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On The Record: All ATX “British Invasion”

Peter Blackstock


Various artists, “All ATX: British Invasion” (Odyssey Productions). No surprise that five of the 19 artists who took part in this themed compilation chose Beatles songs, given that no other British Invasion act had as many universally recognizable songs. What’s surprising is where those five artists took the Fab Four tunes they chose. Eric Johnson’s guitar and studio wizardry push “Paperback Writer” into overdrive; Ruthie Foster brings “Drive My Car” even more deeply back into the Beatles’ R&B roots; Reckless Kelly effortly transitions “Run for Your Life” from classic pop to alternative country; Black Pistol Fire brings the Beatles’ late-period psych-experimentalism to their mid-period folk-rock staple “Norwegian Wood”; and Brownout puts a heavily rhythmic spin on the trippy “Tomorrow Never Knows.” Other track help to flesh out the British Invasion sound and theme, with highlights including Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis breaking down the Searchers’ “Needles and Pins” to its core vocal appeal, Erin Ivey’s airy violin-and-piano treatment of the Herman’s Hermits confection “There’s a Kind of Hush,” and real-life British Invader Ian McLagan’s intensely emotional rendition of the Kinks’ “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” with Alejandro Escovedo. Christopher Cross’s take on the Zombies’ “She’s Not There” doesn’t quite connect, but he turns in a brilliant disc-closer with an irresistibly rich rearrangement of the lesser-known Thunderclap Newman nugget “Something in the Air.” As with last week’s All ATX annual concert, proceeds benefit the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.

Local ties:

Lucinda Williams, “Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone” (Highway 20/Thirty Tigers). McLagan also appears on this ambitious double-album by the occasional Austinite. Check out a short in-studio video. Playing Nov. 4 at Stubb’s.

Jeff Bridges & the Abiders, “Live” (Mailboat). The “Crazy Heart” actor-turned-musician reprises songs by Austin’s Stephen Bruton and others onstage.


OCT. 7: Hal Ketchum, “I’m the Troubadour” (Music Road), playing Oct. 17 at Gruene Hall.

OCT. 7: Shakey Graves, “And the War Came” (Dulatone), release show Oct. 8 at Cactus Cafe; also playing Oct. 30 at Stubb’s.

OCT. 14: Timberos Del Norte, self-titled.

OCT. 14: Balmorhea, “Heir.”

OCT. 21: Churchwood, “3: Trickgnosis” (Saustex), LP release of CD issued Sept. 16. Playing Oct. 10 at ABGB; in-store Oct. 24 at Trailer Space.

OCT. 28: Hardin Burns, “Down the Deep Well,” release show Oct. 8 at the Roost.

NOV. 11: Young Tongue, “Death Rattle” (Punctum/Raw Paw), playing Sept. 25 at the Mohawk.

JANUARY 2015: T-Bird & the Breaks, “Harmonizm.”

Are you an Austin-area act with a new record coming out? Let us know at