You'd probably have to go back to Jack Ingram and Hayes Carll, both of whom have long since moved away, to find a Houston-area artist who has caused as big of a stir in Texas Music circles as Rosehill. Since forming a few years ago, the Cypress duo has cracked playlists of Red Dirt-friendly radio stations statewide and worn out the tires on their van opening for the likes of Cory Morrow and Bleu Edmondson. This month the video for "Dream It All Over Again," from last year's debut White Lines and Stars, cracked CMT's fan-voted "12 Pack" countdown.
Co-produced by Radney Foster, White Lines scrambles widescreen Keith Urban-esque rockers like "West of Sunset" and "Midnight America" with the Tex-Mex flourishes of "Picassos for Pesos" and more intimate ballads like "Dream" and "LovBurns On." Cy-Fair High School classmates Mitch McBain and Blake Myers's sharp eye for detail, which they train on everything from Waffle House waitresses to funerals, no doubt goes back to their brutal early gigs in roots-rock band Texas High Life at FM 1960 outpost the Sidecar Pub.
Rosehill has basically been on the road ever since, and Chatter caught up with the duo via conference call last week. Myers was driving down I-20 on a radio tour of West Texas, while McBain was back in Cypress getting ready to go to dinner with his family. He had forgotten it was his birthday.
With Brandon Jenkins, 9 p.m. Friday, July 29, at Firehouse Saloon, 5930 Southwest Fwy., 713-977-1962 or www.firehousesaloon.com.
Chatter: Mitch, how did you manage to forget your birthday?
Mitch McBain (Laughs): I don't know. It's getting easier every year.
C: Blake, does he ever forget anything else?
Blake Myers: Actually, yeah. That happens all the time. I had completely forgotten it was Mitch's birthday until I got on Facebook this morning and saw it was Radney Foster's birthday. I thought, "I think Radney and Mitch have the same birthday. I might want to be a good friend and send Mitch a text message."
C: Was Texas Music popular at Cy-Fair?
MM: It was extremely popular.
BM: It was popular in Texas, but I like to take credit that me and Mitch brought it to the masses there at Cy-Fair. (Laughs) We will take full credit.
C: What was your first real gig?
BM: The Sidecar Pub.
MM: It was this little dive bar we fell in love with and played for many years before they shut it down.
BM: The funny part about it is [that] it was a dive, but I'm talking every heavy hitter that's prevalent in the Texas Music scene, as well as some rock bands, played this spot because it had incredible sound. The bar owner, who is still a good friend of ours to this day, ran a tight ship. It was like, "Look, you can have my stage and you'll make whatever money you make at the door."
C: Your bio and the songs are pretty heavy with the allure of the road. Can both of you tell me a few of your favorite traveling songs by Texas songwriters?
BM: Oh, I gotta go first. Bleu Edmondson, "Travelin' Man."
MM: You stole it!
BM: The entire Robert Earl Keen No. 2 Live Dinner.
MM: That's a road album. That's something we put in and it goes from start to finish.
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BM: And I'll give Mitch's one because he hasn't thought of it yet, but our collective favorite road song is...
MM: ...Cory Morrow, "Just Along for the Ride."
C: A lot of country musicians from this area seem to wind up migrating to Nashville, Austin or DFW. Do you guys think you'll stay put in Cypress for a while?
BM: We have no plans of leaving Houston, Texas. Houston has a reputation as a bad music town, but we take pride in the fact that we're going to put out good music from the Houston area as long as we can. There are good musicians coming out of Houston that are staying in Houston, and we want to shed light on what's becoming a really cool country scene.