Mule Train – Be On Your Way
Mule Train was an aggressive indie rock-cum-cowpunk outfit I formed in 2004 upon returning to Santa Cruz with Kevin Rainsberry on drums and Esteban "Cody" Perez on bass. Later, Cooper McBean joined us on lead guitar. The band released one full-length--Be On Your Way
--which is still available for purchase via CDBaby
Unlike many bands that have merged the folk, country and '70s punk (to tepid results), Mule Train took its inspiration from a more problematic pairing of western swing and millenial post-punk such as the Murder City Devils, and it took us a while to find a way to amalgamate those sort of influences into a cohesive sound.
In time, the country elements began to recede--except for the galloping two-step rhythms, which we played at nearly blast-beat speed--and our latent indie-rock sensibilities began to creep into the music more.
We did a bit of touring, all on the West Coast, including a Pacific Northwest tour that ended in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Yreka, CA with a VW bus with a busted transmission (story to come!) Mostly, though, we confined ourselves to the Bay Area.
As all bands do nowadays, we went on "hiatus" as opposed to breaking up when I moved to Chicago in 2006. I wouldn't hold your breath for a reunion, though murmurings do kick up on the Facebooks and the Twitters from time to time. There was probably 7 or 8 songs we never got a chance to record, which were really a leap forward from the hesitant first steps documented on Be On Your Way
. (Kidding! It's great. Buy it--I only have 350 copies sitting in the trunk of my car.)
Be On Your Way
got some incredibly kind notices in the press:
"This three piece from Santa Cruz, California has been gaining quite a following and for good reason: Mule Train is one of the best folk-punk bands in recent history."
"This gripping folk-punk trio manages to do-si-do its way around its punk rock superego...seething with down-home aggression, Mule Train's twangy music demands instant affirmation."
-Metro Santa Cruz
"Cool, fuzzy, twangy cow punk...two step rockabilly beats and edgy vocals. Good time whiskey punk I say!"
- Punk Planet #66 (disclaimer: these past two reviews came prior to my employment by PP and MSC)
"Folk-rock with a punk voice, somewhat like the mellower moments of FILTHY THIEVING BASTARDS. Kind of a dirty South feel to it. Either way, it’s great!"
- AMP Magazine
I'm not going to post a full album download since the album is still out there in the world of commerce, but here are a handful of downloads:
Bottom of the Stack [mp3]
Rock 'n' Roll [mp3]
Carryin' On [mp3]
And an additional song from the Someday Coming Round
Dead to Rights (also known in other incarnations as the Alien-referencing "Facehugger") [mp3]
We also played an acoustic set on Central Coast radio station KPIG:
Mule Train live on KPIG [zip download]