set to release this record.

The Vandoliers have been one of those bands that seems to be snake bit, despite the buy in by fans and peers. Hopefully this self-titled release produced by Eric Delegard and recorded at Reeltime Audio in Denton, TX will be the opportunity they’ve been looking for to bring their unique take on Texas-flavored American roots music to the big time.

Along with Joshua Fleming, The Vandoliers are comprised of fiddler Travis Curry, bassist Mark Moncrieff, drummer Trey Alfaro, guitarist Dustin Fleming, and multi-instrumentalist Cory Graves.

New song “Before The Fall” can be heard below, and the new album is now available for pre-order.

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And speaking of being from Texas, not really fitting in snugly anywhere, but putting on wild and rousing live performances undoubtedly tied to the roots of American music, Shane Smith and the Saints are also out with a new song called “Hummingbird,” their own first taste of music in four years. And though this one is not tied to any new album announcement at the moment, we are being told to look alive, and be ready for more new music on the horizon.

“This song, for me personally, takes a step back in time to some of the older, classic music I grew up listening to, anytime I was riding around with my dad,” says Shane Smith. “It’s a love song at its core, but it covers some heavier subject matter around anxiety and depression that I think a lot of folks can relate to these days. My hope is that it can have some kind of positive impact on any listeners dealing with those issues.” 

With Bennett Brown on fiddle, Dustin Schaefer on guitar, Chase Satterwhite on bass, and Zach Stover on drums, Shane Smith and the Saints have been storming stages with their electric live shows and four part harmonies. But it’s also some of their more intimate songs that have made them one of the fastest-rising bands in Texas music.

“I don’t like just throwing stuff out there. If I’m going to be singing about something every night, I try to make it personal, make it something I can really relate to,” says Smith. “I like to sing with conviction, an honest conviction.”

Stay tuned for more info on Shane Smith and the Saints music (hopefully) coming soon.

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