Ft. Worth is my hometown, even though I live north of Dallas these days. Ft. Worth is also home to an ever-growing number of great bands. Telegraph Canyon has been rightfully eating up space in many local blogs and publications since they released their insanely phenomonal The Tide and The Current CD last year. In recent years, the respective musical scenes of the north Texas region have become a bit more closely meshed, but each city, whether it be Dallas, Ft. Worth or Denton, is still rather quick and proud to proclaim their local talents as their own. I’m not sure what it is exactly, perhaps it’s that the close proximity of TCU and the Stockyards that are located there, but Ft. Worth bands just know how to craft an addicting blend of country and rock.
The “Ft. Worth record” that just may control my attention for the first part of 2010 is The Cold Open by Chatterton (Official / Myspace). A solid country-rock record that seems to avoid sounding like so many formulaic “Red Dirt” albums that have flooded the market in the last couple of years; think of the indie-rocking of Alberta Cross mixed with the yearning vocals of Neil Young and a dash of Hal Ketchum-style modern country galloping, even.
Chatterton’s strong sense of melody has been given a rather prominent place in this collection, as the vocal performance Kevin Aldridge successfully carries each tune to a pleasing result. The current line-up is a relatively new one, with Aldridge being an original member. This EP is a fully fleshed-out effort that displays a variety of tempos and refrains from ever feeling forced, as many offerings from new bands or bands that feature predominantly new line-ups can often seem. When in Cowtown, many folks flock to Billy Bob’s to catch Clay Walker or Joe Diffie, but for my money, those music fans will actually discover the true sound of Ft. Worth by seeking out whichever club Chatterton is playing on that same night.