LOS ANGELES, CA, June 11, 2009 —The Boxmasters (Billy Bob Thornton, J.D. Andrew and Mike Butler) are back with what may be the trio’s best studio offering to date, Modbilly. A two-CD set, the record got an introductory boost with the help of a touring schedule that swept through several House of Blues, South By Southwest, followed by a recent run through Canada, Connecticut, and Massachusetts with Willie Nelson and Ray Price.
“I’ve been in bands from the time I was a little kid,” Thornton confesses, who has released 4 critically acclaimed solo records and released the third Boxmasters CD in less than a years’ time. “You know, during all the years I’ve played — and when I worked as a roadie, too — Shure microphones were all we had. I mean 58s and 57s mostly, which we still use to this day. They’re like the Cadillac of mics to us.”
Following a model established with their critically acclaimed and eponymously-titled first disc in 2008, Modbilly serves up a self-defining story with disc one featuring a dozen original songs. Switch to disc two, and The Boxmasters reveal more of their inner musical selves with great covers of Roger Miller’s “Half a Mind”, Tom Rush’s “Merrimack County”, and John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind”.
Recently off the road after a show with Willie at his Austin, TX club, Carl’s Corner, Thornton notes without reservation that “we’re going to go right home and start recording again. We don’t write songs with the intention of becoming successful or having hits or anything like that. We know we’re not going to sell ten million records, not many people are doing that now. So we stick to what we love and what makes us feel good, and whatever happens, happens. We just can’t stop recording — we’re kind of obsessed. But we’ll still probably do another tour next winter or spring.”
Their next project, an acoustic record followed closely by yet another double CD to be titled Bellflower.
Modbilly can be ordered at The Boxmasters website. The Boxmasters also currently appear on Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm as contributors of a bonus track called “Yesterday Got in the Way.” The tune is available to those who purchase the CD on iTunes. Founder of the Sir Douglas Quintet in the ‘60s, Sahm is also known for his work with the Texas Tornados.