Line-up: J. Charles Saenz (Guitar, Vocals), Steven Visneau (Drums), Justin Young (Bass, Vocals), Danny Crelin (Pedal Steel Guitar)
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Story: At the intersection where cowboy boots meet Converse, where twang ties into tough-minded rock riffs, and country collides with the power of punk, you’ll find J. Charles & The Trainrobbers. To refer to them as country-rockers would be to call up a false impression of laid-back Laurel Canyon dudes lost in a cloud of pot smoke. In fact, the Dallas-based band’s insistent, urgent sound thrives within the continuum of true American originals that includes everyone from Black Flag to Billy Joe Shaver, Tom Waits to Willie Nelson, without stopping to wonder about the stylistic borders between one and the other.
So how did this roadhouse-ripping sound come together? Well, it all started in early 2010, when J. Charles Saenz, former front man for recently disbanded Southern rockers Sangre Sangre, as well as ex lead guitarist for punk rockers the Strays and Death on Wednesday, decided to make a long and permanent drive from Los Angeles to the great state of Texas. Turns out Saenz hit town with a batch of new songs in his back pocket, and one of his first moves in bringing those songs alive was to reach out to his long time buddy, drummer Steven Visneau, who had worked with pioneering pop-punk outfit The Queers and Dallas’ own Slowride under the nom du punk Stevey Stress. Something special started happening right off the bat, and from there it was simply a matter of putting the rest of the puzzle pieces together in the right order.
With the undeniable Americana element of Saenz’s songs crying out for the proper ...