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Austin360 On The Record: Paul Leary, Los Sundowns, Beth Lee, more

Austin's Beto Martinez recorded the Los Sundowns EP at his Lechehouse Music studio in Buda with Chicagoan Daniel Villarreal.

Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists. 

OUT THIS WEEK

Paul Leary, “Born Stupid” (Shimmy-Disc/Joyful Noise). Best-known for his tenure as singer-guitarist with the Butthole Surfers but also an accomplished producer with credits ranging from Sublime to Daniel Johnston to Reverend Horton Heat, Leary hadn’t put out a solo record in 30 years before he decided to make "Born Stupid" from a batch of songs he'd written over the years. A press release accompanying the album describes its contents as a “soundscape filled with carnival sideshow calliopes, spaghetti western guitar motifs, and off-kilter German beer hall waltzes,” and that gives a pretty good overview of this broad-ranging set that reaches well beyond the Surfers’ harder edges. The title track opens the album in a psychedelically twisted country vein, signaling that Leary is blowing the doors wide open here. Other cuts may be familiar: “Shah Revisited” and “Gary Floyd” are both inventive reworkings of Surfers tracks, and “The Adventures of Pee Pee the Sailor” is a Leary original that first appeared on a 1992 album he produced for alt-bluegrassers the Bad Livers. Renowned drummer Josh Freese (Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer) joined Leary for the album, which appears on outsider artist Kramer’s recently revived Shimmy-Disc imprint. Here’s the track “Born Stupid”:

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Beth Lee, “Waiting on You Tonight.” The longtime leader of local rock band the Breakups ventures out on her own with an 11-song album that she recorded in the Bay Area, before the pandemic hit. Working with Vicente Rodriguez, known for his years of touring as the drummer in Chuck Prophet’s Mission Express band, Lee delivers a record with a singer-songwriter foundation and a rootsy rock & roll heart. Prophet guitarist James DePrato is also a key player here, with additional contributions by Julie Wolf and Nino Moschella. Here’s the title track:

Los Sundowns, self-titled EP (Lechehouse/Fatbeats). A collaboration between Grupo Fantasma/Brownout/Money Chicha guitarist-producer Beto Martinez and drummer/DJ Daniel Villarreal of Chicago band Dos Santos, this six-song EP rides a deep Latin-psych groove with spaghetti-western accents. The two musicians recorded these tracks primarily at Martinez’s Lechehouse Music studio in Buda in January 2020, adding overdubs and finalizing arrangements remotely after the pandemic began. Other contributors include Dos Santos singer Alex Chavez on Chilean singer Buddy Richard’s “Al Final de La Tarde”; backing vocalist Fermin Sanchez of Mexico City group the Guadaloops on “Los Angeles”; and Brownout members Alex Marrero and Greg Gonzalez on “Quiéreme.” Farfisa organ by ubiquitous Austin string arranger Peter Stopschinski lends a Fellini-esque feel to the final track, “Se Cae El Sol.” Listening-party livestream 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, from the Lechehouse Music YouTube and Facebook pages. Here’s the track “Los Angeles”:

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Cari Hutson, “Salvation & Soul Restoration” EP. Soulful singer Hutson, known for her gigs in local clubs fronting the band Good Company, issued three of these five songs as singles in recent months and adds two more for this EP. Recipient of a 2019 Black Fret grant, Hutson brings some of the powerful pipes that helped her carry off the lead role in a musical about Janis Joplin a decade ago. Record-release livestream 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, from the Saxon Pub Facebook page. Here’s the opening track, “Take the Day”:

RECENTLY RELEASED

Belle Sounds, “The 2020 Singles.” The alt-pop band led by Noelle Hampton and Andre Moran “had committed to releasing a single every month in 2020 long before we found out what 2020 would actually be like,” they note on the Bandcamp page for this collection of a dozen songs they rolled out over the course of last year. Though this was by design a singles project, they’ve gathered everything in one spot here, and it hangs together well as an album, too. Here’s the opening track, “I Lose Myself”:

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ARCHIVAL RELEASE

James McMurtry, “Soundcheck at the Gallery” EP. The most vital anchor of the Continental Club’s hallowed residencies, McMurtry has played acoustic Tuesday shows in the upstairs gallery space, followed by rock sets Wednesday on the club’s main stage downstairs, for the better part of two decades. It’s now been nearly a year since the pandemic kept him from both of those appearances, but he’s been showing his appreciation for the venue by offering up archival live material via the club’s Bandcamp page. Last summer’s “Blasted From the Past” featured five songs with the rock band from 2006; in December, he followed with these four tracks recorded in the Gallery. Per the EP’s Bandcamp page, “All proceeds benefit The Continental Club and its employees during this pandemic.” Here’s the track “Levelland”:

READ MORE:Our 2015 interview with James McMurtry

COMING SOON

FEB. 16: Deezie Brown & Jake Lloyd, “Ghetto Gala” EP

FEB. 19: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, “Hunter & the Dog Star” (Thirty Tigers)

FEB. 19: Geoff Bradford, “Texas Psychedelic” EP

FEB. 19: Mobley, “Young & Dying in the Occident Supreme” EP

FEB. 22: Riders Against the Storm, “Flowers for the Living”

FEB. 26: Willie Nelson, "That's Life" (Legacy)

FEB. 26: These Fine Moments, “Season 10”

FEB. 26: Deer Fellow, “Words Unsaid” EP

MARCH 5: Graham Wilkinson, “Cuts So Deep”

MARCH 12: Blue Water Highway, “Paper Airplanes”

MARCH 19: Nuevo, self-titled (Nine Mile)

MARCH 24: Leti Garza, “Borderland” EP

APRIL 2: Zach Person, self-titled (Blackdenim)

APRIL 2: Joe Barksdale, “Omari”

APRIL 2: Shakey Graves, “Roll the Bones X” 10th-anniversary reissue edition (Dualtone)

APRIL 9: Balmorhea, “The Wind” (Deutsche Grammophon)

OTHER RECENT AUSTIN360 ON THE RECORD ROUNDUPS:

FEB. 4:Curtis McMurtry, Sun June, Black Pistol Fire, more

JAN. 29:Erin Ivey, Watters

JAN. 22:Singles spotlight with Dayglow, Pat Byrne, Balmorhea, more

James McMurtry's new Bandcamp-only EP benefits the Continental Club & Gallery.