“It’s not that we don’t make mistakes,” says Scott Polland with a smile, from under his fedora. “We make lots of mistakes. We just make pretty mistakes.”
The lead guitarist for Western “swamp rock” quartet Shotgun Suitor may be joking, but, as the old saying goes, there’s always a little truth in every punchline.
Although the band has been around since 2010, started by singer/songwriter Chas Crowder, the current incarnation has been around for only six months.
“We never get a chance to practice,” says Crowder. “We always say we’re going to, [then] we just play shows instead.”
Lucky for them, Shotgun Suitor has a full schedule, regularly playing around the county at venues like the Trout Farm, the Reef, Henfling’s, and the Crow’s Nest, just to name a few.
“We like to play fast and loose and kind of crazy,” says drummer David Clarke. “So nobody knows what to expect, which makes it fun.”
Sometimes even the band doesn’t know what to expect. A Shotgun Suitor show might consist of a four-hour jam session, collaborations with other artists (like the double-bass version of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” with Morgan Monticue from Olde Blue), or even their own bassist, Diana Rey, switching it up between the electric and a good ol’ fashioned stand up.
“I feel more comfortable on the electric because you can be more precise with the sound,” she says. “But having the stand up is like having another band member. It’s such a cool stage presence.”
Despite their busy schedules—and Crowder’s “man about town” status as the host of four weekly open mics and local music showcases around Santa Cruz—Shotgun Suitor recently had time to record their first demo at the Boulder Creek Sound Studio.
“We’re currently working on some new stuff,” says Crowder “And we’re going back to the studio in September.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14. The Crow’s Nest. 2218 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz. $6. 476-4560.