...they have the Nick Lowe quality of reminding you of your favourite songs while being something quite different.
It's a sunny, rock 'n' roll ride that never stands still.
A feelgood album of the highest order which shows what we've been deprived of all these years. - Nick Dalton, Maverick Magazine, UK
...chock full of great harmonies, tuneful song writing, and the type of playing that you only hear from bands who have been around for years and years. - John Oliver, Brutarian Quarterly # 39
How do I describe a band that has been playing together since 1970? DENIM is such a band. This group started creating original music when Richard Millhouse Nixon was in office. They lived together, traveled in an aluminum bread truck all over the United States together, and, basically, grew up together. Their collective talents became legendary in the 70's as they released their self-titled debut album (remember records?) on Epic in January 1977. The sophomore jinx was in full effect when the lads switched labels, changed their name to Traveler, (bad career move - Thank you Hollywood weasels!) and released "Lost In The Late Late Show" in the autumn of 1978. Their new label, ABC, folded while the band was on a promotional tour. This left the young men stranded in their home state (Texas) with a name that nobody recognized. Another year passed as the band survived playing the forgotten outposts of Hell.
It was time for soul-searching. The result was the end of the first incarnation of Denim. It was March of 1980. The fellows pursued solo projects, which included: recording, marriage, children, heavy drinking and a very successful jam-band, known as the Austin All-Stars. The "Me Decade" flew by, and as the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, Bill Browder, Layton DePenning and David Moerbe recorded the 3rd Denim album, which has never been released. This recording has only added to the myth. The few people that have heard the tapes agreed. The magic was still there. With the addition of Eddie Cantu and Mike Rieman, the possibilities were exciting. An unforeseen event would change everything.
In December 1990 founding member David Moerbe announced that he was going on a quest. When or if he would return was uncertain. Enter new member Mike Cross. The "Berlin Wall Sessions" were put in a vault. It was time for something new. After several years in the making the 3rd (actually 4th!) Denim CD (actually the 1st, no more vinyl!) "Indian Paintbrush" was released in 1994. This assortment of songs marked a return to the country-rock roots of the band. This loving wink to their fans was considered "too esoteric" for mainstream Country and "not grungy enough" for the Rock crowd. It was a stylistic no-mans-land.
Back to the drawing board, or in this case, the recording studio. Determined to crack through all genres, the 4th Denim release, "Evolution" made its way into the world in 1998. Here was a musical potpourri of songs, styles and moods that reminded some critics of the last days of Buffalo Springfield. Who are these guys? Rock? Folk? Country? Blues? Latin? Jazz? The answer was "all of the above". Rather than change the name of the band to "Identity Crisis", another change was coming. Denim had come full circle. It was time for their conscience, David Moerbe, to return.
As the new millennium dawned, the five old friends set out to capture that old magic, once again. It was surprisingly easy. The harmonies were stunning. The old songs sounded fresh. The new songs were contagious. There was a purpose. Their old pal in the saddle, Freddie Steady Krc, came along for the ride just to make sure they remembered who they are. The result is the triumphant "The Fifth Sun". As I write this, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are aligned and visible in the Western sky. There's a reason.