James Gilmore

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Oliver Sean

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Sonic Cult

Category: Songwriter Stories

Marfa Texas. The most amazing place we’ve ever toured. We found it by accident on our first-ever road trip from NYC to LA.

While crossing the deserts and open plains of west Texas into New Mexico, with a day in between our shows in Austin and Phoenix, we set out for the state border. We stopped at an old gas station and met up with another band randomly. They recommended that we swing an hour out of our way to Marfa, Texas, the city where No Country For Old Men was filmed, and home of a mysterious unexplained phenomena called “Marfa lights”. The little town of 1,000 people sounded just strange enough to try going to check it out.

We drove another 5 hours into the setting sun and landed in Marfa. It was dark, and there was nothing but a couple of rows of houses and a pizza place.  iPhone internet had one bar of reception, barely workable. We decided to talk to the locals and ask around to see if there was a bar or any place we could try setting up and playing a gig. We found one place.

Planet Marfa, a fantastic little bar and restaurant with an old-school rural Hawaiian feel to it. We drove up and there was an employee waiting for us and ushering us into the driveway , where there was a giant Norwegian flag. That freaked out our singer, Ben (from Norway), a great deal. And we all knew it was an omen of some sort. Validation that we were meant to play here.

Turns out one of the owners is from Norway too. They treat us like long lost family from minute one. We played a whole set, and then we played  blues with the owner. Even though only 20-25 people were there that night, it was astonishing that a band can still roll up into a town and play blues somewhere in the middle of west Texas, like a folkloric tradition of rambling musicians. Considering that our band members come from Norway, Finland, Malaysia, California, and Seattle, with thousands of performances collectively, and yet still we all agreed this was the most memorable of all. It may be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, but we plan to return there soon.



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