Perhaps the most admirable traits of the majority of Texas musicians is their congeniality, adherence to soulful roots, and appreciation of their devoted fans. Located just North of Dallas, McKinney, Texas has two very special residents who comprise of a non-traditional band by today's standards.
Duane Brown and Rudy Littrell are the E-Flat Porch Band, and have been making music for the last 20 years. Their version of Acoustic Folk and Blues, with a little humor mixed in on occasion, has built them quite a fan base over the past two decades, and soon, they will release their latest album entitled "Twenty Years."
In the mid 90s, this laid back duo started jammin' on a 'front porch,' which turned into regular sessions. One day, they were approached by a neighbor, and their lives were forever changed.
"Jim Runge actually lived a couple of blocks away, had heard us play, said he had a festival coming up in downtown McKinney, and asked if we'd play it; that's where we got our very first gig," said Brown.
Brown added, "We're coming down to Christoval for Runge's Running of the Bull in a few weeks, and [we're] scheduled to play the first day of the event, which is Saturday, July 23rd."
Brown wasn't certain about the specific time, but said they would probably play on and off.
"We just might be out there sitting underneath the tree, hanging out with our instruments, and play for whoever wants to listen," joked Brown. "I'm hoping we'll have a good crowd in Christoval; I haven't been to that area in at least 20 years."
As for the music style, Brown said the duo's music is "the old country-type blues that were played before World War II; before they had electricity and electric guitars." Their sound resonates to the key of E-Flat, and, as “angst-free” acoustic musicians, Brown and Littrell play serious music without taking themselves too seriously.
"We try to play all kinds of music, but focus on that era which is the real roots of rock 'n' roll," Brown noted.
He said Jimmy Page, guitarist for the legendary band Led Zeppelin, is one of his greatest influences.
"I remember the days whenever the Rolling Stones were getting started and were trying to help promote people who got them started like B.B. King and Howlin' Wolf, a big Chicago blues player," Brown said.
The E-Flat Porch Band has been named to the Biennial Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) Touring Roster and are one of 150 artists selected for inclusion. The organization features some of the state’s best artistic talent, and is designed to ensure that all Texans may enjoy events and performances by these artists in their local communities.
Regarding San Angelo's recent Blues Festival, Brown said he had "not heard of it, but would love to participate as that is our type of audience." Brown and Littrell have played countless venues over the years, and, on occasion, they can still be found back where it all started-on the porch.
"Last year, we played the 'Tall City Blues Fest' in Midland, and then we've gotten to play the one in Navasota a couple of times," Brown stated. "The Austin Film Festival has a 'Hair of the Dog' party, which is actually a Sunday brunch that happens during the South by Southwest conference, and we've played it for the last few years as well."
The E-Flat Porch Band's new full length CD will be available for sale at the ROTB (click here for event details), and fans can find the band's music available online to download. For more information on the E-Flat Porch Band, check them out on their Facebook page and http://www.eflatband.com.
"We're looking forward to playing Christoval, and hope everybody will come out, listen to some blues, and have a good time," Brown concluded.