Music Review: Miranda Lambert – Revolution

The pride of Lindale, Texas continues to defy all expectations. When every other country artist on the chart is a chirpy little blonde singing lines from her 9th grade journal. Lambert, writing or co-writing all but four of the album’s 15 tracks, waves her classic country pride flag but amps it way up instead of the lazily chasing a hits-laden pot of gold.

From the Eno/Lanois U2 era opener of the of the excellent White Lies and skipping off the grid Airstream Song, the Sgt. Pepper’s era psychedelic sound effects of Maintain The Pain (where we find Ms. Lambert puts a bullet in her radio. Pop Country commentary Texas style?) to the Sticky Fingers/Southern groove of  Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go.

Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum co-wrote Love Song, a song that in Lady A’s hands would probably have been a hot slick mess.
Me and Your Cigarettes could do with less electronic hand-claps, but is still a fine song of addiction and regrets co-written by current and boyfriend, Blake Shelton and former Columbia Records artist Ashley Monroe.

Lamert also has a great ear for covers. Here her cover of Fred Eaglesmith’s Time to Get a Gun is a great interpretation and she delivers it like the song of populist last resort it is and not some 2nd amendment rally cry. John Prine’s That’s the Way the World Goes ‘Round absurdest study is given a honky-tonk treatement spiked with Ramones punk-pop adrenaline. The fine art of Southwestern passive-aggression with is detailed in fine form with the scorching Only Prettier.

Lambert is nothing if not study in adept  duality. She has been able to straddle the line between country and rock in a way that doesn’t get her tossed into the Americana side of the tracks and she’s the only current country mainstream artists to land on the cover of People and No Depression. Here’s a swaller and a holler to Lambert and hoping she continues to surprise her fans shame Nashville with more gems like Revolution.

Official Site | MySpace | Buy



Austin Children’s Shelter Fundraiser

(from Gallywinter) The Austin Children’s Shelter will be holding a concert to raise some much needed funds. The shelter is an emergency safe haven for children who are removed from their homes due to life-threatening abuse or neglect.

The line up is Josh Abbott Band, Brian Burke Band, Curtis Grimes Band.

Ace’s Lounge on 6th Street in Austin, TX
Monday,May 11th 9:00pm
$10 at the door

Dale Watson on Sirius XM’s Willie’s Place | Friday, April 3 at 10PM EST

Supporting his upcoming new album The Truckin’ Sessions: Volume Two on Hyena Records, hardcore honky tonker Dale Watson will be honoring the men and women who puttin’ the pedal to the metal with a free “trucker appreciation” concert on Friday, April 3 at the beautiful Night Life Theater at the Willie’s Place truckstop in Carl’s Corner, Texas.
SIRIUS XM Radio will carry the entire show live on its Willie’s Place channel, SIRIUS channel 64 and XM channel 13, beginning at 10PM EST. There’s plenty of truck parking for drivers rollin’ through Texas, but if you can’t be there in person, tune in for great night of gear grindin’, truckin’ tunes, along with an exclusive pre-show Dale Watson interview by Dallas Wayne from the SIRIUS XM studios at Carl’s Corner.

A portion of proceeds from the CD sales of The Truckin’ Sessions: Volume Two during the evening’s performance will be donated to the St. Christopher Truckers Development & Relief Fund, a not-for-profit organization that provides financial assistance to professional truck drivers who have

Review – Ben Mallott – Look Good, Feel Good (Self Released)

It’s rare that I play a new release passed my way and my mind is stopped from lazily latching onto the closest analog. Classification is what the mind does to make sense of the word and allow progress but with music critiques it can be a handicap.

The new release by Austinite and ex-Helpers front man, Ben Mallott, Look Good, Feel Good, is a musical monkey wrench to the sated mechanics of the jaded ear.

First the album cover of the album. Mallott looks at you from an old school barber shop’s mirror (flanked with the omnipresent Barbicide jar full of combs) bedecked in an an pink ornate pearl-snap shirt, white pants fringed with gold and kicked-up baroquely tooled boots that would make Nudie Cohn swoon. This juxtaposition of ordinary and flamboyant was a staple of 70’s Nash-Vegas alchemical imagery that Porter Wagoner mastered.

Then there is the voice.  As stated before an obvious analogy doesn’t spring to mind, and to do a just description would lead to a hyphen polluted mess. Suffice to say Mallott can moved from gritty baratone to soaring ache within a single song. Case in point is the opener Heartbreaks, the guitar lays a chugging foundation, and pedal-steel and fiddle gently interlock, to travel the timeworn terrain of the anguish of lost love. What saves the piece from cliche’ is the subtle soul in Mallot’s pipes.

Austin folk goddess Eliza Gilkyson on backing vocal on a gently rolling Shotgun Suzy and I half expected a matador to suddenly appear in the mariachi-horn and guitar start to Purgatory’s Last Massage Parlor which names drops George Jones and features some fine fiddle work. I Want It All is straight up Memphis-seared soul the would Make Van Morrison smile and The Artful Dodger sound like a long-lost opaque ballad by the late Jeff Buckley.

