Sounds of Austin
Things are heating up in Austin and it's a great time to check out the latest local music offerings in the comfort of your own home. So grab a cold one, crank up the A/C, and tune in to Austin's newest releases. Whatever your pleasure — '60s retro revival, Americana, roots rock, new and classic country, rockabilly, or R&B — it’s all here. We also have the latest on album release parties and events in Austin to experience it live.
Jane Ellen Bryant
Favorite cut: "Easy Mistake"
She's only 25 but she’s got some major chops. An Austin native, Bryant took advantage of living in the Live Music Capital and draws her inspiration from her experiences. Bryant has shared the stage with numerous music legends including Ian McLagan, Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Ely, and Bob Schneider. Twenties was produced by Frenchie Smith who says, “What I look for in an artist is believability, and whatever Jane is performing, I believe it.” With sultry vocals and lyrics like “Too many shots and you somehow forgot it was just a Tuesday night,” we can relate. Our 20s — we’ve all been there.
Upcoming show: Lamberts, July 8
EP: Get Gone
Favorite cut: "A Cold One" ("A simple country tune for drunk people to dance to," says McDonnell.)
Ever since he relocated from Seattle, Austin audiences have loved Aaron McDonnell. His music is classic country swing — familiar, but with his own spin. Listening to this new EP, you have to believe that his wife was right when she convinced him to quit his day job and focus on music. And there couldn’t be a better spot than the White Horse for his release party. Swing on in for some radically honest lyrics and perfect music for two-stepping.
Upcoming show: White Horse, July 15
Album: Live at the Big T Roadhouse: Sunday Chicken Shit Bingo
Favorite cut: "I Lie When I Drink and I Drink a Lot"
This is all about one of Austin’s favorite pastimes, Chicken Shit Bingo. And as the name says, Dale Watson's new album was recorded live at his own bar — the Big T Roadhouse in St. Hedwig, Texas — during a CSB Sunday. Dropping August 19, the album is as raucous and fun as you would expect from the white-haired troubadour. Half of it is a look at a cultural phenomenon and half is just good-time music from Austin’s rockabilly favorite.
Upcoming show: Unplugged at the Grove with Reverend Horton Heat, July 15
Album: The Switch
Favorite cut: "BYIMM"
Living in Austin means we openly seek the next big thing and Emily King might just be it. Born in New York, she is the daughter of jazz vocalists Marion Cowings and Kim Kalesti. When she was 16 she dropped out of school to focus on her singing career. Before she was 20 she had a recording contract with RCA and released her first album, East Side Story. After receiving a Grammy nomination and the prestigious Holly Prize from the American Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012, the R&B singer-songwriter set out to write and record her latest album The Switch, which releases July 8. She has opened for Nas, Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan, and Erykah Badu. If you love smoky R&B with a hint of funk you should check her out so you can say you saw her when.
Upcoming show:July 25, Parish
Charlie Faye & The Fayettes
Album:Charlie Faye & The Fayettes
Favorite cuts: "One More Chance," "See You Again"
Released June 10, this self-titled album is one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of the summer. The all-girl group is made up of three of Austin’s favorite musicians — Betty Soo, Akina Adderley, and Charlie Faye — whose SXSW showcase has been the talk of the town since March. Taking inspiration from the soulful sound of the ‘60s, their approach is a modern fusion of soul, pop, and jazz resulting in a retro revival you can’t stop listening to. If you loved the girl groups of the ‘60s and want to have some fun, this is the album for you. Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the streets.
Upcoming show: The Townsend, August 11
Drew Fish Band
EP: Playing With a Flame
Favorite cut: "Small Price to Pay"
If country music is your thing, you are going to love Playing With a Flame, the debut EP of the Drew Fish Band. Listening to the tunes almost makes you want to pack up a cooler and head out to float the Guadalupe, which is fitting considering that Fish got his start when Cory Morrow pulled him on stage in front of a sold-out crowd at Gruene Hall. The EP is produced by five-time Grammy winner Adam Odor and includes appearances from ATX favorites Cindy Cashdollar on steel guitar; Jason Roberts on fiddle; Cody Braun of Reckless Kelly singing harmonies; and Scott Davis from Band of Heathens on banjo, accordion, and mandolin.
Upcoming show: Stubb’s, August 12
Album: Native Tongue
Favorite cut: "I Got Love"
At the sold-out album release party in January, the Austin crowd was eating up the new tunes from this homegrown indie roots-rocker. While the latest folk offerings from the award-winning singer-songwriter veer slightly from his previous recordings, the vocals and lyrics continue to deservedly increase Reed Turner’s sizeable Austin fan base. Turner now calls Seattle home, but he will be back home joining Marc Broussard at ACL Live this fall. Fair warning: Be ready to dance, and once you’ve heard Turner's new music you won’t be able to get it out of your head.
Upcoming show: November 17, ACL Live