Austin360 On The Record: Scrappy Jud Newcomb, Colin Clark
Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists.
Scrappy Jud Newcomb, “The Third Party.” A fixture for two decades in Saxon Pub residency kings the Resentments and a sideman/producer with a long list of local roots acts, Newcomb also turns up every few years with a new album of his own music. He’s too cool to put out anything that ain’t good, and “The Third Party” follows suit, comprising 11 songs that groove with a grace and grit which suggests Austin’s looser answer to Bay Area rocker Chuck Prophet. “I hope you live to be 100 and die on Halloween day,” he testifies on the acoustic-bluesy “100,” a rare totally-solo track on a record that includes scattered but important accents from top local players Conrad Choucroun, Pat Manske, Fran Christina and Jeff Plankenhorn. A carnivalesque organ riff brightens the opener “When It Rains in the Desert,” while right-on-point guitar tones decorate the bittersweet “In Praise of Holly.” Maybe the album’s best track arrives near the end: “In the Heart of the City” has an aching melody and a haunting gypsy vibe that suggests all those years playing Ronnie Lane songs with Ian McLagan really left a mark on Scrappy’s soul. Playing April 17 at One-2-One Bar. Here’s a recent live version of the track “100”:
Colin Clark, “From Austin, With Love.” On his 2017 release with the band Brass Buckle, Clark focused primarily on his own material, but here he takes a turn toward surveying the city’s rich and deep songwriting community. Some songs come from likely sources, including Willie Nelson’s “Me and Paul,” Doug Sahm’s “Juan Mendoza” and Roky Erickson’s “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” But Clark also makes some refreshingly interesting choices, with an acoustic take on blues guitarist Ian Moore’s signature “Satisfied,” a groove-heavy reading of Carrie Rodriguez’s “Llano Estacado,” and a rockin’ romp through the Damnations TX burner “Unholy Train.” Clark’s deep voice has personality but not a lot of range, which limits the appeal of some of these takes. But he benefits from an A-list supporting cast that includes David Pulkingham on guitar, Glenn Fukunaga on bass, Kevin Russell on mandolin and Bob Hoffnar on pedal steel. Here’s a recent live version of “Me and Paul” with Pulkingham:
APRIL 26: Walker Lukens, “Adult,” in-store April 25 at Waterloo Records, release show April 26 at Mohawk.
APRIL 26: Randy Rogers Band, “Hellbent,” playing June 8 at Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels.
APRIL 26: Jack Ingram, “Ridin’ High...Again,” in-store April 23 at Waterloo Records.
APRIL 26: Infinites, self-titled, in-store April 26 at Waterloo Records.
MAY 3: Little Mazarn, “Io” (Self Sabotage), release show May 2 at Cactus Cafe.
MAY 3: Kim Simpson, “The Comets Swish Their Tails,” release show May 2 at Townsend.
MAY 17: Jimmie Vaughan, “Baby, Please Come Home” (Last).
MAY 17: South Austin Moonlighters, “Travel Light” (Station House).
MAY 24: Texas Horns, “Get Here Quick” (Severn).
JUNE: Willie Nelson, “Ride Me Back Home” (Legacy).
JUNE 14: Jamestown Revival, “San Isabel” (Thirty Tigers).
JUNE 14: Michael Fracasso, “Big Top.”
JUNE 20: Hector Ward & the Big Time, “Smile Into Life” (Blackfinger), release show June 20 at Antone’s.
JUNE 21: Black Pumas, self-titled (ATO).