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On The Record: Shakey Graves, Hal Ketchum

Peter Blackstock
pblackstock@statesman.com

OUT THIS WEEK

Shakey Graves, “And the War Came” (Dualtone). On his first release for a record company with large-market potential (Nashville’s Dualtone is the label that broke the Lumineers), Shakey Graves — a.k.a. Alejandro Rose-Garcia — leaves few traces of the one-man-band act on which he built his reputation in Austin clubs. This is mainly a good thing: “And the War Came” shows a range that goes beyond the limitations of his early approach, even if that approach worked well and served its purpose at the time. Alongside ragged, electrified rock numbers like “The Perfect Parts” and “If Not For You” (not the Dylan song) are quieter, more contemplative acoustic tunes such as the striking opener “Only Son,” which brings out a poignant vulnerability in Rose-Garcia’s voice. He also gets a boost on three tracks from standout duet vocals by Esme Patterson, whose high, sad-but-sweet singing pushes the music into more emotional territory. Those who pre-ordered the disc at Waterloo Records got a ticket to an exclusive record release show tonight (Oct. 8) at Cactus Cafe, for which there will be no tickets sold. Others can catch Shakey Graves at Stubb’s on Oct. 30, opening for Shovels & Rope and Hayes Carll.

Hal Ketchum, “I’m the Troubadour” (Music Road). After two decades wih Curb Records, country singer and Grand Ole Opry member Ketchum, who lives in the small town of Fischer near Wimberley, is issuing his first album in six years on the local Music Road label. He remains one of the area’s most distinctive singers, with a mellifluous, slightly twangy tenor that works best here on more country-pop-leaning tracks such as “You Loving Me” and “Baby I’m Blue.” It’s a little unclear why he revisits early-career hits “I Know Where Love Lives” (from his 1991 breakthrough album “Past the Point of Rescue”) and “Stay Forever” (from 1995’s “Every Little Word”), though a guest vocal from Tameca Jones in the second verse of the former casts the song in a slightly different light. Playing Oct. 17 at Gruene Hall.

Emily Wolfe, “Roulette” EP. A five-song release produced by Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Patty Griffin) continues the rising local singer-songwriter’s transition toward a more indie-rock sound. Playing Austin City Limits Music Festival Oct. 12.

COMING SOON

OCT. 14: Balmorhea, “Heir” (Western Vinyl, 7-inch), plus deluxe reissue of 2007 self-titled debut album. Release show Oct. 24 at Central Presbyterian Church.

OCT. 14: Pompeii, “Loom” (Red Eye Transit). Release show Oct. 17 at Holy Mountain.

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.

OCT. 28: Shivery Shakes, “Three Waves & a Shake” (Punctum/Austin Town Hall).

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

NOV. 11: Moonlight Towers, “Heartbeat Overdrive” (Chicken Ranch).

NOV. 20: Scott Zuniga, “Language of Ghosts.”

NOV. TBD: Timberos Del Norte, self-titled.

DEC. 4: These Mad Dogs of Glory, “Isle au Haut.”

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

Are you an Austin-area act with a new record coming out? Let us know at musicsource@statesman.com.