The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 20, 2003, Image 3

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The Battalion Page 3A ♦ Thursday, November 20, 2003
Come on, ride the train
Country band Rivertrain will bring their sound to College Station
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By Dallas Shipp
If someone had mentioned Rivertrain to Texas
music fans a little more than two years ago, they
probably would have thought it was a group of
people who hooked their inner tubes together
floating down the tube chute of the Comal River in
New Braunfels.
Today, Rivertrain is considered a steam
engine in the progressive country world by fans
and critics alike, climbing the
charts and racking up nomina
tions, including gruenewithen-’s Band, of the Year.
Other nominees for the award
include College Station
favorites Cross Canadian
Ragweed and Reckless Kelly.
But the band’s recent rise in
the charts didn’t happen
Co-lead singers and lead gui
tar players Sam Sanchez and
Jerry Martin started the band
after meeting at a songwriter’s
night in New Braunfels three
years ago.
“We started out just because
we wanted to do it for fun,”
Martin said. “We started getting
into a little more higher profile
We started out just
because we wanted to
do it for fun... The
next thing you know
we were opening up
for Charlie Robison. It
just took on a life of its
own the last two years
or so.
— Jerry Martin
Co-lead singer, Rivertrain
places, and the next thing you know we were
opening up for Charlie Robison. It took on a life
of its own the last two years or so.”
Sanchez and Martin have written all of the
group’s songs, but almost all of them were writ
ten individually. The two have not collaborated
until recently.
“We’d known each other for a while before we
started doing that,” Sanchez said. “We’re both
kind of independent as writers so breaking outside
of that bubble took a while.”
In addition to breaking out of bubbles, the guys
in Rivertrain have had to step out on some limbs
here and there in pursuit of success on the Texas
music circuit.
Less than two months ago, Martin was still
working fulltime selling fiber optic cables and
touring with the group on the weekends.
But with the band’s increasing exposure and
the rigorous tour schedule of an up-and-coming
band, he finally decided to become a full-time
“It’s a pretty big leap of faith,” Martin said.
“I’m not making the money I was, but as long as I
can pay the bills doing this I’m happy.”
Drew Campbell, the band’s drummer, and
Sterling Finlay, who plays bass,
both joined the band in the past
year. Finlay said he enjoys the
band because everyone feels
like they are an important piece
of the group.
“In some bands, there’s one
guy that’s the front man and
everyone else is a hired gun,” he
said. “But we’re all pretty equal
in this band and we have a lot of
fun. We’re always going to keep
having fun.”
This weekend Rivertrain
plans on having lots of fun in
The band will make its first
appearance in College Station in
more than a year, this Saturday.
The stop is especially impor
tant for Sanchez, who said some
of his best memories are from the two years he
attended Texas A&M from 1996-98.
“I have great memories of A&M,” he said.
“Playing bones at The Chicken and going to yell
practice and all the games at Kyle Field. I love
College Station.”
Sanchez hasn’t had time to return since the
band came through last year because of the band’s
busy tour schedule, but he said there is something
special about playing in College Station.
“Everyone seems to get along and the whole
vibe in the town is really cool,” Sanchez said. “I’ve
been looking forward to this gig for a long time.”
Campbell, who is still in school at Texas State
Photo Courtesy of Rivertrain
The members of Rivertrain (above from left to right) are Sam Sanchez, Jerry Martin, Drew Campbell and Sterling
Finlay. The band will bring perform at Margarita Rocks at 10 p.m. Saturday.
University in San Marcos, said his first taste of
College Station was at an Aggie football game
with a friend of his from high school.
“He talked me into going to the game and at the
beginning I was like what is all this stuff they’re
doing,” he said. “But by the end of the game I was
standing up doing all the yells. The people in
College Station are a blast.”
Campbell said as a new band on the Texas
music scene it’s important to put on a quality show
for the fans seeing them for the first time.
“We try to break the awkwardness of seeing a
band for the first time by throwing out some ener
gy,” Campbell said.
“We like to get them loose and have a real good
time and try to make a lasting impression on them
and get them to come back and show that we can
do that every time.”
Martin, who attended Texas Tech University,
said he is excited about the chance to play in
College Station, which is known as one of the
hotspots of the state’s music scene.
“Of course there’s a big rivalry but I believe
both schools are similar, in that they aren’t
Texas,” Martin said. “(Aggies) are real open-
minded to the Texas music scene, even more so
than people at Tech.”
Martin said the show in College Station is
important this weekend because of the passion
fans in the area have for Texas music.
“We want to grow the music, grow the crowds
and grow the people,” he said.
Rivertrain will take the stage Saturday at 10
p.m. at Margarita Rocks.
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2003 Texas BEST
"Way Cool!
November 21-22, Reed Arena
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Friday, November 21
KBTX-TV 3 Distinguished Speaker
Bill Nye The Science Guy
8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Engineer, Scientist, Inventor,
Comedian, Author, and Emmy-
Award Winning TV Host
Presentation: Shaping Shadows for
Robots on Mars
A one-hour book signing follows
presentation. Book sales available
on Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.,
Texas A&M Bookstore booth,
Reed Arena
Free admission
Saturday, November 22
60 robots from top-placing
high school and middle school
teams in Texas and 5 other
states will compete to see
who is best-of-BEST at this
year's Championship!
Robot Competition
9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Morning and afternoon matches
Special Exhibits
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Enjoy exhibits from Texas A&M,
Sponsors, and Texas BEST teams
Free admission
Millennium Sponsors:
Shaping Shadows for
Robots on Mars
It's "Way Cool!" at Texas BEST
KBTX-TV 3 Distinguished Speaker Program
Bill Nye The Science Guy
Engineer, Scientist, Inventor, Comedian, Author,
and Emmy-Award Winning TV Host
Friday, November 21
8:00 p.m.
Reed Arena
Free Admission to All
One-hour book signing follows presentation
Book sales available • Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Texas A&M Bookstore booth, Reed Arena
Accenture • The Boeing Company
Texas Instruments • Texas A&M University
Texas BEST
W Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology
Millennium Sponsors:
Accenture • The Boeing Company
Texas Instruments • Texas A&M University
Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology