Video premiere: Nobody’s Girl seeks their own level on ‘Waterline’

Nobody’s Girl (l-r): Grace Pettis, Rebecca Loebe, Betty Soo. Contributed/Nikki Gell

The new Austin trio Nobody’s Girl grew partly from the roots of the Kerrville Folk Festival, where Betty Soo, Grace Pettis and Rebecca Loebe had been past winners of the fest’s New Folk Competition. Earlier this year, they teamed up to perform a set there together, after spending the winter writing and recording material for a debut record.

That disc, a seven-song EP titled “Waterline,” comes out Friday, Sept. 28, supplementing original tunes with fellow Austin singer-songwriter Raina Rose’s “Bluebonnets” and a cover of Blondie’s “Call Me.” Recording with renowned producer/keyboardist Michael Ramos for the new label Lucky Hound, they worked with a major-league backing crew: guitarist David Grissom, bassist Glenn Fukunaga, drummer J.J. Johnson and pedal steel player Ricky Ray Jackson.

The result isn’t as folk-oriented as you might suspect from those Kerrville connections. “Waterline” probably fits under the broad Americana umbrella, but this feels like pop music at its core, with electric instrumentation prominent in the arrangements.

The opening track “What’ll I Do” (which gets an acoustic reprise at the end of the disc) got an early release a few months ago. It exemplifies the trio’s exuberant sound built around soaring three-part harmonies. The same is true for the EP’s title track, which features a video that we’re premiering on Austin360. Here’s “Waterline”:

The band celebrates the release of the EP with a performance on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Saxon Pub (10 p.m., $10).

It’s also worth checking out the video for their rendition of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” done last winter when they were initially billing themselves as the Sirens of South Austin.

RELATED: More on recent and upcoming releases by Austin artists

A real blues from ‘Blaze’: Charlie Sexton covers Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Marie’

Charlie Sexton is featured on the upcoming soundtrack to “Blaze” performing Townes Van Zandt’s song “Marie.” JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Accolades have been rolling in for “Blaze,” the biopic about ill-fated Austin songwriter Blaze Foley that premiered at Sundance and South by Southwest film festivals earlier this year before a limited theatrical release this month.

READ MORE: Our review of “Blaze”

The film stars Southern musician Ben Dickey in the title role, but Austin music mainstay Charlie Sexton has been turning a lot of heads for his supporting role as the legendary Townes Van Zandt. Seattle label Light in the Attic will release the “Blaze” soundtrack album next month, and among the highlights is Sexton’s version of Van Zandt’s song “Marie.” We’re premiering the track today on Austin360:

Most of the soundtrack, due out Sept. 21, features Dickey singing Foley’s songs. There’s also a duet between Dickey and Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Segarra on Blind Willie McTell’s “Pearly Gates,” and Segarra singing “Drunken Angel,” a song Lucinda Williams wrote after Foley was shot and killed in Austin in 1989.

Sexton also recently produced a solo album for Dickey, consisting of the songwriter’s own material, that’s due out early next year. An EP will precede it on Sept. 4, according to Dickey’s Twitter bio.

RELATED: For all the right reasons, Charlie Sexton is Austin music’s MVP

Avetts at the Wheel? The brothers team with Ray Benson on a song about Willie

The Avett Brothers joined Ray Benson, left, and Asleep at the Wheel at Benson’s 66th birthday party during South by Southwest 2017. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

With more than 30 albums since 1973, Asleep at the Wheel always seems to have another record around the corner. But next month’s “New Routes” is worthy of special attention, as it’s the band’s first collection of primarily new original material in more than a decade.

After 2007’s “Reinventing the Wheel,” bandleader Ray Benson and his crew stayed plenty busy with projects that included another Bob Wills tribute, a Christmas album and collaborations with Willie Nelson and Texas Playboys legend Leon Rausch. Benson also made a solo record (plus a duo disc with Dale Watson), and fiddler Katie Shore did an album of her own as well.

READ MORE: Ray Benson talks about the band’s third Bob Wills tribute album

“New Routes” mixes new tunes (with both Benson and Shore as featured vocalists) with a handful of carefully chosen covers, including Guy Clark’s classic “Dublin Blues” and the rockabilly gem “Seven Nights to Rock.” But there’s a bonus track at the end that’s likely to generate significant attention.

“Willie Got There First” features Seth and Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers, who’ve become good friends with Benson in recent years. They appeared on the Wheel’s 2016 “Still the King” tribute to Wills, and performed with the band as part of Benson’s 66th birthday bash during South by Southwest last year (a show that also featured Willie Nelson).

RELATED: Willie Nelson, Avett Brothers help Ray Benson celebrate 66th birthday

Seth Avett wrote “Willie Got There First” as a nod to the Red Headed Stranger, working references to Nelson standards such as “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” “Crazy” and “Yesterday’s Wine” into a tune about how Willie is a “renaissance master” of country songwriting. Benson chimes in to sing the final verse. Here’s the track:

It must be noted that the song’s initial verse and chorus feel a little off-base. The narrator sings of being inspired to write a song about his loved one’s crying blue eyes, only to realize that “Willie got there first.” The beautiful “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” was, of course, written by Fred Rose, though Nelson’s rendition of the song is iconic.

