New sound for Lubbock’s No Dry County after a mysterious origin
Sound has roots in gospel, country, american, rock, metal and blues
Posted: November 9, 2012 – 12:14am
By ERIC WOODS
FOR THE AVALANCHE-JOURNAL
A mystery surrounds the local band, No Dry County and its origin.
All anyone really knows is that it started out as an ’80s cover band. No Dry County is currently made up of Trent Langford, Monte Ebeling, Mitchell Rambo, Matt Newsom and Dub Wood.
No Dry County will perform 10 p.m. Friday at the Blue Light.
“The basic story is none of us are original members of the band,” Langford said and laughed. “No Dry County was pretty much an ’80s cover band playing in Lubbock before any of us joined. The band I was playing in had just broken up and they were looking for a lead singer and asked me to fill in for a little while. As far as the name goes, none of us were around to name the band. We don’t actually know the true story.”
And the mystery doesn’t end with the band’s origin. Finding a tag with which to label the band’s eclectic vibe has yet to be determined as well.
Shortly after Langford joined No Dry County, the band began a transition from a full on cover band to performing original music. The music they were performing happened to be Langford’s. But once other members began drifting away, and others started moving in as replacements, a new sound began to emerge. While Langford has roots in traditional gospel music, country and Americana, other members were hooked more on rock, metal and blues.
“Once we started transitioning to original music, we pulled from our influences, which are on completely different sides of the spectrum,” Langford said. “Like the group we have now, a couple of the guys come from the rock and metal scene, and I come from more of an Americana, roots, country, gospel type and we also have some blues influences as well. When we started trying to figure out our sound, we were really pulling in different directions.”
So, how do they know if their brand of music is really working?
“When we really figure out if a song is really good is when all of us are equally unhappy,” Langford said. “We kind of keep each other in check. We are always pulling each other back to center and that’s where we’ve ended up, I guess in the middle of everything. It’s a very cohesive project.”
Getting better and getting the entire band involved in song writing has become a main focus when recording albums. While the band’s first EP, “Ella Rose,” which was released independently in September 2011, was more work penned by Langford, No Dry County’s October EP release, “To Whom It May Concern,” is more of a team effort. Having more input, said Langford, has made for a more cohesive and fluid project.
Since No Dry County has been hitting the road hard lately (more than 100 shows a year) promoting the band’s latest album, members are ready to take a breather. Their date at the Blue Light will wrap up a five-week national tour, and after that they will come off the road for at least a month to not only do a little writing for another project, but to also make some decisions about where the band is headed in the future.
“After the Blue Light we’re going to take a good month off and not play anywhere,” Langford said. “We have reached that point where we are going to sit back and figure out what we’re going to do next. I guess the answer to your question is, I really just don’t know. I guess we’ve got a month to figure all of that out.”
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Earlier this week, New Slang sat down with Trent Langford of No Dry County to discuss the recent release of “Ella Rose,” their debut EP, a bustling tour schedule, and what’s on the horizon for the alternative-country outfit.
Like always, Langford and company are playing a few shows this coming weekend, including The Backroads Music Festival benefiting The Children’s Miracle Network in Plainview, Texas. In addition to No Dry County, Run Home Jack and Tejas Brothers will be performing.
“People in Plainview have been working to build a Texas music scene and this show came up as a bi-product. KKYN contacted us about playing with Tejas Brothers and our good buddies from Run Home Jack as a benefit for Children’s Miracle Network this Sunday,” says Langford. “It seemed like a no-brainer, seeing as how we probably would have made the trip to see the show anyhow.”
“Ella Rose” is currently available on iTunes, cdbaby.com, and all No Dry County shows.
New Slang: You just released “Ella Rose” this past week and played numerous CD release shows in about three days. Has it all been a blur?
Trent Langford: We like being pretty busy, we did seven shows in six days in front of great crowds and we were a little more amped up than usual, so I guess it could be considered a bit blurry. I think the most memorable parts would be walking on stage at The Blue Light and seeing so many friends and family in front of the stage. That night was somewhat surreal. And, then having the opportunity to meet up with Stoney LaRue the next night after our show in Amarillo and having him ask for a CD was pretty cool for me since I grew up listening to his music.
NS: How rewarding is it to finally have a physical copy of your songs?
TL: It’s nice to have a finished product in your hands. We’ve been listening to rough cuts on burned discs for months now. It’s relieving to pop the real thing in for the first time.
NS: How long did you work on the album? Where and when was it recorded?
TL: We recorded at Mount Vernon Studios here in Lubbock with Jon Taylor. I believe we started tracking in February, so I guess in all, it was about a seven-month project. Jon and Mitchell Rambo (NDC’s lead guitarist) produced the EP. We couldn’t be happier with what we ended up with.
NS: You see to be one of the hardest working musicians in the Lubbock music scene. Seems like you’ve always got at least a few shows each week. You ever feel like you may burn out or do you feel it’s just part of “paying your dues?”
TL: I guess you can call it any number of things, but we really don’t do much else. Mitchell and I are in it full-time now, so we do three to four acoustic shows each week, and then we’ll head out with the full band for two or three more. We will have done 180 shows this year, but I don’t see a burn out point just yet. We wouldn’t have it any other way. There are shows that are sometimes just plain awful, but at the end of the night you say, “Hey, we got paid to play our music for 15 people; how cool is that?”
NS: What’s next for No Dry County, as far as songs, recordings, etc?
TL: Right now, we are out pushing “Ella Rose” to as many people as possible. So, we will be playing every weekend somewhere through the end of the year. After that, we are headed back into the studio to start working on our next project, most likely in late January. There may be a couple surprises between here and there, but there is new music coming.