When Texas southern rocker Tanner Usrey and his band played The Backyard last fall, they opened for Shane Smith and the Saints.
Saturday, they’re headlining and Usrey considers this a good sign for a spring that promises more. “We’re booked into March and are definitely a lot more busy than we were in the fall,” he said, speaking from his home in Allen.
After years performing primarily in Texas, the spring will see them also perform shows in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas. Part of that expansion came from necessity last year, he said. “When corona happened, we had to travel to stay busy,” he explained.
The pandemic had an additional silver lining: The lineup of the five-piece band he started about three years ago finally clicked into place last June. When gigs got canceled or postponed, Usrey and his backing musicians spent the extra time rehearsing and settling into their sound.
That sound is approaching the dream Usrey had during his teens in Prosper, when he learned to play guitar and began to perform in 2013 as a duo with his brother Tim — Texas country that leans heavily on the southern rock side. “It’s got a rock edge — always what I wanted to go toward,” he said.
Usrey recorded his first solo project in 2017 and in the time since then has opened for such Texas country performers as Stoney LaRue, Casey Donahew, Cody Canada and Randall King. Usrey released an EP titled “Medicine Man” in October 2019 and said fans can expect more music on the way with plans to get his band in the studio this year to record an album.