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"Black Coyote Releases New CD"

El Paso band Black Coyote is releasing its first CD, “Cigarettes and Dust,” an EP-length recording of six originals. It’s built around Ian Atkins’ songwriting, singing and rhythm guitar, and you guitar nuts will get off on Dillon Fernandez’s effervescent guitar bobbing and weaving around Atkins’ vocals. Joel Bautista on drums and Josh Phipps on bass anchor a jamming section.

The first show the band played together was a year and a half ago.

“Jim Ward from Sleepercar happened to be in the crowd at Take II that night and asked us to play with his band at a show they were having the following month,” Bautista said. “We were pretty blown away and were really grateful for that opportunity, and I think that really gave the band the confidence to get fired up and continue moving at a fast pace.”

The Ward connection is ongoing as the new CD was recorded at his studio, Clap of Thunder. Gabe Gonzalez engineered the project.

“He was phenomenal to work with,” Bautista said.

Atkins has been writing songs since high school and really got into it in college.

“One of my favorite things to do is get together with other songwriters and play songs all night,” he said. “Just taking turns one after the other. I’ve done this in dorm rooms, hay fields, barracks and in tents over in Iraq when I was stationed there – I just love it.”

How did the band get together? Joel and Ian met after Ian had returned from Iraq. Joel’s wife Lulu had been working at Ripe, the restaurant owned by Ian’s wife Becky (along with her brother, Adam). Ian and Joel began to hang out and play music.

“One day Ian told me that there was this guy waiting tables at the restaurant who plays guitar, mandolin and banjo,” Bautista said. “This of course was Dillon. Dillon tried out with us and after about one song, he was part of the new project.”

“After this we couldn’t find a bassist for the life of us,” Bautista said. “ Dillon’s long-time friend, Josh, used to come hang out with us and could play the guitar but had never played bass. Ian got him a bass guitar and amp and he began to play with us. He has become a great bassist and creative asset to the band.”

Josh explained how he comes up with bass lines.

“Ian writes the lyrics and we all collaborate on the music,” he said. “I just play what bass line I think sounds good, I listen to old country, rockabilly and surf music to get an idea of what goes with what we’re playing. I make the bass lines mine by switching things up and tweaking old lines to get a more chill sound.”

A unique aspect of the Black Coyote sound is Fernandez’s guitar. It wraps itself around the vocals, sometimes playing counterpoint, other times harmonizing and tearing into extended solos.

“I’ve been playing for almost 10 years and have grown up listening to a wide spectrum of music that I try to implement into my playing,” he said.

What comes out is energetic ’60s/folk rock, with some country and surf rock thrown in.

“My philosophy really is to just keep it simple and tasteful,” Fernandez said.

He blasts all of this out on a retro-looking Eastwood hollow-body guitar, perfect for the contemporary-yet-throwback sound of the band.

Black Coyote
CD release party
with opening acts Dirty River Boys and a band named 7 p.m.
Take II, 6315 N. Mesa
Friday, April 30 – 9 p.m.
No cover, 18+ - What's Up Magazine (Dan Lambert)

"Black Coyote – “Cigarettes And Dust”"

Black Coyote – “Cigarettes And Dust”
June 30th, 2010

There are a couple of sounds that I’m always on the lookout for. One of them is represented by the songs on the new EP by El Paso band Black Coyote. The best way to describe it would be “ragged and frayed” (I have a feeling this new genre name is not doing to take off like Chillwave). In essence the bands sound mirrors it’s lyrics and the emotional tenor of the music. That’s a pretty fine description of the songs on the new ep Cigarettes and Dust.

Slightly unrelated but I’m heavy into all four seasons of Friday Night Lights and I’d just like to nominate this song as the new anthem of this Texas based show. “Of Strippers and Cowboys” is a perfect fit as it lays out in compelling detail the realities of life in a small Texas town. - Songs Illinois Blog

"Black Coyote Visits Old Stomping Grounds"

Black Coyote Visits Old Stomping Ground
Feb 8 2010|Matthew Barnes

Ian Atkins has not always had time to play in a band. He was a cadet commander while earning his business management degree at Texas State and then spent 14 months in Iraq.

Atkins brings stories from the war and other life experiences to the vocals of his El Paso-native band, Black Coyote.

“When I was in San Marcos, I was a musician, but I really didn’t play any shows because my schedule as a cadet was pretty demanding,” said Atkins, Texas State alumnus. “When I went to Iraq, I took a guitar, and I started writing a few of the songs that became this band.”

