Well, of course country music is bound to spring up in Lubbock. The town enjoys three factors that make it so: a legacy of music, a desolate Western environment and the desparation of sheer boredom, all three of which imbue the population with a latent impulse to create music by which to scoot boots and kick shit. No surprise there.
What comes as a surprise, however, is when the land that breeds tumbleweeds, cotton and redneck Red Raiders also sprouts a band of rare cerebral depth combined with salt-of-the-earth genuineness. Lubbock's Thrift Store Cowboys are that band, as comfortable in an indie club as a honky-tonk, edgy yet traditional. Call it experimental country. Take the band's "Dirtied Your Knees," off their latest album, Lay Low While Crawling or Creeping, which kicks off with a drone-y banjo hum underlying the minimal plucking of another banjo. The effect is something like an orchestra warming up, until the tune eases its way into a rootsy midtempo rocker. "Sidewalk Song," meantime, evokes Mazzy Star as much as Merle Haggard, with its slow 3/4 time, luscious fiddle and high-gain, delayed guitar—proof there's more to Lubbock than dust devils and Bobby Knight.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.