Who Are The Merles?

The Merles are an original, classic country band based out of Austin, TX featuring singer/songwriter Todd Deatherage, drummer Matt Winegardner and pedal steel player Mike Simms. The group strives to create an old school, traditional sound that echoes the memories of yesterday's country. With catchy choruses and danceable tunes, their influences include Hank Williams, Ray Price, Lefty Frizzell, George Strait, and their namesake, Merle Haggard.

The Merles have garnered a following by playing honky-tonks and bars around the Texas area- often clocking in over 120 shows a year. Some of the venues they frequent are Luckenbach Dancehall, Mercer Street Dancehall, Lonesome Rose, Globe Theatre, and The Little Longhorn Saloon. They have opened for such national artists as Dale Watson, Johnny Bush, Jason Boland, Bri Bragwell, Jason Eady, and Rosie Flores.

Their debut record, Hate To Say Goodbye (2017), was recorded and engineered by Britton Beisenhertz at Ramble Creek Studios in Austin, TX. The album was produced by Britton Beisenhertz and The Merles, and contains 14 original songs about heartache, love lost, honky-tonks, and well, drinking. Guest artists include Basil McJagger (The Derailers), Geoff Queen (Hayes Carll), Eddie Dickerson (Curtis Grimes), and Michael St. Clair (Polyphonic Spree).

Their recent EP, Middle of the Night (2020), was recorded, mixed, and produced by Don Cento (Sarah Jaffe) at Centones. It contains six songs about insomnia, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. An amazing cast of regulars also appears on this recording - Chris McElrath (James Hand) on guitar, Ileana Nina (Drew Fish) on fiddle, Sarah Ulloa (Rent Party) on backing vocals, and bassist Justin Filor on soaring high harmonies.

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