Broken Spokes (Houston, TX)
“Some of the leading lights of Texas retro-country have split or faded, and the enduring diehards (Eleven Hundred Springs, Dale Watson, Two Tons of Steel, etc.) are hitting the point where their tributes to generations past are at least a generation old themselves. As long as there’s bar bands the torch never really drops, but if it ever does, Houston’s The Broken Spokes would be solid candidates to pick it up and run with it. There’s something transcendent about front man Brent McLennan’s clear tenor twang and off-handedly detailed songwriting approach riding atop the timeless honky-tonk chops of his bandmates (Willy Golden on steel guitar and Josh Artall on lead guitar/piano particularly jump out of the mix): it’s a bit like if Bruce Robison borrowed Wayne “The Train” Hancock’s band to rub some pilsner-soaked sawdust on his studied song craft” – Mike Ethan Messick, Lone Star Music Magazine
“It might be hard to believe, but there was a time when country music was actually palatable. Growing up in the seventies, when a tug of war began between traditional country music, and the beginning of this new flashy crap we’re stuck with today; my favorite memories were catching small time country acts play honky tonks with my parents. For the longest time, it’s felt like those traditional country tunes and the style in which they were crafted would never return. Then, I listened to the new album from Houston’s The Broken Spokes and realized—-it’s back and this five piece is bringing it back in a big way. Throughout eight tracks, “The Broken Spokes” bring back traditional country music like it was meant to be played without copying anyone in the process.” – David Garrick, Free Press Houston
“Named after the South Austin dance hall that has drawn two-steppers like flies for a half-century — and successfully fought back hungry developers for the past decade — the Broken Spokes could have easily been plucked straight off that hallowed honky-tonk’s hardwood dance floor. These Spokes have been bringing their hardcore trad-country — served with generous sides of Texas swing and savory steel guitar — to local joints like Rudz and The Big Top for a couple of years, but have only recently released their first recording, a nifty little eight-song self-titled debut. It’s all worth a spin around the floor, but best of all are tunes like “Moved Into a Bottle,” where the wordplay is as sharp as the guitar licks.” Chris Gray, Houston Press
D. Kosmo and the Fraternal Order of the Texas Corndogs (Houston, TX)
Ear wrecking songs of booze, women, sin & redemption.
Hard Luck Revival (Houston, TX)
“A year-old band of alt-country troublemakers might not seem like they’re making a lot of progress if all they’ve got to show for it is two demos. But then, when that group shares a bloodline with notorious local party monsters Poor Dumb Bastards, “progress” can be a relative term. So actually, between those demos and a full slate of gigs with the likes of Joe “King” Carrasco, the Derailers and Mike Stinson, plus a prime booking at “Byron & Jana’s Hillbilly Wedding Reception” in July, Hard Luck Revival has actually accomplished quite a bit. They’re also practically the house band on KPFT’s Saturday-morning shot of honky-tonk wake-up juice, Lone Star Juke Box. But if you can’t wait until Tuesday, not to worry: Those demos we mentioned, “White Line Fever” and “Hard Luck Hard Times,” are available on YouTube, and both showcase Hard Luck Revival in their element — namely, getting up to no good.”- Houston Press