Austin360 On The Record: Next Waltz Vol. 2, Not in the Face, Murali Coryell
Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists.
OUT THIS WEEK
“The Next Waltz, Vol. 2” (Next Waltz). Is “The Next Waltz” a record label? A recording studio? A video series? A live concert? A state of mind? It might be all those things, and more, judging from what founder Bruce Robison has done with the concept since unveiling it a few years ago. What he knew from the outset is that the 21st-century music landscape was very different from that of his youth, and as such, it demanded different approaches. Mostly what it’s all about is creating new music — sometimes original material, sometimes time-tested classics interpreted by younger-generation artists. There’s a good deal of both on “The Next Waltz, Vol. 2,” which follows last year’s inaugural set that included cuts from Hayes Carll, Turnpike Troubadours, Jerry Jeff Walker, Reckless Kelly and other country/roots/Americana artists. This year’s batch includes splendid covers of gems from Uncle Walt’s Band (by Carson McHone), Roger Miller (by Shakey Graves) and Robert Earl Keen (by John Baumann) along with tracks from Carrie Rodriguez, Wood & Wire, William Clark Green, Evan Felker, Flatland Cavalry and James Steinle. Robison and his wife, Kelly Willis, close out the set with “If I Had a Rose”; catch them Dec. 14 at the Paramount Theatre for the 20th anniversary of their Holiday Shindig concert. Sometimes doing something new involves echoing the past, which may explain this old-school TV-infomercial-style video (complete with shameless whiskey plug) that Robison narrates with enticing video clips of all 10 tracks on the album:
Not in the Face, “Phase” (Electric Factory). Released a few weeks ago with no apparent publicity, no local release show and no tour dates to support it, the latest from singer-songwriter Jonathan Terrell’s hard-rocking outfit seems a bit like an orphaned child, especially with Terrell gearing up for another solo record early next year. But there’s a lot to like here if you appreciate Terrell’s innate sense for powerful rock grooves. “Dumb Fun” lives up to its title, a quick hit of throbbing intensity that gets in and out in less than three minutes. “Racing to Stoplights” is sharp-edged, noise-spiked power-pop set to an automobile-as-relationship metaphor (“It hit the gas, you hit the brake”). A rare quieter moment, the dreamlike “Make You Mine,” is mesmerizing and is the album’s most deeply affecting tune. “Sceneless” radiates with kinetic energy even as it laments the loss of rock & roll dreams and halcyon days of (slyly quoting Willie Nelson) “making music with my friends.” Throughout, Terrell gets perfectly dialed-in support from guitarist Michael Anthony Gibson and drummer Wes Cargal (both also members of local alt-country outfit Harvest Thieves) and bassist Ross Dubois. Here’s the leadoff track, “Skin on Skin”:
Murali Coryell, “Made in Texas.” Son of legendary jazz guitarist Larry Coryell, a native Texan who died two years ago at age 73, Murali lives in upstate New York but recorded this album here with Texas Tornados drummer Ernie Durawa, who Murali calls “my Texas dad” in the liner notes. Murali’s soulful mix of genres ranging from blues to folk to rock to jazz and more makes him a natural fit for Durawa’s crew of instrumentalists that included keyboardist Augie Meyers and harmonica ace Paul Oscher, both of whom also have songs featured on the disc. About half of “Made in Texas” is original material, but the covers are consistently well-chosen, including Doug Sahm’s “I Got It Bad” and Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman.” Most personal is the opening track, which features Murali and Larry Coryell together on a song Larry wrote titled “Herman Wright,” a salute to the noted jazz bassist. Playing Dec. 3 and Dec. 10 at El Mercado Backstage with Durawa. Here’s the track “Fear”:
DEC. 6: Ulla, release show Dec. 6 at Saxon Pub.
DEC. 8: Don Leady, “Dos Rios,” in-store Dec. 15 at Antone’s Record Shop.
DEC. 13: Cowboy Diplomacy, “Burn Down the Road,” release show Dec. 13 at Empire Control Room.