The first leg of my journey started over drinks with Los Noviembres' lead guitarist and founder, Paul Boll. He was all-too-happy to talk about his "favorite subject" and we started at the beginning. In the mid ‘90s, Boll collaborated with saxophonist and actor Johnny Reno to compose several film scores, most notably Robert Rodriguez' Road Racers. While on tour, the two would go catch electronic/D.J. shows in San Francisco, L.A., and Chicago. It was around that time Boll conceived the idea of a band that would perform a mix of their favorite musical styles, but it just never happened, he said.
Several years later, Angie Cassada (now the group's vocalist) came into Boll's music studio off West 7th street asking for guitar lessons. It turned out that she was actually looking for musicians to perform with. After hearing her demo, Boll was sold. Cassada and Boll shared November birthdays and a love of Mexican boleros so the name Los Noviembres felt natural. Boll had been watching Flipside bassist Paul Unger, who also performs with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, for several years and in 2009 he asked him to join the group. Unger brought along drummer Dennis Durick, solidifying the quartet's lineup in 2009.
The group's first album, The Great Iridescent Glory, reflects Noviembres' international pedigree with covers of 1950's French film music, Mexican boleros, and mix of great originals. Cassada's warm and inviting voice easily covers the spread of musical styles in their first album - sometimes bright and penetrating, at other times dark-hued and smoky, especially for the French covers. Boll says their sophomore album, set to be released sometime in August, will be more straight rock with a possible French ballade in the mix. The easiest way to keep up with these firebrand virtuosos, their soon-to-be-released album, and upcoming shows is to follow them on Facebook.
If the words "Whiskey Folk Ramblers" conjures images of back porch guitar strummin', banjo pickin,' and soulful harmonica lines, then you're not far off from the core sound of this alt-Americana quintet. Whiskey Folk -Tyler Rougeux (vocals/guitar), JackDaw Russell (bass), Mark Moncrieff (guitar), Chris Carmichael (drums), and Cory Graves (trumpet/keys) - has been around since 2006 churning out bright, cantankerous, tough-luck tunes that go down easy with a glass of bourbon, or whatever you drink.
Their recently released album, The Lonesome Underground, is replete with a wide range of yearn-full tunes like "Easy Climb," a confessional ballad with a Spaghetti Western heart, and the hard-driving polka "Pies of Old Kylene." Rougeux's rich, declamatory baritone voice imbues each tune with a sense of immediacy while Carmichael's hard-driving train beats keep every moment on-edge.
And where can you find these Ramblin' men? Well, for starters, Rougeux will be performing solo at Fred's Texas Cafe June 7th at . Or, you can catch the whole entourage at Lola's Saloon August 9th.