The Texas Gentlemen are one of those bands that you’ve undoubtedly heard — even if you’ve never heard of them. Over the years, the long-serving Lone Star journeymen have backed up everyone from Kris Kristofferson and Joe Ely to Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes, both on stage and in the studio. That might help explain why their sophomore solo outing Floor It!!! is such a diverse affair, bobbing and weaving between vintage-sounding pop, rock, blues, folk, country, funk, soul, gospel, prog, psychedelia and anything else that they feel like. And it almost certainly explains how they’re able to pull off all those stylistic shifts and U-turns with tasteful authenticity, laid-back proficiency and earthy sincerity. Sit back and dig the ride; they’re taking the scenic route.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “The Texas Gentlemen’s Floor It!!! is a 13-song set produced by Matt Pence (Jason Isbell, John Moreland, Midlake) and recorded at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL, Niles City Sound in Ft. Worth, TX and Pence’s own EchoLab Studios in Denton, TX. The band’s sound is steeped in ’60s and ’70s rock & pop with elements of funk, soul, country, R&B, southern rock and gospel (just about all of them played in churches early on). The album includes woozy, brass-fueled Dixieland-style jazz, to slinky, chicken-scratch country funk to lushly orchestrated pop-soul balladry all within it’s first ten minutes. There’s a dreamy, spacey, and occasionally progressive element to what they do that seems to detach the music from belonging to any particular place and time. It’s a rich and righteous ride. The band take their cues from some of the most iconic acts of the past. The quicksilver brilliance of The Wrecking Crew, The Muscle Shoals Swampers (who backed everyone from Aretha to Wilson Pickett), Booker T. and The M.G.’s, Little Feat, and Bob Dylan’s one-time backers The Band are the most obvious examples. “We all have pretty good grips on what we’re supposed to do, so a lot of Floor It!!! was tracked live in the studio, with as few overdubs as possible,” Nik Lee says. “We like to have it where everybody’s just vibing together in one room.” As for how he would describe the Gents? “I think it was said best by a guy on BBC Radio,” he says. “We were on tour in Europe, and we’re driving to the airport and the DJ comes on and clears his throat and he goes, ‘OK, up next we have a Texas boogie band called The Texas Gentlemen.’ So that’s what I like to say: we’re a Texas boogie band!”