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How much can one fan of OKOM (Our Kind Of Music) accomplish in just a couple of years? Plenty, if it's Rockzilla, aka photographer Michael Johnson. From 2003 to 2005, rockzilla.net was a chronicle of the alt.country scene from a uniquely Texan perspective. But all good things must end, and Rockzilla has retired from the online 'zine scene.

This mirror site was copied from the rockzilla.net site with the express permission of Rockzilla hisself. If you don't believe me, go to the KHYI-Fans email list and ask him! Buddy will back me up, too.


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The Lost Trailers
The Story Of The New Age Cowboy
Independent
by David Miller
 
   

On a hot July night I walked into Poor David's Pub in Dallas, TX, to see Max Stalling and I came away a fan of the band that opened the show, The Lost Trailers, from Georgia, featuring Geoffrey Stokes Nielson, Ryder Lee, Cam McElroy, Jeff Potter, and Andrew Nielson.

I strolled into the club about eight o'clock, early enough to get a good seat (I thought) and relax with some friends before the show started. I wasn't expecting to see the place half full when I got there. I had never seen it that crowded that early for a Max show before and was quite surprised. I asked someone why they were here so early and they said to see the Lost Trailers. I was confused because I didn't know they were the opening act that night. What I didn't know at the time was a local radio station had given a free concert earlier in the day featuring the Lost Trailers and all of these people had been there and wanted to see more.

I went to the back of the room where they sell merchandise and I noticed that the Trailers had a stack of about 50-60 CD's to sell. My first thought was, "Well, don't they think highly of themselves to expect to sell that many?" Pretty presumptuous of them, I thought.

I went back to my seat (close to the back of the place by now) and waited for the show to start. I'm sitting close to the door when I see this guy walk in and I have no idea who he is. He has the nastiest pair of cut-off jean shorts I have ever seen, some flip-flops, and a t-shirt that says "I Killed Country Music." I follow his progress through the place and he finally winds up sitting at the bar nursing a beer. About nine o'clock, he's sitting alone, not paying much attention to anyone, and the back door of Poor David's opens. A group of guys that I figured were the band walk in, find this guy sitting at the bar, talk a few minutes, and then they head up to the stage. The guy that I had been watching turns out to be Geoffrey Stokes Nielson, founder and lead singer of The Lost Trailers.

I can't tell you what the first song they played was, but I can tell you that about half way through it I went back to the table to buy that CD. I was blown away by the way these guys played and they hadn't finished one song yet. I walk up to one of the two young ladies doing their sales and she hands me a CD. Again, very presumptuous I thought, since I could be going back there for many reasons. But the fact was, I had gone back there to buy the CD, and when I asked her how much it was, she said it was free. I looked at her quite stupidly and said, "Excuse me?" She said, yes, it's free. This was the Trailers first appearance in Dallas and they wanted to spread the music.

Wow. I didn't know what to do or say, so I made a quick escape, sat back down at my table and enjoyed the rest of the show. About 45 minutes of the best music I have ever heard. These guys have enough energy to keep New York in electricity for a year and the crowd just loved it. All of the CD's were gone five minutes after their set ended.

Later that night as I was driving home I got my first taste of the Trailers on CD and it was just as good. It wasn't a fluke like I had imagined. It was really good. The CD features 12 songs with varying musical styles from blues, rock, classic country, and true storytelling. This record is number one in a trilogy of concept albums that tells a story based on writings by Nielson.

One of the songs that caught my attention live and appears on this album is "New Train," a song about a guy who has a chance encounter with Johnny Cash in a diner where Johnny tells him about a new kind of music. "So tell all of those pretty boys to put their guitars down, there's a new train rolling into town."

"Under FM Waves" is a song about great music that never makes it onto the play lists of the big radio stations.

So Mr. Big Wigs, I wouldn't want to take your place,
Cause I don't want to find your French wine,
When I'm looking for a saving grace,
And you can always close your ears,
Cause one day my voice will fade away,
But there will always be a bunch like me,
Playing music under FM waves.

My heroes are not cowboys,
They're the ones who sing about them,
Not caring if they're paid,
Or have a place to lay their head,
Cause dough will always come and go,
But a good song will never gray,
No, you'd never know from radio but,
There's gold under FM waves.

My favorite song on this album is one called "The YMCA Sportspark Anti-Massacre." It tells the story of a fight between the two toughest kids in school. This song makes me laugh every time I hear it because it has so many things from my school days that I can identify with.

So don't turn away
You don't have to run
Every day brings a rising sun
One day yours is gonna come
And take those blues away

So don't turn away
Keep your toes on the line
Keep your head up kid
Everything will be fine
Those bitter grapes
Are going to turn to wine
And take your blues away


Find out more about the Lost Trailers at their web site, www.thelosttrailers.com where you can download some of their best songs for your own collection, see their touring schedule, and find out how Willie Nelson became a fan of the Lost Trailers.

Contact David Miller at miller-at-rockzilla.net

 
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