1100 Springs, Two Tons of Steel, Tejas Brothers

It would be hard to fathom a better collection of roots performers than this trio of acts from across the state. Fort Worth's Tejas Brothers have been around a year or so, but their greasy mix of country, soul and Tejano is just now attracting the kudos it so richly deserves. Songs such as "Love Me or Leave Me" and "Doing a Real Good Job" are reminiscent of the late, great Doug Sahm as frontman Chris Zalez leads this fine quartet into all corners of Americana. San Antonio's Two Tons of Steel has been described as equal parts Elvis Costello and Elvis Presley with a dose of Buddy Holly thrown in, and such a depiction is fairly accurate. Vegas, the band's robust 2005 debut, featured a hayseed deconstruction of the Ramones' "I Want to be Sedated" that worked because of the band's irreverent refusal to kowtow to anyone's preconceived notion of what is and isn't country. Matt Hillyer has been a fixture on the Dallas music scene for going on two decades and 1100 Springs just seems to get better and better with age. Expect a new CD in the very near future, and in the meantime, catch Hillyer and crew headlining this fantastic bill of what Steve Earle correctly calls "real music."


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