Flatland Cavalry brings country sound to Ogden’s Outlaw Saloon

Flatland Cavalry brings country sound to Ogden’s Outlaw Saloon

Flatland Cavalry is about to make its first appearance in the mountains of Northern Utah.

The five-piece band will perform its comfortable blend of country, folk and Americana in a concert Thursday at The Outlaw Saloon in Ogden.

The aptly named Flatland Cavalry hails from an interminably flat region of Texas, according to frontman Cleto Cordero. Just how flat is it?

“Well, we’re from Lubbock,” Cordero explains, “where they say on a really clear day you can see the back of your head.”

The members of Flatland Cavalry met in Lubbock, while studying at Texas Tech University. They started a garage band and began playing covers of songs by other artists, but Cordero admits that became unfulfilling after a couple of years.

As chief songwriter of the band, Cordero had “a lot of songs stored up.” So they got a show at The Blue Light Live, a bar in Lubbock, and from there landed a song on the local radio station. That single soon spread to other radio stations.

“It caught like a grassroots wildfire, really,” Cordero said.

Flatland Cavalry has since been recording music and touring the U.S., honing their fiddle-driven Texas sound.

To the best of his knowledge, Cordero says the group has never played Utah.

“We’ve driven through Salt Lake City and stopped for lunch, but we haven’t played Utah,” he said. “So if we even just get one person out to the show, that’s a win.”

The band’s current tour is taking it all over the country, to cities large a small.

“I think our booking agent keeps us busy,” Cordero said of the current tour. “We hit all the major cities, but we’re a country outfit, so we don’t mind playing the small towns to build up our rural fan base.”

At Thursday’s show, audience members can expect some “good, heartfelt storytelling,” with songs about love and life. It’s also energetic, fun music for all, according to Cordero.

“It’s really an all-ages show,” he says. “We drink a little bit of beer and sing about drinking beer, but it ought to be a good time for everyone.

“If I had to boil it down, I would say it’s music for the soul,” he adds.

Along with Cordero on lead vocals and guitar, Flatland Cavalry features Reid Dillion on electric guitar, Wesley Hall on fiddle, Jonathan Saenz on bass, and Jason Albers on percussion. The band’s original fiddler, violinist Laura Jane, abruptly left the band last July and was replaced by Hall.

“We just kind of decided to part ways,” Cordero said of the breakup.

Cordero said Hall has been a good fit, having been in fiddle competitions and various Texas bands since the age of 3.

“He works like a mule and is as friendly as a housecat or a dog,” Cordero said. “And, he’s talented.”

Flatland Cavalry released its second album, “Homeland Insecurity,” in January. Cordero says although the title sounds political, it really isn’t.

“Well, it is in a sense, but it’s more the insecurities of human beings at this time on the planet,” he said.

Their first album was the 2016 offering “Humble Folks.”

Cordero says “Homeland Insecurity” is a much more introspective group of songs.

“I guess it’s just as you grow up and your brain hopefully matures — and you learn things and have experiences — you do think deeper and wonder what’s the point of everything,” Cordero said. “That first batch of songs was more youthful, describing love and heartbreak from when were were 17 or 18. This is more from sitting on the front porch and thinking about what it all means.”

Cordero says his musical influences have mostly been locals — homegrown music that you don’t hear on a national level. But he also says band members have varying tastes. The drummer grew up on John Mayer. The guitar player is a “rock head.”

“If you asked anybody in the band, you’ll get five different answers about our infouences,” Cordero said. “So when it comes to our live show, you get little pieces of everybody’s musical thumbprints in there.”

Although rapidly gaining in popularity, Flatland Cavalry is still without a record deal. Cordero says their first album came out just four years ago, so they simply need to be patient, keep their heads down, and keep working at their craft.

And nobody’s in a hurry, according to Cordero.

“The only scary thing about that is the quicker it comes up, the quicker it can come down,” he said. “That’s not pessimistic, it’s realistic. I’d rather lay one brick at a time, so that five or 10 years from now when we’re great musicians we’ll still be good people.”

For now, Cordero says they’ll continue to write and perform new songs and try to enjoy every moment in the middle of this “dirt devil” of a career.

Says Cordero: “If I could say anything to people in Utah, give the record a listen, come out to the show, and see what it’s all about.”

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