Treaty Oak Revival didn’t really have a choice but to be a country band. They grew up in West Texas, a market that practically demands bands play country, and, well, it’s also hard to escape your roots.
“I have an accent,” said Sam Canty, the band’s lead vocalist, in an interview with BandWagon – and for the record, he sure as heck does.
Even so, all that Texas red dirt country the band seemed destined to play couldn’t bury their love of rock and roll, especially in a world of modern crossovers. Canty is unafraid to proclaim his love of big punk acts such as Sum 41 and Blink 182, and so, like Chelsea Grin’s mix of metal and rock or Dropkick Murphys’ blend of heavy-leaning Irish folk, Treaty Oak Revival finds themselves with their feet in more than one arena.
But the band loves its roots. So much, in fact that it stuck the fictional jackalope on its merchandise. The animal, and local residents’ joy in tricking others that they exist, is a big thing in Midland, Texas, where the band got together in 2019. Musically, they pay homage to their roots too, especially on their first album, a traditional, country-sounding record. Canty writes most of the songs, though they all have a part in the process, and he based many of the tunes off his own life and observations of his hometown.
“Most of us spent our lives in ‘Oilfield,’ West Texas,” Canty said. “What you do is go home, drink and get in a fight with your significant other. That in itself is a lot of country songs.”
But the band, they say, found its sound on No Vacancy, their 2021 full-length record, when they embraced their love of punk rock. Songs such as the title track, with more than 4 million plays on Spotify, have an edge to them, and some, such as “Boomtown,” sound much more like Sum 41 than anything out of Nashville.
“It was music we liked to play and what we listened to,” Canty said. “But even then, if you listen to our first record and compare it to the country we used to listen to as kids, it’s night and day.”
The mix should go down smooth in Greeley when they headline the Big 97.9 Big Country Bash at The Moxi Theater on January 6 with Tyler Halverson. The band’s excited about the show. And with good reason: it’s the first time they’ve played outside of Texas.
They have a big following in Midland, but also in random places all over the country with fans who will drive hours to see the band perform live in their home state. Many of those fans were raised on punk and rock and metal, having later stumbled across Treaty Oak Revival’s music.
“We get many people who say to us, ‘this was my first Texas country concert,’” said lead guitarist Jeremiah Vanley.
They wanted to play music they liked — if they’ll end up having to play those songs thousands of times over their career, they said, they’d better be fun — but they also wanted a high-energy show. If shows got a little rowdy, all the better. The punky country music they play fits that vibe better, Canty said.
“We usually get a really energetic crowd,” he said. “It becomes a really nice cycle of high energy, and it gives a little bit for everyone. No one feels like they are put in a box in our show. Sometimes we will say to each other after a show, ‘That was wild.’ That’s what we want.”