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Ruxpins ready to rock 'Gladys City Nights'

The Ruxpins, a local band, are ready to “rock” the Log Cabin Saloon at Lamar University’s Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 20. The event is part of the “Gladys City Nights” program which features guest speakers, films, music and special activities for adults followed by a reception with a cash bar in the museum’s Log Cabin Saloon.

Ruxpins photo by Randy EdwardsThe Ruxpins derived their name from Teddy Ruxpin, a children’s storytelling teddy bear that first appeared in 1985 and has been made and sold by a number of companies to date. “When we were first practicing and writing, we felt like we were participating in story time. This thought came to our heads, and we all remembered our childhood friend, Teddy Ruxpin. The name, The Ruxpins, seemed appropriate, and it stuck,” said Brandon St. John, lead singer, guitarist and mandolin player of Bridge City.

Storytelling is exactly what this band wants to do with its folk music with an Americana flare. “[The music] is in our culture and lives and has been for a long time. The roots of folk and Americana can be found in anything from country and rock to blues and soul. We wanted to get back to the roots of songwriting to tell a story. All the greats of the past have that, and we want it, too,” said St. John.

The Ruxpins are doing more than making music. St. John graduated in May from Lamar University with a degree in electrical engineering and physics. Co-lead singer Canaan Barborek of Bridge City is studying sociology at Lamar State College-Orange. Electric guitarist Justin Babineaux of Beaumont is enrolled in the psychology graduate program at Lamar University. Bass player Cake McKay of Mauriceville is studying chemical engineering also at Lamar University. Drummer and background vocalist Cody Schatte of Houston is studying business at the University of Houston.

The long-time friends have only recently become band mates. “We have been together for about six months now as a band. We've all played together in other groups and have been friends for quite a while. I think we all feel right about what we're doing now. It feels like we've been a group forever,” said St. John.

Following The Ruxpins, the next event in the Gladys City Nights series will be “Can Non-Profits Be Entrepreneurial?” a roundtable discussion. It will be held in the Visitors Center Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.

Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown is on U.S. 69 at University Drive in Beaumont. Plenty of free parking will be available. For more information, call(409) 835-0823or contact the museum atmark.osborne@lamar.edu.