Submitted by sramser on Mon, 10/04/2010 - 17:14.
Randy Rogers Band are possibly the only Texas regional country music standouts who have managed to make Nashville inroads without inciting bitter “sellout” backlash, possibly because they had so many of their calling cards in place early on: the mature hurt in Rogers’ voice, the band’s swaggering yet tuneful take on country music, the lyrics that they won’t look ridiculous singing if they’re still doing this 20 years from now.
Submitted by sramser on Mon, 10/04/2010 - 17:17.
After winning an Oscar and Golden Globe for “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart),” Ryan Bingham and his band, the Dead Horses, should have galloped away from Crazy Heart soundtrack producer T Bone Burnett as fast as they could. Instead, they made Junky Star with him.
Submitted by sramser on Mon, 10/04/2010 - 17:30.
The Grand Theatre Volume One
The Old 97’s have always pushed the alt-country label, often veering into rock and punk territory. But with their latest effort, The Grand Theatre Volume One, the Dallas foursome take things further than ever before. The songs were primarily written by lead singer Rhett Miller during a trip to Europe last year, and Brit-rock influence is abundant. The title song conjures the energy of the Clash circa London Calling with driving guitar licks and pounding percussion.
Submitted by sramser on Thu, 09/30/2010 - 15:03.
Kicking off with a snare sputter and bassline groove on "Start All Over Again," Leatherbag (Austin's Randy Reynolds) lays down a guiding principle that informs much of his third full-length.
Submitted by sramser on Thu, 09/30/2010 - 15:16.
Street Songs of Love
With Street Songs of Love, Alejandro Escovedo set out to make a great rock ‘n’ roll album, and there’s no question he’s succeeded. It’s infused throughout with a sense of danger, urgency, even illicitness and a little anarchy … the very qualities that made rock ‘n’ roll so exciting when it was new — and still inhabits the souls of its true believers. But his second Tony Visconti-produced effort also has some beautiful ballads, which is fitting for an artist whose current band is named the Sensitive Boys.
Submitted by sramser on Fri, 07/09/2010 - 17:36.
Terri Hendrix’s Cry Till You Laugh is her best release since, well, her last one, because no Texas artist has consistently taken their game up another notch with each new musical offering like the spirited soul of San Marcos. Initially conceived as the jazz record she’d long dreamed of doing, Hendrix ultimately couldn’t be fenced in by the confines of a single genre.
Submitted by sramser on Fri, 07/09/2010 - 17:38.
Playing in Traffic
Imagine a warm, sticky Texas summer night on a creaky front porch, swaying slowly on a swing, crickets chirping and a thousand stars above you. This is the place Sahara Smith’s songs seem to belong in on Myth of the Heart, her debut album overseen by heavyweight producer T Bone Burnett and produced by Emile Kelman. Smith is a young singer-songwriter with a worldly croon that can be sultry or youthfully restless, depending on her mood. It is clear that Smith has studied the work of legendary wordsmiths—Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon and T.S.
Submitted by sramser on Fri, 01/08/2010 - 19:07.
A. Enlightenment, B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C)
Don’t judge Ray Wylie Hubbard’s latest by either its wicked cover or its too-clever-and-cumbersome-for-its-own-good title: it’s what’s under that delightfully perplexing surface that counts. And with due respect to the many fine albums he’s made in the last 20 years, this is Hubbard’s masterwork.
Submitted by sramser on Fri, 01/08/2010 - 19:28.
Patty Griffin has long acknowledged her debt to black music, and, given her soulful, soaring voice, it was only a matter of time before she’d record her own gospel record. That’s not to suggest she hasn’t dipped her toes in those waters before; the best moments of her last recording, Children Running Through, were two such tunes, “Heavenly Day” and “Up to the Mountain” (based on MLK’s final speech).
Submitted by sramser on Fri, 01/08/2010 - 19:31.
Calling Reckless Kelly a country band has always been somewhat of a misnomer; even they describe themselves as “a rock band with a fiddle.” On Somewhere in Time, their 12-song tribute to a major influence, Pinto Bennett and the Famous Motel Cowboys, Reckless Kelly is a rock band with a fiddle and pedal steel — and chimey guitars and Bennett’s very country-leaning lyrics.