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Talk about a “solo artist”: On You Coulda Walked Around the World (rainlight records), Butch Hancock is record label boss, co-producer, photographer, singer, songwriter, and lone musician. The Lubbock-born Hancock left Austin for Big Bend about a year ago, and the result is a casually haunted album that’s suffused with regal desert imagery. As always, his voice is as loose and as gritty as a riverbed, but that only adds to the immediacy of a wise, witty, and—no surprise—wordy collection of spare parables and love songs that are both bittersweet and playful. Jason Cohen

Singer-songwriter David Rice mines the same sort of brooding, polished pop that has yielded big returns for the likes of Roxy Music and Peter Gabriel. On greenelectric (Columbia), the Houston native’s earthy voice resembles the latter’s, but instead of dodging the comparison, he curiously wallows in the selfsame atmospherics, recording at Gabriel’s studio and even using his guitarist. Though taxing production threatens to overwhelm the material, Rice possesses ample musical and lyrical prowess. It just may not prove to be enough to escape Gabriel’s long shadow. Jeff McCord

What do you get when you combine the brain trust of the Potatoes, one of

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