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The Story So Far

  • A New Beginning

    In summer 2011, guitarist/composer Xander Rapstine quit his Austin, Texas pop/rock band, The Evildoers, in order to pursue a style of music that he had grown to love: classic progressive rock. Proud Peasant was founded in the Fall of 2011.

    Having recorded at Ohm Recording Facility with The Evildoers, Xander knew that owner/engineer Chico Jones was the only person who could help bring the the debut album, Flight, to life.

    Proud Peasant band members sitting on porch
    Xander, Mark, Jay, Kyle, and Dave (photo by Courtney Chavanell)

    The original lineup consisted of Xander on guitar, David Hobizal (Eddy Hobizal Trio, Ola Podrida) on drums, Jay Allen (Crushed Stars, The Angelus) on keyboards, and Kyle Robarge (The Calm Blue Sea, My Jerusalem, The Murdocks) on bass. Mark Poitras joined shortly thereafter, adding vibes and keyboards.

    Flight was released on May 27, 2014 to considerable acclaim in the progressive world, with Progression Magazine calling it an "aptly titled escape into musical fancy that masterfully knots together British folk, cinematic symphonic rock, Elizabethan prog, Gentle Giant-ish vocal fugues and even videogame-score-like whimsy."

  • Proud Peasant Live!

    In order to accommodate the gargantuan task of playing the music live, it was necessary to make some changes and additions to the band's lineup. David and Jay, though very much still a part of the band, couldn't play live because of geographic limitations. Thus, Xander, Kyle, and Mark were joined by 3 additional musicians.

    Proud Peasant live at Red Eyed Fly
    Mark, Kyle (obscured), David, Xander, Josh, and Charlie (photo by Jim Wilkinson)

    Charlie Campbell (The Evildoers and Going Lizard) added keyboards alongside Mark, David Houghton (Sweet Beast) joined as second guitarist, and Josh Denslow (Borrisokane) solidified the live lineup, adding drums. The band began playing live shows in the Austin area in 2014, including a memorable performance at the inaugural VoyagerFest.

  • To the Future

    Charlie announced his intentions to leave the band in 2015, prompting a search for a new keyboard player. Millicent Hughes joined the band in June 2015, adding keyboards, violin, and vocals. The band entered Ohm once more in July 2015, joined by Charlie, to record a 7" single for acclaimed vinyl-only label Fruits de Mer Records.

    Proud Peasant in front of a pond
    Mark, Kyle, Millicent, Josh, David, and Xander (photo by Jim Wilkinson)

    Cosmic Sound was released on April 6, 2016 and includes covers of songs by Eloy and Manfred Mann's Earth Band. The band started recording the followup to Flight, entitled Communion, in the Spring of 2016.