John David Kent and the Dumb Angels
For John David Kent and the Dumb Angels, a video in rotation on CMT’s Pure Country and a break-out single on country radio are only the beginnings of a promising career that quickly bring the five member Texas band a long way from their recent beginnings. In 2008, veteran rock musician John David Kent put together a group of musicians to help him showcase for a music competition. As a producer and studio owner in his hometown of Celeste, TX, Kent naturally approached musicians who he had worked with and who, according to Kent, “…could play the ever-loving spit out of their instruments.” Mike Graska (guitar), Jamey Gleaves (bass) from the Dallas based southern-rock band Salute, Alex Mixson (drums) from Greenville’s Melba Toast and champion fiddler Jason Andrew (fiddle) quickly realized their connection to Kent’s songs and natural abilities as a band. Kent, who signed his first major-label record deal at the age of sixteen while a member of the band Radish, took note of the unexpected, yet natural chemistry and assembled the Dumb Angels. Influenced by the country and classic rock he had grown up on and combining a wide range of legendary influences, the Dumb Angels began recording what Kent calls, “the most honest music he’s ever written.” With a driving breed of rocking country, John David Kent and the Dumb Angels take their music somewhere west of Waylon Jennings and east of Creedence Clearwater Revival; making the group’s signature sound instantly feel both unique and familiar. “My Girl”, the break-out single from John David Kent and the Dumb Angels garnered the band immediate attention after the video became the “pick of the week” on CMT.com and was added to CMT’s Pure Country rotation. The single has also been widely accepted by radio as the band continues touring throughout the south. John David Kent and the Dumb Angels will perform at 2010 South by Southwest in Austin, TX, an internationally recognized launching pad for new bands. In addition to their busy spring and summer touring schedule, the band will continue to do what they do best - record music that’s honest and relatable and no doubt a powerful follow-up to their recent success.
They are currently working on their debut album set to be release in early 2011!
Somethin’ good was cooked up in Texas …and it ain’t barbeque. It’s Hymns. They use a type of rich and evocative story telling that could only come from the South. The songs have a rollicking, classic sound, rich with instrumentation and full of reflective lyrical vignettes. Lead singer and songwriter, Brian Harding is a singular voice. Hymns will release their 2nd album, Travel in Herds on March 11th, 2007, on Texas-based independent label, Blackland Records. Hymns’ story is rooted in childhood friendship and plays out like a scene from Stand By Me. Hymns are elementary school band mates, Brian Harding and Jason Roberts of Harrisburg, North Carolina and Tony Kent and Matt Shaw of Celeste, Texas, whom are now based in New York City. Brian and Jason continued playing together till the end of University; when Jason went on to join Ben Kweller’s band as lead guitarist, and Brian relocated to NY to continue to forge forward with the band the two had originated. During Roberts’ stint in Kweller’s band, he became close with band-member, John Kent, who went on to form Blackland Records. Jason loved to play John the old songs he had written with Brian while on tour, and before long, John was hooked on the sound.
In 2005, Brian’s band was signed to Blackland Records with Jason back at the guitar. Good hospitality in check, John Kent offered Hymns the chance to record in Celeste, TX, population 817, home to the most decorated WWII veteran, Audie L. Murphy, and most importantly, Kent’s studio, “The Vault”. Their first LP, Brother/Sister garnered them national attention, playing shows with artists like Beck, the Lemonheads, Hot Hot Heat, Ben Kweller, Sam Roberts Band, the Redwalls and Butch Walker, and Celeste, TX allowed them to meet current band members, Tony Kent (brother of John) and Matt Shaw.
Recording in Texas worked like a charm, and so did the new lineup. Travel In Herds was recorded in Palmer, TX at Palmyra Studios located in the middle of a 60-acre ranch. Sleeping on studio couches, entertaining themselves with Coen Brothers movie marathons, and eating every meal inside the studio, an album reminiscent of 70’s folk-rock tunes and toe-tapping rhythms was born.
A bevy of traditional and modern instruments are heard on Travel in Herds. Running the gamut from piano to pump organ, trumpet to saxophone, even the pedal steel and banjo to the electric bass and guitar, all give this record the homegrown authenticity which carries the performances from country bars to city stages providing a beautiful dichotomy between the old and new, which Hymns seem to have mastered. From the funky-horn beat of, “I Can’t Be What U Want”, to the Tom Petty-esque “Blame It On The Mountains”, to the modern day Stones’ “Rocks Off” entitled “St. Sebastian,” Hymns’ music falls in line with the songs of America’s greatest troubadours, whose lyrics and timeless tunes resonate with fans who crave something much more than the fare offered by flash-in-the-pan bands.
Hymns will release the album and tour extensively in 2008!
Travel in Herds (2nd release)