Written by James Killen

DSC03412San Antonio’s Ranch/ House had their CD release party at a rather unique venue in the upscale West Olmos community, called Period Modern Furniture. They sell unique pieces of furniture from the 1960’s through the 1980’s, works of art by local artists, and feature house concerts on a regular basis. In its music venue role, Period Modern, is a cozy venue with comfortable seating. In fact, you actually sit on the inventory. Beer, wine, and soft drinks are available and a suggested donation jar is at the front door.

San Antonio Honky-Tonker, D.T.Buffkin, opened the show. He performs folksy country songs with traditional country themes like drinking, and breaking up, and more drinking. Most of his songs were original compositions, although he did cover KK’s “Help Me Make it Through the Night”. Some of his originals that stood out to me were “Does She Drink?”, “Tie One On” and “Houston Street”. The band was tight and featured some pretty nice guitar work and a keyboard player that contributed some nice Latin trumpet flourishes.

Ranch/ House’s set followed the order of the album, “Book It to Sundown”, exactly. Brady Dietert, the chief architect of the band presents an imposing figure center stage, standing at what I would guess to be 6’ 10”. He attacks his songs with an unbridled energy within the bounds of his band’s tight rhythm section (Dylan Ilseng and Matt Carrell) and veteran lead/pedal steel man, Scott Lutz.

Brady’s vocal style at times reminded me of Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Neil Young, Pete Townsend, and David Byrne and yet remained unique in its own right. The band waned country for tunes like “My Mountain Home”, “This World Alone”, and “Curtain Call” and really rocked it for “Wear the Hat”, “Bloody Murder” and “Baby Doll”. The band was joined on “Her Recipe” and “Hit the Ground” by Rito Pena, who had contributed accordion to the original recordings. The show ended with the performance of “Cabin in the Clouds” with a local violinist that helped bring home the more pensive mood of the song.

All in all, it was an entertaining evening in a comfortable setting. Ranch/ House certainly exhibits an original and creative musical concept as a band. I look forward to seeing what Brady has up his sleeve for this fine group of musicians in the future.