An alt-country band with punk roots, Vandoliers formed in 2015, bringing together a group of Dallas-Fort Worth musicians led by frontman Joshua Fleming.
Fiercely proud of their homeland, Vandoliers put their own spin on the Texas country tradition with 2016's Ameri-Kinda, a debut album that mixed honky-tonk twang with hard-edged, rock & roll stomp. The band's follow-up release, The Native, arrives less than one year, doubling down on Vandoliers' modern approach to traditional influences. Rounded out by bassist Mark Moncrieff, drummer Guyton Sanders, fiddler Travis Curry, electric guitarist Dustin Fleming, and multi-instrumentalist Cory Graves, the group fills The Native's 10 songs with barreling guitar solos, train beats, anthemic melodies, mariachi horns, and the autobiographical details of Fleming's own travels.
"I grew up in Texas," the singer says, "and I wanted to write about why I loved it. I wanted to use myself as a character for my own songs. The Native goes through all our favorite styles of Texas music, and tells my story along the way."
A tribute to the band's Texas homeland, The Native takes its listener through a swirl of East Dallas dive bars, Pantego pool halls, small towns, big cities, and the rolling ribbon of bluebonnet-covered highway that stretches throughout the state. Along the way, Fleming sings about getting drunk, getting arrested, and getting it on. Behind him, the band kicks up a storm of Western swing, electric blues, roadhouse rock & roll, Tejano, cowboy country, and twangy punk, saluting everyone from fellow Texans Bob Wills to ZZ Top in the process. There are songs about leaving town. Songs about coming home. Songs about the short-lived romances that spark, burn, and fade in roadside bars, and songs about the lasting relationships that await back at home. It's a full cycle — a detailed exploration of what it means to truly belong somewhere.
"I was born September 1st in a little town outside Fort Worth," goes the first line of the album's kickoff track, "Bluebonnet Highway." If The Native unfolds like a coming-of-age movie, then "Bluebonnet Highway" is the opening scene: a fast-moving montage of clips from Fleming's home, filled with neighborhood girls, traffic lights and the state flowers that bloom every spring. From there, Fleming and company hit the highway with "Rolling Out," a fiddle-fueled, horn-filled salute to the road, and wax nostalgic with the epic, driving "Endless Summer." By the album's end, they're back in Dallas-Ft. Worth, spilling all the details of their journey to a friend in "Welcome Home."
For Fleming, the real journey started years ago, when his sister took him to a Bad Religion concert. That night left a permanent impression on the young teen, who left the show inspired to make his own music. Years later, he earned his first audience as the frontman of the Phuss, a rowdy punk band that toured nationally. Business was good, but Fleming's personal life was heading south, with songs like "I Don't Feel Good" hinting at a troubled mind. After bottoming out, he resurfaced by meeting his future wife, falling in love, swapping his electric guitar for an acoustic, and writing a batch of songs that his country-loving partner might enjoy. Vandoliers were born, with many of those new songs filling the tracklist on the band's Ameri-Kinda debut.
Recorded in the same studio where Willie Nelson made Red Headed Stranger, The Native was tracked to tape by producer John Pedigo. The album was finished in four days, capturing the spark and spunk of a live band whose tour dates have included shows with the Jayhawks, Old 97's and Reverend Horton Heat. Released on the heels of Ameri-Kinda, The Native isn't just a story about where Vandoliers have been. It's a sign of where they're going. It's twang and tattoos, grit and guitars, honky-tonk and horns, Tejano and Telecasters. It's Vandoliers.

