The Boomswagglers have always been more of a myth than a reality. With a dedicated underground following, they released a ragtag set of recordings under the title Bootleg Beginnings from the Shack Out Back almost a decade ago that won high praise, including a nomination for an Independent Music Award and placement in the movie Rolling Papers.
But the beginnings never led to much of anything else aside from thirsty fans wanting more, but not knowing where to turn, and no other in outfit country or otherwise fit to fulfill what they did. The raw authenticity that mixed true country with dirty blues and roadhouse stomp was like nothing heard before. Some gigs were played around The Boomswagglers haunt of Austin, TX, and even some tours outside the state. But the authenticity that made The Boomswagglers so infectious and appealing got in the way of it ever developing into a proper musical concern.
The only constant of the band was Georgetown, TX-native Spencer Cornett who those in the know consider one of the last remaining authentic voices left in the country genre. But what happened with The Boomswagglers after the bootleg, and if there would ever be any more music was a question left unanswered, until now.
Partnering with childhood buddy Steven "Brock" Bracamontez on guitar, along with seasoned country drummer and music media provocateur Kyle "Trigger" Coroneos, The Boomswagglers have assembled 11 original songs written primarily by Spencer Cornett into a proper studio debut album called Heartbreaking Places in My Mind. Recorded mostly at the Ameripolitan Studios behind Dale Watson's house in Austin and produced by "Trigger" Coroneos, it finds the infamous underground Texas outfit both paying homage to the original sound and style that made The Boomswagglers so singular and legendary to many, while also upping the game with the quality of the songs, performances, and recordings.
The music is distinctly country, but the songs are transcendental. Though the folksy attitude, heartbreak, and hard twang of songs like "Heartbreaking Places in My Mind" and "Pick From Your Vine" will fill many voracious appetites for what The Boomswagglers serve and few others can, intimate compositions such as the haunting "Drinking Problem's a Problem" with its robust melody, or the message of "The Day The Devil Smiled" about the Columbine High School massacre make the offerings of The Boomswagglers deceptively deep, despite the distinct authenticity that comes across in Spencer Cornett's upbringing and perspective, and heavily drawled-out voice.
This is no put-on or act. Everything you hear in the 11 tracks of Heartbreaking Places in My Mind released via Hillgrass Bluebilly Records is real, based on actual events, from a broken man in and out of jail and rehab, just holding it together long enough to stand prostrate in from of a microphone, and steady his hand to play guitar. There's blood and tears in these songs that no marketing copy or embellishment could ever do justice. The Boomswagglers are one of the very last real deal contributors to country music, period.
Notable musical guests on Heartbreaking Places in My Mind include steel guitar wizard Zach Moulton of Mike and the Moonpies, bass player Chris Crepps of Dale Watson's Lone Stars, Austin-based fiddler Beth Chrisman, and even Spencer Cornett's mother Yvette lending harmony vocals on a song.
There are bands that claim authenticity in country music, and then there's The Boomswagglers. All you have to do is listen, and you too will behold something you've never heard before, and may never hear in country music again.
1. Better Times Down The Line (Spencer Cornett)
2. Drinking Problem's A Problem (Spencer Cornett)
3. Heartbreaking Place in My Mind (Spencer Cornett, Brock Bracamontez, Kyle Coroneos)
4. Same Old Shape Again (Spencer Cornett)
5. Pick From Your Vine (Spencer Cornett, Lawson Bennett)
6. She Done It Now (Spencer Cornett)
7. Boomswagglers #1 [Instrumental] (Brock Bracamontez)
8. The Day The Devil Smiled (Spencer Cornett)
9. Tired of Driving (Spencer Cornett)
10. Marlboro Mile (Spencer Cornett)
11. Rainy Morning Misery (Spencer Cornett)
Spencer Cornett - Vocals and Acoustic Guitar
Steven "Brock" Bracamontez - Electric Guitar
Kyle "Trigger" Coroneos - Drums, Harmony vocals
Zach Moulton - Pedal Steel Guitar
James Shelton - Pedal Steel Guitar
Chris Crepps - Bass
William Lloyd - Banjo
Beth Chrisman - Fiddle
Yvette Judd - Harmony Vocals
Cris Burns - Engineering, mixing, and mastering