Charley Crockett – 10 For Slim

The first time I ever heard James “Slim” Hand, it was just in conversation at the dusty bartop in Tokio, TX at, what else, the Tokio Store.  Tokio was one of our favorite early 00’s haunts.  Just outside of West, it was the type of building that dots the landscape of the Lone Star State that looks as likely as it is home to a good time as it is to be scheduled for demolition in the morning.  The entire structure kind of leaned to 10 o’clock.  Now, mind you, the Hand family is well known in northern McLennan County

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Wade Bowen – The Waiting

Wade Bowen delivered us some joy over the Labor Day weekend by dropping a new EP he’d secretly been working on during the lock downs. At first, I didn’t know what to make of the track list for The Waiting. It was kind of like peeking into a bag of Halloween candy and seeing familiar favorites (shout out Three Musketeers) mixed in with a few surprises. Even Bowen admits, “This EP is all over the place. The six songs don’t really fit together, which I like… and I did it on purpose. It’s almost like an encore on stage.” Here’s

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Shaker Hymns – The Ties That Bind

The genre of southern rock had been moribund and dormant until the ascendance of bands such as Cross Canadian Ragweed, Whiskey Myers and Blackberry Smoke. Despite the best efforts of bands such as Copper Chief and Midnight River Choir, the sub genre has ebbed and flowed around these parts as it has throughout much of the country. Those bands got country and funky to break through. Southern rock has mostly been relegated to the novelty, county fair, discount bin of the music world as bands like Skynyrd shed original members but kept playing the same songs.  The freshness of the

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Kyle Nix – Lightning on the Mountain and Other Short Stories

Going solo after being in a massively successful band is one of the more difficult propositions in the music business. It has rarely been done with any measure of equal success. Projects from titans like Lennon, McCartney, Henley and Frey jump to mind. Petty delivered Full Moon Fever as a solo project, but it was merely a de facto Heartbreakers album. The most notable example from the Texas/Red Dirt scene is Johnny Chops of the Randy Rogers Band releasing a handful of fantastic rock-infused jams that have built a solid solo brand. Cody Canada’s post-Ragweed deserves consideration in this conversation

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John Baumann – Country Shade

John Baumann is one of the finest young songwriters plying his trade in Texas and beyond at the moment.  He’s developed a knack for hard-scrabble emotional lyrics paired with sneakily infectious lyrics.  He’s as adept at drawing from the well of personal experience as he is observation and imagination. That’s not an easy trick for any songwriter to learn, yet Baumann mastered it all before age 30.  He’s experienced a lot of love and loss in his young life, including the uber impactful experience of unexpectedly losing his father as a young man.  This loss informs even the brightest moments

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