Skip to Navigation Skip to Main Content
Courtesy photo

Dust, grit and soul

Shafter to play Twilight Tunes

Denton’s Charlie Shafter Band performs today at Twilight Tunes on the Square.

Shafter walks the line between indie-folk and alt-country, with familiar Denton musician Grady Sandlin on the drums, Daniel Markham on guitar and bass, and Eric Tarr on guitar and vocals.

Shafter takes the lead with his full-bodied (and country radio-ready) tenor and guitar, but confidently holds back to let his bandmates flesh out music, sometimes with mandolin and harp, too.

Shafter has written with Ray Wylie Hubbard and has opened for Josh Abbott, who was positively effusive in his praise for the local artist. Shafter has that Denton knack for taking a tried-and-true song and reinventing it with a brand-new emotional veneer. In Shafter’s case, the genius and pathos of Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly” shines through.

The local band’s catalog is ripe for roots-rock aficionados. Shafter’s songs are chapters and stories about regret, hindsight and unexpected joy. Country and Red Dirt fans can find a lot to like, from Shafter’s wiser-than-his-years voice to the unvarnished delivery. The band would be at home in a gig with Denton’s Isaac Hoskins, Fort Worth’s Telegraph Canyon or Bee Cave’s Bob Schneider.

Twilight Tunes is a free weekly concert on the downtown Denton Square, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays through June. The annual series, which is in its 20th season, showcases Denton and North Texas talent, thanks to local sponsorships.

Patrons bring blankets and lawn chairs, and are encouraged to buy dinner or dessert from downtown Denton restaurants.

For more information, including inclement weather plans, visit

Coming up on June 13: Gravity Feed, a band that plays jazz, funk and rock.

— Lucinda Breeding