Pale Dīan’s Dallas debut was at the Double Wide in Deep Ellum on July 25th. The band, formerly known as Blackstone Rangers from Denton, TX, has not only changed names but also replaced drummer Dan Bornhorst with the industrial machine. They added bassist Ben Fleming with original members, guitarist/peddlist Derek Kutzer and ‘phenom voz’/keyboardist Ruth Smith rounding out the trio.
With a sneer towards the music writer(s) of DO (Dallas Observer), Kutzer retorts to me in a statement that the magazine hadn’t even bothered to listen to the music before nominating Blackstone Rangers for an Americana award.
Kutzer explains the name change and the DO’s “ugh-oh”:
So our name was Blackstone Rngrs. This is a reference to the 1960s Chicago street gang. Today, they function as a community outreach organization in Chicago and call themselves Black P. Stone Nation. We changed our name for a few reasons. On the Chicago gang side of things, we decided that it was insensitive to appropriate that name for our own use. Simple as that. On the a[e]sthetics of the name, we decided the name sucked for a gazey, swirlie sounding noise band. I can’t prove it, but I believe it’s the reason the DO nominated us in the Americana category in 2014.. Just assumed we were some box-car-rambler-whiskey-picker blah blah music. So, Pale Dīan better represents the emotions and feelings we feel and want you to feel. Flickers of light and the beauty of night and the moon. So yea.
Reasons for the talent change-up were purely “exploratory”, says Kutzer. I’m venturing that the recent decision to relocate to Austin also relieves that restless creative spirit, which so often makes the best musicians slip away to cities with the promise of success or at least, never-ending adolescence. Treat them well, Austin.
Long live Pale Dīan.