Austin360 On The Record: Texas Red Dirt Choir, Johnny Nicholas, more

RECENTLY RELEASED

Texas Red Dirt Choir, “Faith in the Water” (single). A sort of Texas country “We Are the World” aimed at raising funds for Hurricane Harvey victims, this digital-only single can be purchased or streamed via sites that are linked at faithinthewater.org (where donations also can be made). Written by Roger Creager and Kyle Hutton, the song — recorded in Austin at Bismeaux Studios — features lyrics that are passed from singer to singer among more than two dozen voices, plus a choir that joins in on the chorus. Along with Creager and Hutton, the featured vocalists are Josh Abbott, Bri Bagwell, Ray Benson, Jason Boland, Wade Bowen, Deryl Dodd, Kevin Fowler, Susan Gibson, Pat Green, Josh Grider, Kristi Grider, Matt Hillyer, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jack Ingram , Cody Johnson, Micky & Gary Braun of Micky & the Motorcars, Mike Harmeier of Mike & the Moonpies, Cory Morrow, Kyle Park, Dave Perez, Willy & Cody Braun of Reckless Kelly, Heather Stalling, Max Stalling, Larry Joe Taylor, Koe Wetzel, Jamie Lin Wilson. Also taking part were Curtis Lee, Sheree Smith, Demetrius D-Soul Davis, Dorothy May Clark and Ange Kogutz. Proceeds from streaming, sales and donations go to the Harvey relief fund Rebuild Texas, which aims to “support community partners in four focus areas — health and housing; schools and child care; workforce and transportation; and capital for rebuilding small businesses.” Here’s the lyric video for the song:

Johnny Nicholas & Friends, “Too Many Bad Habits” (2-disc reissue). These recordings that date back more than 40 years help to fill in the historical background of the blues guitarist and songwriter who’s been based out of the Hilltop Cafe near Fredericksburg since the early 1980s. Nicholas moved to Austin in the 1970s to join western swing outfit Asleep at the Wheel after making a lasting mark on the blues scene in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “Too Many Bad Habits,” initially released on the Bling Pig label in 1977, features work with Ann Arbor fixtures Big Walter Horton, Johnny Shines and Boogie Woogie Red alongside tracks recorded in Austin with some of his Wheel bandmates including leader Ray Benson and bassist Tony Garnier (later to become Bob Dylan’s longtime bandleader). The second disc features another dozen tracks from the Ann Arbor sessions that didn’t appear on the original release. Release show Dec. 7 at Antone’s. Also catch Nicholas performing as part of the Hilltop’s 20th-anniversary Big Band Bash Nov. 8-12, and on Nov. 22 at Saxon Pub and Nov. 30 at the White Horse. Here’s a mid-1970s photo of Nicholas with Big Walter Horton, left, and Johnny Shines, right:

Johnny Nicholas with Big Walter Horton, left, and Johnny Shines, right, circa 1975. Contributed

READ MORE: Bluesman Johnny Nicholas comes down from the hill country

OUT THIS WEEK

Poly Action, “Baby’s First Rock N’ Roll.” Ten-song debut album from the power-pop quartet featuring singer-guitarist Ray Garza, guitarist Gianni Sarmiento, bassist Zane Frisch and drummer Ben Humphreys. Release show Nov. 9 at Hotel Vegas. Here’s the opening track, “Outta Tune”:

Neosho, “Borderline.” The full-length debut from the duo of Jackson Bennett and Justin Bernard Williams features 10 tracks of beat-centered electronica music accented by Bennett’s vocals and Williams’ saxophone playing. Release show Nov. 9 at Swan Dive. Here’s the track “Big G”:

COMING SOON

  • NOV. 17: Eric Johnson, “Collage,” in-store Nov. 26 at Waterloo Records.
  • NOV. 17: Thor & Friends, “The Subversive Nature of Kindness” (Living Music), playing Dec. 1 at Lemon Lounge.
  • NOV. 17: Golden Boys, “Better Than Good Times” (12XU)
  • NOV. 17: Lord Buffalo, self-titled (Clerestory AV), release show Nov. 15 at Swan Dive, in-store Nov. 19 at Waterloo Records.
  • NOV. 17: Reveleros, self-titled, release show Nov. 17 at Good Shepherd on the Hill.
  • NOV. 17: F.C. Westcott, “Unfeigned,” release show Nov. 18 at El Mercado Backstage.
  • NOV. 18: Texas K.G.B., “Welcome Home,” release show Nov. 18 at Mohawk indoor.
  • NOV. 22: Strahan & the Good Neighbors, “Twilight Drifter,” release show Nov. 22 at ABGB.
  • NOV. 24: Sour Notes, “Darkest Sour,” release show Nov. 24 at Hotel Vegas.
  • DEC. 8: Kalu & the Electric Joint, “Time Undone,” release show Dec. 7 at Mohawk, in-store Dec. 11 at Waterloo Records.
  • DEC. 21: Russell Haight, “Destination,” release show Dec. 21 at Elephant Room.
  • FEB. 1, 2018: Good Field, “Surface Tension.”
  • FEB. 9, 2018: Jerry David DeCicca, “Time the Teacher” (Impossible Ark).
  • FEBRUARY 2018: Sharks in the Deep End, EP.

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