The music of New Mexico-based singer-songwriter Boris McCutcheon is rooted in country and traditional folk and blues songs, but has long defied even those genres. McCutcheon (b. November 21, 1969-- ) grew up in rural Holliston, Massachusetts and in the Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Cape Cod. Before entering the music industry, McCutcheon attended Marlboro College in Vermont where he studied creative writing. He also attended the prestigious Farm and Garden Program at UC Santa Cruz, where he learned practical organic farming. Before leaving New England for California, McCutcheon had encountered the legendary folk musicologist and mandolin player Ralph Rinzler, who made a deep impression on him. At that time, McCutcheon was discovering his identity as a songwriter and guitarist. On a road trip across the West, McCutcheon also discovered New Mexico. But he left the West at the end of 20th century and returned to the East Coast to launch his music career. He assembled a roots rock band, and performed his first gig at the Captain Kidd in Woods Hole, MA., and quickly moved into the prestigious folk-roots scene in Boston. He became a regular, appearing on the stages of Club Passim, the Lizard Lounge, the Middle East, and the Cantab. McCutcheon released his first album Mother Ditch (2001) which was produced and engineered by Pete Weiss (Aimee Mann, Vapors of Morphine).Both press and fans took notice of his unique songs, voice, and arrangements (with tuba, Moog, Wurlitzer, megaphone), and he garnered an instant, if small, fan base on both coasts. He released his sophomore album When We Were Big (2003) produced and engineered by Craig Schumacher (Calexico, Neko Case) at Wavelab Studios in Arizona and won Best Male Singer Songwriter from the Boston Music Awards the following year. It was at this time that he was discovered by Lucky Dice Music/LDM Bookings in the Netherlands, run by Sandra Zuidema and Luciano Mulder, established brokers and curators of Americana music in Europe. Zuidema and Muldur also run a premiere online record store promoting Americana artists to European audiences. McCutcheon’s band Boris & the Salt Licks began to tour through Holland, Belgium and Germany each year and immediately found a home in the LDM stables, alongside other favorite artists Greg Trooper, Rod Picott, Frazey Ford, Dayna Kurtz and many others. With a cult hero reputation in Europe, and selling out large and small venues, McCutcheon moved to New Mexico, and made a permanent home there. He consolidated his core band, and with the Salt Licks (Brett Davis, Susan Holmes, Kevin Zoernig, Paul Groetzinger) began recording at Santa Fe’s Frogville Studios, a boutique indie house for alternative and traditional Americana music. The first album out of Frogville by Boris & The Salt Licks was Cactusman vs. The Blue Demon (2006). The album was produced and mixed by Boris and piano savant Kevin Zoernig, whose keyboard arrangements brought some intensive jazzy improvisations to McCutcheon’s unique compositions. Cactusman debuted at #1 on the Euro Americana Chart, and stayed in the top ten for more than six months. On the other European chart of note, Americana & Roots Top 13, based on airplay, internet, sales and downloads, every one of McCutcheon’s albums has entered and stayed in the top ten. After Cactusman, McCutcheon and the Salt Licks were in demand all around the uptown and downtown theatres, bars and breweries of New Mexico. McCutcheon, now living off-the-grid near Ojo Sarco with a mile marker as an address, started a farm and a family with his wife, Laura McInerney. In this period, every gig started with an hourlong drive along the high road to Taos, through canyons and coneshaped hills, and finally to the state road and through the Carson National Forest to reach a highway. During the years from 20062012, McCutcheon released his “off-the-grid trilogy”: Bad Road, Good People (2008) The Wheel of Life (2010), and the blockbuster finale Might Crash! (2013). In addition to these, he made a couple of praised compilation albums, a live album from the Netherlands, an EP, a music video, and a bootleg acoustic solo album of Townes Van Zandt cover songs, recorded from the creaky car seat that served as the only chair in the shed. At the 2007 NM State Fair, McCutcheon won the state’s coveted Best Singer Songwriter award. Commercially, he has had a number of his songs licensed as both source music and feature cues on television and radio dramas. NPR’s Click and Clack (Car Talk) couldn’t stop laughing and playing his song “Pilgrim” – about a man’s dying old truck. The Peabody-winning and very hip Moth Radio Hour just recently licensed “Choppin’ Wood” -- McCutcheon’s definitive, elegant song off his very first album. From Saving Grace to Hulu’s Shut Eye, and many in between, television has been a home for his music. In live performance, McCutcheon, with or without a backing band, has been on just about every competitive festival stage and showcase that the music business offers to young or mature, unique or familiar, traditional or alternative songwriters: SXSW, The Moab Folk Festival, AmericanaFest, Folk Alliance, Mountain Stage and barns and concerts all over this country. In the Netherlands, McCutcheon has made appearances at the top three Americana festivals: Roots of Heaven, Take Root, and Blue Highways. From the East Austin honky-tonk The White Horse to Lincoln Center, McCutcheon’s work continues to please audiences. When you think he can’t out-do his last album, out comes a new and different and better one. I’m Here Let Me In (US release, late summer 2017) is his first album without the Salt Licks band in over a decade. Pre-release reviews are as positive as any in his career to date.

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