Local Wire

D.S. Yancey

Call the music what you will — alt-country, roots music, Americana — but the Valley is home to a vibrant and diverse array of artists specializing in old-school cowboy music. Unfortunately, though the Valley is great at producing such acts, we're not so great at supporting them, hence the exodus of such talented locals as Dave Insley and Heather Rae Johnson for the greener pastures of Austin. Even the bands that have stuck around, like Flathead and Grave Danger, draw well at local dive bars, but you never see them headlining larger venues like, say, the Clubhouse. Thus, it makes sense that Phoenix troubadour D.S. Yancey seems to be hedging his bets. His music sounds "country-ish," but his twang-free vocals wouldn't sound out of place in a downtown indie-rock band. Yancey displays the same kind of genre-less versatility that allows The Earps to play on both country and metal bills. Considering the fragmented nature of the local scene and Valley music fans' seeming unwillingness to travel more than five miles for a local show, it's a smart business move. Yancey is the type of artist who could win over both greasers at the Yucca and CenPho hipsters at Modified (assuming he doesn't bolt for Texas first).
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Mike R. Meyer