JP Music: Tex Railer's Doomtown Brings Cowpunk Back to Jamaica Plain
The Midway once again hosts Tex Railer's Doomtown. And yes, it's a play on Rex Trailer's Boomtown.
For a 20-year period, from the mid-’50s to the mid-’70s, if you lived in or near Boston, and there was a TV and a kid in your house, he or she was plunked down in front of it every weekend to watch some ridin’ and ropin’ and singin’ on Rex Trailer’s “Boomtown.”
Now, almost 40 years since the show rode off into the sunset, Trailer heads up a video production company in Waltham, and a combination rockabilly, surf, country, rock ’n’ roll band is sending a nod in his direction. Tex Railer’s Doomtown played their first gig three years ago at the Midway Café. They’ve returned many times, and are doing so again on Monday, playing tunes from their album “The Battle of Bunker Hillbilly.” Founding member and the trio’s singer-songwriter-guitarist Sean Secor recently spoke about the band.
OK, who came up with the name?
We were kicking a few things around, and Pat, my drummer at the time, had heard of the show and said why don’t we make it something that’s kind of a local joke. So we went from Rex Trailer’s Boomtown to Tex Railer’s Doomtown.
Does Rex know about it?
Yeah. I don’t think he’s heard us, but he knows we’re out there. I’ve met him, and he’s a nice man. He’s cool with it. We used to play [his song] “Hoofbeats.” That song is awesome.
What word best describes what the band is all about?
I tend to think of the Reverend Horton Heat.
Oh, for sure. I used to say that we’re twice the speed and half the talent.
You’ve had some lineup changes since you formed. Who’s in the band now?
I’m on guitar, and there’s Tim V on upright bass, and Ben Wessels on drums.
How often do you get out on the road?
Our goal is 200 shows a year. We’re coming close for 2012. We’re up to about 180.
How did your first show happen to be at the Midway?
We were all living around here, and a buddy of mine said I heard you have a band now; do you want to play a show at the Midway? And that was it. All you really had to do was start being friends with the people there. Shamus [Moynihan] is a good buddy of mine. He pours my drinks tall.
You also have a side business, Sean Secor Audio. I noticed on your Website that you recorded a Beethoven Symphony No. 7. Do you have a classical background?
No, that was a location recording I did with the Brookline Symphony with one of my professors when I was at New England Institute of Art.
Was that a whole different animal than recording Tex Railer’s Doomtown?
Yeah because in rock ’n’ roll, you need a great bass sound, you need a great snare sound, you need a great guitar sound. But with classical, you’ve gotta trust that the room you’ll be in is good, and you’ve gotta know where to set up two room microphones. That’s all it took.
Where can one get a copy of “The Battle of Bunker Hillbilly?”
You can buy one at the Midway show.