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Volume 91, Issue 35
Friday, October 31, 1997
flesh and bones
Have some Refreshments with your banditos
STICK 'EM UP, COWBOY. The Refreshments will ride their fresh horses into the Embassy tonight with sidekick Garrison Starr.
By Emily Chung
"This is my first time in a 'personal phone compartment' at a Flying J truck stop," announces Buddy Edwards, bassist for the Refreshments.
The band was in Indianapolis having a little bus trouble on the leg of their tour that brings them to The Embassy tonight, along with opener Garrison Star.
The Refreshments are promoting their second album, The Bottle and Fresh Horses, fueled by the recent release of the new single, "Good Year."
Born out of Tempe, Arizona, the band consists of Edwards (whose real name is Arthur Eugene Edwards III), guitarist Brian Blush, drummer P.H. Naffah and lead singer/rhythm guitarist, Roger Clyne. They came together as "four guys who were all musicians and were basically out of work at the same time." And all living in Tempe, which, Edwards explains, is "a great live music town one of the few areas where you can play original music in a band and have at least a chance of making a living."
The Refreshments' first major record label release (Mercury) was Fizzy, Fuzzy Big & Buzzy, a name which parodies the Who's Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy. When the title was suggested by Blush, "at first we said, 'That's never going to be the name of the record!' But two months down the road, we hadn't come up with anything better," Edwards recalls.
"Banditos," is the single from the album, containing the infamous line: "Everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people," which made the Refreshments an overnight success. There was a downside, however.
"We were known as the band who did 'Banditos.' We felt like our album showed we were capable of a lot more than that," says Edwards. That was why the band wanted make sure they were not dismissed as "just a novelty act" with their second release. The Bottle and Fresh Horses, though it still expresses the Refreshments' trademark quirky, optimistic energy, is a noticeably more serious album than the first. It contains typical upbeat fare such as "Good Year," but also includes tunes like "Tributary Otis," a song about dealing with death and "Sin Ombre," which was "called 'the new slow song' by the band for about a year," says Edwards. In the end, Clyne christened it with a name that means "without a name."
It was also Clyne who named the new album itself, after seeing a Western movie in which a man enters a saloon asking for a bottle and fresh horses before continuing on his journey. Later on, it was pointed out to the band just how apt the name was. The new album is actually a mixture of old and new material. Some of the songs, such as "Wanted" and "Una Soda" hail from the band's small club days and carry the "barroom vibe," as Edwards calls it. Others are new songs, "Fresh horses," so to speak, penned shortly before the new album was recorded.
Edwards says fans have received the new album much as they did the first. "We've always been a band that for some reason people love to sing (along with)," he says.
The Refreshments have always had their priorities straight. Since the beginning, says Edwards, "there seemed to be this unwritten rule that we weren't going to take anything seriously and the most important thing was that we were going to have fun."
PSST... wanna win tickets to the show tonight? See details on pg. 8!!
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Copyright © The Gazette 1997