OUT THIS WEEK
Willie Nelson, “For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price” (Legacy). Following February’s album of George and Ira Gershwin songs with this collection of Ray Price classics might suggest that Nelson is in a looking-back frame of mind these days. That’s understandable for an artist who has 80-odd years of musical memories to revisit. Price, who died in 2013, looms as large as anyone in Willie’s legacy, having hired Nelson to play bass with his Cherokee Cowboys in 1961. Recording in Nashville with producers Fred Foster and Bergen White — who also helmed Price’s posthumously-released final album “Beauty Is…” — Willie went all out with this one, leaving behind his Family Band (save for harmonica ace Mickey Raphael) to work with the Time Jumpers, a superb country-jazz-swing ensemble that includes Vince Gill. An expansive string section swells up on several of these tunes, providing a rich and full studio sound that harkens back to the way great records used to be made in the heyday of 20th-century popular music. The songs are all familiar: “Faded Love,” “Make the World Go Away,” “Crazy Arms,” even Willie’s own “Night Life” — a neat trick to pay tribute to another artist with a song your wrote yourself. But Nelson and his producers make them worth hearing again, because of the care they take and the way that they invoke the towering influence of Price’s personality and style. Playing Oct. 9 at Austin City Limits Music Festival. Here’s a “making of” video about the record:
Folk Uke, “Star(expletive).” Speaking of Willie: The credits here include the note, “Special thanks to our Executive Producer, Willie Nelson.” Folk Uke’s Amy Nelson also calls him dad. Her partner in ukulele crime, Cathy Guthrie, calls Arlo Guthrie dad, and Arlo turns up on three tracks here too. More Nelsons are involved: Amy’s brothers Micah and Lukas, who play in Neil Young’s band, also appear, along with Jayhawks bassist Marc Perlman and local fixtures Randy Weeks and Mike Stinson. But the main attraction is the risque lyricism that follows in suit of the duo’s recent “Orange Is the New Black” TV-placement hit.
Still, as much as foul-mouthed humor is Folk Uke’s calling card, there’s beauty here, too. Check out their rendition of “California Stars,” a song featuring lyrics by Cathy’s grandfather, Woody Guthrie, set to music by the late Jay Bennett and Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy back in 1998. Playing Oct. 5 at Gibson Guitar Showroom and Oct. 8 at 3Ten. Here’s a live video of “California Stars” from Austin’s Saxon Pub:
Jesse Dayton, “The Revealer” (Blue Elan). The interconnectedness continues with the ninth album from roots-rocker Dayton, who played guitar on a Ray Price record and joined Folk Uke for a duet at Willie’s July Fourth Picnic last year. Dayton has had an adventurous run of late, subbing for sidelined Billy Zoom in the legendary punk band X as well as playing in X leader John Doe’s own band. Recorded in Houston with a cast that included his El Trio Grande side-band partners John Evans and Mike Stinson, Dayton’s first album of new material in five years bristles with barroom rock ’n’ roll energy. Highlights include “Daddy Was a Badass,” a pedal-to-the-floor tribute to his father’s hell-bent spirit; “Match Made in Heaven,” a country-twangin’ two-stepper with harmonies from Austin singer Brennen Leigh; and “Never Started Livin’,” a ballad that reveals the songwriter’s more sensitive side. In-store Sept. 19 at Waterloo Records; playing Nov. 4 at Antone’s. Here’s the video for “Daddy Was a Badass”:
Meat Loaf, “Braver Than We Are” (429). Wait, what’s Meat Loaf doing in a roundup about local albums? Turns out the mega-melodramatic rocker moved to the area a few years ago. Another collaboration with songwriter Jim Steinman, responsible for the material that made Meat Loaf huge in the 1970s with “Bat Out of Hell,” this new collection seems unlikely to have similar impact, if only because the nature of music consumption has changed so much since then. (Two “Bat Out of Hell” sequels in 1993 and 2006 sold respectably but showed a distinct decline.) Still, “Braver Than We Are” retains the ambition and drama that are the hallmark of the Steinman/Meat Loaf partnership, especially on the 11-minute epic “Going All the Way Is Just the Start.” Here’s the track “Speaking in Tongues”:
East Cameron Folkcore, “Better Off.” Sharpening their focus a bit after last year’s hourlong, multi-tiered opus “Kingdom of Fear,” the folk-punk band hits hard with an eight-song set that’s afire with apocalyptic fervor. The titles alone give a pretty good indication of the record’s dramatic agenda: “Einstein’s Nightmare,” “Dreams Deferred,” “Wilderness of War.” Perhaps the best of the bunch is “Who Do We Think We Are,” a referendum for self-examination set to steady sonic flows and bursts of horns and guitars. There’s also an accompanying separate EP, “Fossils,” being issued simultaneously with “Better Off.” Release show Sept. 24 at Empire. Here’s the video for the title track:
Elijah Ford & the Bloom, “As You Were” (Nine Mile). Formerly a sideman with Ryan Bingham, Ford issued his first solo record in 2011, followed by an EP the next year. “As You Were” picks up where he left off, with 10 tracks of well-constructed and tightly focused roots-rock recorded at at Austin’s Arlyn Studios. In-store Oct. 19 at Waterloo Records, playing Oct. 22 at Continental Club. Here’s the video for the track “Try As You Might”:
Flyin’ A’s, “You Drive Me Crazy.” Husband-wife singer-songwriters Hilary Claire and Stuart Adamson called in the big guns for this 11-track Americana collection, working with producer Chris Gage and a supporting cast of bassist Glenn Fukunaga, drummer Paul Pearcy, pedal steel ace Lloyd Maines and Will Taylor on viola. If there’s nothing groundbreaking here, it’s a great-sounding record that couches their easy-to-like vocal harmonies in comfortable country twang. Release show Sept. 18 at Strange Brew. Here’s the leadoff track, “Little Miss Tumbleweed”:
Jackie Venson, “Live.” The up-and-coming blues-rock singer and guitarist recorded this album earlier in the year at Strange Brew. Release show Sept. 18 at Antone’s; also catch her sitting in with Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” band a few nights this month. Here’s video of a track from the album-recording show:
The L, “I Will Find You No Matter What: The Songs of Luc and Bob Schneider” (Shockorama). The locally omnipresent Schneider wrote and recorded these 14 songs with his son, who’s now 11 years old, over the span of many years. Advance listening was not made available for press, but the album is is now available for download exclusively to Amazon Prime customers. Bob Schneider plays Sept. 29 at the All ATX benefit concert at ACL Live, and most Mondays with Lonelyland at the Saxon Pub.
