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About Eleven Hundred Springs

A band from Texas whose members proudly carry the banner for the outlaw country sound, Eleven Hundred Springs have been pleasing fans in the Southwest for nearly two decades with their songs of life in the Lone Star State. Eleven Hundred Springs were formed in Dallas in 1998 by lead singer and guitarist Matt Hillyer and bassist Steve Berg following the breakup of their previous band, a rockabilly combo called the Lone Star Trio. Evolving from retro rock & roll into old-school country, Hillyer and Berg rounded out the initial band lineup with fiddler Jason Garner and drummer Richie Vasquez. Eleven Hundred Springs' first break came when they landed a steady Monday night gig at Adair's Saloon, a club in the city's Deep Ellum district. When Vasquez left the band due to other commitments, Bruce Alford took over on drums, and this lineup recorded their first album, 1998's Welcome to Eleven Hundred Springs, which was released on their own 13 Recordings label. One of their shows at Adair's was recorded for their second release, 1999's Live at Adair's Saloon, and a second studio LP, No Stranger to the Blues, followed right behind in 2000. Also in 2000, fiddler Garner left Eleven Hundred Springs, with guitarist Chris Claridy stepping into the foursome. A fourth album, Straighter Line, came out in 2001.

Drummer Alford departed in 2002; his replacement was Mark Reznicek, who had previously played with the Toadies. In 2003, Eleven Hundred Springs dropped an EP, Broken Dreams, and Claridy left the lineup the same year. In response, the band expanded to a quintet with the addition of Jordan Hendrix on fiddle and Danny Crelin on steel guitar. In 2005, Eleven Hundred Springs put out a new album, Bandwagon, and contributed to the compilation Texas Unplugged, Vol. 1; both were released by the Texas-based Palo Duro label. In 2008, Reznicek parted ways with Eleven Hundred Springs to rejoin the Toadies, and Brian Ferguson came aboard as drummer; that same year, the act released Country Jam. In 2009, Burton Lee replaced Crelin on steel guitar, and the following year, Eleven Hundred Springs returned from the recording studio with the album This Crazy Life, their first for Smith Music. Eight the Hard Way arrived in 2012, and Midway followed in 2012. By this time, the group's lineup featured Hillyer, Berg, Hendrix, guitarist Chad Rueffer, steel and Dobro guitarist Ray Austin, and drummer Christian Dorn. ~ Mark Deming

Dallas, TX

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