Comanche Moon
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Comanche Moon

Amarillo, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Amarillo, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Americana Roots




"Get Down: Comanche Moon rises with new EP"

By Chip Chandler

“This is usually how our rehearsals finish,” said drummer and singer Chandler Sidwell, aiming his cue stick and relishing his new discovery of Ziegenbock in a can.

“It’s sometimes how they start,” bassist Carlos Martinez-Arraras chimed in.

And indeed, that’s how this interview starts, as the duo waits for frontman Mark Erickson to arrive, playing pool half-heartedly while drinking beer, spinning vinyl and debating what’s the best Ryan Adams album.

We’re inside a north Amarillo office and warehouse owned by Sidwell’s oil-industry family, coopted into use as the rehearsal space and hangout joint for Comanche Moon, an on-the-rise Amarillo-based Americana rock trio, whose debut, self-titled EP dropped Tuesday.

The band will celebrate the new album with a CD release party at 10 p.m. Friday at Golden Light Cantina, 2906 S.W. Sixth Ave.

Though the guys are all cazh right now, that belies the year-long process that went into the making of the EP, not to mention the continual refinement of the Comanche Moon sound.

Erickson pulled the band together about three years ago, initially just with Sidwell and Jake Vernon on guitar. Sidwell suggested adding Martinez-Arraras, whom he’d known since childhood, on bass — though, initially, he was just going to sit in on one gig and just never got around to leaving.

Vernon didn’t last long in the lineup. On his way to practice one night, Sidwell saw Vernon heading out of town with an Airstream trailer hitched to his truck. Sidwell asked where he was going; Vernon responded, “Out to California. Be back soon.” He’s still not back.

“We had to rewrite everything for a three piece,” Martinez-Arraras said.

Erickson learned lead guitar and, in the process, learned to loosen up, at least a little.

Jam-band aficionados Sidwell and Martinez-Arraras take a much more relaxed approach to making music, but Erickson, who has some Type-A personality traits suited to his day job as an attorney, likes a little more structure in his life and his music.

“We argue about that a lot,” Erickson said.

That’s not all they squabble about.

“Carlos is a stubborn Spainard, and I’m a stubborn cowboy, so we argue a lot,” said Erickson, 32, a Perryton native and son of regional favorite author John Erickson.

“We do argue a lot,” Martinez-Arraras, 29, agreed. “Mostly about politics, I’d say, but sometimes about the music, too.”

That’s ultimately to the band’s benefit, said Sidwell, 27.

“We argue about musical differences, but when we trick each other into exploring those (differences), we come out with great stuff,” Sidwell said.

That has led to the band’s strikingly diverse EP, a seven-track affair filled with straight-ahead rockers like “Talkin’ to the Machine,” country two-steppers like “Socorro Wind,” and the three-part epic “Runnin’ from a Man,” featuring guest appearances by cellist Alejandra Alderete and singers Chana Smith, Devlon Jones and Renee Campbell.

Erickson said he didn’t expect the album to come out as it did.

“I’ve loosened up a lot ... especially with the songs I write,” Erickson said. “Writing has structure, and I know that structure when I come here (to rehearse). But a lot of times, it changes with the band.

“But it’s not The Mark Erickson Band, it’s Comanche Moon,” he continued. “We all have input in the process.”

Part of that input involves encouraging Erickson to be more free.

“When we get Mark to lay down the old ‘Mark Erickson,’ (for example) on Halloween, he’s playing in his longjohns,” Sidwell said.

“When you completely let go,” Martinez-Arraras interjected, “that’s when the craziness comes out.” - Amarillo Globe News

"Searchlight: Indie Song Competition Winner Comanche Moon"

SEARCHLIGHT is a special program from the producers of In Search of a Song with Jason Wilber. Featured artists submitted their songs and were picked by the "Search Party" For more information please visit the In Search of a Song website.

