About three years ago, we told you about a new band called Trailer Park Princess. It was a strange sort of conceptual act based around a post-apocalyptic Armageddon story, set in a fictional, supernatural trailer park in Fort Worth. But with each member of the band adding their own stories to the mix, personnel changes sent the band out of the spotlight while it reinvented itself.
“Most of the songs we write,” says frontman Paul Dawson, “are very loosely factually based, and we just add a bunch of really silly extraneous [B.S.] to it.”
The new lineup for Trailer Park Princess consists of Dawson (vocals, harmonica), Evah Lovin’ Jones (guitar), Joshua Stettler (bass), Nathaniel Lamers (guitar, vocals) and Jackie Hollon (drums).
Trailer Park Princess might be a compilation of the individual stories of all the members (Jones, for instance, has a song about whiskey and “trucker speed”), but the face of the Trailer Park is Dawson.
A Sunday show at Lola’s showed the man I remember from three years ago: perpetually in motion, constantly jumping around the stage and swinging his long dreadlocks. Vocals are strong and energetic, interspersed with percussion and harmonica. Guitar work was solid, and the rhythm section was tight. There’s a good bit of funk to this thing, and solid in-your-face rock ’n’ roll. If anything, the overall sound is more cohesive than in the earlier version of the band, yet there is still a wonderful chaos to the whole thing.
As is common for a Sunday show, there was a small but dedicated crowd. The band had the audience locked in from the first drumbeat, and completely wrung out by the last.
The headliners for the night were Tripp Mathis and Blake Barker; Mathis (guitar, vocals) is a Trailer Park Princess alumnus. Barker was on banjo and mandolin, and the rest of the outfit was made up of Brent Baker (drums), Matt Householder (guitar) and Elliot Arriaza (bass).
In stark contrast to the punk/funk circus that is Trailer Park Princess, Tripp and company were more laid-back and folksy. They did originals and an excellent cover of The Weight by the Band. Vocals and instrumentals were excellent — exactly what I’ve come to expect from Mathis and Barker. Mathis has a compelling yet comfortable stage presence and an emotive voice.
Normally, when you dial back the energy by going to a more laid-back band after something like Trailer Park, you lose the crowd. It’s a testimony to the talent of Mathis and Barker that the audience took the change in stride. The party was still going strong when I left about 1 a.m.