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Little Texas coming to Jamestown

The Little Texas band, from left, Duane Propes, bass and vocals, Porter Howell, lead guitar and vocals, Dwayne O'Brien, guitar and vocals, and Del Gray, drums. Submitted photo

If you go

What: Little Texas concert

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3

Where: Harold Newman Arena, 6040 College Lane, Jamestown

Details: Rockin' country concert with comedian Mark Cordes opening

Admission: $38 general admission, available at the door or in advance at Fred's Den Bar, Cork & Barrel Liquors



Little Texas, a Grammy nominated country music group with a string of hits over two decades, is bringing its 30th anniversary tour to the Harold Newman Arena on April 3.

"This year is kind of a special one for us," said Duane Propes, bass player and singer in Little Texas. "It's going to be fun and a lot of high energy."

Propes said in a telephone interview that the show is a combination of songs over eight albums with some new material and album cuts.

"We do just about all the hits, the major ones anyway, and throw in some new stuff," Propes said.

With influences that range from The Eagles to the outlaw country music of the 1970s, the four original members, Propes, Porter Howell, guitar, Dwayne O'Brien, rhythm guitar, and Del Gray, drums, emerged in 1991 with five hit singles from their debut album, "First Time For Everything."

By the second album, "Big Time," the band was playing arenas with country music's biggest acts. After years of nonstop touring and recording the band stopped in 1997, until reforming in 2004 with a four-piece group instead of six.

"It's just a different dynamic, but more of the dynamic that Porter and I had back in high school with a three-piece rock band," he said. "That was out of necessity in 1983 and this just took it back to what we used to do, trying to make a big sound out of less people."

The band is always trying out lyrics and sounds until something feels like a Little Texas song, he said. The group works over ideas until the best song wins, he said.

"Every song comes from a different place and each one has its own story," Propes said.

The songwriting process usually starts with an idea or a hook line, he said. The special ones seem to come from something seen, heard or experienced, he said.

"'Slow Ride Home' was a 100 percent experience for us," Propes said.

The band was entering the town of Hays, Kan., in 2011, he said. The entire town was on the street for the funeral procession for Bryan Nichols, a U.S. Army helicopter pilot for Seal Team Six, the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group that was hit by rocket fire attempting to land on a mission in Afghanistan.

"We didn't know," Propes said. "We were just coming to the fair and found out we were in front of his funeral procession and had no idea."

The town's response to a hometown boy coming home for the last time was very moving, he said. In a moment of inspiration the band wrote the song about everybody in that small town, he said.

"You just never know what is going to spark something," Propes said.

The band just started working on a new project a couple of weeks ago, he said. There is no pressure to finish it on a record label schedule and that's the way they like it, he said.

"We want to make music that we like and what the fans want," Propes said.