Justin Pickard and The Thunderbird Winos
Add to Calendar
In the course of Justin Pickard’s musical pilgrimage, his songwriting has covered a gamut of subjects: smoking and drinking, the ins and outs of grave-robbery, love and loss, and UFOs that resemble bananas. His subjects fall somewhere in between old cult movies from the turn of the century to vintage Americana — between John Wayne and Ed Wood. These subjects in any other writer’s care may not coalesce as seamlessly as they do in the hands of Pickard, who ties them together with wit, passion and heart, most recently on display in the Thunderbird Winos’ third record, Heavy on the Heart.
The album's cover consists of Lichtenstein-inspired art with a mustard bottle labeled with a heart squirting mustard onto a floating hot dog on the backdrop of outer space. The mustard and the hot dog are imbued with a sense of abject silliness but also sustain a deeper meaning.
“Well, when we named the record Heavy on the Heart, I meant it in the same way you would describe to a hot dog vendor that you wanted him to go heavy on the mustard … and the mustard’s gotta go on something, I guess,” Pickard explains. “I guess hot dogs are pretty heavy on your heart, too,” he adds, “and I figured a hamburger floating in space would just be too normal.”
The hot dog-mustard motif shows the dichotomy of Pickard, and this album in particular. It embraces both the ridiculous and the serious earnestly and in equal measure.
Ruark and his band are from South Arkansas. The band is influenced by folk rock with dashes of every other genre one could imagine. Their first album is called When You Coming Home. The members of the band are Ruark on guitar and vocals, Alexa Joyce on bass and backing vocals, and Jeff Greer on drums.
Ruark grew up skateboarding and later playing in punk bands opening for The Ataris, Jimmy Eat World, and the like. Once Ruark realized the itch to go to college was not going away, he pursued a degree in music composition. Jeff Greer teamed up with Ruark after his previous group, Canaan, disbanded. Canaan stayed busy playing shows in the psych-rock scene with Mothership, Slow Season and other hard-hitting bands. Jeff and Ruark have been close friends for years, and the opening finally came for them to collaborate.
"With a sound that doesn’t fit one particular genre, Ruark is able to bridge the gaps from one genre to the next and he’s doing so with debut album ‘When You Coming Home.’" - American Songwriter
"the band embraces a beatific and burnished folk brevity, reveling in a sound which is equal parts classic rock and roll, early ‘90s jangle rock and late ‘70s rural rock. It’s a rhythmic shuffle that sounds at once familiar but also filled with countless unexplored nooks and tempting chasms." - The Southern Sounding
Six Springs Tavern
147 N Plano Rd
Richardson, TX, 75081