Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists.
OUT THIS WEEK
Will Johnson, “Wire Mountain” (Keeled Scales). Six albums into a solo catalog that supplements the work he’s done with Centro-Matic, South San Gabriel and others, Johnson has carved out a unique spot within the Austin indie community. A singer-songwriter and guitarist who also plays drums with East Coast outfit Strand of Oaks, Johnson creates music that splits the difference between beauty and damage. Noise-rock guitar squalls occasionally burst forth on “Wire Mountain,” but it’s the quieter moments that linger the longest. Working with Britton Beisenherz at Austin studio Ramble Creek, Johnson called upon some of Austin’s most creative musical forces to contribute, including Little Mazarn, Thor Harris and John Dee Graham. The result is a 10-song set that casts enchanting spells with an aesthetic that challenges traditional forms even as it’s rooted in them. In-store Oct. 18 at Waterloo Records. Here’s the track “A Solitary Slip”:
Lost Austin Band, “Live!” In a town that’s rife with tribute bands to all manner of iconic acts (Beatles, Tom Petty, Selena, Talking Heads, David Bowie, etc.), it seems only fitting for one of them to focus on the outlaw-country heyday that put Austin on the map as a major music destination in the 1970s. This 15-song live album partly features favorite songs from that era, including B.W. Stevenson’s “My Maria,” Michael Murphey’s “Cosmic Cowboy,” Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho & Lefty,” Gary P. Nunn’s “London Homesick Blues” and Rusty Wier’s “Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance.” Because the Lost Austin Band lineup — Bob Livingston, Bill Browder, Ernie Gammage, Patterson Barrett, Craig Hillis and David Moerbe — features musicians who accompanied many of those 1970s stars, we get several of their original songs as well. Release show Sept. 29 at Saxon Pub, where they recorded this album in July. Here’s a live version of “Cosmic Cowboy” from 2016:
John Arthur Martinez, “For the Love of Western Swing (& Other Love Songs).” The 14th album from the Austin native who once finished ahead of Miranda Lambert in the reality-TV music show “Nashville Star” features 14 songs that document the range of Texas music he’s grounded in, from western swing to honky-tonk to Tex-Mex twang. As the title indicates, there’s more emphasis here on the jazz-meets-country hybrid pioneered by Bob Wills, as Martinez pays specific tribute to Wills with covers of classic including “Roly Poly” and “Faded Love.” Guest musicians include Los Texmaniacs, Ernie Durawa, Floyd Domino and Bobby Flores. Release show Sept. 29 at Gruene Hall. Here’s the title track:
Savage Poor, “All’s Well in El Dorado” EP. The five-song follow-up to their 2017 debut “The Grown Ups” further testifies to this quintet’s facility with melodic indie-Americana music. Jeff Brown is more often seen locally on bass with Shinyribs, but here he shares guitar and vocal duties with his brother, Ben Brown. Fellow Pennsylvania transplant Christine Smith is a primary contributor on keyboards and backing vocals, with bassist Roger Wuthrich and drummer Alex Morales nailing down steady rhythms. Release show Sept. 28 at Sam’s Town Point. Check out the opening track, “It’s a Long Way Down (Growing Up),” here.
Carl Weathersby, “Live at Rosa’s Lounge.” Eight-song set recorded at a classic venue in Chicago, long Weathersby’s home before his recent move to Austin. Release show Sept. 26 at Antone’s. Here’s the track “Somebody Help Me”:
Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom, “The First Semester.” To help celebrate their 30th anniversary, the trio featuring David Garza, Chris Searles and Jeff Haley excavated a dozen songs from a cassette they sold at University of Texas campus gigs before their more widely heard 1990 release “Me So Twangy.” Recorded live in the band members’ apartments and dorm rooms, the songs include early favorites such as “My Emaciated Heart” and “I’d Rather Be Lost.” The band has tentative plans for a reunion show at Cactus Cafe next spring.
OCT. 1: Andrew Duplantis, “Ghost Stories.”
OCT. 4: Chris King, “Lone Rats.”
OCT. 10: Mitchell Vandenburg, “Red River Church” (posthumous), release show Oct. 10 at Hard Luck Lounge.
OCT. 18: Fastball, “The Help Machine” (33-⅓), release show Oct. 19 at Saxon Pub.
OCT. 18: Larry Seaman, “Resurrectionist,” playing Oct. 12 at Davis Gallery and Oct. 20 at Saxon Pub.
OCT. 25: Zack Walther Band, “The Westerner.”
NOV. 1: Deer, “Do No Harm” (Keeled Scales), release show Oct. 18 at Antone’s.
NOV. 1: Christine Smith, “Meet Me on the Far Side of a Star.”
NOV. 8: JM Stevens, “Invisible Lines.”
NOV. 29: Various artists, “The Next Waltz, Vol. 2.”
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