In a brilliant economy of words, James McMurtry can bring alive entire characters and expansive landscapes in songs, revealing details down to the crevices in the dried soil, and the contours of a face in the mind’s eye. He’s compiled a body of work that rivals most any other songwriter.
New West Records
Despite the undeniable instrumental shift to amplification, Chains Are Broken still feels very much like a Devil Makes Three record, surprisingly so. The minor chords, the dark themes, and the punk roots attitude is still what’s most prevalent. You almost don’t notice they’ve basically morphed into a rock band.
Fans of American Aquarium have known the name of their upcoming album for a while. Now they have the details. This is not the situation of a band on the mend backing into an effort to survive. Arguably ‘Things Change’ sees the 12+ year project by BJ Barham just now reaching its stride.
Justin Townes Earle is the newest signee to New West Records, and will be releasing his debut album on the label Kids In The Street on May 26th. The release will find Earle coming back into the Americana fold after releasing his last two records Single Mothers and Absent Fathers on Vagrant Records out of California.
Nobody knows the formula, or how to navigate the whims of music to steady and sustainable employment, or God-forbid a modicum of stardom. But what we do know is Austin Lucas is an artist worthy of being heard, whether the music industry agrees or not.
Country throwback and old soul Daniel Romano has just announced he’s got a brand new album on the way. Self-produced, and recorded in his hometown of Welland, Ontario, the album is said to include strings, horns, piano, pedal steel, accordion, and be much more than your average neo-traditional release from its countrypolitan feel and exploration of nostalgia. Romano himself calls it “Mosey” music.
Procuring the foundation for their music from the pre-war and Delta blues, and jug and string bands of the deep South, their amorphous sound is like a seance for the creaky bones of past generations to animate back to life from the inalienable pull of an infectious groove. They illustrate their prowess and commitment to the music in their new album on New West Records called “Any Way, Shape, or Form”.
As if we needed any more validation that it is a new day in the realm of independent country roots, darn near a dozen years since The Devil Makes Three first struck a chord, they’re finally getting their due: headlining festivals, playing packed, sold out shows, and recently being signed to the prestigious New West Records, and even wrangling the legendary Buddy Miller of all people to produce their latest album.
The dream of most every musician who has severed all ties to the civilian day job world and made that scarey plunge of becoming a professional artist is to eventually be discovered by someone who can help them make their dream into at least a stable, sustainable reality. The fairy-tale story of some unsigned, but unquestionably deserving artist getting discovered at a random show rarely comes true, but it did for Austin Lucas.
If you need any more validation that it is a new day in music, just sit back and appreciate that Austin Lucas is now signed to the prestigious New West Records. Preceding Stay Reckless is a song established Austin Lucas fans will already know well. “Alone In Memphis” typifies what makes Austin Lucas such a unique performer.