Smith hopes to broaden Saints' appeal outside of Texas country
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Shane Smith & The Saints will play tonight at Hoot's Pub.

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

Texas country may be Shane Smith's scene, but the singer doesn't want to be locked into an expected sound.

"If you ask a fan from Boston, they would have no idea what 'Texas country' is," said Smith, whose band The Saints will return to Amarillo for a 10 p.m. show today at Hoot's Pub, 2424 Hobbs Road. Also on the bill are Dolly Shine and The Cody Bryan Band.

"If we can be a roots/folk-rock band ... and have a hybrid type of sound that works in a lot of different types of markets and genres, that's our goal at the end of the day," Smith said.

The Saints began drifting away from pure Texas country sounds while prepping for its sophomore album, Geronimo, which dropped in September. 

"We had a lot of show time (in promoting debut album Coast) to develop and extend our sound," Smith said. "With our next album that we put out, I dont know that we would steer too far away from Geronimo, but maybe meet more in the middle of Geronimo and CoastCoast had more melodic choruses, more anthem-sounding songs, and audiences like to sing along with those."

The point for the band — which formed in Austin after Smith started college there — is to find a sound that sets them apart from their contemporaries in Texas. To that end, they cite influences like Mumford & Sons and Band of Horses over tradtional Lone Star favorites like Pat Green or Robert Earl Keen.

"We're trying to find a sound that's different from most people ... we're hearing in this scene," Smith said. "We listen to a lot of stuff outside the scene ... and have really tried to brand ourselves and find that sound."

For example, Smith cited the band's four-part harmony and its use of violin bows across all of its stringed instruments: "We're using those as a trademark to develop a sound. ... It shows there's something different here."

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Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at on Facebook.