Bio by Ryan Downey.
There are few things as American as rockabilly, roots music, or bare knuckle punk rock. American Roots Music is as much a part of the cultural fabric as the stars and stripes themselves, with a rich history stretching back to early folk, hillbilly, and blues. The U.K. shares a strong claim to punk’s origins, to be sure, but the former colonies gave birth to The Ramones, The Stooges, and the MC5. Down among the smoky BBQ joints, historical landmarks, and cowboy swagger of Texas, lurks a trio embodying it all: BAR BRAWL III.
At the dawn of the new century, the men of BAR BRAWL III assembled with clear focus, united in their shared love of the most vibrant, vital, and kickass music the continent had to offer in the century before. Just as Austin, Texas is a crossroads for country, roots, rockabilly, the blues, rock n’ roll, indie, and punk, BAR BRAWL III represents those traditions with as much force as their hometown. Their self-titled debut plays like a reckless run through of the quintessential American Music songbook, crossing boundaries and broadening horizons without ever sounding too complicated or unsure.
Watching ‘em play or listening to their record, it’s easy to imagine BAR BRAWL III shooting a man to watch him die like Johnny, kicking the devil’s ass with a six-string like Robert, and takin’ zero shit from anybody, just like Merle. It’s all packaged together with an unrelenting, undeniable enthusiasm, like Johnny Thunders with a standup bass.
BAR BRAWL III cofounders Matt Thomas (vocals/guitar) and Chris Rhoades (vocals/upright bass) cut their teeth, paid their dues, and earned their stripes both together and apart, in dive bars, theaters, VFW Halls, and Moose Lodges everywhere. Between the two of them, their shared resume includes work with John Doe, Wayne Hancock, Bob Wayne, White Morgan, The Biscuit Grabbers, Rosie Flores, and Jesse Dayton, Carson McHone with an adrenaline shot of obscure Midwestern hardcore punk bands, to boot.
Joined by power house drummer Black Victor (drums), BAR BRAWL III has preached the Gospel of American Roots N’ Roll across this great land, making fans of folks whose tastes range from The Shack Shakers to Social Distortion, from Little Richard to Slayer. If the Lord ever saw fit to give us a ghostly duet between Hank Sr. and Hank III, their backing band sure as shit should be The BAR BRAWL III, ‘cause that’s right where these outlaws belong.
Somewhere on the porch next to the bottles of moonshine and crushed up cigarette butts, a BAR BRAWL III record offers comforting relief and renewed inspiration for blue collar workers beaten down by thankless jobs and white collar drones looking to come alive. Even with their genre hopping, there’s a solid identity within the confines of what these Texas boys do. Make no mistake: this feisty musical hard party won’t be tamed.