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Music

Blood on the Saddle – Balls Out Country Punk

Country Punk

Blood on the Saddle is an American country punk band, though often referred to as a cowpunk band, from Los Angeles, California. Greg Davis (vocals, guitar) formed the band in early 1983 with the original line-up of Ron Botelho (upright bass, bass), Hermann Senac (drums, vocals). Annette Zilinskas (vocals, guitar) joined the summer of 1983.

Country PunkBlood on the Saddle began as a musical idea in 1981 while Greg Davis was playing guitar in a Hollywood punk rock band called Dead Hippie. He saw Gun Club play with The Cramps and X and was inspired by their intense fusion of Delta blues with punk rock. He met Annette Zilinskas at a Blasters gig and they began singing Johnny Cash-June Carter style duets together. Annette was playing bass in a 60’s band called the Bangs and they used to listen to DJ Rodney Bingenheimer play their respective bands on his KROQ radio show.

In early 1983, Greg and Herman started playing with upright bass player Ron Botelho (later Bobbi Brat, Groovy Rednecks). It was Herman’s idea to name the band after the traditional cowboy song that an animatronic bear named Big Al sang at the Country Bear Jamboree at Disneyland. They started playing shows as a trio while Annette was on tour in the renamed Bangles. When she came back she started Country Punksinging in the band when in July of ’83 the Bangles were offered a record deal by CBS. They came to her house with an ultimatum. She chose to leave the Bangles to sing and play rhythm guitar and harmonica in Blood on the Saddle. Over the next years Blood on the Saddle contributed two songs to the Enigma records compilation album “Hell Comes to Your House Vol. II,” This was followed by their debut album on the Minutemen’s new Alliance label and was produced by Chris D of the Flesheaters. Later, the band’s management team got them a provisional record deal with MCA Records but after six months their demo was rejected. They filmed some more videos for American and French TV and continued playing shows in and around California.

Band leader Greg Davis continued the band to present day, with one break to work with The Vandals and Candye Kane. Eventually the band recorded for two more EPs and six more albums, getting three of them out officially, which were released in 1993, 1995, and 2001, respectively. A fourth album, The Mud, the Blood & the Beer, was recorded in 2008 and a fifth album, True Blood, was recorded in 2013.

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