100 Damned Guns
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100 Damned Guns

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"100 Damned Guns, Musica De Tormento (TXMF)"

by Lance Lester, May 20, 2009

The second album from Fort Worth's 100 Damned Guns starts off right where you would expect, with a honky-tonk love song about lost love, which is the sound that fits the band best. Indeed, Musica de Tormento
continues the band's mixture of honky-tonk-meets-bluegrass rave-ups and your standard, classic-sounding, heartstring-pulling songs.

Dave Sherrill still sings the bluegrass-leaning songs like the
album's second track, "Ain't That Bad Anymore," and Judd Pemberton still takes the lead on the traditional country and honky-tonk songs like "One More Time." At times, Sherrill's monotone and bellowing vocals can be a little much to handle, but it fits neatly into gems
like "Old Barbwire" that are sprinkled throughout the album.

Where this album excels, though, is in capturing the band's live
sound. It's a step in the right direction for songwriting and
musicianship that comes with endless live performance: On Musica de Tormento, 100 Damned Guns sounds tighter than ever.

The album also pulls off a feat that is hard for a band of any caliber to match: There's very little filler here. If the boys keep this up, national notoriety could be next. - Dallas Observer


"100 Damned Guns back with live ammunition"

by Preston Jones

Erudite whimsy and sudden, dusty violence — like a Cormac McCarthy novel by way of David Sedaris — is the spine of 100 Damned Guns’ indelible music. The Fort Worth alt-country sextet is back with the winning Musica de Tormento, building upon its 2007 debut, Songs of Murder, Pain and Woe. The Guns lay into booze-fueled angst (Broken Bottle Blues) and grim retribution (Old Barbwire) with equal fervor; in between, a whole range of moods unfold, each with smoke and hard living ground into the creases. 100 Damned Guns plays Dallas’ City Tavern on May 2 (with Eastwood and the Atoms). - Fort Worth Star Telegram


"Blazin Grass"

by Catherine Collier

Before founding the acoustic-country-revival band 100 Damned Guns about three years ago, none of the six veteran musicians in the band had ever played country. Rock, yes. All of them, according to singer-guitarist Judd Pemberton, considered country — mainly the mainstream stuff — “cheesy.” So when the Guns traded in their electric guitars for acoustic ones, the band’s new direction was, Pemberton and company admit, cloudy at best. But after a series of front-porch jam sessions, it became obvious.
“If you don’t like something, you should do it better,” said mandolin player and co-lead singer Dave Sherrill — meaning, in a roundabout way, that 100 Damned Guns was formed as a protest to country music. They were affronted by the current state of what was once an important part of American culture, he said. “The stuff on the radio is terrible, so we decided to rip it.”
The Guns started out as Easy Cash, a Johnny Cash cover band. Once Pemberton and Sherrill settled into playing together, the two began adding originals to the Cash emulations. Cut to today, and 100 Damned Guns is fully involved in its own sound.
Warming up to his and Pemberton’s new old-timey tunes, Sherrill asked his high-school friend and former Susans’ upright-bass player Lynn Stewart to join in. The Guns’ sound, Stewart said, wasn’t like the rockabilly he’d been playing, but the growing popularity of the alt-country genre spurred his interest. Besides, he could feel the momentum rising. “Something was going on in this field of music,” he said. “People I hadn’t seen in years would come up to me and talk about how they had started listening to new country music.”
The Guns eventually added another of Sherrill’s high-school friends, guitarist Chris Caldwell, and dobro player Alan Prater from the defunct local bluegrass band The Misty Valley Boys. Prater contributed to the Guns several of his original compositions.
Sherrill said that the Guns are “the kinds of guys who are always writing.” Their set list is now 22 songs long, and most of them are rapidly paced, with hardly any topping out beyond the two-minute mark. The band’s recently released album, Songs of Murder, Pain, and Woe, is a flurry of fiddles, gee-tar, and melancholy.
The band recorded the album at the home-studio of local punk legends The Marked Men, who also co-produced the album with the band.
“Having them record the album gave us a different quality,” said Pemberton. “It’s a little hot and a little punk, especially in how the vocals are mixed. It’s almost overdone, but we like it.”
One of the album’s strongest points is Pemberton and Sherrill’s singing. The pair attributes their crystalline harmonies to metal-bluegrass pioneers Split Lip Rayfield, a now-defunct trio and easily the best-known band to emerge from thrash-grass annual Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kan. The festival, Sherrill said, “is a real movement. Lots of bands are playing this punk-bluegrass” — on stages without electricity, he stresses — “about living in a dry county.”
Like many Walnuts, 100 Damned Guns also writes about being hung-over, drinking, carousing, and murdering, but the band is doing everyone else one better, chiefly by organizing a local version of the fest.
Tired of unsuccessfully trying to book shows with other local alt-bluegrass bands such as Electric Mountain Rotten Apple Gang and Holy Moly, the guys in 100 Damned Guns started the Rolling Trainwreck Country Music Show. For each event, “We try to get three other bands that are great but not huge popularity-wise,” said Sherrill, the organizer. “That way, the audience doesn’t have to sit through an opener. We only charge five bucks. Every band plays a short set then [they split] the profits evenly.”
The Music Show’s inaugural concert, at Fred’s Texas Café about a month ago, featured the Guns, plus Electric Mountain Rotten Apple Gang, Boxcar Bandits, and Whiskey Folk Ramblers. Fred’s rather spacious patio was packed. The event was a success, according to Sherrill, because, “People are looking for good country music.” Plans to expand The Music Show to other parts of Texas and beyond are already in the works.
Sherrill believes that a community-minded approach is the only way to go. In addition to starting the Music Show, the Guns released their album on TXMF, a not-for-profit Denton collective that also houses popular Dentonites The Record Hop, Hogpig, and the Spitfire Tumbleweeds. TXMF, Sherrill said, “only brings in bands they believe in, and lets them do what they want. ... Plus, we get to cross-expose with other bands and trade information.”
Even though Tales was originally supposed to be released only in the United States, the album was also circulated overseas, leading to some international interest. “It’s really amazing to look at the number of people who listen to our music,” Stewart said.
Not that the Guns aren’t doing well here. They’ve appeared on KFWR/95.9-FM The Ranch and KTCU/88.7-FM’s The Good Show, and have played opening gigs at the enormous and finely appointed House of Blues in Dallas. “Every time we play a huge show, it feels like the bar gets raised,” Sherrill said. “I go home and think about working even more on this.”
The Guns are all in their 30s and don’t expect to quit their day jobs any time soon. But, as Pemberton, said, “It’s really good on this level. ... This type of music we could play well into our 50s and 60s, and it would still be good. - FW Weekly


