When: Fri., Jan. 15, 9 p.m. 2016
Shane Smith and the Saints unleash a spirited, four-part harmony sound at every show that music fans can’t quite put their finger on, yet have no trouble putting their hands together for. Hints of folk, rock, country and Americana all shine through an aggressive, rootsy fiddle beat stew that’s connecting with students, hipsters, bikers, roughnecks and songwriter buffs at every stop. Although Springsteen long ago cornered the market on gritty, high-energy live performances, the band takes a back seat to no one in grinding out great live shows at legendary venues across the Southwest and beyond. With driving beats reminiscent of Mumford & Sons and jams that echo the Band of Horses, their engaging live shows channel influences from Flogging Molly to Creedence Clearwater Revival. The sound starts with Shane’s smoky rich voice out in front of songs that connect with fans on many levels. Rooted on stage to Shane’s left you’ll find Kentucky fiddle player and long-time friend Bennett Brown. Guitarist Tim Allen, Chase Satterwhite on bass and Bryan McGrath on percussion provide the soaring leads and back beat. The good word is getting around. Sold-out gigs in Dallas, Lubbock, Amarillo and Austin as well as regional festival appearances show that they’re inspiring a fan base and gaining momentum. The boys have toured hard through Missouri, Louisiana, New Mexico, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Wyoming, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Mississippi this year, taking their brand to new audiences. Opportunities to build an even wider fan base continue to open up. This fall, they’re heading across the pond to perform at the Red Dirt Pub Crawl in Dublin, Ireland. It’s no surprise the band’s songs have an authentic edge. Shane, who hails from Kaufman County in northeast Texas, insists the lyrics hold lots of weight, so he takes no shortcuts in crafting each song. Inspiration comes at the strangest times. He’s notorious for writing songs on the back of whatever’s within reach, whether a traffic ticket, hotel notepad or his smartphone. You know the band is on the right track when fans approach them after live gigs to say, “I don’t really like country, but I liked that.” Look for Shane Smith and the Saints in your area soon as they hit the road in support of their new album, Geronimo.