On The Record: 20 Years of Bloodshot, Danny Malone

OUT THIS WEEK

bs223_bs20_cvrVarious artists, “While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records” (Bloodshot). Though the renowned insurgent-country label is based in Chicago, its roster has included many Austin acts over the years. This two-disc set, which features a variety of artists covering songs that appeared on releases by current and former Bloodshot artists, includes cuts by area artists Shakey Graves, Ben Kweller, Possessed by Paul James, Jerry David DeCicca and Kevin “Shinyribs” Russell. Austin is also represented via songs written by Alejandro Escovedo (Carolyn Mark’s “Last to Know” and DeCicca’s “Broken Bottle”), Scott H. Biram (Two Gallants’ “Truck Driver”) and the Meat Purveyors (Kweller’s “2:00 AM”).

Danny Malone, “SpeedDreamer.” Though he wasn’t one of the 20 finalists who received the 10 inaugural grants from Black Fret recently, Malone’s short performance at their Black Ball gala attested to his status as one of the city’s most intriguing piano-based songwriters. “SpeedDreamer” offers further evidence, an engagingly lo-fi recording that blooms with beautiful moments such as the mesmerizingly melodic “Hives” and the rhythmic “I’m an Artist,” a tune singular enough to drive home its title claim.

James Leonard, “Love Like Methamphetamine.” The rootsy singer-songwriter’s debut album features contributions from noted guitarist Gurf Morlix. Release show Nov. 22 at Ginny’s Little Longhorn.

Scott Zuniga, “Language of Ghosts.” Indie-pop songcraft with contributions from members of Mother Falcon. Playing Nov. 18 at the Blackheart.

COMING SOON

DEC. 2: Willie Nelson & Sister Bobbie, “December Day (Willie’s Stash, Vol. 1),” Legacy.

DEC. 4: These Mad Dogs of Glory, “Isle au Haut,” release show Dec. 5 at the Mohawk.

DEC. 16: Timberos Del Norte, self-titled, release show Dec. 18 at One-2-One Bar.

JAN. 13: Charlie Belle, “Get to Know.”

JANUARY 2015: T-Bird & the Breaks, “Harmonizm.”

FEB. 10, 2015: Robert Earl Keen, “Happy Prisoner” (Dualtone), playing Dec. 19 at ACL Live.

FEB. 24, 2015: James McMurtry, “Complicated Game” (Complicated Game Records).

Are you an Austin-area act with a new record coming out? Let us know at musicsource@statesman.com.

On The Record: Bluebonnets, Trail of Dead

The Bluebonnets at Fan Fest, Nov. 1, 2014. / Photo by Peter Blackstock
The Bluebonnets at Fan Fest, Nov. 1, 2014. / Photo by Peter Blackstock

OUT THIS WEEK

Bluebonnets, “Play Loud.” The all-female quartet’s follow-up to their 2010 debut “Boom Boom Boom Boom” further establishes the Bluebonnets as one of Austin’s best guitar-bass-drums bands with a consistently engaging blend of gutsy blues and rootsy rock ’n’ roll. Guitarist Kathy Valentine (formerly of the Go-Go’s) and bassist Dominique Davalos are the primary songwriters and take the lead on vocals, though everyone in the band sings. The album’s 10 original tracks range from the urgent attack of “She’s Got Thorns” to the more rhythmically engaging “I Like Lies.” Guitarist Eve Monsees’ fierce blues chops shine on the lone cover, a well-chosen romp through Roy Head’s Texas classic “Treat Her Right.” Release show Nov. 14 at Continental Club, in-store Nov. 16 at Antone’s Records.

TrailOfDeadIX
…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, “IX.”

…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, “IX” (Superball). Titled as such because it’s the long-running indie band’s ninth studio album, “IX” mixes hard-charging fare with moodier moments (“The Ghost Within,” the string-accented “How to Avoid Huge Ships”). The band, which now consists of founders Conrad Keely and Jason Reece and newer additions Autry Fulbright and Jamie Miller, also connects with some instantly catchy pop-leaning songcraft, notably “The Dragonfly Queen.”

