Featured band of the week: Cowboys & Indian

The rockabilly trio Cowboys & Indian is the Albuquerque Music Office's featured Band of the Week for Dec. 27, 2011.

Cowboys and Indian

Cowboys & Indian began without the intention of being anything serious.  Gerome Fragua (guitar/vocals) and Matthew Ezzard (bass) had previously played together in the Rockabilly/Cowpunk group Swingin' Meat which ended abruptly when the lead singer had to stop performing to fulfill family obligations.  There were still several dates on the calendar for Swingin' Meat, but without a band and with little time, Fragua and Ezzard were at a loss until it was suggested to finish the last dates with Jeff Cooper, a drummer of exceptional talent who was introduced to Matthew by Jeff's father, Carey Cooper.  The shows were completed and the reception from the rockabilly community was overwhelmingly positive.  Sensing that they had something special, Gerome, Matthew, and Jeff decided that it would be a waste of a once in a lifetime opportunity if they stopped performing together just because they had finished up Swingin' Meat's remaining dates.

Although Cowboys & Indian would best be described as a rockabilly band, drawing inspiration from classic rockabilly artists such as: Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Johnny Burnette, and Carl Perkins, Cowboys & Indian perform hillbilly music influenced by a variety of different eras and sub-genres.  Fragua is an incredibly diverse guitar player and is constantly pushing the boundaries of rockabilly music by seamlessly combining licks from country, swing, blues, and jazz into an entirely new sound.  Jeff Cooper and Matthew Ezzard are both well-rounded musicians with ranging tastes which brings an large amount of creativity into the Cowboys & Indian sound.

Beginning in January, Cowboys & Indian are going to be taking their show out of state, notably to the Rock & Ride Rockabilly Bash 2012, at Firebird International Raceway, in Chandler Arizona.  While the quality of music is a large reason people come out to see Cowboys & Indian perform, it is possible that the biggest attraction is the frantic, energetic stage performance that they deliver, capturing the essence of early rock n' roll that is next to impossible to convey through a recording and must be experienced live.