Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists.
OUT THIS WEEK
Midland, "Let It Roll" (Big Machine). Following up their 2017 debut “On The Rocks,” the Dripping Springs-based trio returns with 14 more tracks that largely play toward the melodic twang of 1970s country-rock. Singer Mark Wystrach is the key here, with distinctively lead vocals that imbue these tunes with warmth and personality. Many songs are collaborations with hitmaking Nashville aces, including Josh Osborne and Shane McAnally, who co-wrote five cuts including the lead single “Mr. Lonely” and the resplendent midtempo dreamer “Put the Hurt on Me.” Rhett Akins and Bob DiPiero teamed with the trio on two tracks including “21st Century Honky Tonk Band,” which starts as a standard hard-driving country rocker before a surprising left turn near the end that finds Wystrach reaching high above honky-tonk bounds. A surprise co-writing partner is longtime Austin music chameleon David Garza, who helped make “Fourteen Gears” an easy-rolling highlight. And it’s worth noting that Midland guitarist Jess Carson wrote two tracks on his own: the waltz-time ballad “Gettin’ the Feel” and the tone-setting title track, which opens the record. Playing Sept. 7 for Longhorn City Limits at LBJ Library Lawn. Here’s the video for “Put the Hurt on Me”:
Croy & the Boys, “Howdy High-Rise” (Spaceflight). An Austin360 Artist of the Month two years ago when they released their debut album, bandleader Corey Baum (who’s not named Croy) and his outfit (which ain’t all boys) return with a dozen songs that defy stereotypes or expectations. What sounds like good-time boot-scootin’ fare on the surface is in fact full of pointed commentary on the tug-of-war between the haves and the have-nots in 21st-century America, from “I’m Broke” to “It Seems Like You Can’t Just Be Poor Anymore” to “Bananas for Breakfast” to “Luxury (Is a Four Letter Word to Me).” 21st-century Austinites likely will recognize recognize reflections of their fair city in the album’s title track and the spelling-test-styled “Gentrification” — think Tammy Wynette’s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” if applied to socio-economic issues. An antidote of sorts is a sweet love ballad with the amusing title “A Song to Play the Next Time That I Meet Your Mother.” Joining Baum in the core band are bassist Amy Hawthorne, drummer Casey Seymour, guitarist Steven James Carlson and keyboardist Joe Cornetti, with additional contributions from Juanito Castillo and Esteban Jordan III, pedal steel players Simon Page and Sam Kossler, and singer Jazz Mills. The album was one of the last engineering projects for Austin musician Seth Gibbs, who died of cancer in late 2018. In-store Aug. 22 at Waterloo Records, release show Aug. 24 at Sam’s Town Point. Here’s “I’m Broke”:
AUG. 30: Matthew Squires, “Visions of America,” release show Aug. 30 at Independence Brewing.
AUG. 30: Season Ammons, “Steel Hearts.”
AUG. 30: Reid Umstattd, “Pockets of Clouds” EP.
SEPT. 6: Golden Dawn Arkestra, “Darkness Falls on the Edge of Time” (11A).
SEPT. 13: Shawn Colvin, “Steady On” 30th anniversary edition, new solo-acoustic take on her debut album, playing Sept. 5 at Cactus Cafe.
SEPT. 13: Hot Club of Cowtown, “Wild Kingdom” (Gold Strike).
SEPT. 14: Andrew Nolte, “Climbing Uphill” EP, release show Sept. 14 at Saxon Pub.
SEPT. 20: Madi Meeks, self-titled, release show Sept. 20 at Carousel Lounge.
OCT. 18: Fastball, “The Help Machine” (33-⅓).
NOV. 8: JM Stevens, “Invisible Lines.”
RELATED: Check out more recent Austin360 On The Record roundups