With a voice that can stand next to the likes of Linda Ronstadt and songwriting that seems to tap directly into some deeply shared human experiences, Shannon McNally is a timeless talent. After spending considerable time in New York, McNally moved to the South in 2005 to find some new musical inspiration, first to New Orleans and then on to Mississippi where she studied the region’s rich country and blues songwriting traditions. Now with more than two decades of writing and performing under her belt and a stellar new album, Black Irish, Shannon McNally is most certainly at the top of her game. Listen to her recent session from Studio 1A in the player at the bottom of the post!
They’re a group of three unassuming, soft-spoken Englishmen, and they’re also one of the biggest bands in the world. alt-J, named for the delta symbol that appears when pressing “Alt” and “J” on a keyboard, formed after meeting at Leeds University back in 2008. Their Mercury Prize winning debut album, An Awesome Wave, came in 2012 and introduced the planet to their signature blend of folk-esque dub-rock. This year sees the release of their third full length album, Relaxer, which was recorded in the famous Abby Road studios and has already been listed for another Mercury Prize. The record shows the group expanding their sound; it is thick with grand orchestrations, tastefully trimmed strings and chorus harmonies. The fuzz-rockers dropped past Studio 1A ahead of their show at ACL Live, missed the session? We’ve got you covered. Check it out below!
11/16 @ ACL Live
Canadian rockers Yukon Blonde make melodic, driven indie pop with an edge. Originally formed in Kelowna, British Columbia, the band packed up and moved to Vancouver–renaming the act from Alphababy to Yukon Blonde. Through the next six years they would appropriately grow and reinvent themselves, losing their bass player and going on a self-imposed hiatus before arriving at their current iteration. With their latest album, On Blonde, Yukon Blonde seems to have struck a balance. With pulsing bass lines and silvery synthesizers, the band showcases both their garage rock sensibilities and their glitzy pop songwriting. Yukon Blonde combines the best of both worlds to make music that is biting, glam-charged and infectious. If you missed their session in studio 1A, look no further. Check it out below!
– Harold Urteaga
Hiss Golden Messenger returns to its musical and emotional roots in a world that’s rapidly moving forward. M.C. Taylor–now a 20 year veteran of the music scene and the driving force behind the band–recorded Hiss Golden Messenger’s second album, Bad Debt, deep in the North Carolina woods. Sitting down at his kitchen with his newborn son as company, Taylor expressed his worries regarding the harsh winter outside and the global financial collapse around him. Together with multi-instrumentalist and recording engineer Scott Hirsch, Hiss Golden Messenger makes a unique brand of roots-rock that manages to be both laid back and melancholy. Their latest album, Hallelujah Anyhow, has more slick production than Taylor’s kitchen ballads but still manages to shake up the same Southern ghosts. Recorded almost a decade after Bad Debt, Hallelujah Anyhow still carries an old weariness: Taylor’s voice is arresting and a little hopeful all at once, wishing to extend compassion in a world that feels increasingly cruel. We had Hiss Golden Messenger over at Studio 1A to play a couple tracks off their new album. If you missed them, the tracks are below!
– Harold Urteaga
The Beerthoven Concert Series is a down-to-earth, approachable celebration of classical song, chamber music, and beer; a quirky mixture of Bach and Doppelbock in a unique and intimate setting. Beerthoven finds its inspiration in the musical and festive events at the Austin Saengerrunde as well as the private “salon” concerts of Beethoven’s own time. All Beerthoven events feature live classical music, free beer, and other refreshments. There is no backstage area here; audience members may even find themselves standing in line for beer with the performers.
After a hiatus for some years Austin’s own Allegro Chamber Trio has been resurrected, featuring violist Bruce Williams, harpist Elaine Barber (Principal players of the Austin Symphony), and flutist Megan Meisenbach. This French-themed program will feature the landmark Debussy Trio, Durufle’s Prélude, Récitatif et Variations for Viola, Flute, and Piano, and Poulenc’s Sonata for Flute and Piano. Beerthoven Director Daniel Swayze will accompany on the piano. Join the Allegro Chamber Trio at Saengerrunde Hall on November 17 & 19.