Austin360 On The Record: Randy Rogers Band, Walker Lukens, more
Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists.
OUT THIS WEEK
Randy Rogers Band, “Hellbent” (Tommy Jackson/Thirty Tigers). Singer Rogers’ name is out front, but one of the notable things about this six-piece band is that it has featured the same lineup for almost two decades. This is their eighth album in that stretch, during which the San Marcos outfit has grown from regional upstart to a heavy hitter in the red dirt field. They traveled to Nashville to record “Hellbent” with renowned producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton), and the resulting 11 tracks wisely blend Music City professionalism with the group’s deep Texas roots (which they salute on the rockin’ track “Comal County”). Like many red dirt acts, they rely a little too much on worn-out formulas; “Drinking Money,” “Wine in a Coffee Cup” and “You, Me and a Bottle” drive home the alcohol stereotype more than enough. But they make a welcome turn toward border sounds on “We Never Made it to Mexico,” and “Anchors Away” brings the tempo down gracefully for a bittersweet waltz. Playing June 8 at Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels. Here’s the track “Hell Bent on a Heartache”:
Walker Lukens, “Adult” (Modern Outsider). “Is everyone I know a failed adult?” Lukens asks in the brief bio sent to press with this album, his third full-length release. “Adult,” produced by Spoon drummer Jim Eno, is partly the modern rocker’s attempt to address a world that presents different challenges for millennials than it did for previous generations. Some of those are personal, as on “Bought a House” and the early single “Baby”; elsewhere, he turns toward sociopolitical subjects, inlcuding racial violence on “Black Matter” and the me too movement on “u2me2.” Musically, “Adult” feels like Lukens’ most focused work to date, though it’s not a big departure: He’s still blending elements of pop, soul, funk and more into his own dance-groove-heavy personal style. In-store April 25 at Waterloo Records, release show April 26 at Mohawk. Here’s the opening track, “Tear It Out My Heart”:
Jack Ingram, “Ridin’ High...Again” (Beat Up Ford). The latest from the Texas country-rock mainstay is a salute of sorts to Austin legend Jerry Jeff Walker's 1975 release "Ridin' High," which was Walker's first album to hit the country charts. This 13-song set isn't exactly a tribute, per se — none of its tracks are actually covers of songs on Walker's record. But the inclusion of 1970s-era favorites such as Guy Clark's "Desperados Waiting for a Train," Kris Kristofferson's "Jesus Was a Capricorn" and Rusty Wier's "Don't It Make You Wanna Dance" make clear the spirit Ingram is trying to capture. He also includes his own rendition of "Tin Man," the recent Miranda Lambert smash he co-wrote with Lambert and Jon Randall, and a new song dedicated to Willie Nelson called "Where There's a Willie." The album was recorded in a two-day stretch at Austin's Arlyn Studios with a band that included Austin guitar ace Charlie Sexton. Playing April 26 as part of Mack, Jack & McConaughey at ACL Live. Here’s a video of Clark’s “Desperados” being recorded at Arlyn Studios:
The Well, “Death and Consolation” (Riding Easy). The third album from the psych-metal trio of guitarist Ian Graham, bassist Lisa Alley and drummer Jason Sullivan hits hard and delves into dark territory, as its title suggests. Graham notes in press materials sent out with the record that the band also drew upon postpunk inclinations: “I feel like this album is almost more gothic,” he suggests. The Well once again worked with producer-engineer Chico Jones, who also helmed their first two records. In-store April 28 at Waterloo Records. Here’s a stream of the full album:
Infinites, self-titled (First Humans). The new collaborative project between Jared Leibovich of garage-rockers the Zoltars and Dan Levine of indie band Ghetto Ghouls is built around guitar loop sounds. In-store April 26 at Waterloo Records, release show May 3 at Hotel Vegas. Here’s the track “Scott McMurray”:
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 10: Arielle, “Suspension/Dimension,” in-store May 7 at Waterloo Records, release show May 10 at One-2-One Bar.
MAY 17: Jimmie Vaughan, “Baby, Please Come Home” (Last).
MAY 17: South Austin Moonlighters, “Travel Light” (Station House).
MAY 24: Megafauna, “Ghost Coast,” release show May 25 at Empire.
MAY 24: Texas Horns, “Get Here Quick” (Severn).
MAY 24: Sour Bridges, “Neon Headed Fool,” playing Texas Radio Live May 22 at Guero’s.
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).
JUNE 21: Eric Tessmer, “EP 2,” release show June 21 at Scoot Inn.