Union Specific began in the summer of 2008 in Sherman TX,
where singers/songwriters Tyler Wallace and Gregg Maher
attended Austin College, a small liberal arts university. The two
had long known of each other's songwriting endeavors, but they would not begin making music together until late in their junior year, when Tyler approached Gregg to play with him in a talent show. The two soon realized that they had a palpable combination when they put their talents together. What came out was a medley of hard driving roots country mixed with thoughtful indie melodies, a combination resulting in bona fide Americana. The boys got together a group of friends and were soon playing every dive in North Texas. The joints were rough, but, through these experiences, the two developed a love for the informality of the grungy, smoke-filled venues and wished to incorporate that into their sound as well as their live show.
Union Specific's debut album, Murderlights, was recorded in January of 2009 in Denison TX, with Kevin Couch producing and engineering. The album was featured in a live performance with John Aielli on KUT's podcast, Aielli Unleashed. The decision was made upon graduating to relocate to Austin and begin pushing the album.
Today, their influences are as wide as the genre of Americana. Their work is largely a collision of three influences: the reckless abandon of the early days of Rock and Roll (The Supremes, The Beach Boys), the roots and soul of some of the early progressives (The Band, Neil young, Graham Parsons) and the thoughtfulness of indie sup pop contemporaries (Elliott Smith, Jeff Tweedy) . The band has managed to mold this into cohesive live sound that is fast paced and energetic yet thoughtful, complete with three part harmonies.
To give credence to how hard they work, the group has adopted
the slogan, Building Americana, a play on the Union Pacific
railroad's slogan. The band's hard work has paid off for them, especially considering their relatively short existence. They have developed a following in some of Austin's most esteemed venues. They can be found playing the Saxon Pub or Momos, and have shared the stage with the likes of Junior Brown, Seth Walker, and Danny Malone. They have toured around Texas, making stops at prominent venues, such as the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, but they never forget their roots, always making time to get back up to Sherman and play the smoky dives and haunts, where they began not so long ago.
The current members include but are not limited to:
Tyler Wallace: Lead vocals, Guitar
Gregg Maher: Lead Vocals, Guitar
Kim Taruc: Upright and Electric Bass