Moonlight Towers, “Heartbeat Overdrive” (Chicken Ranch). The latest from the local indie-pop foursome features nine songs built on chiming guitars and the clear tenor vocals of frontman James Stevens. In-store Nov. 12 at Waterloo Records.

Young Tongue, “Death Rattle” (Punctum/Raw Paw). Former members of the Baker Family regrouped in this new indie outfit releasing its full-length debut after an EP earlier this year. They made the clip below for the album track “Cat Calls” as part of the recent 48-hour “Music Video Race” event. Playing Dec. 3 at Stubb’s indoors.


COMING SOON

NOV. 18: Danny Malone, “SpeedDreamer,” release show Nov. 14 at Cheer Up Charlie’s.

NOV. 20: Scott Zuniga, “Language of Ghosts.”

NOV. 22: James Leonard, “Love Like Methamphetamine,” release show Nov. 22 at Ginny’s Little Longhorn.

NOVEMBER: Timberos Del Norte, self-titled.

DEC. 2: Willie Nelson & Sister Bobbie, “December Day (Willie’s Stash, Vol. 1),” Legacy.

DEC. 4: These Mad Dogs of Glory, “Isle au Haut,” release show Dec. 5 at the Mohawk.

JAN. 13: Charlie Belle, “Get to Know.”

JANUARY 2015: T-Bird & the Breaks, “Harmonizm.”

FEB. 10, 2015: Robert Earl Keen, “Happy Prisoner” (Dualtone), playing Dec. 19 at ACL Live.

FEB. 24, 2015: James McMurtry, “Complicated Game” (Complciated Game Records).

 

Are you an Austin-area act with a new record coming out? Let us know at musicsource@statesman.com.

 

On The Record: Stephen Doster, Flesh Lights, Soulphonics

OUT THIS WEEK

Arizona-5X5-Cover-e1412614722943Stephen Doster, “Arizona” (Atticus). From a regular gig at Z’Tejas and other appearances around town to his frequent studio work with a variety of local and national musicians, Stephen Doster is a constant presence in the Austin music scene, so much so that it’s easy to take him for granted. “Arizona,” his first solo album in 18 years, testifies to why we shouldn’t: A 10-song collection of exquisitely crafted classic guitar-and-keyboards pop, it’s one of the best records our city has produced this year. Doster’s accorded respect in the community is evident in the top-shelf supporting cast: Bassist George Reiff, keyboardist Kevin Lovejoy, drummer Dony Wynn and cellist Brian Standefer anchor the band, with accents on various tracks from horn players Elias Haslanger and Ephraim Owens, as well as pianist Floyd Domino and pedal steel player Marty Muse. On the opening triptych of “Arizona” (embedded below), “River From a Dream” and “Your Simple Mind,” Doster bypasses too-obvious major-chord territory in favor of more sophisticated melodic twists and turns that connect instantly yet reward repeated listens. He makes a wonderful topical turn on “Pistol Pete,” a tribute to basketball legend Pete Maravich that bounces along with a soulful ease reflecting Maravich’s smooth-as-silk ball-handling skills. The romantic ballads “I Found You” and “Baby There’s No One Like You” don’t measure up to the rest of the material, partly because Doster’s low-key vocal style downplays emotional drama. But his plainspoken delivery fits beautifully on “Throwing the Ball,” a rumination of the small moments in life that stand out in the long arc — “like throwing the ball, back and forth out in the yard.” Doster is spending November on tour in the U.K.; after a December break, he’ll be back on his home turf in the new year.

Flesh Lights, “Free Yourself” (12XU). It’s full-steam-ahead for this local power-punk/pop trio in the follow-up to their 2012 debut LP “Muscle Pop.” Check out the track “Just About Due” below. Release show Nov. 4 at Hotel Vegas.

Soulphonics, “Heart Full of Soulphonics” (Scratched). The follow-up to the band’s “Dynamic Sounds” debut features a slightly different lineup on straightforward pop-rock songs driven by jangling guitars that reflect frontman Glen Worley’s roots in the 1980s Austin scene. Release show Nov. 5 at Carousel Lounge, in-store Nov. 15 at Antone’s Records.

