Cowgirl’s Train Set
Cowgirl’s Train Set is a seven-piece group of diverse musicians that mix folk balladry with punk aggression, adds bluegrass and bluesy instrumentation, pirate shanties, gypsy swing and midwest life into a tasty brew with a high alcohol content. They embrace the size of their band by welcoming the different backgrounds and influences of each songwriter, creating variety in their unique blend of genres.
They describe themselves as a “slow-burning powder keg” because the band was originally just Mike Calvillo, who had just started playing guitar and Chad Buck, who had just began teaching himself banjo in 2008. Shortly after, Mike moved to New Mexico but couldn’t stay away and returned to Lawrence in 2009. They added Jeff Williams, who played cello in high school but was teaching himself harmonica. Their music ability grew, their sound evolved together and in 2010 they added Chris Valencia on fiddle (also, new to the instrument though he was at least familiar with mandolin) and Albert Moews, a long-time sax player. By 2011 they had added Kansas bluegrass veteran, Hank Osterhout on stand-up bass. Erin Parr joined the group most recently, October of 2013, bringing washboard to the Train Set.
Cowgirl’s Train Set broke out onto the scene in spring 2009 at the “Ltown Throwdown” where they played with acts such as Cornmeal, Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy, the Calamity Cubes, Fast Food Junkies and others. Since then they have opened for other fan favorites like Split Lip Rayfield, Mountain Sprout, the Goddamn Gallows, Truckstop Honeymoon and Deadman Flats.
In 2012, they recorded their self-titled EP at Mike West’s 9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor and returned in 2013 to record their full-length album “Bastards and Broken Things.” For 2014, the band is excited to focus on entertaining more and more people, playing nearly every weekend at least once.
Of course, after this freezing winter, Cowgirl’s Train Set is most excited about their festival filled spring and summer. You can catch them at Park Stomp, String Break, Festy Festy, Wakarusa, Love Fest in the MidWest, the KS and MO Chainsaw Grassicre, the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival and maybe more. So keep an eye on their calendar for up-to-date announcements!