Get ready for a summer of lively and original new albums from some of Austin’s favorite musicians, whether you experience the music live or in the comfort of your living room. With new releases hitting the shelves weekly, the problem won’t be finding something you like — the problem will be finding enough time to hear them all.
Bruce Robison: Bruce Robison and the Back Porch Band
His first solo studio album in 10 years was recorded on analog tape with “no digital shenanigans,” and it is well worth the wait. It includes nine tracks with three songs penned by Robison, as well as songs written by his Austin pals Jack Ingram, Jason Eady, and Micky Braun. Wife Kelly Willis sings harmony on "Sweet Dreams," and Warren Hood’s lively fiddle spices up "Squeezebox," from the Who and Pete Townsend.
Upcoming show: Bruce and Kelly at ACL Live, June 16
Suzanna Choffel: Hello Goodbye
We were fortunate enough to attend the release party of this new album at 3ten ACL Live, and it was obvious that Choffel had a hit on her hands. Don’t miss hearing this one live. This breakout album comes from Choffel’s life experiences which include becoming a mother and moving from Austin to New York to returning to Austin. Her fourth recording is a mix of styles touching on R&B, pop, folk, and soul, which will have you smiling, dancing, and singing along.
Upcoming shows: ABGB, June 10. Listen at Winflo, June 15. Antone’s, June 29.
Tje Austin: I Belong To You
This new EP is Tje Austin at his best. If you are into R&B and soul music, this is a must for your collection. This is one musician who speaks from the heart, based on his personal life experiences. Emboldened creatively and personally by winning his battle with cancer, he brought the house down during his appearance at SXSW earlier this year.
Upcoming shows: Hyatt Regency, June 2. 3Ten ACL Live, June 24. Listen at Winflo, July 20. Antone’s, August 7, 14, 21, and 28.
Band of Heathens: Duende
It's hard to believe that members of the Band of Heathens are celebrating their 10th anniversary, but their latest album, Duende, lives up to the definition of the word, showing their passion for the authenticity of their music. Fans will love this eclectic album which continues to speak to the band’s experiences with life as musicians on the road, social concerns, and politics seen through the lens of personal relationships. To the delight of audiophiles worldwide, this latest release is available on vinyl as well as CD.
Upcoming show: Threadgill’s World Headquarters, July 3
North Mississippi All-Stars: Prayer for Peace
Although they are not Austin musicians, the North Mississippi All-Stars are undoubtedly a favorite of Austin music fans. Sons of legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson, Luther and Cody headed to the Royal Studios in Memphis where they co-produced their latest offering with Boo Mitchell. Staying true to their folk and Delta blues roots, the album includes three songs written by Luther, and brother Cody says, “We’re just hitting our stride. We agree. Prayer for Peace has been eagerly anticipated and it’s no coincidence that they are celebrating the release for three nights at Antone’s. It is also a bonus that opening acts Uncle Lucius, Jackie Venson, and Elijah Ford are also ATX faves."
Upcoming shows: Antone’s, June 1, 2, and 3
Jen Zava: Power to Change
Although Power to Change is a debut album, Jen Zavalata has been performing in Austin for many years with popular bands such as Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes, Monster Big Band, and The Grooves. Written over a period of 20 years, the songs from Power to Change chronicle stages of Zava’s life. Produced by David Meisser, president of the Texas chapter of the Recording Academy, the album puts Zava’s soulful voice and powerful lyrics front and center as another stellar Austin singer-songwriter. In true Austin philanthropic form, a percentage of album and ticket sales at the release party will be donated to Kids in a New Groove.
Upcoming show: Release party at The Townsend, June 1
Willie Nelson: God’s Problem Child
It is no surprise that Willie’s latest offering entered the Billboard country chart at No. 1. The new album was released on his 84th birthday in April. He even makes fun of the rumor mills in his song "Still Not Dead." Incorporating the best of the things that make Austin the Live Music Capital of the World, Nelson remains our most beloved icon.
Upcoming show: Circuit of The Americas, 4th of July Picnic