Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists.


OUT THIS WEEK


Bad Boy Croy, "The COVID Tapes." An Austin360 Artist of the Month alum, Corey Baum usually plays and records with his band Croy & the Boys, but like everyone else, he’s adapted to different circumstances in the coronavirus pandemic. Baum’s latest is a solo acoustic affair, but that’s a format that suits his country-centered music well. He’s also one of the first musicians to address the pandemic dilemma in song: On "Ain’t Been Tested," he assumes the persona of a coronavirus naysayer who’s developed a cough and a fever but won’t quarantine. Elsewhere, he takes on overzealous immigration officials in the bluntly named "(Expletive) I.C.E.," the inequity of the American health care system in "Deductible" and sociopolitical apathy in "Nice Ain’t Enough." Elsewhere, Baum takes a more personal turn. On "Boy Weren’t We Something," he pictures erstwhile bandmates reliving glory days in the grocery aisle, while "Family Man" finds a formerly carefree spirit adjusting to life with a wife and child. Baum’s primary strength as a songwriter is that he often deftly crosses the personal with the political, as on "What I Had to Do," which envisions a disillusioned man mired in broken-American-dream cycles of poverty. Throughout, his insightful balance of humor and pathos is front and center. A nice surprise near the end is a cover of Texas honky-tonk mainstay James Hand’s "Over There That’s Frank." Record-release livestream 11 a.m. April 12 at facebook.com/CroyAndTheBoys. Here’s "Ain’t Been Tested":


The Covid Tapes: A World In Croysis by Croy And The Boys

Eliza Gilkyson, "2020" (Red House). Gilkyson set out to make a record about the American condition in a pivotal year -- but the year itself had other plans. Yet everything on "2020" still rings true to the times, and some of the songs resonate even more in the age of coronavirus. Originals such as "Promises to Keep" and "Sooner or Later" extend the apocalyptic vision that has marked Gilkyson’s songwriting since her teenage debut album in 1969. Covers of Bob Dylan ("A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall") and Pete Seeger ("Where Have All the Flowers Gone") reconnect with the protest-folk movement that shaped her younger years, while "Beach Haven" sets newly composed music to text from a 1950s Woody Guthrie letter about segregation. "My Heart Aches" and the album-closing "We Are Not Alone" are co-writes with students in Gilkyson’s annual New Mexico songwriting workshop. For more about "2020," read our American-Statesman interview with Gilkyson. Recordrelease livestream 5:30 p.m. April 10 at facebook.com/ElizaGilkyson1. Here’s the track "One More Day":


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Ali Holder, "Uncomfortable Truths." Holder’s fourth release since 2013 isn’t necessarily a concept album, but it’s held together by four tracks collectively titled "Speak" that seek to give a voice to those who too often go unheard. Musically, Holder draws from both traditional singer-songwriter forms and more modern indie influences. Record-release livestream 7 p.m. April 10 at facebook.com/holder.ali. Here’s the track "Bad Wife":


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Why Bonnie, "Voice Box" EP (Fat Possum). There was no South by Southwest this year, but there was still "The Austin 100," NPR’s annual recommendation of bands to check out at SXSW. The public radio network went ahead and published its list despite the cancellation, and one of its picks was this Austin indie band whose new EP is on the influential Fat Possum label. NPR observed that Austin native Blair Howerton "writes glossy, synth- and string-inflected guitar-pop songs that fit a mighty, beating heart underneath all the gleaming hooks." Here’s the video for the title track:


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RECENTLY RELEASED


Pike & Sutton, "Heart Is a Compass." Check out our recent Austin360 Artist of the Month feature on this debut album from Patrice Pike and Wayne Sutton that draws upon their long history stretching back to teenage years in Dallas followed by the 1990s rise of their band Sister 7 in Austin. Here’s the video for the track "Let the Music Get You High":


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Tender Things, "How You Make a Fool" (Spaceflight). Jesse Ebaugh, known for his long tenure as bassist in the Heartless Bastards, recorded this full-length debut in the Fort Worth studio of Leon Bridges co-producer Josh Block. His Tender Things bandmates for the sessions included well-traveled local players Gary Newcomb on guitar, Ricky Ray Jackson on pedal steel and Matt Strmiska on drums. Joining in on "The Secrets We Could Tell" are prominent fellow Austin singer-songwriter Patty Griffin (with a duet vocal) and Robert Ellis (playing piano); Ellis appears on two other tracks, as well. These 10 tracks feature mainly twangy country-roots material played with a rock & roll edge. Here’s the video for "The Secrets We Could Tell":


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COMING SOON


APRIL 24: Whitney Rose, "We Still Go to Rodeos."


APRIL 26: Leeann Atherton, "Fallen Angel," release livestream April 26 at facebook.com/leeannsbarndance.


MAY 1: David Grissom, "Trio Live 2020."


MAY 1: James Hyland, "Western."


MAY 8: Jeff Hortillosa, "The Horticulture Vol. 1."


MAY 15: Ruthie Foster Big Band, "Live at the Paramount" (Blue Corn).


MAY 22: Reckless Kelly, "American Girls" and "American Jackpot" (Thirty Tigers).


JUNE 19: Monte Warden & the Dangerous Few, self-titled.


JULY 3: Willie Nelson, "First Rose of Spring" (Legacy), moved from April 24.


JULY 10: Nobody’s Girl (self-titled).


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