Water Liars

Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster (henceforth known as JPKS) is one of the most criminally underrated songwriters and musicians of the last ten years. My only explanation for that is people are morons. JPKS’s music whether it be solo, with Water Liars or Marie/Lepanto has always had a propensity of buckling my knees. It just made me hurt in all the right places.

However on Take Heart, Take Care things seems a little brighter. After his show this past Monday night I made that comment to him and he told me (I’m paraphrasing here) that he had to sort of relearn his craft to come out songs from a different place. While the songs might be coming from a sunnier perspective place, they certainly don’t lack in the ability to make you feel.

The second track, Friend of Mine, is such a hopeful tune. The guitar lick sets the tone and the lyrics hammer home the spirit of being “reborn” and living for the good. The title track showcases JPKS’s vocals at their best. The lyrics tickle your spine, as JPKS comes across as someone trying to pass words of wisdom down to a younger charge.

Take Heart, Take Care stands among his best work. And I can’t stress this enough, go see his band live while they’re on tour.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Justin / Water Liars are here


Marie/Lepanto – Tenkiller (album review)

by Woody on January 29, 2018

I’ve been really reconnecting with my Grateful Dead roots lately and one thing I’ve noticed is how much I enjoy Jerry’s voice when he’s singing with someone, be it Brent, Donna, Bobby or the ladies from the JGB. I’d say Will Johnson of Centr0-Matic and Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster of Water Liars both fit that description for me. Whether it be Scott Danborn for Johnson or Andrew Bryant for Justin, having another voice along for the ride always seems to pull something extra out of them.

So needless to say, having them play off each other on their debut is absolutely mesmerizing. It is like someone took Centro-Matic and Water Liars (two of the most underrated bands of the last 20 years and blended them together. Will & Justin’s voices sound like they were meant for each other on an album of dark and oft heartbreaking Americana.

Patient, Patient Man is a gorgeous haunting tune with a wonderful finish that sees Will take the lead. Famished Raven, is another winner from Johnson that deals with youth slipping away. It is stripped down more consistent with his solo effort from last year.Justin’s stripped down effort is the title track that closes the album. A tune that was inspired by the devastation that Native Americans felt as the White man made their way West. High Desert & Simple Scenes are two more winners where Kinkel-Schuster takes the lead.

I had high hopes for this album after reading the press release. Its met them and more. It is a wonderful album that deserves your attention.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Marie/Lepanto is here


Will Johnson & Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster have joined forces to release an album under the name of Marie/Lepanto. The idea was hatched during a living room tour they did together. These are two of my favorite voices in music and I can’t emphasize how happy I am about this. The tune below kicks ass. Get excited for this one.

In the sunken lands of Arkansas along I-55, there’s a road sign that directs you to a pair of tiny, hardscrabble towns in the Delta. It reads: Marie/Lepanto and resides roughly between where each artist grew up: Justin in Arkansas and Will in Missouri. Alternating between lofi folk and distorted indie rock, ‘Tenkiller’ finds their two voices shadowing one another, with Johnson’s battered vocals and Kinkel-Schuster’s wavering tenor complementing one another. Many of the songs then funnel into expansive instrumental breaks. “Inverness” segues into the fingerpicking, creaky “Rest Be Mine.” The widescreen waltz “High Desert” coexists with the ghostly title track, named for a lake in Oklahoma and inspired by Justin’s reading the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Marie/Lepanto is here



Photo by Matt White

For those not in the know, Justin is the lead voice and 1/3 of HearYa favorite, Water Liars. With Water Liars, their tunes tend to vacillate between quiet moments and crashing sound all the while showcasing life’s difficulties. On his solo debut, Justin dials back the sound for in giving you something that feels like a confessional.

Kinkel-Schuster has never been shy of his admiration for the late Jason Molina. And that shines through as this has the feeling of some of Molina’s more mellow work. Painting Houses is a gorgeous melancholy track that examines the struggles of everyday. The finish beginning at 2:40 ooozes Molina greatness and I don’t throw those words around easily.

Kinkel-Schuster’s vocals continue to shine. It is nice to see in a slight different fabric on his solo album. Headed South and Milky South are among his best work. The songs just seem to dig up some hurt.

While I am chomping at the bit for a new Water Liars album, this was a nice way to pass the time in between.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Justin / Water Liars are here

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Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster announces debut solo LP, Constant Stranger – 9/30/16

August 3, 2016

Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster, lead singer of HearYa favorites Water Liars is set to release his solo LP on Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum. As AV Club so eloquently put it, the track Laid Low “sees Kinkel-Schuster putting his Jason Molina influence on full display.” The 11 songs on Constant Stranger feel like snapshots documented, processed, and […]

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Water Liars – s/t album [album review]

February 3, 2014

I am often asked to describe a band to friends who aren’t as well-versed in the indie music scene as I am. When I first caught wind of Water Liars, I couldn’t stop talking about them. My description was something along the line of “a more soulful Black Keys. The songs tend to be somewhat […]

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Water Liars announce new s/t album

December 16, 2013

Around HearYa HQ, Water Liars are held in some pretty high regard. We liked their last effort, Wyoming, a whole bunch – making it the number three album of 2013. To have a new album to dig into so soon is just simply fantastic. Their s/t third album will be out on Feb. 4th via […]

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Water Liars – Wyoming [Album Review, SxSW]

March 12, 2013

Water Liars is a sound bigger than two men, two beards, two cigarettes and a tallboy in a bag. Wyoming (released on March 5) is their second LP, but my first introduction to the duo of Justin Kinkel-Schuster and Andrew Bryant. The two formed in Mississippi and recorded outside of Oxford with engineer, Bruce Watson, […]

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