Austin-based singer-songwriter Daniel James gives a quick-and-dirty difference between Leopold and His Fiction, a trio he brings to Waco’s Truelove Bar at 10 p.m. Friday, and the loose-limbed Cowboy and Indian, which has also played Waco.
Both scratch the guitarist’s Americana itch, but in different places. Cowboy and Indian, whose membership shifts with musicians’ availability (Mart actor Jesse Plemons frequently plays), has an “earthy” sound driven by guitars and harmony.
Leopold, which James has headed in various configurations since his Detroit childhood, is heavier, bluesier, louder and run through a Motown filter.
Leopold comes to Waco in a year marked by near-constant touring and performing; Friday’s show is the first of 40 the band has scheduled for the next 55 days. “It’s as many dates as we could fit without hurting anyone,” he said in a recent interview, speaking by phone from Oklahoma City.
James, 33, handles lead vocals and guitar for the trio, backed by Shaun Gonzalez on bass and Trevor Wiggins on drums and keyboards, although sometimes the band expands to add backup singers.
How do they maintain their high-energy shows through a grinding schedule? Focus and preparation, he said. “I go to the gym every day. I read a lot. We engage with our families at home,” he said.
Waco’s Truelove Bar has proven a good place for Leopold and His Fiction. “It’s a really, really great market,” he noted — and they arrive days after the release of the band’s latest music video, “I’m Caving In.”
It’s from the band’s fourth album, recorded in Austin and currently in post-production. James anticipates a release later this year, but until then, there’s touring.
“Even if there are 50 people there, it’s a great experience for us,” he said. “It makes lots of friends for us.”