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F.Co offers down-home country style

March 19, 2003

By Kevin Chandler

With a set of down-home country songs and a fresh new sound, two former Baylor students are turning heads on the Texas country music scene.

Thomas Watts and Ryan Mucha, both Houston natives, have gone from entertaining friends at parties to headlining all over Texas.

Watts and Mucha formed the band F.Co (pronounced EF-CO) a few years ago, making up songs right on stage. Now they are considered rising stars in the Texas country scene.

Based out of Houston, they joined forces with Michael Stencel, Andy Varkadoz and Wayne Gabrysch in 2001 to record their first album, The King of Texas. The group recently won the 95.7 KIKK's 2002 Texas Most Wanted Band Award.

F.Co's sound has been described as a kind of alternative country with witty lyrics and a great live stage presence.

'Texas country music is experiencing such an electrifying growth right now, and I think it can support exploration into alternative styles,' said Watts, the main songwriter and rhythm guitarist.

F.Co's primary vision is to be the band of Houston.

'We hope to start something new and very exciting that Houstonians can claim as their own,' said Mucha, the lead vocalist.

The band was offered a deal with Warner Bros. out of Nashville, but they turned it down so they could stay true to their roots.

'It's cool that they're interested,' Mucha said. 'However, I think that [the band] will be able to promote the sound more honestly out of Houston.'

The feel of The King of Texas is like listening to a live performance with the audience turned off.

What you get is an organic sound that lets you hear exactly what they sound like live. According to their Web site, many bands have albums that sound nothing like their live performances, but F.Co has gone to great lengths to preserve their live sound so that they wouldn't have to try and live up to a doctored version of their music.

F.Co's songs are anthems of country pride.

Their fast paced title track 'The King of Texas' will make any country fan's feet start itching to get up and move to the quick country rhythm.

A great example of their wit and humor is in the track 'Longest Song,' which describes how great it is to drive in a pickup and chew tobacco, until a highway chase ensues when the driver spits on another motorist's windshield.

The King of Texas comes to music stores this month. For more information, check out