Jonathan Fox Band, “20 Something Runaway,” second album from the local roots-rocker and his backing crew. Release show Nov. 6 at One-2-One Bar.

COMING SOON

NOV. 11: …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, “IX” (Superball).

NOV. 11: Young Tongue, “Death Rattle” (Punctum/Raw Paw).

NOV. 11: Moonlight Towers, “Heartbeat Overdrive” (Chicken Ranch), in-store Nov. 12 at Waterloo Records.

NOV. 16: Bluebonnets, “Play Loud,” release show Nov. 15 at Continental Club, in-store Nov. 16 at Antone’s Records.

NOV. 18: Danny Malone, “SpeedDreamer,” release show Nov. 14 at Cheer Up Charlie’s.

NOV. 20: Scott Zuniga, “Language of Ghosts.”

NOVEMBER: Timberos Del Norte, self-titled.

DEC. 2: Willie Nelson & Sister Bobbie, “December Day (Willie’s Stash, Vol. 1),” Legacy.

DEC. 4: These Mad Dogs of Glory, “Isle au Haut,” release show Dec. 5 at the Mohawk.

JANUARY 2015: T-Bird & the Breaks, “Harmonizm.”

JANUARY 2015: James McMurtry, title TBA.

FEB. 10, 2015: Robert Earl Keen, “Happy Prisoner” (Dualtone), playing Dec. 19 at ACL Live.

Are you an Austin-area act with a new record coming out? Let us know at musicsource@statesman.com.

On The Record: Willie & Bobbie Nelson, The XMas Men

WillieBobbieAlbumCoverIN THE NEWS

Coming Dec. 2 from Willie Nelson and Bobbie Nelson on Legacy Recordings is “December Day: Willie’s Stash Vol. 1,” a collection of 18 new recordings of old favorites by the eightysomething siblings and longtime bandmates.

Billed under the name Willie Nelson & Sister Bobbie, the set features mostly Nelson originals such as “Permanently Lonely,” “Who’ll Buy My Memories” and the title track (in a medley with “Summer of Roses”), plus a handful of classics from the songbooks of Irving Berlin, Django Reinhardt and Al Jolson.

Though focusing on the guitar and piano interplay of Willie and Bobbie, the set also features contributions from members of their Family band — including the late Bee Spears, who laid down the bass tracks for “What’ll I Do” during his final session with Willie before his death in 2011.

Longtime Family Band harmonica player Mickey Raphael also is on the album, for which he penned the liner notes as well. “When it comes to a brother-sister collaboration with the longevity of Willie and Bobbie, there is beauty in keeping things simple,” Raphael writes. “‘Less is more’ is the underlying theme.”

The album was recorded by Steve Chadie at Willie’s Pedernales Recording Studio outside of Austin, with Buddy Cannon producing.

“December Day” is the first installment of a new “Willie’s Stash” archival series curated by Nelson that Legacy says “will present a variety of releases … culled from decades of recording and touring.”

OUT THIS WEEK

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, “The Complete Epic Recordings Collection” (Epic). Details about this 12-disc box in our Oct. 21 On The Record roundup.

The Xmas Men, “Santa Is Real” (Rosetta). Robert Earl Keen’s backing band presents an instrumental collection of holiday favorites (plus an instro version of Keen’s classic “Merry Christmas From the Family” with Floyd Domino on piano). Robert Earl Keen & Band play Dec. 19 at ACL Live.

Hardin Burns, “Down the Deep Well.” Nine country-folk originals from Jeannie Burns and Andrew Hardin, plus a cover of the Richard & Linda Thompson classic “Walking on a Wire.”

Stoney LaRue, “Aviators” (eOne). The latest from the native Texan turned Oklahoma red-dirt country-rocker was co-produced by Austin’s Michael McCarthy (Spoon, Patty Griffin). Playing Nov. 28 at Wild West Cedar Park.

COMING SOON

NOV. 4: Stephen Doster, “Arizona” (Atticus).

