EDINBURG - Local band Matt & The Herdsmen debuted their sophomore album “Still Sane” early this month. After the success of their first record, “Small Town Stories,” the country/rock hybrid sought to change things up, while maintaining their high-energy sound.
With this latest release, lead singer and songwriter Matt Castillo takes on all the usual honky-tonk fodder Ð heartache, homesickness, and hellraising Ð but, with a personal voice linked to South Texas.
“It’s really a rollercoaster ride of emotions,” Castillo said “There’s not just one song that sounds the same. There’s always something different.”
While songs like “Find Our Love Again” and “Miss My Chance” are about rekindling and taking a chance on love, respectively, “For You” is about a young couple who end up getting kidnapped by the cartel. It’s an unexpected and bittersweet end to an album that takes you along the relational twists and turns Castillo pens.
“My main goal in writing songs is I want everything to be different, but to still have the same message É the same tone,” Castillo said.
Castillo not only sought to do this with his songwriting, but also in the studio. Through friends, the band found Yellow Dog Studios in Wimberley. Although they were pleased with the previous album, they wanted to achieve a richer, more natural sound than “Small Town Stories.” With more prep time and more experience on the band’s part, they were happy with the end result, and hope fans are, too.
As Castillo notes, continually evolving is what keeps music true, personal and poignant Ð something the band definitely accomplishes.
Matt & The Herdsmen will hit the road for the rest of September but will return Oct. 7 to perform at Monster Carwash and will follow up with a performance Oct. 15 at the Tres Lagos Amphitheater.
For more information about the band, visit mattandtheherdsmen.com.