There is no misspelling here, the name of this concept is KATTL. It is pronounced as “cattle” and they even have a distinctive hand gesture. Notice, I said concept, instead of only calling them a “band”. When talking to one of the founding members, Bobby E. Boyd, (Grammy Award Winning Songwriter, "God Blessed the Broken Road", "In Pictures", "Working Man’s PHD") aka Bandera Bob, he explained how the concept came to be and how it has now come to fruition with a newly released EP and video.
Boyd continued to explain that the concept for KATTL was originally conceived in the middle 1980’s by Lore Orion and himself, as the two were completing an album in San Antonio. The concept for this band was something that they had never pursued and it just sat on the back-burner until sometime in the 90’s when Boyd started working in Nashville and began cutting tracks of Orion’s material. Meanwhile, Orion had begun creating the artwork that would become the look of KATTL. Gerald Alan Boyd (Bobby E. Boyd’s brother) was now in the in the lead vocal role and KATTL was soon being co-produced by Tim McGraw, Byron Gallimore, and Boyd.
Soon, the offer of a record deal with a major label came to the band and this concept would finally have a “voice” and the backing for it to be heard. It could finally become not just a concept, but a movement, not only in the Texas music scene, where it was originally founded but across the world as a new genre would be born, called “Heavy Leather”. As it tends to happen in this industry so often and mixed with fate and timing, a corporate reshuffle at the label caused the dissolution of the entire deal that was offered to KATTL.
McGraw, however, recorded two of Orion’s tunes on his Dancehall Doctors album - "Tickin' Away" and "Illegal".
Orion unexpectedly passed away in 2013 and the concept and future for the project were put on hold. In June of 2015, the Boyd brothers were playing at the Mayan Ranch one evening and Orion's nephew, Wade Lowrie, joined them and sang a couple of songs. The brothers knew immediately that the front man for KATTL had just been discovered, the hold was lifted and it was time to re-assemble a new generation to continue what Orion and Boyd started nearly three decades earlier.
Boyd recorded seven new cuts in Texas and Nashville, respectively, with a new set of players who are the latest lineup of KATTL. This concept has new life and is forecasted to take over a whole new breed of music lovers. This “heavy leather” sound can be confusing at first. Is it rock? Is it country? Is it Red Dirt Texas country? Is it a fusion? When you listen to this debut EP, there are hints of everything a listener loves about the country side of rock to the rock side of country, and yes, even red dirt is cleverly fused into a new “brand”, (pun intended), for a whole new demographic. The band uses the tagline; KATTL, The Cows May Never Come Home, in referencing what this concept is. When asked, they will tell you that this band plays “the music that cowboys would’ve played if they had had amps in the 1880’s”
I spoke with Boyd recently and we discussed that this music is really directed at the male demographics, which is unique, in that, typically music and it’s “look” are directed at what women want to hear and see. This concept, while non-conventional, is cohesive with the entire history of this project. From start to finish, nothing has happened in the way that it typically would. Then there is always the theory, where the boys are, the girls will follow, and it never hurts to have a band of good-looking musicians to bring the girls around. This has become one of those fascinating stories that you cannot turn away from. While, at first, I was confused, and I did not understand what was happening, after reading their story and talking with Boyd, there are some things that must wait for their time to happen. I believe the time for KATTL is now. The KATTL drive has begun and I do not expect this drive will be over for a long time to come.
The debut EP, Groundswell, has been getting a lot of attention and spent several weeks on the iTunes Top Country Charts and is continuing to gain fans across the country. Make sure you get on board and be a part of history in the making. The band is hitting it hard, leading off with two singles, not one. "Hellbent for Mexico" and "I Blowed Up" can be purchased anywhere music is sold.