DFW Music News

Rodney Parker & Fifty Peso Reward Apologize. Again.

Page 2 of 2

To add to such real-life adjustments, Parker points to artistic development as another reason the band waited for the right time to start producing music regularly.

"It took that long because we were changing as musicians and songwriters and becoming better," Parker says. "We demanded a lot more from ourselves than we did with Blow the Soot Out. Those years between the first and second record are when this band found its identity."

Members of a band are typically, and understandably, wary of admitting they share a style or even worse, sound like another band. RP50PR (as many fans have come to abbreviate the lengthy moniker) are indeed a rock band which draws heavily from its regional roots creating the effectively hard-charging sound known these days, for better or worse (mainly worse), as "Texas Country." While the group senses the often-times narrow sonic boundaries of what many Texas Country fans expect, they also grasp and accept that such a label has more to do with fitting into a marketplace and not being held-back artistically. Not too much, anyway.

"You can beat up a town playing a show every month for years and never increase your draw at all," Parker says. "Then radio starts playing your stuff and all of a sudden people are showing up. So we have to take that into account when making a record. It's not everything, but it's there. It's usually with smaller stuff like song length and titles, maybe how quickly we get to a chorus. For this band playing in this genre though, we still live way out under the edge of the umbrella."

Kendall agrees that there are commercial concerns when planning a new album or writing songs, but he's not terribly worried he and his mates will ever cross an uncomfortable line.

"I wouldn't say we let any sort of restrictions get to us too much," he says. "We obviously aren't going to make a Casey Donahew or Josh Abbott record, so we aren't going to try to."

Indeed, both of the Apology EPs are harder rocking and of higher quality than much of what Donahew and Abbott, two of the most popular bands from Texas touring today, have recorded to date. Parker's vocal's often reveal a desperation that lends the songs great force, making them a tad too substantial for some Texas Country fans. Of course, the aforementioned Greek-Row Kingpins -- Donahew and Abbott -- regardless of what most music critics think should be the case, often draw thousands of people to their shows and regularly have their songs in heavy radio rotation across Texas. RP50PR will be hitting various parts of the Midwest soon to support their new release, so it's no secret they indeed hope to grow their band as well as their brand, but only when the time is right.

"Touring all over is most definitely a goal of this band," Skinner says. "We used to do large scale touring full-time, but it was before we could really afford it. We won't go back to a schedule like that until we are making enough money for it to make sense."

Thanks to the years of shared history and the sometimes costly lessons learned on the road, this band understands that dependably great music is more valuable than practicality. Regardless of financial discussion, artistic considerations and the manner in which a band works together off the stage, a group has to plug in and burn it down on the stage, above all else. Most who have seen RP50PR play live will agree that the task isn't a difficult one for the mysteriously named crew.

Rodney Parker & Fifty Peso Reward perform Saturday Night with Cody Canada and the Departed at the Granada Theater.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kelly Dearmore

Latest Stories