Web Editor’s Note: For more pics of the band, click here!
AJ Swope and the Last Train Home performed 14 songs after the Lady Buffs’ softball game on April 17.
The four-piece Americana group was sponsored by Blu Energy to perform.
Alumni student AJ Swope said he likes to write lyrics that are like history, much like their song that is also named after their début album, Hotel St. James.
“Hotel St. James is supposed to be one of the most haunted hotels in New Mexico,” Swope said. “There just stories I like to come up with and I put them into music.”Swope said around 90 to 95 percent of the songs performed were self-composed.
“We’ve got a little bit over 20 original songs,” said Swope. “But we also put in a couple of music covers in there so the audience can recognize.”
The band was formed three years ago with friends and some eventually moved on, said Swope.
“Jordan McClain, who plays the drums, and I played during high school,” he said. “Ben, who plays lead guitar, soon came and then Steven joined and he plays bass.”
Swope said this is the best line-up for the band that they’ve ever had.
“It’s an incredible feeling knowing that all the work you have put in is now out there,” Swope said. “I’m proud of the guys, am thankful for the people who dig our music because it takes time, money and work.”
Bass player of the band and WT Music major Steven Ronk said he describes the music to be Americana.
“It’s like Texas country, little bit of blues, alternative rock,” Ronk said. “A little bit of everything Americana.”
Ronk said he has been part of the band for three months and was part of recording one track, Hotel St. James.
“We practice around 25 to 30 hours a week,” Ronk said. “Five hours a day.”
Ronk said it’s his first actual recording he’s been a part of and feels it’s a great experience.
“I haven’t been a huge part of the recording of the album,” said Ronk. “It feels great to do this though.”
Sports and Exercise Science major Brent Seals said he’s known the band since his friend Johnny used to play bass for the band.
“I had talked to the head coach about bringing the band and sent him a few of their songs,” said Seals. “Then we got Blu Energy to sponsor which was great.”
After becoming good friends with Swope, Seals was present when the band did their recording.
“It’s the first time [the band has] come to WT,” said Seals. “But AJ is an alumni and he likes to come and hopefully we make this a yearly event.”