Texas troubadours Quiet Morning and the Calamity sound exactly like a band with that name should.
The five songs on their last EP can be as introspective and thoughtful as the Mimi Fariña-Joan Baez song that inspired the first part of their name, or as rollicking as their punk pasts suggest.
Frontman and songwriter Sean Ramos, who is bringing the Houston band to Eddie McStiff’s at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3, got his start playing drums in teenage punk bands and briefly flirted with metal and alternative music. Like many others before him, he eventually grew tired of what he was doing, and after he toured Houston’s church circuit for a while, he tried to put a new band together.
“I had no idea how hard it would be,” he said.
The lineup – and even the band’s name – changed over the years, leaving Ramos as the one constant in Quiet Morning and the Calamity.
By last year, however, everything appeared to be in place. The now-stable band hit the road in support of its 2014 EP “Son of the Sad Soul,” which earned glowing comparisons to alt-country bands like Uncle Tupelo, Old 97’s, Whiskeytown and Lucero, and Ramos was hard at work on a follow-up record.
Before he could get back into the studio, though, Ramos was in a car accident that fractured his sternum and five ribs. The accident in March not only totaled his car; it also destroyed his electric guitar and amplifier.
But Ramos was not about to let a “little thing” like a near-death experience keep him down, according to Quiet Morning and the Calamity manager and former band mate Mark Ricks. The band was back on the road in a couple of months, and its profile rose when it received a Houston Press nomination for Best Roots Act.
All the while, Ramos still hadn’t replaced his electric guitar, so he was left to compose new songs on his acoustic instrument.
“That’s all I’ve been able to play on since March,” he said.
When he looks back on new songs like “Grassy Creek” – which is named after the spot in Texas Hill Country where his accident occurred – he found that the incident had a profound influence on the material. It pushed him toward the sound of the late Texas singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt, as well as John Prine, Jason Isbell and Steve Earle’s older songs.
“That’s when I realized my songwriting style had changed so much from the four-on-the-floor rock songs,” he said. “They just took a different shape … Approachable yet profound is what I’m trying to go for.”
As he continues to work on the new songs, Ramos credits the rest of the group – including Jimi and Nate Cavazos, along with Josh Artall and Hillary Harris – for helping him flesh out the material.
“It’s really exciting to hear it come together with the band,” he said.
Ricks called the band a labor of love for Ramos, and he welcomes local residents and visitors to catch the group while it swings through Moab during its six-week tour across the West.
“You can hear Ramos sing songs all evening about love, life on the road, heartache, hope and, of course, car crashes,” he said.
Jenna Talbott, who handles bookings at Eddie McStiff’s, said that touring singer-songwriters tend to bring a freshness that deserves an intimate setting where they can actually be heard.
“I think the patio at Eddie’s is perfect for Sean from Quiet Morning and the Calamity, and we look forward to hearing his songs,” she said.
Texas band to perform at Eddie McStiff’s on Sept. 3
“Approachable yet profound is what I’m trying to go for.”
When: Thursday, Sept. 3, from 7 to 10 p.m.
Where: Eddie McStiff’s, 57 S. Main St.
To hear the band’s songs, or for more information, go to www.reverbnation.com/qmatc, or www.facebook.com/QMATC.
Eddie McStiff’s is located at 57 S. Main St.