The Billy Reid and K-Swiss Shindig is back for a second year, and to help celebrate the news, we’re launching a free digital sampler, showcasing all the great artists on the bill.
Click here to download the 7 song digital sampler.
Be sure to join us at The Swan Dive on Wednesday, March 14th, from noon to six, for a drink and the chance to catch some of the best music coming out of Austin all week. The event is free, but you’ve got to RSVP.
To help celebrate the Shindig, our friends at Santa Cruz guitars are giving away a Santa Cruz 1929-00 acoustic guitar. To enter, upload a video of yourself playing your favorite song (original or cover) to YouTube. We’ll choose the top videos and host them on American Songwriter’s YouTube page. The video with the most “likes” wins. Enter the contest here.
The Muse track list:
Shelly Colvin kicks off her self-titled debut with this slow, gauzy ballad, which occupies the middle-ground between Kathleen Edwards’ sad-eyed Americana and Miranda Lee Richards’ psychedelic folk-pop.
Operating under his DJ pseudonym, Nashville-based songwriter Keegan DeWitt throws a bone to the late-night crowd with this surging club anthem. Come for the hard-working drum machines; stay for the chorus, whose main lyric – “Don’t stop!” – sounds like a rallying cry for club-goers who never want the dancing to end.
Driven forward by eighth-note violin riffs and acrobatic vocals, “Movement And Location” is the sound of progressive bluegrass entering the 21st century at a gallop. There’s a good deal of star power in the Punch Brothers’ lineup, but Chris Thile shines the brightest on this track, leaping into a Jeff Buckley-ish falsetto one minute and letting his instrument do the talking the next.
After kicking things off with a simple guitar-and-vocal intro, “Lost Kid” builds itself into a towering pop song about waiting for one’s better half, using an arsenal of instruments – including the harp, tambourine, violin, and gang vocals – as bricks.
Part mid-tempo piano ballad and part 1970s soft rock anthem, “Bad For Me” finds Benson pining over the wrong kind of girl. Since he can’t seem to quit her, he turns his obsession into something grand and orchestral, stacking keyboards, guitars, sweeping strings, and thick harmonies on top of one another. The whole thing is bookended by a minor-key piano arpeggio that could’ve been lifted from a classical recording, proof that Benson can make anything sound like a pop song.
Boosted by an all-star backup band – including members of Dawes – Jonny Corndawg explores the place where country music and reggae intersect on this dark, biting track. It turns out to be a pretty tuneful place, but that doesn’t cheer up Corndawg, who fills “Shut Up” with lines like “I’m tired of hearing about your terrible life; I’m living the exact same one.”
Delta Spirit recorded “California” in Woodstock, New York, but the song’s hazy guitars and monster chorus — filled with enough summery harmonies to make the reunited Beach Boys jealous — pay tribute to the Golden State. “I want you to move to California for yourself,” goes the hook. We’ll start packing our bags.
— track reviews by Andrew Leahey