Dawg Saloon was full of Jack Daniels, dancing and country fusion on Thursday night. The saloon, that is packed on a regular night, turns it up with performances,
bringing even the clumsiest audience members to their feet, having a great
The night began with a band from Stillwater, Okla., proving when it comes to country music, it is a drink that is best served mixed.
Chad Sullins and the Last Call Coalition are what happen when rock roots are watered with whiskey and grow into a hybrid that sounds something like Led Zeppelin with a country kick.
The lead singer and front man, Chad Sullins, proved that mixing red dirt country and rock means calling out Congress, former lovers and not being scared to play what’s on your mind. Having a bass player that can pay homage to “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes doesn’t hurt either.
“I thought they were awesome,” Andrew Ray, audience member, said “They played a little bit of everything. They had a good beat the whole time. They got a lot of people out there dancing, [and] that’s always a good thing.”
The band’s secret for a unique, dance worthy sound began with a rebellious foundation in punk rock.
“I started off [playing] when I was around 16 or 17, got my first guitar around then,” Sullins said. “I was born and raised on old school country music. My parents – that’s all they listened to all the time. I just started learning Green Day songs and Ramones songs just to piss them off.”
The pay off of learning rock classics can be heard in their original lyrics and rock chords. The attitude that accompanies a life full of experience is something to be seen. The band describes it best when they proclaim to the audience throughout the show they’re a rock band that plays country music.
“I quit playing to put my wife through college and when she graduated she left me,” Sullins said. “At that point, I had a friend of mine introduce me to red dirt music, which to me, at the time, seemed like the punk rock of country. Like the bastard child. So I was immediately drawn to it.”
With songs like “Thank God for Jack Daniels,” which starts off as a seemingly slow country ballad, picks up when the chorus hits and a few guitar solos and drum spots are thrown in throughout. it’s an original product that’s challenging the idea of genre-defined bands in an edgy way.
Then came a musician who takes country in a different direction. William Clark Green has a voice that is so down home it can’t be faked and is definitely Texas grown.
The headliner for the night was Green. Green has a softer, crooning country voice that is both unique and beautiful. The set got even more people off their seats and onto the floor.
It’s a sweet, understated sound, thats strength is not overwhelmed. It is a nice breeze on a hot day. Green’s sound is modern country with a classic chord along the lines of Jackson Browne.
“Their show had a more relaxed sound,” Chelsea Base, senior in marketing, said. “It’s easy to dance to, and the songs were all original and well put on.”
Green grew up in Tyler, Texas and because of that, he has sturdy Texas roots that influence his sound and lyrics. The Texas themes are strung throughout all of his songs especially, in his latest album “Rose Queen,” released April 2012.
Both acts are foreshadowing where the industry is heading. This is what happens when musicians listen to their experience, style and play from the heart over trying to fit into a specific box. Both William Clark Green and Chad Sullins and the Last Call Coalition bring their own interpretations of country music onto the stage and impress.