Seryn hails from Denton, Texas, where its 5 members came together to compose the layered, string-based sound first heard on their hand-distributed EP. The band recently spent time in Austin’s Ramble Creek Studios, emerging with this full length, entitled This is Where We Are. The record doesn’t come out until January 25th, but you can hear the whole thing over at KXT.org.
Austin native Sarah Jarosz, not yet 20 years old, is a multi-instrumentalist (mandolin, clawhammer banjo, guitar) whose voice and overall sound have been compared to Gillian Welch. She made quite a splash in 2009 with the release of her bluegrass-tinged debut, Song Up In Her Head, from which this track comes. Another song off the record, “Manssinneedof”, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Country Instrumental Performance; Jarosz has also been nominated for New/Emerging Artist of the Year in the 2010 Americana Music Awards. You may have also heard her intense cover version of the Decemberists’ “Shankill Butchers” on KXT 91.7 in recent weeks.
Though the hushed vocals and rattling percussion might remind some of Sufjan Stevens’ banjo-fueled odysseys, Denton’s Doug Burr adds a strong Texan edge to this haunting song from his latest, O Ye Devastator. After gaining some acclaim with his last record, On Promenade, Burr chose to quietly release The Shawl, which re-imagined the Psalms set to his sparse yet lush sound.
Hailing from his native San Antonio, Doug Sahm would be proud of Hacienda, who carries on his tradition of mixing tex-mex music with blues, rock and roll, and soul. On their latest record Big Red and Barbacoa, they show other influences in Buddy Holly, the Beach Boys, and Stax soul, all with a distinctly modern twist.
This track, from Willie’s landmark 1975 record Red Headed Stranger, helped turn the songwriter from Abbott, Texas into a one-name icon and set the standard for his genre-defying career. Recorded live and off-the-cuff in Garland, this record’s mix of traditional standards, original songs, and choice covers mixed with the story of an itinerant, wayward preacher resulted in many considering it to be the greatest country record of all time.