When I first heard rumblings of Cooder Graw getting the band back together last spring, I was taken back a little bit. Could this really be true? If so, where can I see them, and what will it take for me to get there? As with many fans of the Texas Country revolution, I have been there from its infancy, and Cooder Graw was one of the bands that I had followed with a fevered frenzy.
As the rumblings and rumors grew, so did my anticipation of a confirmation. Then, this little nugget appeared on the web.
So the stage was set, and it was finally going to happen. Texas Country was about to get a little louder.
While I didn't make this years LJT festival, the band shared with me how it felt to be taking the stage after such a long hiatus: "It was stressful at first, but to me, it felt just like it was supposed to feel. It felt so natural. There was a feeling as if we had just played our last show the week before. It was surreal. Or adrenaline was pumping and once we started, it was such a blast." While the pieces were falling right into place for the band, from the fans aspect, there had been a void left since the bands departure, some six years earlier.
For most acts on the music landscape, the end of a band usually signifies the end of radio play. That was not the case for Cooder Graw. With countless radio stations still spinning singles from the group, and the ever-presence of social media aiding in the sharing of their music from their followers, the name never fell off the lips of the Texas faithful. New generations of listeners were being introduced to their eclectic, undefinable sound, that is uniquely Texas, and found themselves wanting more. While the songs may have been penned and recorded years prior, the draw and relate-ability of the music never grew old.
I caught up with the band in Justin, TX at the Mule Barn, the second stop on the "Unfinished Business" reunion tour, to sit down and pick the brains of this all too missed Texas staple. When asked if this was a forever thing, Matt replied:" We're going to play the shows we've booked, then look at it at the end of the year. If people are showing up, and we are having fun still, we can look back to this year and do something similar, book a show a month for about seven or eight months. If that works out, then great, and if it doesn't, then that's great, everyone's had fun getting back together."
With no studio time booked to put out a new album, it certainly isn't out of the question, and there absolutely is a demand for some new music from the multi-generational Cooder Graw. While the band hasn't produced any new music in almost an eight year time span, the songs that get regular spins, or the music passed from friend to friend, still remains timeless. With a catalog of fan favorites, new generations of listeners are discovering Cooder Graw, and understanding just how important the bands individuality and uniqueness has been in molding many of today's up-and-comers.
Once they took the stage that balmy mid-May evening, there was no denying that the band was back, as good as, if not even better than ever. With high-energy, infectious stylings, a clear and crisp sound, and a pocket that was as deep as any, Cooder Graw showed the packed house just why they were considered one of the top travelings acts for so many years. Song after song, hit after hit, the crowd ate it up, and continued to ask for another helping. It truly was a spiritual event happening.
With just a few dates left on this years calender, there is no better time than now to plan a trip to a Cooder Graw show. If you are looking for an education in how a live act should perform, look no further. And for any fan of the Texas/Red Dirt scene, A Cooder Graw show is definitely one that has to be on your bucket list. I'll leave you guys with this great rendition of a timeless Cooder classic. Oh, and by the way, for you DFW folks, they just happen to be playing Ranch Bash this year on October 13th, so don't wait, and go grab some tickets up now.
Ernest Hemingway once wrote: "Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed." That night I observed many things, things that will stay with me until I'm no longer here. Take some time to notice the small things, but more importantly, take the time to enjoy what you see, and live in that moment, because time is one expenditure you can never take back. This is Texas Red Dirt Roads.
For more info on Cooder Graw visit: Cooder Graw