Zesty melodies with North Texas indie band Citrus

A full band on stage, a musician jumping with a guitar

Citrus in action at Firehouse Gastro Park. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Over the weekend, the vibrant sounds of Citrus filled the air at Firehouse Gastro Park in Grand Prairie. Their fans came out with friends and families to the kid-friendly venue, taking advantage of the warm Saturday night in February.

The story of Citrus is one of enduring friendship and a shared passion for music. Their musical journey dates back to their teenage years, where a friendship between frontman Caleb Bowen and bassist Arik Harris in a Plano high school sparked a musical bond that has lasted over a decade.

“The ‘Citrus’ project dates back to May of 2014,” Harris said in an interview after the show at a picnic table at FGP. “We haven’t always been this active. We played some shows in 2016 at places like O’Riley’s and Opening Bell Coffee. I was mostly a recording project for a while.”

The band released their sophomore album In The Grove last year, following their 2020 album Amaranth and 2016 EP Fresh Squeezed.

A musician singing and playing guitar

Caleb Bowen sings original Citrus songs in Grand Prairie. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Two musicians on stage smiling

Citrus keeps it light with a few laughs during their set at Firehouse Gastro Park. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Drummer Bryce Gardner joined the band around September 2022, pushing their rhythmic vocabulary. Harris mentioned that he and Gardener once jammed when they were much younger.

“It was the only time in my life his mom had to meet my mom to say it was okay for us to jam,” Harris laughed. “This kid was playing Rush at 11 years old, he’s so good.”

By the end of 2022, the Citrus started gigging pretty consistently. Now, they’ve played Deep Ellum mainstays like Ruins and Club Dada, as well as Denton favorites Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios and Andy’s Bar.

A full band on stage

The groovy tunes by Citrus were the quintessential weekend vibes. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Describing their music as a blend of bright, sunny vibes with a natural edge, Citrus has carved out a unique space for themselves in the local music scene. With influences ranging from jazz to funk to prog rock, their sound is as diverse as it is captivating.

As Bowen explains, “If you listen to us, it’s a bright shiny vibrant irresistible thing.”

With each performance, Citrus aims to offer something for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned music lover or a newcomer to the scene.

“We like to keep people on the edge of their seat,” Bowen said. “No matter what walk of life you’re from, Citrus will have at least one tune for you. We want to be as universal as possible.”

Harris chimed in saying, “We try not to do the same thing twice.”

A musician playing drums on stage

Bryce Gardner joined Citrus in 2022. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A musician playing bass on stage

Arik Harris caught in the moment. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Looking ahead, Citrus has big plans. With a new album in the works and a lineup of exciting events on the horizon, including a performance at the Nasher Sculpture Center, the band shows no signs of slowing down.

As they continue to grow and expand their sound, Citrus remains dedicated to reaching new heights. New ideas include lots of new artwork, new merch, album art and visualizers for live shows.

“We’re writing together more; before, it was more detached. We would write things and let them mingle, we would add our parts to pieces the other had written. But now it’s more cohesive, and Bryce is the master of rhythm helping us keep things tidy.”

Two musicians on stage playing guitar and bass

Citrus keeps the party going during their set in Grand Prairie. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Finding their music can be a little tricky, since there’s more than a couple bands called Citrus. But if you search “Citrus Texas” you should be able to find their groovy tracks. You can also go directly to their Spotify here or Bandcamp here.

Harris mentioned, “We’re in an active search for a keyboardist. We’ve love to have a closer sound to the albums. We have so many songs that have keys of some kind.”

If you’re interested in trying out as a keyboardist, contact the band on their Instagram page @citrustexas.

Upcoming Citrus shows:

A full band on stage

Dreamy vibes with Citrus. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Jessica Waffles is a freelance photographer/videographer and regular contributor to KXT. 
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