Austin360 On The Record: Cotton Mather, Eric Tessmer

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CottonMatherAlbumCoverCotton Mather, “Death of the Cool” (Star Apple Kingdom). There are concept albums, and there is Cotton Mather leader Robert Harrison’s latest endeavor. This 11-song disc is actually just a small fraction of Harrison’s “Songs of the I Ching” mega-project, a collection of 64 songs from both his early band Cotton Mather and his subsequent outfit Future Clouds & Radar that are “reactions in song to illuminations from the I Ching about life unfolding,” to use Harrison’s own words about the ancient Chinese writings. “Some of the songs directly reference the text and others use the readings as a starting point.” He’s releasing them bit-by-bit on his website, along with extended ruminations about each track. That’s a deep dive, but the good news is that if you’re simply a fan of Harrison’s intriguing way with a melody from his three decades of indie-pop explorations, “Death of the Cool” also holds together well as a more traditional album. Top local musicians including George Reiff and Darin Murphy help color the songs with fascinating textures. In-store Sept. 8 at Waterloo Records. Here’s the leadoff track, “The Book of Too Late Changes”:

Eric Tessmer, “EP 1.” Four new songs from the longtime local blues-rock guitar slinger. Release show July 29 at Antone’s. Here’s a live acoustic version of the track “Ms. Fortune Teller”:


AUG. 11: Kelsey Arianne, “Light Shines Through,” release show Aug. 11 at Strange Brew.

AUG. 12: Kim Simpson, “Songs and Sightings 1992-2014,” release show Aug. 12 at Good Shepherd on the Hill.

AUG. 19: Dale Watson, “Live At The Big T Roadhouse, Chicken S#!+ Bingo Sunday” (Red House/Ameripolitan).

AUG. 20: Eric Bee, self-titled, release show Aug. 20 at Stay Gold.

AUG. 22: Beaver Nelson, “Positive,” release show Sept. 16 at Strange Brew.

AUG. 26: Jack Ingram, “Midnight Motel” (Rounder).

AUG. 26: Bill Kirchen & Austin de Lone, “Transatlanticana” (Red House), playing Oct. 28 at El Mercado Backstage.

AUG. 26: Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Strong Like That” (Severn).

AUG. 26: Wildfires, “Aguas Frescas (Part II)” EP.

SEPT. 9: Giulia Millanta, “Moonbeam Parade.”

SEPT. 16: Willie Nelson, “For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price” (Legacy).

SEPT. 16: Jesse Dayton, “The Revealer” (Blue Elan), playing Nov. 4 at Antone’s.

SEPT. 16: Elijah Ford & the Bloom, “As You Were” (Nine Mile).

SEPT. 17: Henry & the Invisibles, title TBA, release show Sept. 17 at Empire.

SEPT. 23: Reckless Kelly, “Sunset Motel” (Thirty Tigers).

SEPT. 23: Ruby & the Reckless, “In My Head.”

SEPT. 26: Thor & Friends, self-titled (LM Duplication).

SEPT. 30: Survive, “RR7349” (Relapse).

SEPTEMBER: Band of Heathens, title TBA.

OCTOBER: Eric Johnson, title TBA.

FALL: Terri Hendrix, “The Slaughterhouse Sessions” (Wilory).

FALL: Jamestown Revival, “The Education of a Wandering Man” (Republic), playing Nov. 4 at Emo’s.

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