Atkins said he tells the real story.

“A lot of the folk guys in our genre are writing songs about the war in Iraq or war in general, but it’s that old ‘glories of war’ I don’t think exist,” Atkins said. “My songs are about the realities. They’re usually about waiting around to use the phone to call home, or going out and losing track of time or forgetting what’s really going on back home.”

Atkins said one song in particular chronicles his time spent serving overseas.

“The first verse is talking about me and my soldiers and what we thought was going to happen when we went there,” Atkins said. “The second one is about missing home and how it’s kind of drifting away from me.”

Atkins recalls the good times he had before the war in his song, “Days Like These.”

“It’s about San Marcos,” Atkins said. “We used to go to this house and play guitar until 6 a.m. out on the front porch. The song is about hanging out in San Marcos on the river.”

The members of Black Coyote all met through a restaurant Atkins’ wife owns in El Paso. Black Coyote has been together for less than a year.

The folk-rock sound highlights Atkins’ smooth, southern-rock vocals and the needling of lead guitarist, Dillon Fernandez.

“They needed a bass player, and I had never picked up one before I got in this band,” said Josh Phipps, Black Coyote bass guitarist. “This is the beginning of my bass career.”

Thursday night’s show at the Grey Horse Saloon drew a large crowd to begin the weekend tour. The band played Friday in Dallas and Saturday in Austin before returning home.

The stop in San Marcos was nostalgic for Atkins, who had not been back since 2004, and drummer Joel Bautista, Texas State alumnus.

“I played with a band for about four years,” Bautista said. “We used to play at Lucy’s all the time, and Triple Crown and Gordo’s when it was still open.”

Band mates laughed at the two Texas State alumni.

“We’re driving over here, we’re in the backseat and these guys are like, ‘Oh my god, it’s so good to be home! I was at a party over there! I was with some chick over there!’” Fernandez said. “They’re all revved up to be back.”
- Universtiy Star

"Review of Black Crowes/Black Coyote Show"

...The night got off to a good start with new El Paso band Black Coyote, who were picked by the group's handlers to open the show from a field of 15 local groups that participated in the recent KLAQ Locofest at Cohen Stadium.
They're not like a lot of other El Paso bands, with a rootsy, folk-tinged sound that compares favorably with local faves Sleepercar. Singer-guitarist Ian Atkins is an Iraq war veteran with a good eye for detail and a strong storytelling voice. Dillon Fernandez's guitar embroidery gave shape to a handful of songs that, over the course of 20 minutes, quickly won over the hungry crowd.

- El Paso Times, Doug Pullen

"My Town Blog"

The incredibly good band The Black Crowes are swinging into town for a gig in County Coliseum Tuesday. You know The Black Crowes. They are as solid of a rock band as they come and the live show will blow your mind. They are real musicians who know how to deliver.

Black Coyote is opening the show. They are an El Paso band quickly on their way. Make sure and get there early and support your local bands when they have big chances like this. You can make all the difference.
- Jim Ward (Sleepercar and Sparta)


Cigarettes and Dust- EP
New album receives airplay at 95.5 FM in El Paso, Tx.



Based out of El Paso, Texas, Black Coyote delivers a unique blend of folk rock and Americana. Four diverse musicians, four different tastes of music, and four different personalities make up the genuine combination that is Black Coyote. This combination can be heard in their distinct Americana ‘Ranch Rock’ sound. Hints of classic folk-rock, country western, and rock and roll, can be picked out in any song.

The music is genuine, always leaving the audience with a sense that the stories are true and the emotion is real. The inspiration for the music is mainly drawn from Atkins’ childhood in a small south Texas town, his experiences as a soldier in Iraq and the glorified existence of burned out troubadours. Everything in Black Coyote is collaborative sometimes resulting in brotherly conflict, but ultimately producing great music.

The band has already accomplished so much in such little time having been seen with touring acts such as the Black Crowes, Sleepercar, and Del Castillo. They have been seen at bigger venues such as the El Paso County Coliseum, Cohen Stadium, and Poor David’s in Dallas, TX. In early 2010 Black Coyote went on the road for the first time together. The one week Texas tour was well perceived by all audiences they encountered. In April 2010 they released their first album, “Cigarettes and Dust”, a high energy recording showcasing the bands diverse sound. The band has been promoting their new release through 2010.

“They are an El Paso band quickly on their way.” Jim Ward (Sparta, Sleepercar)