You might not have heard of Ronnie Manchaca, but you’ve probably heard him.
Multi-instrumentalist Manchaca is a lifelong Austinite – nevertheless, his origins are shrouded in mystery. Rumored to have sold his soul to the devil in a late-night bargain at the Y at Oak Hill, Manchaca seemed to appear from nowhere. Before long, he was opening for everyone, from Flaco Jimenez to Spoon, played on albums by Soulhat and Jerry Jeff Walker, and supplied The Black Angels with most of their chemical motivation.
Manchaca broke out on his own in 2016 with a debut set at Levitation Fest that was well-received by the enormous crowd. A national tour followed, with accolades from critics for his energetic, incendiary live sets and unusual style of dancing, influenced by his mixed heritage.
“Manchaca” is derived from the Choctaw word imashaka, meaning “to the rear,” and Imashaka is Ronnie Manchaca’s breakout full-length. Evoking an I-35 midnight drive stuck in the right-hand lane behind a slow-moving 18-wheeler, the ten acoustic songs on Imashaka shimmer with psych-tinged guitar and call to mind a cross between a young Donovan and a very-old Lawrence Welk. Immersing the listener in singular tales of heartache, loneliness, boredom, the munchies, adult acne, and globalization, Imashaka finds Ronnie Manchaca at the precipice of becoming Austin’s next troubadour.