Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters slated for May 1 show at Farmington Civic Center
Local stop is part of band's three-month, nationwide tour
FARMINGTON — With a new album due out this month, the Boxmasters — the rock band featuring Academy Award-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton — will perform in May at the Farmington Civic Center as part of their nationwide tour.
The show will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 1 at the Civic Center, 200 W. Arrington St. in Farmington. Tickets are $24 and $28 and can be purchased online at fmtn.org/shows or by phone at 505-599-1148.
"Help … I'm Alive," the Boxmasters' latest disc, is scheduled for an April 15 release on the Keentone Records/30 Tigers label and will be the band's 12th release since its formation in 2007. Thornton serves as the group's frontman and is joined by J.D. Andrew, Kirk McKim and Raymond Hardy. Thornton and Andrew write most of the group's material.
The Boxmasters sound is steeped in 1960s rock 'n' roll, but has evolved over time from a strong rockabilly bent to a gritty, twangy combination of rock, country and pop that evokes the style of everyone from early Warren Zevon and the Byrds to Ry Cooder and the BoDeans.
Thornton's vocals bear a striking resemblance to those of Zevon, the late, legendary Los Angeles songwriter and performer known for such classics as "Lawyers, Guns and Money," "Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me," "Carmelita, "Desperadoes Under the Eaves" and, of course, "Werewolves of London." The two were Hollywood neighbors for a time in the late 1980s and quickly built a friendship based on a shared affliction — obsessive compulsive disorder.
Civic Center supervisor Randy West said he was surprised to receive a call from the Boxmasters management inquiring about a date, but he quickly said yes.
"It was a fluke thing," he said, explaining that the Boxcutters tour included several stops throughout the Southwest in the early spring and the timing was right for a swing through Farmington.
West acknowledged that Thornton — a sometimes-volatile figure who has directed, written and/or starred in such films as "Sling Blade," "Friday Night Lights," "Primary Colors," "Intolerable Cruelty," "One False Move" and "All the Pretty Horses" – is known primarily as a movie star, but he is committed to his music career, as evidenced by his four solo albums and 12 discs with the Boxmasters.
According to a Boxmasters news release, "Help … I'm Alive" is one of three discs the group recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Christmas in California" came out in November 2021, while "Nothing Personal" has been completed but not released.
The group's tour begins April 7 in Ardmore, Oklahoma; and continues over the next three months, covering much of the continental United States. Visit theboxmasters.com for more information.
Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e.