Sure enough, these boys may be new kids on the country block but the Sons Of The Desert are heating up this summer with a scorching new sound and style that spells out “L-O-N-G-E-V-I-T-Y” with a capital “L.”
Whatever came first was just that for this youthful five-man band — their explosive first single appropriately titled “Whatever Comes First.” The song stems from the band’s debut album on Epic Records of the same title.
Having already stormed up the charts right out of the starting gate, “Whatever Comes First” furnished this native Texas band, comprised of Drew Womack (lead vocals), Tim Womack (lead guitar), Doug Virden (bass), Scott Saunders (keyboards) and Brian Westrum (drums), with enough ammunition to make their first-ever Fan Fair this summer a smoldering success story.
Being new on the music scene didn’t prevent this band on the run from obliging to an action-packed schedule throughout the busy week either.
“We started at 6:30 a.m. yesterday morning and finished at midnight last night signing autographs,” said Drew at the conclusion of Fan Fair. “Then we started again this morning. It’s been work, but it’s been great.
“Probably the coolest thing so far, was some people came up to us and said ‘Ok, our trip is complete! We came here to see ya’ll and a couple of other artists.'” Scott added. “They were just so happy. We signed some pictures for them and everything. They traveled from somewhere out of town, and just the fact that anybody would travel anywhere to see us is great,” he laughed.
“For me,” explained Brian, “I guess it was just walking through a crowd and hearing people say, “Look! That’s that new band–Big House!’ No really, we’ve had that happen to us.
“I think just seeing how appreciative these fans are is the best,” said Doug. “Knowing that they came here to just meet their favorite artists, buy their CDs and get their autographs. That’s just pretty cool how appreciative they are. Because some crowds aren’t like that. It’s really great for us in our position because we’ve mostly opened for other artists, so people are just now getting to know us.
“To me, it’s all just so flattering,” Tim admitted. These fans are saying ‘Thanks for coming’ and I’m thinking ‘No, thank you for coming to see us.’ It’s just really neat for these people to come by and say “Man, we love your album.”
Such flattering attention is rightfully deserving. The Sons made their grand entrance into the country world almost simultaneously with a flock of other new bands such as Burnin’ Daylight, the Buffalo Club, Big House, the Ranch and the Delevantes. The Sons, however, have made the most impressive mark yet — already becoming one of the highest charting debut acts of 1997.
With such prompt success also comes their waste-no-time approach in expressing their appreciation to those who’ve been there since their days of playing dance halls and nightclubs throughout Texas — the fans.
“The neatest part about being at Fan Fair this year for me is that we just kicked off our fan club,” explained Drew. “It’s just a great way to get everybody together who’s really interested in what we’re all about. We’re finally getting to meet them. To develop our fan club at Fan Fair is just a great concept.”
In addition to being fan-flocked for endless autographs and snapshots, the Sons’ Fan Fair debut went on to pack in a series of radio and media interviews, including a live segment on Nashville’s famed WSM Radio. The band also enjoyed a visit performance at Joe Diffie’s annual fan club party, as well as their own fan-fest at the Wildhorse Saloon, where several bus loads of Sons worshipers showed up for a moment with their favorite new band.
“Just before we got up on stage and after the announcer introduced the Sons Of The Desert, this crowd just went wild,” exclaimed Drew. That was just incredible.”
Another Fan Fair highlight for the Sons of The Desert occurred during another round of interviews conducted by visiting radio stations from across the country. “We were warned before we went up into the Detroit radio station’s room that every year the guy from the station rents a different band instrument from a pawn shop here in town,” remembers Drew. “This year it was the tuba. So he asked everybody on the air to pick up the tuba to see if they could play. Well, it was amazing, but Brian played the tuba in high school. So Brian picks it up and kicks off our song, “Whatever Comes First.” Brian is sitting there playing the bass line. That was a big hit. We made it through half a verse and just fell apart from laughing.”
The week’s hectic schedule was traded for the granddaddy pay-off of them all when the Sons Of The Desert finally got their slot on the historical Fan Fair stage. With this year’s Fan Fair’s attendance tallying up to more than 25,000 fans, the experience was ultimately thrilling.
“Playing on that Fan Fair stage is just the culmination of the whole week,” admitted Brian. “It just kinda wraps everything up for us.”
What wraps up the Sons Of The Desert is a Buckaroos-meets-Beatles band that’s bound and determined to make the annual Fan Fair voyage for years to come.