The Gothic Cowboy (M.Litton)

(Melvin Litton)

I’m a creek-bank-ghetto boy, a two-legged child of the prairie. I been blown between the Rockies and the Rising Sun, and I’ve tumbled up against a few cities. I began my singin’ on the northern tip of the Louisiana Purchase, along the night shores of Edmonton, Alberta. I stayed the whiskey season then caught a warm southeasterly. I’ve touched Canada, the North Atlantic, and mined Colorado all over; I found that Kansas has the softest loins. The military trained me to stand upright and I’ve worked a pick-ax and shoveled my grave a thousand times. The booze has begun to line my face.  I’ve got an opinion on everything and I’ll sing till I’m hoarse or the stalls are empty. I consider myself a neo-pagan, a bat-winged balladeer. The earth is my totem and I hold by her and all her species. I fly the banner of the Dagger and the Rose and declare my faith in both; all this is in my songs. The Shepherd of Wolves, moon-mad and musical, I ain’t no socialist jukebox. Mostly I bat my own pitches, though I’ll hit an occasional Jimmie Rodger’s spitter, the Hank William’s slow ball, and that Bob Dylan slider.  I’m traditional enough to walk some pretty ballad and mean enough to go down swingin’ against the knuckle ball…

*Note: When I retired the Border Band in 2016 after a twenty-year run, I aimed to ride out my days playing solo. But I soon partnered up with "Mandolin" Dan Hermreck, a fine player and even finer fellow. You can catch his sounds on our new acoustic CD "Between the Wars" along with these two exceptional guest artists/friends: Jeff Jackson on standup bass, and Til Willis on harmonica...

(Dan Hermreck)




The Border Band

    (Melvin Litton)              (Roger Holden)              (Dave Melody)              (Hugh Campbell)         

The Border Band is a four-piece group of lead and rhythm guitar, bass and drums. Melvin Litton, yours truly, captains the band, plays rhythm guitar and writes most songs. I began performing over a quarter of a century ago in Canada and have since played in the northeast, down thru Nashville, Austin, to Colorado and back to Kansas where I started out and will likely remain. My influences are Leadbelly, Jimmy Rogers, CCR and The Band, while the juices of a hundred others flavor my music, not to mention the sun, moon, wind and stars, and the devil himself if that's what it takes to make a song. But I mainly rely on the better angels of my nature and two good men who've been with me for nearly 20 years, Roger Holden and Dave Melody. They've helped forge the sound and are a great part of what makes it click.

Roger Holden is a wizard on the lead guitar. Besides his own keen talent he draws inspiration from Hendrix, Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn and BB King among others. He's played in a dozen bands covering every idiom from Classic Rock, Punk, Ska, Surf, Tex-Mex, Country, Folk and Blues. Fast 'n clean, slick as new cards, he knows when to "hold 'em" and knows when to "show 'em" -- and he shows nuthin' but aces.

Dave Melody plays drums but does a helluva lot more than keep time and proves in the act why the drums are a musical instrument not to be denied. He can tap a rhythm soft as raindrops dimpling the dust or boom like thunder rolling down off the mountains in a crash of cymbals and toms to chasm the earth and flood the prairie, all while singing a heartfelt song.

Through the years we've had as many bass players as a spider has legs, for one reason or another -- a girlfriend, work, a better gig back east -- none of 'em stuck. The last to go was Daniel Weaverling, a fine talent, and we nearly folded with his leaving.  Then a young man stepped up like an apparition out of the Old West – a young Navajo with a Scottish name, Hugh Campbell, full of fierce and wonderful song, adding fresh blood to our old skin.  And the drums beat on…

(The Border Band in 2001 -- "Rootless Seed")

Gothic Cowboy Review

Previous events

The Gothic Cowboy Review - hosted by Melvin Litton

Kaw Valley Public House, 508 Locust St., Lawrence, KS

SONGWRITERS: John Cutler, Emily Diane Stilwell, Ryan Manuel, Til Willis, The Bus Company (Dave Clark, Aaron Long, Nick Wells), Colby Walter, & Outlaw Jake w/Mando Dan!!! (*Note: Gothic Show is second Sunday due to Super Bowl -- back to First Sunday on March 1rst...)

"Hombre" video

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