Frank Smith, The Hard Pans, True Believers
“When we played together at the tribute to Brent [Grulke],” says guitarist Javier Escovedo, “it was an amazing night, and everybody was there for the right reasons. [The True Believers reunion] just kinda took off on its own. You know, you look for that feeling when you get together with a band in a room. Whenever you’re playing your guitar, you’re looking for that feeling. It was there in that room that night. I think everyone – all of us – realized that.
“So, I think to not pursue it would be stupid, silly. It was just right. It was good. So, why not?”
Brother and bandleader Alejandro Escovedo agrees that GrulkeFest was “what catalyzed everything” for the three-guitar quintet from Austin’s fabled Eighties.
“Suddenly, it all made sense,” he explains. “We were grownup and not dealing with all the issues that we were before. We’d gone way past it, all of us. We’d gone through a lot. We realized we’d made some really great music, and it was fun and a great part of our lives. I’m not saying we were trying to re-create it, but we felt like the spirit was still there. The good reasons why we did it in the first place were still there.
“So, it made sense to me.”
The True Believers’ rebirth has continued apace past the South by Southwest blitz of live dates. A studio session produced at least two new tunes leaked through a local website: “Dedication,” an Alejandro-sung bit of Mott the Hoople-ish band-on-tour mythology with music that’d make Thin Lizzy proud; and “Gipsy Son,” an obvious Javier rocker that snarls like Johnny Thunders reborn in the Southwest.
These and various classics will be used to kick apart Antone’s new location Friday. Shame to see it demolished so soon after opening....– Tim Stegall