Jim Ward began hatching plans for Sleepercar seven years ago, when he came up with the song “Fences Down” during the final tour of his band, At the Drive-In. With a subsequent tenure in the group Sparta, Ward clearly wasn’t in a hurry to pursue this.
“I mostly started just joking about having this band. I wasn’t really serious about it,” says Ward, 31, who finally released Sleepercar’s debut, “West Texas,” in April. “I don’t think I was serious about starting a country band, per se, but I was always joking about it.
“So I chipped away year after year, and eventually these songs started coming out of me and got to the point we are now.”
Ward says that Sparta, whose last album came out in 2006, is currently on hiatus giving him time to spend with Sleepercar. And, Ward contends, he’s overwhelmed there’s an audience for this music at all.
“I’m blown away by it,” he says. “It’s totally a surprise to me. I thought I’d take a year off from Sparta and put out the record and play some shows, and it’s gone much better than I could have expected. It’s been fun to sell records to people who have absolutely no idea who I am.”
Sleepercar performs at 8 p.m. Tuesday (June 17) at the Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Tickets are $10. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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