Substance over hype

Meet the Houston band that beat down Austin's best (with video)

Meet the Houston band that beat down Austin's best (with video)

Although Austin is heralded as Texas' mecca of musical talent, the Houston-based Beau Hinze and the Backporch Shufflers beat out bands from the state capital of eccentric snob as well as Dallas and San Antonio to win a spot playing the Lone Star Bash at the Brewery. 

The Americana group will travel to the Sept. 25 San Antonio festival to play alongside Texas favorites, including Bob Schneider, The Bluebonnets and Dale Watson.

The win came as a shock — Hinze and the Shufflers were the dark horse candidate, originally not even selected in the top three for Houston. However, one group dropped out from the competition, allowing Beau Hinze and the Backporch Shufflers (who just missed the original top three cut) to snatch up a place in a battle of the bands at the Continental Club.

There they wowed the crowd and out-played their competitors, proving not only that they deserved to be in the top, but that they were worthy of Houston's No. 1 spot. The band then won the popular online vote between all the cities' bands on lonestarbeer.com and was awarded a gig jamming at the Lone Star Bash.

Beau Hinze told the Houston Press that he's most excited about the chance to share the stage with Schneider, whom he has seen in concert multiple times.

Although luck might have gotten them into the competition, Beau Hinze and the Backporch Shufflers' victory was no fluke. A mournful steel guitar, down-homey bass lines and a drum you can’t help but tap your toes to combine for a warm bluegrass-country sound.

The band got its start on the porch of lead singer and guitarist Beau Hinze. Hinze and percussionist Josh Reddoch met for casual jam sessions that later extended to include Doyle Spitzer on harmonica and Jim Bernick on upright bass. Soon the 2007 album This Round's On Me was in the works with the addition of the leads & lyrics of Josh Droegemueller (fiddle), Luke Adair (banjo), Jerry Moreno (bass) and Neil Kulhanek (pedal steel).

Nostalgic tune "Whitetail Bucks and Bluecats” describes the simple pleasures of growing up in the country. Hinze is an unpretentious, no-frills man, singing, “Put me in jeans when I die.” Their sophomore debut, Undertow (2010), proves equally strong with smart guitar picking and soulful harmonica. In title track "Undertow" 20 men go after a huge catfish measuring “16 inches from eye to eye.” The album embraces the Americana tradition of tall tales and charm through a current of Southern style. But below the surface of the country grit lies a brilliant magic, flickering like a glint of sunlight off the scaled tail of a fantastical fish.

Check out Beau Hinze and the boys in action:

Beau Hinze concert
Beau Hinze and the Backporch Shufflers wowed as underdogs at the Continental Club.
Beau Hinze undertow
Beau Hinze's talent is evident on Undertow.
Beau Hinze
Beau Hinze and the Backporch Shufflers proved to be better than Austin's best. Courtesy of Beau Hinze