the Von Ehrics
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the Von Ehrics

Dallas, Texas, United States | INDIE

Dallas, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Americana


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Von Ehrics in Charlotte"

"Balls out, mean ass countryfied punk rock and roll" - Creative Loafing

"Country Punks and Damn Fine Drunks"

"This is awesome Dallas, Texas punk rock that is not afraid of its country roots" -

"The Von Ehrics Wrestle with their Identity"

Robert Jason Vandygriff loves Dallas.

So much so, in fact, that the guitarist/vocalist of local country punk trio The Von Ehrics named his band not so much to pay honor to the legendary wrestling family that was recently inducted in its chosen sport's hall of fame, but, rather, it was to pay kudos to the city itself.

"We love Dallas, and in the Von Ehric family name is something very identifiable about Dallas," the verbose and affable Vandygriff says from a tour stop in D.C. "There's a legend behind that name which is specific to the city, and that is what we liked about it."

On tour in support of the band's just-released, third full-length effort, Loaded, Vandygriff and his fellow Von Ehrics (bassist Jeffery Mosely and drummer Gabe Aguilar) are at the apex of the band's nearly decade-long career. Once satisfied with banging out standard, three-chorded punk rants, Vandygriff and his music are just now starting to grow up. Well, at least a little.

"The whole new record has a different tone to it," Vandygriff says. "It's not just about the road, the whiskey and having a good time." Not that there'd be anything wrong with that. But after 2003's Damn Fine Drunks and 2006's The Whiskey Sessions, Vandygriff and crew thought it might be time to add just a touch of maturity to the band's typical roar.

And, despite the first impression left by the album's name, Loaded is about a lot more than that. Packed full of catchy hooks and relatively restrained vocals, there's not a weak moment amongst the album's 10 tracks. "Just Leave Me Out" comes out of the gate smoking with a hook and chorus reminiscent of early Goo Goo Dolls records—you know, before that band started looking in the mirror and playing power ballads. But it culls from other influences too. "Someone told me that song sounded like Social Distortion, and another guy told me that it was like a Riverboat Gamblers song," says Vandygriff. "Either comparison is all right by me."

Elsewhere on the disc, the album cuts a little closer to the band's early inspirations with two cover choices: Billy Joe Shaver's "Old Chunk of Coal" and Steve Earle's "A Week of Living Dangerously." Both songs are punked up, but not beyond recognition, and each song lends itself well to the new album's insightful disposition. But, says Vandygriff, the weather during the recording process might have had something to do with that as well.

"We recorded Loaded in Madison [Wisconsin] right after Christmas, and it was a very different process for us," he says. "The weather was miserable and depressing and colder than hell, but maybe it helped us focus."

Songs such as "Jimmy Blades," "I'll Like Yours" and "The Worst Is Over" definitely find The Von Ehrics hitting on all cylinders. The songs fly by at a rapid pace but somehow manage to leave a lasting impression.

"It's a formula we use—country songs sped up," Vandygriff modestly offers.

But one gets the impression that Vandygriff knows better—like that he thinks his trio has finally come to a point where it's OK to move beyond the standard formula, and even beyond the standard comparisons.

Nowhere is that more evident than on Loaded's final track, the acoustic country blues of "Lost. Found. Free."

"I have been working on a pure country side project for a couple of years," says Vandygriff. "I just haven't been able to put that band together, so a song that was meant for that made its way onto this Von Ehrics record."

Whatever the circumstances, "Lost" is a remarkable conclusion to an already terrific album, a mature statement of purpose that goes far beyond any fast-paced country song, punk-influenced or otherwise. In three minutes, Vandygriff finds the intensity of his punk rock heroes in the deceptive simplicity of Cash, Haggard and Jennings.

"It's really just a reflective gospel song," Vandygriff says. "Of course, no one but me would sing it on a Sunday."

Even with the new ground broken on Loaded, Vandygriff knows that some area fans will still compare his band to some other regional heroes. Still, that doesn't mean he has to sit back and enjoy it—especially when he disagrees.

"A while back there was a writer who was asking me about bands like Old 97's and Slobberbone, but I just don't see the comparisons," says Vandygriff. "I mean, we have country influences, but when I was growing up, the two bands I had to catch every time they played were Hagfish and Reverend Horton Heat. I mean, I grew up in the country and was exposed to country music, and that influence might be making an appearance now, but The Von Ehrics will always be, first and foremost, a punk band that just happens to wear cowboy boots."

The boots, as far as Vandygriff is concerned, is where those comparisons should end. For a few reasons.

"If I were as good-looking as Rhett Miller," Vandygriff adds, "I'd probably be doing a hell of a lot better. There might even be a few more girls at our shows."

With or without females, though, the crowds at Von Ehrics shows across the country have been growing—the band will play a three-night run in New York City before returning to Dallas for its local CD release show at the Double Wide. Not surprisingly, given his affection for the city, Vandygriff is anxious to return and play before a home audience, anxious to be a part of a scene that he believes is down but not out.