Wild Bill & the Lost Knobs, “Scumbags of the Rodeo.” Playing off the title of the Byrds’ classic “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” album, Bill Ogden’s band suitably presents raunchy, rough-and-tumble outsider country music on these 14 tracks. Contributing musicians include Marshall Hood, Sweet Gary Newcomb and Cris Burns, who co-produced. Release show Sept. 16 at ABGB. Here’s the track “Just Like We Care”:
Henry + the Invisibles, “Musaic.” A dozen tracks of eclectic, beat-driven sounds from one-man band Henry Roland (thus “the Invisibles” supporting him). Release show Sept. 17 at Empire. Here’s the song “Whoa,” the lone track that features another musician (saxophonist Jeff Dazey):
Golden Bear, “Dimensional Place” (C-Side). A lot has changed for indie band Golden Bear since 2011’s “Alive,” most notably the addition of singer Kate Daniel and a turn toward more synth-dominated sounds. Release show Oct. 15 at Mohawk. Here’s the leadoff track, “Let My Love Come Down”:
Keeper, “Corners” EP. Four new songs from the soulful synth-based vocal group; we’ll have more on them soon on Austin360 and in the American-Statesman. Playing Oct. 7 at Austin City Limits Music Festival. Here’s the track “Melodica”:
Street Sects, “End Position” (Flenser). Latest from the industrial punk duo of Leo Ashline and Shaun Ringsmuth. Release show Sept. 21 at North Door.
Tritonal, “Painting With Dreams.” Check out our feature story on the electronica duo. Playing Sept. 16 at Stubb’s.
SEPT. 23: Katie Shore, “Fall Away,” release show Sept. 22 at Continental Club.
SEPT. 23: Reckless Kelly, “Sunset Motel” (Thirty Tigers).
SEPT. 23: Ruby & the Reckless, “In My Head.”
SEPT. 23: Tele Novella, “House of Souls” (Yellow Year).
SEPT. 23: The Sword, “Low Country” (Razor & Tie), acoustic counterpart to last year’s “High Country”; playing Emo’s Oct. 14.
SEPT. 23: Tameca Jones, self-titled EP.
SEPT. 23: Xander Harris, “California Chrome” (Rock Action), release show Sept. 21 at North Door.
SEPT. 30: Survive, “RR7349” (Relapse), release show Sept. 30 at Barracuda.
SEPT. 30: Dale Watson, “Under the Influence” (Red River).
OCT. 1: Jon Dee Graham, “Knoxville Skyline” EP.
OCT. 7: Sophia Johnson, “One Year,” release show Oct. 7 at Continental Club.
OCT. 7: Eric Johnson, “EJ” (Provogue), in-store Oct. 3 at Waterloo Records, playing Nov. 19 at Paramount Theatre.
OCT. 7: Terri Hendrix, “The Slaughterhouse Sessions” (Wilory).
OCT. 7: Jamestown Revival, “The Education of a Wandering Man” (Republic), playing Nov. 4 at Emo’s.
OCT. 7: Thor & Friends, self-titled (LM Duplication).
OCT. 14: Tinnarose, “My Pleasure Has Returned” (Nine Mile), release show Oct. 14 at Barracuda.
OCT. 14: Paul Cauthen, “My Gospel” (Lightning Rod), release show Oct. 14 at Stubb’s indoor.
OCT. 14: Walker Lukens, EP, release show Oct. 14 at 3Ten.
OCT. 21: “Highway Prayer: A Tribute to Adam Carroll” (Eight 30), in-store Oct. 26 at Waterloo Records with James McMurtry, Gordy Quist (from Band of Heathens), Jamie Lin Wilson, Noel McKay & Brennen Leigh.
OCT. 21: Kevin Fowler, “Coming to a Honky Tonk Near You.”
OCT. 28: Bonnie Whitmore, “F— With Sad Girls,” pre-release show Sept. 29 at Continental Club.
OCT. 28: Brownout, “Brown Sabbath, Vol. 2,” release show Oct. 29 at Scoot Inn.
OCT. 28: Alejandro Escovedo, “Burn Something Beautiful” (Fantasy), playing Oct. 1 at the Continental Club.
NOV. 18: KP & the Boom Boom, “The Brave,” pre-release show Sept. 16 at Scoot Inn.
FALL: Croy & the Boys, title TBA.