Midnight and Broke Down is a lonesome, lovely tune that comes closest to a trad country piece and Cold Feet is a Jerry Lee rockabilly-style cooker. The somber B-3 organ opening of Love Is Cold Water soon breaks into a shuffling Gospel rouser.

I have said that I think great musicians drawing from a wide view of musical sources have always made the best conduits for synthesis (or in the modern parlance, Mash up) and Ben Mallott adeptly shows this ability with this extraordinary surprise.

Official Site |   MySpace |  Buy

Ben Mallott – Heartbreaks


Concert For The (Texas) Coast

This goes out to my home state: Concert For The Coast is a Texas-wide event on Oct. 26, 2008, featuring 10 venues in 10 cities with over 100 artists ( like Band of Heathens, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Gary P Nunn, Rodney Parker and many others), with both acoustic and full band performances, coming together for one cause, to help the recovery process of the millions hit hard by Hurricane Ike.

All events have a suggested donation of $10 per person to enter.  Each event will also feature raffles as well as auctions
of artist merchandise, autographed memorabilia and other items donated by local merchants.  There will also be an online auction concurrent with the events.

Many are struggling without the basic necessities of food, water and shelter. Radio Free Texas has proven that it is a community that cares.  In this spirit, the idea for Concert For The Coast was born.  Radio Free Texas has partnered with others in the Texas Music community to bring a multi city, multi venue benefit event that will help bring much needed relief to the coastal communities and those that call it home.

For more information about the Concert For The Coast benefit event, please contact Nate Smith by calling 512-912-6082 or emailing at

Carrie Rodriguez’s New Release to Drop 8/5

  • Austin-born, Berklee trained violinist-turned-fiddler/singer/song writer, and Chip Taylor protege, Carrie Rodriguez will release her second solo album “She Aint Me.” (8/5) The album is produced Malcolm Burn (Emmylou Harris, Kaki King) and wrote with Gary Louris of the Jayhawks as well as Mary Gauthier, Dan Wilson and Jim Boquist
  • The 10th Annual Pickathon Roots Music Festival (August 1-3, at Pendarvis Farm on Mt Scott near Portland, OR.) will feature35+ artists appearing on five stages, including two late-night venues. Some artists featured are Justin Townes Earle, a reunited Bad Livers, The Gourds, Hackensaw Boys and Wayne “The Train” Hancock.
  • According to ZZ Top has inked a deal with Rick Rubin’s American Recordings imprint through Columbia. The veteran rock trio is planning to hit the studio with Rubin (Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond,  Slayer) producing, for an album more in keeping with “La Grange”-era ZZ Top than its pop-friendly ’80s sound, according to manager Carl Stubner. I can’t begin to express how happy this makes me!
  • Since I’ve been here in the scorched shit-hole that is Irving Texas (but hey, it’s my native shit hole) I’ve tuned into the Clear Channel owned Dallas KZPS – Lone Star 92.5 and found it’s almost completely reverted back to it’s classic rock format it had abandoned to experiment in the format. So much for experimentation and those great Willie Nelson promos they recorded. Nevertheless I found my solice in the excellent KHYI 95.3 The Range. In one sitting I heard Chris Knight, George Jones. Eleven Hundred Springs. Yeah I know I’m a little late to this party but, hell, I’m just tickled to be here.

Texas Man Returns George Jones Guitar After 46 Years!

Props to retired oil man Larry Berry of Chandler, Texas for returning George Jones’ stolen acoustic Martin-000 guitar which he bought for $10 from two boys at his Fort Worth, Texas, apartment complex in 1962(!)

Berry said he’s been “trying to reach Jones since the 1960s to return it, and finally got through this year.”

The Possum will recieive the long lost instrument on June 14 when Berry will pesent him with the guitar at a performance in Bossier City, La.

What made Berry think that the guitar he bought belonged to Jones? The guitar’s strap had Jones’ name on it with streaks of “White Lightning.”

Yeah, that would do it!


20 Questions With Eleven Hundred Springs

Galleywinter holds a Q&A with Matt Hillyer, lead singer, guitarist and primary songwriter of Texas’ best country band working today Eleven Hundred Springs. Hillyer talks about his influences, Texas musicians and juke joints, the stories behind some of EHS songs and the band’s upcoming Lloyd Maines produced release Country Jam (Palo Duro Records)

20. What do you see as the main difference between the music you’re making and the stuff you hear on mainstream radio?

We’re trying desperately to get back to the heart and soul of country music. You’ve got to get the blues back in to it. That heartfelt feeling that rings true for everyone. We’re trying to keep the formula simple in hopes it will be classic…or at least pay tribute to something classic.

(via the 9513)

If you find yourself in the Dallas area on May 31st get over to the Granada Theater to catch EHS for their CD release party and 10 year anniversary.