Thrift Store Cowboys fourth studio album Light Fighter could be called their post-arson period, as the band wrote the record after a stranger torched a trailer filled with merchandise and parked next to lead singer Daniel Fluitt's bedroom, nearly taking his life. Produced by Craig Schumacher (Calexico, Neko Case, Iron and Wine) Light-Fighter's indie-rock shapeshifts through ambient and Gothic western music for songs that touch on death, loss, fear, redemption, the Spanish Civil War and West Texas ghost stories. All buoyed by soaring violin, draped against bottom-ended guitar and pedal steel sounds that the spaghetti western composed Ennio Morricone might envy.
The Lubbock based quintet, which includes Fluitt, Colt Miller, Clint Miller, Kris Killingsworth, Cory Ames and Amanda Shires on fiddle and vocals, have been touring together for over a decade after meeting at the musical South Plains College. They are neither of the typical Texas-based types of bands - a country-rock melange or strictly indie rock. As Buddy Magazine points out, "Thrift Store Cowboys' feel is more, for a lack of better description, gypsy desert music - the free sound of spacey, heat-induced delirium...a sure, confident sound backed by thoughtful vision." Schumacher produced their 2006 release Lay Low While Crawling or Creeping, of which Austin Sound said, "the album is to country music what Jim Jarmusch's film Deadman was to the western."
Thrift Store Cowboys
NPR: All Songs Considered
A Band to Call Your Own
Santa Fe Reporter
If Sergio Leone had hired a band to soundtrack an Italian bisexual porn Western, or maybe an adaptation of Lolita set in Deadwood, this is the first band he'd have called.
- Santa Fe Reporter
This Lubbock sextet matches perfectly with producer Craig Shumacher, known for his work with Calexico and Neko Case. A mix of indie rock and spaghetti Western sure to be dubbed alt.country in simpler times, Light Fighter comes alive with tunes of the Spanish Civil War and West Texas ghosts, demonstrating a boldness that's electrifying. Anyone who remembers Whiskeytown is sure to find Light Fighter a delight.
- Austin Chronicle
Where have the Thrift Store Cowboys been all my life? In Lubbock, Texas, and environs, playing their beautiful rootsy, even surf-y sound. They have a killer instrumental called Man We Ran Them Camels, and are also the first of three groups (and only one is classical) that feature violin in this weeks column.
- L.A. Weekly