KUTX’s Stage To Studio takes a few artists from the monthly Open Mic at the Cactus Cafe (usually the first Wednesday of every month), and invites them into the KUTX studios to record a few tracks. Fans vote on which artist they liked best, and the winner gets a chance to have one of the tunes they recorded featured as a KUTX Song of the Day.
With just shy of 53 percent of the vote, today, we’re proud to showcase Austin Americana-rock act The Wasted Hearts. Banjo-player Eric Hartsfield and guitarist Chris Baldridge lead the band. Even though both Hartsfield and Baldridge attended Florida State, but they didn’t hook up until they both moved to Austin. They’ve been playing under The Wasted Hearts moniker for just over a year.
You can catch the band on Friday Nov. 1 at Hole In The Wall, but if you’re lucky, you might see ’em pickin’ and singing on the streets of downtown or South Congress. “We love to busk randomly on the weekends,” said Hartsfield. “Whenever we get the itch to play, we don’t have to wait ’til our next proper show–just grab our instruments and head downtown. It’s like a glorified practice, and you make a few bucks, and meet some interesting people along the way.”
You can hear a little bit o’ that git-up-and-go in “She Took The Road,” one of the tunes they recorded here at KUTX. The song’s got some down-home groove. There’s even a mild hint of psychedelia in the chords they use and the way the melody swings–almost like the Rubber Soul-era Beatles playing bluegrass. Hartsfield and Baldridge’s voices blend remarkably well, and there’s an ease and comfort with what they’re playing that may owe a bit to their shared backgrounds. “We both grew up in musical families, and started this project to pay homage to the Americana music that was [an] important part of growing up in the south,” said Hartsfield. He’s being a bit modest, because The Wasted Hearts definitely ain’t just doin’ homage, they’re the real deal.