Austin360 On The Record: Evan Johns, Tom Gillam, Sarah Pierce

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It’s the week before Christmas, and not much is stirring in terms of new records. Here’s a look back at a handful of local releases we missed over the past few months that warrant attention:

MysticTitansAlbumCoverMystic Titans of Ju Ju, “Brand New Party.” Only one member of this trio is local, but guitarist Evan Johns is well-known for his roles in such storied Austin roots acts as the LeRoi Brothers and Big Guitars From Texas. He reunites here with two fellow D.C.-area natives, Bubba Coon and Peter Bonta, for a down-and-dirty romp through originals (Johns’ rambunctious title track is a standout) and choice covers including Bill Monroe’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and Jimmie Davis’ “You Are My Sunshine.” They close it out in the holiday spirit with Coon’s simple and reverent “Merry Christmas.” Here’s the Johns-penned “Two Old Fools”:


tom-gillam-beautiful-dream3Tom Gillam & the Kozmic Messengers, “Beautiful Dream.” Perhaps best-known regionally as a radio personality on New Braunfels Americana station KNBT, New Jersey transplant Gillam also has recorded and toured internationally with the band US Rails and fronting his own Kozmic Messengers. Their American roots-based material ranges from the classic rock sounds of the ’70s (“Just Don’t Feel Like Love”) to country-tinged fare (“Red Letter Day”) and bluesy folk (“Good Day in Hell”). heavy on electric guitars with Gillam’s soulful vocals up front. Here’s the leadoff track, “Tell Me What You Want”:


Sarah Pierce, “Barbed Wire” (Little Bear). The West Texas-raised singer-songwriter delivers straightforward country-folk originals on her ninth album. Here’s the song “I’m Sorry,” a duet with Reckless Kelly’s Willy Braun:

Sour Bridges, self-titled. The self-described “browngrass” tunes on the third album by this six-piece band blend acoustic and electric instrumentation with infectious energy and spirit. Here’s the track “Workin’ Boy”:

Buenos Diaz, “Urbanized New Wave Texican.” The title fairly well pegs this eclectic seven-song follow-up to last year’s more roots-based debut EP from this outfit helmed by Nick Diaz. Here’s the track “The Chaka”:

Dickie Erwin, “Shadetree.” The latest record by the longtime Austin songwriter features eight originals that mix soft-spoken folk and twangy country, plus an easygoing cover of John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind” that epitomizes the nature of Erwin’s own material and musical approach. Here’s the opening track, “Now’s the Time”:


JAN. 8: Harvest Thieves, “Rival,” release show Jan. 8 at Scoot Inn.

JAN. 8: Lew Card, “Follow Me Down” (Monomer).

JAN. 15: Reed Turner, “Native Tongue” EP, release show Jan. 15 at Stubb’s.

JAN. 16: Matt the Electrician with Little Brave, “Mountains”/“20/20” 7-inch.

JAN. 22: Will T. Massey, “The Weathering,” release show Jan. 24 at Strange Brew.

FEB. 19: Carrie Rodriguez + the Sacred Hearts, “Lola” (Luz/Thirty Tigers).

FEB. 26: Kathryn Legendre, “Don’t Give a Damn” EP.

APRIL: Michael Fracasso, “Here Come the Savages.”

EARLY 2016: Calliope Musicals, “Time Owes You Nothing.”

EARLY 2016: A Giant Dog, title TBA (Merge).

EARLY 2016: White Denim, title TBA.

SPRING 2016: Hayes Carll, title TBA.

Are you an Austin-area act with a new record coming out? Let us know at

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