Karina Nistal is back with a new album “Je Ne Sais Quoi” (I don’t know what), which best describes her style of Latin Hip Hop and Soulful House. Karina has that certain “Je Ne Sais Quoi” and for this special Cactus Record Store Day performance she’ll be backed by Freddy B to preview her new songs.
Altamesa is a Cosmic American and Rock & Roll band from Austin, Texas that mixes the production values of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and Big Star with the songwriting sensibilities of Neil Young and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Founded as a solo project in 2015 by singer, guitarist, and songwriter Evan Charles, the band has solidified it’s lineup to include as a permanent member Happen-Ins frontman, guitarist, and songwriter Sean Faires. After receiving 4 stars in the Austin Chronicle for the debut solo record The Long Ride Home, Charles and Faires have reshaped the Altamesa sound for their next, unreleased record, Idol Frontier, which will place heavier emphasis on vocal harmonies and guitar interplay while still maintaining the high standard of songwriting that was at the core of the first record’s local critical success. With a recent appearance at Willie Nelson’s Luck Ranch Reunion on the festival bill alongside Conor Oberst, Margo Price, Big Thief and Paul Cauthen, Altamesa will return to the festival and subsequently roll out six singles throughout 2018, culminating in the fall release of their next record, Idol Frontier.
Evan Charles – Vocals, Guitar
Sean Faires – Vocals, Guitar
Christopher Messina – Bass
Thom Washburn – Drums
TreynWrek is an original Texas Funk Rock Band from Houston, TX with the energy of a fast moving locomotive. With seven years perfecting their craft, TreynWrek has become one of the hottest power trios around playing an average of 120 shows a year. If you are looking for the same old song and dance you will not find it along these tracks. What you will find however, is a unique and original sound like you have never heard before. TreynWrek brings a mix of originality, passion, and devotion for putting on the best crowd pleasing performance possible, whether it’s in a small venue or in front of thousands of people. When on stage, this band comes alive providing the audience a tasteful flavor of their original homegrown Texas music mixed in with some classic rock favorites. TreynWrek is releasing their third studio album, Rule of Thirds, on April 19th which is a solid example of how the band has grown. One listen to the band’s exhilarating new album and it will be clear that things have changed. TreynWrek has shed their blues skin and put on new attire filled with fire, passion and attitude!
The band was formed in 2011 when Trey Dryden (guitarist and vocalist) and Tim Hutto (drummer) came together with similar tastes in music. They both had the desire to create something musically different and original. James Breaux from Houma, LA, a former metal bassist, was brought shortly thereafter to complete the power trio. Something magically clicked and TreynWrek was born. TreynWrek, with all of the original members, continues to share their music and reached new fans in different corners of Texas and beyond.
How would you define a sound that’s a cross between Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, REM, and Glenn Frey?
It’s a trick question. A sound like that defies genre.
That’s exactly the goal of Houston’s hottest new band, Londale. Veterans of the Houston music scene, they’ve connected to create unique music that’s heartfelt, edgy, and laid back. The result – an eclectic sound reminiscent of the aforementioned legends. It’s an unexpected combination, but once you hear it, it just feels right.
For group co-founder and lead vocalist Willy Collins, Londale’s creation was a fast metamorphosis. An attorney by day, Collins formed his first group, the Willy Collins Band, in 2012. Known for its indie-Americana sound that incorporated country-inspired twang, the Willy Collins Band released three albums before briefly evolving into the Black Top Junkies. But when BTJ went into the studio to record its first album in 2016, they had a revelation: the name of their group didn’t fit their sound. Something special was happening in that studio. The music they were creating was taking them into new territory. Collins and group co-founder/lead guitarist Joshua Lee Hammond were blown away by this unexpected evolution. They realized their music was a throwback to the scratchy, low-fi sound of the transistor radios popular in the 1960’s, with a rock edge reminiscent of the 1990’s.
“When transistors first appeared, music wasn’t so pigeonholed. You could hear Led Zeppelin and Sinatra on the same station. Our songs are a mix of genres like early radio, and my first transistor, a ‘Londale,’ came to my mind,” Collins says.
Collins and Hammond renamed the band Londale as an homage to the old-school portable radio. Many of their songs even have a transistor-type quality, as if they’re playing on a Londale radio. The result — a sophisticated listening experience that captures our society’s demand for the modern and simultaneous nostalgia for simpler times.
For the guys in Londale, this retro-fresh album isn’t about the past – it’s a nod toward the future. And just like that first day in the studio, the band will let their songs dictate their sound and see where it takes them.
