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Following on the heels of Courtney Barnett’s xxx of America, Australia’s Milk! Records is set to unleash yet another Australian to take over our shores. Fraser A. Gorman. Gorman’s looks have been compared to a young Bob Dylan. My first thought was that he is the doppelganger of Ha Ha Tonka’s Luke Long. His music, you ask? Its twangy alt-country that seems to look on the bright of the street. Based on the two excellent videos below, Gorman clearly doesn’t take himself to serious. Barnett and her band even pop in the video for Book Of Love.

Gorman’s debut will see the light of day on 6/29/15 and its not hard to see him making some real noise on these shores.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Fraser A. Gorman is here

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Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles’ debut has been in the works for over five years. Fronted by La Luz frontwoman, Shana Cleveland; the band has been a rotating cast of characters. Cleveland had this to say, “The line-up has been different for almost every show depending on which arrangements I thought would be best for the atmosphere. Some shows I played alone; some with bass, clarinet, and backing vocals; some with the addition of drums, cello and piano. We’ve played shows really selectively throughout the last few years—just sticking to shows that I thought sounded really interesting. Like, I’d rather play these songs for people in their bedrooms or in a field at night than on a three band bill at a bar.”

The two tracks I’ve heard are downbeat centered around Cleveland’s picking and her vocals. Noisey said if you dig Sea Change, you’d be on board with this. I dig Sea Change and I’m on board with Shana Cleveland. So apparently, they know what they’re talking about over there. Their debut album, Oh Man, Cover The Ground! will be out on 5/26/15 via the fine folks at Suicide Squeeze Records.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Shana Cleveland hasn’t set herself up yet but you can track her down via La Luz or Suicide Squeeze

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I sort of stumbled across Doug Burr right before SXSW. Hailing from Dallas, Burr only played one or two sets down in Austin. Luckily for me, one of those fit perfectly in my schedule. And while I typically like to shy away from 6th on the weekend nights, Burr was playing in one of the side rooms of Maggie Mae’s. Once you got ensconced in there, you were cut off from the madness.

I decided to check out Burr on the strength of White Light Black Light. The track is sounds like an outlaw twang track but digging deeper, you realize that it is asking hard questions of religion. Like Matthew E. White’s Holy Moly, it delivers quite a wallop with lyrics.

White Night – Black Light, who you come to save
Leanin’ pale-face, empty-eyed, more every single day
White Night – Black Light, savior save yourself
But there’s acid in your veins and two boys in that well

A few tracks later, he offers another dark religious themed track with I See Satan Fall Like Lightning. The tune is centered around a nasty riff and works in some subtle banjo. The track reminds me of a blend of 16 Horsepower and Elliott BROOD.

Ah, go and tell John the Baptist ’bout all of these
How the deaf can hear, the lame can walk, and the blind man sees
And the dead are raised, and the dead are raised,
And the poor – they got the Good News, but you’re still in chains
Now here she come, here she come, here she come, here she come
Here comes Salome

Mixed in with these heavy tracks are some tasty tracks that wouldn’t sound of place on a Ryan Adams album. Never Gonna Be Young Again & I Love To Hate You are both excellent. Burr is closer to my age and these tunes tend to ruminate on the years past which is what guys like me do. But the real gem is the closer, The Last Confederate Widow. Its a slow-moving track that is born to close an album. Burr’s wonderful lyrics to such a great job at painting a visual. You almost feel as if you’re there.

Take a walk through the trees of this bright, empty forest
Got their limbs all outstretched like they simply adore us
It was here where we wed, drunk on a chorus, singin’ baby now doesn’t time win
Over and over again, and the Second Line marchin’ in
Oh, we got one more battle hymn

Its a crime that Burr isn’t better known outside of Texas. Pale White Dove is outstanding and his prior album, O Ye Devastator, is also fantastic. Pick this up and if you’re lucky to have Doug and his band roll through town, make it a point to check them out. They put on a great show.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Doug Burr is here

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Hollis Browm is set to follow up on 2013′s Ride On The Train with 3 Shots. The title track is the lead single. “3 Shots” has a great story. It’s one of the first tracks that front man Mike Montali and lead guitarist Jon Bonilla first wrote together. Montali wrote the lyrics after seeing the senseless violence going on in America. He was watching this documentary “Bully” and it really stood out how lost young people have become and this song is commentary on all the craziness. So needless to say it has an amazing message.

Hollis Brown is going to be hitting the road this summer with Counting Crows. Be sure to check them out.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Hollis Brown is here

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Marrow – Paulson (music video)

April 20, 2015

A few years back during SXSW, we made our way over to The San Jose of their South By San Jose blowout. The main draws for us were J. Roddy and Alabama Shakes. It was a beautiful day, beers were going down like water and troubling was brewing. The lineup was as follows – J. [...]

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Lilly Hiatt – Royal Blue [album review]

April 17, 2015

From the minute I heard Royal Blue, I couldn’t help be reminded of Lydia Loveless. Both seem to encapsulate the conflict a woman has been brashness and vulnerability. While Hiatt is also steeped in the world of twang, it seemed to veer from that outlaw, bad girl sound that Loveless perfected on Somewhere Else. A [...]

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Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color [album review]

April 15, 2015

Let’s face it. Brittany Howard is a once-in-a-generation talent. Her voice can bring you to your knees one minute and have you charging into battle the next. And while she may be the star, the fact that she was able to link up with three other amazing musicians at such a tender age is fortuitous, [...]

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Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp [album review]

April 13, 2015

I was on the fence about Waxahatchee, aka Katie Crutchfield, prior to SXSW. I dug some of the tracks on her prior album, Cerculean Salt, but not enough to really rope me in. So when the SXSW Gods slipped her on to a Tuesday night showcase with Ryler Walker, Steve Gunn, TORESS and Angel Olsen; [...]

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Blackfoot Gypsies announce new album, Handle It 4/14/15

April 10, 2015

I first caught wind of Nashville’s Blackfoot Gypsies right before SXSW when I stumbled across the video for Don’t Know About You. It has everything one could want in a video – women’s rugby, golf carts, a bus, skateboards, canned beer, trick shooting w/ BB guns, grilling meat and a dude playing spoons. And while [...]

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The Lowest Pair – The Sacred Heart Sessions [album review]

April 8, 2015

Stood in the rain for @TheLowestPair at @BrooklynBrewery party. Worth every minute. #SXSW pic.twitter.com/plMuerLJ5u — HearYa (@Hearya) March 21, 2015 Come Saturdays at SXSW, I am usually hanging by a thread. In addition to exhaustion, this year’s Saturday had the added bonus of a steady rain. So while cuddling up with Jefe in our warm [...]

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