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Sound Circuit

Dead Horse Trauma on the road again



Dead Horse Trauma

Dead Horse Trauma plays Wooly’s on Saturday, April 30 at 5:30 p.m.             

Dead Horse Trauma has enjoyed a reputation for being some of the hardest working guys in the Des Moines scene. Relentless promoters and tireless performers, the band spends the majority of its time on the road or in the studio, coming out long enough to play a select number of local shows, which always wind up being heavily attended affairs.

It has been almost a year-and-a-half since the band released its last album, 2014’s  “Kill the Precedence,” but DHT has put the finishing touches on its newest effort and plan to release it later this year. In the meantime, they are getting ready to head back out on the road.

“We’re going out on phase two of our tour, which will take us straight south,” said Dead Horse Trauma frontman Eric Davidson. “Then we come home for a couple of weeks, then go back out on phase three, which is a west coast tour.”

This latest set of road trips, dubbed “The Cock ’n Ball Tour,” is being sponsored by Coldcock Whiskey and Ernie Ball strings. And for a band that spends as much time on the road as DHT, those sponsorships can mean everything.

“You get equipment, which helps with costs,” Davidson explained. “Then there are some sponsorships that are just PR help, where they’ll send out press releases to publications and some give money for posters and other promotional things.”

When you’re an indie band from middle America, every penny saved counts. But the sponsors cannot do all of the heavy lifting for a band. At the end of the day, an indie act has to put its own time and effort in and cultivate its own fan base. And when it comes to that, Dead Horse Trauma has been a model for how to keep a fan base engaged and involved. Fan-based Facebook blitzes, word of mouth and a lot of leg work have helped to make DHT one of the more popular acts currently working in the state.

But Davidson and his bandmates know that what every rabid fan base really wants is for acts to keep the new music coming. To that end, Dead Horse Trauma approaches its music with the same relentless work ethic that they approach promotion.

“We’re always writing,” he said. “As soon as we were done with this album, we started putting the pieces together for the next one.” CV


SOUND advice


The Iowa State Fair has made its final announcement for its grandstand lineup. Meghan Trainor, who was scheduled to play last year before canceling her tour with vocal issues, will play on Aug. 12. Tickets go on sale April 29 for $45-$60.

Locally, the Des Moines Music Coalition has announced its full lineup for this year’s Gross Domestic Product. Green Death and Media Fresh will co-headline the event, which takes place on Saturday, May 28 in the East Village venues Wooly’s and The Blazing Saddle. Full lineup details and schedule can be found at, and tickets can be purchased through Midwestix.

The Gin Blossoms and classic rock legends Grand Funk Railroad will headline the Hy-Vee Main Stage Friday and Saturday evening, respectively, during the 2016 Des Moines Arts Festival. Gin Blossoms will perform Friday, June 24 at 8:30 p.m., ​and Grand Funk Railroad will take the stage Saturday, June 25 at 8:30 p.m. Also performing during the festival will be Christopher The Conquered (live album recording by Iowa Public Radio), The Multiple Cat, Jordan Mayland & The Thermal Detonators, Patresa Hartman, NOLA Jazz Band, Abbie & The Sawyers, Bluebird, Pace & Crowe, Brother Trucker, Central Iowa Music Lab and Girls Rock! Des Moines.

This week’s Pick o’ the Week is up at Lefty’s on Friday, April 29, where you can check out Calous, Nest of Snakes and Snakes Don’t Pray, all starting at 9 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door. Mahalo. CV


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