The boys of the Dallas street party rock group The Late Night Call Band are busier than they've ever been, and things are bound to get even busier now that going outdoors doesn't require a bucket of sunscreen.
The Late Night Call Band consists of singer and guitarist Rickey Mitchell, bassist Joe Galate and drummer Jimmy Hicks. Last month, the group purchased an old bus to take a short tour of Texas, which they're hoping will lead to some scheduled — and street busking — gigs in New Orleans by the end of the year.
The group also announced work on its first full album, set for release at the beginning of next year.
"We're ready to get in the studio," Hicks says.
The band's calendars started to get booked up back in August. That's when Hicks says the group bought a used bus from "this redneck dude who lived near Texas Motor Speedway who literally lived off an exit called Dale Earnhardt Way," Mitchell says.
The band turned the bus into a mobile stage where members could pull up pretty much anywhere and set their instruments on the roof to do a show.
They ran a short "Bus Tour" in mid-August starting at Goat Hill on Harry Hines Boulevard in Dallas. After that it was on to Rabbit's Got the Gun and Faded Decade in Houston and Austin's famous Sixth Street, where they played right on the street from the roof of the bus.
"We just wanted to do a test-run with it and play some places," Hicks says. "We'd just stay in it and camp out in the city in it."
Their show at Rabbit's may have been one of the most raucous yet. Galate says the venue got ticketed for a noise complaint, but that still didn't stop them from performing.
"Some cops pulled up and they're in the street talking to the owner," Galate says. "It started sprinkling, and they ended up giving the owner a ticket. So the owner said, 'Screw it. We already got the ticket. So y'all just keep playing.'"
Unfortunately, an oil leak and insurance issues brought the tour to an abrupt halt after just 10 days of playing scheduled and improvised gigs and sleeping on air mattresses while on the road.
"We didn't want to risk going out of state on it," Hicks says. "It also needs an oil change, and getting a mechanic to do an oil change on a 1980s bus isn't too easy."
Fortunately for us, that means they'll have more time to play in town at places such as Stan's Blue Note on Wednesday and Pegasus City Brewery on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Hicks says the group is also writing and recording 12 new songs for Late Night Call's first full-length album. The group's first "album" consisted of a group of live demos in a compilation titled Street Jams, available on Spotify and Apple Music.
Hicks says the band hopes to get the bus back on the road by the time the record is ready because they love getting to do shows on a stage they can take wherever they want.
"It's all our own rules," Hicks says. "We get to make it how we want. We look so tall up there, getting to jam on the top of the bus."
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune,Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.