The Show: Wednesday, June 25, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T

By Piet Levy

It was practically a family obligation for young Dustin Rall to pick up a guitar and play along to old Eagles tunes. After all, his father Tom was a musician himself, as part of local folk outlet Tallgrass with buddy guitarists Benroy Herring and Richard Smith.

But this story’s about the second generation of string pluckers. For Benroy Herring’s son is Collin Herring, the local award-winning alt-country star. And Collin grew up jamming with the remaining Tallgrass offspring (the aforementioned Dustin and Richard’s son Justin), who today make up two-fifths of Just Cause — with Justin on bass, and Dustin, now 28, fronting the promising soft-then-hard-then-soft-again rock ensemble.

Not yet beaten by the industry beast, Rall’s been marketing his group like mad: getting e.p.’s to whoever will take ’em, networking with area acts and producers (the band now has the backing of Eric Herbst, who’s worked with Sister Hazel and Flickerstick), and investing limitless amounts of sweat in songwriting just to get Just Cause out there. Such strategies have included everything from a complimentary keg for patrons at the band’s first gig to free acoustic sets at The Moon regularly.

But Just Cause has the chops to back its self-spinning hype machine. The quintet of rockers drives on subtly charged ballads in the conscious vein of Train and Vertical Horizon; thus their stuff is simple, sweet, and sympathetic — solid enough to work plugged and unplugged, assured enough to get the juices flowing and feet tapping. Once their first full-length comes out in the fall, Rall shouldn’t have to make as many sacrifices to round up area support. So see Just Cause for free — while you still can.

Fri June 27 w/Piker at The Moon, 2911 W Berry St, FW. No cover. 817-926-9600.



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