OUT THIS WEEK
Greyhounds, “Cheyenne Valley Drive.” Keyboardist Anthony Farrell and guitarist Anthony Trube were well-suited to their roles in Florida swamp-rocker JJ Grey’s band Mofro, but they were also too talented as songwriters to remain side players. It’s Austin’s gain, then, that they’ve focused on their band the Greyhounds in the past couple of years. “Cheyenne Valley Drive” builds on the promise of 2016’s “Change of Pace” and 2014’s “Accelerator,” bearing the fruit of informal weekly Wednesday jams at C-Boy’s as Trube, Farrell & Snizz. Sweet and soulful sway is the Greyhounds’ bread-and-butter, but their golden touch is Farrell’s singing. On tracks such as the tone-setting opener “Learning How to Love” and the instantly infectious “All We Are,” the richness of his voice permeates the grooves like 100 percent humidity, dripping with passion and personality. Release show April 13 at Continental Club. Here’s the track “No Other Woman”:
Wood & Wire, “North of Despair” (Blue Corn). At the forefront of Austin’s small but significant bluegrass scene in recent years, Wood & Wire follow their self-titled 2013 debut, 2015’s “The Coast” and a 2016 live album captured at the Scoot Inn with this 11-song collection recorded in Dripping Springs. Guitarist Tony Kamel is the band’s frontman, but he’s far from the only creative voice; mandolinist Billy Bright, banjo ace Trevor Smith and upright bassist Dom Fisher all contribute songs to “North of Despair,” which helps broaden the album’s horizons. Kamel excels in storytelling tunes such as “Just Don’t Make ’Em.” a nod to his grandfather. Instrumentals from Bright (“Summertimes Rolls”) and Smith (“Wingding”) showcase the quartet’s impeccable musicianship. Fisher’s “Texas.” a co-write with Robin Bernard, finds the group downshifting gears for a rich and resonant ballad. Release show April 28 at Scoot Inn. Here’s the video for “Just Don’t Make ’Em”:
Josh T. Pearson, “The Straight Hits!” (Mute). You wouldn’t expect something normal from the guy whose 2001 concept double album “The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads” with Denton band Lift to Experience was one of the state’s weirdest records ever. A 10-year gap followed before Pearson’s 2011 solo debut “Last of the Country Gentlemen,” and now another seven years until this follow-up. If “The Straight Hits!” seems an odd title for such an outsider musician, note that every song contains the word “straight.” There’s a certain element of this record that is straight-shooting; it’s basically a singer-songwriter rock ’n’ roll tour de force, supplemented by a cover of fellow Austin troubadour Jonathan Terrell’s “Damn Straight” (hey, the title fit the conceit). Still, weirdness abounds, mostly in Pearson’s often flamboyant vocal affectations that reafirrm he’s an artist bent on exhibiting a distinctive personality. Naturally, there’s no local record-release show or in-store, though he spent the winter months playing Monday nights with Terrell at southern-outskirts hangout Sam’s Town Point. Here’s the video for “Straight to the Top!”:
Sideshow Tragedy, “The View From Nowhere” (Hand Drawn). The sixth record by this duo teaming frontman and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Singleton with drummer and songwriting partner Jeremy Harrell in some ways recalls the bristling, evocative music that a similarly constructed duo, House of Freaks, created in the 1980s. Sideshow Tragedy fits loosely into the modern Austin indie scene, but they might have felt more naturally at home here in an earlier era, as their songs recall the glorious music made by underground rock bands in the pre-Nirvana era. The lyrics are dark, smart and sharp; the music backs that mood up with a tones and textures that are consistently on an edge and pushing forward. Release show April 12 at Continental Club. Here’s the video for the track “Nobody”:
Kathy & the Kilowatts, “Premonition of Love” (Nola Blue). A fixture in Austin blues and R&B since the 1980s, Kathy Murray and her band have had a resurgence of late, signing with Nola Blue to follow up last year’s “Let’s Do This Thing.” Murray’s husband William Jones shines on guitar and accordion, with New Orleans great Benny Turner adding bass on four tracks. Release show April 21 at Antone’s. Here’s the official lyric video for the title track:
Andy Macintyre, “Melomania” EP. The Chicago-born guitarist arose from the blues-rock tradition, but on this six-song set he heads more toward atmospheric prog-rock and buoyant melodic pop. A curveball supplementing five original tunes is a cover of Nirvana’s “Dumb.” Guests on the record include fellow Austin musicians Van Wilks and Jacqui Walker. Release show April 14 at Antone’s. Here’s the track “Meloman”:
- APRIL 20: Marcia Ball, “Shine Bright” (Alligator), in-store April 24 at Waterloo Records, playing May 19 at Antone’s.
- APRIL 20: Nightowls, “We Are the Nightowls,” release show April 20 at Continental Club.
- APRIL 20: Charley Crockett, “Lonesome As a Shadow,” release show April 22 at Stubb’s indoor.
- APRIL 20: Ty Richards, “Welcome to Flat Earth,” release show April 20 at Mosaic Sound Collective.
- APRIL 20: Arkansas Dave, self-titled (Big Indie).
- APRIL 27: Willie Nelson, “Last Man Standing” (Legacy), playing July 4 at Circuit of the Americas.
- APRIL 27: Gary P. Nunn, “Friends for Life” (duets album).
- APRIL 27: Mobley, “Fresh Lies, Vol. 1,” in-store April 27 at Waterloo Records.
- APRIL 27: Christy Hays, “River Swimmer” (Nine Mile), release show April 21 at C-Boy’s.
- APRIL 29: Dunebuggy, “33” (Flak), in-store April 29 at Antone’s Record Shop.
- MAY 4: Shakey Graves, “Can’t Wake Up” (Dualtone).
- MAY 4: Jeff Plankenhorn, “Sleeping Dogs,” playing May 2 on Texas Radio Live at Guero’s, in-store May 4 at Waterloo Records.
- MAY 11: Marmalakes, “Please Don’t Stop” (Austin Town Hall), in-store May 7 at Waterloo Records.
- MAY 18: Kelly Willis, “Back Being Blue” (Thirty Tigers), release show June 2 at Stateside at the Paramount.
- MAY 18: Jason Boland & the Stragglers, “Hard Times Are Relative” (Thirty Tigers), playing May 19 at Dripping Springs Ranch Park.
- MAY 18: Chris Sensat, “Rye.”
- MAY 25: Brownout, “Fear of a Brown Planet” (Fat Beats).
- MAY 25: Patricia Vonne, “Top of the Mountain” (Bandolera), release show May 26 at Continental Club.
- JUNE 1: Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore, “Downey to Lubbock,” release show June 2 at Antone’s.
- JUNE 8: Jesse Dayton, “The Outsider” (Blue Elan).
- JUNE 15: Tish Hinojosa, “West.”
- JUNE 22: Giulia Millanta, “Conversation With a Ghost” (Ugly Cat).