Video Premiere: Cantina – “A Letter of Rejection”


A Texas supergroup by any other name, indeed. Track culled from brand new album.

By Blurt Staff

Dallas-based Cantina debuts this week with the most excellent album Sea Of Keys (We Know Better Records). And we are proud to be able to unveil the group’s new video, for album track “A Letter of Rejection.” Check it out:

“A Letter of Rejection” is exactly what it sounds like. A friend of guitarist/vocalist John Dufhilo gave him a framed copy of a letter Andy Warhol received in 1956 from the Museum of Modern Art rejecting his work for their collection. The lyrics of the song are lifted nearly verbatim from the letter, so the song is really a co-write with Alfred H. Barr, Jr. from the museum,” explains Dufhilo. For the song’s music video, banjo player Marcus Hollar asked Dufhilo to visit him in Pilot Point and play his guitar in 100-degree heat. “I had no idea what he was putting together,” Dufhilo says.

The backstory: “We are basically a band of drummers,” adds Dufilho. Accurate, but when considering that Dufilho also plays with Elephant 6 co-founders The Apples In Stereo (as well as his beloved solo project, The Deathray Davies), bassist Jason Garner (Dufilho’s friend of a quarter-century) can be found among the throng that is The Polyphonic Spree, and Philip Peeples (the only drummer in Cantina who actually drums in Cantina) is member of The Old 97’s, maybe not basic  Rounding out Cantina’s lineup is Dufilho’s Deathray Davies cohort Andy Lester, along with Hollar (late of Dropkick Murphys singer Mike McColgan’s punk band, Street Dogs.)

Cantina previously released two albums under the name I Love Math before the addition of Hollar. Dufilho notes that while 60% of the members of  Cantina are drummers (“three of us make a living playing music, the other two are the smart ones”), as a hard and fast rule, no cymbals are ever used on A Sea of Keys. So, don’t listen for that, and don’t listen for these guys to perform “that song” from “Star Wars” either.


Seriously, A Sea of Keys arrives with a pedigree: AllMusic previously referred to the band as a “supergroup,” and the masterful sensitivity of the songs on A Sea of Keys do little to detract from that notion.  Dufilho’s thoughtful tunes (the Austin Chronicle previously described him as “a ravenous songwriter working without a net”) take cues from country-rock, power pop, and the charming harmonies of the Everly Brothers. The songs never overstay their welcome; each is a conversation that never suffers an awkward beat. No pun intended.

Cantina (L-R): Jason Garner, John Dufilho, Marcus Hollar, Philip Peeples, Andy Lester. Photo credit: Karlo X. Ramos.





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