BIO & Press
“There was a time when country music had less pop and a lot less sheen, reserved for honky tonks and dancehalls. In today’s crowded music landscape, it’s become harder and harder to find traditional country acts, but Houston’s The Broken Spokes are as traditional as the genre gets. Full of twangy guitars and honky tonk undertones, the five piece makes the kind of country music that would make Johnny Cash and Hank Thompson proud. On their latest release, The Broken Spokes, the five piece takes you back to a time when playing country & western music was more about looks while transforming you to a nearby beer joint where friends commence over a couple of tall boys.” – David Garrick
“Best Band For Drinking: The Broken Spokes – The Broken Spokes are one of Houston’s busier country acts. The gigs they take routinely have something in common – booze. Hooch. The sweet, intoxicating nectar of the gods. Whether they’re playing a brewery like 8th Wonder or a honky tonk like Whiskey River or big fests like the ZiegenBock Music Festival or Texas country music halls like the one in Gruene, there is going to be some drinking involved. The Spokes gamely match the action in these establishments with the perfect soundtrack for beer guzzlin’ and whiskey shootin’. They have some go-to songs for these spirituous moments, stuff like “Moved Into a Bottle,” perhaps their best-known song.
No band can make a career from simply trotting out tunes for booze hounds and barflies. These guys are all very gifted players who’ve previously pieced together a Houston Press Album of the Year nominee and regularly draw sit-ins by and kudos from fellow Houston music folks, like Nick Gaitan and Vinyl Ranch. They can call up a vibe to fit the mood and if the mood calls for a drink or two, they’re the band for the job.” – Houston Press, Best of Houston 2019
“Some of the leading lights of Texas retro-country have split or faded, and the enduring diehards (Eleven Hundred Springs, Dale Watson, Two Tons of Steel, etc.) are hitting the point where their tributes to generations past are at least a generation old themselves. As long as there’s bar bands the torch never really drops, but if it ever does, Houston’s The Broken Spokes would be solid candidates to pick it up and run with it. There’s something transcendent about front man Brent McLennan’s clear tenor twang and off-handedly detailed songwriting approach riding atop the timeless honky-tonk chops of his bandmates (Willy Golden on steel guitar and Josh Artall on lead guitar/piano particularly jump out of the mix): it’s a bit like if Bruce Robison borrowed Wayne “The Train” Hancock’s band to rub some pilsner-soaked sawdust on his studied song craft” – Mike Ethan Messick, Lone Star Music Magazine
“It might be hard to believe, but there was a time when country music was actually palatable. Growing up in the seventies, when a tug of war began between traditional country music, and the beginning of this new flashy crap we’re stuck with today; my favorite memories were catching small time country acts play honky tonks with my parents. For the longest time, it’s felt like those traditional country tunes and the style in which they were crafted would never return. Then, I listened to the new album from Houston’s The Broken Spokes and realized—-it’s back and this five piece is bringing it back in a big way. Throughout eight tracks, “The Broken Spokes” bring back traditional country music like it was meant to be played without copying anyone in the process.” – David Garrick, Free Press Houston
“Named after the South Austin dance hall that has drawn two-steppers like flies for a half-century — and successfully fought back hungry developers for the past decade — the Broken Spokes could have easily been plucked straight off that hallowed honky-tonk’s hardwood dance floor. These Spokes have been bringing their hardcore trad-country — served with generous sides of Texas swing and savory steel guitar — to local joints like Rudz and The Big Top for a couple of years, but have only recently released their first recording, a nifty little eight-song self-titled debut. It’s all worth a spin around the floor, but best of all are tunes like “Moved Into a Bottle,” where the wordplay is as sharp as the guitar licks.” Chris Gray, Houston Press
“Now, if you know me, you’ve probably heard me rant about my general dislike of country music. As with anything like that, though, there’s always exceptions to the rule, and in this case, the rule is less “I hate all country music and want it to die” and more “I hate all crappy, meat-headed pop-country music and want that to die”. I dearly love old-school country; Flatt and Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, and Hank Williams, those guys, I like. Most of the big hit makers of the past three decades, not so much. With that said, The Broken Spokes fall on the non-crappy side of the line, at least for me. They’ve got a nice warmth to their sound and a genuine, heartfelt vibe that makes it clear they’re no dilettantes jumping on the roots-country bandwagon. It helps, too, that their songwriting is smart and well-honed, bringing to mind both Cory Branan and Steve Earle. (Oh, and I love the sight of a country band front man wearing a Sub Pop t-shirt.)” Space City Rock, Houston, Tx
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