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Riverboat Gamblers: A Choppy Yet Sincere Apology

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riverboatgamblers_uto_cover_finalIn 1997, former Blanks member Pat Lillard (“Spider Stewart”) (Bass), formed The Riverboat Gamblers with Fadi el-Assad (“Freddy Castro”) (Lead Guitar), and Mike Wiebe (“Rookie Sensation”) (vocals). Lillard’s original intention was to emulate Virginia rockers The Candy Snatchers. In direct contrast to the popular emo music at the time, The Riverboat Gamblers’ premiere show featured over-the-top songs relating to drinking and of course, gambling. Tongue planted firmly in cheek, The Riverboat Gamblers continued to play house parties and shows throughout Denton and the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The Gamblers burst out of the Denton college scene in September of 2001 on the back of their self-released 7″ single “Jenna Is A No Show.” Both 2001’s self-titled release and 2003’s Something to Crow About were produced by Texas punk rocker Tim Kerr (Big Boys, Lord High Fixers).

After the warm reception of Something to Crow About, the band soon relocated from Denton, Texas to Austin, Texas. The band first received attention from major record labels after their energetic and rowdy showcase at the 2003 South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas, but the band ultimately signed with indie label Gearhead Records. In 2005 they were signed to Volcom Entertainment and performed a stint on the 2005 Warped Tour, where the band was often noticed for its deranged live shows. The silliness of some of the earlier material has given way to a more complex breadth of material about America’s maligned. They will be opening for Rancid in the summer of 2009.

They have also appeared on the soundtracks to the videogames Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland, Madden 07 and Skate 2

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