Austin360 On The Record: Golden Dawn Arkestra, Terri Hendrix, Seth James
Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists.
OUT THIS WEEK
Golden Dawn Arkestra, “Darkness Falls on the Edge of Time” (11A). The title may be slightly playing off of Bruce Springsteen’s 1970s classic “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” but Golden Dawn’s message is apparently more contemporary, given the press-release description that the album “explores the apocalypse and existential emergency we now find ourselves living through.” That may be a little misleading, simply because the band’s lyrical focus has always been secondary to the psychedelic, dance-oriented sound of their music. Which is to say, this is still music you can dance to, even if the inspiration came from darker places. That much is clear from the deep grooves and bouncing rhythms of the early singles “Allo Allo Boom” and “Mama Se.” Things get a bit heavier on “Showdown” and “Blood of Royalty,” before “Hamza” takes a more mystical turn. Short but splendid instrumental numbers bookend the record, cyclically titled “The End Is the Beginning” and “The Beginning Is Ending.” Though their albums tend to be evocative journeys, the Arkestra is unquestionably best experienced live, in all their costume-enhanced glory; catch their official ACL Fest late-night show Oct. 5 at Stubb’s. Here’s the video for “Allo Allo Boom”:
Terri Hendrix, “Talk to A Human” plus “Who Is Ann” EP (Wilory). Initially planned as a sequence of four recordings and a book released in a single year, Hendrix’s “Project 5” series hit some inevitable delays after the 2016 releases of “Love You Strong” and the bluesy “Slaughterhouse Sessions.” These two new simultaneous releases take the project to the finish line, along with “The Girl With the Exploding Brain,” an autobiography detailing her experiences as a professional musician living with epilepsy. “Talk to a Human” primarily follows in the vein of Americana-based songcraft that has been Hendrix’s territory since the 1990s. New originals including the bilingual “Mi Madre” and “WASP,” a moving salute to the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, share space with compelling covers such as the Billy Bragg/Woody Guthrie gem “Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key” and Guy Clark’s “The Dark” (which first appeared on a 2011 Clark tribute album). The tender album-closer “I Hear Your Song” is dedicated to her sister Tammi, who died last year. The five-song “Who Is Ann?” EP is an intriguing step into electronica-oriented material; the loops and rhythm tracks that Hendrix and longtime producer Lloyd Maines employ are wisely used to support Hendrix’s songwriting rather than override it. Playing Sept. 11 at Threadgill’s. Here’s the track “Choice”:
Seth James, “Good Life” (Cherry Bomb). Like fellow New Braunfels resident Season Ammons’ new album, the latest from guitarist and singer-songwriter James leans toward the richly soulful tones of the Americana spectrum. Recorded in Tennessee with noted producer Kevin McKendree (whose credits include work with Etta James and Little Richard), “Good Life” suggests the same kind of Texas country-rock-blues synthesis that’s long been the domain of Delbert McClinton. Playing Sept. 7 at Saxon Pub. Here’s the title track:
SEPT. 13: Shawn Colvin, “Steady On” 30th anniversary edition, new solo-acoustic take on her debut album.
SEPT. 13: Hot Club of Cowtown, “Wild Kingdom” (Gold Strike).
SEPT. 13: Andrew Nolte, “Climbing Uphill” EP, release show Sept. 14 at Saxon Pub.
SEPT. 20: Shivery Shakes, “Weird Weather” (Austin Town Hall), release show Sept. 18 at Antone’s.
SEPT. 20: Madi Meeks, self-titled, release show Sept. 20 at Carousel Lounge.
SEPT. 20: Dallas Burrow, “Southern Wind.”
SEPT. 27: Savage Poor, “All’s Well in El Dorado” EP, release show Sept. 28 at Sam’s Town Point.
SEPT. 29: Lost Austin Band, “Live!”, release show Sept. 29 at Saxon Pub.
OCT. 18: Fastball, “The Help Machine” (33-⅓), release show Oct. 19 at Saxon Pub.
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.”