Author

Luann Williams

Music Review |
March 1, 2001

Fully Repaired

What a difference five years makes. Shawn Colvin’s 1996 CD, A Few Small Repairs, while cloaked in radio-friendly production, was lyrically full of spit and vitriol, a searing portrait of alienation and divorce that you happened to be able to sing along with. Remember the Grammy-winning “Sunny Came Home” and…

Music Review |
January 1, 2001

Kissinger

Kissinger’s Music is like Pop Rocks candy: sugary, crunchy, and slightly explosive. It shouts Austin Powers: all exaggerated moves, gadgets, sleek cars, mod clothes, and girls, girls, girls. It’s the soundtrack to a mall-kid’s life, an episode of Dawson’s Creek, and a John Hughes film all rolled into one. These…

Music Review |
December 1, 2000

Damon Bramblett

It’s the voice that strikes you first: deep, lugubrious, slightly warbly. Second it’s the songs, the result of years of craning an ear toward the works of writers like Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt. Yet Damon Bramblett’s music was first heard by most listeners when Kelly Willis covered “Heaven…

Music Review |
September 30, 2000

The Deathray Davies

Taking cues from their namesake, Ray Davies of the Kinks, Dallas’ Deathray Davies also pay homage to Roky Erickson, Nuggets-era garage bands, and Guided By Voices. The Davies share Voices’ same Brit-invasion worship for interstitial song snippets, but despite those influences they are no ventriloquist act. Two years ago the…

Music Review |
August 31, 2000

Fastball

A lot of ink has been spilled over Fastball’s success, with 1998’s platinum album All the Pain Money Can Buy, the Grammy nominations, the high-profile tours, and the fact that a few months before the out-of-left-field hit single “The Way” took off, the threesome was still working day jobs in…

Music Review |
July 31, 2000

Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today

Three albums in and Denton’s Slobberbone is firing on all cylinders. Brent Best and his band have tamed their “AC/DC of alt-country” comparisons, creating a twelve-song cycle of barn-burning beauty. Recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today brims with the fervor of the…

Music Review |
June 30, 2000

Red River

You’d probably never call Knife in the Water’s music “country,” but it certainly evokes country music in the sense that it takes painful and melancholy experiences and turns them into something strangely beautiful. Red River is the Austin quintet’s second release, ten moody and meandering tunes that wash together with…

Music Review |
May 31, 2000

Live At Antone’s

It’s the beginning of a new decade, so like clockwork, it must be time for a new Joe Ely live album. Live Shots (1980) chronicled his tour with the Clash; Live At Liberty Lunch (1990) was a career snapshot that captured the power of his performances. Live At Antone’s, a…

Music Review |
April 30, 2000

Old No. 1 / Texas Cookin’

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release of Guy Clark’s first — and best — album, Old No. 1. Clark was 34 when it came out, and by then he’d left Texas, eventually settling in Nashville, where it was recorded. Old No. 1 has aged well, more so…

Music Review |
April 1, 2000

Toad of Titicaca

HAVING MADE HIS NAME AS A producer, Austin’s Gurf Morlix has finally stepped up to the plate with his solo debut. These eleven originals reflect the music of the artists he’s worked with (Lucinda Williams, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Robert Earl Keen) and the influence of his Southern California cronies Dave…

Music Review |
March 1, 2000

Robinson Ear’s Little Whirled of Sound

From the album title, one might assume this is the work of an eccentric yet likable wizard. That would be right. Part one-man band, part ringmaster commanding more than a dozen musicians, Halverson stirs up a concoction of blues, gospel, and psychedelia, all held together by his band, the Robinson…

Music Review |
February 1, 2000

Broke Down

Slaid Cleaves is a craftsman. Broke Down, his second national release, is carved and polished just so, the work of someone who has studied his influences: Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Bruce Springsteen. Lured to Austin from Portland, Maine, a decade ago by the work of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock,…

Music Review |
January 1, 2000

You Know How It Is

There’s a looming spirituality that works its way through the cracks of the Barbers’ second release, You Know How It Is. Perhaps it’s because they recorded in a former Baptist church in Austin, perhaps it’s their Southern roots, as thick as kudzu, perhaps it’s the angelic plinking of Elaine Barber’s…