“Sure, there will be the distinctive ‘Londale’ guitar-centric sound,” Collins says. “But we’re excited to try new things and let the magic of being in the studio dictate what is and what can be.”
Hamell on Trial is the musical alias of New York-based folk-punk hero Ed Hamell. A one-man explosion, he is loud-as-war one minute, stepping off the microphone to whisper to an enthralled audience the next. This is a dynamic performance informed by politics, passion, intelligence and the all-important sense of humor. His caustic wit and devil-may-care attitude has long been a favorite of anti-establishment icons Aesop Rock, Kimya Dawson, Ani DiFranco and the critical elite inciting Rolling Stone magazine to call him “Bald, bold and superbad!” Henry Rollins says “Hamell is a one-man rock show!” He has been described as “Bill Hicks, Hunter S. Thompson, and Joe Strummer all rolled into one” by Philadelphia Weekly and a “one man Tarantino flick: loud, vicious, luridly hilarious, gleefully and deeply offensive” by the Village Voice.
His tenth album, Tackle Box, is his second for New West Records and features all instruments and sounds played by Hamell himself, with the exception of one. Hamell states, “The first voice you hear on the album is Donald Trump. It’s from a campaign rally where he was saying he’d like to punch a protester in the face. His supporters cheer. I thought I’d kickstart the album making people aware that, should they disagree with that attitude, should they find his actions deplorable, his lies, his vanity, his lack of grace and intellect, his pandering to the lowest common denominator, his inciting violence towards minorities and the disenfranchised, they could find safety here at a Hamell show, from a Hamell song. Let us remember that he did not win the popular vote, his supporters are in the minority and I will treat them with all the respect THEY show minorities. The first voice you hear on the album is Donald Trump. ALL other voices you hear on the album, in firm and resolute opposition, are mine.”
Tackle Box was co-produced by the Grammy award-winning producer Phil “The Butcher” Nicolo (Bob Dylan, Ms. Lauryn Hill) and features the controversial song “Not Aretha’s Respect (COPS),’ an autobiographical tale teaching his child how to not get shot by a police officer. “‘COPS’ is a song about parenting. My son is 15, I’m teaching him how to drive. I’m explaining because he has the ability at home to explain his side of the story to me, that he might not have that chance when he’s in a situation with a police officer. Say ‘Yes sir, no sir’ and come home safe to me. The boss ain’t always right, but he’s always the boss. All four incidents in the song actually happened. I play all kinds of gigs, house concerts, theaters, DIY punk rock rooms, and the kids love this song. It’s even has a chorus they can sing along to and rally behind. Last year I was touring across the country with my son and the day after we played Dallas, some cops got shot. I wish no violence on anyone. I preface my introduction to this song live now by saying I just wish the good cops would call out the bad cops. This “Code of Blue” thing is helping no one. And if we don’t think it’s a race thing, well…”
Once again we see Hamell uncompromising, fearless, obscene, insightful, absurd, angry & poignant and, in a first-time-ever ploy, including four children’s songs…for balance. Hamell says, “I threw the four ‘FROGGY’ songs in there, trying my hand at children’s songs if you will, to maybe make sense of what the American Dream is or maybe was. In the four songs, interspersed throughout the album, we see the character Froggy as a child, courting, running a business with his wife, and finally surrounded by his grandchildren. This is how he interprets success. I think in light of all the volatility in the country, I needed to remind myself of happier times or potential. And of course the listener, after so many confrontational topics, needs a little refuge.”
Hamell tours the world constantly, seemingly enjoying every performance challenge. From larger stages and theaters, winning the coveted Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to house concerts and DIY underground spaces, this is a man who clearly loves to play. Armed with a battered 1937 Gibson acoustic guitar that he amplifies mightily and strums like a machine gun, a politically astute mind that can’t stop moving, and a mouth that can be profane one minute and profound the next, with Tackle Box, Hamell sets his sights on the new America and issues personal and spiritual. His performances invoke thoughts of the great, rebellious satirists and social commentators of the past: Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and Bill Hicks. Hamell is a great mind with acoustic punk rock mixed with a seeker’s soul. There’s no way around his obscenity but in that is a willingness to fight for the free thinkers of the world. Don’t we need that now more than ever?
