Thrift Store Cowboys

Merchandise / Clothing / Memorabilia
Ambient / Gothic / Roots Music
Self- Titled
Thrift Store Cowboys


October 12

Produced by Craig Schumacher

Thrift Store Cowboys fourth studio album Light-Fighter (out October 12) could be called their post-arson period, as Daniel Fluitt and band wrote the record after a stranger torched their gear and merchandise-filled trailer parked next to 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 spaghetti western composer Ennio Morricone might envy.

The Lubbock based sextet, which includes Fluitt, Colt Miller, Clint Miller, Cory Ames, Kris Killingsworth, and Amanda Shires on fiddle and vocals, have been touring together for a decade after meeting at the musical South Plains College. They are neither of the typical Texas-based types of bands – a country-rock mélange 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 2007 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.”

“Probably one of the most uplifting songs I’ve ever written in my life,” says Fluitt of the billowing lead track “One Gentle Inch to Nine Violent Miles,” about “that moment that you stop staring at the ground in strife and disbelief.” It’s followed by “Bright Fire,” a jangley roots rocker. But the western spirit starts creeping in with the felon-charged “7s and 9s” and then significantly on the haunting “Scary Weeds,” penned and sung by Amanda Shires, who started as a sidewoman at the age of 16 with the legendary Texas Playboys and released her own solo album West Cross Timbers last year. She also contributes the begging and beautiful “Lean Into the Sway.”

As for ghost stories, Fluitt wrote the epic “Nothing” about a division of Buffalo Soldiers in the late 1880s, in pursuit of attacking Comanches, who knowingly led them in disorienting circles around a buffalo-grassed and treeless flatland to die of thirst. Fluitt interestingly “takes this story as a call and response, between a dead soldier and his wife, showing the tribulations each had, him on the plains, and her at their house. Both were left with nothing.”

Fluitt also explores the Spanish Civil War via a character from The Cypresses Believe in God, by Jose Maria Gironella for the song “You Can’t See The Light.” “In the book, ‘Caesar’ who was studying to be a priest, was imprisoned by the Anarchists, and in strange twists, he was executed instead of rescued. This was the first song of a concept album I hope to write about the trilogy of books.”

Thrift Store Cowboys have been slogging out consistent touring with growing audiences for 10 years, but historically most young bands implode at year three, crammed in a smelly van together. This band makes it because they “keep growing and changing musically,” says Fluitt. True too, they initially and wrongly got lumped in with the Texas country-rockish bands that essentially write the same songs over and over again, but ducked that subset pretty quickly. They met Schumacher while playing with DeVotchKa, says Fluitt, and did both Light-Fighter and Lay Low While Crawling and Creeping at the heralded Wave Lab Studio in Tucson.

For the new record, “we tried to capture the dynamics of our live shows.” As well the band up until now, has been doing everything 100% themselves -- and for this record they are working with TopSpin, as well as indie distribution and marketing. “It’s like getting to the top of a mountain and finding a 300-foot wall, you gotta throw a rope over to help you get to the other side,” says Fluitt. Thrift Store Cowboys kick off a month-long tour on West Coast in September, and will be on the road all year in support of Light-Fighter.

Thrift Store Cowboys Press:

"All Songs Considered: A Band to Call Your Own"


"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

" Where have the Thrift Store Cowboys been all my life? In Lubbock, Texas, and environs, playing their beautiful rootsy, even surfy sound."

- L.A. Weekly

"Upon first listen, your eyes are taken to a place of desolation, desert, and open spaces. Little Texas towns where the Friday night hangout is a Sonic and the VFW is the local watering hole. Thrift Store Cowboys earnest melodies from Amanda Shires and Daniel Fluitt create the same energy that Caitlin Cary and Ryan Adams were able to create when they were changing the rules in a scene that many have long forgotten. The Americana scene isn’t what is once was, but we have some new direction now. The perfect culmination of violin, glockenspiel, accordion, banjo, hammond, pedal steel guitar, Weissenborn, lap steel, saw, and Wurlitzer create the perfect dust storm of twang. The Red Raider lovin’ Thrift Store Cowboys are galloping on some new dusty trails that are worth check out tonight at the Hi-Dive."

- Cause = Time Blog

It's a neat trick to pull off ambient-gothic-western music, and the Thrift Store Cowboys have been doing it in a unique and spectacular manner for about 10 years now. The Lubbock-based indie band has released a small number of excellent albums and has toured the country a number of times, all the while garnering more and more positive press. The band released their most recent album, Lay Low While Crawling or Creeping, in 2006. After three years, it is, indeed, about time for a new record, but the band suffered a setback earlier this year when someone set fire to the home of two of the band members. So, until TSC can pull it together and finish a new record, check out the genius of Lay Low. It's a haunting and lonesome blend of baritone guitars, sweeping fiddle, understated vocals, and tasty atmospherics.

- Napster

"The headliners this night, however, Thrift Store Cowboys, came off on those sticky speakers at least a little bit better. Hailing from Lubbock, Tex., these guys drew a small but loyal crew of Texas transplants out for a late Sunday night of roadhouse-like country rock. Shires used to play fiddle for them before striking out to Nashville on her own. The tour they're on now means a reunion of sorts, and I could tell both she and the band enjoyed being back on the road together for a spell. Of course, even though their music rocked quite a bit harder than Shires', the sound system still left a bit to be desired. Can't fault the band, though, their energy and musicianship was tight.

- No Depression

"Well, of course country music is bound to spring up in Lubbock. The town enjoys three factors that make it so: a legacy of music, a desolate Western environment and the desparation of sheer boredom, all three of which imbue the population with a latent impulse to create music by which to scoot boots and kick shit. No surprise there. What comes as a surprise, however, is when the land that breeds tumbleweeds, cotton and redneck Red Raiders also sprouts a band of rare cerebral depth combined with salt-of-the-earth genuineness. Lubbock's Thrift Store Cowboys are that band, as comfortable in an indie club as a honky-tonk, edgy yet traditional. Call it experimental country. Take the band's "Dirtied Your Knees," off their latest album, Lay Low While Crawling or Creeping, which kicks off with a drone-y banjo hum underlying the minimal plucking of another banjo. The effect is something like an orchestra warming up, until the tune eases its way into a rootsy midtempo rocker. "Sidewalk Song," meantime, evokes Mazzy Star as much as Merle Haggard, with its slow 3/4 time, luscious fiddle and high-gain, delayed guitar—proof there's more to Lubbock than dust devils and Bobby Knight."

- Dallas Observer

"Resisting the temptation to sound like so many other youthful roots bands in Texas - heavy on the country-rock melange - or strictly indie rock, Thrift Store Cowboys' feel is more, for a lack of a better description, gypsy desert music - the free sound of spacey, heat-induced delirium, if that makes sense. It's a sure, confident sound backed by thoughtful vision and seemingly thoughtful lyrics."

- Buddy Magazine


- Rhythm Room - Phoenix, AZ

All Good Cafe - Dallas

Thanks for the video Juli


In case you hadn't heard TSC recently fell victim to a house fire as a result of arson! We are currently accepting donations to help recover some of the loss. All donations will be through Paypal so that your information will be kept private. Many many thanks to those of you who have supported the band.



(2009 release)

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(2001 release) (2003 release) (2006 release)
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