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acoustic acts. Or they can be pulled all the way open for big bands. Rockin’ Rodeo has probably the most photogenic lighting design in Denton aside from the Campus Theatre — a plus for fans who want to save a memento of that night they saw Eleven Hundred Springs, the Eli Young Band or Josh Abbott Band on their smartphone. Banks says when he took over the club seven years ago (he owned the Fort Worth Drive venue the Groovy Mule 10 years ago and owns another bar in Abilene), his plan was to entice locals and college students with a busy calendar of live music. “We never wanted to do just one genre,� Banks says. “I wanted to get national and regional touring bands in. I wanted to do pretty much any kind of music we thought would bring people in. I wanted to give people a nice, big place and a good sound system.� These days, Banks splits the stage 8

between rock, country, alt-country, Texas country and Red Dirt rock and country. That’s what brings patrons in the door, he says. “We have some bands that always bring people in but aren’t country, like the Toadies,� Banks says. “We’ve had Aaron Watson here and there were 70 to 100 people crammed up against the stage, but the back of the room is empty. With the Toadies, the place was packed and everyone was crammed up against the stage and the whole bar was full.� Banks says the bar has introduced him to some of his favorite bands. Right now, he’s fond of the Dirty River Boys, a band that’s growing in popularity. The business does give him the first glimpse of musicians destined for stardom, too. “When I used to own the R Bar, these two guys walked in and asked if they could play. I was like, ‘Sure.’ Those two >>

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Little d After Dark

October 2012

October Little d After Dark 2012  

Monthly entertainment magazine of the Denton Record-Chronicle.

October Little d After Dark 2012  

Monthly entertainment magazine of the Denton Record-Chronicle.