Guest article by Audrey René Rodriguez
“One ticket left,” hummed the doorman at Stubb’s before Mayeux & Broussard’s album release show. The swampy tonk men who are Tate Mayeux (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar), Brian Broussard (Vocals/Lead Guitar), Taylor Englert (Drums), Misha ben-David (Bass) and Eddie Dickerson (Fiddle) effaced the rigid laws of genre pigeonholing with a riotous performance Saturday night.
Neither dull nor dainty, and nitty-gritty as Mayeux and Broussard’s humble beginnings in a metal band, the release show bargained for a Texan sprawl of spectators, which is exactly what it produced. With bouts of yeehaws and hollers in celebration of new album High Times & Good Rhymes recorded at Cedar Creek Studios with engineer John Ross Silva, the hometown show culminated after several years of grueling work on the road.
Since the band formed in 2011, the number of shows performed each year numbered between 200 and 300, a not so staggering feat considering the sources of creative energy and influence (e.g. Hayes Carll, Broussard’s Grandma’s zydeco) which kindle the fire of such a dynamic group. I knew this band meant business when I was caught off guard, dare I say spooked, more than once by the gnash of each man’s pearly whites. Showing teeth like a pack of starved wolves is a sign of truly crazed rock and roll.
The tone was set for the night with “Stoned and Brokedown,” the new single that could easily serve as a country ode to the classic film It’s A Wonderful Life in which a down and out Jimmy Stewart loves life despite its many dregs. The tune also serves as the philosophy of the album, a “poetically bullshit-free approach to life.”
The band chose their first single “Back Home” as a follow-up. Deemed a tribute to the refinery hustlers of Broussard’s hometown of Port Arthur by Texas Monthly, “Back Home” enlivened the crowd from tipsy to fully inebriated. The song was accented with the tin clashings of Lone Star, the choice beverage of the night. The stage stomping studs of Mayeux and Broussard carried on in Southeast Texas fashion, fleshing out show stoppers like “Bandera Baby” and “Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go” (off of 2012’s While the Gittin’s Good).
Notable highlights of the evening included the devil incarnate himself, Eddie Dickerson, his frayed bow and fiddle bringing women and men to their wits’ end in a tizzying display of his slap-and-slide, spell-like technique. In a setting where women’s undergarments are expected to find their way onto stage, the band somehow entranced the balcony crowd to throw down money – yes, wads of American cash! – instead.
And because a show with Mayeux & Broussard just isn’t a show without paying tribute to the brilliant Texas night sky, the band touched the teacher’s heart within me when they used the same call-to-attention as I use with my kids, “The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.”
@theAustinot wants to know:
Have you had a chance to see Mayeux & Broussard perform live?
Audrey René Rodriguez is an Austin music reviewer who has written for Austin Fusion Magazine, Ovrld.com and The Austinot. You can follow her music commentary and other tweets @audriguez.