Antsy McClain and The Trailer Park Troubadours
Showing up wherever they're invited – and then some.
America’s Old West was tamed by rugged visionaries who crossed the fruited plains in covered wagons, carrying with them everything they owned, and rolling away in search of new horizons. These pioneers – fiercely independent and wildly creative – carved out a lifestyle still evident in America today.....
....in our nations’ trailer parks.
As our vast melting pot of a country evolved, so did the covered wagon. Large wagon wheels and stretched animal skins gave way to steel belted tires and aluminum siding. Many of these mobile homes eventually rolled up to their desired horizons, and communities developed, dotting the landscape. Families grew out of these communities. Until today, millions of Americans count themselves among a proud and select group known as trailer park dwellers.
One of these proud Americans is songwriter and humorist Antsy McClain. Growing up in a small Kentucky trailer park called Pine View Heights, McClain had what he calls “a memorable and idyllic childhood,” filled with colorful characters and extraordinary events. Life in Pine View Heights has given McClain a wealth of experience from which to draw – and write. Penning the lyrics and music to eight Trailer Park Troubadour albums, as well as his own, critically-acclaimed solo record, Time-Sweetened Lies, McClain is fast becoming one of the most respected songwriters in Americana/Roots music today.
McClain grew up hearing all styles of music in Pine View Heights. Antsy (whose given name was Ronnie Joe – the nickname “Antsy” being pronounced upon him by a junior high school football coach) devoured every kind of music he could find. He listened to everything from Bill Monroe to Aretha Franklin, from Steely Dan to George Jones, until eventually, he was more confused than most of his peer, who listened strictly to 70’s commercial pop radio. This confusion formed the basis for his songwriting, and explains the almost schizophrenic nature of his recording projects. Late nights listening to diverse radio programs like The Grand Ol' Opry and Dr. Demento further cemented his unique outlook toward music and entertainment.
Antsy’s 5-piece band, The Trailer Park Troubadours are a skilled assortment of musicians who play in the rootsy, rock and roll tradition of their hard-working, blue collar forefathers. McClain calls the music “folkabilly,” and their live shows are a unique, critically-acclaimed mix of masterful musicianship and self-deprecating humor for all ages. The Troubs, as they are called by fans, are committed to taking their unique blend of music around the globe, showing up where ever they’re invited – and then some.
Aside from being a singer and band leader, Antsy McClain is also a visual artist, whose drawings and paintings have appeared in magazines and books. Having lived in Japan in the early 80’s, McClain is fluent in Japanese, and worked as an interpreter for the automotive industry through Kentucky and Tennessee, while working on his songwriting and making music contacts in Nashville. Since graduating high school, he has worked as a construction worker, tree trimmer, factory worker, dish washer, tour guide, and teacher, which, along with singing his songs to friends, remains one of his favorite occupations.
Having co-produced the past 6 Troub albums, Antsy enjoyed his first role as producer on his latest collection of songs, called Trailercana. The album features Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Bobby Cochran of Steppenwolf, Tommy Smothers, Bonnie Bramlett, as well as other gifted musicians.
REVIEWS of Antsy McClain and
The Trailer Park Troubadours
“Antsy McClain is a hard-country troubadour with some connections. Tommy Emmanuel plays on several tracks and Lindsey Buckingham sings harmony on Time-Sweetened Lies. Creative, rootsy, and wonderful. If you like it served 100 proof, step right up.” – Robert K. Oermann, Music Row News, Nashville
“Antsy McClain is one of the few songwriters I know who can write a song about pretty much anything. There aren’t many topics he’s afraid to tackle.” – Sleepy John Sandidge, KPIG Radio, Santa Cruz, CA
“Antsy McClain raises the standard of trailer park culture, seeing the lifestyle as an extension of America’s pioneer spirit as we conquered the Old West. His band, the Trailer Park Troubadours, take this legacy and put it to song, calling it folkabilly and keeping their roots solidly in rock and roll.” – April Helmer, The Express Times, Easton, PA
“With musical influences ranging from Woodie Guthrie to Waylon Jennings to Van Halen to Cake, one can’t help but be intrigued by their lively, colorful songs of life in America’s most forgotten neighborhood – the trailer park. With song titles like ‘It Ain’t Home Til You Take the Wheels Off,’ and ‘She Took the Mobile Outta Mobile Home,’ the band will sing about the pleasures and heartaches of American trailer park life.” – The Desert Advocate, Phoenix, AZ
“Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours combine the dueling, rustic guitars of Americana/rock with clever ballads and anthems dedicated to the values of America’s simplest aspirations. A master of imagery, McClain encircles you with Pintos, mosquito bites, corn dogs smothered in Velveeta, flamingo lawn ornaments, and small town carnivals, leaving you little time to switch from recklessly doing the twist to crying in your beer.” – Amanda Martinez, Good Times Weekly, Santa Cruz
“The Troubs make it a matter of honor to turn around the negative stereotypes of working-class folks as perpetrated by ‘Cops’ and ‘Jerry Springer.’ They’ve even gone so far as to play benefits to save trailer parks from development.” – Santa Cruz Sentinel
“The band played a James Brown-style introduction for the men behind the madness, and when they strutted on stage from the back hallway of the Little Fox Theater it was either the immediate kazoo solo or their clothes — a menagerie of plaid and polka dots — that let you know you were in for something different.” – Leah Barvels, San Mateo Daily Journal
“For the dynamos to sell out both nights in their third appearance in Grass Valley within a year, and on Memorial Day weekend, no less - when numerous music listeners were either out of town or fulfilling obligatory holiday commitments - is testament to the Troubs' reputation of knowing how to satisfy their fans, many of whom follow the animated band from gig to gig. Their shows combine great comedy and superb musicianship. Audience members clapped, pounded their feet, howled and egged the Troubadours on with shouts of "amen" and whistles. They delivered almost three hours of banter; trailer park-themed songs about life, love and loss; poetry readings and a fair share of aerobic dancing.” – The Union, Grass Valley, CA
“These self-proclaimed ''sons of hitches'' are bona fide musicians, songwriters and performers. If you're not singing along by the time the reprise of ''It Ain't Home'' rolls around, you'd better check your fun-o-meter.” – Tucson Citizen
“Besides pulling audience members up on stage to dance, lead singer Antsy McClain spent a good portion of the show in the aisles working the crowd. With his impromptu comedian-with-guitar persona, Antsy put on a performance that seemed more like he was entertaining among his pals inside one giant trailer.” – The Metro Active, Santa Cruz, CA
“These guys have made quite a name for themselves on a variety of different levels, creating music that is surprisingly accessible and upbeat. This album is exactly what the title suggests: recorded live in concert. McClain and the Troubadours are obviously crowd pleasers, as is evidenced by the reaction from the audience on this album.” – Baby Sue Magazine
“The Troubs’ songs are a lot of fun, and they manage to have a good time singing about trailers without ever sounding condescending. As far as live albums go, “Living in Aluminum” is an excellent recording. If you like quirky fun music that is performed by guys who are excellent musicians, this is for you!”– 1340 Magazine
“When I first looked into the Trailer Park Troubadours, I was prepared for them to be funny. What I wasn't prepared for was these guys are flat-out GREAT. Their humor is obvious. When they sing songs like "My Baby Whistles When She Walks" (it's not what you think), it's a scream. But then, a few songs in, you hear something as poignant and rich as "Primer Grey Impala," you kinda sit up and take notice. These guys can really, REALLY, play and sing.” – Take Country Back, www.takecountryback.com
“Their approach might be old fashioned, but their appeal isn’t. In the songs of the Trailer Park Troubadours, there’s plenty of good natured humor and storytelling.”– Lexington Herald Leader
“Expect to be entertained...You’ll get what you came for.” – Bluegrass Magazine
“Even though they play tunes such as Wreck of the Bookmobile and It Ain't Home 'Til You Take The Wheels Off, this band is extremely good musically. They just can’t help being funny.” – The McNeese Arts Series, Lake Charles, Louisiana
“Antsy McClain is a storyteller of the highest degree. Every song is a vivid portrait of Americana, painted with poetry so effortless and clever, you’ll find yourself being pulled along happily into the world of The Trailer Park Troubadours.” – James Dellasandro, Screenwriter, author of Bohemian Heart and 1906
“Outside of maybe the good Doctors Hook and Demento, ain't nobody ever heard anything quite like this. Way Cool World is sixteen of the most refreshing tracks you're going to hear on any CD this year or next. This is one CD that won't stay out of my changer no matter how many others are clamoring to be heard and reviewed. It’s the coolest CD I've heard in maybe ever. Go get your copy today, and thank me tomorrow.” – Mike Smith, Rockzilla, www.rockzilla.com
“The Trailer Park Troubadours are hysterically funny, fast-paced, and fresh.” – West Side Theater, Newman, CA