Denton music keeps popping up outside the city limits. Earlier this year, a magazine article about little-known global music hotspots cited Denton, but mentioned only Bowling for Soup and Meat Loaf.
The article didn’t mention the Denton Americana scene once.
If you get down to brass tacks, it’s the local folk scene that has put us on the map as a formidable music community. Midlake might not be pure folk, but there’s enough folk in the band’s stewpot to make it at least a cousin. Doug Burr keeps releasing albums that succeed on music and poetic merits, and before Sarah Jaffe released The Body Wins, she was making fresh, significant folk music.
Some of the best albums out in the last 12 months are Americana records. Boxcar Bandits’ Live at Dan’s Silverleaf bears the band’s “skunkgrass” genre stamp, but with a washboard, banjo, guitar and upright bass, the Bandits are welcome in the Americana party. Hares on the Mountain hasn’t released an album, but the punk-folk outfit is as Americana as can be, fusing punk attitude with Celtic-tinged murder ballads.
And in one of 2012’s best releases to date, Restless & Waiting, Mathew Grigsby proves that the scene hasn’t been exhausted. In fact, the simplicity of Grigsby’s arrangements hints at something more to come. And Denton’s L.E. Taylor? If she isn’t snatched up by Kirtland or Spune before long, we might have to eat an edition of Little d.
Right now, the real magic in Denton is folk — pure and simple.
— Lucinda Breeding
Ed Steele has a passion for capturing the alchemy of art and performance at live shows. He works part time as a music photographer in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but his heart belongs to Denton. Steele has photographed numerous bands and performers including Brave Combo, the Wee-Beasties, Bubba Hernandez, the Flametrick Subs and Greg Ginn, founder of Black Flag. Steele was a sponsor of the grass-roots music festival 35 des Refuses, and his shot of Brave Combo from the fest appears in the group’s latest CD. When he’s not busy photographing rock stars, Steele volunteers with his wife at a cat rescue group.
Award-winning documentary filmmaker and jazz guitarist ANDY LaVIOLETTE owns and operates a busy North Texas video production company, Mr. Magic Carpet Ride Productions. By day, he and his wife shoot high-definition video and photographs for clients. By night, LaViolette shoots footage of local bands. He and his wife live in Denton with their daughter.