The Border Band
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The Border Band

Lawrence, Kansas, United States | SELF

Lawrence, Kansas, United States | SELF
Band Americana Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Low-down between the ditches country rock"

Thanks to the originality of Gram Parsons and loose noodling of The Grateful Dead, country music is no longer limited to big hats, A-chords and pedal steel guitars. Now meet The Border Bands "Hard West," a 26-song collection of low-down, mid-west, between the ditches country rock....
While there are a few covers here, the lion's share of originals are due to singer/guitarist Melvin Litton. Rearrangements of "In The Jailhouse Now" and "St. James Infirm'ry" are done sweet justice. Typically I would approach Dylan covers with a suspicious eye, especially those lifted from "Blood On The Tracks," but a bluesy cover of "Meet Me in the Morning" is included for your listening pleasure, and have no fear, Zimmy is held to the highest standards....
There isn't a lot of wavering in the elemental sound across the board, but this is merely chalked up to "doing what you do best" rather than what is expected from label execs. The sound quality far exceeds most DYI releases but exudes the confidence of a band with the sole intiention of playing whatever it damn well pleases....
The Border Band holds one truth to be self-evident: Country is the only genre to make it clear that two minutes in any relationship is the difference between a shot of whiskey and a beer to kill the pain. With titles like "If Wishes Was Horses," "Fishin' in the Wrong Hole" and "Taco n' Wine," it's easy to see that being from Kansas has had a rather genuine impact....
Give me an old Roadhouse saloon with a silent, mysterious hunk named Dalton watching the door, chicken wire protecting the stage and these guys cranking the soundtrack to one hell of a drunken stupor, and that's the America I know! -- Dereck Blackman - -- 11/5/05

"One of the better singer-songwriter albums of our time"

Where does all the good music come from? - I sometimes ask myself. Rootstime in particular knows where to find the increasingly popular genre, roots-Americana. Now I don't mean to imply by this that The Border Band's third release (already!) is a typical Americana disc. No, Melvin Litton and his band do more than just that....
"Hard West" is a primarily melodic album with infectious rhythms, varying from uptempo songs through to a mesmerizing sound. Here and there a Coast to Coast rhythm surfaces, in "Jam in Nam," and then they let loose again with the roots rock ballad "Quittin' You." The traditional home base is to be found in "Same ol' Song." It may seem obvious that The Border Band draw on diverse influences, but the conspicuous link to the blues, "Red Rose Blues," I would call remarkable. Just the combination and changes in the final cut, "Champagne in the Saddle," is in itself the invention of true professionals....
I get a certain feeling from them, as if being brought under hypnosis. To soothe the heat of Lawrence, the Rockies and the Badlands, the guys have pooled their talents and come up with one of the better singer-songwriter albums of our time. The music has exceptional class. Again, not really an Americana disc, but certainly a gem.... -- Freddy Celis - -- 10/23/05

"A career making disc"

This new two-disc set is what we call hard country. It has edge with both the music and the lyrics. It's mostly originals with a few cool covers including Bob Dylan's "Meet Me In Then Morning." This Midwest band has managed to stay under the radar screen the past few years but that's all about to end with this career making disc. The hats on these guys is likely to be a bit dusty and have more than a couple of spots of blood and sweat... -- Bill Lavery - Village Records -- 10/19/05


The Border Band has released 3 CDs: "Rootless Seed" 2001, "Magdalene" 2003, and "Hard West" 2005. Recent radio highlights for "Hard West":

*Blueshound selection on "Blues Deluxe" (the Nation’s blues show hosted by Dave Johnson), aired on over 95 FM stations in US / Canada and the internet at Playlist: November 20 – 26

*Sirius Satellite Radio: "The Bob Dylan Hour" (program #79) hosted by Michael Tearson

*Honky Tonk Blues on 101FM Brisbane, Australia hosted by Henry Prokop
“Hard West” choice of the month for Freeform Americana Roots Report –