Executive producer Rich Reardin interviews our Searchlight Song Competition winner, the band Commanche Moon with thier song "Socorro Wind" . This is a short special feature interview about their influences, music, and the inspiration behind their songs and songwriting. - PRX

"Panhandle Best Albums of 2015"

If you were keeping up with our Top 100 Panhandle Songs of the Year list, I’m sure you’ve been wondering if we’d throw out a list counting down our top albums and/or EPs of the year as well.

Often when you do this kind of thing–counting down and talking about songs, albums, and artists in detail–you begin to see yourself reusing the same thing. In some cases, it’s a good thing. Maybe you driving the point home is just exactly what the songwriter wanted. But it’s rare. Mostly, it feels as though you’ve run out of anything worth a damn to say. It can turn to mush and lack any substance. You’re lost within the forest, but can’t see the trees.

With this, we’ll try and keep it short and let the artist do the talking.

Top Panhandle Albums of 2015

01. Flatlands by Ryan Culwell
02. Men & Coyotes by Red Shahan
03. Ringling Road by William Clark Green
04. Hard Earned Love by Strangetowne
05. Panhandle Rambler by Joe Ely
06. The Night Before by No Dry County
07. Hold My Beer, Vol. 1 by Wade Bowen & Randy Rogers
08. 1806 by Dalton Domino
09. Front Row Seat by Josh Abbott Band
10. Bury the Hatchet by Benton Leachman
11. Tales for Undesirables by Daniel Payne
12. Dust & Wind: Flatland Murder Ballads & High Plains Hymns by Charlie Stout
13. PianoViolin by Outlier
14. Home by Pat Green
15. Over the Horizon by DRAGG
16. Harmony in Hell by Daniel Markham & Claire Morales
17. Wabi Sabi by Mount Ivy
18. Howlin Room by Union Specific
19. The Good Fight by Cory Morrow
20. Crystal for the Brass Empire by The Diamond Center
21. What if We Are Ghosts by Ronnie Eaton & The Cold Hard Truth
22. Solitude by Alma Quartet
23. Heartbeat by Hayden Huse
24. Red Dime by Dix Hat Band
25. The Salt Cedar Rebels by Dan Johnson & The Salt Cedar Rebels

Top Panhandle EPs of the Year

01. On Through the Night by Brandon Adams
02. Departures by John Baumann
03. Come May by Flatland Cavalry
04. Hold the Line by Jacob McCoy Burton
05. On My Side by The Goners
06. The Wilted Day: B-Sides by Mount Ivy
07. PLAYA LAKE by Playa Lake
08. Broken Marquee by Jim Dixon
09. Just by City Will Shake
10. Comanche Moon by Comanche Moon
11. From Me to Shore by Fellow American
12. Stocklyn by Stocklyn
13. Demo 2015 by Heavens Final War
14. This is For No One, This is For Nothing by Ivory & Ash
15. Llano Estacado Blues by Levi Methvin - New Slang Lubbock

"Comanche Moon Live in Studio with Craig Vaughn"

Comanche Moon was in the studio live with Craig Vaughn Friday, October 23, 2015 to talk about its the band's new EP release and its upcoming show at the Dove Creek Ranch Music Festival on Halloween. The band played an acoustic version of 'Talking to the Machine,' the lead track off the new EP, with Chandler Sidwell on harmonica and Carlos Martinez Ararras-Unzuriganzaga on lead guitar. - 107.1 The Armadillo

"New Music: Comanche Moon"

by: Thomas D. Mooney

Amarillo folk upstarts Comanche Moon has announced that their debut EP will be officially released Tuesday, November 24 with an accompanying release show at The Golden Light on Friday, November 27. The current three-piece consists of old remnants of the country-folk band Turbine Toolshed.

Listen to the Tex-Mex flavored “Socorro Wind,” the first single, below. At times, it takes nods from Ryan Bingham’s Mescalito with less Panhandle dust caked on vocalist Mark Houston’s country-folk croon. The simple storytelling finds the band banking on honest, effective harmonies in this six-minute rambler that goes from Mexico to Argentina to empty West Texas highways and desolate farmlands. - New Slang

"Next Yellow City Sounds Live Concert to feature Amarillo band Comanche Moon"

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

One of Amarillo's rising bands will be in the spotlight Friday at the latest Yellow City Sounds Live concert.

