Texas Hippie Coalition

If you don't know Texas Hippie Coalition, that's likely to change. The band is putting the finishing touches on 'Rollin,'' their first full-length label release. "It's always been a struggle for me in the music business," Texas Hippie Coalition singer Big Dad Ritch tells Noisecreep. "I feel like this band is at a breaking point. And when I say breaking point, I don't mean that we're going to break: I mean that we're fixing to break everybody. They're going to hear us, they're going to see us and they're going to get to know us and they'll love us."

Texas Hippie Coalition has been around for a little over five years. Big Dad Ritch created the mixture of Southern rock and Pantera heavy because he said there was a void in the music industry. "I told everybody that there was an appetite for this kind of music; music that had a heavy rock 'n' roll party, have a good time, drink beer, chasing women kind of attitude, but could still come across with a sense of seriousness."

Not that Texas Hippie Coalition is creating anything new per-se. More like, the band is building off their heroes, especially Johnny Cash and Pantera. "When I was a little kid, I saw Johnny Cash," continues Ritch. "Johnny Cash could hold everybody's attention during a song with what he was saying. And then his words that he said between his songs -- how he kept the audience attention -- just captivated me.

"Then when I was about 18 years old, I saw Pantera. ... And between sets, [Vinnie Paul Abbott] came out to the side of the stage and he was looking at his audience, which at that time it was growing from hundreds to thousands of people coming to see them. And Vinnie was looking around the audience, and I was just sitting there looking at him and I was just admiring him for who he was and what he stood for -- but at the same time, I was admiring the fact that he could take time out of his night to go out there to enjoy and absorb his fans. And he looked over and he saw me and he kind of caught that I was sitting there. And he walked over to the end of the stage and reached out and shook my hand."

While Ritch says the members of Pantera are more acquaintances than close friends, Texas Hippie Coalition has participated in several Ride for Dime events. In fact, the band is scheduled to perform at the next Ride for Dime this July in Arlington, Texas. The Ride for Dime is an annual event in memory of 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott of Pantera, benefiting several charities including Little Kids Rock.

Texas Hippie Coalition will release 'Rollin'' this summer. The band has several shows booked on the back of the album including an appearance at the Midwest Rockfest.