Bobby Earl Smith, “Calling Me Calling You” (Muleshoe). Retired now after three decades as a criminal defense attorney, Smith has more time to get back to pursuing his love of making country-folk music. An important figure in Austin’s 1970s cowboy-hippie heyday —he was part of both Marcia Ball’s Freda & the Firedogs and Alvin Crow’s Pleasant Valley Boys — Smith occasionally has surfaced with a record featuring his own songs, singing and guitar playing. “Calling Me Calling You” is a zen-like, easygoing acoustic affair, produced by Gabe Rhodes with support from Gabe’s mother Kimmie Rhodes on harmonies, Crow on mandolin and fiddle, Lloyd Maines on dobro and steel guitar, and several other top local players. Song subjects range from close-to-the-heart matters (“I Love You So Much,” “Lord Take Me Through”) to issues of social conscience (“Weapons of Mass Destruction,” the cross-cultures-themed title track) to sweet memories (“Flxible Flyer” about Crow’s old bus, “Meet Me at the Menger” about a San Antonio hotel). Release show May 6 at Broken Spoke doubles as a reunion of the Jackalope Brothers, Smith’s 1980s band with Kimmie Rhodes. Here’s the opening track, “Sally Ring the Bell”:
Blaze Foley, “The Lost Muscle Shoals Recordings” (Lost Art). Almost all of the late, legendary Austin songwriter Foley’s fame came after his 1989 shooting death in a domestic dispute at age 39. The likes of Merle Haggard and John Prine later recorded his songs, while Townes Van Zandt and Lucinda Williams wrote songs about him. This 10-song collection, recorded in Muscle Shoals, Ala., with that city’s renowned studio musicians plus Foley’s longtime Austin friend Gurf Morlix on bass, never really saw the light of day after it was recorded in 1984. The 500 vinyl copies allegedly were confiscated during “some trouble with the law,” according to a press release accompanying this reissue. Tracks include “Girl Scout Cookies,” one of Foley’s best-known numbers, and “Oval Room,” a political tune written during the Reagan era. Released with the help of local record store End of an Ear, the disc is an important addition to the historical record on Foley, who’s the subject of an Ethan Hawke-directed biopic tentatively set for 2018 release (following Kevin Triplett’s 2011 documentary). Here’s the song “My Reasons Why”:
COMING SOONMAY 9: Robyn Ludwick, “This Tall to Ride,” release show May 13 at Townsend.MAY 12: Suzanna Choffel, “Hello Goodbye,” release show May 12 at 3Ten.MAY 12: Rocketboys, “Certain Circles,” playing June 3 at Mohawk.MAY 12: Carry Illinois, “Garage Sale” EP, release show May 12 at Mohawk.MAY 15: Altin Sencalar, “Introducing Altin Sencalar,” release show May 18 at Elephant Room.MAY 19: Fastball, “Step Into Light.”MAY 19: Jimmie Vaughan Trio featuring Mike Flanigin, “Live at C-Boy’s” (Proper), release shows May 19-20 at C-Boy’s.MAY 19: Missio, “Loner” (RCA).MAY 19: Wendy Colonna, “No Moment But Now.”MAY 19: Wild Now, “Afterglow” EP, release show May 19 at 3Ten.MAY 19: Girling, “Side 1” EP, release show May 19 at Sidewinder.MAY 20: Ray Prim, “Live at Strange Brew Lounge Side,” release show May 20 at One-2-One Bar.MAY 27: Garner Sloan, “Liquid Sales and Bobcat Tales,” release show May 27 at Stay Gold.JUNE 16: Abram Shook, “Love at Low Speed” (Western Vinyl).JUNE 16: Quin Galavis, “The Battery Line” (Super Secret).JUNE 23: Slaid Cleaves, “Ghost on the Car Radio.”JUNE 30: Shakey Graves, “Nobody’s Fool/Donor Blues EP” reissue (Dualtone).