Austin360 On The Record: Shawn Colvin, Hot Club of Cowtown, Blushing, Andrew Nolte
Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists.
OUT THIS WEEK
Shawn Colvin, “Steady On” 30th Anniversary Acoustic Edition. Colvin’s Grammy-winning 1989 debut adapts favorably to the solo acoustic treatment on this newly re-recorded version. Revered for her songwriting and possessing an instantly recognizable voice, Colvin is also an extraordinarily good guitarist, something clearly evident in the simultaneously rhythmic and lyrical playing on the standout “Diamond in the Rough.” Other tracks shine in ways they hadn’t on the original. The album-closing “Dead of the Night” feels deeper and more personal, while “Something to Believe In” — one of several recorded in a different key, to accommodate the changes in her voice across time — feels even more resolute in its assurance of reasons to keep the faith. Playing Sept. 24 at Waterloo Records as part of HAAM Day, and Oct. 24 at ACL Live for her induction into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame. Check out our Austin360 cover story on Shawn Colvin. Here’s a video for “Ricochet in Time,” using footage from her 1989 promotional tour behind the original album:
Hot Club of Cowtown, “Wild Kingdom” (Gold Strike). Ace purveyors of old-school hot jazz and Western swing music for two decades, the trio led by fiddler Elana James and guitarist Whit Smith (with Jake Erwin on upright bass) sounds as compelling as ever on this 14-song set of mostly original material. An accomplished player who’s toured with Bob Dylan, James shines as a vocalist as well, and her lyrical wit is razor-sharp on the playful “Near Mrs.” Smith steps out front on his own compositions including “Caveman” and “Easy Money,” the latter an effortlessly breezy number with a standout piano solo from Joe Kerr. Playing Oct. 9 at Continental Club. Here’s a recent live version of the opening track, “My Candy”:
Andrew Nolte, “Climbing Uphill” EP. An Austin360 Artist of the Month when his first album “Tied to a String” came out last year, Nolte returns with a five-song set that doubles down on the exquisitely arranged singer-songwriter pop songcraft that made his debut such a breath of fresh air. Horn and string sections flesh out creative melodic turns that reach well beyond basic three-chord song structures. Lyrically, on several tracks Nolte accepts his vulnerability even as he strives to transcend it. Most intriguing is the opening song, “My Avatar,” which eloquently addresses the disconnect between social-media interaction and real-world experiences (“live-streaming life is not the same”). Release show Sept. 14 at Saxon Pub. Here’s “My Avatar”:
Blushing, self-titled. The indie dream-pop band’s full-length debut follows EPs released in 2017 and 2018. Blushing features singers Michelle Soto (guitar) and Christina Carmona (bass) out front, with their husbands Jake Soto (drums) and Noe Carmona (guitar) providing solid instrumental support. Release show Sept. 13 at Hotel Vegas. Here’s the opening track, “So Many”:
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.
OCT. 18: Larry Seaman, “Resurrectionist,” playing Oct. 12 at Davis Gallery and Oct. 20 at Saxon Pub.
NOV. 1: Christine Smith, title TBA.
NOV. 8: JM Stevens, “Invisible Lines.”
NOV. 29: Various artists, “The Next Waltz, Vol. 2.”