Reckless Kelly – Sunset Motel

WCG – Live At Gruene Hall

(Courtesy Brandon Rhyder)
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Q&A: Brandon Rhyder The Texas country artist talks about his return to the studio with Walt Wilkins, keeping his maturing voice and songwriting chops in tune, and finding serenity

By Mike Ethan Messick Brandon Rhyder’s career in the realm of independent country music has been marked by growth, change, and collaboration. A native of …

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(Photo by Karen Cleaves)
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Q&A: Slaid Cleaves Texas folk music's favorite New England ex-pat talks about his new album, “Ghost on the Car Radio,” his debt to Woody Guthrie (and Jimmy LaFave), writing with purpose, and embracing the Sisyphean task of beating "Broke Down" every time he begins anew.  

By Richard Skanse As modest as their charming home may be by the gaudy standards of say, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous or even …

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John Moreland (Photo by Joey Kneiser)
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Q&A: John Moreland The Oklahoma troubadour talks about his hardcore roots and the road to "Big Bad Luv"

By Mike Ethan Messick A soulful, gritty-voiced mountain of a man hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, John Moreland has gradually built up a catalog of heartbreakingly …

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Sunny Sweeney (Photo by Christina Feddersen)
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Q&A: Sunny Sweeney The sassy but down-to-earth Texas country singer on writing her excellent new album “Trophy,” knowing when to go vulnerable and when to snark it up, and why she'll never get used to all those Grand Ole Opry invites — or feel anything but proud of her very first record.

By Richard Skanse Sunny Sweeney does more before 9 a.m. than most late-rising lazy music writers do all day. Granted, so does just about everybody, …

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Jay Farrar and Son Volt (Photo by David McClister)
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Q&A: Jay Farrar The Son Volt frontman talks about “Notes of Blue,” finding inspiration in alternate guitar tunings, and the importance of challenging oneself

By Scott Schinder It’s been over 20 years since Jay Farrar launched Son Volt in the wake of the breakup of Uncle Tupelo, the pioneering …

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Nikki Lane, Highway Queen (Photo by Semi Song)
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Q&A: Nikki Lane From High Class Hillbilly to “Highway Queen,” the Nashville-based entrepreneur and upstart Americana maverick has always kept her hands on the wheel

By Scott Schinder On the cover of her third album, Highway Queen, outlaw-country upstart Nikki Lane poses in a vintage dress, draped across the horns …

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Merchants of Red-Eyed Soul: Kevin Russell and his medicine men (and women). (Courtesy Shinyribs)
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Q&A: Kevin Russell of Shinyribs The leader of Austin’s most happening good-times band on the making of “I Got Your Medicine,” his recipe for cooking up red-eyed soul and where he gets his “hot-poppin’” threads.

By Rob Patterson Things are looking bright — or one could say shiny — for Austin’s Shinyribs right now. What began as a side project …

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Aaron Watson (Photo by Joseph Llanes)
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Q&A: Aaron Watson The “Underdog” country music sensation talks about his new album, “Vaquero,” staying the course, keeping the faith, sticking to his independent Texas roots, and why he’s not bothered when some folks call him an up-and-comer after 18 years and more than a dozen releases.

By Mike Ethan Messick In the last decade and a half of independent Texas country music, few artists have been as steadfast and reliable as …

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Photo by Alexandra Valenti
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Q&A: Tift Merritt The North Carolina songwriter on moving forward, coming home, working with Sam Beam and His Golden Messenger, and writing "Stitch of the World"

By Scott Schinder Tift Merritt’s sixth studio album, Stitch of the World, finds the North Carolina-bred singer-songwriter-guitarist delivering some of her most potent country-soul songcraft …

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Jeremy Plato takes the wheel on the Departed's new album, "In Retrospect." (Photo courtesy Cody Canada and the Departed)
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Q&A: Jeremy Plato of the Departed With the new country covers album “In Retrospect,” the Red Dirt bassist steps into the frontman spotlight

By Kelly Dearmore Cody Canada and the Departed have been through quite a few changes since their debut just five years ago. They introduced themselves …

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AA – Terminal West
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