OUT THIS WEEK
Eric Johnson, “Collage” (Vortexan). This new 10-song collection, a mix of originals and covers, tops a sudden whirlwind of activity for the longtime Austin guitar virtuoso. The interpretations on “Collage” are enlightening, from a gorgeous acoustic rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “One Rainy Wish” to an uplifting update of Stevie Wonder’s “Up Tight (Everything’s Alright)” to a turbocharged take on the Ventures’ surf-rock classic “Pipeline.” (Johnson also tackles the Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out” and the B.B. King hit “Rock Me Baby.”) Five new originals fill out the collection, including the romantic eight-minute epic “To Love You” and “To Whom It May Concern,” an exquisite album-closing instrumental. “Collage” is available this Friday, Nov. 17, but Johnson is also packaging the record with reissues of his hard-to-find “Souvenir” and “Up Close: Another Look” albums in a special Black Friday Record Store Day deal for Friday, Nov. 24, via his website. In addition, New West Records has just issued vinyl and CD/DVD versions of Johnson’s December 1988 performance on “Austin City Limits” as part of its “Live From Austin TX” series, with liner notes by the show’s executive producer, Terry Lickona. And early next year, Johnson will team with his 1980s rhythm section of bassist Kyle Brock and drummer Tommy Taylor to perform his 1990 breakthrough album “Ah Via Musicom” in its entirety on a national tour (including a Feb. 15 show at the Paramount). In-store Nov. 26 at Waterloo Records. Here’s a track on the “Live From Austin TX” set:
Golden Boys, “Better Than Good Times” (12XU). After releasing five records from 2005 to 2012, the Golden Boys are back with their first album in five years. Once described by the American-Statesman’s Joe Gross as “part country-ish chops, part Pavement fall-apart squeal, part Lee Hazelwood weirdness and part amp feedback,” the group’s garage-rock charm draws upon the raw rock ’n’ roll instincts of Matt Hoopengardner , John Wesley Coleman III, Bryan Schmitz, Nay Nay Arbeitman and Patrick Travis. “Better Than Good Times” features 13 tracks that mostly clock in under three minutes; these guys understand the value of brevity, diving straight in and rocking right out quickly with passionate abandon and playful recklessness. (Example lyric: “Dear work, I can’t come in tomorrow/In fact I just can’t come in anymore.”) In-store Nov. 17 at End of an Ear, release shows Nov. 18 at Barracuda and Nov. 19 at Little Darlin’. Here’s the opening track, “Sundays With Jackie”:
Texas K.G.B., “Welcome Home.” The third record from this Austin-via-Georgia quartet, which includes brother-sister Kelly Green and Kody Lee plus guitarist Jace Cadle and bassist Violet Lea, comprises seven songs co-produced by Austin mainstay Omar Vallejo. Their Americana-based sound blends touches of blues, folk, rock and more. Green is the primary vocalist, but Cadle shines on the emotional tune “The Way,” which features saxophone accents from drummer Lee. Release show Nov. 18 at Mohawk indoor. Here’s the video for the title track:
Lord Buffalo, self-titled (Clerestory AV). The six-song debut from this local self-described “mud-folk” indie quintet that had songs featured in the award-winning documentary film “Tower” draws upon psychedelic influences and features production by Erik Wofford (Black Angels, Golden Dawn Arkestra). Release show Nov. 15 at Swan Dive, in-store Nov. 19 at Waterloo Records. Here’s the track “Indian Summer”:
Reveleros, self-titled. A world-music collective led by KUTX “Folkways” host Kim Simpson and percussionist Chris Dirkx, the Reveleros draw from many musical cultures on this refreshing 10-song release that includes both traditionals and originals sung in French, Spanish, Greek, Croatian and English. Release show Nov. 17 at Good Shepherd on the Hill. Here’s the track “Opa Nina Nina Nai”:
F.C. Westcott, “Unfeigned.” A Colorado native who lives part-time in Austin, Westcott delivers 11 well-written and tastefully arranged country-rock originals on his late-bloomer debut disc. Release show Nov. 18 at El Mercado Backstage. Here’s the video for the opening track, “Someone Else’s Arms”:
Aaron McDonnell, “Lucky Me” EP. Since moving to Austin from Seattle, country singer and songwriter McDonnell has reliably cranked out an EP a year, starting with 2015’s “Battle Bend” and 2016’s “Get Gone” (as well as backing his wife Dani McDonnell for her 2017 release “Neon’s Callin'”). His new seven-song collection “Lucky Me” follows in step with his previous work, with quality honky-tonk arrangements centered on McDonnell’s classic country twang lead vocals plus a couple of duets with his wife. In the crowded Texas country field, McDonnell stands out as one of the most natural talents to rise out of Austin in years. Release show Nov. 18 at Poodie’s Hilltop Roadhouse. Here’s a recent live acoustic version of the album track “Life Sounds Easy on the Radio”:
Pocket FishRmen, “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (Saustex). One of Austin’s longest-running punk bands traces its history back to the 1980s in this 30-song release that includes newly recorded versions of highlights from its extensive catalog, in LP-with-bonus-CD format. Release show Nov. 19 at Hole in the Wall.
- 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. 2: Mazel Tov Kocktail Hour, “Shoyn Avek Der Nekhtn,” release show Dec. 2 at Agudas Achim.
- 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.
- JAN. 18: Summer Fires, “Without a Word” EP, release show Jan. 18 at Stubb’s indoor.
- FEB. 1: Good Field, “Surface Tension.”
- FEB. 9: Jerry David DeCicca, “Time the Teacher” (Impossible Ark).
- FEBRUARY: Sharks in the Deep End, EP.