Though Wes Hartley’s tale has been told a thousand times and more since he’s spearheaded top-notch country-rock acts such as Traveling Trees and his current band, Splendora Colt, somehow his Texas-sized wit and wonder never get old. Teaming up with Jon Donnell and Derek Reynolds, Hartley vows an end to band-name changes and is ready to prepare a dazzling debut this fall with Frank Hopkins at the boards. Read what’s on Hartley’s mind, then check out a great show Sunday night at Space Gallery, when Splendora Colt test rides new tunes opening for o’death and Butcher Boy.

Explain the origin of your band name and its connection to the Chicago White Sox.

The name is from Derek’s brain, which I imagine he conjured up from the fact that I’m very proudly from Splendora, Texas, and I love horses. But for me, this name has well over a million images attached. It’s the perfect name as far as I’m concerned, and one that will never change again, thanks to Derek. One of the images that pops out of the word Colt is my first football team (fourth grade), the New Caney Colts, on which the first person I hit in drills was a giant by the name of Adam Dunn, who now plays for the Chicago White Sox.

What’s the best part about playing in Maine?

I think Maine has many sections of endless layers in its music scene. For instance, I walked into a tunnel in Lewiston to find a metal band’s frontman sniffing the seat of a tricycle and screaming. I think Maine has the best weirdo music in the world, but you have to dig, I guess, you dig? But what do I really know? Maine is the only scene I’ve localed; I didn’t really start playing until I moved here in ’05. I love playing in Maine. I imagine it’s better than some places and the same as most.

How is the debut record coming? Do you have plans to celebrate its release?

We’re gluing on the endings and beginnings (in that order), and everything should be ready to go for our two days of recording with Mr. Frank Hopkins of Sweet Dreams Recording studio in late September. Frank makes me smile. We’ll have the album ready to purchase shortly after the sessions, with a backyard costume party barbecue release in mid-October.

Where and how does Texas show up in your songs?

Texas is in every song I write. It’s always a roll of flickering footage in my mind, and I can only write about what I see in there.

Why is it important to you to hand-draw album covers?

I started drawing the covers as a way to feel fair in the pricing of $10. Also, I draw the same way I write, and I enjoy that process. Over the years, it’s been a fun interaction/expectation with the friends/fans/family.

How will this new project be different than Wes Hartley and the Traveling Trees?

Besides the electric advances and full drum kit addition, Splendora Colt has a bit more tension in its overall sound and stories, a bit more angry or aggressive everyday inward tantrums, like a bored kid throwing a ball against the wall with anxiety fumes, and then exploding it into his flat screen without a hint of concern, because all he really wants is an ice cream, and maybe a good friend to trade baseball cards with.

With whom is your dream collaboration?

To jump along with Splendora Colt, I would call to the stage Gregg Hoover (lap steel on the Traveling Trees’ last album, “Bloomers”), Ryan Thomas Becker from Denton, Texas (of RTB2, RTB & Last Joke, Eaton Lake Tonics), Creston Lea (Creston Custom Guitars, bass player for Anders Parker), Anders Parker (Varnaline), Steve Hadeka (Anders Cloud Badge), Robert Chacon Jr. (Chorizo Approved), Ryan Gosling, Nicolas Cage, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, with special ghost appearances by Elvis, Clifton Chenier, Muddy Waters and a special spiritual appearance by Satan/God.

Mike Olcott is a freelance writer.