Asleep at the Wheel’s “New Routes” comes out Sept. 14 via Bismeaux/Thirty Tigers. The band once again will kick off the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Oct. 5, their 17th straight year in that role.

RELATED: Review of Asleep at the Wheel at ACL Fest 2016

Video premiere: Western Youth’s ‘Hangin’ On’ offers peek at upcoming debut album

Western Youth’s “Hangin’ On” will be part of their self-titled album due out Sept. 21. Peter Blackstock/American-Statesman

Austin band Western Youth has been picking up steam over the past year as they prepare for next month’s release of a self-titled album, their first in five years. Taylor Williams has fronted the band since the start, but there’s a new secret weapon in their lineup with the addition of Graham Weber, a longtime presence in Austin as a solo acoustic act and with the band So Long, Problems.

The band’s video for “Hangin’ On,” which we’re premiering on Austin360 today, gives an idea of what the new record will sound like. The performance is full of energy and passion, with Williams and Weber trading verses back and forth before the hard-hitting chorus speaks to the desperation of “Hangin’ on, just by a thread.” The video intersplices slow-motion live footage with topical news clips and photos both recent and decades old; viewers will recognize most of them.

The group’s next live show is Aug. 17 at Hard Luck Lounge. Here’s “Hangin’ On”:

Song premiere: Hear Ian Moore cover Doug Sahm’s ‘At the Crossroads’

Ian Moore plays Antone’s this weekend to celebrate his 50th birthday. Contributed/Curtis W. Millard

When Ian Moore turns 50 next week in his adopted home of Seattle, he’ll be at the major-league ballpark Safeco Field for a big Pearl Jam show there. But before the big five-oh hits, he’s made a trip back to his hometown of Austin for shows Friday and Saturday at Antone’s, the club where he largely cut his teeth as a teenage blues-guitar prodigy.

READ MORE: Our interview with Ian Moore

His new EP “Toronto” came out in May on Last Chance Records, which is also gearing up to release a 7-inch single of Moore covering Doug Sahm’s classic “At the Crossroads.” We’re told that Sahm’s son, Shawn Sahm, will be at Antone’s for the Saturday night show to join Moore onstage for the tune.

In the meantime, give a listen: Here’s an Austin360 exclusive premiere of the track.

 

Album premiere: Hear Jeremy Nail’s new ‘Live Oak’ in its entirety

Jeremy Nail’s new album, “Live Oak,” is due out Aug. 17. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2016

When we last visited with Austin singer-songwriter Jeremy Nail, it was to discuss his 2016 album “My Mountain,” which partly chronicled Nail’s loss of a leg from a rare form of cancer. With the help of producer Alejandro Escovedo and some of Austin’s top musicians, Nail created beautiful music from the depths of hard times.

READ MORE: Meet Jeremy Nail, our Austin360 Artist of the Month for May 2016

One constant that extends from “My Mountain” to his new “Live Oak,” due out Aug. 17, is the prominence of the natural world in the songs Nail writes. The mountains and oceans that loomed large on the last record give way to desert flowers and sturdy trees on “Abiquiu” and the title track, which provide a graceful path in to the new record.

“Live Oak” was produced with drummer Pat Manske at Dripping Springs studio the Zone, with a core backing crew of Manske, keyboardist Bukka Allen, guitarist Jeremy Menking and bassist Pat Harris. Others who appear include Eleanor Whitmore and Chris Masterson from Steve Earle’s band, trumpeter Shane Pitsch and singer Kacy Crowley. Nail will celebrate its release on Aug. 17 at Cactus Cafe.

We’re giving “Like Oak” its full streaming premiere today on Austin360:

RELATED: Revisiting Jeremy Nail’s 2007 debut album, “Letter”

Song premiere: Eliza Gilkyson sings a folk classic with Jimmy LaFave

Eliza Gilkyson’s upcoming album, “Secularia,” includes a duet with Jimmy LaFave on the folk classic “Down By the Riverside.” Contributed/Todd V. Wolfson

If you’re a folk music fan, you’ve heard “Down By the Riverside” probably dozens, maybe hundreds of times. Renowned for its “Ain’t gonna study war no more” chorus, the song is an enduring American classic that traces to the 19th century.

You’ve never heard it quite like this, though. When Austin singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson recorded the song for her new album “Secularia,” due out July 13 on Red House Records, she brought in a very special guest: Austin troubadour Jimmy LaFave, who died of cancer last May at age 61.

The album, now available for preorder, is the 20th of Gilkyson’s career, following 2014’s Grammy-nominated “The Nocturne Diaries.” Shawn Colvin, Sam Butler and the Tosca String Quartet also appear, along with a supporting cast including Chris Maresh, Warren Hood, Kym Warner, Mike Hardwick, Andre Moran and Betty Soo.

Gilkyson will play a CD release concert at Stateside at the Paramount on July 27. Tickets, $28, are available via the venue’s website.

