It was around 9 am when TC’s massive Chevy Suburban pulled up to my house dragging along the stereotypical Texas Band Trailer. He was visibly excited, and why wouldn’t he be? He was stepping into the studio once again with Bart Rose to craft his newest single, Midnight Melody. After a discussion on the what to grab for breakfast, I jumped into the hulking steel tank and we barrelled down the road toward Fort Worth Sound. Along the way we jammed to TC’s favourite musician: Merle Haggard. How much of a fan is TC? He has a caricature of the Okie from Muskogee on his forearm with the word Hagg beside it.
After a quick donut shop run, we pulled into the lot of Bart’s studio. As we chit chat and unload the equipment, we discuss the new song that he is about to cut and where he sees himself going in the future. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that TC and his crew have a dramatically creative spin that separates them from the rest of scene.
TWO SINGLES, THREE ALBUMS.
Originally, TC had planned to release his last single, and the current single, as part of his next album. That album would include songs he’s been honing for the last two years, having already chiselled them into existence like a master sculptor and only now polishing them into a shiny, marketable product. But TC and his band have decided to do something drastically different. Three Sheets to the Wind and Midnight Melody will be stand alone singles, not part of the grand project he has planned. As he explains it to me, I can’t help but think how bold the undertaking will be. Three albums, each representing a different genre of music that has inspired the sound of the band. 13
The first, which they hope to release by March of next year, will include a slew of Country songs. He rattles off the many different bands that will influence the sound of each song, from Bob Wills (who is arguably still the king) and his Western Swing, the Bakersfield sound of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, and even Bluegrass, 90s country and early Folk. After that, later in the year they plan to release the second album which will include a variety of Blues songs influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughn, ZZ Top and even older musicians like Robert Johnson. Last, they will release Rock album in early 2016 that has influences of Led Zeppelin, Rockabilly, 90s grunge and much more. My head is still spinning thinking about all the possibilities when Dayne, the Copperhead’s drummer, chimes in what about the fourth album. TC smiles and explains after those three albums they will be coming back with an album that merges all three genres into what will be their signature sound.
TC and his crew get to work cutting their scratch tracks. After they accomplish that, Bart kicks most of us out to begin tracking. John Williams, TC’s superb lead guitarist, is first up to bat. We make our way outside where Bart has set up a smokers section (a must with most bands) and they begin to tell me about Midnight Melody, the single they are working on at the moment. With a book full of songs, the band was having a hard time deciding which song would be their next to tackle in the studio. After a lengthy discussion amongst themselves they voted. Midnight Melody ended up being the majority. And why not? Its a great song about a one night stand and whether to decide to take it further than that. The guilt, the anxiety and the rush of “What ifs” comes across loud and clear. With each song that TC throws at me, I am more impressed than the last. He knows how to write meaningful songs that aren’t throwaway regurgitations of past hits. With many people in the scene just blatantly ripping off songs, packing themselves into a Cody Canada or Casey Donahew sized boxes, its refreshing to find bands that haven’t felt the need to copy their sound to please the Radio Music Directors or the “image consultants” that completely disregard the bands as creatives in their own right.
After all the tracking was through, we jumped into TC’s suburban once again and headed back to my place. There I was treated to a few acoustic versions of songs he is working on for the next albums. As I sat, listening on my porch as this young man sings his heart out, I’m just excited to catch him before he explodes into the general public.