Theater club

Things to do: Volk performs at the Continental Club

If folk music got out of whack, plugged into a bass amp and turned it to 11, then this would become a Nashville-based duo. Volk. “It was the idea of ​​playing folk music, but we’re going to add some electricity to it and that’s where the name comes from,” says guitarist and singer Chris Lowe.

Volk will perform in Houston on Friday, December 17 at Continental Club opening for 40 acre mule from Dallas. The group is excited to return to Houston and land a concert at the Continental.

The last time they played in Houston it was in front of a petrified crowd at Good night charlie following the closure of the Houston Rodeo due to COVID-19. “It was a very embarrassing sight,” Lowe says.

Volk is composed of Lowe and drummer and singer Eleot Reich. The two met while teaching abroad in Berlin in 2013 and started playing open mic all over town. “We were trying to fit into this Berlin folk scene, but the acoustic guitar gets boring after a while. ”

When the band lost their drummer overnight, what started out as a trio playing folk music turned into a very energetic two-person garage rock band that hung on. to its country and folk roots.

“I was ready to come home and play this music that we loved from afar and play where it really came from,” Lowe said of the band’s decision to move to Nashville in 2016.

Volk just finished a tour with rockabilly staples Necromantix and Delta bombers. “That’s what’s cool about being Volk, we got to exist between scenes,” Lowe says of the band’s ability to adapt to multiple genres.

“The genres are so stupid. No one fits into anything in particular. There are two kinds; there is good music and there is crap music. It shouldn’t really matter.

“The genres are so stupid. No one fits into anything in particular. There are two kinds; there is good music and there is crap music. It shouldn’t really matter.

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“It’s really that Frankenstein of all our influences on stage,” Lowe describes of the band’s inability to be boxed. “We have this love of country, but because it’s a duo, it’s naturally going to be more punk rock, more garage. I think we definitely found ourselves more comfortable with cowpunk, especially since we researched it more.

Cowpunk might be Volk’s best label, but on their latest release Cashville the group really shows its range with an album that perfectly reflects the culmination of their influences and their journey as a group.

“It’s just that we learn as we get deeper,” Lowe says of the band’s sound. “Eleot and I carry a lot of our influences on our shoulder.”

By listening to their three previous EPs; The Tinker Tone Demos, Average American Band and Boutique Western Swing Compositions, their evolution is clear as their sound and look visibly becomes more intense, in your face and theatrical.

“All credit goes to Eleot because if it were up to me, I would always wear flannel and blue jeans,” he says of his bandmate who is originally from California and has a background in theater. “She really knows how to engage with the crowd. The whole presentation; the amplifiers, the drums, the glitter, the costumes. There’s definitely a lot of thought she put into it, a lot more than I did.”

“I think the thing about cowpunk is the attitude we have, especially on stage,” Lowe says. “We’re wearing sequins and cowboy hats with LED lights that look like a rhinestone cowboy thing, but then we turn all the way around and attack everyone.”

In Cashville, Volk oscillates between high-tension and aggressive “Welcome To Cashville” where they poke fun at the Nashville music machine to the more solemn “Old Palestine” written about Lowe’s hometown. “I’m pretty sure I would be nuts and feathered if I played Avenue over there,” he says. “We’re the unpopular high school kid who just tears everyone up,” Lowe says of the ironic “Welcome To Nashville,” which was originally written on the Berlin music scene, but then became a song. mocking the city of music.

They even face off against the Texas legend Ray wylie hubbard “Snake Farm”, a song they made sure to get Hubbard himself pre-approval before putting it on the album. “I would almost put him in cowpunk too because of his attitude,” Lowe says.

To be just two people, Lowe and Reich somehow manage to fill all the sound spaces creating an explosion on stage and in the studio. “It’s the birthplace of creativity,” Lowe says of their booming sound. “When you don’t have much to do, that’s when you get creative. ”

“We’re having a lot of fun and maybe it’s out of stupidity and not knowing better that we are, we’re going to play this and we’re going in that direction whether or not someone else is going that way or not,” said Lowe.

Volk will perform with 40 Acre Mule on Friday, December 17 at the Continental Club, 3700 Main, 8 p.m., $ 12-22.