Austin360 On The Record: Gurf Morlix, Daisy O’Connor and more


gurfmorlixalbumcoverbiggerGurf Morlix, “The Soul & the Heal” (Rootball). Renowned guitarist and producer for many of the finest roots-music performers in Austin (and beyond), Morlix is now 10 albums into a two-decade run of making his own music as well. Self-produced at his home studio west of town, “The Soul & the Heal” is well titled, as these songs are a good fit for times that try men’s souls, even as they seek redemption. Playing most of the instruments himself — with assists from Rick Richards (drums), Ray Bonneville (harmonica) and Nick Connolly (B3 organ) — Morlix digs deep into the blues and scars of life on tracks such as “Bad Things,” “Cold Here Too” and “I’m Bruised, I’m Bleedin’.” Not everything is so heavy: “Move Someone” celebrates the simple epiphany of making an emotional connection, while “Quicksilver Kiss” sets a memory of romantic reverie to a bittersweet melody that his former collaborator Lucinda Williams could turn into gold. Every Morlix album seems to have an instant classic, and here it’s “Love Remains Unbroken”; if it’s not quite an antidote to the harsh realities faced on much of the record, it’s still a welcome affirmation of what matters most in the long run. Release show March 4 at El Mercado Backstage.

Daisy O’Connor, “Lightchasers.” The full-length follow-up to O’Connor’s 2014 debut EP “Do Be Do” expands her horizons beyond bare-bones folk. Deeper arrangements here include atmospheric keyboards and guitar accents from Christopher Cox, along with skillful touches of pedal steel and cello (courtesy of Simon Page and Lindsey Verrill, respectively). At the center is O’Connor’s high, sweet voice, which keeps the sound of her music bright even when she delves into darker corners lyrically. Release show Feb. 3 at Cactus Cafe. Here’s the video for the title track:

Traveling Ones, “Meet Me There.” Singer-songwriters Justin Ahmanson and Emily Villareal focus on the warm and welcoming blend of their vocal harmonies with their first full-length disc together. Their music encompasses many of the hallmark genres under the Americana umbrella, from country and folk to blues and soul. Release show Feb. 3 at Stubb’s indoor. Here’s the video for “Yours Tonight”:

Ty Richards, “Zillion” (Tremolo). The first full-length release from this dance-pop songwriter collects 10 self-produced tracks that feature heavy rhythms, jagged guitar leads and lots of vocal effects. Release show Feb. 3 at Swan Dive. Here’s the video for the song “Going Out for a Cigarette”:


  • FEB. 9: Fledglings, “We’re All Gonna Die,” release show Feb. 9 at Sahara Lounge.
  • FEB. 10: Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, “Backlash” (Ingroove), in-store Feb. 10 at Waterloo Records.
  • FEB. 10: Merles, “Hate to Say Goodbye,” release show Feb. 24 at White Horse.
  • FEB. 10: Kathy & the Kilowatts, “Let’s Do This Thing,” release show Feb. 11 at C-Boy’s.
  • FEB. 10: Letting Up Despite Great Faults, “Alexander Devotion” EP (Shelflife), playing Feb. 16 at Barracuda.
  • FEB. 10: Ali Holder, “Huntress Moon” EP, release show Feb. 10 at Cactus Cafe.
  • FEB. 17: Curtis McMurtry, “The Hornet’s Nest,” release show Feb. 24 at Cactus Cafe.
  • FEB. 17: Molly Burch, “Please Be Mine,” release show Feb. 18 at Mohawk.
  • FEB. 17: Katy Starr, “Soulingo,” release show Feb. 17 at Spider House Ballroom.
  • FEB. 17: Julie Slim & Rendez Vous, “Promenade Sentimentale,” release show Feb. 17 at Central Market Westgate.
  • FEB. 18: Later Days, “Lost in the Sound,” release show Feb. 17 at Grizzly Hall.
  • FEB. 24: Shinyribs, “I Got Your Medicine,” release show March 3 at Antone’s.
  • FEB. 24: Scott H. Biram, “The Bad Testament” (Bloodshot).
  • FEB. 24: Billy Harvey, “Elephants in the Room,” playing Feb. 12 at the Townsend.
  • FEB. 24: Go Fever, self-titled, release show Feb. 24 at Cheer Up Charlie’s.
  • FEB. 24: Chase Gassaway, “A Fly Can’t Bird,” release show Feb. 21 at Tellers.
  • FEB. 24: Adam Torres, “I Came to Sing the Song” EP (Fat Possum), release show Feb. 25 at Cactus Cafe.
  • MARCH 3: My Education, “Schiphol” (Headbump), release show March 25 at Sidewinder.
  • MARCH 3: Cilantro Boombox, “Shine.”
  • MARCH 10: Sunny Sweeney, “Trophy” (Thirty Tigers).
  • MARCH 17: Spoon, “Hot Thoughts” (Matador), playing March 14-16 during SXSW at Eno’s (the original Emo’s).
  • MARCH 24: Ruthie Foster, “Joy Comes Back “(Blue Corn).
  • MARCH 24: Will Johnson, “Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm” (Undertow).
  • MARCH 29: DC Bloom, “Just Another Song and Dance Man,” release show March 29 at G&S Lounge.
  • MARCH 31: Toma, “Aroma.”
  • APRIL 7: Darden Smith, “Everything,” release show April 8 at Stateside at the Paramount.
  • APRIL 7: Sweet Spirit, “St. Mojo” (Nine Mile).
  • APRIL 21: Emily Bell & the Talkbacks, “Kali” EP.
  • APRIL 28: Willie Nelson, “God’s Problem Child” (Legacy).
  • APRIL 28: Beth // James, “All in Life” EP.
  • SPRING: Ulrich Ellison & Tribe.