By HAP MANSFIELD
The Thrillbillies, Wednesday, Triple Crown
Nine years ago at an open mic night at the Cypress Creek Café in Wimberley, during a skirmish involving the cops and a guy with a knife, the seed for the Thrillbillies was germinated with Scott Leidecker and Ed Cooper on stage.
As they continued to cover “Gimme Shelter” a Hays County deputy squabbled with the fella wielding the shiv.
It boggles the mind to search for a reason that a patron would bring a knife to a gig in Wimberley (one does not immediately think of “knife fight’ when contemplating Wimberley), and it is even more confounding that it happened at an open mic night. One theorizes that the knife wielder was not an “American Idol” fan and decided to act locally. Or maybe he just had finished some brisket at the Salt Lick and pocketed the utensil. Just guessing, here.
The really sad part of this true story is that the knifer-goofus missed the humble beginnings of a really good band.
Scott, Ed and Ace, on the Thrillbillies’ myspace page, list their influences as the Sex Pistols (who would have felt right at home with the circumstances at that open mic night, especially in Texas), Led Zeppelin, Dwight Yoakum, Hank Williams and Buddy Holly, among others. This mix is actually present in the Thrillbillies’ music and they should get big points for getting that right.
How many times has some band listed their influences as the Beatles, the Pixies and the Minutemen and one feels they are talking about who they like to listen to and not their true guides. Most of those myspace “influences” are more like wishful thinking than true accounts, but that’s not so with the Thrillbillies.
For example, the Thrillbillies’ ode to Elvis, “God Save the King”, amuses with its Pistols-like title while it strikes just the right balance between Yoakum-ism and Holly-ville. When they’re cookin’ (like on the song “Beersighted”), The Thrillbillies actually are a bit thrilling. You can hear this for yourself at the Triple Crown this Wednesday (July 23). Please leave your cutlery at home, though.
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