With residents like Eric Johnson, Charlie Sexton, Denny Freeman, David Grissom and Jimmie Vaughan, Austin is no stranger to well known guitar slingers. Despite the abundance of talented musicians in our town, few are held in as high regard as Doyle Bramhall II. Son of legendary Texas drummer Doyle Bramhall, the younger Bramhall grew up surrounded by some of the country’s best blues artists, including Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan. With such early exposure to so many excellent musicians it is no wonder Bramhall II went on to become one of the most respected modern guitarists, especially in the blues rock style popularized in Texas and Austin in the 80s and 90s. From the heavy driving blues rhythms on songs like “Your Mama Can’t Help You” to slower more soulful songs like “New Faith” that showcase his distinctive voice and exquisite guitar tone, the breadth of Bramhall’s mastery of the guitar is on full display in this session.
Doyle Bramhall II’s new album Rich Man is out September 30th via Concord Music Group. Take a listen to a few songs off the new album performed in front of an intimate audience in Studio 1A.
Some people might think it’s hard to create rock music that doesn’t sound like anyone else in this day and age, but Okkervil River still manage to do that. Even though they have had a slew of lineup changes, frontman Will Sheff’s somber vocals are just as powerful as ever. The graceful melodies created by the rest of the band create an elegant contrast that make their newest album Away a raw and unforgettable experience. Their songwriting paints a vivid picture of what it is like to be emotionally overwhelmed. Catch our Studio 1A session with Okkervil River before their show at The Parish.
photo by Rueben Atkins
With legendary clubs like Antone’s and iconic performers like Stevie Ray Vaughn, it’s no wonder the blues hold a special place in the Austin music scene. In recent years, nobody has done more to ensure the blues remain an important part of the Austin music experience than Nakia. A consummate band leader and incredible vocal talent, Nakia has worked hard to keep blues & soul music thriving in the Live Music Capitol of the World from the moment he arrived in 2002. Since then, Nakia has appeared as a contestant on NBC’s The Voice, shared the stage with legends like CeeLo, Sharon Jones and Alejandro Escovedo, and has become a vocal advocate for Austin musicians. His new project with The Blues Grifters finds Nakia digging deep into his appreciation of Southern blues and soul with songs like “Driving Wheel” and “Somebody Loan Me a Dime”. During his recent visit to Studio 1A we also got to listen to his contribution to the ALL ATX: Low Down Violet Crown compilation benefitting Austin musicians. You can listen to Nakia’s take on the Allman Brothers classic “Whippin’ Post” plus a couple more with his reunited Blues Grifters band in the player below.
Legendary singer-songwriters Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle dropped by Studio 1A to give us a glimpse of the magic that is their latest collaboration, Colvin & Earle. In late 2014, Shawn Colvin invited Earle to join her on stage for a week of shows, but the harmonies they created while performing together sparked a collaboration that continued in the studio. The album shows both artists reveling in the art of collaborative songwriting, blending their voices with grit and conviction on a record that hits all the folk/rock sweet spots. You owe it to yourself to grab a copy of this record!
Check out the artist links, as well as their live performances below.
– Sam Harrell
It’s hard to be angsty and angelic at the same time, but Big Thief manages to execute this perfectly. Adrianne Lenker’s dreamy vocals compliment the dynamic slacker rock instrumentation to create catchy, but inventive tunes. Their latest album, Masterpiece, takes some bedroom pop flair and soaks it in 90’s grunge and alternative. It’s a soft, delightful album, but also one with a lot of attitude. If you want to relive how you felt in your dorm room after your first college breakup, then look no further. Check out our Studio 1A session with them right here, and Big Thief is playing this weekend at UTOPiAfest, and they are also playing a pre-party for the fest with The Deer at Antone’s tonight!