An Update with Austin Lucas

 

NTSIB’s good friend Michelle Evans checks in with road report on Austin Lucas. Midwestern Ohio NOTE: Austin is playing Zanesfield TONIGHT. More details below.

 

 

 

I was able to catch up with Bloomington, Indiana musician Austin Lucas this past weekend before his set at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville, where he and his back-up band for the past couple of weeks, Glossary, opened for alt-country Tennessee rockers Lucero. It was a line-up made in heaven, for which people from all over the country drove and flew in. We talked about what it was like for him touring with Glossary, his European fan base, and what’s ahead.

You can catch him with his family band in Zanesfield, Ohio this Friday, November 25th at 7 p.m. at the Mad River Theater Works Studio, and/or next Friday, December 2nd at The Bishop with Murder by Death in Bloomington, IN. I don’t recommend missing these shows; he won’t be touring the U.S. again till next year.

How’s it been touring with Glossary?

Amazing. It’s like being on tour with five stand-up comedians. We … Continue reading

Austin Lucas at Blue Moon Café, Shepherdstown, WV, 8.26.11

Happy to have another guest post from the lovely and talented Michelle Evans (Dear Ben Nichols, The Vinyl District: Washington, D.C.), this time a live review of Austin Lucas and the Bold Party.

 

 

I discovered Austin Lucas a couple years ago, but I had yet to see him live. When I heard he was going to be at the intimately set Blue Moon Café in Shepherdstown, WV, with his brilliantly talented back-up band The Bold Party and opening acts Matt Kline (of The Fox Hunt) and Marcellus Hall (from Brooklyn), I packed up my ’89 Honda Accord (with pop-up headlights!) for a road-trip north to see some awesome music (oh, and my sister too).

I am very much a voice and lyrics person. I often say that if I can’t understand what someone is singing, I’m not likely to be very interested in what the singer has to say (although there are, of course, exceptions). While initially drawn by the overall tone and sorrowful beauty of Lucas’ voice, I came to find bluegrass, country (the real kind), mountain, and Old Time influences in his music – some of … Continue reading

A Conversation with Austin Lucas, Part II

NTSIB friend Michelle Evans (Dear Ben Nichols, The Vinyl District: Washington, D.C.) concludes her conversation with Austin Lucas. If you’re in Seattle, you can catch both Austin and Drag the River this Friday at SoundFest

 

 

It seems both Austin Lucas and I are quite the chatty pair, which is great for y’all, because we discuss the country music scene, Lucero, Cory Branan, and everything in between.

So what are your thoughts on country music?

I listen to a lot of country radio. I appreciate the songwriting, even though most people hate the songwriting, but I listen to it, and I’m like, “This is so catchy. This person is such a clever, intelligent songwriter.” What a lot of people don’t understand about pop music, in order for something to stay with someone after hearing it one time, it has to be extremely catchy. The average music listener isn’t really a music fan. They want image. They want to lust after somebody who’s a star. So the thing is, if you don’t reel them in with a really, really catchy hook, they’re not interested. Trust me, writing … Continue reading

A Conversation with Austin Lucas, Part I

We continue our interviews from good NTSIB friend Michelle Evans (of Dear Ben Nichols and The Vinyl District: Washington, D.C.) with the first part of her chat with the lovely Mr. Austin Lucas. Check out Austin, Drag the River and many more at SoundFest in Seattle, which starts today and runs through Sunday.

 

 

I was able to catch up with Austin Lucas just after his tour with Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown. We talked about punk rock. We talked about bluegrass. We talked about the music industry. We talked so much, in fact, that we’re splitting his interview over today and tomorrow, when we’ll resume talking about things like his current tour with Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, his experience with the Country Throwdown, and Cory mother-fuckin’ Branan.

I’m of the ilk that while I want the people I love making music to do well and sell records, I wouldn’t wish fame on anyone. It just seems like the worst fate imaginable to me (but that’s just me). One of the things I appreciate most about you is your accessibility. Is that something you make … Continue reading

Bits: Booker T. Jones, Buddy Holly, Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown, The Kills, Strand of Oaks, The Imperial Rooster,

  • Booker T. Jones’ new album The Road from Memphis is out today. You can see and hear his recent Tiny Desk Concert for NPR here.
  • Fantasy Records will be putting out a Buddy Holly tribute album, Rave On Buddy Holly, on June 28, and the contributor list is wild. You can hear the Black Keys’ contribution, a cover of “Dearest”, here. And if you visit Liza Richardson’s May 7 KCRW show, you can hear Modest Mouse’s take on “That’ll Be the Day” (at the 6:00 mark) and Cee-Lo doing “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care” (around 36:35).
  • A free 8-song sampler from artists on Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown Tour, including Austin Lucas, is available from iTunes.
  • Take a trip over to Vinyl Hounds to see a cool mini documentary about the Kills.
  • KDHX has a live in-studio set from the always beautiful Strand of Oaks.
  • A reminder that our friends The Imperial Rooster will be playing at El Farol in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on May 10 at 6 PM MST and the set will be broadcast live on Radio Free Santa … Continue reading

Austin Lucas: Constant Sound of Thundering Rails

 

As has likely become obvious to regular NTSIB readers, I’m a sucker for a good voice. A voice full of pathos and urgency – and especially one that has been roughened with whiskey and cigarettes – will get me every time. Austin Lucas has a classic bluegrass voice. “High lonesome” is a good phrase for it. And while this sort of voice would seem best paired with quiet instrumentation and pretty guitars, as Lucas has often used in the past, on his latest album A New Home in the Old World, Lucas shows that bringing up the intensity of the music to match the intensity of the voice benefits both the singer and the song. Check out a little of what I mean on my favorite song from the album, opening track “Run Around”.

 

Run Around by Austin Lucas

 

It’s a sharp smack in the face of an introduction to an album that pulls a taught thread of emotional intensity throughout. Later on in the album, such as on lead single “Thunder Rail”, electric guitar is pulled into the mix, recalling some of the best roots-minded alt.rock.

 

Thunder Rail by … Continue reading