Little Texas looking for crowd interaction

Published 10:56 am Thursday, April 25, 2013

If Duane Propes has his way, the Paramount Theatre will be standing room only on April 26.

Little Texas is set to bring its blend of country rock to the historic theater at 7:30 p.m. Friday as part of the tour to celebrate the band’s 25th anniversary.

Propes, the Little Texas bassist, promises the Paramount will be rocking. He said Little Texas works hard to involve the audience with its live shows, noting the group aims to give its audiences a good time so they come back again.

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“If you’re going to call yourself a performer, you damn well better perform,” he said.

The Nashville-based band formed in 1988 and rose to prominence in the 1990s with a multi-platinum album and six top-10 hits, like “My Love,” “God Blessed Texas” and “What Might Have Been.”

Those hits will be on display at the Paramount, as Propes promised the band’s biggest eight to 10 songs will be featured in the performance in some way, but he noted the group always works to change them slightly or add a little more punch.

A Little Texas show is not the place to sit down and listen quietly to the band. As Propes noted, Little Texas is nothing like a chamber orchestra or classical music.

“You’re not going get up off your butt and be energized by that,” he said.

The goal is to send the audience home saying they had a good time.

“That’s really all that matters,” Propes said.

Even though the band will play songs from throughout its career, the group will adapt its songs to fit its newer style.

“They’re going to have a little more power behind them,” Propes said.

Little Texas is a different band than it was during its original run, but it still is made up of four of the original members.

After a hiatus from 1997 to 2004, the band came back, dropped the keyboards and decided to go with a more guitar-driven sound. The band now consists of Propes on bass, Porter Howell on lead vocals and lead guitar, Dwayne O’Brien on vocals and rhythm guitar and Del Gray on drums.

Propes said he and the band are excited to play a historic venue like the Paramount.

“We love playing those old theaters,” he said. “They were built to sound incredible, and you don’t run across that much anymore.”

Propes researched the Paramount and was impressed by what he saw.

“The architecture is amazing,” he said.

With many historic theaters struggling to survive, Propes urged people to get out and support venues like the Paramount.

“There’s so much history in these places,” he said. “It’s just special for us to be part of that history.”