FM2865 squared off against Chris Zalez and came out on top in last night’s semifinals.
Zalez played a set that combined retro rock with shades of Tejano and showed off his ample guitar licks (he’s former guitarist with the Tejas Brothers). But the six members in FM2865 were primed, pumped, and impassioned. They came to win or have a ferocious good time trying.
The band’s contagious fun — combined with solid musicianship, vocals, and songwriting — won over the judges (Dillon, singer-songwriter Steve Helms, and myself).
The winner of next week’s semifinal match will compete against FM2865 for the championship. It’ll be a big one because the winner gets several juicy gigs at high-profile venues and various other goodies in addition to bragging rights.
FM 2865 Band drove all the way from North Zulch (a little of town near College Station) to see how they measured up against big city talent at the legendary White Elephant Saloon.
Four of the six band members are siblings who picked up instruments about 10 years ago and developed their country-rock sound through regular rehearsals. “There wasn’t anything else to do — we live on 200 acres in the middle of nowhere,” said their mother Joyce Samford, who serves as manager, bus driver, and chief applause giver.
They named the band after the farm road that runs by the ranch.
The band is the shit in North Zulch, where half the town’s tiny population turns out to see them play. But straying 150 miles to compete with bigger fish in a bigger pond meant they had to sink or swim on their own.
It didn’t help being squared off against hometown boy Zalez, who knows how to rev up a crowd. But FM2865 went home happy and plans to come back in two weeks for the fight of their lives.
The March 29 finals ought to be a good one. Be there!