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Willie Nelson brings the family on upcoming album, plus more new Austin music

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

Coming soon

Willie Nelson Family, self-titled (Legacy). Due out Nov. 19, the latest from the Austin icon puts the spotlight on his collaborations with sister Bobbie Nelson, sons Lukas and Micah Nelson, and daughters Paula and Amy Nelson. 

A news release announcing the record refers to its contents as “12 favorite spirit-driven songs from the Nelson Family repertoire.” More than half the tracks are Nelson originals pulled from the breadth of his extensive career, including “Family Bible,” “Laying My Burdens Down” and “In God’s Eyes.” Other selections come from Kris Kristofferson (“Why Me”), Hank Williams (“I Saw the Light”), George Harrison (“All Things Must Pass”) and the Carter Family (“Keep on the Sunny Side”).

The new "Willie Nelson Family" album features, from left, Lukas, Amy, Willie, Micah, Bobbie and Paula Nelson.

The album was recorded at Pedernales Studios in Spicewood, with Willie and Steve Chadie co-producing. Also appearing on the album are longtime band members Mickey Raphael on harmonica, Kevin Smith on bass, and brothers Billy and Paul English on drums and percussion. The sessions were among the final recordings for Paul English, who died in early 2020.

It’s Willie’s second release of 2021, following February’s “That’s Life,” his second tribute to Frank Sinatra. He'd previously done a record with Lukas and Micah, "Willie and the Boys," in 2017.

Here’s the new album track “Family Bible”:

New releases

Jackie Venson, “Love Transcends.” Blues has always been a part of rising star Venson’s music, but it looms especially large her newest release. Recorded at Austin’s Arlyn Studios with renowned producer Tim Palmer (U2, Robert Plant, Tears for Fears), “Love Transcends” is Venson’s most focused record to date, mixing original and traditional material that pays homage to classic blues and gospel but speaks to the sociopolitical challenges of modern times.

Jackie Venson performs during Blues on the Green Night 1 at Zilker Park on July 27.

Highlights include the opening track “One Step Forward,” in which Venson exhorts, “We lose our freedom when we get too scared to fight”; “Fall of the USA,” which bemoans the state of the nation but expresses determination for change (“What they say is the end, is the birth of a new idea”); an uplifting medley of the gospel standards “Down By the Riverside” and “Up Above My Head,” featuring guest vocals by Austin’s Akina Adderly and Kam Franklin of Houston band the Suffers; and the ultimately redemptive title track, which is rendered in both electric and acoustic versions.

Playing Oct. 22 at Old Settler’s Music Festival. Here’s the track “Rollin’ On”:

Tony Kamel, “Back Down Home” (Next Waltz). Kamel’s bluegrass band Wood & Wire got a Grammy nomination in 2018, but he reaches toward broader roots-music horizons on this solo debut. Press materials accompanying the album describe its 10 tracks as touching upon everything from “Texas-imprinted country-folk, old-time and bluegrass styles to Louisiana’s singular stew of Cajun, jazz, and funk.”

Tony Kamel performs during the John Aielli 50th Anniversary Concert presented by KUT and KUTX at Hogg Auditorium at the University of Texas in 2017.

Kamel co-produced the album with Next Waltz label honcho Bruce Robison at Robison’s Lockhart studio the Bunker. Contributing musicians include multi-instrumentalists Geoff Queen and Scott Davis, keyboardists Trevor Nealon and Emily Gimble, drummers Josh Blue and Keith Langford, and Shinyribs members Kelley Mickwee, Alice Spencer and Kevin Russell on backing vocals.

Playing Oct. 22 at Old Settler’s Music Festival. Here’s the track “This River”:

Recently released

Hong Kong Wigs, “Lois” (Spaceflight). The trio of Jon Fichter, Anastasia Write and Adam Galvan followed its self-titled 2019 debut EP with this full-length release that documents the group’s tightly focused and melodic guitar-bass-drums approach. Playing Sept. 25 at Meanwhile Brewing. Here’s the just-released video for “Little Oceans”:

More upcoming releases

OCT. 1: Various artists, “Mighty Fine: An Austin City Limits Tribute to Walter Hyatt” (Omnivore), release show with Warren Hood and guests Oct. 1 at Saxon Pub 

OCT. 1: Strand of Oaks, “In Heaven” (Thirty Tigers), playing Nov. 12 at Mohawk

OCT. 6: Invincible Czars, “Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Love” (Van Halen tribute)

OCT. 8: Carolyn Wonderland, “Tempting Fate” (Alligator), playing Oct. 17 at Waterloo Ice House 360 & 2222 location

OCT. 8: Go Fever, “Velvet Fist” (Nine Mile)

OCT. 14: Buenos Diaz, “Live at Bobo’s”

OCT. 15: Buffalo Nichols, self-titled (Fat Possum)

OCT. 15: David Beck’s Tejano Weekend, “Vol. II”

OCT. 15: Sarah & the Sundays, “The Living End”

OCT. 22: Sue Foley, “Pinky’s Blues”

More from Austin360 On The Record:

SEPT. 17:Rod Gator, Jimmie Vaughan, Pulkingham Layne, Foxtales

SEPT. 10:Heartless Bastards, Intercom Heights, Chris Beall, Conspirare

SEPT. 3:Joe King Carrasco, Terri Hendrix, Flyjack, David Beck, Parker Woodland