"There's always been more money in Dallas than say Austin or Denton, and that screws with the venues," says Vandygriff. "It's more of a business thing. There are some great bands here, and as far as putting out great music, I think Dallas is holding its own against any city in the country."

They’re grown up now, but, c’mon, of course they’re still boozing.
The Von Ehrics perform Saturday, April 25,at the Double Wide.
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Von EhricsVon EhricJeffery MoselyGabe AguilarPunk RockReassuring thoughts, but Vandygriff says he means every word of it—although he is a little doubtful of a certain local venue's commitment to the local scene.

"The people who run House of Blues—I don't know how they feel about Dallas having a good music scene," says Vandygriff. "It might be better for them if Dallas has a shitty scene in Deep Ellum so that everyone has to go to the House of Blues."

Still, whatever his qualms about that venue, Vandygriff refuses to tone down his optimism for the local scene.

"You know, I have some shoulder problems these days, and I'm getting older," he says. "But I want to keep doing what I do for the people of Dallas. It's always felt good to be here."
- Dallas Observer

"Von Ehrics Bring Country Punk to Cincy"

"The Von Ehrics may be the best Southern boogie trio from Texas since ZZ Top" - CityBeat Magazine


Two Foot Stomp - Lucky Buck Productions - April 2011
Loaded - Crustacean Records - March 2009
The Whiskey Session - Rocket 13 Records - September 2006
Damn Fine Drunks - Self Released - October 2002
The Von Ehrics Four Song EP - Self Release - October 2000



The Von Ehrics emerged from Dallas, Texas in the summer of 2000 on a mission. Their intent was simple: combine the influences of the country and gospel music on which they were raised with the punk and metal records they found as rebellious teenagers. Since then they have gone on to release three critically acclaimed full-length albums and one EP while touring endlessly and building a loyal legion of fans across the United States. Known for their blistering live performances, the Von Ehrics blend straight-forward country songs with high-intensity punk rock and roll and have shared the stage with acts such as the Reverend Horton Heat, Hank III, Billy Joe Shaver, GBH, Supersuckers, Dale Watson, Riverboat Gamblers, Old 97’s, Drive-by-Truckers and many more.

After releasing a four-song EP in 2001 the Von Ehrics began honing their skills in the nightclubs of Dallas’ Deep Ellum music scene quickly gaining notoriety as one of Dallas’ most promising bands. They hit the sweet spot with the 2003 release of Damn Fine Drunks (Self-Released). This would send the band on an extensive touring schedule that started with Texas and has since canvassed the United States. But it was the release of The Whiskey Sessions (Rocket 13 Records) in 2006 that put the band on the map as the prototype for the country-punk sound. The Whiskey Sessions was a collection of 13 songs about whiskey, women and life on the road. The Houston Press called it “one of the most important records of the year” and CityBeat Magazine called the band “the best southern-boogie trio from Texas since ZZ Top”. Praise certainly didn’t slow the band down. They continued to tour for two and a half years in support of the record solidifying their reputation as a relentless road band of fast-living troubadours.

At the end of 2008 the Von Ehrics took a much needed hiatus. During that time they signed on with the Madison, Wisconsin based-label Crustacean Records and began writing material for what would be their third full-length album. Loaded, released March of 2009, was recorded in the dead of winter in the Madison home of Go-Go’s guitarist Jane Wiedlin and is everything you have come to expect from the Von Ehrics and more. It is raw, powerful and authentic. The drums mix lightning fast train beats with an all out punk rock style. Bass lines walk like country songs in a metal setting. And singer/guitarist Robert Jason Vandygriff’s vocal style is one that reeks of whiskey-drenched gospel. All of this is layered with driving guitars that don’t rest. Lyrically the Von Ehrics are a bit more reflective at times on Loaded without straying too far from the unapologetic tone for which they are known.

While the Von Ehrics have seen success, life on the road hasn’t been easy. They saw six drummers come and go before 2005. That is when they found the like-minded San Antonio native and Lubbock legend Gabe Aguilar who was an instant fit. In August of 2009 the band parted ways with long–time bass player Jeffery Wayne Mosley replacing him with Paul "Santi" Vaden of Ghoultown.. At the same time long-time "honorary fourth member" Clayton Mills, former Dixie Witch, Riverboat Gamblers, signed on full time on lead guitar. The band spent 2010 preparing and recording its fourth full-length release titled Two Foot Stomp. It was recorded at Echo Lab Studios in Argyle, Texas between September and December of 2010 and engineered by Dave Willingham (Polyphonic Spree, Earl Harvin Trio). Two Foot Stomp is a thirteen song romp that showcases the band’s fantastic ability to bridge the gap between country gospel and punk rock. It is scheduled for release in April of 2011.