SXSW 2008 has ended
Back To Schedule
Friday, March 14 • 11:30pm - Saturday, March 15 •12:00am

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Sleepercar West Texas The first notes of "Fences Down" were written on a stage in Japan in January, during a moment of solitude at a soundcheck on what would be the final At The Drive In tour. I had been listening to the Old 97's and slowly discovering that some sort of country and rock n’ roll combination was taking me over. I met some new friends who introduced me to the Flying Burrito Brothers and Gram Parsons and I was hooked. I made some half-joking plans to start a country band, but then got distracted by life. At The Drive In ended, Sparta began. In the fall of 2002 I went in to a west Texas studio to record some demos of the songs that were bouncing around in my head. There at Sonic Ranch I met Chris Heinrich, who was recommended to me by someone, I can't remember now. Chris was from El Paso, a little younger than me, but was a pedal steel player and that was what I needed. That session led me to finish writing “Fences Down” and a new song called “Heavy Weights”. Over the next 4 years I would slowly build what is now a record called West Texas. The original session at Sonic Ranch included my father, Jeff Ward on bass, Gabe Gonzalez on piano, Micah Adams on guitar, and Clint Myers on drums. It was never meant to be a band, it was just a jam, just fun. But I was hooked even more. I wrote some more songs here and there but never thought too much of it. Then in July of 2005 my friend David Garza convinced me to get a group together to play these songs and open for him on July 4th weekend in El Paso. I recruited Matthew Schmitz to play drums and called Heinrich up to get the songs together. My dad and my brother-in-law Clay Anderson on guitar filled out the group. After the show, we recorded a more detailed demo to document the progress. With 8 songs now and a decent recording, I continued to chip away at the music while on tour with Sparta, or when I was home for a break. I started the final recording in a second-story loft that houses an ad agency in El Paso—a little at a time. I recorded all my guitars and keyboards and pianos at my own home studio. Again, just chipping away. Heinrich, Gonzalez and my dad would round out the recordings on guitars, bass, and drums respectively. Additional musicians include 6-string guitar and farfisa by Ross Godfrey of Morcheeba fame, and Maura Davis sings on some songs. We mixed the record at Sonic Ranch with Justin Leeah at the controls. -Jim Ward.

Friday March 14, 2008 11:30pm - Saturday March 15, 2008 12:00am CDT
The Rio 301 San Jacinto Blvd

Attendees (0)