CS Truckin'

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A few months ago I was asked to play some fiddle on a Las Cruces local band's upcoming album called CS Truckin'.  Well they finally finished the CD and they are playing a CD release show tonight at the Rio Grande Theater in Downtown Las Cruces, and they asked me to jam with them!  

They were on the front page of the Las Cruces Pulse (Entertainment) and had a great article:

"It took 35 years of making music and traveling as an opening band for rock legends like REO Speedwagon for a trio of local boys to finally end up back home in Las Cruces for their CD release party for their 2011 album, "Goin' to Nashville."

CS Truckin' will showcase its talents as part of the Doña Ana Arts Council's Every Other Tuesday free show at The Rio Grande Theatre.

The members of CS Truckin' — Ty Loyd (guitar and vocals), Rob Allen (drummer and vocals) and Leslie Skaggs (bass) — were childhood friends and formed their band in sixth grade at Central Elementary in the early 1970s. The CS originally stood for "Cold Sweat," but as the slogan "keep on truckin'" came around, the name morphed into what it is today.

Literally, the day they graduated high school, the power trio, playing mostly rock, left for Dallas in pursuit of fame in their 1967 Ford Econoline van. That summer, they played for local clubs for as little as $5 for a show. It wasn't until a fateful day in 1975 when they went to the corporate office for Concerts West — a promoter for big rockers like Led Zeppelin — and asked to be an opening act.

"Instead of just dismissing us, the secretary called a concert promoter (Sean Hoover) to the front to speak to us. He took a liking to us for being gutsy," Allen said. The band sent in a demo, and sure enough, Hoover wanted to sign up as their personal manager. The band went on to play several venues; their largest show was in front of 16,000

people in Louisiana, opening for REO Speedwagon at the height of their popularity.

When things started coming along, life circumstances arose and the band had to part ways for about 15 years until a recent reunion when everyone moved back to the Las Cruces area.

CS Truckin's music has changed slightly from what it once used to be. "We naturally evolved with country music without even realizing it," said Allen. "We ended up where country rock music is today because we naturally went that way."

Skaggs describes the band's sound is something akin to The Eagles, Tom Petty or even The Beatles. Upon listening to the CD, you might also be reminded of the Gin Blossoms, Rush, Triumph or Grand Funk Railroad.

"We have a nice texture, and it's pleasing to the ear," Allen said. "We're rockers and we always have been."

Loyd writes all of the band's songs and is influenced by whatever is in front of him, according to Allen.

In the time between the band's formative years and now, the members have remained friends.

"The songs just started happening, and we didn't miss a beat," Allen said. The new album "Goin' to Nashville" was recorded in Las Cruces by Travis Manning at Nasty Cactus Studios. It will be available at the show, and is also available at Hastings in Las Cruces.

Also scheduled to perform Tuesday alongside CS Truckin' are Las Cruces musicians Travis Manning, Roy Garcia, Daniel Park and C.W. Ayon. All are featured on the album playing a variety of instruments ranging from harmonica to banjo to violin and will bring those talents Tuesday evening.

CS Truckin' plans to play shows over the summer — June 15-17 at the B.A.M.M. festival in Cloudcroft, a Labor Day weekend event in Ruidoso, as well as a Fourth of July show to be announced. While they're not immediately planning on going to Nashville, they do intend to go to Houston sometime this summer to play some additional shows.

The band has a Facebook page and can be found on Reverbnation with nearly 1,500 fans. The group recently released its first music video, of the title track, and posted ot to youtube.com/cstruckin. Songs are also available for download on the band Web site or through Reverbnation.

"Our music is really catching on. Come out and see the show because it will be for you. We really appreciate the fan acknowledgement. Get on truck with The Truck," Skaggs said.


Daniella De Luca is a freelance writer and can be reached at daniella.deluca@gmail.com.


If you go

What: CS Truckin' CD release party

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main St.

How much: Free

Info: reverbnation.com/cstruckin, riograndetheatre.com or (575) 523-6403