You play a lot of covers, which you probably wouldn't do if you were a rock or indie band. It's similar to what Dwight Yoakam was doing, and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Mike Harmeier: For the country music genre in general, it's always been big to play covers. For us it's partly out of utility. We play private shows that are long and you have have a good set of covers to keep people interested. We dig ourselves a hole sometimes. Once we play five or six covers, we get on a roll, go into cover territory, and never come out of it. But it doesn't bother me. We mix it up. As long as people are dancing, it doesn't matter. Catlin Rutherford: That's our job.
Every time I go see you, the crowd seems to double. And it's an unusual mix of people. MH: In the '70s, it was the hippies meet the rednecks. Now it's like, dancehall cowboys and hipsters, all in one room. There's nothing better than seeing cowboy hats next to skinny jeans.
You've filled a niche. MH: This scene of the country people and the stuff we're playing, that's what I've been wanting for a long time.
Here's a taste question. Recently I was having a conversation with somebody about loving George Strait but hating Alan Jackson.Thoughts? MH: I'm in that boat too.
What's that about? Is there some kind of Alan Jackson vs. George Strait thing? MH: I've felt that way for a long time. But I don't think you feel that way, Catlin. CR: I like them both. I mean, I like George Strait more. MH: George Strait was my number one forever, since I was a little kid. I like the music, I think the production value's good. I know every lick I hear on every George Strait song. Alan Jackson, I don't know what it is. I don't like his voice. There's something about it, I'm not sure if I can explain it either. CR: He's not a Texan.
More like that Florida sound. "It's 5 O' Clock Somewhere." MH: Yeah, Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett. That gets played on the radio a lot. Buffett's on all those Zack Brown songs now too. Zack Brown is probably at the top of the country charts right now and it is terrible. I remember my friend said, "Once you go to the island, you never come back." And that's kinda what he's doing.
Beach country. MH: Yeah, Beach country. I cannot stand that stuff. It's everywhere, like Kenny Chesney and now Zack Brown.That's what happened to Jimmy Buffett. He used to run with Jerry Jeff Walker back in the '70s. Then they went to the islands one time, and Jimmy never came back. CR: He went to Margaritaville and stayed.