"These guns are loaded with talent"

by Preston Jones

Fort Worth sextet 100 Damned Guns is stocked with defiant throwbacks, doling out quick, punchy country songs that don't sound a thing like Keith Urban. And thank God for that -- it's a glorious, messy and achingly authentic sound; a little bit bluegrass, a little bit Western swing and a plenty of raw, lyrical intensity. Songs of Murder, Pain and Woe (released on Denton-based TXMF Records) is over in less than half an hour, but in that span of time, Dave Sherrill, Chris Caldwell , Judd Pemberton, Alan Prater, Lynn Stewart and Dillon Strange blow the doors off, delivering one of the best local debuts of the year in the process. The Guns will perform Saturday at Dallas' Double Wide with the Whiskey Folk Ramblers, the Naptime Shake and the A.M. Ramblers. - Fort Worth Star Telegram


"Local Music Spotlight on : 100 Damned Guns"

When I think of country music the first
people that come to mind are Johnny Cash
and Hank Williams, Sr. While there's
certainly nothing wrong with these artists,
they're unfortunately representative of
perhaps the peak and subsequent slow
decline of country music.
Modern country music, sad to say, leaves
me uninspired. It's formulaic, over produced
and just plain unexciting.

But writing off new country music altogether, as I learned when I discovered the band 100 Damned
Guns, can be a big mistake.
I certainly never should've given up on new country music without first searching my own backyard, Fort
Worth, Texas. Because existing right here is perhaps one of the most original and exciting country
groups you'll ever hear.
100 Damned Guns' style of music is reminiscent of another time in music's past. Calling it country
music doesn't even do it justice. My best definition of their sound is "old-style country played by rowdy
miners and fur trappers during a particularly joyful night of drinking."
When I got a chance to talk with one of the 100 Damned Guns vocalists and mandolin player Dave
Sherrill, I ran this definition past him. While he didn't seem ready to adopt it as the official band style, he
did agree with me that their sound isn't easy to define, saying that "I don't know a good way to peg us
under a genre. If you are really into bluegrass, you wouldn't call us that, if you were really into traditional
country music, you wouldn't fit us in there; if you were into alt-country stuff like Wilco and Son Volt, we
wouldn't work for that either. I dunno... maybe just American Music. That seems vague enough."
Whatever you call it, the 100 Damned Guns' sound is definitely unique. Their music has an almost
uncanny ability to evoke feelings and even the spirit of "the days of yesteryear." Songs like "In the Mines,"
"Ain't going back to jail" and "The Hangin" particularly bring strong feelings of the American West.
A few of the band members live right here in White Settlement and another is actually a Brewer
graduate. They've only been playing together since January of 2005, but this is no inexperienced band.
They've played all over the Dallas/Fort Worth area and were named the Best Country Band of 2007 by
Fort Worth Weekly. They've also got an album out by TXMF Records and have been played on several
radio stations around the Metroplex.
Having done all that, I asked Dave what the next step is to continue the band's success. "If we can get
lots of people in the clubs to have a good time, it's a success," he said. "Anything beyond that is gravy on
the biscuits… sausage gravy," he added. When I asked what it was that he hoped to accomplish with
his music, Dave told me "I just want to write good songs and have a good time playing them."
I was curious about where a name like '100 Damned Guns' comes from, so I asked Dave. "I'm not
really sure; I think we argued about the name for so long we all just gave up and chose that one," he told
me. "For a while we were Easy Cash, Black Bottle, The Heartworms, and The Consternators. It worked
out pretty well because the numbers put us at the top of people's IPODs, just above 1100 springs and
10,000 Maniacs. That was a happy accident. The next band I'm in will be called 0011AAA," Dave joked.
As I researched more into 100 Damned Guns and their unique style of music, I found that they're not
alone in the area, as there are several other similar bands in the metroplex. I brought this up with Dave,
who said "There are some great bands around North Texas playing bluegrass and old country type stuff.
Spitfire Tumbleweeds, The Susans, Electric Mountain Rotten Apple Gang, The Theater Fire, Boxcar
Bandits, Pinebox Serenade, Current Leaves, Dove Hunter, Whiskey Folk Ramblers, Holy Moly.. I love it,"
he said. "I'm starting to book shows that I've hand picked because I want all our shows to be killer. I want
people to come to 100 Damned Guns shows and love every band they see that night."
100 Damned Guns are busy writing songs for their next album and playing shows around the DFW
area. Their debut album, "Songs of Murder, Pain and Woe" can be purchased on iTunes or at
TXMFrecords.com. If you're interested in learning more about 100 Damned Guns, check them out on
the web at www.100damnedguns.com and www.myspace.com/100damnedguns .
So if you're like me and find that modern country music leaves you cold, do yourself a favor and check
this band out. Their music is energetic and unique and I find it hard to believe that anyone wouldn't
thoroughly enjoy it. - The Grizzly Detail