Americana band Comanche Moon — featuring Mark Erickson, Carlos Martinez-Arraras and Chandler Sidwell, with bass player Jason Hodges — will perform its original tunes at 7 p.m. Friday in the Panhandle PBS studio, 2408 S. Jackson St. Fiddler Cooper Jones and steel player Rick Faucett will join the band for a few songs, as well.

The concert — a joint production of Panhandle PBS and FM90 — is free. Seating is limited, and tickets, which can be picked up at the studio or reserved online, are required. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The concert will be streamed live on FM90, and Panhandle PBS’s Facebook page, then broadcast later on Panhandle PBS.

The singer/songwriter-based band plans to release Country Music Deathstar in February.

"On this album, you can hear fiddle, steel guitar and the songwriting-first approach to music that you find in country and folk genres, but there also is a lot of that early '70s rock 'n' roll sound to it," Erickson said. "Americana is the genre nowadays that seems to have a place for that kind of sound."

Erickson said the band is looking forward to the intimate show.

"We play at bars and music festivals. It's rare we have a chance to play something like this," he said. "People are coming to listen to music, and that's the only reason they're there. As a songwriter, I like that a lot because people are going to actually listen to the lyrics. ... You know, you spend a lot of time writing these songs." - Panhandle PBS


New Album Summer 2018.  Comanche Moon is set to release a new, twelve-track album called "Country Music Deathstar" summer 2018. The album was produced by Tim Allen (Shane Smith & the Saints) and was recorded at the acclaimed yellow DOG studios in Wimberley, Texas. The first single off the album, "The One That You Love," released in March, is finding early success on Texas terrestrial and Spotify radio. 

The band released a self-titled EP in late 2015 featuring seven original tracks. 



Rooted in tradition but driven to push the limits, folk-rock and Americana band Comanche Moon bring a "forward-thinking approach to country rock." Their music lays out an expansive soundscapes that convey the desolation and toughness of the band's native Texas Panhandle and often slip effortlessly into upbeat rock and roll. "It's a wide sound coming from Comanche Moon, stoking the imagination" (Saving Country Music, Nov. 2018). 

Born into Texas cattle ranching families, the band's core members, Mark Erickson and Chandler Sidwell, grew up steeped traditions of cowboy folk music and storytelling. Even so, "it's not as though [this folk-based approach] hinders Comanche Moon's spacious sound." (Wide Open Country, Aug. 2018). In their teenage years, Erickson & Sidwell discovered rock and roll and consumed the music of 60s and 70s British and American rock bands that were taking traditional American blues and country and driving them through guitar amps at high volume. These influences are reflected in the band's sound. The music is "a mix of both country and rock, but with neither impinging on the other" (Saving Country Music). 

In August 2018, Comanche Moon released Country Music Deathstar, "an expansive concept album that captures the windswept plains and prairies" of the Texas Panhandle. Recorded at yellow DOG studios in Wimberley, TX, Deathstar was engineered by Dave Percefull (Hard Times Are Relative) & Adam Odor (Steak Night at the Prairie Rose) and produced by Tim Allen (Shane Smith & the Saints, Zach Nytomt). The album pushes the Texas country music sound in a neo-classic rock direction. Comanche Moon has found itself at home in the modern Texas music scene among artists that range from traditional country and red dirt to gritty folk rock bands. 

Featured artists include Dave Percefull (Saints Analogue, Yellow Dog Studios), Charles Cruz (Emily Bell, The Black Analog, The Victory March), Cody Angel (Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Kyle Park, Josh Ward), Nick Jay (Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights, Century Recordings), Bennett Brown (Shane Smith & The Saints), Dr. Shane Pitsch, Pat Lyons (Cody Jinks, Colter Wall), Adam Odor (Saints Analogue, Mike And The Moonpies). 

The band will soon announce a Summer 2019 Tour that will take them through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon and California, all the way back to Texas and Oklahoma. 

Band Members