Onion Creek Crawdaddies
Irons in the Fire
Quarter moon shining down a long, lonely stretch of highway. Suddenly, headlights from over the pass blind your eyes. As the RV approaches, you hold out your thumb, hoping that this will be the ride. Stepping aboard, you almost trip over the instrument cases trying to find a seat. From somewhere, a cold beer is handed to you as the driver pulls back onto the road. To your left, the fiddle player gives a quick smile before starting a song, followed quickly by a harmonica, banjo, guitars, and washboard. Taking a sip of cold beer, you sit back, relax, and forget where you were trying to go in the first place.
Or that’s how it feels, at least, when you put on the Onion Creek Crawdaddies’ sophomore album Irons in the Fire. The critically acclaimed Austin, TX quintet have been playing their unique style of Americana music for the past five years, a unique blend of old country, rock, bluegrass, and even gospel, all delivered with an honest voice. From small town main street hoedowns to inner city punk rock clubs, the Crawdaddies have a unique gift for bringing the blue hairs, spike hairs, and all hairs in between together on the dance floor with their assortment of love songs, lost songs, breakup songs, breakdowns, drinking songs, and spiritual songs.
Trent Shepherd and Ryan Hunter provide most of the group’s songwriting and lead vocals throughout the self-produced Irons in the Fire, in addition to playing mandolin, fiddle, and banjo. Besides anchoring the band on upright bass, Brink Melton penned and sings, “I Never Learned”, a pop single with grit. Jay Harward gives the songs textured depth, playing all guitars, pedal steel, and mandolin. Drawing the crowd in closer is Brian Reed, the band’s live emcee who blows a bluesy harp when not holding down the rhythm with his washboard or snare. As an ensemble, the Crawdaddies’ music, with its richly layered harmony vocals and eclectic styles, shoots like lightning straight through your nodding head all the way down to your tapping toes.
So maybe, if you’re lucky, the Onion Creek Crawdaddies’ RV will pull over in your town someday soon. Just have your dancing shoes ready.