Austin360 On The Record: South Austin Moonlighters, Aaron McDonnell, Nightowls


SouthAustinMoonlightersCoverSouth Austin Moonlighters, “Ghost of a Small Town.” Following their 2014 studio debut “Burn & Shine,” this local supergroup of sorts, whose members marked many miles with the likes of Monte Montgomery, Stonehoney and the Whiskey Sisters, ups the ante on this 13-song set of  all-original material. Multi-instrumentalist Chris Beall’s memorable “A Year of Decembers” plants the record in classic-rock Americana territory before guitarist Phil Hurley, who first gained renown in the early ’90s with the acclaimed alternative band Gigolo Aunts of Boston, follows with the rootsy pop gem “Movin’ On.” When the foursome — which also includes bassist Lonnie Trevino Jur. and drummer Phil Bass — co-write, as on “Hold On” and the instrumental title track, they gravitate toward more soulful, bluesy grooves. Playing Friday, July 15, at Continental Club; release show July 23 at El Mercado Backstage.

AaronMcDonnellGetGoneAaron McDonnell, “Get Gone” EP (Independence). The second five-song set from country singer-songwriter McDonnell in less than a year follows closely in the heels of last fall’s “Battle Bend” EP. The title track shines most brightly here, a midtempo number with a smart rhythmic twist in the chorus and a clear spotlight on McDonnell’s richly melodic vocals. “I’m Broke” tells the story of his relocation from Seattle to Austin with his wife, concluding that it’s been worth the hardships. The heartbreak-and-beer opener “A Cold One” is a little too by-the-numbers, down to the obligatory Lone Star reference, but McDonnell closes on a high note with the lovely waltz “We Will Fall.” Release show Friday, July 15, at the White Horse.

NIghtowlsRoyalSessionsCoverNightowls, “Royal Sessions” EP. Following last year’s “Fame Sessions” album recorded in Muscle Shoals, Ala., the old-school soul revivalists traveled to Royal Studios in Memphis for another historically-inspired recording experience. These five songs serve up the blend of sweetness and heat that marks the Nightowls residency gigs at local hangs the Highball and Icenhauer’s. Release show Friday, July 15, at the Parish. Here’s the track “Can’t Bring Me Down”:

Will Courtney, “Planning Escapes.” Second solo album from the former member of local band Brothers & Sisters. Release show Saturday, July 16, at Carousel Lounge. Here’s the single “The Pain (Song for Dennis Wilson)”:


Altamesa, “The Long Ride Home”

Altamesa, “The Long Ride Home.” The debut project from singer-songwriter Evan Charles is an intriguing 10-song collection of acoustic-based indie Americana. Co-produced by Charles and Jonas Wilson with a cast including local fixtures Nic Armstrong, Sean Faires and Falcon Valdez, “The Long Ride Home” weaves enchanting melodic spells around impressionistic, but emotionally rich lyrics. Playing Friday, July 15, at Cactus Cafe. Here’s the title track:

Hard Proof, “Public Hi-Fi Sessions 03” EP. The atest in a series of releases from Spoon drummer Jim Eno’s label associated with his Public Hi-Fi studio features six songs from the local purveyors of worldly, jazz-influenced instrumental music. Playing Saturday, July 16, at Continental Club. Here’s the track “Painted Flowers”:


JULY 22: Ruby Dee & the Snakehandlers, “Little Black Heart” (Catty Town), release show July 23 at Continental Club.

JULY 22: Money Chicha, “Echo en Mexico” (Vampisoul), playing Aug. 20 at Scoot Inn.

JULY 29: Cotton Mather, “Death of the Cool” (Star Apple Kingdom).

AUG. 12: Kim Simpson, “Songs and Sightings 1992-2014,” release show Aug. 12 at Good Shepherd on the Hill.

AUG. 19: Dale Watson, “Live At The Big T Roadhouse, Chicken S#!+ Bingo Sunday” (Red House/Ameripolitan).

AUG. 26: Jack Ingram, “Midnight Motel” (Rounder), playing July 22 at Nutty Brown Amphitheater.

AUG. 26: Fabulous Thunderbirds, “Strong Like That” (Severn).

AUG. 26: Wildfires, “Aguas Frescas (Part II)” EP.

SEPT. 9: Giulia Millanta, “Moonbeam Parade.”

SEPT. 17: Henry & the Invisibles, title TBA.

SEPT. 23: Ruby & the Reckless, “In My Head,” playing July 16 at Scoot Inn.

SEPT. 26: Thor & Friends, self-titled (LM Duplication).

SEPTEMBER: Band of Heathens, title TBA.

SEPTEMBER: Shinyribs, “I Got Your Medicine.”

OCTOBER: Eric Johnson, title TBA.

FALL: Terri Hendrix, “The Slaughterhouse Sessions” (Wilory).

Author: Staff Writer

The Consumer Systems Application Support team maintains this wordpress blog to provide information and support for the CMG Media Websites and other digital publishing applications.

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