The 40 Acre Mule @ Lava Cantina, the Colony, TX

Words and photos by Duane Clawson
Sometimes when you discover new music you want to keep it as your little secret. At the same time, you want the rest of the world to know about this awesome band! Such is the dilemma with the 40 Acre Mule. But I have a feeling this band will not be just a Texas secret for too much longer. Still in their infancy as a band, their concert calendar continues to fill up for 2023. In just a few weeks they’ll be opening for the Texas treasure, Reverend Horton Heat!

Much like the Reverend, the 40 Acre Mule reverts to a time when music was simple. Born from the roots of rhythm & blues and rock and roll, the Mule delivers an undeniable modern day kick! A vocal powerhouse, lead singer Isaiah Evans stage presence demands your full attention. Not unnoticed was bassist Tim Cooper, his tone suggested flashes of the late, great Cliff Burton. Described as the hardest working man in the Texas music business, guitarist/producer John Pedigo defines the band’s rock & roll side. Chris Evetts big, baritone saxophone provides additional flash and flare. And last but not least drummer Robert Anderson provides the beat that drives the 40 Acre Mule.

Unfortunately, on this cold Texas night, the band moved indoors to the Lava Cantina’s smaller stage. But I somehow think the warmer inside temperature helped to loosen the atmosphere. Many in attendance seemed to be long time 40 Acre fans, their appreciation was shown with rounds of liquid libations, delivered to the stage. Evans noted this show was the first group had played in quite a while. I would be lying if I said there weren’t any rough spots throughout the evening. But I felt privileged to see them in the raw, trying out new songs with an intimate audience.

Pretty impressed with what I had already heard prior to seeing them live, I bought my own copy of their only full-length album, Goodnight & Good Luck. While making my purchase I struck up a conversation with the merch lady, Evans' wife. She said rarely does she hear a song her husband has written before it is completed and performed with the band. One of those songs she recalled was “I’ll Be Around”, she said she cried when she heard the finished product. Meanwhile the frenzied pace of “Bathroom Walls” finds me tapping my toes and proves music can still be fun!

The full effect of the Mule can be heard on their cover of Chuck Berry’s, “Brown Eyed Handsome Man”. During this four-minute tribute to rock’s creator each band member has their time to shine, punctuated by Evans' powerful reinforcement of the songs chorus. Just as I felt the band was hitting their stride, the Cantina’s hard stop rule of 10 PM had many wanting more. But there is no doubt I will be seeing this band again when they’re polished up and shining their brightest!

Many thanks to the 40 Acre Mule for having MTC MAG in the house! To the Lava Cantina, thank you for your hospitality and the largest serving of chicken nachos known to man!

Photos of the show are below:

Contributed by Duane Clawson
The 40 Acre Mule @ Lava Cantina, the Colony, TX The 40 Acre Mule @ Lava Cantina, the Colony, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on February 20, 2023 Rating: 5
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