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Testify: The Sideshow Tramps’ Coach L.C. Dupree

Submitted by RamonLP4 on March 25, 2011 – 8:28 amNo Comment
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The Sideshow tramps are (l to r) Scott McNeil, Craig Kinsey, Geoffery Muller, Shane Lauder. (Photo L. John Powers)

There are live shows and then there are Sideshow Tramps shows. You simply cannot just sit back and take in a Tramps show, you have to live it and dive right in. Boasting some of the most prolific and admired musicians in Houston, the band bitch-slaps its crowd into a frenzy of dancing and whoopin’. This isn’t the polite and relaxed folk and Americana you will hear at a place like the Mucky Duck.* No, this is roots music with a furor and fire that resembles more a punk show mixed with a tent revival. Or to give you another analogy - let’s say your typical good live show is Miller Lite. If that’s the case, then a Sideshow Tramps show would be Old Foghorn. Sure, one will get you there but the other will fuck your shit up seriously. And because this is Houston and we like our shit fucked up, it’s almost become a requisite of being a resident to at least experience a Tramps show once. Tonight they play Rudyard’s with Vagabond Swing and so, yesterday, we interrogated the Traps’ drummer extraordinaire Coach L.C. Dupree (a.k.a. Shane Lauder).

FPH - What have you guys been up to lately?

Coach - Sideshow Tramps just made their silver screen debut with the release of Honky Tonk Blood. The soundtrack is getting a lot of global attention.

While waiting for the new record “Revelator” to be released, all of the Tramps have been doing other projects…

Scott McNeil has formed a strong psych rock band called The Mahas, which is doing well in the garage rock recording world after releasing a 7 inch single and “Dead of Night” LP through Cutthroat and Death Exclamations labels respectively.

Craig Kinsey is in the studio laying tracks for his second solo album, which will also be released by ZenHill. He is also touring the Honky Tonk Blood film with his cohorts, Johnny Falstaff, Hank Schyma, and John Evans.

Geoffrey Muller - He is by far the busiest working musician in Houston! He has been doing weeklies with Robert Ellis, and Kelly Doyle. He has created a lot of momentum with Grandfather Child as well. He swears he is going to pick I am Mesmer back up for a second record. I sure hope so, I enjoy doing percussion with that group.

Me, I am scratching out a meager living playing drums as a free agent / hired gun. I’m also teaching at my studio. I’ve restored three drum sets and some timpani in the past twelve months. [check out shanelauder.com] Currently I am playing with Tramps, Hilary Sloan, I am Mesmer, & Loretta Kovacic. I occasionally fill in with Dead Roses, Chase Hamblin, and Country Jim Sloan. I’m also learning to play authentic 1920s trap drum style.. I’m also playing weekly with Hilary Sloan. She is a master of violin, and a great song writer. Check her out sometime on a Tuesday at Brasil Cafe. On other fronts, I’m doing a new thing in my studio called Drum Lesson Cocktails which needs no explanation. Sign up!

FPH - I see the new album Revelator is nearing its release. How is that whole endeavor of recording, mixing, and all the other work involved going for you guys?

Coach - Revelator is complete and waiting for duplication, so be patient everyone. To be honest, It’s been a long process. We recorded these songs with Frank Davis in 2008 and 2009. After many listens, the conclusion was the way we play live wasn’t translating into good stuff on tape. So we reworked all of the material. When we were ready to cut again, Frank was too busy with other projects. Steve Christensen heard we were looking to record and invited us to Sugarhill to do it. We are all glad we took the time to groom and cultivate the songs. We will sit on those roughs from Frank, because he truly is a legend, and we may like them later when our hair turns to silver! We are thrilled to be releasing this through ZenHill. Ross Wells and Dan Workman are genuine guys, and we hope they do well for their sake. Meaning we will horse-whip them if they don’t get us on Austin City Limits!

FPH - Will you guys be playing any new songs from that album tonight?

Coach - We will be playing material from both recordings, as well as some stuff that will be on our third record that is in pre-production. Those songs will be hashed out on our next tour. We might do rough takes in Norman, OK with Travis Lineville.

FPH - That first album seems pretty hard to top. Should we expect a continuation of that first album or have you guys found some seemingly impossible way to kick even more ass on the new record?

Coach - Thank you for the compliment. We loved making Medicine Show. It was, just as Revelator is, an audio snapshot in time. We will let our audience and peers decide. We think the ship is steady. Some of us hold the opinion that this will be better if not bigger. Bigger in the sense that we have a huge cast of guest players featured on this thing augmenting what we already do.

FPH - The band you’re playing with, Vagabond Swing, who are they? You want to give us a briefing?

Coach - Mark Marker, our booking agent, turned us on to these guys. They are from Marion Louisiana if I’m not mistaken. Coincidentally one of their guys is a second cousin to Geoffrey! Small world. The drummer doubles as the vocalist and does a pretty “bang up” job of it. They seem to be searching, or achieving, a balance of old NOLA folk and gypsy junk rock with a lot of strings and brass. You be the judge. We are booked to play with them in their state next month.

FPH - OK shameless pitch time - give us one just good reason why people should go to Rudyard’s tonight.

Coach - Whenever I go see Devo, I always end up saying, “I sure hope I didn’t miss the Tramps! Let’s go see, they never start until midnight, and besides, I’m going back to the Montrose anyway. I heard they were giving away shirts.”

Or…

We will be teaching the bartenders how to make our patented elixirs, “The Sideshow Tramp”, “Lady Vodka”, and “Frisky Whiskey” all guaranteed to elicit bravery, strength, and confidence in the mousiest of men and women!

Sideshow Tramps and Vagabond Swing play tonight Friday, 25 March 2011 @ Rudyard’s British Pub. 21+ Doors 9pm

*No offense to the Duck intended but let’s face it, it is a sit in your seat venue.

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