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In June, the group that guitarist/vocalist Emmett DeGuvera refers to as a "blue-collar band" released its second album, Perennials. Essentially a rock band, Tramps and Thieves draws on country and Southern musical influences, with clear, simple vocals and rich, warm harmonies. The newest record features 10 songs that are exactly what Americana should be: relatable and soothing, the kind of outlet that any working-class person could appreciate after a long week.
Less than a week after their CD release party, Tramps and Thieves embarked on a tour of the American heartland. In blue-collar style, the band tries to earn respect and win fans the old-fashioned way. As DeGuvera puts it, they "[went] out and played every night and made some friends."
Some say Tramps and Thieves have the Mill Avenue sound of mid-'90s Tempe. While in many ways it's complimentary to talk about a new band (Tramps and Thieves have been around for five years) in the same breath as some of the city's biggest exports, the group wants to be known for its own work. "If we remind people of a good time in this town, that's a wonderful thing. I just don't want people to think that we're trying to ride on coattails. Just take the music for what it is."
The band has, however, benefited from its local roots, having two songs featured in the new movie Sex Drive, a teenage road flick from Mesan Sean Anders. "Porcupine Jacket" got the honor of being the last song in the film, the one people remember.
Meanwhile, Tramps and Thieves continue to play in town on a regular basis and will be making a jaunt to Colorado in November. After all that's happened in the past four months, who knows where they'll be by, say, March?