Austin360 On The Record: Robert Earl Keen, Churchwood and more

OUT THIS WEEK

rekreunionalbumcoverRobert Earl Keen, “Live Dinner Reunion” (Dualtone). To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his “No. 2 Live Dinner” album, Keen returned to the scene of the crime, John T. Floore’s Country Store just west of San Antonio. “Live Dinner Reunion” expands on the original, with 17 songs and nine tracks of intros and banter (compared to 13 and four, respectively, last time around). And the material is mostly different, as Keen works in tunes written since the first one (“Feelin’ Good Again,” “Shades of Gray,” “Wild Wind”) as well as a handful of selections from last year’s bluegrass album “Happy Prisoner.” Another prominent difference is the addition of special guests on several tracks, including Lyle Lovett, Bruce Robison and Cory Morrow. Four songs repeat from the first time around: “Gringo Honeymoon,” “The Road Goes on Forever,” Terry Allen’s “Amarillo Highway” — and the inevitable “Merry Christmas From the Family,” just in time for the holidays. Signing-only in-store Nov. 18 at Waterloo Records; annual Christmas show Dec. 20 at ACL Live.

Churchwood, “Hex City” (Saustex). Darkness pervades the fourth album from this far-out punk-blues outfit. Songwriter Joe Doerr’s voice hangs like a harbinger of dread as he delivers lyrics that range from apocalyptic (“One Big White Nightmare”) to paranoid (“Metanoia”). This ain’t easy listening. But with forceful backing from guitarists Bill Anderson and Billysteve Korpi, bassist Adam Kahan and drummer Julien Peterson, plus the heavy punch of the Money Shot Brass on several tracks, Doerr delves deep into the heart of the dissonance he perceives. “How I see the world is my particular business,” he declares on the title track, summarizing not only his personal philosophy but his band’s unique artistic vision. Here’s the track “Hallelujah” (not the Leonard Cohen song):

KP & the Boom Boom, “The Brave.” After a couple of EPs and singles, this modern soul-funk outfit’s full-length debut features 10 tracks of smooth, swinging groove centered on the richly distinctive singing of leader Kate Priestley. Backed by guitarist Bryan Sunderman, keyboardist Carolyn Trowbridge, bassist Nick Wong and drummer Anthony Ortega, with guest musicians accenting the mix on horns and backing vocals, KP & the Boom Boom serve notice that they’re one of Austin’s more musically compelling young bands. Here’s a video for the track “Little Persuasions” that the band submitted for NPR’s “Tiny Desk” contest earlier this year:

Curtis Grimes, “Undeniably Country.” A fixture on the Texas country music circuit since appearing on the first season of NBC’s “The Voice,” Grimes stays close to traditional sounds and themes on this eight-song collection. Everything revolves around Grimes’ congenial, easygoing voice, given solid melodic support from a cast assembled by Nashville star Trent Willmon in the producer’s chair. Here’s a short preview of the leadoff track, “Everything Hank Did”:

COMING SOON

NOV. 25: KGSR Broadcasts Vol. 23, annual compilation of in-studio performancdes to benefit the SIMS Foundation and the Seton Fund, with 33 acts including locals White Denim, Hayes Carll, Bob Schneider and Shakey Graves.

NOV. 25: Thieves, “No Motive” (Revival), release show Nov. 25 at Sidewinder.

DEC. 6: David Halley, “A Month of Somedays,” release show Dec. 3 at the Townsend.

DEC. 7: B. Harold Benton, “Poems for This World,” release show Dec. 7 at Guero’s.

JAN. 13, 2017: Band of Heathens, “Duende.”

JAN. 20, 2017: Matthew Squires, “Tambaleo.”


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