Texas Hippie Coalition rocks its way into Arizona - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Arts & Life

Texas Hippie Coalition rocks its way into Arizona

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Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 3:00 pm

The Texas Hippie Coalition is hitting the road and rocking its way to Arizona this month.

The outlaw metal band will be performing at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Club Red, 2155 E. University Drive in Tempe.

Front man and lead vocalist, Big Dad Rich, said he is proud to be from the great state of Texas, and that his upbringing helped decide the band's unique name. Rich was raised in Texas by hippy parents. He said that he grew up with Johnny Cash and that he always had an outlaw spirit.

Rich said the band picked the term "coalition" because they want their fans to be connected and feel as if they are part of the band. He explained that the bond between the fans has allowed the band to have chapters all over the world. Currently, the Texas Hippie Coalition has chapters in the United States, Belgian, Amsterdam and Brazil.

"‘Texas' comes from pride, ‘hippie' comes from my parents, and ‘coalition' is because we want everyone to feel a part of it," Rich said.

The laid back front man describes the band's sound as "Southern fried rock ‘n' roll." He said there is a genre in the South, primarily in Oklahoma and Texas, called Red Dirt country. This genre, he said, describes the band's sound and their songs are about a way of life and storytelling.

"That's why our cups say ‘Red Dirt Originals,' because that's where we're from and that's what we're about," Rich said.

The band is known for its presence and energy during each performance. Rich said that each concert is full of "hot" energy and excitement. In addition, he said that they strive to be entertaining and eye-popping.

This is the first time Texas Hippie Coalition has played in Tempe, and Rich said that they are excited to come out and perform for Arizona fans.

"We're that band that brings the party, throws the party, and we are that party," Rich said. "When we get there, Arizona will definitely know the party has started."

Randy Cooper, lead guitarist, said he enjoys being in the band because he likes being around people from his hometown. He also said that it's "pretty cool" to be in a position where the band can interact and jam with all of the fans.

Cooper said the band has a high-level energy show. In addition, he said fans have told them that their music from the studio is great, but it doesn't compare to hearing the live show.

"It's nice to reach a stage where we can travel around and play for fans all over the U.S.," Cooper said.

The guitarist also said the band has a chance to play and compete with some of its own favorite bands. Texas Hippie Coalition has a busy fall ahead of them, with tour dates scheduled across the country through November.

Kirsten Hillhouse is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.

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