Light Wheel is a musical act from Austin, Texas, formed by vocalist Tyagaraja and producer Evan Dunivan. Their music is marked by colorful soundscapes and eclectic rhythms, anchored by powerful, dynamic vocals. It is aesthetic pop music with touches of R&B grooves and Electronic flair. Light Wheel is now a four piece band with drummer Ethan Yeager and bassist Michael Sanders. Their debut full-length LP, “See Through”, was released in January of 2019.
Like the soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t yet exist, Rod Melancon’s Pinkville whips up a world
filled with shellshocked war veterans, gun-wielding rock & rollers, and other down-on-their-luck
characters, mixing cinematic details and electric guitars into its own version of greasy, gothic
Pulling everything together is Melancon himself: a southern songwriter and storyteller rooted in
the oral tradition of Cormac McCarthy and Larry Brown. His songs are dark and detailed, and
his voice — which veers between a spoken-word delivery, a croon, and a rough-edged howl —
is every bit as diverse as the material it delivers. Pinkville, his fourth release, makes plenty of
room for that diversity. There are psychedelic soul songs, Rolling Stones-inspired rockers,
tributes to icons like Freddy Fender and Tom Petty, and a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “57
Channels (And Nothin’ On),” all captured in analog sound by co-producers Adrian Quesada and
More biographical than the three albums before it, Pinkville begins in the swampy backcountry
of Louisiana. It was there, deep inside Vermilion Parrish, that Melancon grew up making trips to
his family’s crayfish pond. During those drives, he’d regularly pass by a dazed, older man
shuffling back and forth in his own front yard, dressed in long johns and combat boots. That
man — an Army vet who’d fought in Vietnam and returned home in a warped state, his mind
permanently haunted by the horrors of the My Lai Massacre — left a mark on Melancon, who
kicks off his new album with a spoken-word title track about the man and his wartime demons.
That leadoff song introduces one of Pinkville’s central themes: the hard truths that either make
or break a person.
Even so, there’s plenty of uplift here. “Heartbreakers” celebrates the influence of Tom Petty — a
songwriter who, like Melancon, grew up in the Deep South before migrating to Los Angeles —
while “Rehabilitation” makes a cool case for getting clean. Melancon rides a snake-charming
groove during the loud, electrified “Cobra” and turns his own mental struggle into a roadhouse
roots-rocker with “Manic Depression.” For an album that’s often steeped in darkness, Pinkville
isn’t afraid to shine its light on brighter moments, too.
Melancon, a former actor who was raised by a theater teacher, cranks up the album’s cinematic
sweep with help from Will Walden, who pulls double-duty as the album’s lead guitarist and coproducer. The son of Emmy-winning composer Snuffy Walden, Will approaches his instrument
like a director, setting the scene with each signature riff. In “Pinkville,” his tremolo guitar rustles
up images of a platoon on patrol, while the Keith Richards-inspired playing of “Westgate” helps
paint an R-rated picture of a horny, stoned adolescence. “Corpus Christi Carwash,” which tells
the true story of Freddy Fender’s former gig at a car wash, sways and swoons like a 1950s pop
ballad, while “Lord Knows” struts and swaggers with help from a 1970s organ.
Recorded in a series of live takes in Adrian Quesada’s Austin-area studio, Pinkville blurs the
lines between roadhouse country-rock, Texas blues, Louisiana soul, and all points between. It’s
haunted-sounding music for the heartland. And it’s Rod Melancon as you’ve never heard him
before: focused, unconventional, and willing to chase the muse into territory where few have
Good Morning Bedlam has become an innovative force in the folk scene with 13 national tours in over 42 states. Their shows are known for their contagious energy, with members careening about the stage, jumping and dancing with a wild playfulness. With tight soaring three part harmonies, and thumping kick-drum, they captivate their audience night after night with no intention of slowing down. Every song is a unique twist on what is generally dubbed as folk music.
“Walker’s brilliantly nuanced vocals are as natural, clear, sharp, and as effortlessly elegant as his guitar playing in these songs, and it all fits together into a warm, unadorned little album that reveals itself more and more with each listen.” – AllMusic
“It’s a welcome thing that Seth Walker’s chosen to pitch his tent in Americana. On his latest — Time Can Change — Walker has a way with smooth and swinging phrasing and makes classically accessible up-front pleas.” – Nashville Scene
“…Walker clearly illustrates his diverse musical talent and experience by building on what makes a great blues song.” – “Hear and Now” – 88.1 KDHX
“This young man is pure talent, a masterful blues guitarist, a singer with some swing in his voice and a writer whose (songs) sound less composed than unleashed.” – Austin American-Statesman