Here’s Gilkyson and LaFave singing “Down By the Riverside”:

RELATED: Check out our Austin360 On The Record roundups of recent local releases

 

Austin360 video premiere: Watch Kat Edmonson ‘Sparkle and Shine’ in Manhattan

Kat Edmonson premieres the video for her song “Sparkle and Shine” with Austin360 today. She’s at Waterloo Records on Thursday for a 5 p.m. in-store before Saturday’s concert at ACL Live. Contributed/Glynis Carpenter

A Houston native who called Austin home for a decade, singer-songwriter Kat Edmonson moved to New York after her 2009 debut “Take to the Sky” and last month released her fourth album, “Old Fashioned Gal.” She returns this week for a marquee concert Saturday at ACL Live, plus a sneak-peek free in-store on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Waterloo Records.

In our review of “Old Fashioned Gal” in last week’s Austin360 On The Record roundup, we noted that the album “features 11 new original songs written with (true to the title) old-fashioned flair.” One of the best is “Sparkle and Shine,” and the video Edmonson made for it perfectly accompanies and enhances the music. We give “Sparkle and Shine” its video premiere today on Austin360:

Envisioned by Edmonson and choreographer Derek Roland, the video begins in black and white but soon shifts to color as Edmonson playfully strolls and dances through cityscapes in Manhattan. Directors Ethan Segal and Jason Jones worked with cinematographer Matt Clements on the three-and-a-half-minute clip.

“Living in New York City now, I’m constantly inspired by the amazing places and structures around me — places that I knew before ever visiting the city from watching classic movies like ‘On the Town’ or ‘Top Hat,'” Edmonson said when asked about her inspiration for the video. “I often feel as though I am walking around in a musical, and it’s all I can do not to break into a dance in the middle of Bryant Park, for example.”

RELATED: See more Austin360 video premieres

 

Album stream premiere: Austin indie duo Marmalakes’ ‘Please Don’t Stop’

Marmalakes: Chase Weinacht (right) and Josh Halpern. Contributed/Katrina Barber

It’s been an odd career arc for Austin indie duo Marmalakes. After issuing an EP a year from 2010 to 2013, they halted new output for five years. The drought ends with “Please Don’t Stop,” their first full-length album, out May 11 on Austin Town Hall Records.

Partly they’ve been busy with other projects. Chase Weinacht, the band’s guitarist and songwriter, also makes music with the Hermits. Drummer and studio ace Josh Halpern plays with Shearwater, Palo Duro and others. But their lifelong ties meant that they eventually prioritized another, longer Marmalakes project.

“Our band has, from the start, been about and because of our close friendship,” Weinacht said. “Both the hard and sweet parts made their way into the recordings.” The band co-produced the album with Danny Reisch (Okkervil River, White Denim).

We’re giving their album its streaming premiere today on Austin360, as the band heads into a busy stretch a few days before the album’s official release. They’ll play Saturday at Fine Southern Gentlemen, followed by in-stores on Sunday a Breakaway Records and Monday at Waterloo Records.

Here’s Marmalakes’ “Please Don’t Stop”:

MORE LOCAL MUSIC: Check out our Austin360 On The Record roundups

Exclusive song premiere: Kevin Galloway’s ‘Don’t It Feel Good to Smile’

Austin singer-songwriter Kevin Galloway, previously of Uncle Lucius, is releasing his first solo album in August. We’re premiering the album’s leadoff track on Austin360 today. Contributed/Christina Feddersen

After more than a decade fronting the Americana band Uncle Lucius, Austin singer-songwriter Kevin Galloway is striking out on his own. The band played its final show last month at Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, and now Galloway is set to release “The Change,” his first solo album, on Aug. 3 on local label Nine Mile Records.

Galloway has long been one of the city’s best singers; his soulful, richly melodic voice was a signature element of Uncle Lucius’ four studio albums (plus a live record done at the Saxon Pub in 2009). That voice is right out front where it should be on the solo album, including the lead single “Don’t It Feel Good to Smile,” which we’re exclusively premiering on Austin360 today:

Uncle Lucius co-founder Hal Jon Vorpahl co-produced the record with James Stevens at Stevens’ East Side Recording studio in Austin. His former Uncle Lucius mate Jonathan Grossman played keyboards; other musicians on the sessions included Willie Nelson bassist Kevin Smith, Midland pedal steel player Kim DesChamps, guitarist Doug Strahan, drummer George Duron and Benito Acevedo on harmonica.

Preorders of “The Change” are now available through Galloway’s page on PledgeMusic. The album features mostly original material, but Galloway also puts his stamp on “You Are So Beautiful,” the Billy Preston/Bruce Fisher tune made famous by the late Joe Cocker.

Galloway discussed his decision to go solo in a short statement announcing the new album. “My wife and I have two children under the age of 3 now,” he said. “After touring almost incessantly with a band for over a decade, I’ve decided to take a different approach. This album is a sincere reflection of my mindset while reorganizing priorities.”

Galloway will be back at Gruene Hall on May 22 for New Braunfels radio station KNBT’s 22nd annual Americana Music Jam. His next Austin dates (both with a full backing band) will be July 20 at Cactus Cafe and an Aug. 3 record-release show at the Continental Club.