On The Record: Jimmy LaFave, Abram Shook, Conspirare

OUT THIS WEEK

JimmyLaFaveAlbumCoverJimmy LaFave, “The Night Tribe” (Music Road). Long one of Austin’s top singers, songwriters and interpreters, LaFave keeps things close to home and heart on his second release of new material for Music Road Records. He’s used the name “The Night Tribe” for his backing crew off-and-on over the years, and he revisits the notion in the title track, a bluesy number that evokes the nocturnal spirit of creative types who are out well past midnight. Renowned for his illuminating versions of Dylan tunes, LaFave shines this time on a gloriously chiming “Queen Jane Approximately,” and also gives a gentle touch to Neil Young’s “Journey Through the Past.” But mostly this record focuses on LaFave’s own material, from the sweet sway of the opener “The Beauty of You” to the introspective ballad “Island” to the funky ramble of “Dust Bowl Okies.” In-store May 12 at Waterloo Records; playing May 16 at Cherokee Creek Music Festival in Cherokee.

AbramShookAlbumCoverAbram Shook, “Landscape Dream” (Western Vinyl). Shook’s follow-up to last year’s solo debut “Sun Marquee” sports a similar album cover, trading an orange-red color scheme for a blue-green one. The two records, both released by prominent local indie Western Vinyl, indeed feel in some respects like companion pieces, highlighting Shook’s high-pitched vocals against a blend of electronic and organic arrangements. Shook, a touring member of Shearwater, digs a bit deeper here, taking what he learned on his first record and pushing into more adventurous territory toward a reckoning point of sorts on the revelatory tune “Perfect.” Release show May 15 at the Mohawk, in-store May 28 at Waterloo Records. Here’s the track “Understood”:

ConspirareAlbumCoverConspirare, “Jody Talbot: Path of Miracles” (Harmonia Mundi). Fresh off their first Grammy, Craig Hella Johnson’s choral ensemble returns with a four-part work from British composer Talbot, recorded in Austin last year at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church. Johnson and members of Conspirare will lead public attendees in a “Big Sing” program of songs for social justice on May 14 from 6 to 7 p.m. at First Austin Church, 901 Trinity St. A live online chat about “Path of Miracles” with Talbot and Johnson will be featured May 18 at 6 p.m. on MPR Choral Stream.

Lonesome Band, “Running Alone” (Icehouse). Debut album of 11 straightforward country-folk original tunes from seven-piece Austin outfit. Release show May 14 at Continental Club.

Mon Freres Amigos, “Evil Company.” First record from San Marcos alt-country fivesome fronted by Graeme Mullen and Gabriel Schnell. Release show May 13 at Beerland.

Also: Ray Prim, “Still Here” (Lounge Side), release show May 16 at Strange Brew; Grizzly Adams Family, “Cloverdale,” release show May 15 at One-2-One Bar: Theo Love, “No Other Love Alive,” release show May 12 at North Door: Silo Road, “Last Call Love,” release show May 14 at Saxon Pub; Sour Bridges, self-titled; The Docs, “Seasons.”

COMING SOON

MAY 19: Danny Schmidt, “Owls,” release show May 17 at Cactus Cafe.

MAY 19: Texas Horns, “Blues Gotta Holda Me” (Vizztone), in-store May 14 at Waterloo Records.

MAY 29: Christy Hays & Caliche, self-titled (EP), release show May 29 at Stay Gold.

JUNE 2: Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard, “Django and Jimmie” (Legacy), playing July 4 at Austin360 Amphitheater.

JUNE 9: Dale Watson, “Call Me Insane” (Red House/Ameripolitan), in-store June 11 at Waterloo Records.

JUNE 9: Uncle Lucius, “The Light” (Boo Clap/Thirty Tigers), in-store June 10 at Waterloo Records.

JUNE 16: Heartless Bastards, “Gates of Dawn” (Partisan).

JUNE 18: The Good Earth, “Rock & Tree,” release show June 18 at One-2-One Bar.

JUNE 30: Suzanne Monroe, “Face to the Mirror,” release show June 30 at Ground Floor Theatre.

Are you an Austin-area act with a new record coming out? Let us know at musicsource@statesman.com.

Author: Peter Blackstock

Music writer for the Austin American-Statesman and austin360.com. Twitter: @Blackstock360

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