Flatland Cavalry honors its humble roots in recent video series ‘Far Out West Sessions’

Bella Nieto, Staff Writer

Almost a year after the release of their most recent album, “Welcome to Countryland,” Flatland Cavalry released their newest project, a video series titled “Far Out West Sessions.” The album is comprised of seven acoustic versions of songs from “Welcome to Countryland.” The album follows the band’s 2019 release, “Homeland Insecurity” and their 2016 sophomore release, “Humble Folks,” which made it to #2 on the iTunes Country Albums chart. 

Recorded in several locations across the Trans-Pecos region of Texas, each piece is performed in its purest form, filled with heart, meaning and authenticity. 

Jason Albers, drummer and backup vocalist for Flatland Cavalry, explained where the band drew inspiration for the video project. 

“We’re on the road doing about 120 shows a year, coast to coast,” Albers said. “So, we’re all from Texas, a certain region in Texas, New Mexico, and the powers came to be where we were able to go back out to West Texas, a region where it the band all kind of started and take a couple of songs that Cleto [the lead singer for the band] had written and just say, ‘Hey, let’s go out and pretty much have some fun and be able to tell a story in different ways, like a video series.’ We’ve never done anything like that, which was a cool element.”

“We just packed up in the old van, bussin’ out of Fort Worth, and stuffed ourselves in the van, like a clown car, to the desert,” Albers furthered. “And some guy that lives out there, he opened up his home, and we’re able to, you know, just kind of shoot in these really incredible places where we can see the border between Texas and Mexico.”

Cleto Cordero, the lead singer for the band, shared his memories from filming the sessions. 

“It was long days; it was all good times, though,” Cordero explained. “We went out, got in the van and just headed out West. My mom has grown up in Presidio. And my dad is from a little place a little bit further East called Redford, and they still have his childhood home out there, so we got to film a video there, just out in the Presidio country and stuff. We showed up at the right time. And just like springtime, we just got all that work done in just a few days.”

From the hard work recording the sessions to getting locked out of hotel rooms, the band shared their favorite memories from their time out West. 

“In Presidio, [Texas], there’s this hotel, and there were baby kittens just running around everywhere,” Albers described. “They’re so cute, but like you open your door and like running, and I think it was a good 90 minutes where we were trying to chase the cats, going under the bed and trying to get them.”

“Another cool story that I have, one of my favorite moments, is Wesley [the fiddle player for Flatland Cavalry] just pulled on the handle of the house that my dad grew up in,” Cordero said. “And it was unlocked.” 

Cordero mentioned that the memory was sentimental for him, especially since he draws so much inspiration and influence from his family.

“Having grown up in a big family, you kind of try to find a place and at all,” Cordero said. “I think I was always naturally kind of [tried] to get my brothers and sisters laugh or entertain them and stuff. And I guess it turned into I’m doing now.” 

Both their music and their performances radiate the band’s love for their craft. In fact, Jonathan Saenz, bass guitarist and background vocalist, says that he hopes audiences will see that they love their job. 

“We have a good feeling of camaraderie and just being together as a band,” Saenz said. “It’s a good feeling, and I hope that people see that we’re happy doing what we’re doing.” 

For Alberts, he hopes audiences will leave their performances joyful and relaxed.

“Everyone else, making the world go round with their jobs, whatever they’re doing, and I hope they just like release pressure,” Alberts expressed. “On the weekend, I feel like that’s what weekends are for to relieve pressure, and then we can just make you feel happy, hopeful, you know, just by I think we all got a lot more in common than not.”

The stripped-down songs in the “Far Out West Sessions” emulate the best part of country music — simplicity and soulfulness. The group’s expert music and storytelling truly embody their motto, “easy on the ears, heavy on the heart.”