We all know that Austin’s far outgrown its once humble status as a cool college town. So with the current tech culture/Live Music Capital dichotomy, it’s no wonder we also often overlook institutions right in our own backyard. But we can’t forget about the Butler School of Music at UT Austin, which attracts, molds, and produces a ton of talent.
For instance, there’s Austin folk quartet American Dreamer, who first met as grad students at Butler and began collaborating in the mid-2010s. With collective decades of formal training under their belt, this festival-proven four-piece builds on an already impressive ability to play off one another, leading to nuanced in-the-pocket arrangements that just keep getting better and better. Although their 2016 debut Restless Nights may have explored harder, more modern regions of Americana rock, 2018’s Go Where You Go and subsequent singles, ripe with themes of travel and nature, champion our continent’s rich roots music history.
With American Dreamer’s upcoming third full-length, the songs steer further away from percussion than ever before, giving us some of the band’s most transportive and string-rich tunes to date, as already heard on 2023’s “Little Bird”, “Railway Bound for Mercy”, and “Heaven’s Child”. American Dreamer drops July 14th with a release show that same evening at the 04 Center and the record’s final lead single “Medicine Hat” (though lyrically pining over a missed loved one) will take you straight to the porch of a rustic Alberta cabin thanks to wanderlust-inspiring chords and a wilderness-thick dynamic range embedded in synchronous instrumental interplay and blossoming vocal harmonies.
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