For over 35 years, Austin’s annual South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival/conference has showcased the hottest up-and-coming artists alongside established stars. In Cimarron 615, its 2023 edition found both in a single band: five longtime first-call Nashville country-rock ringers who together have become a vibrant new voice of the genre.
Nashville’s most anticipated new band in years played an official SXSW showcase as part of the rollout for debut album Brand New Distance. The record was released three weeks later, on April 7. After a run of low-key warmups in their hometown, Cimarron 615 also performed at L.A.’s world-famous Roxy, the annual NAMM music trade show in Anaheim and, as part of their SXSW run, in Fort Worth and Fredericksburg, Texas.
Comprising musicians with a collective resume including Poco, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Marshall Tucker Band, Cimarron 615 earned a prime SXSW spot at Austin’s legendary Saxon Pub. A rapt crowd reflected the level of interest in the quintet’s fresh, harmony-heightened take on a time-honored country-rock sound that they’ve individually played a significant part in shaping.
Cimarron 615’s SXSW set included almost the entirety of Brand New Distance, including critically acclaimed singles “High Lonesome Stranger” and “Try Again.” The band confirmed the strength of their songwriting and musicianship while also displaying the rare chemistry and camaraderie that’s made them an instant force to be reckoned with in a scene where heritage still counts.