*Charted #42 on Roots Music Report (Roots Blues) 11/8/05

*Americna Roots Music hosted by Mike Penard on ISA Radio in Lhuis, France
“Hope you will stay on this road and will not listen to the sirens of easiness. Your music is true, full of a good spirit. It is a real pleasure for the listeners...the DJ to hold such an album. You can like it or not, but you never have the feeling you hold a record that has already been recorded a hundred times. It is the work of artists, in the literal meaning of the word... To me, you reach perfection with Hombre....” – Mike the Frenchy

*Blues Buffet on KRVK 107.9FM in Casper, WY – hosted by Travis “T-Roy” Royce
“Bare Hands is a great song!”

* Big Al’s Rhythm Roundup PBS 108.7FM Melbourne, Australia – Big Al Watts
“Hell mate The old Kansas Redlegs have not got a patch on you guys love your work...”

*The Fresh 895FM Bendigo, Australia hosted by Trevor Hyland
“Great sound – blew me away...featuring The Border Band as my Cyber Buddies...”

*Country-Eastern Outlaws For Peace hosted by Eddie Russell, based in Colombus, TX and broadcast on JRRI International Shortwave out of Waterford, Ireland
“Thanks for sending your most excellant ‘Hard West’ double-cd, a very enjoyable ride”

*Friday Night Blues hosted by Norma Martinez on KTEP 88.5FM NPR El Paso, TX
*House Party with Harold Tremblay KAFI 90.3 & 106.7FM Minneapolis/ST.Paul, MN
*Old Time & New Country Jean Castro 92.8FM Marmountier, France
*Cruisin’ with Don Chisholm on MFR 97.4FM Moray Firth Radio – Scotland
*La Hora del Blues with Vincente “Harmonica” Zumel Radio PICA Barcelona, Spain
*The Upper Room with Joe Kelly WVOF 88.5FM Fairfield, CT
*Dark Side of the Highway with Johnny Timewarp WFCS 107.7FM
*Radio Vagabond, Danny Birch: “Disc has a real Southern Roadhouse Blues sound...”

Plus many other country-rock and blues shows throughout the US and Canada, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, UK, Australia, Norway, Slovinia....



The Border Band is a four-piece group consisting of rhythm guitar, drums, bass and lead guitar. Melvin Litton, yours truly, captains the band, plays rhythm guitar and writes and sings most of the songs. I began performing over a quarter of a century ago in Canada and have since played in the northeast, down through Nashville, Austin, up to Colorado and back to Kansas where I started out and will likely remain. My major influences are Leadbelly, Jimmy Rogers, Bob Dylan and The Band, while the juices of a hundred others flavor my music, not to mention the sun, wind, moon and stars, and the devil himself if that's what it takes to make a song. But I mainly rely on the better angels of my nature and two fine men that have been with me for over ten years now: Roger Holden and Dave Melody. They've helped forge the sound and are a great part of what makes the music click.

Roger Holden is a wizard on the lead guitar. Besides his own keen talent, he draws inspiration from Hendrix, Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn and BB King among others. He's played in a dozen bands covering every idiom from Classic Rock, Punk, Ska, Surf, Tex-Mex, Country, Folk and Blues. Fast 'n clean, slick as new cards, he knows when to "hold 'em" and knows when to "play 'em" -- and he plays nuthin' but aces.

Dave Melody plays drums, but he does a helluva lot more than keep time and proves in the act why the drums are a musical intrument not to be denied. He can tap a rhythm soft as raindrops dimpling the dust or boom like thunder rolling down off the mountains in a crash of cymbals and toms to chasm the earth and race the heart.

Through the years we've had as many bass players as a spider has legs, for one reason or another -- a girlfriend, work, a better gig back east -- none of 'em stuck. Then a young man, Daniel Weaverling, asked to join our band, and after one song I knew he could weave the final thread in our sound. Give us a listen and get caught in the web.

*View our music video "Hombre."