Back on Jan. 1, our American-Statesman "People to Watch in 2015" package included an item about rising local band East Cameron Folkcore, a 10-piece (and sometimes larger) ensemble poised for a big year. We spoke of their "musical juxtaposition of largely traditional song forms with a performance style that’s more akin to hardcore punk abandon."
"Our City," a highlight of their upcoming concept album "Kingdom of Fear," is a good example of their style, and it directly addresses the changes Austin has gone through in recent years. "Our City" tells the story of Austin as two cities," explains singer-guitarist Jesse Moore. "It’s a booming economy, but it is the best of times for some and it is the worst of times for others. There are those who do the gentrifying and those who get gentrified."
Blake Bernstein, who plays acoustic guitar and also contributes trombone, trumpet and vocals on "Kingdom of Fear," offers further perspective. "Don’t get us wrong, we love this city. I’m proud to be born in Austin, and we’d rather be in a thriving city than a dying one," he says.
"But when does growth become a burden? When did we become a Real Estate Capital instead of the Music Capital I grew up in? Artists are being priced out, and corporate greed is moving in. There’s no simple solution in finding a balance, nor are we offering one. We’re asking to open up a dialogue on how we effect the places we live — because we’re all responsible, and we’re all at fault."
East Cameron Folkcore will release "Kingdom of Fear" on April 7, preceding it with a four-day run of shows April 1-4 at Salvage Vanguard Theater. They’re also gearing up for a very busy South By Southwest, where they’ll play the following events:
March 14: Rock the Lot, American-Statesman parking lot
March 16: Mother Falcon pre-SXSW party, Empire Control Room & Garage
March 17: KLBJ 99.7 Showcase, 1 a.m., Maggie Mae’s
March 18: Austin Independent Radio Day Party, ABGB
March 18: Whit Horse Day Party, White Horse
March 19: BMI Day Party, 2 p.m., Lamberts
March 20: Eye in the Sky Productions Day Party, Shiner Saloon
March 21: Altercation Records Day Party, Vortex Theater
March 21: SXSW Showcase, 1 a.m., Lamberts