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Essential Cooder Graw

Some of the best songs came in the late 90’s/early 2000s in this Texas / Red Dirt Music scene.  Don’t get me wrong, there are still some amazing tunes being released every day.  But one of the most iconic bands of the scene has to be Cooder Graw.  Original members back then were:

  • Matt Martindale – acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Joe Ammons – drums, vocals
  • Paul Baker – bass guitar
  • Kelly Turner – lead guitar
  • Jimmy “Url” Whisenhunt – pedal steel guitar
  • Nick Worley – fiddle, mandolin
  • Jon “Fish” Hunt – drums, backing vocals

The band was originally called “Coup de Grâce,” but another band was already using that name, so the name was changed to a “Texas-version” of the original name.  The band’s first national release, Cooder Graw was released in 2000.  They ended up releasing 7 albums that consisted of amazing music.

In 2006, the band announced that they would cease performing together after the end of the year.  Their last show was on December 31, 2006, in Fort Worth.  After a six-year hiatus, the group came together in 2012 for what was expected to be a short reunion tour but the Cooder fan base is as fervent as ever and the band is enjoying a relaxed touring schedule without expectations, having a good time playing well-worn songs and writing new ones.  With the 2016 release of Love to Live By, a six song EP, the Panhandle band marks the beginning of a new chapter.   Their current band lineup consistes of:

  • Matt Martindale – acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Paul Baker – bass guitar
  • Kelly Turner – lead guitar
  • Kelly Test – drums, backing vocals
  • Carmen Acciaioli – fiddle, mandolin
  • Danny Crelin – pedal steel guitar

Did you happen to see the part where I said they have created some of the best music?!  And that is why we are highlighting the “essential” tunes you SHOULD know from this band (in no particular order):

  • “State Line”
  • “Motel Lights”
  • “Legend of Millie Stacey”
  • “Boogaloo”
  • “Llano Estacado”
  • “Dirty Little Hometown Girl”
  • “That Girl Crystal”
  • “Better Days”
  • “Two More Tears”
  • “New Dress”
  • “Willie’s Guitar”
  • “My Give a Damn is Broken”
  • “18 Wheels of Loving”

If you’ve never seen this band, you NEED to!  You will be HIGHLY entertained from song one to the last encore.  Find out more about them and where they are playing here.

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