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The Deli's SXSW Issue 2014 is online!

Read it digitally here.

P.S. 10k free copies of this issue hit the street of Austin during SXSW Music week!





Party Music for the (Hopefully Soon) Post-Pandemic

Looking much more like Matthew Sweet or other jangle pop hipsters with his sleek black outfits and his neatly styled light brunette hair (no cowboy hat/no facial hair) than the country music performer that he is, native Austin singer-songwriter and guitarist Terry McBride possesses a strong sense of his unique self. In the crowded and competitive country music genre, his new 3-song single containing live versions of songs from his 2020 album “Rebels & Angels” is bound to make a splash. 

For starters, his credentials simply out-rock everyone else’s: at various times, he’s both a bass and a lead guitarist, the luminaries he’s toured with include Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Rosie Flores and Delbert McClinton and he’s written hits with Brooks & Dunn, George Strait, Reba McEntire and other stars from 1995 throughout the 2000’s. For Brooks & Dunn alone, he has co-written 25 tunes! And he’s not emceeing the CMT award show every damn year??

 

Thing is, with the exception of some all-too short years with his cult-status band McBride & The Ride, Terry McBride has been content behind the scenes, always the bridesmaid and never the bride. However a listen to “Terry McBride: Live At The Castle” reveals that his credentials supporting other musical celebrities do indeed translate onto his first solo album last year and now his first live tunes single this year. 

 

McBride’s sense of humor and overall upbeat music and lyrics got a lot of practice and became part of his identity when he wrote songs with Brooks & Dunn. Can you say “ah-oooh-oooh/play me some country” from Brooks & Dunn’s “Play Me Some Country”? Yes he co-wrote that smash hit, a song that ranks up there with John Anderson’s “Swinging” as one of the funniest country tunes ever. On McBride’s “She Shows Up”, he approaches the situation of a break up in a small town with a wry raucousness that says loud and clear that the party must go on. If you like fast country dance songs such as “Sold” and “1, 2 Many”, or if you like swing dance/rockabilly at the bar, “She Shows Up” will impress.

 

McBride’s live version of his “Calling All Hearts” keeps it simple: the ex-girlfriend (“the only one I got at the bar”) whom he had lived with ghosted him. His maturity as well as his sense of fun just shine through on the song.

 

Judging from the three-song single, Terry McBride’s upcoming solo shows — as well as the McBride & The Ride reunion shows scheduled across various Texas towns — should be a great way to roar out of quarantine and let off steam now that music fans are getting vaccinated.

 

- Jill Blardinelli

 

McBride’s website features his tour schedule, which starts this Friday at Royse City’s Southern Junction.

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Simon Flory Channel '70s Country On “Haul Away The Blues”

In 2021 so far, the country music fan base is so fragmented that fans of the cross-over country albums on the Billboard Top 10 and fans of Americana heroes like Chris Stapleton are likely not the same fans. However in the case of Simon Flory’s new album “Haul These Blues Away,” it’s pretty much guaranteed that fans of both country genres will be enthusiastic about Flory’s album because it is actually more of a folk album than it is a country album — and a 1970’s soft-rock/1970’s country rock reminiscent album to boot! 

 

In the past few years, millennials have been increasingly drawn to music that predates their birth, especially soft country folk/rock. Before the pandemic kept me away from my karaoke night, I had noticed starting in 2015 that 20 and 30-something singers at karaoke preferred to try their hand at “Black Water” or “Best of my Love” (the Eagles one) or “Amie” instead of singing newer music. 

 

A Chicago transplant to Fort Worth who had taught guitar at Chicago’s famous Old Town School of Folk Music, Simon Flory’s fluency with Dylan, The Pure Prairie League, The Eagles, The Byrds, The Marshall Tucker Band, John Denver and Linda Ronstadt (all favorites at the school) makes for some solid songwriting influences on “Haul These Blues Away” that are likely to entice a young adult audience stretched thin with post-college grown-up responsibilities. 

 

On “Haul These Blues Away,” Flory’s Gram Parsons-like “Peter Mack Built A Semi Truck”, his Pure Prairie League square dance stylings in “Hogback Road” and the Eagles-like mellow road trip song “Atoka” sidestep the question of where country music’s future is heading. Those listeners who were partial to The Drive By Truckers’ 2020 release “The New OK” as well as fans of Robbie Fulks, Steve Earle and Chris Stapleton will probably appreciate the poignant political subtext of the devil story in “Hogback Road” as well Flory’s story of how his childhood shaped him as a compassionate political activist in “Learning How to Talk.” The duet with Daisy O’ Connor on “Walking Stick” is another sweetly thrilling surprise, especially in a unique song reminiscent of Jason Isbell’s “Dreamsicle”.

 

There are so many sweet moments on this one album. The harmonies backing Flory’s lead vocals by the talented duo of Clay Parker and Jodi James on some of the tracks provide a stress-relieving mood that music fans have long appreciated whether skilled harmonies are those of The Carter Family or those of The Zac Brown Band.

 

- Jill Blardinelli


 

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Thanks Light Drops Video For “I Get High (Off You)”

Funny fact – as of writing, Google lists Austin indie rockers Thanks Light as “classical.” And y’know what? They're not wrong.

 

That's not to say Thanks Light, who recently dropped a new video for their single “I Get High (Off You),” are in danger of adding contrabass or harpsichord to their current four-piece featuring lap steel and Moog. Rather, Thanks Light could have played “I Get High (Off You)” at a roadhouse or coffeeshop in 1970, 1990 or 2010 and not a single patron would have batted an eye.

 

It’s textbook Austin indie rock, a step behind Spoon, a step ahead of Fastball. It’s bouncy, good-natured indie stoner rock, with steel tremolo and rolling roadhouse piano adding interest to comfily predictable drums and strums.

 

The video is equally on-message, featuring a hirsute gentleman singing his way through a diner, a faceful of jellybeans and sundry whimsical Americana. “I Get High (Off You)” is Thanks Light giving the listener exactly what's on the box, and there's not a damn thing wrong with that.

 

- Matt Salter

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