Smokin' Armadillos

An energetic and wildly spirited country-rock sextet hailing from Bakersfield, the Smokin' Armadillos amazed the record industry by selling an astounding 150,000 copies of their independently released EP before they ever laid eyes on a recording contract. Comprised of Scott Meeks (guitar, vocals), Rick Russell (lead vocals), Darrin Kirkindoll (drums), Arron Casida (bass, vocals), and fiddle champion Jason Theiste, the band formed during the summer of 1992, with four of the group's six members knowing each other from high school. They developed a huge following regionally, and on the advice of a friend who worked for a major label, they began to release singles and send them to radio stations. Oddly enough, even with stiff competition for airplay slots, some reporting stations began playing the singles and soon a demand was created for their music. The band released a five-song EP and shipped copies from an office in Bakersfield, as well as sold units at their popular live shows. The Smokin' Armadillos released three singles -- "My Girlfriend Might," "I'm a Cowboy," and "Red Rock" -- which took them to the top of the independent charts before they signed with MCG/Curb in 1994. They released their debut album in 1995, along with a reissued version of the EP. ~ Jack Leaver

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