NOV. 4: Flesh Lights, “Free Yourself” (12XU), release show Nov. 4 at Hotel Vegas.

NOV. 4: Jonathan Fox Band, “20 Something Runaway,” release show Nov. 6 at One-2-One Bar.

NOV. 5: Soulphonics, “Heart Full of Soulphonics,” release show Nov. 5 at Carousel Lounge.

NOV. 11: …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, “IX” (Superball). Playing Oct. 30 at the Belmont.

NOV. 11: Young Tongue, “Death Rattle” (Punctum/Raw Paw).

NOV. 11: Moonlight Towers, “Heartbeat Overdrive” (Chicken Ranch).

NOV. 18: Danny Malone, “SpeedDreamer,” release show Nov. 14 at Cheer Up Charlie’s.

NOV. 20: Scott Zuniga, “Language of Ghosts.”

NOVEMBER: Timberos Del Norte, self-titled.

DEC. 4: These Mad Dogs of Glory, “Isle au Haut,” release show Dec. 5 at the Mohawk.

JANUARY 2015: T-Bird & the Breaks, “Harmonizm.”

JANUARY 2015: James McMurtry, title TBA.

Are you an Austin-area act with a new record coming out? Let us know at musicsource@statesman.com.

On The Record: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Churchwood

SRVBoxPromoIN THE NEWS

Stevie Ray Vaughan completists and holiday gift-givers, take note: Next Monday, Oct. 27, heralds the arrival of “Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection,” an expansive set that includes Vaughan’s four studio albums, five live records and a two-disc set of extra tracks.

The release comes on the heels of Vaughan’s nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with final voting to be announced in December for the April 2015 inductees.

The Epic collection includes Vaughan’s 1980s albums “Texas Flood,” “Couldn’t Stand the Weather,” Soul to Soul” and “In Step” as well as the previously released live discs “In the Beginning” (from a 1980 KLBJ-FM broadcast of a performance at the former Sixth Street club Steamboat), “Live at Montreux 1982 & 1985,” “Live at Carnegie Hall” and “Live Alive.”

Included for the first time as a commercial release is “A Legend in the Making: Live at the El Mocambo,” a 1983 recording from the Toronto nightclub that was originally only for radio promotion. Concluding the set is a two-disc “Archives” package that supplements all 10 tracks from the 1991 posthumous release “The Sky Is Crying” with various outtakes and bonus tracks from previous expanded-edition CDs and the 2000 “SRV” box set.
OUT THIS WEEK

ChurchwoodAlbumCoverChurchwood, “3: Trickgnosis” (Saustex), LP release of CD issued Sept. 16. The third release from this twisted-blues fivesome fronted by charismatic singer and cryptic lyricist Joe Doerr further establishes Churchwood as one of Austin’s most distinctive bands. Rooted equally in the legacies of seminal local venues Antone’s and Raul’s, Churchwood infuses a rootsy foundation with the creative spark of punk and a dark mysticism that rewards digging deeper into the material. In-store Oct. 24 at Trailer Space Records.

 

COMING SOON

OCT. 28: Shivery Shakes, “Three Waves & a Shake” (Punctum/Austin Town Hall), release show Oct. 24 at Stadium (905 E. Fifth St.).

OCT. 28: Hardin Burns, “Down the Deep Well.”

NOV. 4: Jonathan Fox Band, “20 Something Runaway,” release show Nov. 6 at One-2-One Bar.

NOV. 11: Young Tongue, “Death Rattle” (Punctum/Raw Paw), playing Sept. 25 at the Mohawk.

NOV. 11: Moonlight Towers, “Heartbeat Overdrive” (Chicken Ranch).

NOV. 20: Scott Zuniga, “Language of Ghosts.”

NOVEMBER: Timberos Del Norte, self-titled.

DEC. 4: These Mad Dogs of Glory, “Isle au Haut.” Release show Dec. 5 at the Mohawk.

JANUARY 2015: T-Bird & the Breaks, “Harmonizm.”

JANUARY 2015: James McMurtry, title TBA.
Are you an Austin-area act with a new record coming out? Let us know at musicsource@statesman.com.