Ten tracks into their sophomore album, Texas country band Six Market Blvd. sneaks in a saxophone solo.
While he enjoys surprising listeners, lead singer/songwriter Clayton Landua said he and his bandmates didn't jazz up the wrenching piano ballad “In the Name of Us” with that sax just for shock value.
“We just thought that was gonna be best for that song,” he said in a recent phone interview. “We definitely don't really have a genre. ... We're just writing music and playing it. We're not purposefully writing songs to fit anywhere. You know, whatever comes out, that's what happens. We play it and perform and just let that be and just hope that people accept us. And that's what, so far, has been working out.”
When the Stephenville, Texas-based quartet plays Saturday night at the Wormy Dog Saloon, concertgoers can expect a musical mix of rock 'n' roll, soul and blues, plus the three-part harmonies that have become a signature of their eclectic sound.
Landua (lead vocals, harmony and rhythm guitar), Josh Serrato (lead rhythm guitar, 12-string guitar, harmony, piano and organ), Ben Hussey (lead vocals, harmony, electric bass and stand-up bass) and Dallas Neal (drums and percussion) met at Stephenville's Tarleton State University and formed their band in 2008.
“We wanted to jam out, we wanted to play music, we were just going to go to parties and have fun ... and then we realized sometime down the line we could do three-part harmonies and then it just kind of made its own track,” Landua said. “It blew our minds. We were like ‘whoa.' ... On the first album, we released the single ‘Silence in Me,' and that like has become a huge thing everywhere we play.”
With “Shake It Down,” this year's follow-up to their 2010 debut “Running on Seven,” the band constantly shakes up expectations, from the country romp “Santa Fe Train” that turns positively Beatlesque by the time it pulls into the station to the lovely waltz “The Painter” with its mesmerizing accordion. Their current single “Say It” opens the album with a gritty blues-rock groove, while “White Goose” floats in heartache on an island breeze.
The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac emerge as clear influences on songs like “Medina,” “Stand” and “14 Miles from Home,” which have a 1970s cool California vibe and showcase the captivating way Landua, Hussey and Serrato can blend their voices.