Bakersfield, California: so much heritage, so much music, so many legends, so many honky-tonk ghosts. With the exception of Music City itself, it’s safe to say that no town in the USA means more to country fanatics. It was in Bakersfield that country music first collided with rock and roll – and the world is still feeling the reverberations. Bakersfield was the city of the Buckaroos, Merle Haggard and the outlaw sound, Dwight Yoakam, and so many others who carried on the town’s traditions. Bakersfield meant country in the raw; country played hard and passionate; the sound of an electric guitar, a whiskey-soaked voice, a lovelorn lyric and a swinging saloon door.
To the long list of terrific country-rock outfits from Bakersfield, you can add another: Truxton Mile. These musicians are young, but they know the significance of where they’re from, and they know the specific heat of the flame they’re keeping. The very name of the band glows with hometown pride and local color: Truxtun Avenue is the broad and busy street that separates the wide residential districts of southern Bakersfield from the bustling Downtown. And just as you’d expect from a group that’s rooted in the fertile soil of Bakersfield, Truxton Mile comes on with a letter-perfect fusion of country sincerity and rock swagger. Singer Ryan Coulter is the balladeer and storyteller, guitarists Taylor Unruh and Alec Olivieri add the country color, and drummer Jonathan Weinmann brings the thunder and the truck-stop rumble.
Yes, they love Bakersfield – and Bakersfield loves them right back. The ultra-discriminating country listeners of the California city have fallen for Truxton Mile, and it’s only a matter of time before the rest of Country Nation follows suit. They’ve played all over Bakersfield (including Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace) and headlined the local festivals, and with “California In My Mind,” they’ve come up with a serenade for an ideal woman that doubles as a love song to the state. They’ve paired it with a video that shows off the southern half of the Golden State in all its glory: not just the familiar beaches and mountains, but also the abundant farms, the breathtaking stretches of desert, and the waterways that slake the thirst of the central valleys. And speaking of thirst: Truxton Mile rocks on a bluff overlooking Bakersfield, but they make time to visit the Lengthwise Brewing Company, a true local landmark.