"Austinist Previews Wall Of Sound Festival: 1100 Springs and 100 Damned Guns"

100 Damned Guns present another homegrown country alternative at the 2007 Wall Of Sound Festival, not to mention a mighty fine band name. The Fort-Worth act recently released Songs Of Murder, Pain & Woe on TXMF Records, available for purchase on the label’s website. 100 Damned Guns’s mix of bluegrass and honky-tonk should be a solid breakfast snack for the ears early in the day. And once they’re done, do stick around at Stage Two for The Lemurs who very recently electrified our very own Local Music Is Sexy IV extravaganza. - The Austinist


"100 Damned Guns"

If you ever need a reminder that C&W is doin' just fine, thank you very much, catch Fort Worth's 100 Damned Guns. This crew is dedicated to pure country in the spirit of Johnny, Hank and Willie -- no irony, no Nashville sheen. With backwood harmonies and two-step rhythms, 100DG does that thing that country music does better than any other genre -- reel off boot-scootin' homages celebrating overdue bills, shotgun shacks and heartbreak - Dallas Observer


Discography

1st release
Songs of Murder Pain and Woe.
TXMF Records
Various tracts played on 5 different North Texas radio stations.

2nd Release
Musica De Tormento
TXMF Records
Various tracts played on 5 different North Texas radio stations.

Photos

Bio

January 1st, 2005, 100 Damned Guns(then called Easy Cash) began as an acoustic four piece act. Their original home recorded MP3s found mention on blogs and webzine’s from Australia, the UK and China.

In 2006, 100 Damned Guns went electric, added drums and dobro and began headlining local alt-country shows. The band was invited by the touring punk combo The Marked Men to record in their studio. The same year 100DG were nominated for the FW Weekly’s Alt-Country Band of the Year.

April 3rd, 2007, 100 Damned Guns joined Denton’s TXMF Records and released their first album, Songs of Murder Pain and Woe as a six-piece band.

In 2007, songs from the debut CD were played on six local radio stations (KHYI, KNON, KTCU, KERA, KZPS and KFWR). The band was featured live in studio on two local independent radio stations (KTCU and KNON). 100DG shared the stage with touring acts like David Alan Coe, The Goo Goo Dolls, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Will Hoge and The Avett Brothers. The band won the FW Weekly’s Country and Western Band of the Year.

In 2008, the band spent the summer recording in the Echolab Studio. 100 Damned Guns again won the FW Weekly’s Country and Western Band of the Year and was nominated for The Dallas Observer’s Best Country / Roots Act. The song Put Me In The Ground, from Songs of Murder Pain and Woe, was featured prominently in the independent film Blood On The Highway. In late September, 100 Damned Guns was asked to play the celebratedalt-bluegrass side-stage “Stage 5” during the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in Winfield, Kansas with Betse Ellis from the Wilders.

Recently, the soundtrack to the film Blood On The Highway (featuring 100DG) won Best Soundtrack at the 2009 Backseat Film Festival.

March 31st , 2009, 100 Damned Guns released their sophomore album, Musica De Tormento. The band won the FW Weekly's Country and Western Band of the Year for the third year in a row, and was nominated for the FW Weekly's 2009 Album of the Year.